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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza)

 
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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/17/2011 8:27:23 AM   
Encircled


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If its any consolation, I don't enjoy it either!


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/17/2011 9:13:21 AM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled

If its any consolation, I don't enjoy it either!



You are not alone

Panzer Corps has a nice 'swap units' key that would help here

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/30/2011 1:29:52 PM   
76mm


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Sorry the the long delay. During summer in Moscow, it is hard to focus on computer games, too much going on!

Anyway, after creating and destroying the pocket, Ketza immediately pulled back, very smart move. Here is the scene on Turn 67:



Certainly a heavy blow, but nothing catastrophic. That said, I really need to get some offensives underway to avoid completely handing him the initiative.

So on Turn 68, I've got my Shock and Reserve Fronts, along with some other units, deployed in front of Kharkov to push him back a bit. I've got about thirty rifle corps by now, but only a few of them have gotten much action. Anyway, here is shot from the end of Turn 68:


The big risk with this kind of offensive is putting all of my best troops up front where they can be pocketed, but I've taken what should be effective countermeasure to preclude any pockets (in this area).

The air war is driving me crazy. After suffering 10-20x losses for the last several turns, last turn I tried bombing the crap out of his airfields, and got good results, at least until the computer sent up 170 bombers without an escort, and I lost about 120 of them. This turn, the results were generally negligible (and I had the same kind of problem with unescorted bombers.

And that's not even getting into the fact that my recon planes simply refuse to fly into the area south of Stalino (their air base is only about 8 hexes away), and elsewhere recon results are less than satisfying, I really have no idea where most of his panzers are.

For this reason, I am very nervous about most of the front, where I have generally stripped it to one-two units deep, along with generally one reserve army per front. I think that if he wanted to he could create a number of smallish pockets by dispersing his panzers around the front, but we'll see what happens.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 6:11:30 PM   
76mm


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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.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 7:04:55 PM   
Flaviusx


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76mm, try to maximize the numbers of non U-2 recon regiments. If you've got Pe2Rs in the pool, convert some of the U2s to those. And some of the older prewar recon planes are actually preferable as well. The SB-2 recon plane has excellent range.

Put these types in bases well behind the front lines, and well defended by fighters. They can stage to a forward airbase and still fly deep into the German rear areas.

The U2 recon plane is absolute crap. Actually, the U2 is crap period, in any variant. If it were up to me I'd blow up every U2 factory in the Soviet Union...

Rifle corps construction costs go down to 10 APs in 43. I personally don't think it's cost effective to make many rifle corps in 42, particularly before the October 42c TOE. They go up dramatically in power from that point forward. The early ones are not amazing.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 7/31/2011 7:06:31 PM >


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 8:05:26 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
Rifle corps construction costs go down to 10 APs in 43. I personally don't think it's cost effective to make many rifle corps in 42, particularly before the October 42c TOE. They go up dramatically in power from that point forward. The early ones are not amazing.


Good info, thanks, does the cost go down as of Jan 1943? What about tank corps? If the info in the manual is correct I will check there, but somehow I suspect it has changed.

Thanks also for the info about the recon planes. I have not converted any, and I think that almost all of my recon aircraft are U2s, but some of them seem to fly, and some don't. I will try to look more closely at this next turn, I assumed that the U2s could at least do recon at 8-10 hexes but maybe the recon planes that are flying are in fact something else.


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 8:15:34 PM   
Encircled


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The R-10 isn't bad, and you have plenty of them

With the air war, it does pay to micro-manage, though its a massive pain in the backside

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 8:24:24 PM   
Klydon


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Hang in there bud. It was a superb move by Ketza. It was not like you were being careless, although the only question I have is I wonder if you had anything in Sevastopol itself as that was not real clear, etc.

Sounds like good advice on the recon to help you out. The U2 is basically worthless and only good for bonfires to keep the troops warm. It really has bad range so that may well be much of your issues. I also think Ketza is being careful with his panzers and doing what he can to hide them from you to keep you guessing.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 8:25:42 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Rifle corps construction costs go down to 10 APs in 43. I personally don't think it's cost effective to make many rifle corps in 42, particularly before the October 42c TOE. They go up dramatically in power from that point forward. The early ones are not amazing.



They are if seen from the German perspective

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 8:55:46 PM   
Encircled


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I'm assuming that you do this amount of recon every turn?

Or try to?



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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 9:06:06 PM   
sveint


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Don't fight in the Crimea.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 7/31/2011 9:38:48 PM   
Pawlock

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

76mm, try to maximize the numbers of non U-2 recon regiments. If you've got Pe2Rs in the pool, convert some of the U2s to those. And some of the older prewar recon planes are actually preferable as well. The SB-2 recon plane has excellent range.

Put these types in bases well behind the front lines, and well defended by fighters. They can stage to a forward airbase and still fly deep into the German rear areas.

The U2 recon plane is absolute crap. Actually, the U2 is crap period, in any variant. If it were up to me I'd blow up every U2 factory in the Soviet Union...

Rifle corps construction costs go down to 10 APs in 43. I personally don't think it's cost effective to make many rifle corps in 42, particularly before the October 42c TOE. They go up dramatically in power from that point forward. The early ones are not amazing.




+1

may also worth considering converting some of your U2 transports to Li's or 1 or 2 TB3. As Flaviusx said U2's are crap in any form and they have no range.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/1/2011 3:24:05 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled

I'm assuming that you do this amount of recon every turn?

Or try to?



haha, I can't get anything like that number of recon flights. While in most parts of the front I can conduct a fair number of flights, they don't seem to find anything. Moreover, conducting the recon flights takes forever; even if I set the combat reports to zero, each flight probably takes me the better part of a minute, it is really time-consuming and tedious. I've tried auto-recon but wasn't really happy with the results.

I did not have anything in Sevastopol, but frankly since it had been an "infantry" front for some time, and the front was pretty strongly held, I didn't how he could possibly reach that far in one turn. Before everyone starts with the 20:20 hindsight, I can't hold everywhere in strength, and and have to pick and choose were to put reserves and what cities and strategic points behind the lines I should garrison. I actually have enough reserves to create a very solid defensive line along the front, but that would mean no thoughts of any kind of offensive until at least mid-1943, and I don't know if I am prepared for that kind of tedium, and moreover, it would let him create fortified zones ten hexes deep, which might well preclude any effective offensive even then.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 7:37:11 AM   
76mm


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Finished Turn 70; mud turn so not much happened. My Crimean units are still defending the mountains on the coast, I airdropped some supplies, will be interesting to see how long they last. I am actually thinking about putting a HQ unit on the coast with them, so that they can have arty support, etc. What does the gallery think?

Ketza pulled back most of his air bases this turn; for this reason and the mud, I only bombed one airbase this turn, destroyed a few more recon planes. I will be interested to see if his pullback of his air recon bases has any appreciable effect on his recon flights. I kind of doubt it.

It looks like I get another Front HQ next turn, which is mainly good for the AP which I think accompany it. I think I will use most AP over the next several turns to create more units, including rifle divs, tank brigades, cav divs, and arty divs. In addition to s few powerful assualt fronts, I want to have one "linebacker" army deployed behind each front, with four rifle corps and two tank corps, thank should be able to prevent or open up most of the small pockets that I am currently vulnerable to. At least for now, I plan to always use the Shock and Reserve Fronts together, to make it harder (hopefully impossible) for Ketza to encircle them. I am a bit pararnoid about this at this point... But I also plan to create a third, independent assualt front which I can throw at weak points in the line.

That is more or less the plan for the fall--it is already October. Hopefully by winter I'll be able to launch some limited attacks to push him out of his forts in time for a spring/summer offensive. A two and a half year (1943-spring 1945) war of attrition sounds pretty tedious, and I am trying to think of a way to use Ketza's aggressiveness against him, but his eyes in the sky make this very difficult, if not impossible, as he will probabaly simply avoid attacking anywhere where I have sufficient troops to deal him a serious counter-attack. If I can keep on destroying his recon plays this might change, but I doubt that will be a realistic prospect.


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 7:51:45 AM   
76mm


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I forgot to mention that I looked in my production pool for PE2Rs, and didn't have that many, IIRC only several dozen, which won't do much good. I wonder if I lost a PE2R factory or something? Anybody know how many should be in production by this point?

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 2:19:03 PM   
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Write off the Crimea and don't throw good money after bad.

Also, artillery divisions. You should be able to start building these. And mech corps.

At this point in the game you shouldn't be creating small change. Tank brigades are more or less useless, and I actually gradually disband those that don't get absorbed into corps. 24 tank corps is imo plenty, or 72 brigade equivalents. You should have well in excess of that and never ever have to build a tank brigade.

Spend your AP on corps, arty divisions, and SUs. (You do want to stuff each and every corps with 3 attachments.)

Don't buy any more cav unless you want to build more cav corps. Ditto rifle divisions. If you can hit 130+ rifle corps with the divisions you've got, there's probably not much reason to build more divisions. (This is around 400 RD equivalents. Plenty.) Get rid of your rifle brigades. You're done with that crap, flip those into divisions if you haven't already. And contrary to popular opinion, do NOT use these to make rifle corps. That just gives you an understrength rifle corps, which is particularly dippy since the rifle corps you should be making are guards until you run out of guards to do so.

Make your guards rifle corps with 3 divisions, 2 of them guards, straight up. Don't be cheap. These are supposed to be monsters. Since you are past October, you've got the good TOEs for corps, too.

This is the stage in the game where you need to concentrate on quality, not quantity.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 2:44:51 PM   
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Also, I think you need to sieze the initiative here. Your basic problem is you are reacting too much to the Germans rather than the other way around, mostly because you overcommitted to the north, which is a sideshow. This thing will be decided in the center and the south.

Pile on the corps and the artillery down there. Wait for the rivers to freeze over. Grind the Germans mercilessly in the open. Put up 3 corps in each hex with plenty of artillery support. Attack in echelon, and by that I mean have rifle forces ready to occupy whatever hexes you clear. (That means rifle corps in reserve, that's your second echelon.) Let him counterattack those guys and hurt himself in the process. There should be so much depth to your echelon attack that he will never be able to punch through and get to your rear and you will be leapfrogging corps as you advance, introducing fresh forces. You want to beat the landsers to a pulp, the German cannot hold the line without them. Eventually you can introduce mobile forces into the breach, but don't ever expect them to withstand a counterattack from the panzers. It is possible to overwhelm the German counterattack capability, however, by sheer numbers. With that in mind concentrate 3+ tank armies in you main attack direction to exploit if you can actually get that many mobile forces into his rear and dislocate his line for good. Otherwise just keep feeding the rifle corps into the breach and keep pounding away.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 3:03:06 PM   
Q-Ball


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Flav maybe can comment on this advice, but here is what I think:

76mm, not sure what your vehicle situation looks like, but if you are OK or just over even, I would think about building lots of Tank SUs. Dozens. You probably have scads of tanks in your pool, I think every Soviet player does. They are great firepower multipliers, because it's only 4 guys in a tank, and you already built the tank, which makes them very cheap, almost free from a manpower and armaments perspective. The only thing they really cost is vehicles, about 140 per. If you can afford 14,000 vehicles, I would build 100 of them right away, and liberally use them as attachments. I would start building HEAVY TANK units as soon as you can, and SU-122 and SU-152 units when you can on those. Swamp the Germans with tanks. 100 Tank Regts will put almost 4,000 additional tanks at the front.

Those combat screens above had no Tank Regts at all, I think (can't tell for sure). It looks like the only tanks you had were from a Cav Corps, which means they were near-worthless T-60s. There is no reason not to have T-34 support on EVERY attack you make from here on out. I would assign, as a minimum, 2 Tank Regts to every Cav Corps, and 1 Tank or Assault Gun Regt to every Rifle Corps, and fill the rest in with Heavy tanks or Sappers, or Flame tanks. EVERY corps should get Sappers, either 1 or 2.

Sapper Regts are also great; they cost Manpower, but little else. The Armament cost is negligible, and they use almost no vehicles. I would build over 100 of those if you haven't already.

Even if you have a vehicle crunch, that should go away in early 1943, when Lend Lease gives you 3500 per turn.

Flav, when do you get Artillery Divisions? I know it's not until October at least. You do get Mech Corps in September, though it takes a long time for them to be worth much

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 8/3/2011 3:07:04 PM >

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 3:03:18 PM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I forgot to mention that I looked in my production pool for PE2Rs, and didn't have that many, IIRC only several dozen, which won't do much good. I wonder if I lost a PE2R factory or something? Anybody know how many should be in production by this point?

There's a factory in Moscow and one off map.As far as I can make out, the most that will be produced per week is 6.Build limit = 3 x 2 factories.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 3:14:47 PM   
Flaviusx


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Pretty sure tube arty divs become available in Oct. Snap up a couple of dozen of those posthaste.

The rocket artillery divisions come later though.

And I'm also a big believer in AFV SUs. Not just as direct attachments, but even as Army level SU assets. These are far more useful than a tank brigade.

That said, I kind of like AT SUs as attachments for rifle corps over AFV attachments. My standard package mixes AT, sappers, and AA for rifle corps. I only directly attach AFV SUs to mobile corps, but do like to keep AFV SUs in the rifle armies. These guys will get quite the workout and participate in many fights.

< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 8/3/2011 3:34:23 PM >


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 3:46:16 PM   
76mm


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Flavius, thanks for the tips. Any rifle or cav divs which I build would be solely to faciliate the creation of more rifle and cav corps. Regarding tank brigades, I thought I had to buy them to create tank corps, and I currently don't actually have enough tank brigades to create many tank corps. Most of my rifle brigades are already gone.

I totally agree I need to seize the initiative, but to do so without the proper forces will just put my best troops into a noose. To create multiple echelons of three-stack rifle corps will require vastly more rifle corps than i currently have available, especially given the need to protect their flanks adequately as well. I'll probably get there, but not in the immediate future.


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 4:03:56 PM   
Flaviusx


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Strip the north to the bone. You really don't need a whole lot of stuff past the valdai hills. Concentrate your forces elsewhere.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 4:17:03 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Strip the north to the bone. You really don't need a whole lot of stuff past the valdai hills. Concentrate your forces elsewhere.

It is already pretty much stripped (the rifle corps that were there a few turns ago are now in front of Kharkov).

I was actually leaning towards putting a couple of armies (maybe 6 rifle corps and a couple of cav corps) up there for a couple of reasons:
1) the Finns are a pretty easy target at this point, and with limited forces I could force him to bolster them with some German divs;
2) Given the paper thin front, it would not surprise me it Ketza were to try something up there, despite the lack of tank country (note that I have already noted a couple of panzer divisions near Lake Ilmen);
3) Putting some kind of pressure on Lgrad might cause him to divert some troops up North;
4) he also doesn't have any reserves up there so there is some chance a breakthrough up north could lead to an interesting situation, unlike down south where I will just be grinding through multiple layers of fortifications;
4) I want Lgrad back, dammit!

Not convinced?


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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 4:25:18 PM   
76mm


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QBall, thanks for the tips.

I have tried to add sapper and tank SU to most of my rifle corps but have not completed this yet, and need to double-check that I have been as thorough as I thought I was (maybe I overlooked an army, etc.). I do have hundreds of tanks in the pool, maybe thousands of T-34s (not that many KVs, I lost the KV factory in Lgrad).

My vehicle situation is not that great, IIRC, I've got 87/113 or something similar, which is the worst I've ever had. For the rest of this year I think I'll hold off on the mech corps, maybe start building in early 1943. Arty divs are now available, I just noticed them last turn, I need to look at the full list of available units and see what is available at what cost.

I think things will kind of slow down in the fall because of mud, but I've never played this far in a game before so don't know what to expect from the weather (other than no blizzard effects this winter).

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/3/2011 8:33:00 PM   
Flaviusx


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Not convinced.

The war is going to be won in the center and south. This is the killing ground of the Wehrmacht -- or the Red Army, depending on circumstances.

If the German wants to run some offensive up north, so much the better.



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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/4/2011 8:34:11 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

If the German wants to run some offensive up north, so much the better.


heh heh, point taken.

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RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/4/2011 2:34:49 PM   
Q-Ball


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While I agree, in general, that attacking up north is not a good strategy due to terrain (and not the place to bleed the Wehrmacht), I do think attacking the Finns pays dividends. Taking Leningrad isn't a realistic goal, but bleeding the Finns is a good idea IMO, and worth an offensive up north.

They get almost no replacements, so bleeding them dry will force the Germans to commit troops to cover that frontage. As a result, the center and south will have fewer guys covering it.

Just my two rubles

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 267
RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/4/2011 2:40:54 PM   
veji1

 

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So what would you guys say that after having taken Leningrad, the German should do with the Finns ?

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(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 268
RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/4/2011 2:58:43 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: veji1

So what would you guys say that after having taken Leningrad, the German should do with the Finns ?


I personally would use them in the Blizzard, then figure out an exit strategy for getting them back to the no-move line; either surrendering territory, or replacing them with German units, and sending them back to Finland to build forts.

Between morale losses and attrition, the Finnish Army over time will become Northern Romanians, if you keep them over that line too long.

That's tough to commit that many Germans; another idea might be to rotate Finnish units, so they keep their morale up. That might work, but you can't use the whole Finnish army, IMO.

(in reply to veji1)
Post #: 269
RE: GC 76mm (Sov) vs Ketza (No Ketza) - 8/6/2011 12:17:34 PM   
76mm


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Turn 72 is over, another mud turn, so not much happened.

He did take out one of the stacks in the Crimea, however:


Frenkly, this result feels very wrong to me: a rifle corp and two rifle divs in the mountain, in a level 3 fort, in mud for chrissake, is taken out in one week? By panzers? Sorry, that's just kind of goofy in my opinion. They shouldn't even be isoloated, but should have beachead supply I thought? In any event, I air-supplied them last turn.

All of his attacks in the Crimea have been blessed with spectacular success, starting with when he broke into the Crimea in the spring. Looking at what forces he still has down there, I wonder if he might make a run at my remaining positions to the west?


There three rifle corps sitting at that bottleneck, and they have been there for months. Fortif level 4. If he pushes me out of this position, I'll be pretty disgusted.

Meahwhile, here is the situation in the far north; it looks like he is slipping Germans up past the no attack line to bolster the Finns.


Finally, I need help with my airforce:


Note that many of my units only have a handful of planes. I tend to send them back to the reerve when the get too small, but how long should it take to build back up?

(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 270
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