Rethinking turn 1 (Full Version)

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cap_and_gown -> Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 12:39:04 AM)

The turn 1 axis threads have produced some good ideas, as have some of the AARs. I believe, however, we are seeing an evolution in thinking about turn 1 moves. Before there was a good deal of emphasis on encircling as many units as possible. But their have been some dissents to this idea, emphasizing instead the need to get the infantry moving east as fast as possible. With that in mind, I wish to offer a new turn 1 variant.

In the north and center, this variant has the following goals:
1) clear out as many enemy units in the areas west of the Dvina and Minsk as possible. No more having infantry spend turn 2 cleaning up pockets. Instead, the emphasis is on hex conversion to ease the path for the rapid advance of the ground pounders.

2) Secure Riga right away, do not let it be fortified. Also, it can be used as a supply source until the rail head makes it up there on turn 3.

3) Secure the crossing of the Dvina. On turn 2 the Panzers should be across the Velikaya adjacent to Pskov.

4)Clear a large area between Minsk and the Dvina since Pz Gruppe 3 can use this lightly defended area to get to the Dnepr on turn 2.

In the South the goals are:

1) Secure the Lvov pocket, eliminating the threat posed by those units and severely damaging the Soviet ability to defend in the south.

2) Capture cities that could be used as hedgehog strong points.

3) Clear the Stalin line entrenchments so they cannot be used by stay behind units.

4) damage and route as many Soviet units as possible.

On turn two the XIV Pz Corps and LAH will join up with Pz Gruppe 2 to make up for the assets borrowed from that army by AGS.


2ndACR -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 12:49:57 AM)

Your going to get hurt in the south. I count 4 Panzer div isolated and 3 HQ's displaced at a minimum. You are going to need that Panzer Corps down south to free your isolated units back up.

cap_and_gown -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 12:59:59 AM)

I have attached the file here with a txt extension. You can download it and try your best to cause grief. At most 1 Pz Div will get encircled.

2ndACR -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 1:49:05 AM)

Not sure what that is, but nothing is downloading. LOL

Did you zip the turn?

Klydon -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 2:12:37 AM)

Can put the save in a zip and it should be ok.

Very interesting open and theory. I really need to get back to testing different openings. Most of the evolution has been taking place in the AGN area with Rovno coming in a close second.

The one area I disagree with to a point probably is the routing of units to safety in the AGC area. I don't disagree that infantry needs to move forward here, but I think there could be a better middle ground on the strat employed rather than routing everything out. While the number of units themselves are not necessarily that important, the amount of residual equipment and manpower that will get away is not insignificant, especially the equipment.

In AGS, clearing out Lvov seems to have a few advantages in the rail repair department, although I don't know that I like beating up my attackers that much out of the gate. In my current setup, I call for a narrow attack by 17th army to advance between Lvov and the mountain frontier. There is some room there once you get past the frontier defenses to roll through and pop over a lot of Russian territory. In C&G's set up, 17th army made a broad but shallow advance. None of those hexes will get converted really because they remain in Russian ZoC. With this setup, 17th army is going to be really significantly delayed just to advance through the Russian controlled territory. In my more narrow approach, the back part of the army can move down the line in hexes already flipped and significant pressure put on Stanislav on turn 2.

Overall tho, I think this is on the right track.

cap_and_gown -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 2:36:11 AM)

OK, this is a zip version.

PeeDeeAitch -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 2:48:28 AM)

I don't think there needs to be such clearing in AGC - I have in all 4 of my games gotten 3rd Panzer to Vitebsk (3 times secured it), and at least a ZOC across the Dnepr. I like the destruction of Bialystok.

I did the Rovno opening in my latest game, this does open up the south immensely - at the cost of another Panzer Corps in the center.  I am not sure that trade off is good.

If you want a strategery, do the 2 turn center dash, finish with your Panzer HQs on the front lines.  Turn 3 clear a little space then do a full HQ buildup for 2nd and 3rd Panzer Groups (you will need to spend no AP points turn 2), and see what fun the Dnepr is on turn 4 with at least 4 panzer corps and full movement can do...

ComradeP -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 3:06:57 AM)

I see absolutely no reason not to make a big pocket in the center. It's the only area where the units you pocket are not in the way of your mobile units, so it's basically a free pocket. The Soviets made it for you.

There's a shortage of troops for the Soviets in the north, routing instead of destroying units cures part of that, even though we're only talking about ~10 divisions and assorted regiments/brigades.

2nd ACR: keep in mind that those encircled Soviet hexes in the south without units in or next to them convert to German ZOC. Only the division northeast of Rovno can probably be isolated, and the Soviets will retake Rovno (with ZOC) if they get reasonable MP's.

All in all, the opening in the south is impressive, but it wakes up pretty much all Soviet units in the area, so the lead Panzers might be in for a rough time, especially with more or less no air support around.

timmyab -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 3:09:32 AM)

I don't think you should rout everything out of the way like that.Those routed units are going to come back to haunt you in a few turns.
That AGC panzer corps around Daugavpils is spot on, nightmare for the Soviets.
The centre lacks threat of course.Some of the Soviet forces here will go north I would think so crossing the Velikaya wont be easy.A few of those routed units could already start to cause you problems.
The south looks rather scary.Lvov pocket looks secure to me.As the Soviet player, I'd try and hold for a couple of turns at the second Stalin line and then a fighting withdrawal back to the Dnieper.
Overall very good, but I'll need convincing about all those routed units.

PeeDeeAitch -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 3:23:41 AM)

Of course, since this does use a modified "Panzer Bulldozer" it does get higher marks from PDH.

Q-Ball -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 4:56:26 AM)

I like that move in AGS, bringing more guys down and blowing away Rovno. I might have to work on that. I can't tell if the South-end by the Romanian Border is secure, granted they won't escape anyway, but I really want that Lvov pocket closed turn 1, to make clean-up go that much quicker.

The problem with routing all those units into the Marshes, though, is that they will survive. Even if the Soviet doesn't have the rail capacity, you can always disband the routed units and recycle the elements. Either way, really cuts down on the POW count. I wouldn't attack Bialystok pocket, you can move most of 4th and 9th Armies around it, and only use 2 Corps total plus security units to clean it up.

You can also surround alot of units in the Baltics if you plan right, and not really slow down Infantry movements, IMO.

So, in summary, I like your AGS move, but not the AGC or AGN one

PeeDeeAitch -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 5:01:30 AM)

For an example of what I like in AGN, here is a shot from another thread about what I try to do. This was from an PBEM started yesterday. There are a lot of routed units that will either surrender in the Soviet turn or be mopped up by the advancing infantry. In this game I got a few of the infantry of 18th and 16th Armies across the Dvina on turn 2 - so things are not really slowed down much at all.


majeloz -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 6:45:03 AM)

One trick to use to give yourself forward infantry in the centre and north is to make sure that as few of the front line infantry divisions actually do any combat on Turn 1. There are 2 divisions of 9th army well to the rear - rail them forward, then offload and march and you can hit the two forts in front of 3rd Pzgroup; use the 3 divisions in the most northern 9th army corps to break open the defences around the Neman river. Press your RHG troops (102nd I think) into service against NKVD regiments. There's some similar tricks around Brest Litovsk and Lvov too.

Am playing 2 PBEMs: in one, I mucked up a pocket around Minsk and some Russians escaped; I also went hell for leather in the north and re-routed fleeing units. In the other game, I stuck the pocket and created more pockets in the north carefully avoiding any routed units. I can't be sure, because they are against different opponents, but it feels like the second game is working better for me - there just seem to be less defenders.

The joy is - you can try to perfect it all you like, but one bit of bad/good luck and everything changes. In one game, the Rovno pocket was really easy for me because the infantry to the south of Brest-Litovsk in the marshes passed its reserve commitment test and joined in the fight at Brest-Litovsk. It then happily routed, leaving it clear for me to march infantry down to completely seal off the pocket around Kovel and then link with panzers coming around from the south. OTOH, I've completely blown some openings in the south because the one unit that needs to be moved to allow for the 'dash to rumania' has stubbornly refused to give.

Nice discussion :)

squatter -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 3:53:10 PM)

I think this is about the best opening turn thus far posted, very similar to the opening turn that an Axis tester I am playing against used.

What many players seem to be ignoring is that on turn one, MP cost to Axis attacks are halved - 1MP for hasty, 3MP for deliberate (for INF). This is a one turn only bonanza, and surrounding units to destroy later doesnt take advantage of this fully. Yes, you wont kill quite as many men in the centre as you would if you isolated them to destroy later, but the difference wont be huge, considering the amount of rout-bouncing the units will take in turn one. And the advantage of having the infantry advancing towards Smolensk from turn one instead of in some cases turn three cannot be overestimated.  

carnifex -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 3:57:06 PM)

If I was playing the Soviets, nothing would make me happier than seeing AGC panzers head south. I would literally cream my pants. Go, go chase my cavalry around the Ukraine, sucker!

Mynok -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 4:26:32 PM)

They are just taking a longer route to Tula. Mine always head back north to rejoin 2nd Panzer east of the marshes...hopefully with a big mass of Soviets encircled too.

So don't get too excited.

Tarhunnas -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 5:09:24 PM)

Not to spoil the thread here, but personally, I think the evolution of "best moves" for each front sector is somehow a bit uncomfortable. It is a matter of taste of course, but my personal preference is for wargames to be simulations with a degree of uncertainty.

IIRC it has been suggested by someone in some other thread, but I think there might be some merit to a slight randomization of the locations of the initial Soviet forces. That would create enough uncertainty that there wouldn't eventually evolve a set of predefined options.

Mynok -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 6:02:08 PM)

No need to wait. There's a scenario editor.

castlebravo -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 6:29:38 PM)

How about, as an alternative strategy, not reducing bypassed and out of supply Russia units unless you have to?

Since destroyed units will re-appear in the Russia replacement queue, by delaying their actual destruction, you will spread out the arrival of the replacement units.  As long as these units don't threaten your supply and don't have any practical way of linking back up and regaining supply, what's the problem with letting them die on the vine?

Tarhunnas -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 6:51:54 PM)


ORIGINAL: castlebravo

Since destroyed units will re-appear in the Russia replacement queue, by delaying their actual destruction, you will spread out the arrival of the replacement units.  As long as these units don't threaten your supply and don't have any practical way of linking back up and regaining supply, what's the problem with letting them die on the vine?

They won't reappear automatically, as the Soviets, you have to build them, which costs AP.

Q-Ball -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 7:04:10 PM)

No, all the destroyed units in 1941 rebuild. Tank Divs come back as Tank Bdes, and Rifle Divs come back as Rifle Bdes, with a delay of 10-26 turns

Tarhunnas -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 7:26:38 PM)



No, all the destroyed units in 1941 rebuild. Tank Divs come back as Tank Bdes, and Rifle Divs come back as Rifle Bdes, with a delay of 10-26 turns

Ah! Been playing 1942 too much I suppose...[8D]

castlebravo -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 7:28:43 PM)



No, all the destroyed units in 1941 rebuild. Tank Divs come back as Tank Bdes, and Rifle Divs come back as Rifle Bdes, with a delay of 10-26 turns

Exactly, which means that the units destroyed in the initial encirclements will start coming back (and entrenching even as cadres) on around turn 13. The more you manage to destroy, the bigger the wall you'll be hitting right about the time you want to take down the Leningrad - Moscow axis.

ComradeP -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 7:49:46 PM)


No, all the destroyed units in 1941 rebuild.

Divisional non-mountain units, yes. Brigades don't.

Klydon -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 8:39:30 PM)

Capture to a point is still preferable over routing like crazy. When you capture, every piece of equipment is gone. His units may come back, but the more hurt you can put on the Russian army in terms of equipment, the better. Not saying it is easy, but it does factor in. The other thing that helps the Germans is capturing equipment. While none is really flashy, every item you take away and use in your own army is that much less your production will be taxed for replacements.

I still think one of the top priorities for the Germans is the destruction of the Red army for the campaign. Having some other priorities (like maximizing the movement of AGN) is fine, but it is something a good Axis player must keep in mind at all times IMO.

Mynok -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 8:52:19 PM)

I dont route like crazy but I do blow everything away in front of 4th and 9th armies so the infantry can move as far east as possible on turn 1. Most of the routes will end up either in the pocket or in the marshes.

Lava -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 8:56:17 PM)


I still think one of the top priorities for the Germans is the destruction of the Red army for the campaign.

Hitler thought that too.

But I'm still not convinced.

castlebravo -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 9:05:19 PM)




I still think one of the top priorities for the Germans is the destruction of the Red army for the campaign.

Hitler thought that too.

But I'm still not convinced.

Yeah, I'm not convinced either. Especially during 41 when the Russian infantry and tank divisions are vampires and will rise from the dead.

Mynok -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 9:28:22 PM)

Well they aren't going to cooperate about staying holed up in some pen somewhere. You need your German units free for your advance WAY more than he needs that trash back.

Klydon -> RE: Rethinking turn 1 (3/14/2011 9:38:24 PM)

If tank divisions surrender, they don't come back as tank divisions, they come back as brigades.

In absence of victory conditions that can be had in 1941 (the Axis are not getting 290 VP's unless the Russian is seriously screwing up) and with it also being very hard to land a telling blow on the Russian economy (be it manpower centers, resources, oil or whatever), the Axis are not left with a whole lot that they can "work on" as part of their mission. Certainly grabbing a strategic piece of the map like Leningrad or potentially the Crimea is helpful, but what is it going to be that the Axis need to have happen to set them up for victory in the long run?

Granted those units that get destroyed come back, but it takes manpower to refill them and also equipment. It also takes time (at least 2 if not 3 turns) and finally, they have to be moved to the front and redeployed. Once there, they can be handed a shovel, but the other issues are they barely know which end of the rifle to hold as well in terms of experience and their moral is going to be the base national moral. Just routing them and not worrying if you capture them or not means they have a cadre of manpower and equipment that does not tax the Russian economy.

The real time when the Axis has to shine in unit destruction is 1942 in order to both take counters off the board and to put the Russians in the tight spot of trying to choose between corps formation and unit formation. The Axis think it is tough to dig a Russian rifle division out of a level 4 entrenchment now, just wait until you try to dig out a rifle corps. The other issue is the Russians become far more dangerous in concentration of force once they get some rifle corps in play.

The bottom line in this game is that until the Red Army is dealt with, the Axis are likely to be unable to accomplish any goal they may have, be it occupying cities for the VP win, control resources or oil until the Red Army has been defeated to a large degree.

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