From: Sydney, Australia
Quick report in from Stavka: Turn 25 has come and gone and Dnepropetrovsk, Stalino, Zaporozhye, Smolensk are all in Soviet hands. The assault on the Finns has commenced and with 3 armies fighting up there backed up by 6 artillery divisions, the Finns are being blasted out of their fortifications and pushed backwards. Another breakthrough north of Velikye Luki was timed to coincide with the liberation of Dnepropetrovsk. During the blizzard turns I am going on a campaign of searching for weak German panzer units and smashing them with tank armies to cause the maximum amount of losses (on both sides if necessary) and see who has the best factories.
However I seem to have lost my opponent. A couple of weeks ago he emailed to say he is going away for a couple of days, but no response since then.
It has been a good game so far. A slow grind, but enjoyable. Much of what you do as the Soviets needs extensive planning, and some of my inaction early in the campaign has been followed up by massive artillery and tank assaults in later turns. In one single battle in the north I launched just under 10,000 artillery pieces into action. With assaults like that the Germans tend to leave the hex in tatters, regardless of the fortification levels.
A few things I don't enjoy about the 1943 campaign:
* The Soviet army's organisation requires a lot of admin points to fix. A lot of tank and mech corps are assigned to the Moscow MD and most of the remainder are assigned to Front HQs (as are the cavalry corps). In building an army from a 1941 start, given the limitations in the game system, I would never assign a corps to a Front HQ. I spent nearly 15 turns of admin points fixing this. Either the scenario needs fixing, or there needs to be a reduction in the combat penalty for front-attached combat units joining army-attached combat units in the same battle.
* Too many units are static, and cost too many APs to reactiviate. It costs more APs to activate a mech corps than it does to build it from scratch. I spent a lot of turns organising things like getting a mech corps into the front line, advancing it one hex after a battle, and letting the Germans hit it, because that activates it for free whereas spending APs to activate it is too expensive. I even moved static artillery divisions into front line hexes and left them undefended to ensure they would retreat and activate. It's stupid and gamey, but it's the only way to progress as the Soviets.
Anyway, I will look for a new opponent but I think I should play a 1941 campaign to avoid the above issues.