TOAW IV: Force and formation characteristics and effects

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Force

A Force is a complete list of all units and Formations assigned to one player’s side in a Scenario. It also includes several characteristics that affect just about everything you do with units of that Force. These characteristics are transparent; in other words, they show up in your unit Strengths, etc., but you don’t need to know about them. Scenario designers set them to achieve specific historical effects.

Force Characteristics and Their Effects

These values reflect various Force-wide capabilities. Most can be seen in the Scenario Briefing under the Force subheading, while some are only directly visible in the Editor. All have strong effects on your Force’s ability to fight.

Force Supply Stockpile

(1-100%) – This represents Supply Stockpiles available to the entire Force.  See Supply (Advanced Rules) , for more information.

Force Proficiency

(1-100%) – This represents the overall Proficiency of the Force. This characteristic is used to determine the length of your Turn (see Turn Over). Units that Reconstitute are assigned a Proficiency that is averaged with this value.

Force Air Refueling Range Multiplier

(1-10) - Aircraft with in-flight refueling capability will have their ranges multiplied by this amount. Any Extended Ranges are shown in the game, but the characteristic itself is only visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force NBC Proficiency

(0-100%) - (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) Losses to chemical and atomic attacks are reduced if this value is greater than zero. At the maximum level of 100%, losses for all equipment are reduced as though they had an inherent NBC defense capability (Equipment). This characteristic is only directly visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force Night Combat Proficiency

(1-100%) - Unit Proficiencies are averaged with this value when determining Anti-Armor, Anti-Personnel, and Defense Strengths at night. This characteristic is only visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force Electronic Support Level

(1-100%) - This represents the general electronic capability of the force: Radar, Electronic Countermeasures, Signal Intelligence, etc. This characteristic is only visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Electronic Support Checks

An electronic support check passes if a random number from zero to the friendly Force Electronic Support Level is higher than a random number from zero to the enemy Force Electronic Support Level. Default value of 33% is treated as a value of zero for this purpose. Only if the values are changed from the default level does the above take place. (The feature was non-functional for years. Once fixed, this qualification had to be made to avoid breaking existing scenarios).

Electronic Support Effects

Locations with HQ units, Air units, and units that move or fire are “noticed” at the beginning of the following Turn if the enemy player makes an Electronic Support Check for the location. Combats involving large numbers of units are affected by relative Electronic Support levels. Artillery, HQ, and Air units can only support combats if they pass a Communication Check. Attacks with a large fraction of units failing Communication Checks will take longer to resolve. Individual units and entire Formations may be unavailable for orders (reorganizing) at the beginning of a Turn due to enemy Electronic Warfare. Individual units may be unavailable if they fail Communication Checks, and Formations are more likely to be unavailable if a significant proportion of attached units fail Communication Checks.

Communications Checks

The chance for a unit to pass a Communication Check is equal to the Force Communication Level. It increases if the friendly Electronic Support Level is higher than the enemy Electronic Support Level and decreases if the friendly Electronic Support Level is lower than the Enemy Electronic Support Level. Unless the enemy Force has a much higher Electronic Support Level, or the Force has a very low Communication Level, a unit can usually pass a Communication Check. Units that have not moved this Turn have a higher chance of passing a Communication Check. Long range Anti-Aircraft units must pass a Communication Check to fire on aircraft at ranges of 1 hex or more.

Force Communications Level

(25-100%) – This value is checked against a random number from 0 to 100 whenever:

  • Unit and Formation statuses are determined,
  • SAM units fire at long range, and/or
  • Anti-Aircraft support or Artillery fires in support of Attacks and Defenses

Failure prevents the unit from participating in combat or increases the chance that the unit or its parent Formation will be reorganizing at the beginning of a Turn. The default value is 100%.

The 100% value should be retained for most World War II and later Scenarios. During the World War I period, a value of 75% is recommended for Scenarios. Prior to 1900, values of 50% or lower are appropriate. This characteristic is only visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force Precision Guided Weapons Level

(1-999%) – Systems with precision guided weapons capabilities (set in the equipment list – mostly aircraft) have their Anti-Air, Anti-Armor, and Bombardment Strengths multiplied by the following:

100% + Force Guided Weapons Level %

If you set this value to the maximum value of 999%, these systems will have their strengths multiplied by almost 11 times. This characteristic is visible only in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force Loss Intolerance

(10-999%) – This value is used only for Victory determination and does not affect the performance of your Force in any way. It is a direct multiplier to the Victory Point penalty you play for losses. This characteristic is only visible in the Editor or the Expanded Situation Report.

Force Pestilence

(0-50%) – This value sets a percentage of equipment lost to disease by every unit in the Force on every Turn. Infantry, Horse Transport, and Cavalry equipment is lost at this rate, while all other types of equipment are lost at half this rate. Within each individual location, the losses are multiplied by:

  • Frozen, Not Snowy: 1.1
  • Frozen, Snowy: 1.25
  • Hot, not Mud or Marsh: 1.1
  • Hot, Mud, or Marsh: 1.25
  • Unsupplied: 1.25
  • Seaborne Land Unit: 1.25

These multipliers are cumulative. The worst cases are Unsupplied Frozen, Snowy, or Unsupplied Hot Muddy locations, which would make the multiplier 1.5625. If the overall Force Pestilence value were set at 3%, losses in the worst-case situations would be 4.69% for Infantry, Cavalry, and Horse Transport equipment, and 2.34% for all other types of equipment. Half of Infantry, Cavalry, and Horse Transport equipment lost by units in Supplied locations are sent to the Replacement Pool. All non-Infantry, non-Cavalry, non-Horse Transport equipment lost by units in Supplied locations is sent to the Replacement Pool as well. All other Pestilence losses are permanent. This value should rarely be set above 5%, and in most cases should be lower. The default is 0%. This value may be set from the OOB Editor (Edit > Modify Current Force menu), or by use of the Force Pestilence (Pestilence 1 or Pestilence 2) Event effects.

Force Movement Bias

(14-455%) – This is a multiplier for Movement Rates for all units of the Force.

Force ZOC Cost

(0-1000%) – This is the cost of moving away from an adjacent unfriendly unit. Default of 100 applies the normal 25% [of total movement allowance] cost. A value of 50 halves the cost. A value of 200 doubles it, etc. This does not affect chances of triggering disengagement attacks.

Force Overextended Supply Threshold

(0-100) – A default value of 0 will not use the Overextended feature. This is the location supply level below which a location is overextended instead of supplied. See Lines of Communication.

Force Naval Critical Hit Scalar

(0-100) – A default value of 10 will make critical hits occur about 5% of the times that a ship’s armor is penetrated.

Force RFC Scalar

(0-100) – A default value of 10 can be lowered (making Retreat From Combats (Overruns) harder to obtain), or increased (to make them easier to obtain).

Force / Deployment Editor Settings that Affect Both Players

The Attrition Divider (1-1000)

It is possible to set the Attrition Divider value for a Scenario by using the Edit > Set Attrition Divider item in the Force and Deployment Editor menus. This value directly affects the lethality of most combat. Within the combat code, the effective losses for any item of equipment are divided by this number before being applied to the unit. The default value is 10. Minimum is 1 and maximum is 100. The effect of setting this value is:

Divider = Losses

  • 1 = 10x
  • 2 = 5x
  • 5 = 2x
  • 10 = 1x (default)
  • 20 = 0.5x
  • 50 = 0.2x
  • 100 = 0.1x

Other values’ effects are between those listed. Scenario designers who change this from the default should indicate the value used in their Scenario Briefing.

Max Rounds Per Battle (1-99)

It is possible to set Maximum Rounds Per Battle (MRPB) value for a Scenario by using the Edit > Set Max Rounds Per Battle item in the Force and Deployment Editor menus. This value sets the maximum number of rounds that the attacking forces will execute, for all battles, in each series of combats. The default value is 99. The minimum value is 1 and the maximum is 99. This value can have a wide variety of different effects, particularly when coupled with Shock events. Low MRPB values can minimize “Turn burn,” but at the cost of attacks not having enough tactical rounds to retreat defenders. Low MRPB values can also yield better results from using Tactical and Local Reserve Deployments. You can more safely use progressively higher Loss Tolerance settings for Attacks, with low MRPB values, since the number of tactical rounds that stubborn units continue attacks and defenses will be attenuated.

While some Scenarios will benefit from very low MRPB values, it is generally not recommended to set it lower than 3, as this also attenuates the number of rounds that Artillery, Naval, and Air units will bombard for, at their higher Loss Tolerance settings, and may also adversely affect the net bonuses that positive shock values have in reducing the number of tactical rounds expended during combat. It is recommended that Scenario designers using Shock events generally set this value to be no less than the following: (Highest Value Shock – 70) / 10 Your mileage may vary; playtest for overall effect throughout the campaign. Another effect to keep in mind when setting this value is that the chance for ending the Turn by a “Proficiency Check” is not affected. Thus, while players may realize more sets of Attacks throughout their Turn, with low MRPB values, they will conversely be more likely to have the Turn ended (eventually) by a failed Proficiency Check, since one is made at the end of each series of Attacks. See Turn Over for details. Scenario designers who change this from the default should indicate the value used in their Scenario Briefing.

AAA Lethality Level (0-999)

Default is 100, which leaves the lethality as it is now. For example, a value of 50 would halve AAA lethality, while a value of 200 would double it. A value of 0 would eliminate all AAA lethality.

Engineering Build Rates (0-999)

Default is 100, where 100 engineer squads have the engineering of 100 squads now. A value of 50 would mean that 100 engineer squads would have the engineering of 50 squads now, and a value of 200 would mean that 100 engineer squads would have the engineering of 200 squads now, etc. A value of 0 would eliminate engineering effects. Note that this also scales Rail Repair rates and Major/Minor Fording rates.

Enemy-Hex Conversion-Costs (0-999)

Default is 100, where each enemy hex converted costs the moving friendly unit the original 10% of its movement allowance (reducible by high recon levels, though). A value of 50 would mean each hex cost 5% of the unit’s movement allowance (same effect of recon as above), and a value of 200 would mean that each hex converted would cost 20% of the unit’s movement allowance. A value of 0 would mean that there wouldn’t be any cost of hex conversion, no matter what the unit’s movement allowance or recon level was. Actual cost to the unit is still rounded down. And there is still a minimum cost of one, with the single exception for the setting of 0.

Entrenchment Rates (0-999)

Default is 100, under which units dig in at the same rate as now. A value of 50 halves the rate, and a value of 200 doubles the rate, etc. A value of 0 prevents any digging in at all, and (under that special case) digging in attempts don’t zero remaining MPs.

Density Combat Penalty Rates (0-999)

Default is 100, which leaves density penalties as they are now. A value of 50 would halve density penalties, a value of 200 would double them, and a value of 0 would eliminate them all together. Note, Density movement penalties due to traffic jams are not affected.

Supply Costs of Movement Rate (0-999)

Default is 100, which works like now. A value of 50 would halve supply costs of movement (half a point for each MP expended, etc.). A value of 200 would double costs (2 points for each MP expended, etc.). A value of 0 would mean there was no cost for movement (like naval movement). Fractional values are affected via random functions.

Readiness Costs of Movement Rate (0-999)

Default is 100, which works like now. A value of 50 would halve readiness costs of movement (half a point for each hex entered, etc.). A value of 200 would double costs (2 points for each hex entered, etc.). A value of 0 would mean there was no cost for movement (like naval movement). Fractional values are affected via random functions.

Divisor of Improved-Road Motorized-Movement (1-10)

A default value of 1 will leave things like in TOAW version 3.4 and before. A setting of 2 will make movement on improved roads by motorized units’ cost ½ movement point. A setting of 3 will make movement on improved roads by motorized units’ cost 1/3 movement point, etc. Maximum value is 10.

Naval Attrition Divider (1-1000)

This is the same as the normal Attrition Divider but applies to naval combat only. The normal Attrition Divider does not affect naval combat. A setting of 10 is neutral. A setting of 5 doubles shots. A setting of 20 halves shots, etc. Note that it also scales naval combat supply costs.

Mud and Snow Rules

If this advanced rule is optioned, when snow melts, it is converted to mud. Furthermore, mud dries out proportionate to temperature. (Cold: very little; Hot: very fast). This will facilitate the creation of mud seas.

Formation

A Formation is an organization of units with a common Headquarters. Units belonging to the same Formation are shown on the map by a steel colored highlight ring around the appropriate units. See The Formation Report (Advanced Rules).

Formation Characteristics and Effects Formation Support Scope Effects (Advanced Rules)

There are limits on the cooperation possible between units in your Force. In most cases, your units will only work well with others belonging to the same Formation, but there are special cases where some cooperation with units of other Formations is possible, as follows.

Formation Support Scope

  • Internal Support: Units assigned to the Formation may only freely cooperate with others in the same Formation. Limited cooperation is possible with units using the same icon color scheme; no cooperation is possible with units using a different icon color scheme.
  • Army Support: Units assigned to the Formation may only freely cooperate with others in the same Formation, or those using the same icon color scheme (icon and symbol color). Limited cooperation is possible with units using the same icon background color; no cooperation is possible with units using a different basic icon color.
  • Force Support: Units assigned to the Formation may only freely cooperate with others in the same Formation or others using the same basic icon color. Limited cooperation is capable with all other units.
  • Free Support: Units assigned to the Formation may freely cooperate with any other units.

Unit Cooperation

  • Free Cooperation: Units will coordinate Attacks and Defenses. Reserve and combat support units will attempt to respond to all Attacks within range. Nearby Headquarters units will increase the likelihood of Resupply. This is shown with a gold-colored Flag icon in the Combat Planning window.
  • Limited Cooperation: Units will coordinate Attacks and Defenses, but with penalties. Reserve units will respond to all Attacks within range. Combat Support units will not respond to Attacks. This is shown with a steel colored Flag icon in the Combat Planning window. This scales combat strengths by 83%.
  • No Cooperation: Units will not coordinate Attacks. Defense is coordinated, but with penalties. Reserve and Combat Support units will not respond to Attacks. This is shown with a black Flag icon in the Combat Planning window. This scales combat strengths by 67%. The scaling due to Limited or No Cooperation applies to both attackers and defenders. The scaling is applied to the entire attack or defense regardless of how few or how inconsequential the uncooperative units in the combat are, or whether they are ground assaulters or ranged supporters. Note that players can determine the cooperation level of an attack by viewing the Attack Planner Flags. But the Attack Planner does not show the reduced combat strengths – players must figure that themselves.

Cooperative Units

Any units capable of free cooperation are considered cooperative. All other units are considered non-cooperative. Non-cooperative Support units will not automatically support Attacks or Defenses. Movement penalties may apply when moving units through locations occupied by non-cooperative units. Supply may be more difficult in locations containing non-cooperative units. The proximity of cooperative Headquarters units can make it easier for units to receive Supplies. See the Support & Cooperation Levels Chart for a matrix comparing the assigned Formation Support type and allowed Cooperation Levels.

The Current Unit

At any given time, the information for one unit is displayed in the Unit Panel. This is the current unit. Any unit-related changes (a new icon, equipment assignments, etc.) apply only to this unit.

The Current Force

At any given time, only one Force (of the two possible) is displayed. Any selections you make will affect only this Force.

The Current Formation

At any given time, only one Formation can be displayed. Any changes you make will affect only this Formation.

Order of Battle

This is a complete list of all units and Formations comprising both forces in a Scenario.

Local Force Limits (“Grouping”)

Up to nine units of all types may occupy any location [which may include a maximum of three air units]. In most cases, it is best to limit the number of units in a location to a smaller number. The precise limit depends upon the equipment assigned to the units involved, but a good rule of thumb might be to limit stacking to no more than three units of each type (Land/Sea/Air) per location.

Orders Scope (Advanced Rules)

When you give orders to your Forces, the effects can apply to either a single unit, a group of units in a single location, or all units that can possibly participate in each action:

  • Single Unit Orders Scope: Your orders apply only to the current unit.
  • Single Group Orders Scope: Your orders apply to all units occupying the current unit’s location.
  • All Units Orders Scope