Blitzing and Breakthroughs

We've talked about Advanced A&A... Now I'd like to hear your comments on what YOU envision a DELUXE A&A GAME to be. What would it look like.
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Which blitzing rule do you prefer?

Standard Blitz rules as in AAR
Panzer Blitz Plus - allow tanks a second combat round
Panzer Pass-Through - as per WWII rules
No votes
Panzer Over-Run - tanks can move through 2-1 areas
Non -Blitzing unrealistic at this scale
Total votes: 8

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Blitzing and Breakthroughs

Post by Flashman » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:49 pm

It's a rare thing for important territories to be left undefended, so the tank blitz ability as it stands seems pretty much redundant.
But reading the "pass-through" rules for WWII it occured to me that there are several variations on the theme worth considering.

1. Standard Tankblitz - through unoccupied territory

2. Panzerblitz Plus - After all combat allow tanks to make a second move, but unlike the German NA this can be a combat move.

3. Panzer Pass Through - similar to the naval pass-through in WWII but with tanks.

4. Panzer Over-Run - If you invade a territory with enough units to outnumber the enemy at least 2-1 then tanks can pass through and use their second movement point to attack another territory, regardless of the outcome of the initial combat.

Allowing tanks to make a second attack simulates the phenomenon of tank breakthroughs, and of advance armour spearheads sometimes outrunning their supply base and getting stranded. Aircraft can be used to support the breakthrough, but of course cannot remain to defend a conquest, hence expensive tanks can be very vulnerable to counter attack. The player would have to calculate the benefit of taking the extra territory versus the likely attrition of armour units.

Another consideration here would be the increased importance of rules such as Panzergrenadiers and Mechanised Infantry, which would make breakthroughs easier to defend and thus very much more powerful. It should certainly force players to defend in depth rather than shoving everything on the front lines, as well as the possibility of encircling movements.

Incidentally for my techs heavy tanks fight at 4-4 but have only one movement point hence cannot blitz.

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Post by FleetAdmiral » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:00 pm

Since we are dealing with Theatre scale command, I believe it would be unrealistic to have this rule. At the operational level such as Battle of the Bulge, sure it is true.

By allowing tanks to have such movement (breakthrough at the Theatre Level), translates into many hundreds of kilometres beyond the range of tanks running without stopping for resupply.
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Post by Flashman » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:57 pm

Nevertheless, I think the over-run proposal has merits. To some extent we have to waive considerations of scale, for example with fighter movement ranges.

This is particularly valid when considering defender retreats. I'm inclining to the conclusion that something along the lines of tank over-runs is needed to make defender retreats viable, otherwise it simply degenerates into the endless rounds of attack-retreat that opponents of defender retreats always use as their main argument against.

The basic tactic then is to use your heavy tanks (my tech; only move 1 space) supported by infantry to attack the main enemy area on a 2/1 or greater ratio, then use light/medium tanks supported by aircraft to over-run through that territory to attack deeper into enemy areas. This has the benefit of taking extra territories denying their income to the enemy, disrupting their rear area forcing major redeployment, and allowing your main force to annihilate the main enemy unit group which would otherwise likely retreat.
The big disadvantage is that your armour is likely to be exposed to counter-attack without having infantry to defend it; however these tank spearheads may be able to retreat in turn after a round of combat, and this is the dilemma that commanders of the time faced: let your armour run ahead to disrupt enemy formations, or hold it up so that the infantry can catch up to defend it.

A proposed "mechanised infantry" piece may solve this problem, but at a cost of 4? IPCs why not just buy more tanks?

Another consideration is supply; if a spearhead itself gets cut off it must be considered out of fuel and cannot move until relinked to its main body.

Personally, I think this would give a more dynamic flavour of blitzkreig warfare than the rather feeble blitz rules currently used, while the scale argument must consider that a turn is meant to represent 3-4 months, and that a panzer thrust could cover a lot of ground in this time, especially againt opponents who do not construct defences in depth (as Poland and Russia failed to do). Consider the great encircling movements of Barbarossa, which trapped so many Soviet units which were so unable to retreat and were knocked out of the war.

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