TOAW IV: Battle resolution

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Resolving Battles

Whenever you wish during your Turn, you may request that attacks and bombardments planned during your movement be resolved. Click on the Switch Sides / Combat Resolution button to make the request. The battles are resolved before control of the game is returned either to you or your opponent.

The battle for each location is fought separately. Computer-controlled units scheduled to Attack any given location are combined into a single Attack, and all available Support units on both sides are automatically added to the battle. Support units may participate in more than one battle (if so, they attack using half their Attack Factors). If a Support unit instead is assigned to exclusively support one battle (by left-clicking on it), it attacks at full strength, but cannot be used in other battles during this round of combat; see Amphibious Attacks, Airborne Attacks, and Airmobile Attacks for details.

Attacks are resolved in order of complexity, with simpler Attacks occurring before more complex Attacks. See Attack Complexity, for more details.

Individual battles are resolved in a series of Tactical Rounds. Each player Turn is divided into ten Tactical Rounds, and individual battles begin on the Round that most closely corresponds to the proportion of the attacking units’ Movement Allowance expended before the combat. Example: A unit with a remaining Movement Allowance of 12 and an initial Movement Allowance of 18 begins its Attack on Round 3.

These rounds are used only for combat purposes and have no direct effect on your game play.

On each Tactical Round, combat is resolved in the order of Local Bombardment, then Anti- Armor combat, and then Anti-Personnel combat. During Local Bombardment, all supporting units fire their Bombardment Strengths at the enemy. Air units are subject to Interception and Anti-Aircraft fire. Then, enemy armored equipment is fired on by the combined friendly Anti-Armor strength and all enemy equipment is fired on by the combined friendly Anti-Personnel strength. Generally, only actively defending equipment is subject to losses during Anti-Armor and Anti-Personnel fire.

Much of the equipment “lost” during combat is not actually destroyed. Instead, it is considered damaged or temporarily unserviceable. This damaged equipment goes to the Replacement Pool unless the owning unit is Out of Supply. In the case of Air equipment, the fraction of damaged equipment going to the Replacement Pool is proportional to the owning unit’s Proficiency. Naval equipment never goes to the Replacement Pool.

After each Round, all involved units check for “break off”. The chance that a unit will break off depends on losses, Orders emphasis, coordination difficulty, and the duration of the individual Attack. Attacking units that break off simply cease their participation in the Attack. Defending units that break off attempt to disengage and retreat. Unit Supply and Readiness Levels are reduced in each round of combat. Readiness Losses are increased if chemicals are in use. Air units involved in combat are subject to more Quality Checks than other units. Air units failing these additional Quality Checks attack with lower Strengths.

Retreat From Combat Determination

  • At the end of each combat round, units that have not dropped out of the attack or retreated from the defense will be used to determine the current Assault Strength Ratio. This ratio is then further modified by terrain and deployment scalars of the defender’s position appropriate to the equipment types in that defense.
  • This final ratio then scales the quality of each defender for purposes of Retreat from Combat (RFC). So, the higher the ratio, the greater the chance of RFC, and vice-versa. Units set to Minimize, or Limit Losses must face further tests due to any losses they suffered. This scaling is split between a check for whether the net adjusted odds are > 1 (favors the attacker) or < 1 (favors the defender). In the first case, the defender’s quality is directly scaled down by the adjustment. In the second case, the defender’s headroom over his quality is scaled down by it.

In other words:

IF (Adjusted Odds > 1) THEN
    Defender Quality = Defender Quality / Adjusted Odds
ELSE (Adjusted Odds < 1) THEN
    Defender Quality = 100 – (100 – Defender Quality) * Adjusted Odds

In the above:

  • A ratio of 3 invokes the unmodified quality of the defenders for the quality check (Adjusted Odds = 1). So, a ratio of 6 would halve the quality while a ratio of 1.5 would halve its headroom, etc. For example, if the defender had a quality of 70 (headroom of 30) and the radio was 1.5, the check would use an adjusted quality of 100 – 30 * 0.5 = 85. If the ratio was 6 it would use an adjusted quality of 70 / 2 = 35.
  • Note that there is a Game Parameter (Force RFC Scalar) that scales the ratio needed for the quality to be unmodified. 3 is the default value. So, the scenario designer can adjust how easy or hard it is to gain ground.
  • Remember that the ratio takes into consideration to what extent the defenders are armored or not and the assaulter’s AP vs. AT strengths. The net effect is that terrain effects and combat odds scale the Quality check.

This means that terrain affects RFC odds, yet even fortified locations can be overcome via employment of heavy combat odds.

After the “break off” check, any defending Reserve units that can respond will move toward or into the location of the attack. It is possible for these units to arrive as other defenders are retreating.

Battles continue until all units of one side have broken off, but not beyond Tactical Round 10.

Individual attacks will tend to last longer and cause greater losses if both sides are evenly matched or have aggressive (Ignore Losses) Orders emphasis.

You can determine how much of your Turn currently remains and when the last planned attacks will begin by looking in the Information Panel at the bottom of the screen while your mouse cursor is on the Progress Pane at the bottom of the Unit Panel.

Turn Used refers to the amount of the Turn that was already used, while Planned Combats refers to the Turn Used percentage at the commencement of the current series of planned attacks. For example, Turn Used (20%) and Planned Combats (40%) means that your previous series of combats left you with 20% of your Turn remaining, and at least one combat that you have currently planned will begin on Tactical Round 4. The Combat Planner’s “Time Expended” pane can show which of your combats may be starting late. This can also be easily seen on the Planned Combats dialog.

When using larger screen resolutions (at least 1152 x 864), there is also a graphical approximation shown in the proportion of gold and silver stars remaining displayed in the circlet around the TOAW IV logo in the bolted plate. Gold stars represent the proportion of the Turn left at the commencement of the current series of battles, while Gold plus Silver stars represent the proportion of the Turn left from the end of the previous series of battles. The above only applies if the Legacy Control Panel is in use.

If not, the Progress Pane at the bottom of the new Unit Panel shows the same via gold and gray cells.

Airbase Defense

Air units with a High-Altitude Anti-Air capability will automatically join in local Air Superiority combat regardless of Mission if their base is attacked by enemy Air units. They will also rise to intercept airborne units launching assaults on their airbase.

Air and Naval Units in Land Combat

Air and Naval units can only participate in Land combat in their role as long-range Artillery supporting Attacks or Defenses. They do not contribute to the defense of their own location when attacked by Land units. If an Air or Naval unit is the only occupant of a location under attack by enemy land units, it will immediately attempt to retreat (air units will relocate to a friendly airbase). If no retreat is possible, the unit is immediately destroyed.

Naval Combat

The naval combat model has the following features:

  • Ships have damage levels and take damage in combat if hit by the attacking ordinance. Those levels are displayed in the unit report.
  • Attacking equipment Anti-ship factors are evaluated as individual shots/planes so that each warhead can be evaluated for armor penetration.
  • Hit chances depend on several checks made involving various factors such as the visibility, attacker proficiency, target agility, aircraft anti-naval strength, gunnery range, and shock levels.
  • The amount of damage a hit inflicts on a target ship depends upon shell weights of the ordinance hitting them, their armor thickness, and their durability.
  • Ship armor and durability are derived from the ship’s defense strength, unless the designer has explicitly specified them using the new naval equipment add-on to the scenario’s equipment file. That file also allows ship agility, accuracy, and speed to be explicitly specified.
  • Embarked units’ armor, durability, agility, and AAA are fixed at 0, 25, 18, and 0, respectively. This means that the strengths of the embarked equipment are no longer used to resolve attacks on embarked units.
  • Ships that accumulate 100 or more damage points are eliminated – sent to the dead pile.
  • Ship damage levels less than 100 are saved in the unit on each TO&E line. Those levels debilitate the ship’s AP, AAA, Speed, Nuclear Strength, and Agility accordingly. They do not affect Defense Strength, Armor, or Durability levels. Damage levels of 50 or more turn the ship’s TO&E button red (for a bit of chrome).
  • If a TO&E line contains more than one ship all damage on that line is applied to only a single ship until the damage totals 100 – at which point one ship is sunk and the damage level of the TO&E line drops back to zero. Call it the “lead” ship in that line. Other ships in that TO&E line remain undamaged (and invulnerable) – until they become the “lead” ship due to the sinking of the previous one. Note that there is a technique available to designers to split such multiple-ship lines up into single ship lines, if desired. See Splitting TO&E Lines)
  • Naval units cannot be disbanded by players or evaporated by combat short of all ships in the unit being sunk. Combat never sends ships to the “On Hand” pool.
  • Aircraft Carriers with more than 66 damage points cease to function as aircraft carriers. If that means that there are then fewer aircraft carrier bases than air units in the hex, one air unit will be eliminated.
  • Carrier-based air units are exempt from combat reorganization.
  • Damage points incurred by embarked units destroy a weight of equipment equal to those damage points.
  • There is limited ability to repair some damage while at sea, and significantly more while at port.

This combat procedure only affects combat where the target is a ship or embarked. There is a detailed discussion of these factors for the benefit of players and designers in the appendices at the end of this document.

Naval Targeting

Target priorities are based realistically on the true values of the units. Priorities are by unit and based upon the unit icon as follows:

  • Carrier Naval: 1500
  • Heavy Naval or Task Force Naval: 150
  • Medium Naval: 50
  • Light Naval or Riverine Naval: 10
  • 100 weight of embarked: 40

So, for example, if a group contained a CV, a BB, a CA, a CL, some DDs in a TF unit, and 250 weight of embarked, the total value in the hex would be 2000. Then the CV unit would have 75% priority, and the BB, CA, CL, DDs, and embarked units would have 7.5%, 2.5%, 2.5%, 7.5%, and 5%, respectively. That will mean that 75% of all planes and shots will target the CV unit.

If any target unit has multiple ships in it, then there is further targeting priority within the unit using the same weights but based upon the naval equipment flags.

Port Attacks

This allows players to target only the naval units in an anchorage hex – like an “Airfield Attack” targets only the planes in a hex. This can be done even if the hex is “unknown”. Again, this counter attempts by players to divert the targeting of their ships in port with land units. But note that any normal (non- “port”) attack on an anchorage hex now targets everything in it except the naval units, for when that is desired. So, if ships are in an anchorage hex, the player must select “Port Attack” to target them, even if there is nothing else in the hex.

Nuclear Attacks

Nuclear Attack Strengths range from 0.01kT (kilotons of TNT) to 4mT (megatons of TNT), and their lethality is based on the physical scale of the Scenario. Effects may not be limited to the target location. The estimated Effective Strength of the attack is shown on the popup menu. This weather dependent Strength may vary from what you would expect by examination of the unit’s equipment. If a radius is given, the Attack effect will extend outside of the target location. The Attack Strength drops off rapidly outside of the target but can in some cases still be quite deadly even several hexes away.

Unless you are desperate, it is best to avoid launching Nuclear Attacks if friendly units are within the Attack Radius.

Armored equipment is much more resistant to Nuclear Attacks than Non-Armored equipment.

You generally won’t take out many tanks with a Nuclear Attack unless the cumulative Attack Total is several hundred kT or more.

After a Nuclear Attack, the target and nearby locations may become Contaminated and cause Additional Land Movement Costs.

The path of contamination outside the target is somewhat randomized but can extend up to three times the attack radius from the actual attack location – generally to the east. Once contaminated, locations remain contaminated until the radioactivity decays. Units in Contaminated locations will suffer reductions in Readiness each Turn.

Nuclear attacks now receive the flanking bonus, causing more collateral damage.

Airfield Attacks

Artillery and Aircraft units ordered to attack Airfields will concentrate their attacks on Air units in the attacked location, ignoring the presence of enemy Land units – like a “Port Attack” targets only the naval units in an anchorage hex.

Bridge Attacks

Unlike all other kinds of Attacks, Bridge Attacks can be ordered on locations with no known enemy units. Only enemy owned bridges may be attacked.

The chance of success for a single unit launching a Bridge Attack is shown on the popup menu. If more than one unit participates, all Attack Strengths are added, and the Bridge Attack is conducted as a single Bombardment (so the chances become cumulative).

If the “New Bridge Rules” Advanced Rule option is ON then bridge attacks may only be made on locations that have a road/railroad that graphically crosses a river/canal. Otherwise, any location with both a road//railroad and a river/canal, even if they don’t graphically cross, is eligible for a bridge attack.

Battlefield Reconnaissance

All unit Strengths are increased by the unit’s Reconnaissance Capability on the first round of combat. Reconnaissance Capability has no effect on subsequent Rounds.

Example: If a unit has an Anti-Personnel Strength of 15 and a Reconnaissance Capability of 30%, its effective Anti-Personnel Strength on the first round of combat would be 19.

Target Density (Advanced Rules)

Game unit counters defending a city with a couple showing high density warnings indicated by colored circles.
The green and yellow circles next to some of the unit counters indicate high density of units in that location.

Normal Combat Loss calculations assume target densities below a certain value based on the physical scale of the Scenario. In many cases you can exceed this target density by piling units into a location. This may be the only way to effectively concentrate for an attack in some Scenarios, but there is a cost. If you present the other Force with a dense concentration of equipment, so that he can’t help but hit something with every shot, you may take excessive losses. Locations with excessive target densities are indicated on the map by a small colored light in the west corner of the location. These indicator lights range from green to yellow to orange to red.

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid piling units into a location if you see a colored light, as follows:

  • No indicator means the target density is at or below the limit for the Scenario.
  • A green light indicator is a caution; the target density limits have been exceeded, and combat losses are multiplied by 1.0 to 1.4.
  • A yellow light indicator is a warning; the excessive target density will result in combat losses being multiplied by 1.4 to 1.7.
  • An orange light indicator is a strong warning; the excessive target density will result in combat losses being multiplied by 1.7 to 2.0.
  • A red-light indicator is a very strong warning; the excessive target density will result in a combat loss being multiplied by at least 2.0.

Density effects for unstacked locations.

Typically, only locations with two or more units suffered combat density penalties.  However, if the advanced game Density Rule is optioned, any location can be so penalized.

Long-Range Supporting Fire

All cooperative Air units with Combat Support orders, Artillery, and Naval units may automatically add one-half of their Bombardment Strengths to each Attack within range. Artillery units will not support combats if they have Mobile, Retreated, or Routed deployments. There is no supporting fire for Bombardments.

Units must pass a Communication Check in order to provide Combat Support.

Air units may fail to react if the range to target is long compared to their overall range. Air units may suffer losses to Anti-Aircraft fire and Interception by enemy Air units with Air Superiority missions.

Air units with multiple range air equipment in them assigned to attack a target will only take losses on the equipment with the range to reach the target.

Note that both air equipment and anti-air equipment are rated as either high or low (some anti-air is high/low). Low air is affected by both high and low anti-air. High air is affected by high anti-air and only a small proportion of low air. Just because the plane is rated high-altitude doesn’t mean that it necessarily carries out its mission at high altitude – especially combat support.

Air units with 0 AP strength but with non-zero AT or Anti-Naval strengths can be assigned Combat Support or Sea Interdiction missions respectively.

Environmental Effects  on Combat (Advanced Rules)

Terrain and environmental conditions have a strong effect on combat. Terrain primarily benefits defending Land units and sometimes penalizes attacking Land units. Visibility and time of day affect Air unit Strengths.

Some rules only pertain when Advanced Rules are being utilized; these are noted below.

Defensive Anti-Armor Strengths

Defending units benefit from increased Anti-Armor Strengths in some terrain or Deployments. Defense Multipliers combine as detailed in #Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers. Otherwise effects are not cumulative. Only the strongest modifier is in effect:

  • In a Fortified Line hex (any Deployment), or Fortified Deployment (any terrain): x5
  • Dense Urban, Dense Urban Ruin, or Mountains (any Deployment), or Entrenched Deployment (any terrain): x3.5
  • Urban, Urban Ruin, Bocage, or Marsh (any Deployment), or Defending Deployment (any terrain): x2

Defensive Anti-Personnel Strengths

Defending units benefit from increased Anti- Personnel Attack Strengths in some terrain or Deployments. Defense Multipliers combine as detailed in #Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers. Otherwise effects are not cumulative. Only the strongest modifier is in effect:

  • In a Fortified Line hex (any Deployment), or Fortified Deployment (any terrain): x4.5
  • Bocage (any Deployment) or Entrenched Deployment (any terrain): x3
  • Mountains (any Deployment) or Defending Deployment: x1.5

Defensive Strengths of Vehicles

Vehicles in defending units benefit from increased Defensive Strengths in some terrain and Deployments. Defense Multipliers combine as detailed in #Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers. Otherwise effects are not cumulative. Only the strongest modifier is in effect:

  • In a Fortified Line hex (any Deployment) or Fortified Deployment (any terrain): x3
  • Dense Urban or Dense Urban Ruin (any Deployment) or Entrenched Deployment (any terrain): x1.5

Defensive Strengths of Infantry

Infantry and non-static weapons in defending units benefit from increased Defensive Strengths in some terrain or Deployments. Defense Multipliers combine as detailed in #Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers. Otherwise effects are not cumulative. Only the strongest modifier is in effect:

  • In a Fortified Line hex (any Deployment) or Fortified Deployment (any terrain): x8
  • Dense Urban, Dense Urban Ruin, or Badlands (any Deployment): x4
  • Urban, Urban Ruin, Bocage, Dunes, or Mountain (any Deployment): or Entrenched Deployment (any terrain): x3
  • Forest, Jungle, Hills, or Wadi (any Deployment), or Defending Deployment (any terrain): x2.0

Defensive Strengths of Static Equipment

Static equipment (equipment that requires Transport in order to move) benefits from increased Defensive Strengths in some terrain or Deployments. Defense Multipliers combine as detailed in #Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers. Otherwise effects are not cumulative. Only the strongest modifier is in effect:

  • In a Fortified Line hex (any deployment), or Fortified Deployment (any terrain): x6
  • Badlands (any Deployment): x3
  • Dense Urban, Dense Urban Ruin, Dunes, or Mountains (any Deployment), or Entrenched Deployment (any terrain): x2.0
  • Urban, Urban Ruin, Forest, Jungle, Hills, Bocage, or Wadi (any Deployment), or Defending Deployment (any terrain): x1.5

Combination of Terrain and Deployment Defense Modifiers

Terrain Defense Multipliers combine with Deployment Defense Multipliers as the square root of the sum of the squares. However, no multiplier can be greater than the fortified benefit.

Infantry Defense Multiplier
Terrain Multiplier Mobile Defend Entrench Fortify
Fortified Line 8 8 8 8 8
Dense Urban, Badlands 4 4 4.47 5 8
Mountain, Dunes, Urban, Bocage 3 3 3.61 4.24 8
Forest, Jungle, Hills, Wadi 2 2 2.83 3.61 8
All others - - 2 3 8
Vehicle Defense Multiplier
Terrain Multiplier Mobile Defend Entrench Fortify
Fortified Line 3 3 3 3 3
Dense Urban 1.5 1.5 1.5 2.12 3
All others - - - 1.5 3

Unit Strengths in Water Assaults

Non-Marine Land units attacking from River, Super River, Canal, Suez Canal, or Deep Water (Amphibious Assaults) have all Strengths multiplied by 0.7.

Escarpments

Only Mountain units can move across Major Escarpments, and only Mountain units can attack across Major Escarpments (exception: any unit can attack across a major escarpment via a road). Their losses will be three times the normal for the attack. Combat across Minor Escarpments results in twice the losses for the Attacker. Artillery and Headquarters are not as affected; Artillery attacks at 150% Strength if it is “looking down” on the target across a Major Escarpment. This is defined as an artillery unit, in the hex that contains the escarpment terrain feature, firing across that hex side feature at an adjacent unit.

Visibility (Advanced Rules)

Visibility affects Air unit Attack and Defense Strengths, as follows:

  • Fair: 100% – Fair locations are locations that have no clouds in them.
  • Hazy: 100% for all weather equipment, 66% otherwise – Hazy locations are locations that have flat clouds in them (regardless of precipitation).
  • Overcast: 66% for all weather equipment, 33% otherwise – Overcast locations are locations that have puffy clouds in them (regardless of precipitation).

Night and Day (Advanced Rules)

In six hour and half-day Turn Scenarios, time of day affects Air unit Attack and Defense Strengths, as follows:

  • AM Turn: 100%
  • PM Turn: 66% for all weather equipment, 33% otherwise.

Night Attenuation

If Turns are Full Days or longer, Air unit Attack and Defense Strengths are multiplied by 83% for All Weather equipment, 66% otherwise.

Flanks and Rear Areas and Flanking Attacks

Most units are assigned a mix of actively defending equipment (such as Infantry or Tanks) and passively defending equipment (such as Artillery). Usually, passively defending equipment is significantly shielded from losses in combat. The theory is that units like Artillery are deployed in rear areas and generally are out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

If units are attacked from two or more, non-adjacent hexes in the same Turn, passively defending equipment (such as Artillery) will be forced to participate directly in combat. The attacks need not be combined. One unit can “pin” from one direction, while another executes the “Flanking” Attack. If a unit that attacked earlier in the Turn is itself later attacked, the original Attack is considered a “defense” for this purpose. This means that if a unit attacks to the south, but is itself later attacked from the north, it will suffer the Flank Attack penalty. Likewise, a unit that attacks into two, or more, non-adjacent hexes will suffer a Flank Attack from the defensive fire of the defending units. Units that split into sub-units and attack into two or more non-adjacent hexes will cause the parent unit (and any subsequently re-split sub-units) to be subject to Flank Attacks if the sub-units recombine afterwards on the same Turn that the sub-unit Attacks are made. Once a unit has its flank “turned,” all further attacks in that Turn against it, or by it (in the case of Defensive Fire against Attacking units), will be a Flank Attack until it retreats (defenders) or advances (attackers). Units are not subject to the Flank Attack penalty immediately after any movement out of the hex from which they were attacked or attacked out of.

The facing of the 3D unit icon graphics on the map is not significant for this purpose. Note that, if optioned, “New Flanking Rules” revises this somewhat. See New Flanking Rules.

Retreats

If a defending unit attempts to break off, it will look for a safe location in the direction of the nearest friendly cooperative Headquarters or Supply Source.

The unit will attempt to disengage and retreat into that safe location. If such a location is not available, the unit will instead have its Readiness reduced to 33% and it will refuse further orders until it Reorganizes. In practical terms, this reduces the unit to a milling mob of uncoordinated troops, which will offer little resistance if attacked again. Entrained units forced to retreat will be dis-entrained and lose their entrained movement allowance.

RBC Escape from blocked retreat path

Surrounded defending units that are forced to retreat from combat and have no other path of retreat will get to attempt to breakout via RBC'ing any of the surrounding enemy units. All qualifying defenders get to attempt the RBCs until a path is cleared or all have failed against all blockers. Note that this will require the use of substantial forces in all possible paths around the defender if that defender is to be denied a retreat path. “Ant Units” won’t work.

Attack Complexity (Defined)

Attack Complexity increases with the number of attacking units, the distance those units move before launching their Attack, the Cooperation Level necessary for coordination between units of differing Formations, and inclement weather or difficult terrain in and around the location of the Attack.

Amphibious Attacks

Any Attack launched from a Deep-Water location is considered an Amphibious Attack. Such an Attack is resolved normally, except that if the Attacker is unsuccessful his units will re-embark on their Transports. Note that a non-Marine unit attacking from a Deep-Water location has its Attack Strength multiplied by 0.7 (see Unit Strengths in Water Assaults).

Airborne Attacks

Airborne Attacks are resolved during Movement. See Airborne Movement.

Airmobile Attacks

Airmobile Attacks are resolved during Movement. See Airmobile Movement.

Effects of Entraining [boarding, embarking] Units

Units on board Trains have their Attack and Defense strengths reduced to 25% of normal. They may defend but may not launch Attacks.

Assault Ratio Rules

The benefits to the attacker artillery strength, the defender supply cost per round, and the prevention of counter-battery fire from a ranged defender are not guaranteed just because there is any ground attacking unit, regardless of the size or composition of that unit. Rather, receipt of these benefits is now dependent upon an attack parameter called the Assault Ratio (AR).

The AR is 100 times the ratio between the Attacker Assault Strength to the Defender Defense Strength. The Defender Defense Strength is determined by the total defense strength of all defenders in the target hex (without support). The Attacker Assault Strength is complicated to explain. First, it only includes direct ground attackers – no support. Second, it only includes the active equipment of those attackers. Finally, of that equipment, it totals the AP and AT strengths in proportion to the contribution of armored and soft equipment to the Defender Defense Strength.

So, if the defender is all armored equipment, only the attacker’s AT strengths would be totaled. If the defender is all soft equipment, only the attacker’s AP strengths would be totaled. If half the defender’s defense strength is from soft equipment and half armored, then half the attacker’s AP would be totaled with half his AT, etc.

Once determined, the AR of the attack is displayed in the Attack Planning Dialog (subject to Fog-of-War).

Then, the AR is used to determine the level of benefit to those three assault factors above. If the AR is 100 or greater (Attacker Assault Strength is at least equal to Defender Defense Strength) then all the benefits are automatically received – just like for all attacks before. But, if it is less, the chances increase proportionately that the benefit level will decrease from Full to Partial. (For example, at an AR of 50, there is a 50% chance of that). At less than 10, the chances increase proportionately that the attack could even be treated the way a pure bombardment was affected before (provided it has any directly assigned support). (For example, at an AR of 5, there is a 50% chance of that). At 0, it is guaranteed to be treated like a bombardment – again, if it has directly-assigned support.

The benefit level received is displayed in the Combat Report as:

If the message says “attack”, then full benefits were received.

If it says “weakly attack” then partial benefits were received.

If it says “bombard” then no benefits were received (or the attack actually was a bombardment).

The benefit levels are shown here:

A table showing the factors that go into determining benefit level for assault ratios.
Assault ratio benefit table excerpted from the official TOAW IV manual. See manual TOAW IV: Credits for author.

Finally, if the message says, “very weakly attack”, then no benefits were received and the attack had no directly assigned artillery support. While this probably sounds very confusing, (and there is a great deal of complexity behind the scenes that has been omitted from this description) all players need to understand is that to ensure full benefits, keep the effective strengths of the forces actually assigned to ground-assault the defenders at least equal to the size of the defenders’ defense strengths. (That means keeping the AR equal to 100 or above). The farther below 100 the AR is, the more risk that less and less of the above benefits will be received. Note that defender terrain and deployment enhancements are ignored for purposes of this effect (we’re just sort of comparing relative effective unit sizes). But entrainment/embarkment, etc. are not ignored.

Be aware that support Loss Tolerances will now determine the number of rounds expended if the assault becomes a bombardment (like in a normal bombardment).

Note that, other than determining the above effects, the AR and Attacker Assault Strength values are not used in the resolution of the actual combat. Passive equipment still participates as before, provided the AR is otherwise not rendered small enough to convert the attack into a bombardment. But that will be the case if the assault is pure passive (AR will equal 0). Note that if there is a situation where players want a pure passive or otherwise very tiny attack to assault, then they should not provide it any directly assigned support, and then it will do so.