Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (Full Version)

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Berkut -> Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 3:12:10 PM)

There is a surfeit of information about what the Axis can/should do on turn 1. Many, many threads.

However, I cannot find much at all about what the Soviets should be doing on turn 1. I've read through quite a bit, and there are a few threads out there talking about some details, but very little in the form of "Here is the Idiots Guide to what to do..."

Have any of the experienced Soviet players come up with anything? Nothing super detailed, but even just a general idea of how to start re-organizing the Red Army? I would MUCH rather see a basic, but complete guide rather than a lot of detail about very particular issues.

Example: I've read some threads arguing the merits of building one type of construction unit versus another - but they don't say much of anything about why you should be building construction units to begin with! Or how many! Or where. Or where building them fits into the priority queue.

Some specific questions:

1. I've heard that people often stick the Red Air Force into reserve. OK, but what do you do with the airbases then, that are now empty? Just disband them? Move them somewhere?

2. Can someone give me a basic rundown on the Soviet command structure? Corps - Armies - Front - Military Districts? How do they all fit together? What is the relationship between a Front and a MD in the game? The Germans are so much simpler!

I am pretty comfortable with the futile effort to throw crappy units in front of the Germans. I've been playing wargames long enough to figure out that part. But organizing the Red Army...that seems a lot harder. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.




ComradeP -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 3:29:40 PM)

You're aware of the How to organize the Red Army thread?

It's difficult to give detailed pointers for the Soviet turn in terms of where you should place your units, as that depends on the German opening moves. I'd suggest reading a few Soviet side AAR's to get an idea of what you can do to deal with various kinds of German opening moves.




carnifex -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 4:49:14 PM)

This is what I do, it might not work for you:


TURN ONE:
1. Set all air groups to manual upgrade.
2. Send all air groups to National Reserve.
3. Set all units Refit/Reserve status to "0".
4. Set all Corps and Air HQ units to Support Level "0".
5. Set all Army HQ units that are assigned to STAVKA to Support Level "0".
6. Set all inactive Front HQ units to Support Level "0". (Urals, Volga, Transcauc, North Cauc, Orel, Kharkov)
7. Set active Front HQ units to Support Level "5". (Odessa, Kiev, Western, Leningrad, Northwestern)
8. Move airbases and air HQ to the rear.
9. Evacuate the Kurland peninsula using ports if possible (Liepaja and Ventspils).
10. Move armor and anti-tank units toward three rear staging areas (primary force south of Moscow, secondary force southeast of Kiev, tertiary force behind the Pola river line).
11. Move airborne units toward rear staging area (Moscow area, to help build fortifications).
12. Move NKVD units toward Finnish border northeast of Leningrad.
13. Move combat units to existing fortifications - Leningrad, Sevastopol, Odessa, Kiev, Kerch.
14. Move combat units to build new fortifications Moscow area.
15. Disband Fortified Regions that are not building fortifications and are threatened.
16. Move all routed units to safety.
17. Establish front line.
18. Rail move reinforcements to front.
TURN TWO:
1. Set all air groups to manual upgrade
2. Send all air groups to National Reserve.
3. Continue to move airbases and air HQ to rear.
4. Rail out factories - (Mogilev).
5. Continue to move armor to rear.
6. Set some formations on Refit.
TURN THREE:
1. Disband Corps HQ units if Admin points allow.
2. Move extra SAD air base units to rear for eventual disbandment.
3. Reassign combat units to Armies.
4. Move VVS bases and HQ toward front.
5. Check Support Unit assignments.
6. Increase Moscow Front Support level to 3 when Front activates




Berkut -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 4:53:06 PM)

Yes, that is a pretty helpful thread. But a lot of the things to do say WHAT to do, but kind of skip over why you are doing it.

Like removing SU from HQ and sending them to Stavka, as an example. Or what to do with all those empty airbases, and why are we putting the Red Air Force into the Reserve again?

It's like threads like that are addressed to people who already know what they are trying to do, but aren't sure how to do it - I am curious as to what it is you are trying to do to begin with!

Another example - disbanding Corp HQs. OK - why? I get that you want to do it, and there is some debate as to when to do it, but...why? And how much? Should I be doing anything with all the Corps that are up in or near contact? What happens to the divisions attached to them? Or are you just talking about rear area Corp HQs?

That thread kind of feels like I walked into a conversation that was already half over. :P




Berkut -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 5:12:09 PM)

Thanks carnifax, that is very useful. Gives me something to play with anyway. Appreciated.




cpt flam -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 5:20:14 PM)

for me concerning corps HQ
each one will bring you from 3 to 7000 men
his units will be commanded by the army
the leader will go to the pool




castlebravo -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 5:35:27 PM)

You should counterattack relentlessly.  Try to destroy AGC by turn 5.  Let your routed forces in the Pripyat marshes rally, and then attack the Germans in their flanks!




ComradeP -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 5:37:00 PM)

quote:

Like removing SU from HQ and sending them to Stavka, as an example. Or what to do with all those empty airbases, and why are we putting the Red Air Force into the Reserve again?


You're moving support units to STAVKA to redistribute them, it's the easiest way to do so and doesn't cost AP's.

You're moving the VVS to the national reserve because that's the only way you can transfer air groups, and the initial deployments are at best inadequate, not to mention that many squadrons took a beating and need some rest.

People disband corps HQ's for the reasons cpt flam mentioned. I only disband empty ones, mostly some mechanized corps HQ's. They disband automatically later on, so disbanding all of them is what I would call a waste of AP's. I disband empty corps HQ's because it would in many cases cost me AP's to attach units to them, so I might as well disband them for the cost of 1 AP.




Mehring -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 6:01:44 PM)

Personally, I never send all air units to reserve. FBs with morale and or experience under 50 go to reserve. Tac and LBs with morale under 50 and experience under 45 go to reserve. Anything else with really bad morale goes to reserve too, but I tolerate fairly bad stats for frontline transport and recce units. It's a system whose parameters I plucked from thin air (apart from the fact that bombers generally have lower experience at start), but so far it's worked ok.

Clearly, the benefit of this varies according to how the LW has creamed your airfields, or not. The potential advantage is that with recce from T1 you can keep tabs on any build ups and prepare for them. Fighters near the front will reduce enemy interdiction and even give enemy bombers a few nasty surprises. You even get to interdict the inevitable enemy pincers and in spite of heavy losses, they do hit home now and again, disrupting the best laid plans. Worth the losses in my view. Expect your first Guards bomber unit on T1 or 2.

Not sure of the benefits to manual upgrade, unless you fear a lot of downgrades?

It's time consuming, but I don't want to leave all my HQs without support for even a week. setting level '0' is a nice trick to get free transfers out of threatened HQs but if you have the time, micro manage. I like mixed support wherever I can spare the APs and I start building new SUs at the earliest opportunity for critical HQs. Likewise, I start sacking the loser generals, one or two a turn.

With APs so scarce, I wouldn't use them disbanding fortified zones, personally.




randallw -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 6:33:58 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Berkut

Yes, that is a pretty helpful thread. But a lot of the things to do say WHAT to do, but kind of skip over why you are doing it.

Like removing SU from HQ and sending them to Stavka, as an example. Or what to do with all those empty airbases, and why are we putting the Red Air Force into the Reserve again?

It's like threads like that are addressed to people who already know what they are trying to do, but aren't sure how to do it - I am curious as to what it is you are trying to do to begin with!

Another example - disbanding Corp HQs. OK - why? I get that you want to do it, and there is some debate as to when to do it, but...why? And how much? Should I be doing anything with all the Corps that are up in or near contact? What happens to the divisions attached to them? Or are you just talking about rear area Corp HQs?

That thread kind of feels like I walked into a conversation that was already half over. :P



The computer will eventually disband corps HQs; disbanding them manually frees up the manpower earlier.

Units under control of a corps HQ will have their new command as the HQ that was next up the chain, which will be either an army HQ, front HQ, military district, or Stavka.

Construction units help with increasing fort levels and rail repair.

Read the manual; it may take multiple days but will be worth the effort!




carnifex -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 8:36:48 PM)

Sending air units to National Reserve gives them a morale bonus. This is why I send every single SU air group there. It's not like I'm going to need any airpower for the first few turns anyway.

I set the air groups to manual upgrade because I like to micromanage that aspect of the game.

I disband most SAD bases and all Corps HQ because I want the manpower and devices back in the pool and also I want to be in control of when the Corps HQ disappears. I don't want to leave a bunch of units out of range because the Army HQ is too far away at the moment the Corp HQ decides to go bye bye.

I move all my SU to STAVKA because it's easier to manually distribute the SUs downwards later and lock all the HQs down than depend on the auto-allocation.

It's my belief that no matter what you do with the SUs and air groups for the first couple of turns, it won't make a single hex of difference. By turn three or four everything is in place and I've wasted a lot less time than finagling everything piecemeal.




Berkut -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 8:53:58 PM)

Thanks for all the pointers everyone.




cookie monster -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 9:03:57 PM)

http://witewiki.com/index.php/Soviet_Ground_Tactics

http://witewiki.com/index.php/Defensive_Techniques

http://witewiki.com/index.php/Soviet_Aircraft_and_Early_Strategy




Aurelian -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 11:18:29 PM)

Disband the 9th Mech. Cheaper in APs then transferring Rokossovsky.

Get Konev out of his MD backwater when you can.

Make sure your VVS bases have IL4/TB3 airgroups set on night missions. They will supply your partisans




ComradeP -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/15/2011 11:40:47 PM)

quote:

Disband the 9th Mech. Cheaper in APs then transferring Rokossovsky.


You don't pay AP's for the replacement taking control of the HQ you moved a leader from, so it doesn't matter if a leader is commanding something or not when you transfer him.




Aurelian -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 12:08:36 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

Disband the 9th Mech. Cheaper in APs then transferring Rokossovsky.


You don't pay AP's for the replacement taking control of the HQ you moved a leader from, so it doesn't matter if a leader is commanding something or not when you transfer him.


I thought there was a dismissal cost? Oh well.....[;)]

Time to RTM again.




CheerfullyInsane -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 12:29:54 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Berkut

There is a surfeit of information about what the Axis can/should do on turn 1. Many, many threads.

However, I cannot find much at all about what the Soviets should be doing on turn 1. I've read through quite a bit, and there are a few threads out there talking about some details, but very little in the form of "Here is the Idiots Guide to what to do..."

Have any of the experienced Soviet players come up with anything? Nothing super detailed, but even just a general idea of how to start re-organizing the Red Army? I would MUCH rather see a basic, but complete guide rather than a lot of detail about very particular issues.

Example: I've read some threads arguing the merits of building one type of construction unit versus another - but they don't say much of anything about why you should be building construction units to begin with! Or how many! Or where. Or where building them fits into the priority queue.

Some specific questions:

1. I've heard that people often stick the Red Air Force into reserve. OK, but what do you do with the airbases then, that are now empty? Just disband them? Move them somewhere?

2. Can someone give me a basic rundown on the Soviet command structure? Corps - Armies - Front - Military Districts? How do they all fit together? What is the relationship between a Front and a MD in the game? The Germans are so much simpler!

I am pretty comfortable with the futile effort to throw crappy units in front of the Germans. I've been playing wargames long enough to figure out that part. But organizing the Red Army...that seems a lot harder. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.


Getting back to some of the original questions.
Just bear in mind that I'm not exactly an experienced player, so this is just what I've picked up along the way.

The reason for building construction-units is to help the divisions in the army to dig-in.
The basic Sov Army HQ (for me, at least) contains 4 How Regiments, a Sapper Regiment and 2-3 RR brigades.
Meaning that every single army that has combat-units attached gets the above before I start thinking about adding anything else.
It keeps the whole reorganizing a little more manageable if you have a 'standard' army to build on.

The command structure is actually simpler than it might look at first glance.
Corps -> Army -> Front/MD -> STAVKA.
Note that MDs and Fronts function in the same way. The only difference is that MDs are static, and only half the size (36 CPs compared to 72 for Armies).
As for the Corps, I disband everyone except the mech HQs.
It's not so much a question of whether it's better to have the manpower or not, I just can't get organized with 60+ HQs getting displaced all over the frontline.
Only reason I keep the Mech ones is that anything with wheels/tracks gets pulled back to Leningrad/Moscow/Smolensk/Kharkov, where they either get set to static to gain APs, or get organized into a mobile reserve.
Which means that the few HQs doesn't clutter the front, and hence they keep their jobs a little longer.

What I've failed to do in the two CGs I'm currently in, is take a quick look at the reinforcement-schedule (Hotkey i) and make a note as to where and when the Army and Front HQs appear.
Planning to do so in the future, since it'll help getting things organized without having to move units to and fro.

As to the whole aircraft thingie....(note the professional expression ;o))
I'm a little clueless to be honest. I've also read that sending the entire VVS back to the reserve is the 'optimal' thing to do, but I just can't bear leaving the skies completely denuded.
So what I do is first use the 'Air commitment' buttons to get things a little more organized, and then start with the high XP units when upgrading to new models. Usually means that by the time the mud hits, my fighters are all flying post-1920 aircraft.
No idea whether this is good or bad play, but I'm honestly more concerned with having fun than optimal play. [:)]

The SU trick of setting anything but STAVKA to 0, and having STAVKA set at 9 is a good idea, though.
Clears out all of the chaff from the lower HQs without using APs.
Some people then take STAVKA on a railroad tour of the Russian countryside, and manually attach SUs to Armies in order to save APs.
Too much nitpicking for my taste to be honest. I'd rather attach from STAVKA to the nearer HQs (Western, Reserve and Bryansk Fronts), and then spend APs getting the SUs to the rest of the Armies.
All a matter of how much micro-management you're willing to cope with I guess.

Final disclaimer: I'm getting creamed in both my CGs, so take the above advice with some caution. [:D]
And also, despite all the threads on opening moves and optimal play, remember the idea is to have fun doing it.




randallw -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 12:57:17 AM)

I send all my aircraft to the reserve, but as soon as turn 3 I start getting them back onto the battlefield.  Sending them away doesn't mean they have to be gone for a long time.

In literal terms I believe all the monoplanes are post 1920, and perhaps even the biplanes are. [:D]




CheerfullyInsane -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 12:59:45 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

In literal terms I believe all the monoplanes are post 1920, and perhaps even the biplanes are. [:D]


So I'm a better player than typist. [:D]




ComradeP -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 1:04:30 AM)

quote:

I thought there was a dismissal cost? Oh well.....


Yup, but that's for the assigned leader, so if you want to assign Rokossovsky to replace Some Guy, you pay a dismissal cost for Some Guy, but nothing extra for Rokossovsky if he's still in command.




Aurelian -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 1:12:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

I thought there was a dismissal cost? Oh well.....


Yup, but that's for the assigned leader, so if you want to assign Rokossovsky to replace Some Guy, you pay a dismissal cost for Some Guy, but nothing extra for Rokossovsky if he's still in command.


Ahhhh. Thanks.




randallw -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 2:15:14 AM)

It's possible the U2s are right on the cusp of 1920. [;)] 




Klydon -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/16/2011 3:12:29 AM)

Some alternate tactics to consider that I have seen (and sometimes experimented a bit with).

For the Red Air force, flying the "garbage" (anything with an "I" and a "D" in it) and inflicting whatever casualties you can, even though you will get your butt kicked is not bad. Even I series planes can shoot down German bombers. You don't want to overdo it, but perhaps a bit better than nothing at all. I personally also like leaving the Red Air available in the Leningrad area. I also like doing this in the Odessa/Crimea area where Luftwaffe coverage is not that good and you can sort of protect your airfields in most cases. You will need the help there and I actually look to send some better fighters there after a couple of turns to help out. One of the reasons to send air to the reserve is to keep it from being overrun by the Germans who are typically making big advances. When things slow down enough, then bringing air back in makes some sense.

Check which military district HQ's will become active when. (Some never do). It has been recommended not to attach armies to military district HQs because of their 36 count limit. You also don't want to use your good front leaders on them.

Putting motorized units on static is an absolute no brainer. They are not worth much in combat and generally have a pile of trucks you will need later. You will get a big CP bump out of them and eventually they will switch over to rifle divisions that you can reactivate for a couple of CPs if you feel like it. Tank divs are a different topic. If they survived and have T-34/KV tanks in them, they are hustled off to the rear to dig or I disband them. I typically use them to dig and as a last line of defense type of thing. Any attacking (or defending) you do with them results in a lot of your tanks winding up dead and a huge decline in power, so consider wisely when/where you use them. Also realize that at any time, they can go from a big nasty tank div to a whimpy brigade. If you are hurting on command points, you can put them on static and get a good bump on CP's right then, which can be helpful to help get rid of crappy leaders, get stuff moved around; whatever it is you need done. The issue is that even after they have popped to a brigade, it will cost you more CP's to reactivate them than you got when you put them in static, so you may not reactivate them for a long time if ever. One final note is make sure you have them assigned where you want them because once they go static, you can't reassign them to another HQ without first reactivating them.




Farfarer -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (3/17/2011 2:04:30 AM)

I have gone from disbanding and static for Motorized and tank, to keeping some strike forces in play. They are one, maybe two shot deals, but can really cause damage if your opponent is going for broke with that lone SS Motorized Brigade. Also, any of the Axis one shot fast divisions i.e. Allied can be torn up nicely - they are so tempting to be used by the Axis as "pocket closers".




Jakerson -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (8/1/2011 1:58:36 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: carnifex
I set the air groups to manual upgrade because I like to micromanage that aspect of the game.


I thought that Soviet air groups are set manual upgrade so air system can be exploited to have larger Soviet air force later on which can be used to decimate Luftwaffe with endless waves of airbase bombing until Luftwaffe have no mileage left to react?

I do not use this tactics simply because I see it dull that game mechanics give benefit from letting Soviet most experienced air groups fly with obsolete aircraft (by not upgrading them at all) while rookies gets the best equipment and form new air groups. I think Soviet side should be forced to auto upgrade to stop Soviet side using this tactics to decimate Luftwaffe.





Hermann -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (8/1/2011 7:44:17 PM)

First turn can be played a thousand ways as russian. Theres really no set strategy because things are so reactive.
From north to south:

Finnland - Get an inf division to a friendly port and exchange the brigade at hango with a division - it will distract substantial forces, very annoying. build 3 fort areas in the north above lake ladoga. holding those 3 hexes is critical especially if you lose leningrad. Build up the 7th Independent Army when forces are available i usually put my best general - Tolbukhin and 3 construction batts, a sapper regt, aa and corps and heavy artillery there. dont underestimate the importance of those 3 hexes. If you play it right and you hold up there you end up with 4-6 gaurds divisions to add to your shock army before the winter offensive and a victorious commander.

Leningrad. I usually hopscotch the Novgorod line turn 1 with a few divisions in key hexes and build on that by railing in heavily damagged units again an army hq with a high admin general and about construction battalions to build those forts.
A line maybe divisions south of lake illmen is a big priority to prevent an end run. use rail very frugally in the north - if you get your stuff north of pskov headed for narwa odds are he wont go after it. German is usually good for 2 turns in the north before he gets low on fuel so he will stop at least 1 corps. youre dealing with armor for 3 turns and thats not really too bad if you dont let em get behind you. blocking positions in swamp hexes really shake up a tank attack. no matter what he does he wont reach the pskov area till turn 3 in enough force to attack and youll need to leave before that happens so dont waste a lot of effort there. He can only do the hq buildups effectively on turns 3 and 4 so your objective is to fade away whenever armor closes. wait an extra turn and you die. Put you effort into a defense in depth beyond lvov rather than a stand and fight on the river line. You dont want to force him to sidestep south towards the landbridge, that simply gets too messy to deal with give him enough to keep him coming at you and wear him down at leningrad. same with velikye luki - hold forward at the fort line till he closes up and fall back to the velikye luki line behind a defensive screen based on terrain strongpoints theres nothing there for him strategically so he wont come in overwheliming force.

The landbridge: screen forward with security units and divisions in swamp terrain build the typical 3 high defense line with an hq holding at least 3 const battalions and a strong admin commander. he will bypass and establish himself north and south of the landbridge to pocket you. make sure you have a second line built at smolensk from the valdai hills south to orel. dont be a hero and defend the river at turn 4 he is built up and will smash you. after the dnepr is crossed german armor gets progressively weaker. the key for you is to have your best and most modern fighters in this area split between day and night you HAVE to stop his airlifts in the landbridge area at all costs.

The South is basic. he comes in staggered and will buildup at least a corps every turn. dont fight forward for the first 4-5 turns steady pull back, let him close and pull back again while you build a defense forward of cherkassy from kiev to proskurov and another behind the river. dont neglect oddessa, defend it or you will let him concentrate his inf elsewhere. evacuate by sea after the romanians close up.




johntoml56 -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (11/18/2011 6:49:11 AM)

Having played my first PBEM ever, as the Soviets GC 41 -45, here is what i think you should do, or ather some observations. My experience is based on betas 1.05.23 to 1.05.39 up to turn 46. (there is lots of excellent information above).

1. Retreat
2. If in doubt, retreat
3. If not in doubt, don't retreat, RUN.
4. If pocketed try and break out. You will probably never get any divs out but it will allow you to re assign support units to Stavka.
5. Assign low grade junk units with TOE set to 51% to the Finnish No Attack Line.
6. 90% of the Red Army is equipped with water pistols.
7. Don't bother with hasty attacks, you get slaughtered.
8. If you have to move to attack, don't bother. If you don't have to move to atttack, you forgot points 1-3.
9. Non random weather benefits the player with the initiative.
10. Don't stand and fight, you get slaughtered.
11. If you must attack pick on the Rumanians.
12. There is no sense of a campaign season. The AXIS can attack in mud and launch a major offensive on the FIRST clear turn of the year.
13. Attack during Blizzard but get ready to retreat on the last turn.
14. Early on build support units that do not stress your armaments pool ie those that use active elements from the pool.
15. Railroad units from the eastern edge whilst they are empty shells.
16. Dont position your troops as seen in maps in military history books, you get slaughtered. Use the carpet or checker board defence.
17. You can spend hours micro managing the red Airforce for no obvious benefit.
18. Bomb airfields and HQs (seems to cause high numbers of casualities).
19. Make sure you have competent commanders in your HQs
20. How supply works is on the syllabus at Hogwarts.
21. When you create a Corp dont forget you can assign Support Units directly to them.




freeboy -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (12/3/2011 9:06:46 PM)

why move units toward finn border? that makes no sense to me as the finns cannot attack south of no attack line????




Belphegor -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (12/3/2011 11:36:26 PM)

They can't attack south of the line, but they can move south of it if not blocked by Soviet forces.




johntoml56 -> RE: Soviet Turn 1 Guide? (12/7/2011 9:48:21 AM)

yeah sorry about that, meant the no attack line




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