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Russia much tougher in 1.60?

 
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Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 4:51:56 PM   
willgamer


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Is it just me or is Russia a much tougher nut to crack under 1.60?

Attacking in '41, on the first May turn when the map was not 100% mud, there are new forts, lots of L2 Inf. Corps, and even many L2 Arm. Corps.

The effects of invasion shock seem nerfed in some way and Brest-on-the-Bug is indeed vigorously defended.

Much more challenging so far.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 5:05:32 PM   
Anraz

 

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In fact we tried to enhance Soviet and German AI performance especially in long campaigns. I even afraid that now German AI is overpowered and still have second thoughts regrading Soviet AI. I hope more such reports will help us to find even better balance.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 5:47:32 PM   
cpdeyoung


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I have been commenting in my current AAR about how much better the AI is playing. At the tactical level they are impressive, perhaps less so at higher levels. Still you guys have done a fine job as I see it, and the AI is much more fun to play against.

Chuck

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 7:10:43 PM   
herra

 

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Hi,
Well i'm having alot of shocks from the AI in 1.60, normal difficulty I'm playing germany with the rest set to AI. I'm not playing with total concentration and careful planning, but I went into Russian around may 1941, I was totally confident with about 2500 PP unspent in the bank. Well the AI is punishing all my mistakes and over confidence, it's very encouraging signs from the AI in attack and defence. Great to see any lone unit attacked and cut off, and even large pincer movements that sprang from nowwhere on a completely static front, was great to see!
Frozen units on cities with 2 strength make it very easy to take cities even when larger strength units sit by, which a human player would put on the city?

My only real gripe is the naval game, maybe bring the sea zones onto the main map?. Please reduce the number of clicks with the mouse when bombing, perhaps put a bomb icon over all the units in range?
Also I would like to see strategic movement impossible for cut off units if possible?

I must say a BIG thankyou to wastelands for a great gesture for this free upgrade from RTV, Good Job!


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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 9:15:05 PM   
Flaviusx


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German AI is fine. I just finished a 1.6 playtest Grand Campaign as a solo Soviet and knocked out Germany in mid 1944. No cheats on my part.

The AI is much better now, however, and builds a much more balanced military.

The German AI kind of threw away the game from the getgo by attacking me during the mud turns in 1941, thus wasting a lot of the disorganization period. So I actually think it needs a little buffing in a grand campaign context to avoid that sort of thing.

I'm going to do a solo Barbarossa playtest as the Russian next and see how that goes. That should be more challenging as the Soviet than the grand campaign, given the abysmal set up the Sovs have in the scenario and an active Finland.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 9:30:46 PM   
doomtrader


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Those kind of feedbacks about AI behaviour are very important for us.

Thank you.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/23/2009 9:36:13 PM   
oldspec4

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

German AI is fine. I just finished a 1.6 playtest Grand Campaign as a solo Soviet and knocked out Germany in mid 1944. No cheats on my part.

The AI is much better now, however, and builds a much more balanced military.

The German AI kind of threw away the game from the getgo by attacking me during the mud turns in 1941, thus wasting a lot of the disorganization period. So I actually think it needs a little buffing in a grand campaign context to avoid that sort of thing.

I'm going to do a solo Barbarossa playtest as the Russian next and see how that goes. That should be more challenging as the Soviet than the grand campaign, given the abysmal set up the Sovs have in the scenario and an active Finland.


You may want to wait until the official 1.60 patch. I played Russians in the Grand Campaign w/ the beta and came across a nasty bug that deletes text/dialog boxes (approx. turn 45).

As stated in tech support, a new exe file should fix the issue w/ the final 1.60.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/24/2009 5:03:02 AM   
Radar8717

 

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Yes, overall the Soviet AI is much improved, but it still doesn't defend Leningrad or Moscow very well. Twice the Soviet AI has lost control of Leningrad during the Finnish Winter War and couldn't retake it in two different grand campaign games. Also usually I can take Lviv, Kishinev undefended during the first turn of Barbarossa. All these examples were played in the 1939 Grand Campaign with normal difficulty settings.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/24/2009 11:43:02 PM   
willgamer


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Update 2 months later 1-July-1941 (normal difficulty)...

Russia gone wild! From the numbers, I think I must have stumbled into China!

Here's the side by side comparison of the forces just 2 months after the invasion:

Unit type/#German/#Russian
Inf. Div. 34/146
Inf. Cor. 39/90
Mch. Div. 0/25
Mch. Cor. 20/7
Arm. Div. 0/51
Arm. Cor. 12/3
Fighter 10/10
Tac. B. 12/10
Srt. B 0/2

Total Unit Strength: 621/931

Production: 441/444, Upkeep: 185/45 (~+140 Russian edge in net production)

Russian war economy: 167% (Are you kidding me.... result of war with Finland?)

Land/air unit research: level 3/level 2

Add to this 20% (higher to the north, lower to the south) cloud cover in July (=mud).

The Russian lines are 3 deep around cities.

Given that it often takes multiple attacks at 6 or 7-1 to actually kill a unit, the Germans can't even eliminate what Russia can produce each turn.

I'm definitely not one of the experts here, but something doesn't feel right!

< Message edited by willgamer -- 9/25/2009 12:22:33 AM >


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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 2:36:47 AM   
Flaviusx


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Interesting. Sounds like Soviet AI is doing something I've always done: throw ants at the Germans until the disorganization period is over.

A swarm of cheap infantry divisions eats up German AP at little cost to yourself. I don't start defending for real until they reach my main line of resistance. (Pskov/Smolensk/Kiev/Odessa.) Once there do I actually use full corps based behind rivers and/or fort lines. Hopefully by the time the Germans get to these places in strength, I'm defending the spots with level 2 infantry corps without the disorganization penalty.

This is the reason the Barbarossa scenario is much tougher than the Grand Campaign as the Soviets. From my standpoint, the scenario set up is awful (but historically so.) And it throws away all that lovely armor...



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 9/25/2009 2:39:10 AM >

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 8:50:45 AM   
Anraz

 

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quote:

Germans can't even eliminate what Russia can produce each turn


Welcome to the East front



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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 11:11:06 AM   
Michael the Pole


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quote:

ORIGINAL: willgamer

Update 2 months later 1-July-1941 (normal difficulty)...

Russia gone wild! From the numbers, I think I must have stumbled into China!

Here's the side by side comparison of the forces just 2 months after the invasion:

Unit type/#German/#Russian
Inf. Div. 34/146
Inf. Cor. 39/90
Mch. Div. 0/25
Mch. Cor. 20/7
Arm. Div. 0/51
Arm. Cor. 12/3
Fighter 10/10
Tac. B. 12/10
Srt. B 0/2

Total Unit Strength: 621/931

Production: 441/444, Upkeep: 185/45 (~+140 Russian edge in net production)

Russian war economy: 167% (Are you kidding me.... result of war with Finland?)

Land/air unit research: level 3/level 2

Add to this 20% (higher to the north, lower to the south) cloud cover in July (=mud).

The Russian lines are 3 deep around cities.

Given that it often takes multiple attacks at 6 or 7-1 to actually kill a unit, the Germans can't even eliminate what Russia can produce each turn.

I'm definitely not one of the experts here, but something doesn't feel right!

Interesting analysis
I have said repeatedly that the soviet production curve is initially much too steep. The Sovs were only able to go on the offensive accross the entire front in '43-44. Until then (ie Stalingrad in 42) they were only able to mount a limited offensive on part of the front while holding on by their teeth in other areas.
We see the same thing in the AARs where the Soviets attack Germany in 1940 or 1941 without provocation. Couldn't possibly have happened. (Provocation = abrogation of M-R Pact, or inadiquate garrison of Eastern borders.)
The end result is currently ok, with the Germans being steam rolled by masses of Red Army units. The curve of red production is too abrupt-- it shouldnt take off until 1943. But the only chance the Germans had historicaly was to fight an error free campaign and destroy the Soviet Army by the end of the summer of 1942.
I think that the solution is to slow down the growth of Soviet war production. This is essentially a tweak and must be discovered by experimentation. All of you track toads out there! What you should be looking for is a real cliff hanger in 1941 and again in 1942--1943 is Kursk and the destruction of Army Group South.

< Message edited by Michael the Pole -- 9/25/2009 11:14:56 AM >


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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 11:36:59 AM   
Severian


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Have you any idea what is "soviet limited counteroffensive"? It's bigger than any Patton's 3rd Army offensive.

In winter 1941/42 there were plenty of big counteroffensives:

- Tikhvin Operation
- Rostov Operation
- Moscov Operation
- Kerch-Feodosiya amphibiuos assault
- Luban Operation
- Rzhev-Vyazma Operation
- Diemansk Operation
- Barwienkowo-Lozow Operation

In those operations only Zhukov lost 1.500.000 dead soldiers in 3 months, Konev in his army lost 341.000 soldiers of 346.000 at beginning. Each operation involved min. 3 armies (20-30 divisions and 5-10 armored brigades).

I must say that 1941 and 1942 were years when SU had millions of soldiers and lost millions. In 1943 situation wasn't better - in fact Red Army had mobilization crisis because over 70 millions of Soviet citizens were under German occupation. Red Army lost so many potential soldiers that even prisoners from Siberia had been taken to front in Strafbats (penalty battalions) and you say that in 1943 was the year of Soviet mobilization breakthrough?

< Message edited by Severian -- 9/25/2009 12:20:46 PM >


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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 12:40:21 PM   
Flaviusx


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As Severian says, Sovs launched front wide counteroffensives as early as winter 1941-2. (And indeed launched counteroffensives as early as late June/early July 1941 across most of the front, in accordance to their defense plan. These didn't work out so good, though.)

The game has actually much improved the Soviet economy, by drastically limiting it in the pre war period. It ramps up fast during wartime, but it's really hard now to build a humungous army with thousands of PP left in the kitty prior to that. So the German player has a chance and a short window to overwhelm the Sovs before the Big Red Mobilization Machine gets into gear. This seems about right to me.

You have to take maximum advantage of the disorginization period. (And the German AI needs to learn to not declare war on April 1941 and get stuck in mud...)

Edit: also, it is true that Soviet production was crippled in 1941, but this shouldn't be confused with mobilization. They were pumping out hundreds, and I literally mean hundreds, of rifle divisions in the first 6 months of the war. The numbers are fairly staggering. That's why they were able to bounce back from disasters in Kiev, Smolensk, and Orel/Vyazma. They could lose entire Fronts and have the losses replaced in weeks. That happened most spectacularly in front of Moscow during the Oct-Dec period.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 9/25/2009 12:48:05 PM >

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 12:46:51 PM   
Anraz

 

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quote:

I have said repeatedly that the soviet production curve is initially much too steep.
 
[..]

 
The curve of red production is too abrupt-- it shouldnt take off until 1943. But the only chance the Germans had historicaly was to fight an error free campaign and destroy the Soviet Army by the end of the summer of 1942.
 

Mike here you are Soviet GDP during ww2 [ counted in billion international dollars and 1990 prices http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II ]
 
1938 - 359, % of 1938 production: 100
1939 - 366, % of 1938 production: 102
1940 - 417, % of 1938 production: 116
1941 - 359, % of 1938 production: 100
1942 - 274, % of 1938 production: 76
1943 - 305, % of 1938 production: 85
1944 - 362, % of 1938 production: 101
1945 - 343, % of 1938 production: 95

< Message edited by Anraz -- 9/25/2009 12:52:31 PM >

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 5:50:39 PM   
willgamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anraz

quote:

Germans can't even eliminate what Russia can produce each turn


Welcome to the East front



Oh please! The condescension is not helpful.

I don't question the experts here who cite Russian hordes. I would question whether the game combat system allows for historical loss rates. However, the more serious problem IMHO is-

In the Barbarossa scenario, the USSR starts with a war economy of 65% and total unit strength of 465. In the same month and year (abeit 2 months after invasion), the war economy is 167%, the strength is 931.


Either the grand campaign or the scenario is broken.

I asked if the war in Finland might be the root cause of the problem. Are we saying that the critical strategy for the USSR is to go to war with Finland asap to maximize the war economy.

I should also mention the USSR SMP had been built up to 38. That's the ability to transport 38 inf. div./turn.

Is anyone seriously defending the German advances in the USSR being reduced to 1 hex to the East just 2 months after the invasion?




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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 7:00:51 PM   
Flaviusx


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An extended war with Finland could be a problem here, yeah. Perhaps the game engine should be modified to treat wars against minors differently than a war against a major power or coalition, and limit economic gains from limited wars.

That said, a Soviet players willing to abuse the Bolshevik Industrialization event could actually pump up his production handsomely even without going to war. But his national morale will be incredibly fragile if he does this.

One way to overcome the ant problem for the Germans: build your own ants and lots of them. You can actually get high odds attacks against scratch Soviet divisions with German divisions, and you'll have more APs to play with. Using big bad panzer corps for ant stopping is uneconomical. So, instead of running around with 12 motorized corps, reduce that number and give yourself some motorized divisions.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 7:49:34 PM   
Anraz

 

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quote:

One way to overcome the ant problem for the Germans: build your own ants and lots of them. You can actually get high odds attacks against scratch Soviet divisions with German divisions, and you'll have more APs to play with. Using big bad panzer corps for ant stopping is uneconomical. So, instead of running around with 12 motorized corps, reduce that number and give yourself some motorized divisions.


And this the very good tactic. Shield your wings with weak infantry units and push forward in chosen places, aim at key cities and/or try to make large pocket with enemy divisions inside. No more "ant" will bother you. Also do not hesitate and allow Soviet player to perform smaller counteroffensives while having impotent objects on the horizon.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 8:06:29 PM   
willgamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anraz

quote:

One way to overcome the ant problem for the Germans: build your own ants and lots of them. You can actually get high odds attacks against scratch Soviet divisions with German divisions, and you'll have more APs to play with. Using big bad panzer corps for ant stopping is uneconomical. So, instead of running around with 12 motorized corps, reduce that number and give yourself some motorized divisions.


And this the very good tactic. Shield your wings with weak infantry units and push forward in chosen places, aim at key cities and/or try to make large pocket with enemy divisions inside. No more "ant" will bother you. Also do not hesitate and allow Soviet player to perform smaller counteroffensives while having impotent objects on the horizon.


I'm utterly gobsmacked!

Are you saying that the official response to a USSR at 167% war effort and about twice the strength of the Axis in June '41 in the grand campaign, vastly different to the Barbarossa scenario, is: WAD!

Just WOW!

(WAD=Working As Designed)

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 9:30:35 PM   
Tomokatu


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quote:

while having impotent objects on the horizon
While I realise that it's an accidental confusion in a second language for the author and I really am not wanting to appear in any way critical or condemnatory, as a sometime creator of erotic art - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS IMAGERY!!
That's going to spark off a series of cartoons, that is.

Thank you, Anraz - you've made my weekend.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 9:42:36 PM   
Anraz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomokatu

quote:

while having impotent objects on the horizon
While I realise that it's an accidental confusion in a second language for the author and I really am not wanting to appear in any way critical or condemnatory, as a sometime creator of erotic art - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS IMAGERY!!
That's going to spark off a series of cartoons, that is.

Thank you, Anraz - you've made my weekend.


Now when I have relized it I cannot stop laughing either.


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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/25/2009 11:39:27 PM   
willgamer


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quote:


Now when I have relized it I cannot stop laughing either.



me too! LOL!

When you get ahold of yourself again, could you please answer the question in my previous post, is this WAD?

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/26/2009 11:23:15 PM   
Tomokatu


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quote:

When you get ahold of yourself again
Hoy! No need to encourage that sort of behaviour!

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 2:33:17 AM   
Flaviusx


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Some more playtesting data. Started a Barbarossa scenario as solo Sovs this weekend, am now in June 1942. Definitely harder than the Grand Campaign. I was pushed back to Leningrad/Novgorod/Smolensk/Bryansk/Kursk/Kharkov/Stalino before the snows hit. Had garrisons in Kiev and Odessa that held out through the winter. During the winter I was able to push back in the Ukraine to reestablish my front line at Odessa and Kiev, but am pretty sure a human player could've taken those places before the winter hit.

I knocked out Finland during the 1941-2 winter. Murmansk had to be heavily reinforced during summer 1941 to stop the Axis from taking it. You also need to put up a solid line of corps north of Leningrad to stop them at the isthmus. An active Finland definitely makes things harder for the Sovs.

I had to resort to a fairly drastic tactic: disbanded my entire airforce on the first turn in order to get the PP's necessary to build up the Red Army (and toss some points into research). I've never had more than 300 pp in the kitty at any time in this game. I disbanded a few of the armor corps, too, mostly the ones exposed at the front line on 22 June 1941 that I didn't think I could get out.

In fact, going into summer 1942 I still don't have an air force, heh. If I countinue the game I'll start building it up now, however. At least some fighters. The AI loves to bomb my armored corps, it's getting annying and expensive and unlike 1941, they are in the frontlines now and exposed.

Running around with about 85 infantry corps, 20 armored corps (not fully upgraded yet, maybe 2/3 are at level 3 armor), 5 motorized corps, and maybe 50 odd divisions scattered around. I had a lot more divisions earlier on, but have been gradually upgrading these to crops. Tech is at 3 for arty and armor, and 2 for airpower.

Situation is stabilized and I regard the war as being won at this point, although it will take a while to win it.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 5:39:07 PM   
Uxbridge


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Nice you made this test. It will help to tweak the 1939-scenario.

Any plans to reverse the process and play it from the German angle?

Did you notice if the 1941-scenario had the "Soviet shock effect"?

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 5:53:11 PM   
Flaviusx


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The shock effect was in place.

I might try out the Germans at some point, although I mostly play the Sovs, just a personal preference.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 6:46:36 PM   
Uxbridge


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All right.

I think it could be a point - in the 1939 grand scenario - to try and balance so that the USSR have about the same provisions in june 1941 as in the 1941-scenario. Clicking through the "1939" without doing any fighting, the USSR rose to over 2 000 PP before christmas-39, however, so some serious modding has to be made. It would of course be desirable that the Germans would also be at basically the same point in June 1941 as in the 1941-scenario, although, since they will be fighting their way there, its a little more difficult to achieve.

I'm going to raise the land warfare doctrine considerably for the Germans and lower their economy. I'm also going to raise the Soviets upkeep cost a lot and limiting their land warfare doctrine. In the light of those changes, maybe an initially strong Soviet economy isn't that bad. They must start low on research, though.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 7:23:49 PM   
willgamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uxbridge

All right.

I think it could be a point - in the 1939 grand scenario - to try and balance so that the USSR have about the same provisions in june 1941 as in the 1941-scenario. Clicking through the "1939" without doing any fighting, the USSR rose to over 2 000 PP before christmas-39, however, so some serious modding has to be made. It would of course be desirable that the Germans would also be at basically the same point in June 1941 as in the 1941-scenario, although, since they will be fighting their way there, its a little more difficult to achieve.

I'm going to raise the land warfare doctrine considerably for the Germans and lower their economy. I'm also going to raise the Soviets upkeep cost a lot and limiting their land warfare doctrine. In the light of those changes, maybe an initially strong Soviet economy isn't that bad. They must start low on research, though.



Excellent! (I was beginning to wonder if anyone else agreed there was even a problem. )

Just curious, are you a modder or doing this officially?

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/27/2009 7:51:19 PM   
Flaviusx


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From the Soviet viewpoint I'm always going to do better in the Grand Campaign than the Barbarossa scenario for two reasons:

1. I make it a point to knock out Finland early on and well before the Germans declare war. An active Finland in conjunction with Germany is a serious headache.

2. My setup against the initial German attack is vastly different than the Barbarossa one. The Barbarossa setup is perfectly historical, mind you. This is a case where hindsight is 20/20 and the well informed Soviet player will defend in depth and screen the border lightly with cheap and expendable speed bump units as opposed to the historical plan, since he knows, as the Sovs in real life didn't, that he's under a shock penalty in the initial period of war.

So there's only so much you can do to restrain the Soviet. We're just smarter than Stalin, bottom line.

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RE: Russia much tougher in 1.60? - 9/28/2009 8:01:26 PM   
Heras Little Helper

 

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I think Stalin is underestimated. I don't think he was caught flat-footed by Hitler so much as Hitler beat Stalin to the draw.

Soviet forces along the frontier were beginning to be assembled in offensive mode when the Nazis attacked. Stalin had been surprised by the rapidity of France's collapse, but had been preparing since the Winter War with Finland to attack Germany. He was desparate to keep Hitler friendly until he was ready to move, and that was the real reason for his appearent "What, Me Worry?" reaction to intelligence indicating a German attack was nigh.

I think Stalin intended to attack in the Spring of 1942, and to be ready for a German attack by the end of Autumn, 1941.

< Message edited by Heras Little Helper -- 9/28/2009 8:03:51 PM >

(in reply to Flaviusx)
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