OK, first, a few comments about my perspective of the campaign thus far.
First, this is my first PBEM campaign game, after playing one PBEM game of "Road to Leningrad". Have finished one GC vs the AI (on Normal, kind of a joke) which I started at the same time as the game against Ketza and have started a second (on Challenging, with 1.03, much more, uh, challenging...).
Ketza has played a great game, and has been very aggresive IMO. Initially I thought that his aggressive tactics were very risky, and that he would end up losing some of his spearhead units, but that did not prove to be the case... Why not? His most effective tactic in my view is how he creates "air pockets", ie pockets with virtually no units in the surrounding cordon, but simply a gap of 3-5 German controlled hexes that my Sov units cannot penetrate even without German defenders. This is rather frustrating to say the least, but it is what it is...
Of course Ketza's success has been augmented by some major blunders on my part. My biggest blunder has been to allow him to repeatedly surprise me--really surprise me--with the mobility of his units after the initial couple of turns. I'm guessing he is using HQ Buildup or whatever it is called, otherwise I don't see how his units can be advancing so far in single turns througout the summer and into the fall. I will have to look at his AAR after our game is over to see what he's been up to.
My second major blunder was my whole defensive architecture, although I've tried to fix that by adopting carpet and checkerboard tactics. While I abhor these tactics as gamey and unrealistic, it is the only way for the Sovs to survive 1941 IMO.
My third major blunder was being rather lazy/complacent about evacuating factories. Combined with my first blunder, this has cost me, we'll see how much as the game progresses.
As a result of these blunders, and his successful pocketing of massive quantities of units in the south in the initial turns, I have been on the run ever since, just hoping to survive. My major disappointments, losing Lgrad and Stalino, were both very well played by Ketza, who has exquisite timing--in both cases I was going to signficantly reinforce these areas the next turn, only to have Ketza swoop in. I can honestly say I was shocked at both his cutting off of Lgrad and his coup de main on Stalino.
Things have more or less settled down now, and I was actually surprised by the limpness of his attacks on Turn 22, I expected him to attempt a major push on Moscow before the blizzard and was not looking foward to seeing what he had been able to do on that turn! Maybe his units are now finally exhausted, or maybe the hammer will fall on Turn 23, we'll see, although I think at this point any major push gets fairly risky/pointless for him, but perhaps he will surprise me again.
I'll give some thoughts on blizzard intentions in the next post, although am a bit concerned about tipping my hand (not that I think Ketza would look, but some well-intentioned reader could cue him, even unintentionally...). In any events, I will have some questions, etc. about how to do things in the blizzard.
< Message edited by 76mm -- 3/16/2011 8:21:38 AM >