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Projekt Pasha
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Has anyone else noticed a severe shortage of conscripts in game?

Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:53 am

Hello,

Something I have noticed playing this game is the decided shortness of bodies to throw into uniform compared to real life. In the current Paradox Mass AAR there have been 2.35 Million casualties (all sides) by late November 1914, or in other words. comparable with the real life casualties. However, we are all already scraping the bottom of the barrel for conscripts. This is quite unrealistic, particularly considering the unrealistically small sizes of the armies involved. As an example historically Austria-Hungary mobilized 3.5 million men for war in August, but in the game I have no more than 900,000 mobile troops and probably no more than 1.2 million counting garrisons and otherwise fixed units by late November. I would conclude that there needs to be more conscripts in the game for better realism, and I know that every one running out of men in late 1914 (Early 1915 on the initial release) was not the design intention given the manuals explicit statement that "You should be running out of conscripts sometime in 1917". There are several possible solutions I have come up with and I want to run them by the devs and the forum. They are not all mutually exclusive and could be combined.

Solution 1: Likely the simplest solution, increase the amount of conscripts produced by cities significantly.

Solution 2: Provide boosts to the conscript pool when nations join your alliance. I believe this one would also be quite simple and require adding only a few lines of text to the joining events.

Solution 3: A Mobilization RGD. This could be played once a year in the majors and provide a large boost to your conscript pool at the cost of NM and/or Rebel alignment.

Solution 4: A Class of 'X ('97 for 1915) event. Each year every country would provide a fixed boost of conscripts based on people reaching military age throughout the war.
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:31 am

I think the game balance is fine at the moment. More troops would just add to the massive amount of micro which this game involves(this coming from an AGEOD veteran).
There could be an optional setting which gives you an expanded amount of conscripts and money for example though.

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Projekt Pasha
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:50 am

It isn't the balance that bothers me so much as how unrealistic it is. Money and WSU don't really need to be increased. Just conscripts.
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steelwarrior77
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:32 am

Agree - as it is a very historical game this would add to the flavor of it ;-)

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Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:40 am

Did you actually run out of conscripts? As the CP, I did not run out of them as of 1915, albeit creating lots of new divisions.
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steelwarrior77
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:43 am

If you build lots of infantry divisions you do - not if you mix with planes and artillery...

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Projekt Pasha
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:44 am

We've done a mix, although no airplanes as of yet because we usually wait for real fighters (the one's post synchronization gear) before doing that. As I understand it the WE and the EE are in a similar boat. But yes we are very nearly out of conscripts in late November and will be completely out by the end of the year. And that's on replacements, we haven't bought new infantry divisions for some time (well we bought 4 for the OE when they came in, but other than that it has been quite awhile). The point is with a roughly historical number of casualties (2.35 Million dead on all sides) and rather minimalistic recruitment you should not be running dry of men before 1914 is over or even in the spring of 1915 like in the original release. Particularly when most armies are running at something like 1/2 to 1/3rd of their historical size.
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steelwarrior77
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Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:42 pm

Agree ;-)

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Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:35 pm

No. In fact, I seem to have way too much.

In my first game ever, I picked central powers. My game resembled WW2 way more than WW1, I chose to go for Russia first, and in a series of battles and encirclement's around Lemberg-Brest-Litovsk-Warsaw most of Russian army died by mid 1915, by early 1916 I took both Moscow and Leningrad :D , but Russia still refused to surrender, and I spend another half-year whacking it, since my progress in Ukraine was basically nonexistent at that point.

I didn`t knew about Mexican diplomat, assumed problem was me sinking a lot of British merchants with my surface fleet, so I got USA into Entente by mid 1915, well, who cares.

After Italy entered, They attacked in direction of Croatia, but never bothered assaulting or at least checking my Tirol forts, so I counter-attacked taking 2 provinces between my territory and the sea, Italy lost at least half of it`s army right there and by late 1916 Rome has fallen, so did Nice, and I entered south France.

On Maginot, France simply stared at me for 3 years, attacking once.

Then, after France moved some troops out of Maginot to South, I encircled the remainder of French army on the Maginot, pincers along the Belgian and Swizerland`s border, Belgian one 5 provinces deep, Swis almost instantly turning towards Paris.

In the end, by early 1918, I took Paris, Entente only managed to scrap 1.2k power army to defend it, and I won.

East entente took around 4-5M casualties, unfortunately it is gone from statistics defeat,
West entente lost only around 200k before Italian entry, and later lost 4 millions overall, and actually more since I didn`t bother assaulting many Maginot forts.
The amount of POWs I lost was less then 100k, the amount I took is roughly 300k prisoners from each side.
CP lost 5 millions.

So overall, I did went almost 1.5 times over the actual WW1 casualties, Or somewhat less than historical if one accounts for MIA and diseases.

However, Entente was still sitting on 3.3 millions recruits at their defeat.
I was sitting on 8.5 Millions of recruits, and the number was rising steadily through the war.

It actually seems like the amount if far too high, and at least late war recruit income needs to go down, not up.

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Projekt Pasha
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:40 am

Ummm I don't know what game your playing but that is statistically impossible in TEAW. Are you playing with extended pool or something? Also it sounds like you're playing against the AI, I am mainly concerned with PBEM play. Also I'm fairly sure the AI gets bonuses to resources on most levels to help it out, so that is certainly part of it.
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1alexey
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:16 am

Projekt Pasha wrote:Ummm I don't know what game your playing but that is statistically impossible in TEAW. Are you playing with extended pool or something? Also it sounds like you're playing against the AI, I am mainly concerned with PBEM play. Also I'm fairly sure the AI gets bonuses to resources on most levels to help it out, so that is certainly part of it.

You may want to clarify what exactly is "statistically impossible", 8.6 million recruits or 8.6 million standing army.
I have no idea how much army do I have, since there is no broad overview like HOI3 ledger would provide, unfortunately, maybe cycling recruitment, but that is terribly inconvenient.
As central powers, I receive 240 manpower per turn in early 1918, so I have "only" 1.5 years of manpower grow "stored", nothing unrealistic or impossible.
In game`s 107 turns, CPs will get at the very minimum 20 Millions manpower, depending on how fast the main manpower provinces will be captured, probably around 23-25 millions.
I am also not AI, I don`t get bonuses. :wacko:

My approach is to compare the end result casualties with manpower left to historical, which has an obvious advantage, historical figures are easy to find, casualties are weirdly, a thing the game is more concerned then what is what is my army composition right now, so both are easy to figure and compare, and nothing really seem out of whack there.

Your point about playing with humans lack any sort of proof of something being wrong. MP game has an obvious problem, which is, your eating through manpower depends really heavily on what you build, when you print money, how much your send troops to battle and such, I see no good way to tell if anything is actually wrong with the game.

Anyhow, you asked, and got your answer, IMO manpower level is more than sufficient.

elxaime
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:18 am

I assume the historical numbers on army sizes reflect the raw numbers in uniform. This would include a lot of rear echelon troops, supply troops, troops in training or garrison duty, etc.. The game shows mainly the combat-ready units. So the armies may seem smaller, but it is basically a design decision not to include the rear echelon forces. At least that is my guess.

By the way, I think if you increased conscripts, and hence the sizes of the armies, you'd also want to increase the size of the leader pools.

1alexey
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:20 am

elxaime wrote:I assume the historical numbers on army sizes reflect the raw numbers in uniform. This would include a lot of rear echelon troops, supply troops, troops in training or garrison duty, etc.. The game shows mainly the combat-ready units. So the armies may seem smaller, but it is basically a design decision not to include the rear echelon forces. At least that is my guess.

By the way, I think if you increased conscripts, and hence the sizes of the armies, you'd also want to increase the size of the leader pools.

But each division costs quite more manpower than only "raw" number of division members would suggest, so I think those troops are included.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:34 am

Just to clarify, in 1918, I have:
86 German infantry divisions, with cavalry and reservists adds up to 103 divisions.
70 Austrian carious infantry and cavalry divisions
25 Ottoman various infantry and cavalry divs.
18 Bulgarian divs.

Adding in all the artillery and other units, the army doesn`t seem terribly ahistorical as well.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:22 pm

1alexey wrote:Adding in all the artillery and other units, the army doesn`t seem terribly ahistorical as well.


It's very a-historical in size.

http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/germanarmywwi.pdf

http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/infdev.htm

Jim

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:49 pm

James D Burns wrote:It's very a-historical in size.


Jim

Convert it into in-Game OOB, would you?

Keep in mind I still have enough manpower to field extra 177 infantry divisions (8500/48), but I preferred to max out my tanks, and planes, and artillery, and not wrecking my economy with printing state funds, that I only used 3 times.

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James D Burns
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:02 pm

The PDF gives a very detailed history of all 251 German divisions that participated in the war. You only fielded 103 German divisions. Even if you add all other CP divisions to your in-game total, you are still short almost 50 divisions just for the German army. Now if you factor in all the millions of dead men on top of the manpower needed to build another 150 German divisions (I'm sure the other CP divisions are just as under-represented) the game isn't even close to accurate on the manpower numbers. It may be a balanced game currently but the history is off by a long ways when it comes to manpower levels and OOB’s.

Jim

1alexey
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:23 pm

James D Burns wrote:The PDF gives a very detailed history of all 251 German divisions that participated in the war. You only fielded 103 German divisions. Even if you add all other CP divisions to your in-game total, you are still short almost 50 divisions just for the German army. Now if you factor in all the millions of dead men on top of the manpower needed to build another 150 German divisions (I'm sure the other CP divisions are just as under-represented) the game isn't even close to accurate on the manpower numbers. It may be a balanced game currently but the history is off by a long ways when it comes to manpower levels and OOB’s.

Jim

That doesn`t mean Germans had 251 fully-reinforced standing divisions at the same time, as far as I`m concerned. Millions of dead mean should be accounted in manpower of those divisions. I lost 5 millions, which in game terms, close to 100 divisions, So the gap is not as huge.
Over the course of the game, CPs, receive 23+millions of manpower, which is enough to build 479 in game divisions, not even concerning the starting OOB. Which is more than enough for 251 divisions of Germany.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:28 pm

1alexey wrote:That doesn`t mean Germans had 251 fully-reinforced standing divisions at the same time, as far as I`m concerned. Millions of dead mean should be accounted in manpower of those divisions. I lost 5 millions, which in game terms, close to 100 divisions, So the gap is not as huge.
Over the course of the game, CPs, receive 23+millions of manpower, which is enough to build 479 in game divisions, not even concerning the starting OOB. Which is more than enough for 251 divisions of Germany.


Read the intro text, the 251 divisions were standing divisions. Unlike WW2 units were not surrounded and destroyed by mobile forces. Depleted units were rotated out of the lines for rebuilding as the individual histories clearly show. Read the PDF.

Here's some casualty figures, 5 million killed and wounded is nowhere close to the total losses suffered by the CP (15.4 mil) even if you assume half (way too high I think but lets be generous) the losses return later to units:

http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html

Jim

1alexey
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:41 pm

James D Burns wrote:Read the intro text, the 251 divisions were standing divisions. Unlike WW2 units were not surrounded and destroyed by mobile forces. Depleted units were rotated out of the lines for rebuilding as the individual histories clearly show. Read the PDF.

Here's some casualty figures, 5 million killed and wounded is nowhere close to the total losses suffered by the CP even if you assume half (way too high I think but lets be generous) the losses return later to units:

Jim

The game has manpower returning to units, sometimes as much as 60-70 per turn.

Also, at least in WW2, the figure for ingured vs dead was more like 75% to 25%(at least for USA, AFAIK), why is 50% way too generous?

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James D Burns
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:51 pm

1alexey wrote: why is 50% way too generous?


Penicillin wasn't invented until the late 20s, medical sciences made huge advances between the two wars. So the ability to fight infections made all the differences in survival rates for the wounded.

Jim

1alexey
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:00 pm

James D Burns wrote:Penicillin wasn't invented until the late 20s, medical sciences made huge advances between the two wars. So the ability to fight infections made all the differences in survival rates for the wounded.

Jim

Ok, that makes sense.

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Kensai
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:27 pm

Projekt Pasha wrote:We've done a mix, although no airplanes as of yet because we usually wait for real fighters (the one's post synchronization gear) before doing that. As I understand it the WE and the EE are in a similar boat. But yes we are very nearly out of conscripts in late November and will be completely out by the end of the year. And that's on replacements, we haven't bought new infantry divisions for some time (well we bought 4 for the OE when they came in, but other than that it has been quite awhile). The point is with a roughly historical number of casualties (2.35 Million dead on all sides) and rather minimalistic recruitment you should not be running dry of men before 1914 is over or even in the spring of 1915 like in the original release. Particularly when most armies are running at something like 1/2 to 1/3rd of their historical size.


If you recruit units in an asymmetric way it is possible for this to happen. This is the fix for the game part. For the historical abstraction part only Thibaut can answer, I guess.
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elxaime
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:27 pm

In reality, I suspect that at any one time a lot of those divisions listed in the manifests were in fact burned out hulks awaiting rebuilding or full of troops of dubious reliability. The reports are interesting, as they indicate a lot of complexity in the journeys of each division. Some were, on paper, trained and equipped to a certain level but their commanders didn't choose to use them for roles, e.g. assault, that they were ostensibly ready for. This probably reflects a well-known human propensity for people to tell power what it wants to hear. A general may know his manifest showing 10,000 combat troops ready to go in no way reflects reality, but feels pressured to pretend it to be so. I would bet that by 1918, a tottering Central Powers was trying to put the best face on things. Those 251 German divisions included many that were combat ready mainly on paper and a lot of the Hapsburg divisions were in pre-revolutionary state. The Czarist army, massive on paper, crumbled overnight. Due to the mutinies, many French divisions could not be relied on to do more than hold a front.

I think we need a healthy skepticism on translating reported orders of battle into EAW game combat values. Probably you can even assume the combat power of a single German division in the game by 1918 reflects the actual power of more than one division in reality. In reality, the additional divisions lingered on as fragments.

Also, in AGEOD games, players are terrified of fighting with half-strength troops due to the NM/VP hit you take from destroyed elements. So players top off their infantry formations to avoid this. Hence fewer but stronger divisions.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:42 pm

elxaime wrote:
Also, in AGEOD games, players are terrified of fighting with half-strength troops due to the NM/VP hit you take from destroyed elements. So players top off their infantry formations to avoid this. Hence fewer but stronger divisions.

Don`t even let me started on how irritating it is to have to remember which formations lost divisions and need to be manually replaced.

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Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:01 pm

i recenlty read the history on austro hungarian army, in old milliatary book. it stated that atlhough official size of the army at its biggest monent was something around 3.5 milion, then actual fightin force was closer to 1.7 milion.
the same goes for othe amiers
i think than in game terms what is reflected is actaual fighing force, with all the suport and admistration beein represenet by gennerals statistics, or by numer of guns etc
if you look at the share numebrs
russin infratsty division oficial size was close to 20 000 men.
in game terms it is 10 000
meaning game represent actuall fighting force, which is about half of oficcial size of the armies during world war one

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