From: Birkerod, Denmark
There is a surfeit of information about what the Axis can/should do on turn 1. Many, many threads.
However, I cannot find much at all about what the Soviets should be doing on turn 1. I've read through quite a bit, and there are a few threads out there talking about some details, but very little in the form of "Here is the Idiots Guide to what to do..."
Have any of the experienced Soviet players come up with anything? Nothing super detailed, but even just a general idea of how to start re-organizing the Red Army? I would MUCH rather see a basic, but complete guide rather than a lot of detail about very particular issues.
Example: I've read some threads arguing the merits of building one type of construction unit versus another - but they don't say much of anything about why you should be building construction units to begin with! Or how many! Or where. Or where building them fits into the priority queue.
Some specific questions:
1. I've heard that people often stick the Red Air Force into reserve. OK, but what do you do with the airbases then, that are now empty? Just disband them? Move them somewhere?
2. Can someone give me a basic rundown on the Soviet command structure? Corps - Armies - Front - Military Districts? How do they all fit together? What is the relationship between a Front and a MD in the game? The Germans are so much simpler!
I am pretty comfortable with the futile effort to throw crappy units in front of the Germans. I've been playing wargames long enough to figure out that part. But organizing the Red Army...that seems a lot harder. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Getting back to some of the original questions.
Just bear in mind that I'm not exactly an experienced player, so this is just what I've picked up along the way.
The reason for building construction-units is to help the divisions in the army to dig-in.
The basic Sov Army HQ (for me, at least) contains 4 How Regiments, a Sapper Regiment and 2-3 RR brigades.
Meaning that every single army that has combat-units attached gets the above before I start thinking about adding anything else.
It keeps the whole reorganizing a little more manageable if you have a 'standard' army to build on.
The command structure is actually simpler than it might look at first glance.
Corps -> Army -> Front/MD -> STAVKA.
Note that MDs and Fronts function in the same way. The only difference is that MDs are static, and only half the size (36 CPs compared to 72 for Armies).
As for the Corps, I disband everyone except the mech HQs.
It's not so much a question of whether it's better to have the manpower or not, I just can't get organized with 60+ HQs getting displaced all over the frontline.
Only reason I keep the Mech ones is that anything with wheels/tracks gets pulled back to Leningrad/Moscow/Smolensk/Kharkov, where they either get set to static to gain APs, or get organized into a mobile reserve.
Which means that the few HQs doesn't clutter the front, and hence they keep their jobs a little longer.
What I've failed to do in the two CGs I'm currently in, is take a quick look at the reinforcement-schedule (Hotkey i) and make a note as to where and when the Army and Front HQs appear.
Planning to do so in the future, since it'll help getting things organized without having to move units to and fro.
As to the whole aircraft thingie....(note the professional expression ;o))
I'm a little clueless to be honest. I've also read that sending the entire VVS back to the reserve is the 'optimal' thing to do, but I just can't bear leaving the skies completely denuded.
So what I do is first use the 'Air commitment' buttons to get things a little more organized, and then start with the high XP units when upgrading to new models. Usually means that by the time the mud hits, my fighters are all flying post-1920 aircraft.
No idea whether this is good or bad play, but I'm honestly more concerned with having fun than optimal play.
The SU trick of setting anything but STAVKA to 0, and having STAVKA set at 9 is a good idea, though.
Clears out all of the chaff from the lower HQs without using APs.
Some people then take STAVKA on a railroad tour of the Russian countryside, and manually attach SUs to Armies in order to save APs.
Too much nitpicking for my taste to be honest. I'd rather attach from STAVKA to the nearer HQs (Western, Reserve and Bryansk Fronts), and then spend APs getting the SUs to the rest of the Armies.
All a matter of how much micro-management you're willing to cope with I guess.
Final disclaimer: I'm getting creamed in both my CGs, so take the above advice with some caution.
And also, despite all the threads on opening moves and optimal play, remember the idea is to have fun doing it.
"Something is always wrong, Baldrick. The fact that I'm not a millionaire aristocrat with the sexual capacity of a rutting rhino is a constant niggle"
- Edmund Blackadder