TOAW IV: Game hints
Using Air Units
The long-term effectiveness of your air units is inversely proportional to their apparent visibility over the battlefield. Sad perhaps, but true. While it may be fun to launch an Air Strike on a location, this is the least effective way to use your Air units. Sometimes, however, you really need the immediate firepower. If so, go for it. Remember that there is a cost though. Combat Support Missions are moderately efficient, and again, sometimes you can’t do without them. Unfortunately, they also grind your Air units down more quickly than any other Mission. They are also a dandy way to draw enemy fighters into the fray, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the local Air Superiority equation.
If you have Air Supremacy (the enemy can’t effectively contest your Air Superiority Strength), your units will be most effective on Interdiction missions. Few things wear the bad guys down as quickly as empty fuel tanks, magazines, and mess kits, and the inability to move near Roads and Railroads can be a real nuisance. If the enemy air force is much stronger than yours, keep your air units on Air Superiority Missions and hope for the best. Consider keeping your best ground attack units out of the action. They may be more effective as a threat, forcing your opponent to maintain a strong Air Superiority effort at the expense of his Interdiction and Combat Support efforts.
Combat Planning Considerations
All units will have their Movement Allowances reduced to reflect the amount of time necessary to resolve all attacks. This means you should move most of your units before resolving any attacks. If you believe all attacks will be resolved quickly, you should hold back a few high Movement Allowance units for use as an exploitation reserve. If you wish to exploit any breakthroughs before your opponent can react, consider holding off on the kinds of Attacks that are likely to take a long time to resolve – those involving units that have expended most of their Movement Allowance and fixed Attacks on defensive positions with probable Ignore Losses orders emphasis.
If you find that you have the option to use Nuclear Weapons, be sure to check the Scenario briefing. In almost all cases, there are significant potential costs associated with these weapons.
Keeping Your Units Supplied
There are a few things you can do to maximize the amount of supplies flowing to your units:
- Make sure to keep your Lines of Communication open. Don’t let the bad guys cut in behind you.
- Don’t move your units unless necessary.
- Keep your units near a cooperative headquarters unit.
- Avoid “boondocks” deployments. Try to keep your units in urban locations, on Roads, Anchorage locations, or Airbases.
- If your opponent has a strong Interdiction capability (lots of Air units capable of performing Interdiction Missions), keep some of your air units on Air Superiority duty.
Airborne Units are eligible for Air Transport and Airdrops. Units using Air Transport may enter any location at a cost of 1. Units using Air and Airborne Movement may move through Non-Playable Areas, but they may not stop there. Airborne units might be sub-divided during an Airborne Landing operation. To determine if a unit has been subdivided, consult the Formation Report. Reconstituted Airborne and Glider units will keep their special icons but are no longer eligible for Airborne Movement. Units using Air or Airborne Movement have a greatly reduced chance of gaining information on enemy units. These units can fly over enemy units without spotting them. Airborne Attacks are resolved during Movement. Enemy Air units with a High-Altitude Anti-Air capability will automatically rise to intercept airborne units launching assaults on their airbase [if the enemy has Air Superiority, it may be unwise to launch Airborne Assaults].
If a unit cannot trace a Line of Communication back to a friendly Supply Source, it may still be able to receive resupply. The level of resupply available to any hex is based on the amount of Air Transport Capacity left unused at the end of the previous Turn and the total size of the units in it requiring Airborne Resupply. Local Airborne Resupply levels are reduced by 33% if visibility in the location is Hazy, or 50% if the visibility in the location is Overcast. Note that such units will still be Unsupplied for desertion and isolation purposes.
To be clear, Unsupplied units may still get some supply based upon the unused airlift capacity and visibility [but it is usually a small to tiny amount].
Unsupplied Airborne and Special forces get twice the airdrop supply.
Also see Airborne Movement
A unit’s Artillery Strength Artillery is the unit’s Bombardment Strength. It includes that portion of the Anti-Personnel Strength that the unit can use in Bombardment Missions or in Combat Support. Typically, only Headquarters, Naval, Air, and Artillery units will have a non-zero Artillery Strength, regardless of equipment assigned. Half of a units AP is used as an AT value. Note that HQ's with no ranged equipment will still display a range of '1'.
Bombardment Attacks are set up against enemy units within range of your Air and Long-Range Artillery units by clicking on any non-adjacent enemy target location within range. Bombarding units will not advance after combat.
Headquarters and Artillery Cooperative Support
Artillery and Headquarters Units may automatically support Cooperative friendly units within their Bombardment range. Units must pass a Communications Checks in order to provide Combat Support. Headquarters and artillery units assigned to Tactical Reserve will not react by moving but will still support. Artillery units in Mobile Deployment will not provide long range supporting fire. Artillery units will not support combats if they have Retreated or Routed deployments.
There is no supporting fire for Bombardments.
Bombardments are subject to counter-battery fire if the target hex contains in-range ranged units. Counter-battery occurs after the bombardment that triggers it. Artillery that supports a ground assault is not subject to counter-battery – regardless of the presence of ranged defenders in the target hex.
Benefits to the attacker due to Artillery Strength are not guaranteed. See Assault Ratio Rules.
Artillery and Prepared Defenses
Artillery can lower the effectiveness of prepared defensive positions during combat. Heavier pieces [150mm or larger] are much more effective than lighter pieces. Bombardments won't reduce entrenchment, but Bombardments may knock a defender out of Defend, Entrenched or Fortified status. MRL’s (Multiple Rocket Launchers) generally do not receive this advantage.
Artillery and Major Escarpment
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.
Artillery is not Actively Defending Equipment; it is Passively Defending Equipment. The theory is that units like Artillery are deployed in rear areas and generally are out of harm’s way. Click on an Equipment Item to view its properties and whether it is Active or Passive. 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. See Flanks and Rear Areas and Flanking Attacks.
Artillery fire is based on cumulative mass fire. Anti-Tank and Anti-Personnel fire are handled at the level of individual weapons firing at individual targets.
Artillery and Headquarters Units are better at disengaging from the enemy than most other units. The rule is - Disengagement is automatic if your unit is either a Headquarters or Artillery unit, and the first location moved into is occupied by a friendly unit.
Eligible Artillery units will support Disengagement 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.
Coastal Artillery and Fixed Artillery units are never Reconstituted.
View on Map (Headquarters and Artillery)
The Headquarters button in the Button Panel on the Right of the screen – first click brings headquarters to the top of the stack. Second click brings artillery to the top of the stack.
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.
Guerrillas operate more effectively in Hills, Badlands, Mountains, Light Woods, Jungle, and Forest locations. Guerrillas operate less effectively in Anchorage or Road locations and will not operate in Airbase or Urban locations. Guerrillas are only present if the Scenario calls for them.
Patrols also act as a “projection of force,” in that they can affect the ownership of surrounding locations:
- If unoccupied, a location adjacent to a Dense Urban location becomes owned by the Force owning that urban location.
- A location adjacent to a unit of only one Force becomes owned by the Force controlling that unit.
Guerrillas can cause a location’s ownership to change. Guerrilla units have a special ability to choose between two different methods of Movement. By default, these units will not change the ownership of hexes that they pass through [Guerrilla units will not change the ownership of locations while moving]. After Movement is concluded for the unit, and another unit is selected, then the hex that the Guerrilla unit occupies becomes friendly-controlled. This mode plays to their combat advantages in attacking from hexes that were previously enemy-controlled during the Turn, by retaining more enemy-controlled terrain from which to gain the bonus on subsequent Turns.
Guerrilla units may also operate more openly by choosing to convert hexes that they move through. This will make their Movement paths more visible after playback and reduce the number of hexes that they can operate with a combat advantage from on subsequent Turns. To convert a hex during Movement, stop the Guerrilla unit in the hex to be converted and select another unit. This will convert the hex that the Guerrilla unit stopped in. Then, you may continue moving, repeating this procedure as necessary, to convert any other hexes.
Guerrilla activity has no effect within an Exclusion Zone.
Guerrilla units scheduled to appear as Reinforcements may appear at any playable location within three hexes of their scheduled Reinforcement location, if that location is enemy occupied. Unlike other units, Guerrilla units may appear in enemy-owned locations, converting the location to friendly ownership upon entry.
Guerrilla units always Disengage without cost, as Special Forces units do.
Guerrilla units are always supplied and always draw at least “normal” supply, regardless of whether their location is friendly-supplied or not. If a higher level of Supply is available, the unit benefits normally.
Guerrilla unit Attack and Defense strengths are doubled when attacking from locations that were enemy owned at the beginning of the Turn.