From: Denver Colorado
So I've been reading this AAR now for a few days, and the way I view my role in the AAR is to ask a couple pertinent questions.
Before I do so, please forgive me if I anything comes across as harsh - it's not my intention. I'm just a tech writer, so I write very unemotional, sometimes harsh-sounding stuff.
Let's start with the highly positive, and try to understand what the negatives are and how to proceed with them.
You hold the south in good order and good force.
You have not reached 3 million casualties.
You outnumber the Germans
The 41 offensive by the Germans is OVER!
Moscow & Major pop centers are lost.
Finns freeing up Germans.
Your central and northern fronts are in very bad order
Moving on, I could say a lot about play up to this point, but I don't think that would be terribly helpful. What I would like to do, however, is to talk about how *I* personally play the Soviet and what considerations I give to making the mass of uncoordinated and often toothless units effective.
If you look at my AAR, you'll see that I'm in about the same boat as you were in various places, though my casualties are a bit lower, and I've done better in the North. In the center I'm about the same as you (probably will lose Moscow soon) and in the South I'm not quite as good as you, but it's close.
Soviet effectiveness is enhanced by a couple of key strategic decisions:
I: Admin Points
One of the problems with giving feedback to this AAR is that you're not giving me much in the way of your strategic analysis. It's all maps and statistics. I don't know how you emphasized commanders, and I don't know how you emphasized Army and Front organization. But these two factors matter a great deal to how your army performs.
I have, through the summer offensive of the Axis, prioritized the following Admin Point expenditures:
1) Improve the commander of one important army or front per turn.
"improve" to me means that you are improving a front/army commander for the following characteristics (in order of importance)
a) Administration value
b) Morale value (tie).
b) Initiative value (higher values mean more movement, meaning more chance to escape pockets and more chance to dig-in with left-over MPs.
c) Infantry value
2) Manage divisions by ensuring divisions are within 5 of their Army HQ (unless attached to a corps, in which case 5 of the corps). This is where I spend the bulk of my AP - because I'd rather spend a few AP to swap a division to a nearby HQ than I would spend the MPs to move the same division to its HQ instead. Movement costs supply and fatigue, both of which impact combat performance. Spending APs doesn't impact combat performance (well, ostensibly it can improve it by getting you closer to your HQ).
3) Manage SU attachments to Army HQs
This is a very long-term project and is a lower priority than the above, but you have to devote some time to it. I disband as follows:
Motorcycle regiments (more rifle squads for your reinforcement pool)
AA battalions (battalions are always inferior to regiments anyway)
Following that, I also ensure a little each turn, that I have 2 construction battalions in every army HQ (using the assign/form button). Just helps with digging in.
I ensure that each active Army HQ (inactive HQs would be ones where all subordinates are basically destroyed - 2 or 3 divisions in an HQ doesn't count it as "active" but I often re-assign units to partially destroyed Army HQs) has at least 3 artillery regiment, and important ones have up to 5 artillery regiments (Leningrad is important, for example).
The SU situation can be managed by a combination of auto-allocation of SUs, direct movement of SUs (to a lateral command or to a higher command - STAVKA is the best choice when in doubt) and disbandment. Auto allocation is easiest to move them out of an overloaded HQ by setting the auto-allocation low; in contrast, set the higher HQs of an overloaded HQ to a high value. For example, if an army in Northwestern Front has 5 arty, 4 AA bns, 2 construction bns, and a motorcycle regiment:
disband the motorcycle
set the auto-allocation number to 3. Set Northwestern front to 9.
1 AA bn and 2 arty will move up to NW front.
It takes a LONG time to do this efficiently, so you have to grasp the concepts generally, set up a plan, and use APs where necessary.
It's hard to know what your priorities are as I've read this. As someone else said, strategic focus would benefit your gameplay. At this point, your strategic focus looks decided for you: you traded land for men (more than historical). Hey, look, Napolean took Moscow too, right?
So I've taken the liberty to take your last map and draw on it, which I'll post here in a second post.
Spring 2018-Playing: Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress; Advanced Squad Leader,
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL), Holland'44, Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress