Here are some basic guidelines that beginners may find useful and use as a basis to develop their own preferences. They are aimed at preserving and rebuilding a decent red army during the first season of the game - from june 1941 to the mud season. They work in pbem but I'm pretty sure that there is ample room for optimization or alternate doctrines.
1. Appoint one new leader (cost 10-20 aps). Appoint the best ones (good stat in Administration with decent stats in Inf and Ini) to Front hqs and then, when every active front has a decent commander, take care of the armies, and last of the air hqs. Start working on the more threatened sectors. Usually Leningrad, Western. Put very good leaders for armies that defend critical sectors. After 3 months, no active army should be commanded by an inf 4 leader anymore.
2. Disband a few corps hqs (cost 15-25 aps) and inefficient SUs (motorcycles rgts). This will free up a bunch of support squads, and vehicles.
3. Equip the army hqs with at least 2 Construction bns (cost 10 aps).
1. Send all the airforce to the national reserve (via the CDR report, it will spare mouseclicks). You will start rebuilding it on a more rational basis in the autumn. In the meantime, the aircrafts are better in shelters.
2. Evacuate all the air bases to the rear (ie at least 12 hexes from the frontline).
3. In september, you can start rebuilding it, so that it is ready for the winter offensive.
4. Seven airbases for each front. 1 VVS (half recon, half transport aircrafts). 2 IAP/IAD (fighter bombers - only Yaks,MiGs and LaGG). 2 SAD (1 with U2VS for night harassment - close to the front - and 1 with IL2 for assault). 2 BAD (mostly with pe2 level bombers).
5. Give 1 PVO rgt to every Air HQ. Lock.
6. Disband unused airbases and HQs.
7. When armies are correctly staffed, give a good leader (Air value>5) to all air HQs starting with those in most critical sectors
1. Let Shaposhnikov run the Stavka.
2. Starting from turn 1, have a vision of the succession of front sectors you want from the baltic to the black sea. Do your absolute best to avoid overlapping sectors and stacks of frontline units responding to different hqs. If necessary and critical, spend a few aps to change the hq affiliation of frontline units and sort the mess out. In the first turns chaos, it won't always be possible so use common sense.
3. Keep the armies under their command limit (24 points). A good all-around basic composition for regular armies is 9-10 infantry divisions (20 pts), 2 tank brigades (2 pts) that will be transformed in a tank corps in due time with an extra tank bde. This way, you have a 20-22 pt army.
4. Give each front 3 to 5 armies. Some front-level overloading is unavoidable. Keep it low. If you use the 20 points army model, you may have 4 such armies per front with some overloading (80 points vs 72). The optimal distribution of force would be 3x24 points armies per front hq but active hqs are way too rare to allow that. During the winter, Volkhov and Transcaucasus front hqs will be activated, alleviating the burden.
5. Do not give armies to Kharkov MD hq. For some reason, it will be disbanded and its armies will be switched to South-Ural Front that is an Eastern map border static hq and you will lose the benefits of an in-range front HQ. (an annoying bug imho).
1. My replacement policy is to strengthen as many frontline divisions as possible (vs using frontline divisions as expendable cannon fodder and putting all manpower and replacements in new divisions). Select all units in CDR report, sort them by hq and put on refit all those that are not stavka. It has two advantages 1/ the frontline will be stronger (but be smart and try to detect upcoming encirclements because pockets will hurt more) and 2/ it maximizes the xp gains. It is common to have 3-5 guard rifle divisions as early as september.
2. The drawback of this policy is that the arriving divisions will be completely depleted and need a longer time to grow to full TOE. Keep these new divisions under Stavka, out of harm way (unload them from the train 10 hexes away from the front sector where you want them, in a town or a city).
3. Build "ghost armies". Bunch together a free HQ and 9-12 rifle divisions. The rear areas must be kept clean and orderly. These reinforcing divisions are perfect to build fortified lines in the rear (Vyazma line, Luga line, Tula line etc). But do not insert these in the command structure until the last moment - there may be emergencies. Keep in mind that putting a unit in command from stavka is free but transferring a unit to another command costs aps.
1. Balance the rail points allocation between divisions movement and factory evacuation. 2. Always spend all the rail points.
3. Check the cities (in rail mode, click the factory symbol, they will be highlighted in red) one by one, starting by the westernmost and most threatened, and evacuate one or two city every turn.
4. Be prudent : large cities (Leningrad, Kharkov) will require 2 or 3 turns to evacuate. And don't forget the towns. While most towns only provide manpower, some (Taganrog...) have factories.
1. Airborne brigades. Preserve them (ie construction duty or stack them to keep absolutely critical hexes. (3 ab bde = 1 rifle guard div)
2. Tank divs. Avoid putting them on the frontline, keep them 1 hex in the rear in reserve mode. Do not expect miracles.
3. NKVD rgts. Rail them to the finnish border. Hand them over to Stavka control. Use as border guards.
4. Motorized divs. Disband them - enjoy the extra vehicles.
5. Corps hqs. Disband them - less clutter, preserved SUs.
6. Fortified regions. Keep the existing. Do not create new ones unless unable to prevent finnish sprawling east of Ladoga.
1. In each army HQ : at least 2 Construction bns (for roleplay reason, I do not build RR brigades this early in the game). 2-4 artillery (mix the types : guns, howitzers, mortars to hammer the opfor at different ranges).
2. Keep the scheme simple. When armament production is lavish, you will start having more sophisticated army support schemes (tank bns, sapper rgts, skis bns, etc).Lock.
3. In each front HQ : 1 RR construction bde, 1 PVO rgt. Lock.
4. Set the stavka support level to 0. Support units are needed at the frontline, not in Moscow.
1. Have a vision and develop it turn after turn.
2. You may panic but never give up.
My two cents .
< Message edited by Kelblau -- 3/13/2011 7:52:15 AM >