Artillery XX & X (Full Version)

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Michael T -> Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 3:03:29 AM)

It seems that in early 42 the Sov's can create a few Art Brigades like, Lgt How, Gun, Lgt Gun etc that are on map combat units. Then later in 42 it seems these brigades must have been used to form the Artillery Divisions. However in game terms if I build these brigades I can't then use them later to form the Divisions, no?

So this means I would have to disband all the brigades so the equipment could be used to from the Divisions. BUT I lose all the experience those brigades would have accrued. This seems a bit weird. Why can't we combine these brigades to form the Artillery Divisions? IIRC in FITE this very mechanism is used to build the Arty Div's. Why can't we do this in WITE? Or am I missing something?

Flaviusx -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 3:20:39 AM)

I wish you could combine them, but you cannot. Truth is, the equipment in these brigades doesn't neatly match up with that in the divisions. Perhaps combining them would create TOE problems.

I mostly do not build them and consider them to be not cost effective. The firepower they bring to the table is hardly more than an SU (with two major exceptions: heavy rocket artillery brigades, and 43 mortar brigades. Those do pack a punch.) For 5 APs, you could buy 5 arty SUs that will deliver a lot more shells. You can manually control them, to be sure, and they can fire at range, but they aren't very good at cracking any kind of fortified line.

A 43 breakthrough artillery division costing 10 APs delivers a lot more punch than 2 arty brigades and allows for more stacking as it is a single unit. This stacking limitation alone makes brigades mostly undesirable as they can clutter up the rear without laying down enough firepower. (Again, excepting the mortar and rocket arty brigades.) You need a ton of guns to bust through a well constructed German defense.

Michael T -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 3:29:45 AM)

As you may have gathered I am poking around trying to find anything with some teeth for summer 1942. I have unearthed a few such items but they are few and far between.

Klydon -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 3:36:29 AM)

I believe the FITE arty divisions were formed from a variety of artillery units.

I agree, it would be nice to be able to combine even a variety of brigades together to form a arty division.

Flaviusx -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 3:51:01 AM)

You mostly have to wait until 43, or late 42, Micheal, the Red Army 2.0 stuff doesn't start showing up for real until late 42. The tools just aren't there by and large to build an offensive Red Army before then. Weak arty brigades, flimsy tank corps (the July 42 TOE upgrade is pretty huge for these, but even so,) understrength rifle corps (you don't get a good TOE for them until October 42, and there's also the 20 AP cost until Jan 43,) lack of trucks, no mech corps until the end of the year, etc. These things can catch an overextended German, but to crack a well entrenched line you need the big boys. Red Army 1.5 isn't quite ready for prime time.

Schmart -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 6:56:33 AM)

This process is historically accurate. The Russians (for the most part) actually created Artillery Divisions before Brigades. The Divisions were created somewhat by grouping existing Regiments together, but many new Regiments were also created in the process. Sometimes the existing Regiments were grouped into a Division and then new Regiments raised to replace those 'lost' independent Regiments. In WitE terms, it kinda cancels out. The history of the Brigades follows more closely the grouping of existing Regiments within Army commands (typically 3-5 Regiments). For example, in July 1943 XXth Army would've grouped the Artillery Regiments under it's existing command into a Brigade. This was done primarily for better C&C.

The Divisions were intended as more of a concentration of Artillery tubes to effect break-ins and breakthroughs (that could be floated around where needed, as well as later being concentrated into Artillery Corps HQs), while the Brigades simply made existing Army HQ Artillery assets easier to control, and the Brigades mostly remained as permanent Army assets.

Building Brigades and then building them up into Divisions is not the process that the Russians used historically. The only thing less historical is the Russian ability to build lots of Artillery Brigades early in 1942. They probably shouldn't be available for building until 1943, IMO.

The awkward part of building the Russian Artillery arm isn't the creation of the Divisions, but the grouping of existing Regiments into Brigades. Plain and simple, the overall process of evolving the Russian Army in WW2 is not very easy or simple to replicate in a wargame. To be accurate, WitE would need a system where a minimum of 3 Artillery Regiments could build-up into an on map Brigade.

For historical numbers and rough dates for the creation of Artillery Divisions and Brigades, check out my Russian Army Guide in the War Room. To add Artillery teeth in 1942 you're probably better off building lots of Artillery Regiments through 1942 (as the Russians did). In WitE, the 42 Corps Artillery Regiment will downgrade into a Battalion in strength in mid-43, so that's a good option to give teeth in 42 but not permanently tie-down lots of Guns into Regiments requiring later disbandment.

Schmart -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 7:09:50 AM)


ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
You mostly have to wait until 43, or late 42, Micheal, the Red Army 2.0 stuff doesn't start showing up for real until late 42. The tools just aren't there by and large to build an offensive Red Army before then.

Yup, this was simply the historical restriction on the Russians. Building all the new assets, HQs, communication, control, co-ordination etc takes time and experience to perfect and turn them into efficient combat capabilities. I think WitE reflects this quite well. Once you get the hang of it it becomes easier/more predictable, but the first few times of building the Russian Army 2.0 in WitE is very much a learning experience for a player, as it should be.

Think of the 1942 historical timeline: The Russian 42 spring Kharkov offensive was a bad failure, multiple large scale offensives on the Rhzev salient were utter failures (other than tying down some Germans that might otherwise have been committed to Fall Blau), and multiple counter-attacks by the new Tank Armies/Corps through the summer were cut to pieces. The only real success was Stalingrad, and that was due to low quality Axis Allied troops. It wasn't Russians acheiving a breakthrough against dug-in German troops. The subsequent late 42 and early 43 drives in the south by the Russians were handled quite roughly by von Manstein in Feb/Mar 43. If a Russian player can pull off a reasonably successful offensive in 1942 against German troops (not Allies) then you're doing very well and certainly better than the Russian historical counterparts were able to achieve. Against a competent German player (who can avoid a Stalingrad-like debacle), the Russians shouldn't expect to achieve much offensively (strategically) until late 1943. However, one still needs to have the right pieces in play to get those offensive results, which will take from late-42 until mid-43.

jaw -> RE: Artillery XX & X (10/5/2012 2:37:14 PM)

I've probably explained the "understrength" early rifle corps somewhere else before but it's worth repeating since they seem to confuse people. These "corps" are weak because they are not rifle corps in the same sense as those formed later in the War. These early rifle corps were created to bring several rifle brigades together under a single command. Originally I had them consisting of the equivalent of four rifle brigades (historically the most common configuration) but in post-release updates I expanded these corps to the equivalent of five rifle brigades to make their creation consistent with the game mechanics of corps formation. This change had the additional benefit of stiffing them up a bit.

If you wish to create these early corps in the most cost effective manner you should first convert four rifle brigades into two rifle divisions then IMMEDIATELY combine these "divisions" with another rifle brigade to form the corps. I say immediately because you don't want the rifle divisions to start filling out with equipment the corps will just discard. Remember these early "corps" will be following the TOE of rifle brigades not rifle divisions.

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