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A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to expect in 1942

 
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A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to expe... - 12/1/2011 7:36:55 AM   
von Beanie


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Starting with 1.05.xx GC from the beginning in a competitive PBEM setting, I'm finding the Germans can now launch 1941-style blitzkriegs and encirclements in the summer of 1942. Since there's no need to maintain panzer divisions on the rest of the front, the Germans can concentrate their whole armored force in one region and overwhelm your defenses. I haven't seen any threads warning me to expect these sorts of offensives in 1942, so I'm ringing the alarm bell now. Russian players need to be prepared to consider running away again as the wisest defense, because you can't afford the major losses I've suffered trying to reopen the pockets, just to see yourself get surrounded again.

I believe it's the one week movement rates that allow the extreme mobility that creates the 1941-style pockets. Either the movement rates need to be lowered in 1942, and/or the time scale needs to be reduced to 3.5 day turns during the summer turns to allow the defender to react quicker. I'm finding that the Germans are as strong, if not stronger in 1942 than they are in 1941. Anyway, be forewarned.

Post #: 1
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 9:15:25 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Are you playing Pelton?  Sounds like you're playing Pelton.  He does that to me too.

(in reply to von Beanie)
Post #: 2
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 11:00:35 AM   
vlcz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
Are you playing Pelton? Sounds like you're playing Pelton. He does that to me too.


No, he is playing me , we are having a very interesting match indeed, Sadly my 41 campaign was much less succesful than Pelton ones..partly because I do not have Pelton´s skills partly by vonBeanie superb defense.

I´m a bit surpressed too by my 42 initial gains but I think some of my opponen soviet’42 practices, as a bit of overconfidence in forts and crippling armored counterattacks, has helped for a while...... (obviusly I will not give much info on this as it is an ongoing game...)

As for the time scale I think there is a big point in vonbeanie´s post, I worry if the "reserve" option as it works now can accurately depict defensive reactions in so a meaningful spam of time as seven days. Perhaps a shorter turn (i.e. a la witp) could give us more capabilities (perhaps even too much) at the cost of making PvP games much more heavy duty (againa as witp...)

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 11:10:25 AM   
ComradeP

 

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I don't see any historical justification for why full strength forces with an adequate amount of vehicles and fuel should perform worse by definition in 1941 than in 1942.

A large part of the problems some Soviet players are experiencing seems to be because their defensive preparations are inadequate or simply poor. Placing 3 unit stacks at the frontline with little to no defensive in depth behind them is just giving the Germans free pockets.

1942 is 1942, not 1944. Act like it.

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(in reply to vlcz)
Post #: 4
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 11:26:23 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vlcz
As for the time scale I think there is a big point in vonbeanie´s post, I worry if the "reserve" option as it works now can accurately depict defensive reactions in so a meaningful spam of time as seven days. Perhaps a shorter turn (i.e. a la witp) could give us more capabilities (perhaps even too much) at the cost of making PvP games much more heavy duty (againa as witp...)


No, they don't. I've discussing this at some length on the AAR about my game against Q-Ball. I even drafted Reaction rules a long time ago, but unfortunately, no any more major changes will be done on game mechanics until WitW.

I'm trying to see how I can counter - as in avoiding mass pocketing - making full use of Reserve mechanics... If I'm successful with that, I'm willing to write a guide.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
I don't see any historical justification for why full strength forces with an adequate amount of vehicles and fuel should perform worse by definition in 1941 than in 1942.


In comparison, Soviet units in 1942 are worse than in Autumn 1941. Morale and experience levels are king, vehicles, equipment and fuel are window dressing.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
A large part of the problems some Soviet players are experiencing seems to be because their defensive preparations are inadequate or simply poor. Placing 3 unit stacks at the frontline with little to no defensive in depth behind them is just giving the Germans free pockets.


Indeed, the problem is how to implement that notion of "defense in depth" with the current ruleset. Such a defense in depth should suck out of German Motorized units enough MP's as to avoid the kind of cavalcades they can do (like "raiding" Hex ownership), or better, to avoid that kind of "strike deep, then retreat to start line" which can be done with ease. Causing substantial losses in the process will be perhaps harder to come by.

The 3 unit stacks thing has more to do with assigning excessive value with high fort levels in the front line. That, and being caught by surprise, of course

(in reply to vlcz)
Post #: 5
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:03:36 PM   
Encircled


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I'm surprised anyone is surprised

Just looking at the changes in 1.05 means that '42 is going to be really, really tough on the Soviets.

Plan ahead, get your defensive lines sorted, recon like mad, identify his Mechanised forces, and think about how you are going to last.



(in reply to von Beanie)
Post #: 6
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:16:55 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled
I'm surprised anyone is surprised

Just looking at the changes in 1.05 means that '42 is going to be really, really tough on the Soviets.


The timing of the attacks is something one can't really foresee. Regarding performance, yes, it's hardly surprising.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled
Plan ahead, get your defensive lines sorted, recon like mad, identify his Mechanised forces, and think about how you are going to last.


Good reminders and good advice. However what is lacking are good guidelines (as in examples or case studies) that show how to develop a decent defensive plan grounded on 1.05 game mechanics. That's quite hard to come by

As Klydon said, Soviet players have to do a lot of homework!

(in reply to Encircled)
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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:35:02 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

In comparison, Soviet units in 1942 are worse than in Autumn 1941. Morale and experience levels are king, vehicles, equipment and fuel are window dressing.


Von Beanie and me were both commenting on the effectiveness of German forces, not on the effectiveness of Soviet forces.

I also don't believe in the theory that Soviet units are worse per default in 1942 than in 1941, it all depends on how you use them.

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:42:30 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

In comparison, Soviet units in 1942 are worse than in Autumn 1941. Morale and experience levels are king, vehicles, equipment and fuel are window dressing.


Von Beanie and me were both commenting on the effectiveness of German forces, not on the effectiveness of Soviet forces.


It's all about the relative efficiency. The Germans conserve it easier, the Soviets well might lose it. Analyzing one of the two sides in isolation, is a non-starter.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
I also don't believe in the theory that Soviet units are worse per default in 1942 than in 1941, it all depends on how you use them.


Not by default, but certainly after several weeks of intense operations during blizzard, followed by a possibly powerful German riposte. Four turns of mud and then four turns of on/off mud, don't really help much.

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:49:38 PM   
Encircled


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Well, I have a plan, and I'm about to start '42 against an Axis player whose had a good, but not brilliant '41.

If it works, then I'll happily stick it on here!

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Post #: 10
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 12:54:50 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled

Well, I have a plan, and I'm about to start '42 against an Axis player whose had a good, but not brilliant '41.

If it works, then I'll happily stick it on here!


The more the merrier, indeed. And if it doesn't work, it would be a good idea to analyze why it didn't. Are you keeping an AAR?

(in reply to Encircled)
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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:00:57 PM   
Encircled


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He is, I'm not

Its a time thing for me, as I've barely got time to play the game with a two and a four year old wanting to watch Disney and Pegga Pig on my PC all the time.

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Post #: 12
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:05:58 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled
Its a time thing for me, as I've barely got time to play the game with a two and a four year old wanting to watch Disney and Pegga Pig on my PC all the time.


Time to buy a laptop?

(in reply to Encircled)
Post #: 13
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:14:17 PM   
Encircled


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Possibly, but lets be honest, most people have tight budgets at the moment!

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Post #: 14
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:28:09 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled

Possibly, but lets be honest, most people have tight budgets at the moment!


Hard times, indeed

(in reply to Encircled)
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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:29:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

It's all about the relative efficiency. The Germans conserve it easier, the Soviets well might lose it. Analyzing one of the two sides in isolation, is a non-starter.


German mobile unit efficiency is fairly easy to keep in shape, but German infantry efficiency is going to be worse by default than in 1941.

Again: a lot depends on how you play. If you fight, say, an 8 turn front-wide blizzard offensive as the Soviets and use the rest of the turns to prepare for the snow turns, whilst only making limited attacks, and make sure the Germans can't bulldoze through fatigued and understrength 3 unit stacks in the snow turns, the Soviets are more likely to be stronger in 1942 than in 1941.

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:45:18 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

It's all about the relative efficiency. The Germans conserve it easier, the Soviets well might lose it. Analyzing one of the two sides in isolation, is a non-starter.


German mobile unit efficiency is fairly easy to keep in shape, but German infantry efficiency is going to be worse by default than in 1941.


That's something that needs to be accounted for in the defensive plans, indeed.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
Again: a lot depends on how you play. If you fight, say, an 8 turn front-wide blizzard offensive as the Soviets and use the rest of the turns to prepare for the snow turns, whilst only making limited attacks, and make sure the Germans can't bulldoze through fatigued and understrength 3 unit stacks in the snow turns,



Those rested and strong units might be hard to come by, and it's also hard to have them deployed covering all possible axis.

I could only do that on one axis (where disasters were averted).

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
the Soviets are more likely to be stronger in 1942 than in 1941.


Yes, but you mean April 1942? September 1942? December 1942? If you said "more likely to be stronger by Autumn 1942" I would agree with you. The problem we have to deal with is the six months between March and September (or rather, four months, since April & May aren't the best of times for any kind of operations).

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 1:56:07 PM   
Flaviusx


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Reserve option is crippled by the abysmal Soviet initiative ratings. If it's not an SU, don't expect much. You have only a handful of leaders with adequate initiative ratings.

The Soviets substitute depth for reserves.

Between the long turns, the abstractions of IGOUGO, the crazy mobility of the Germans with proper use of HQ buildups, and the zombie like state of the Red Army, well, it is what it is.

The key here is keep massive strategic reserves. Always have a trump available to respond to Axis moves. Always. These strategic reserves should all be training like it's going out of style, too. (You need to be 10+ hexes away from the front for best results.) Morale and experience is indeed king, and you have to do whatever you can to diminish the gap between yourself and the Axis. The 1942 NM is craptastic, and training is your best answer to that.

< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 12/1/2011 2:04:45 PM >


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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 2:01:00 PM   
Baelfiin

 

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'42 as the russians is another summer of nail biting for sure. I think it is possible to limit what you lose as the russian, but the germans can generate a war of movement wherever they want to. Not _everywhere_ as in '41, but they can pick a spot and blow up the russian line.
Its like playing chicken, the germans have to think about how far they want to drive and how aggresive they want to be, while the russian has to consider the effects of any counter-attack in terms of what he can afford to lose in a potential pocket the next turn.
As a russian player don't think that its all fun and games after '41. 1942 is going to be a challenge albeit not quite demoralizing as '41 can be.

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 2:12:45 PM   
BigAnorak


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Well, it's good to see that Soviet players are no longer sitting smugly behind 4 deep, lvl4 entrenchments that the axis have no chance of cracking.

I am just about to commence my Fall Blau, and it looks like some of the comments above apply - I have very few infantry divisions that look capable of long term offensive operations, and my AFV numbers are barely close to what the axis started 1942 with historically, so there is no way I have the same offensive power as 1941, but I do have the potential offered by strategic surprise, because my opponent does not know my objectives and I have the capacity to redeploy a complete panzer army to any sector of the front. The only thing he knows that I know is that I need Rostov to get AGA and AGB to sort out my C&C.

It looks like the motorised divisions will have to carry out my offensive operations. My mud offensive indicates that there is still a significant amount of fragility in the Red Army units. I am anticipating an interesting game of cat and mouse as I attempt to mis-direct my opponent as to my true objectives for 1942.

I have managed to keep the Red Army below 4.5m as of turn 47, and I have destroyed 50+ divisions since November that he will have to re-buy with APs, so I hope my strategy to apply AP and manpower pressure will pay off. I aim to take at least 150 manpower points and capture a minimum of 1m prisoners before the end of September 1942.

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 2:13:05 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
Reserve option is crippled by the abysmal Soviet initiative ratings. If it's not an SU, don't expect much. You have only a handful of leaders with adequate initiative ratings.


You're basically right, but there are two things to consider:

* High initiative Soviet leaders are few, and need to be placed at the command of your operational reserves.
* A high number of attacks means that, on average, more reserves will be committed even with average Initiative ratings. It's all about placement, since the second check is probably what kills reserves for most people (when the available MP's are compared with MP's required to get to the attacked hex) and to avoid that the reserve unit gets nullified because of getting into ZOC.
* The units most useful for this reserve role are Brigades, and probably Rifle and Motor Brigades more than Tank Brigades. Tank Corps will work when under high initiative leaders (or near towns) if they have a good amount of MP's.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
The Soviets substitute depth for reserves.


Carpets don't work, they can be sliced and cut off easily. So it's not about blocking, but about

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
The key here is keep massive strategic reserves. Always have a trump available to respond to Axis moves. Always. These strategic reserves should all be training like it's going out of style, too. (You need to be 10+ hexes away from the front for best results.) Morale and experience is indeed king, and you have to do whatever you can to diminish the gap between yourself and the Axis. The 1942 NM is craptastic, and training is your best answer to that.


Actually I think one needs two layers of reserves: the strategic ones that you describe, and an operational one, just between the front line and the strategic one. These operational reserves goal is to keep things contained to make sure your strategic reserves can enter into action in your terms.

(in reply to Flaviusx)
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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 3:29:46 PM   
Q-Ball


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In one respect the Red Army will be better off: Experience levels should be overall higher than 1941, because in '41 you have hordes of 30-ish experience replacements that are problematic. At least that's in the low 40's in 1942. Morale is a problem though.

The German player should be able to uncork some nice offensives, but I also think the depth in Infantry replacements isn't there, so an offensive won't be as sustainable. The Germans do get quite a few fresh infantry formations ahead of Fall Blau, which helps alot, but without the replacements, those units will grind down anyway in a few turns.

I find that the Germans are suffering somewhat more losses in combat than in 1941, so the Infantry will wear down a little quicker. That, plus there are more Reds around, so there should be more fighting and less marching through empty terrain.

I want to see how it plays out on both sides, but so far I like it alot; the Germans should have strategic initiative in 1942, and looks like that is happening.

(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 22
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 3:46:39 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball
In one respect the Red Army will be better off: Experience levels should be overall higher than 1941, because in '41 you have hordes of 30-ish experience replacements that are problematic. At least that's in the low 40's in 1942. Morale is a problem though.


Yes, while the average experience is higher, what surprised me when I checked was that the distribution of unit experience values was heavily skewed towards the lower end. The median value is slightly lower than in 1941 (which means that there substantially more units with lower experience in 1942 w.r.t. 1941 than units with higher experience in 1942 than in 1941). This I think is because, first and foremost, because of the terrible losses, and second and lesser degree, because of the continuous TOE upgrades.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball
The German player should be able to uncork some nice offensives, but I also think the depth in Infantry replacements isn't there, so an offensive won't be as sustainable. The Germans do get quite a few fresh infantry formations ahead of Fall Blau, which helps alot, but without the replacements, those units will grind down anyway in a few turns.


If everything is working well, this should mean that the Axis would find himself leading his offensives with his motorized formations. This should offer plenty of opportunities.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball
I want to see how it plays out on both sides, but so far I like it alot; the Germans should have strategic initiative in 1942, and looks like that is happening.


It is, indeed :)

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 12/1/2011 3:47:27 PM >

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RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 4:06:11 PM   
ComradeP

 

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One thing that is usually only indirectly referred to, is that the Soviets are weaker in WitE than in any other wargame I can currently think of. The average Axis infantry formation in 1941 is not only 4-5 times as good as a ~2 CV Soviet Rifle formation, but they also get benefits from better leaders and better support units.

So the Soviet retreat to the east that has been described in a number of plain or more colourful phrases is a strategic necessity for the preservation of a Soviet army. A forward defence can work, but only for a few turns in a sector, as after that your units will just be burned out.

I'm somewhat amused that many players still play WitE like they would other wargames, but the realities (and limitations) of the system are now making people think more about their tactics.

We've been discussing on the tester forum if we might not have overcorrected things a bit, and the final verdict will depend on the 1942 summer campaigns that are unfolding now or will unfold soon.

Still, it is certain that overall the Soviet army is still not close to being historical, because it's weaker in 1941, but becomes much stronger than its historical counterpart by 1944 due to the various morale bonuses.

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Post #: 24
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 4:11:26 PM   
freeboy

 

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does not matter to me that red army gets kicked around like so much leftovers, remember in 1942? after kicking Germany around all winter.. Karkov to rostov too past Stalingrad in what 8 weeks? 12? anyway the germans  anyway.. gives me something of a challenge now as red army... and something too look forward to as german...

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Post #: 25
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 4:30:46 PM   
colberki

 

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I also think the 1.05 changes have made for a great game!!

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Post #: 26
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 5:01:55 PM   
Hermann

 

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Basically ive found that the german player ignores leningrad and moscow when the first rush fails and drives straight to the kharkov region with 3 and sometimes 4 complete panzergroups. at this point its impossible to slow a 42 advance especially if he has brought up 3 or 4 fbds to extend the rail. Key to survival in 42 is a large supply of brigades along the river lines to the rear under army hqs with high admin leaders and multiple construction battalions. they can over time build a reasonable defense and when your damaged units fall back they can merge with with brigades and immediately be restored to full action. the southern approach is severely limited by the single rail line. position 80% of your transport and heavy dbap bombers in vvs bases operating from the south set on night raids and heavily reinforce the northern area of the axis advance with fighters split roughly 60/40 on day and night missions to prevent resupply. Use your sb and pe bombers to ruthlessly attack his transport airbases before and during his attack. the german achilles heel in 42 is supply. be proactive not reactive. A cavalry reserve of some strength needs to be positioned in no mans land ( the railless region south of the don above the caucusus with the mission of attacking the german supply line after the spearheads have passed - dont use tanks down there theres no supply ) Concentrate all your gaurds units into shock armies at the furthest point from his armored spearhead and attack like hell to force him to weaken his main effort and reinforce. basically try to be very aware of possible supply supply bottlenecks and use the vvs/partisan units to concentrate attacks in those areas.

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Post #: 27
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 5:13:59 PM   
Hermann

 

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the key to the whole thing is that supply needs to be charged to rail capacity for play balance and rail cap needs to be expended by front hqs to receive that supply. that ends the ahistorical massing of impossibly large mechanised formations in single spearheads and brings the gampeplay back to a more historical rote where supply decides the scale and location of ops. the russian front wasnt just a military campaign, much of its character was formed by the issues of supply and concentration and thats something the game designers havent yet matured into. 60 mech divisions running full throtlle on a single rail line 60 hexes from point of departure at full supply is a bit hard for a grognard to stomach. even fall blau and the caucusus were historically halted by supply not resistance with paulus stopping within sight of an undefended stalingrad for almost 2 weeks to supply the caucusus attack, again stalling at the end of a long supply chain. To tell me that wite found a way to push 60 mech divisions into the same area at full supply indefinetely stretches it a bit....

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Post #: 28
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 5:47:15 PM   
freeboy

 

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I dissagree and agree.. regarding supplies.. absolutely need to add.. regional stockpiles and rail per phase per hex limits.. of some sort.. remember the red army had terrible time supplying armies in the field after initial breakthroughs
regarding massing forces? really.. don't see that imo.. not being sold on no massing for either side...
pm sent fyi

(in reply to Hermann)
Post #: 29
RE: A warning to Russians in the 1.05 GC about what to ... - 12/1/2011 6:08:52 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


Posts: 3065
Joined: 11/26/2009
From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
Status: offline
On the thread where I got pissed off, besides pissing off, also proposed some changes to logistics game mechanics which involved making supply flow, capacity and availability to be "regional" or rather "bound to territory", while removing the "freebie" which is allowing everyone and his dog to draw supply from a railhead as if setting up a logistics hub was something could be done by a division on a whim.

(in reply to freeboy)
Post #: 30
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