V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (Full Version)

All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Gary Grigsby's War in the East Series >> The War Room



Message


BigAnorak -> V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 10:45:50 AM)

As the result of testing v1.03, and seeing the effect of all the various bug fixes, tweaks and rules changes, my conclusion is that under v1.03, the Axis army is going to enter the blizzard turns in a more fragile state than the one with which I tested the blizzard back in October. While all the principles of blizzard survival that I have posted in the various blizzard threads still apply, there are some specific areas that need to be focused on to get the Axis army into the best possible shape to survive. Unfortunately, some of the measures require a lot of micromanagement.

V1.03 does not give any benefit or protection to units in entrenchments, so at the moment "dig in in September" strategies are not likely to meet with any real degree of success. V1.03 still favours the creation of a "blizzard buffer" of hexes that you can afford to lose in front of the whatever line you want to start 1942 from.

In V1.03 allocating APs to the construction of fortified zones is actually harming your defence as they take manpower from where they are needed most.(see below)

I will recap on the basic principles for preparing to enter the Blizzard in the best condition, and then outline some of the specific measures I believe need to be taken.

1. Weaken the Red Army as much as you possibly can - causing a minimum of 4 million permanent losses should be your target and is pretty historical. This means pocketing/capturing 2.2-2.5 million Soviets.

Achieving the last few pockets may require the use of HQ build up. I try to create pockets just before the mud hits, as the Sovs will not be able to crack the pockets, and isolated units are weak enough to be attacked in the mud. I also try to create pockets in the turn 22-24 snow, as this also helps to disrupt the soviet preparations for the counter offensive.

2. Decide where you want to start 1942 and try to get the front line 6 or more hexes east of this line. I take the diagonal line from Pushkin to Rostov as my start point, as this takes out out all the manpower centres that were captured historically, and there are cities like Kursk, Kharkov, Orel, Belgorod and the Stalino group that do give protection from the Blizzard and can form the Anchor for an "Alamo" defensive line.

This line is about 120 hexes which means it can be covered by German infantry divisions and not require Axis allies to be in the front line. It also means mechanised units are not needed for frontline duty and can be protected from the blizzard in the cities close to the line. Obviously if you get Leningrad and Bring the Finns into the game, defence of this line will be made easier.

Getting 6-8 hexes beyond whatever 1942 start line you decide on may be difficult, and may require you to attack in the mud and snow, but as noted above your attacks will be contributing to weakening and disrupting the Red Army.

3. Ensure that you have enough manpower, armaments points and rifle squads in front line units to absorb the blizzard attrition.

This, I believe, has been one of the major factors in causing the problems we have seen in the AARs to date, and appears to be the biggest difference between my test games and V1.03.

The 130 odd German front line infantry divisions need a minimum number of undamaged rifle squads after the blizzard attrition hits on the first turn, to be able to survive the 3 turns before the squads damaged in the first turn start to return.

In my game with Trey I had 16k rifle squads on Turn 28 (After 3 turns of blizzard) and 3 German divisions were unready. Speedy had 13.5k rifle squads, and 32 divisions were unready.

I have confirmed from my testing of the 1943 campaign that 16k rifle squads is the "shatter" threshold, and my guess is that the Axis commanders who have seen their armies shatter, is because front line rifle squad strength went below 16k.

The micromanagement starts here:

i. You have enough Armaments points to get about 1600 squads built each turn, but Armaments points are also needed to build artillery, mortars etc., so you have to reduce the demand for artillery, and increase the demand for rifle squads.

You should therefore go to the Commanders Report and use the sort routines to change every possible SU that uses artillery to a max. TOE% of 50%.

Check the TOE's of German units not needed for front line duty, and adjust their max% to levels that will not require new elements to be sent to them.

Put all units needed for front line duty into refit mode to maximise the the demand for rifle squads.

ii. Ensure that the maximum number of men are in the manpower pool.

Disband every un-needed HQ, and air base. For the airbases you keep, consider putting some in mothballs during the blizzard, leaving them empty of aircraft, but with their max. TOE% reduced.

Only build fortified zones if it is absolutely the only way you can hold your Alamo line, and only if you will still have 16k rifle squads in you front line units after you build them. Speedy built 70+ of these useless buggers, and they took 100k of men that could have helped him stay above 16k rifle squads.

iii. Good leaders are more important than good entrenchments. Missed die rolls in the Blizzard can totally cripple your modified CVs. Instead of spending APs on fortified zones, spend APs on getting your best leaders into the areas where you want to hold your ground for the longest time, and put your lesser leaders in the zones you know you are going to retreat from.

iv. Position your HQs and construction battalions to make maximum use of 15.3.2.2 to maximise entrenchment levels( NB: Fort level Construction does not mean fortified zones that you construct):

15.3.2.2. SUPPORT UNIT ASSIST TO FORT LEVEL CONSTRUCTION
Construction and engineer support units attached to headquarters units in the combat unitís
chain of command can assist those combat units in constructing fort levels if the applicable
headquarters unit passes a leader admin check. The headquarters unit that the combat unit
is directly attached must be within five hexes of that combat unit. In addition, no more than
three levels of headquarters units in the combat units chain of command can assist, and each
higher headquarters unit that may provide support units must be within five hexes of the next
lower level headquarters unit. For example, in order for construction and engineer support
units to assist down the entire eligible chain of command, a German combat unit attached to a Corps headquarters unit must be able to trace five hexes back to that Corps HQ unit. The
Corps HQ unit in turn must be able to trace five hexes back to the Army HQ unit to which it is
attached, and finally the Army HQ unit must be able to trace five hexes back to the Army Group
HQ.


That's enough wall of text for now. I will post further hints and tips as I think of them.

Let's hope we won't need a v1.04 survival guide!








Speedy -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 11:24:07 AM)

Never build Fortified Zones in Blizzards is my advice [;)]




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 11:50:42 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Speedy
Never build Fortified Zones in Blizzards is my advice [;)]


QFT.

Very nice write-up BigA [:)]




Blind Sniper -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 11:51:15 AM)

Very useful post, thanks!




Tarhunnas -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 1:01:53 PM)

Nice writeup, though somehow I don't get the feeling that this is about a historical simulation...




Commanderski -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 1:14:59 PM)

Very informative and helpful. Thanks BigA!




alfonso -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 1:33:31 PM)

BigAnorak, thank for this info.

I have one doubt. When you are talking about 16k Squads, do you mean in the whole front?. How can it be known how many squads are at the front at any given moment? Or do you mean 16.000 men in one division?




Klydon -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:00:46 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Commanderski

Very informative and helpful. Thanks BigA!


+1





BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:42:35 PM)

quote:

I have one doubt. When you are talking about 16k Squads, do you mean in the whole front?. How can it be known how many squads are at the front at any given moment? Or do you mean 16.000 men in one division?


If you click on the Production report (p), then look at the line for rifle squads, you will see a number in the right hand column (units). If you click on this you will see this:

This is how many poor Speedy had on turn 28.





[image]local://upfiles/21516/2703758C6F644FFF9901BBE47E1C6536.jpg[/image]




alfonso -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:43:55 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

Nice writeup, though somehow I don't get the feeling that this is about a historical simulation...


Well, I think one of the rationales of the stand-fast directive issued in December 1941, was that there were no fall-back positions. The idea of a pre-planned fighting withdrawal was not considered but given the circumstances (our knowledge that winter is harsher than imaginable, a knowledge they lacked) has its merits.




alfonso -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:46:40 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: BigAnorak

quote:

I have one doubt. When you are talking about 16k Squads, do you mean in the whole front?. How can it be known how many squads are at the front at any given moment? Or do you mean 16.000 men in one division?


If you click on the Production report (p), then look at the line for rifle squads, you will see a number in the right hand column (units). If you click on this you will see this:




Ahhh! OK OK! Thanks again.




color -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:56:14 PM)

Very informative writeup, thanks BA :)




Mike Parker -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 2:56:56 PM)

BigA,

Rather than disbanding HQ's and AB's do you think it would be sufficient just to mothball them by setting them at 20% TOE and railing them into Poland? Or do you think the manpower released by their disbandment is the critical aspect?

For the Rumanians, Slovakians, and Hungarians would you do similar things or would you just keep them far to the rear (other than Mtn units) in cities and pop 4 towns?




coolts -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 3:01:57 PM)

Subscribed and committing to memory...... I've not hit blizzard yet as Iíve not felt confident enough by the time the mud has arrived to bother putting myself through it.

Thatís you guys and your dire pronouncements on the doom that awaits the axis in winter that is [:D]




BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 3:05:36 PM)

quote:

Rather than disbanding HQ's and AB's do you think it would be sufficient just to mothball them by setting them at 20% TOE and railing them into Poland? Or do you think the manpower released by their disbandment is the critical aspect?

For the Rumanians, Slovakians, and Hungarians would you do similar things or would you just keep them far to the rear (other than Mtn units) in cities and pop 4 towns?


Disbanding the ABs and HQs may be a belt and braces approach, but I have just started a 1942 campaign, and it was the first thing I did when I saw how few rifle squads I had!

The Slovaks are borderline, but the Hungarians and Rumanians morale needs to be in the 70s to give them any chance of surviving an attack, and we have seen some players train them up to this level.




Mike Parker -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 3:19:48 PM)

Ahhh sorry for the Axis Allies (other than the Finns which are fine). I meant more Do you suggest disbanding HQ's AB's and trying to maximize inf squads.. or would you rather say "Well even if you do all that the Morale is so low they are of little use, so its best just to keep them back where they do not suffer blizzard losses".

I tend to think other than the Mountain units I would keep these allies off the line and in winter quarters well back from the front (so that the good places up close to the front can hold German units).




BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 3:21:36 PM)

quote:

I tend to think other than the Mountain units I would keep these allies off the line and in winter quarters well back from the front (so that the good places up close to the front can hold German units).


And I tend to agree.




JAMiAM -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 4:46:51 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: BigAnorak

The Slovaks are borderline, but the Hungarians and Rumanians morale needs to be in the 70s to give them any chance of surviving an attack, and we have seen some players train them up to this level.

It will NOT happen anymore, for games started with v 1.03 Beta 3, and beyond, due to the morale changes. Those are things of the past.

Let me rephrase that...

It won't happen, unless you keep them away from the frontlines, in good supply, for a 100 turns, or so. They won't be able to get that high in combat anymore. Unless, of course, you're running an old version, or have grandfathered in some high morale Axis minors from a game started with the earlier versions. Training them up in combat is a fool's errand these days.




Mike Parker -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 6:37:19 PM)

quote:

It will NOT happen anymore, for games started with v 1.03 Beta 3, and beyond, due to the morale changes. Those are things of the past.

I got the 1st Rum Armoured Div to 81 Morale before blizzard in a 1.03 beta 3 game. I just upgraded to the official 1.03 patch and blizzard has started, so we will see how well that 81 morale remains. I admit I had to work hard at it, but I plan on starting with the Hungarian Armoured Division in '42 and see.




Emir Agic -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 6:55:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Parker

quote:

It will NOT happen anymore, for games started with v 1.03 Beta 3, and beyond, due to the morale changes. Those are things of the past.

I got the 1st Rum Armoured Div to 81 Morale before blizzard in a 1.03 beta 3 game. I just upgraded to the official 1.03 patch and blizzard has started, so we will see how well that 81 morale remains. I admit I had to work hard at it, but I plan on starting with the Hungarian Armoured Division in '42 and see.



I think you woudn't be able to raise their moral to 81 level if you started with 1.03 beta 3 from turn 1.




GFelz -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 7:24:42 PM)

Thanks BigA. Good information.

I have been wondering, it is great that the ToE% for units can be adjusted on the CR but like the Refit On/Off the HQs have, why can't the change the ToE% of a corp/army be done from the HQ itself? Or can it and I have missed it?




Encircled -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 7:25:54 PM)

Cheers for the info!





BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/3/2011 7:26:54 PM)

You can sort by Army/Corps from the master list, by clicking on the Army/Corps name. Once you've done that you're good to go.




Mike Parker -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 3:08:34 PM)

quote:

I think you woudn't be able to raise their moral to 81 level if you started with 1.03 beta 3 from turn 1.


Hrrrmmmm well I most certainly did, the game started 1.03 beta 3 from turn 1 and I upgraded to the official 1.03 right before blizzard. As for how I did it, I guess it was more of a project as I had it hover in the back and make attacks only on weakened formations (usually those pocketed and ready to surrender) I was getting 4-5 such easy attacks a turn (occasionally more if I could get concentrations of units close together) and taking no losses so I was able to steadily increase its morale. This meant it stayed in the rear mostly, but with good supply and replacement it became an effective formation. I married it with the Slovakian Motorized unit early on so that I would be assured of always winning.

In any case I was able to do this only because I had enough MP every turn to make many easy victories. I tried with a Rumanian Cav unit and no way it would work as I just couldn't get enough attacks in each turn. I suppose if I had made it a project for 41 and 42 I could have done it... but the point was to get formations that would be useful in '42. The Rumanian Armored Division will be useful in 42 I think, although it remains to see what happens when I use it near the front and it has to replace its constituents as combat losses occur. Another reason Morale kept high was because this unit NEVER had to replace any significant combat losses, sure new parts showed up as the TOE filled out but this was gradual.

So I think with 1.03 no way you can train up the entire Rumanian Army.. or rather even anything other than the Armoured unit.. and the Hungarian Armour comes in too late to get any significant Morale upgrades in '41. But you can train up the Rum Armoured Division by hand holding it during 41.




Q-Ball -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 5:48:41 PM)

Very useful, thank you!

One question though on this comment Bob:

"I try to create pockets just before the mud hits, as the Sovs will not be able to crack the pockets, and isolated units are weak enough to be attacked in the mud. I also try to create pockets in the turn 22-24 snow, as this also helps to disrupt the soviet preparations for the counter offensive."

Isn't this actually more risky for the GERMANS? The Reds have that last turn after you move of Clear to break the pocket. If they do, you likely now have Panzers in a precarious, and probably unsupplied, position. Am I missing something?




BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 5:57:31 PM)

quote:

Isn't this actually more risky for the GERMANS? The Reds have that last turn after you move of Clear to break the pocket. If they do, you likely now have Panzers in a precarious, and probably unsupplied, position. Am I missing something?


I'm trying to find a sreen shot of an example, but I would try to build a "double buffer" around any pockets, that would force the sovs to fight through 2 hex rows, which is hard to do. I just realised that I skipped over the mud turns in the game with Trey, but I do remember trapping 10-12 divs against the Sea of Azov just before the Mud.

But yes you are right it can be risky.




BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 6:04:04 PM)

Another quick tip:

Integrate rail conversion into your plans - in sectors what you expect to be hammered try to have railheads that battered troops can retreat to for rest and refit, if you have the manpower and armaments, you can get divisions back up to full strength in 1-2 turns.

Also consider connecting north-south routes to make moving reinforcements to threatened sectors easier.




Q-Ball -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 8:34:41 PM)

I think building a RR "Beltway" is important.

RE: FORTIFIED ZONES, I agree that they shouldn't be exposed to enemy attack (Big waste), and not left out in the open in Blizzard.

Can't they be useful, though, to build BEFORE the Blizzard, as DIGGERS, provided you pick them up the last Snow turn?

The Manpower and all the equipment would recycle; only the Labor Squad equipment is likely to hang in the pool for awhile, and those shovels aren't that expensive.

I see them as purely DIGGERS. Is that incorrect?

QUESTION: Towns give a measure of shelter that works if the die roll 1-4 is equal to or less than the size of the town. I get that.

But population can leave some of the bigger towns. So, is that die roll based on the towns ACTUAL Manpower, or the CAPACITY? If it's originally a size-4 town, but 1 Manpower took off, is the die roll 4 or 3?




BigAnorak -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/4/2011 8:45:06 PM)

quote:

But population can leave some of the bigger towns. So, is that die roll based on the towns ACTUAL Manpower, or the CAPACITY? If it's originally a size-4 town, but 1 Manpower took off, is the die roll 4 or 3?


Good point; don't know; will kick it upstairs.

Re: Fortified zones, In the same way that under 1.03 leadership is more important than entrenchments, until the fixes come, rifle squads are more important than fortified zones.

Until I see hard evidence to the contrary, I have to believe Speedy's defences crumbled because he had 100k in fortified zones digging behind the lines, instead of 100k in the front lines fighting.

I stick with my suggestion to only build fortified zones if front line rifle squad strength is well above 16k.




EntropyAvatar -> RE: V1.03 Blizzard survival guide (3/6/2011 7:08:03 AM)

Ok, I'm really scratching my head over some of these numbers. I hit January 1st, 1942 and I apparently have just over 19k ready rifle squads, with about 5.5k damaged. What I don't understand is that my manpower pool is almost 700k *and* I apparently have about 11k squads (or the equipment for them in the pool). Shouldn't those guys be grabbing rifles and heading for the front? How on earth did I get so much excess manpower and rifle squads anyway?




Page: [1] 2 3   next >   >>

Valid CSS!




Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI
2.734375E-02