Turn 69 complete, disasterous turn...
Even though there were no mobile units at, or as far as I can tell near, the front line in the Crimea last turn, several turned up last turn and he was able to push aside pretty significant defenses and race all the way to Sevastopol, taking it and isolating my entire army in the area, here is the situation at the end of the turn:
I have to say that I was shocked by this move, and a bit angry...I basically have no means of defense against this kind of attack other than to completely turtle over the entire front, and not try any offensive moves whatsoever. I am extremely frustrated by his ability to move significant forces without me being able spot them, and whatever frontline defenses I can erect he penetrates for one hex, and then can punch through as many mobile forces as he has, and then my units are dead. My two rifle corps in this pocket? Reduced to zero combat power. Aside from the ability to move units around undetected by me, another key source of his success is that he is great at "herding" my units so that they retreat where he wants them to, thus opening up avenues of advance.
Just so that you understand my level of frustration with my recon "assets", here are two screen shots of bases with lots of recon planes that simply won't fly to recon hexes 8-10 hexes away. Other parts of the front are similar. Right now I have absolutely no idea where most of his panzers are, which is a disaster waiting to happen:
Moreover, even when recon units fly, they don't find anything. Meanwhile, for me to conduct an attack, I need to assemble massive piles of units that he cannot avoid spotting in his recon, so it is impossible for me to pull off a surprise.
This is an official whine, I am extremely frustrated.
In any event, I started an attack near Kharkov with my Shock and Reserve Fronts, and had two of three attacks succeed:
My losses in these attacks were heavy.
I have been tracking the OOB strengths for the last few turns, and his strength in Inf, tanks, and arty has grown, only planes have shrunk slightly.
I am not optimistic at all about progress in the mid-term; I won't make any progress against his front-wide fortifications until I have a lot more corps, and I can't create very many more corps unless I create quite a few more divisions, because I need a certain amount of divs to simply hold the line.
I read somewhere that rifle corps become cheaper in 1943, is that correct? When? How much cheaper? What about tank corps? If that is true I will probably focus on creating more divs in the next several turns.
I guess I am kind of tired of hearing about about German players can't do anything in 1942, I think Ketza is doing rather well, and I don't see why other German players can't do the same. I actually have pretty significant reserves, but not everywhere, and due to his recon ability, he can pick where I am weak, dash in, encircle an army or two, wipe them out in one turn before I can react, and then retreat. At this point, I don't think it is realistic that my units always surrender after being surrounded for one turn, and this is also very frustrating.
Finally, a few words about the air war. I've already mentioned recon, which I think needs to be fixed somehow. Really I can't find entire panzer armies? I have no idea where they are? Doesn't sound right to me. In an effort to stop the massive air losses I've been taking, I've been bombing his airbases for the last three turns, with very strange results. As mentioned in my previous post, two turns ago, I had fair success, last turn it was a small disaster, and then this turn again I had pretty favorable results. But the thing which is bizarre is that when I bomb his bases, regardless of what type of planes are there, or the number of defending fighters, etc., about 95% of his losses are utility aircraft. This turn I destroyed almost 190 of his recon planes, vs a handful of fighters and bombers. While I am glad to destroy as many of his recon aircraft as possible, it seems pretty odd that so many of his losses are concentrated in this type.