Interesting discussion here. The March offensives in the AAR strike me as surprisingly sustained and powerful as well. But since the game plays out very differently from history from turn 1 on, including mostly disappointing Soviet blizzard offensives, and many other factors being also at variance, this could simply be a consequence of the balance of the previous 41 summer offensive being too little exhaustive (on one, or both sides?). Which in my opinion gets down to the op-tempo and logistics again.
I do sincerely hope they will put WitW and other subsequent titles on a stronger foundation with the op-tempo. Else we might see Monty probing the Ruhr Valley by early autumn 1944. Even the suggestion mention above to cut logistic factors across the board to a fraction, be it to 50 or 75%, would seem to help to mitigate many problems. One to come will be the probably equally enormous advance speed for the Soviets.
Given that against AI (although AI...) at 110/90% settings you can rather easily achieve an Axis advance that includes Leningrad, Moscow, Rostov and sometimes even Stalingrad if you time the break thru and destruction of the Soviets down south in a quick series of medium to big pockets, which the help of a PzKorps from AGC plus HQ Build-up and HQ priority resupply ("HQ Mulling") you can do quite well, there is obviously a really large tolerance for supply delivery. Way too large? Part of it could be due to the changes that make the Soviets so much more brittle in 41 in patch 1.05 -- previously already Rostov was hard against AI, but now despite quite clever movement along "historical doctrines", it is become more straightforward to score critical breakthrus and overrun rear lines with mobile units without suffering badly. But even with the worst AI performance I would expect that major factor limiting my (Axis) advance should be the communications, i.e. supply/fuel that should stop me at some point. Yes, the average MP drop once you are past the Djenpr as rail doesn't catch up, but it isn't critical (HQ mulling comes in handy then, but at the rather high cost of general supply drops across the whole front, plus truck losses, which should be a detrimental long term effect).
Assuming that supply was shorter in general after turn 1, what could be the effects up into 1942? The average (German/Soviet) Armor/Mech MPs would drop somewhat, while Infantry would suffer less from that. Say PDs would be reduced in the average range of 20-30MP, perhaps 40 after HQ build-up for the majority of time in "supplied" status. Rarely peaking close to 50. Then the Soviets would not need to run as fast since they would not need to fear being overtaken that quickly and easily without chance to react, and could actually risk more attempts to fight forward and inflict casualties on the German units. Pocketing would become more difficult, but with proper planning perhaps this could even lead to a larger ratio of bigger pockets being formed compared to the small "on-the-roll" pockets that one usually would be a fool to neglect with 45-50MP and an enemy who is already in disorder. Keep'em running and don't allow another solid line to be formed...
Perhaps lower MP would even give the Soviet players a small but real chance to put up a fight for Leningrad, and would make Moscow a much bigger challenge, such as it perhaps has been. Lower supply, translating in lower MP would enable perhaps more realistic fighting and op-tempo in the summer campaign, and, hence, both sides would enter winter perhaps in a more depleted state, as was the case. Then again, a Soviet player could go hard into the blizzard offensives, even performing attacks that exceed the ~2.5:1 casualty rule for most "economical attrition", because the spring offensive wouldn't suddenly could huge chunks off his army, but run out of steam after "frontline corrections" rather than major new progress. However, unlike in earlier versions, supply issues should force the Soviet player to focus on certain key points for operations, and should not enable him to attack everywhere in a sustainable fashion until spring.
With Germans then recovering much better than the Soviets, and 8-10 week summer offensive limited to one Army Group would still be in the cards.
In the later years, things would be reversed. The ammo and fuel consumption for the Soviets at Bagration or in the Poland offensive should be so substantial, that with a reduced supply rate some pauses in the advance would hopefully become necessary, giving needed breathing time for an Axis player?
So I would guess. My impression is that a lot of things we presently see and that strike people as unusual, historical-technically unlikely, or purely game-mechanic or balance issue based are indeed come from the supply model. I am not sure whether that would be doable, but if the devs could provide a test patch with tuned down supply for limited testing by either the community or the testers themselves, maybe results from that could shine light onto other, perceived or real, discrepancies that keep popping up?
< Message edited by janh -- 12/16/2011 5:19:05 PM >