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RE: Another waste of money

 
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RE: Another waste of money - 1/24/2011 12:09:39 AM   
RCH


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I'm new to the game and am now in august '42 having survived my first winter. It was brutal. I didn't prepare properly, but I did have a somewhat linear line (no salients) this has a huge plus. I ended up falling back 100 or so miles and even further in the south. It all looked hopeless, but I hung out. The panzers are no good in the blizzard and I only used them to plug holes and when they were attacked it was brutal. I had one panzer division in decent shape when the blizzard ended the rest were really depleted. I almost had some divisions captured, but was able to get them all pulled back. When the blizzard was over the Reds were overextended and I was able to counter attack and push them back a hex or two. I only had two German divisions rout and that was during the last blizzard turn.

I don't mind the historical accuracy, that first blizzard was brutal. These blizzard moves are not for the weak of stomach, it is a nail biter.

My only concern is with the ability of the Axis to win. Sure the Soviets grew into a powerful force, but the Germans made too many deliberate mistakes and really beat themselves. I hope this game reflects the chances the Germans would have had if they had made better decisions like not letting the 6th army get cut off and destroyed.

In my game I think I am done for. I didn't get enough Red casualties in '41. Still fun though.

(in reply to James Ward)
Post #: 121
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/24/2011 12:31:51 PM   
alfonso

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian
One thing people continue to fail to realize is that the decisions not to send winter clothes and winterizing equipment was Hitler's directive for supplies/ammo/fuel to take priority to push in Nov/Dec


I am reading this thread with much interest. Which Hitler'a directive is that? Do you know the number or date?

(in reply to abulbulian)
Post #: 122
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/24/2011 2:12:49 PM   
Klydon


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Interesting thread.

Couple points of interest as my 2 cents from the cheap seats.

The Germans did a lot of theory prewar on tactics, etc. Almost all of this type of training and doctrine dealt with offensive options. The only non-offensive option that was glossed over was "hold". There was no training or doctrine developed for fighting with drawl or retreats. The Germans were not prepared to fight a defensive battle in 1941.

The Germans did not anticipate what would happen to their equipment in the severe cold. It caused a lot of losses to start with and when units were forced to move, immobilized equipment had to be left behind, further increasing losses. This is one of the reasons there was a stark contrast in combat ability of units that got pushed back during the winter and those that were able to hold their same position for the entire winter. In addition, the Germans were "tenderfoots" in the weather. They had no real practical knowledge at first on how to deal with the elements on a even very basic level. They had solders die from exposure just going to the latrine because they didn't know any better. This was especially true in the Artic. The Finns were able to help their allies there by establishing a school where German officers and NCO's were sent for training to learn the basics of survival in such cold weather.  Horses died by the thousands due to the elements because it was not known what to do to care for them in such weather. The troops were also looking for food, but it had an effect on the mobility of units. The Germans had to learn all this as they went along and things tended to get better as the winter went along (Game does model this.. December is the worst for effects and then it ramps down each month, but it is still nasty).

According to some of the information I have, the Germans generally had no shelter where operations had been mobile. The Russians had employed scorched earth tactics and no buildings were left standing and even the chimneys were destroyed. Prepared positions/shelters would have made a difference compared to being outside in nothing.

Speaking of prepared positions, one of the issues the Russians had was an almost total lack of artillery to break down German strong points. When/where the Germans had managed to dig in, the Russians had great difficulty breaking those positions due to lack of artillery and because the tanks were spread so thin across the front under orders from Stalin to conduct a general offensive across the entire front.

Finally, I also agree that the game seems to have an issue in that the Soviets are able to correct one of their biggest mistakes (fighting for every inch of ground and having massive casualties instead of retreating like crazy during 1941) while the Germans can't (continued offensive operations even into blizzard instead of digging in and preparing a winter line).


(in reply to alfonso)
Post #: 123
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/24/2011 4:25:41 PM   
Offworlder

 

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@ Klydon - fully agree. Essentially the Axis are tied to historical outcome while the Russians aren't.

We also have to remember that the Russians actually suffered heavy casualties in the '41 counteroffensive and that incidentally, it had already begun before the onset of the blizzard (Rostov in the south). They suffered losses simply because they had to endure the cold on the offensive, which is just as bad as for the foreigner who was sitting in a trench or bunker.

(in reply to Klydon)
Post #: 124
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/24/2011 6:40:14 PM   
alfonso

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

@ Klydon - fully agree. Essentially the Axis are tied to historical outcome while the Russians aren't.



If I have understood correctly the rationale provided by "Soviet players", that is because the Russian decision to fight, or fly, can be taken after June 22, and the German "decision" to be unprepared for Winter was taken before that date.

(in reply to Offworlder)
Post #: 125
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/24/2011 7:21:25 PM   
Zemke_4


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I would have started a PBEM by now, but after playing the CG against the AI and re-starting four times, thinking, "I must be doing something wrong here", but after my fourth game playing as the Germans and making it through the 41 winter into the Summer, I just hate how the game handles winter. I have two WitP games going and cannot afford to commit the time to a PBEM game that I strongly disagree with how the 41 winter is handled.

I think the Blizzard mechanic in the game is too simplistic and is used to balance the game.

I hate the entire idea that literally in one turn the German Army goes from Hero to Zero.

But in fairness, this is one of the few Eastern Front games where you can match or exceed the historical rates of advance.

< Message edited by Zemke_4 -- 1/24/2011 7:22:43 PM >


_____________________________

"Actions Speak Louder than Words"
"Give me liberty, or give me death"
"Pass the salt, please"

(in reply to abulbulian)
Post #: 126
RE: Another waste of money - 1/24/2011 7:26:33 PM   
Zemke_4


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The game is fun. I play it (against the AI) while waiting on my opponent to send the file in two WitP:AE PBEM games.

_____________________________

"Actions Speak Louder than Words"
"Give me liberty, or give me death"
"Pass the salt, please"

(in reply to RCH)
Post #: 127
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/26/2011 7:25:54 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kid

Most of my units are above 75% experience.


Unless you are talking about Morale and not Experience, I find this extremely hard to believe. Even units who are not involved in any combat are down to 40-50% of TOE post Blizzard. Once they build up, the experience of the Rifle and Support Squads (who seem to suffer the most from Winter attrition) are in the 40's due to the number of replacements.

Experience at above 75% either means you avoided attrition entirely, or your units are still stuck at 40-50 TOE.

< Message edited by MechFO -- 1/26/2011 7:27:09 PM >

(in reply to Kid)
Post #: 128
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/26/2011 7:34:08 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: el hefe

I'd like to add that two factors in which no one seems to acknowledge was the inadequate German defensive doctrine that was basically a slightly modified World War One concept with little innovation and Soviet complete tactical and strategic surprise. The Germans spent thirty years in developing the classic modern mobile warfare but almost completely neglected their own defensive doctrine which was totally inadequate and incapable of being employed in Russia. The Germans conducted very little defensive training and conducted very few major defensive operations in the thirty years since World War One. It was the defeats during the Soviet counteroffensive combined with Hitler's stand-fast orders that saw the development of the strongpoint defense backed by reserves. The strongpoint defense, which became a German staple for the rest of the war, had no precedent in German doctrine until this winter.


Strongpoints are nothing new, in fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any major defensive doctrinal advance by ANYBODY after WWI. Strongpoints are an economy of force measure, and the Germans were compelled to use it for that reason alone, regardless of preferences.

Thanks for the link, looks interesting.

EDIT: should of course be WWI not WWII in the first sentence.

< Message edited by MechFO -- 1/26/2011 8:36:28 PM >

(in reply to el hefe)
Post #: 129
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/26/2011 7:52:29 PM   
Offworlder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: alfonso

quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

@ Klydon - fully agree. Essentially the Axis are tied to historical outcome while the Russians aren't.



If I have understood correctly the rationale provided by "Soviet players", that is because the Russian decision to fight, or fly, can be taken after June 22, and the German "decision" to be unprepared for Winter was taken before that date.


No one mentioned any players I'm looking at the game. What I'm saying is that as a Soviet player I can have several choices - fight or run in '41, attack in blizzard or husband my strength to meet the Axis on equal terms in spring and basically design my army as I deem fit.

As the Axis, one does not have that luxury. Reinforcements are fixed. The Minor Allies tend to be next to useless because they were supposedly 'inflexible' and weak. TO&Es are fixed as well. But what the basic problem is that in '41, an Axis player has only one choice - continue to advance. It is useless being prudent because anything you do will be wiped out by the effects of the blizzard. A prudent strategy will not pay off as the Axis, meaning that a player has no options even in '42. So basically continue advancing, wipe out as many Soviet units as possible and damage its economy in the process. A step by step approach like WWI can't be adopted for example, because whatever you do, you'll suffer a million casualties even by sitting still.

Basically what I'm saying is that a player can test any sort of what if scenario in the game with the Soviets, but is pretty much tied down to suffering the same fate as the Axis did during the war due to things that are out of the control of the player. Fact is that both sides have their fun side to them but one feels a bit like a lego while the other is much more straight jacketed.

(in reply to alfonso)
Post #: 130
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/26/2011 8:15:12 PM   
Senno

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder


quote:

ORIGINAL: alfonso

quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

@ Klydon - fully agree. Essentially the Axis are tied to historical outcome while the Russians aren't.



If I have understood correctly the rationale provided by "Soviet players", that is because the Russian decision to fight, or fly, can be taken after June 22, and the German "decision" to be unprepared for Winter was taken before that date.


No one mentioned any players I'm looking at the game. What I'm saying is that as a Soviet player I can have several choices - fight or run in '41, attack in blizzard or husband my strength to meet the Axis on equal terms in spring and basically design my army as I deem fit.

As the Axis, one does not have that luxury. Reinforcements are fixed. The Minor Allies tend to be next to useless because they were supposedly 'inflexible' and weak. TO&Es are fixed as well. But what the basic problem is that in '41, an Axis player has only one choice - continue to advance. It is useless being prudent because anything you do will be wiped out by the effects of the blizzard. A prudent strategy will not pay off as the Axis, meaning that a player has no options even in '42. So basically continue advancing, wipe out as many Soviet units as possible and damage its economy in the process. A step by step approach like WWI can't be adopted for example, because whatever you do, you'll suffer a million casualties even by sitting still.

Basically what I'm saying is that a player can test any sort of what if scenario in the game with the Soviets, but is pretty much tied down to suffering the same fate as the Axis did during the war due to things that are out of the control of the player. Fact is that both sides have their fun side to them but one feels a bit like a lego while the other is much more straight jacketed.


Yeah, I don't believe Soviet commanders could custom build their units during the early phases of WW2. I am aware that they could and did attach massive amounts of Artillery, such as Zhukov did in the attack on Berlin. They took what they were given and were damned happy about it or to the Gulag they went.

So, even with German production restraints, I don't quite see why we can't design the German support units as well. It's amazing custom ability on the Soviet side, and a K car on the other. Do you want the Custom Shelby or the Chrysler K car? I know what I want....

(in reply to Offworlder)
Post #: 131
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/26/2011 8:24:34 PM   
sanderz

 

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Extract from a book called "War on the Eastern Front - The German soldier in Russia 1941-45" by James Lucas

..... severe night frosts made it almost impossible for men who were not clad in warm, protective clothing to remain out in the open. No strong line of field fortifications had been constructed into which the army might retire during the coming winter ......


just want to add my voice to those that would like to see at least some mitigation of blizzard effects for troops that are dug in


as an aside the book also had:-
a) some extracts from German field manuals on how to construct an igloo - however it was apparantly unpopular with German Troops
b) a nice map showing all the major encirclements (17) with troops, guns and tanks lost
c) there was also a section on the effect of the winter on the Russions, one section reads "The village which the German garrison was holding was stormed by red infantry in attacks which lasted from first light until twilight and each was flung back. The assults continued as twilight turned to dusk and as the night drew nearer the assults betrayed a desperate urgency on the part of the russian soldiers. It was clear to the Germans that the real reason for the Russian fury was the need to secure wind proof warm billets"


(in reply to Offworlder)
Post #: 132
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/27/2011 10:01:46 AM   
EisenHammer


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The Germans suffer around 3.200 causalities a day between the beginning of Dec 41 to the end of Feb 42. That's a totally causalities of over 300.000 in 3 months or over a 100.000 causalities a month, not a 100.000 a week like in WitE has going on now.
Only the Russian army can survive causalities of over a 100.000 a week, and recover from it.

The Number of causalities the germans suffer to the end of February of 1942 is 394,000 Killed (44,000 in February), 725,000 wounded, 14,000 captueed, 46,000 missing and 112,000 frostbite and sickness.

(in reply to sanderz)
Post #: 133
RE: MY 2 CENTS WORTH - 1/27/2011 11:54:59 PM   
Klydon


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The decisions made regarding the first winter are going to be very tough to get correct I think.

We only have historical data from the one campaign to fall back on. The Germans digging into deep prepared entrenchments (level 3-4) across much of the front and "preparing for winter" is a what if situation that no one really knows how it would have worked out in terms of German casualties due to the winter. There are some other things that change up the question as well like what sort of shape is the Red Army in and how aggressive are they in terms of attacking during blizzard? The condition of the German army must be looked at as well considering it will likely be either weaker or stronger than historical.

The model must take into account all ranges of the variables, but in the end it is going to be a guess.

Consider historically:

Red army took massive losses (most games so far do not feature the Red Army being weaker than what was historical)
German army took a fair number of casualties and had issues with logistics across much of the front. (I think the German casualties are a bit under from what I have seen, especially in terms of tanks considering supposedly the Germans only had 140 running tanks on the entire front in March, I have not really seen any German player with under 1k tanks for example).
The Germans had no positions prepared (IE dug in really well) across much of the front. In some positions they were better prepared than others. (Mostly AGS, especially to the south where the front did not move from the first part of December after the Germans had fallen back on the Mius after the retreat from Rostov).

Any game simulation has to deal with:

A stronger than historical Red army (although I supposed it would be possible to have a weaker than historical one as well)
Likely a stronger than historical German army (although it is possible to be weaker)
The effect of "preparing for winter" by the Germans with the digging in they can do. This last part is probably going to be a lot of conjecture, likely to be more of an opinion than anything else from the standpoint that there should be a difference in attrition between a German that let it all hang out as they did historically and got caught in the open with no prepared positions and not much in the way of supplies, etc vs a German that is in better shape in terms of strength/logistics/prepared positions, etc.

Now, I know the staff has done a tremendous amount of research for this game, etc and I don't even know if this information exists anyplace, but perhaps a feel can be developed by looking at loss reports at different areas of the front. The worst is probably going to be in the AGC area. The best would likely be in the south, especially those troops along the Mius. This approach may help give a range between the two extremes (rested troops dug in prepared positions vs troops spent caught in the open with few supplies) to work with.

Been thinking about this the last several days and had to get it off my chest.

(in reply to EisenHammer)
Post #: 134
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