From: Southern California
His fort lines are continually expanding backwards, but by now I am generally up against Level 2s, which don't seem to help him much. I almost always have more than 10 engineer points (sometimes almost 20) and 4-5k art tubes in my attacks, and the forts just seem to melt away.
That screen shot is pre-recon. After getting burned so many times, I am pretty religious about recon, and this turn found 17 of his PDs: four near Stalino, three south of Kharkov, five north of Kharkov, and five near Kursk. So they are pretty spread around, and are almost all on the front line or one hex back. Interestingly, this turn, none of the PDs were committed in reserve, I don't know if he took them off reserve status or what.
One thing I'm noticing in my battles: he is taking massive losses to his artillery; every time he loses, he loses 25-33% of his tubes. Seems a bit excessive, is this WAD? I guess it represents counter-battery fire by my massed arty? I've got to think this will really cripple his CVs before too long?
The heavy artillery losses are partially the result of your incredible gun superiority, but also due in large part to the way retreats are handled in this game. It has always worked this way for any game that gets to this point -- you are in driver's seat now for sure. Although the rolling level 2s probably will prevent you from actually turning your armor loose in his rear and restrict you to deliberate attacks, they won't stop you cold. Just keep picking at that scab and don't let it heal up.
I do think the losses are too severe on retreats. It makes it very difficult to balance things out like, say armament production on the Axis side. Once the Axis gets into a negative feedback loop, even the most drastic economies might not be good enough and in extreme situations will become a production bottleneck...and manpower will accumulate. (Tarhunnas knows all about this...)
WitE Alpha Tester