Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (Full Version)

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Kielec -> Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/18/2018 7:28:08 PM)

In my current game as the Soviets I seem to be managing quite well, if I dare say so myself. It seems I may be able to hold on to Crimea during the 41/42 winter.
I have tons (ok, good hundreds) of really long range bombers (IL-4 and some such) that due to virtual lack of Partisan units have little to do, and so I thought about bombing Ploesti from Crimea. It's not too far, really.

Does it make any strategical sense, though? I seem to remember reading somewhere on the forum that the Germans never run out of fuel. They may have issues delivering it, but that's another story.
Now, if I invested in a longer bombing campaign and succeeded in say halving the Ploesti production of Oil or Fuel (or both?) for some time, would it possibly change the situation? Could the Axis fuel stockpiles ever dry out?

Thanks for your thoughts!




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/18/2018 9:28:25 PM)

No, bombing oil have no use, the supply of oil is virtually unlimited for both size in this game.

You can try strategic bombing of Panzer production eventually it can work a little.





Kielec -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/18/2018 10:30:17 PM)

Do I get a feeling (provided you are right) that there's a major omission in the game?

Is it, like, that if the Axis could capture Baku in 41 (yea, I know, I know), the Soviets could fill their tanks' tanks till Berlin anyway?

Shame, if so...




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 4:25:55 AM)

Umm, if bombing Ploesti Oil doesn't effect Axis supplies, what about capturing it as the Soviets in 41, does that have any effect on the Axis?




mouse707 -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 6:47:38 AM)

If oil is unimportant, how to understand the 1942 offensive in the Caucasus ?




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 7:05:07 AM)

War in the east is a game developed a long time ago. We are talking a lot about oil nowadays but 20 years ago it was not so the case.
Modern game simulate this better. (Such as Decisive battle, barbarossa, where you have your first oil crisis the third turn of the game).

Yes, there are some major flow in the game model of WITE. Oil is not the most important. The fact that you can supply the entire german army over one single railway is for example.

A lots of these issues are greatly improved in the future WITE 2. But for oil i'am not sūre.







AlexSF -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 8:34:03 AM)

I feel like more than oil it is manpower that is the real Soviet finite resource here.




mouse707 -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 12:54:40 PM)

I don't criticize the game, which is a great one. However, I think that introducing oil concerns should not be too complicated. The game has not to follow exactly history, but it's better to introduce some concerns that were important ones historically.

It's not the same than railraods. Even if imperfect and maybe too easily manageable, supply is present and an important topic for the german player. While you can play the 5 years game without thinking a single second to oil.




Telemecus -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 2:06:14 PM)

The problem with this question for the German side is it would only affect them late in the war - and not many people play that far. However I did test the common wisdom that oil has no effect on the Axis. I asked a couple of players who said it did not and played to a late game to check. And when they came back they said actually they did have a fuel shortage. And by the rules at least this should mean their units get fewer movement points. Maybe they just did not notice among the many other things that affect movement points. But the impression I am getting is that oil shortages do have an effect on Axis late in the war but players just do not notice it. If this is the case then bombing Ploesti to reduce oil stocks for then would make a difference.




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 3:37:42 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus

The problem with this question for the German side is it would only affect them late in the war - and not many people play that far. However I did test the common wisdom that oil has no effect on the Axis. I asked a couple of players who said it did not and played to a late game to check. And when they came back they said actually they did have a fuel shortage. And by the rules at least this should mean their units get fewer movement points. Maybe they just did not notice among the many other things that affect movement points. But the impression I am getting is that oil shortages do have an effect on Axis late in the war but players just do not notice it. If this is the case then bombing Ploesti to reduce oil stocks for then would make a difference.


It is not sure about the "late war" thing, some say that IRL the german started the war with only a few month of reserve and lacked oil very quickly for large mobile operation. The fuel consumption of motorized units where far higher than expected due to poor infrastructure in soviet russia.
(Decisive campaign, Barbarossa have a lot of interesting stuff about it).

It could explain a lot of the "strange mad hitler" strategic decisions during the war. (Such as focusing on the caucasus and army group south, not caring about moscow and leningrad, invading crimea to avoid the romanian airfield for being raided, trying desesperaly to reach the caucasus, and in late war firing their general specialist of mobile warfare like manstein in favor of hard core "stay in position and die" defender).




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 3:46:11 PM)

Perhaps this thread needs a TIK [&o]

I can't post links yet so I'll just refer you to TIK on you tube and his 45 min video with over 1/4 million views under the title "The MAIN Reason Why Germany Lost WW2 - OIL"




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 3:59:42 PM)

I love the video of TIK it is very interesting and gave me a fresh and new approach of all what happened during the war in the east.

Still, saying that one reason explain the loss of germany is probably too simple. Historical events have always multiple causes.

Also The german army also did not always act like they lacked fuel.
For example they kept building heavy tanks who sucked tons of fuel and even their next generation medium tank like panther was very heavy and far from fuel efficient.
It could be simple incompetence although [:D]




Telemecus -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 4:09:52 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Saulust

Perhaps this thread needs a TIK [&o]

I can't post links yet so I'll just refer you to TIK on you tube and his 45 min video with over 1/4 million views under the title "The MAIN Reason Why Germany Lost WW2 - OIL"


When it comes to TIK videos and Stelteck I think you are preaching to the already converted [:D] (Stelteck has posted links to them before.)




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 4:59:00 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Stelteck

Still, saying that one reason explain the loss of germany is probably too simple. Historical events have always multiple causes.

Also The german army also did not always act like they lacked fuel.
[:D]



I did not say myself that OIL is the reason Germany lost the WWII, but I thought TIK video was quiet relevent to the thread, I agree it changed my Halderian perspective, but then we have seen a more recent War just for OIL haven't we!

Actually, the best reason seems to be production efficiency, or lack there of by Germany & the other Axis verses the US & USSR. I'm trying to remember a good video talk by a Japanese Naval expert or some such technology guy, ummm can't think... anyway basically he discribed how American factories and big American designed Soviet factories were more vertically & horizontally integrated etc which is why they out produced the Axis in Tanks etc by several times, while Germany produced craftwork style (not the band) as the British with a paltry total. This effect airplanes and naval and ammo and trucks and guns too...




Telemecus -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 5:04:33 PM)

quote:

Actually, the best reason seems to be production efficiency, or lack there of by Germany & the other Axis verses the US & USSR. I'm trying to remember a good video talk by a Japanese Naval expert or some such technology guy


Seen the same video - and been desperately trying to find the link ever since. But certainly I think the best on the topic I have seen recently.

One point he made was that German tanks were design engineer led, Russian tanks were production engineer led. The manual of the first Tiger built boasted it had taken 100,000 man hour to make - that should have been a thing to be ashamed of. The German economy after all was actually bigger than the Soviet Union - if it had been a question of just numbers of tanks produced then the German economy could have beaten the Soviet Union easily.




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 5:13:34 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus

Seen the same video - and been desperately trying to find the link ever since. But certainly I think the best on the topic I have seen recently.



Yeah, it was about an hour long I think but it was only like in the mid that he gave the Tank production charts and specifics, I can't think of it either but I know I've got a download copy of it some where on this or my other PCs HD, so when I find it or remember it... [8|]

Tiki Tiger took over a hundred thousand man hours to build boast, tehe! [:'(]




chaos45 -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 6:45:12 PM)

In the real war Ploesti was a huge weak point in the German war economy as they desperately needed every drop of oil from it and it still wasn't enough to come close to sustaining the war effort.

In the game Ploesti doesn't matter at all so don't waste your time bombing it.




Kielec -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 9:49:34 PM)

Since the thread started to go historical and a bit off, let me bring it back to the actual game by this longish number crunching rant.

Checked some in-game numbers. You will excuse my not planting screenshots, but it is all available for verification in the Axis Commander Reports and Event Logs.


UNO.

Turn one of the 1941-1945 Campaign doesn't have the Log Events, obviously, so I am using my last campaign as the Axis turn 2. It shows the following:
PRODUCTION
30800 tons of Oil produced in 96 oil centers
22560 t Fuel prod in 94 Refineries (20760 available) - - 28200 t Oil used in prod
11500 t Synthetic fuel prod in 46 centers (8686 available)

Units want 15500 t Fuel, 1108945 t available (7154%)

I've checked the "units want" numbers for a few randomly selected turns in 1941 and 1942 when the Panzers were active and never found a number reaching 18000, so I will use this instead to calculate the...

Net fuel gain per turn/week: roughly 11000 t (available prod - units want), that's 60-70% of average weekly consumption going into the stockpile. The Axis will never run out of fuel. They will run out of storage facilities.

Net Oil gain is 2600 (produced-used), the stockpile is 98600 - only 3,5 Fuel production turns worth, but grows at a 2,5% per turn.


DOS.

Turn one of the 1944-45 Campaign (starts June 29 1944) shows this:
PRODUCTION
16250 tons of Oil produced in 96 Oil centers
10800 t Fuel prod in 94 Refineries (7920 available) - - 13500 t Oil used in prod
8298 t Synthetic fuel prod in 46 centers (5079 available)

Units want 16828 t Fuel, 1124275 t available (6680%)

Now, Ploesti is bombed down to 48% Fuel and 49% Oil (that's damage) so here go the low production numbers - neither "clicked in" for the particular turn.

Net Fuel loss seems to be roughly 3800 t (available prod - units want) per turn/week, so the current stock should last for 296 weeks, or so, hence till spring 1950. That, given that Ploesti keeps being effectively shut down, which at 50% chance gives the Axis enough fuel for much longer. [Obviously this is based on an assumption of similar weekly consumption, not many loses due to HQ bumps and lost cities with full stockpiles, and, of course, Ploesti being there till the end...]

Net Oil gain is 2750, the stockpile is 92750. It would seem that the Refineries would like to consume 19650 (instead of the 13500 actually used), but alas, Ploesti is bombed out to no production. Should the Ploesti Refineries produce Fuel, as they are supposed to do, there would be a net loss of 3400 Oil, meaning the Oil stockpile would run out in 28 turns - by January 1945. BINGO! Well, that would still leave Herr H. with another 5 years worth of Fuel, so who cares?


TRES.

The Manual, in 20.4.3.2. "Axis Rail Supply Modifier", goes very confusingly and at length about how many supplies and how much fuel actually reaches the railheads from which the units are supplied. I am a bit confused by the fact, that units seem to be supplied form cities/towns now, and how these locations are chosen for stockpiling is beyond me, but never mind. Lets dig an example from this passage:
QUOTE
So as an example, a unit in Smolensk (X86, Y51)) in August 1941 in clear weather will have its fuel/supplies deliveries multiplied by ((168+((0)/1)-86)) + ((51-69/2))/100 or 73/100 or .73. So due to this rule, the delivery of supplies and fuel to the unit in Smolensk would be reduced to only 73 percent of what they otherwise would have been.
UNQUOTE

Does the above mean that 27% of fuel (let's skip them boring supplies) gets lost on the way to said unit in Smolensk, or does it stay in the stockpiles? Is it that out of every 100 rail cars of fuel, as needed by the units on the front in Smolensk, the Deutsche-Sovietische Railroads can only move 73, hence leaving 27 cars worth of fuel to be (possibly) delivered next week? Or is it that a 100 cars full of fuel are moved towards Smolensk, but somehow, you know, the road is long and perilous and beset on all sides by Russische Banditen and only 73 arrive at the railhead? The difference would be huge!


QUATRO.

Out of 96 Axis Oil centers, 41 in Ploesti and 14 in Bucarest (so 55, i.e. 57%) can be bombed by Soviet bombers basically from day one of the Barbarossa. Who knows to what effect. Same goes for 57 out of 94 (60% - a better target?) Refineries.
No other Oil or Fuel factories and no Synthetic Fuel factories can be seriously targeted before End Spiel. Ok, there's this 5 Oil in Helsinki that can be really easily done, as long as Leningrad holds, and in my current game I have promised Comrade Stalin that it will, but is it worth without the Rumanian fields?


To sum up. To me it seems that for the Soviets to go after Axis Fuel production makes little sense, in terms of a strategic air-bombing campaign. However, if the Soviet Union could hold on to Crimea in 1941 and use it as an unsinkable blah, blah aircraft carrier, and successfully bomb the Ploesti AND Bucharest Oil factories/fields into not producing most of the time (the 5 Oil in Helsinki, easily reached from Leningrad would need to be flattened too!), the game of Fuel could be played. Not by Fuel, but by Oil. Notice, that bombing Fuel factories presents you with a 2% per turn repair rate, while Oil goes up at only 1% per turn. If only the poor Soviet long range bombers production could keep up with the inevitable losses...
Second point is the clarification of the %delivered part (vide: TRES). If an actual loss of Fuel due to remoteness of delivery points occurred during Axis supply phases, an air campaign vs Ploesti, Bucharest and Helsinki oilfields would make all the more sense to me.

Give us your thoughts, please.




Kielec -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/19/2018 10:47:24 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Saulust

Perhaps this thread needs a TIK [&o]

I can't post links yet so I'll just refer you to TIK on you tube and his 45 min video with over 1/4 million views under the title "The MAIN Reason Why Germany Lost WW2 - OIL"


I'm half through, and not sure I will endure the rest. His building up the case for oil as the prime mover of Hitler's actions... Couldn't Herr Hitler just keep importing the crude from the Soviet Union? At friendly rates? A little bit longer, perhaps?
But the real killer, for me, comes at 26:30+ of the video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVo5I0xNRhg], when he starts talking about American deliveries of train engines to the Soviet Union. Well, you will have to excuse my limited knowledge of the period's history, but I have a feeling that most of them train engines run on coal, not oil. Certainly in Europe. And he seems to be presenting those US Land Lease deliveries in the oil context. Well, wrong! Far from everything in the early 40's run on oil. Not in Europe, anyway, perhaps in the US of A it was different, since they've been producing 3/4 of it according to his charts. I'd like to know how many of the British heavier ships (you know, the ones that allegedly run them Seas and Oceans) were oil powered by 1941. Bismarck apparently was, but not everything else.
Coal vs Oil ;-)




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 2:06:29 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Kielec


I'm half through, and not sure I will endure the rest. His building up the case for oil as the prime mover of Hitler's actions... Couldn't Herr Hitler just keep importing the crude from the Soviet Union? At friendly rates? A little bit longer, perhaps?


Well sorry you are so upset Kielec by the TIK video on OIL as the main reason Germany lost the war, then again he likes to cause controversies with some of his videos, so... you don't have to agree with all of it, however I thought is was relevant to the subject of this thread - the importance of Axis lack of OIL.


quote:



But the real killer, for me, comes at 26:30+ of the video, when he starts talking about American deliveries of train engines to the Soviet Union. Well, you will have to excuse my limited knowledge of the period's history, but I have a feeling that most of them train engines run on coal, not oil. Certainly in Europe. And he seems to be presenting those US Land Lease deliveries in the oil context. Well, wrong! Far from everything in the early 40's run on oil. Not in Europe, anyway, perhaps in the US of A it was different, since they've been producing 3/4 of it according to his charts.


I didn't take it that the apparent American Lend Lease train engines were some OIL factor uber-super gift in themselves, but perhaps they were diesel fuel run which as you point out was not typically the case in Eurasia. They might have been mentioned in his sources and he remembered to mention 'train engines' in his talk or script. Off topic but I recall an old joke about a failed first attempt to use fuel run trains in sub-zero temperatures in Alaska or the Arctic, but alas ich forget now... but I should think anyone who has played GG WITE would appreciate extra train load capacity increase source for the SU being mentioned!

The train engines may or may not be as important as all the American trucks delivered to the USSR, however they may have been important at a certain time or place or in some special capacity in themselves during the War. I think I read that somewhere before too. Although they may not have been as important ultimately as all those American trucks, 4 wheel drive Marmon-Herringtons or Studebakers or whatever other American long hauls which were better than Opels and other European trucks for the Soviets to return the Blitz, because in the USA designed ones for longer haul ranges than the typical Europeans apparently which was better for war AIUI... and Jeeps too, see what I did there I mentioned Jeeps with the LL trucks even though they may have been important or effective in themselves but not as important as the trucks... [:'(]

quote:


I'd like to know how many of the British heavier ships (you know, the ones that allegedly run them Seas and Oceans) were oil powered by 1941. Bismarck apparently was, but not everything else.
Coal vs Oil ;-)


Umm, I don't know too much that specific myself about the British RN either but didn't the Royal Navy decide or start to switch from coal to OIL fueled warships in 1913 and that was why when the Great War broke out the first place the British empire invaded was Basra, where the Germans were building the Oriental Express rail line to ultimately... it certainly feels reminiscent of another war for O.I.L. !




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 2:47:43 AM)

Regarding your bigger calculations post Kielec, does capturing Ploesti as the SU in 41 reduce German Oil and fuel in either the short term if not held or in the long run if the SU does manage to hold it (for example if you flip Romania on T7-10) and how soon would it take to be effective or fatally detrimental?


BTW, I agree with you that TIK is wrong about Herr H and Germany absolutely needing to invade the SU in 1941 for OIL and perhaps instead negotiate for more deliveries in their M-R Pact trade deal, however I think it was what Herr H thought at the time.

Also I've read that the the Ploesti OIL fields & or refineries were drastically inefficient at producing OIL and that the Romanians themselves were overly inefficient with using their own very large amount of drawn supply of their domestic OIL in their civilian economy, so there were some potential efficiency & allocation gains to be made there too.




Denniss -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 7:08:44 AM)

There's too much oil and fule on both sides but that's not easy to reduce without breaking something in later war or in small scenarios.
Plus the current supply system does not permit priorities so it's "an all or nothing" delivery.

Missing oil/fuel usage is for example civilian use or by naval units (ports). As far as I had read Romania was using a lot of its oil/fuel products, just selling excess. Only from 43 on Germany was more involved and took a bigger bite.




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 7:12:01 AM)

To return to fuel management in WITE,
If any side was lacking Fuel in the current WITE game it would be a big problem because there is no way to prioritize and manage deliveries to part of units.

So a lack of fuel would results in small decrease in capabilities of all Motorized units equally and it would have little sense.




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 7:19:03 AM)

OK, too much OIL in game, so capturing Ploesti T7-10 and keeping it doesn't break German oil/fuel deliveries detrimentally then or through to '45?

Yeah, I thought that Germany (and the fuel staved Italian Navy) should have gotten themselves both a greater share of Romanian OIL from at least August 1940 or very soon there after and delved into improving the amount of production efficiency also, well before as late as in 43. They might have been able to receive enough to have not felt that they were in a position to have to invade the SU in 1941 at all, while also negotiated for more to be sent across that border from Stalin on top of that in the mean time.




mouse707 -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 3:08:30 PM)

"so capturing Ploesti T7-10 and keeping it"

In most games against a good german, Odessa is not still under soviet control during T7-10, so i don't see how you can capture ploetsi. If the german let you so far in Rumania, the game won't last sufficiently to see 1944




Saulust -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/20/2018 5:03:40 PM)

I was just asking so I know how soon the AI controlled Germans are going to run out of OIL and fuel or if they do at all. And yeah they wont last too long now in my current game at the end of T15 all German Divisions are cut off, except for only one Light/GJ Div, the SS Cav and half a dozen teleported Security Divisions along with 3-4 remaining Italians, while 15 Pz & Mot Inf Divs have already surrendered! [:D]




musashi64 -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/21/2018 1:23:33 PM)

The Allied (US and GB) bombings on Ploesti had very bad results almost until the beginning of 1944. I remember that the first attack on 1st August 1943 was a failure : 54 B-24 lost on 177 partecipating to the raid ( and many others damaged ). The damages obtained were repaired very fast , ( I am living at Bran, Rumania) all the data that I have been able to find in Rumanian Language are concording about it. The area was full of Flak and with at least 50-100 Me 109 /110 always to fly.
When Rumania changed side on 23rd August 1944, the Rumanian "Red" army immediately protected oil and refineries attacking the German fighting units that were dislocated there.




Stelteck -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/21/2018 2:34:53 PM)

Still, forcing the German to put here far from any theater of operation a lot of fighter squadrons and tons of heavy Flak is probably quite an interesting result by itself. [:)]




Telemecus -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/21/2018 2:37:38 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Stelteck

Still, forcing the German to put here far from any theater of operation a lot of fighter squadrons and tons of heavy Flak is probably quite an interesting result by itself. [:)]


Although there are several Rumanian fighter groups frozen in bases there - including their hurricanes in the default set up. And flak already attached to cities there.




Telemecus -> RE: Does bombing Ploesti (as Soviets, ehmm...) make sense? (9/21/2018 9:05:00 PM)

Worth seeing post 957 of this AAR for this question

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4280532&mpage=32




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