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March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 10:53:54 AM   
delatbabel


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How many AARs of games started in the late 1.05 betas do we have currently beyond March 1942?

Unfortunately I tend to play FTF rather than PBEM and I am bad at AARs, but some things I have noticed in my current game:

I thought I put together a fairly comprehensive blizzard plan. Push the Germans back in a few areas. Leave units behind, fortifying on river lines. Attempt to free Leningrad (it was encircled, but the Ladoga ports were still running), and hold the Volkhov line. Push back to the Dnepr line -- actually an inattentive opponent allowed me to get beyond that after I brought a couple of shock armies in as reinforcements. Push away from the Moscow defenses. Threaten to retake Tula. Push back to the Valdai Hills to try to regain the high ground there.

Then March 1942 happened. Level 4 & 5 forts at Leningrad were just ignored -- a single panzer division blew straight through the defenses and linked up with the Finns. Similarly, Moscow fell to a fast frontal assault straight through several layers of 3 & 4 forts. I pulled back to river lines but they were just driven over. In 3 months the Germans have taken the Donbas, driven through D-town, Z-town, Rostov, and towards Stalingrad (I am guessing that will fall no later than August), encircled and obliterated Bryansk and South West Fronts, and I probably will lose the Caucasus fairly quickly, although I'm struggling to rail the remnants of Southern Front back to form a defensive line along the Kuma river (at least Baku is a permanent supply source).

What do Soviet players do to stop this? I have very few rifle divisions with a CV > 1, probably only 10 other than the guard divs and I don't have enough of those to go around. German CVs are probably 15 - 20 x my CVs up and down the line, worse than 1941 and longer, so even at a level 3 fort or a major river there's no slowing the Germans down. Even the shock armies that I railed back to Yaroslavl & Gorky to try to hold the upper Volga line are all CV 1 divisions now, so there won't be any holding that line either, even if the Germans don't get an AV before that.

Any ideas?


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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 11:22:46 AM   
Tarhunnas


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The difference with history is IMHO that the German offensive in 1942 is much faster off the mark than the historical 1942 offensive. In history, the battle of Kharkov kept the Germans occupied, and anyway it took some time to reorganise and build up supplies for the 1942 summer offensive. The German summer offensive in 1942 only got going in late June, and then met with spectacular initial success.

The game unfortunately fails to recapture this. No Soviet offensive in May 1942 will stand a chance of acheiving even the modest gains of the Soviet Kharkov offensive, and the German offensive of 1942 has its best chance in March.

I suppose the mud in june is a way of delaying the summer offensive, but that is an artificial way of compensating for the lack of a serious supply system. The weather swings are too great in the myd-clear-mud period in may-june, and too easy to exploit, and the supply system doesn't recreate the stockpiling of supplies that is the necessary prerequisite for an offensive. I love this game, but in such a complex game that attempts to account for every last machinegun and Panzerschreck on the Eastern Front it is a pity that supply and weather are handled so halfheartedly! It would have been a better game with less attention to counting every piece of equipment and more on supply and weather, which had a far larger impact on operations than whether a certain anti tank battallion was equipped with Marder II or Marder III.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 11:40:53 AM   
amatteucci

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
I suppose the mud in june is a way of delaying the summer offensive, but that is an artificial way of compensating for the lack of a serious supply system. The weather swings are too great in the myd-clear-mud period in may-june, and too easy to exploit, and the supply system doesn't recreate the stockpiling of supplies that is the necessary prerequisite for an offensive.

In my humble opinion this point cannot be stressed too much. We do need something to recreate stockpiling of supplies.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 4:50:10 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
The weather swings are too great in the myd-clear-mud period in may-june, and too easy to exploit,...

Which is another huge reason for playing only with random weather.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 4:57:27 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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In my opinion, rivers should be more of an obstacle in the late Winter/early Spring. Given that they are generally frozen solid, they offer zero combat benefit for the defenders, and no obstacle to movement. I can see this, if they were frozen solid, but if there are any ice flows, or partial freezings, then they should be of even more beneficial to the defense, and more of an obstacle for movement than they are in the Summer. As it is now, in the game, their complete negation by the freezing lend the strategic attackers (generally, though not always, the Axis in early 1942) an unrealistic impetus for launching offensives that would otherwise be greatly slowed by broken ice and thaw induced flooding.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 5:09:31 PM   
Baelfiin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

In my opinion, rivers should be more of an obstacle in the late Winter/early Spring. Given that they are generally frozen solid, they offer zero combat benefit for the defenders, and no obstacle to movement. I can see this, if they were frozen solid, but if there are any ice flows, or partial freezings, then they should be of even more beneficial to the defense, and more of an obstacle for movement than they are in the Summer. As it is now, in the game, their complete negation by the freezing lend the strategic attackers (generally, though not always, the Axis in early 1942) an unrealistic impetus for launching offensives that would otherwise be greatly slowed by broken ice and thaw induced flooding.

+111
Very good point!

This will also have benefits for the defender in the late game. I would go so far as to say that Major rivers should not just disappear for the winter, they should have some effect. I am not sure how easy it would be to put into code however.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 5:29:44 PM   
Flaviusx


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It wasn't rivers impeding the Wehrmacht (or the Red Army for that matter) in March of 42. It was logistics. That and sheer exhaustion.

I agree in principle that weather in this game needs improvement, but it's not fundamentally the issue in this particular case.

As to how to manage the March madness, see my post #12 in the original topic for some ideas. This should help mitigate it to some extent. But the measures involved are ahistorical and heroic and driven entirely by game mechanics.

< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 12/25/2011 5:44:05 PM >


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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 9:49:05 PM   
Emir Agic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Baelfiin


quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

In my opinion, rivers should be more of an obstacle in the late Winter/early Spring. Given that they are generally frozen solid, they offer zero combat benefit for the defenders, and no obstacle to movement. I can see this, if they were frozen solid, but if there are any ice flows, or partial freezings, then they should be of even more beneficial to the defense, and more of an obstacle for movement than they are in the Summer. As it is now, in the game, their complete negation by the freezing lend the strategic attackers (generally, though not always, the Axis in early 1942) an unrealistic impetus for launching offensives that would otherwise be greatly slowed by broken ice and thaw induced flooding.

+111
Very good point!

This will also have benefits for the defender in the late game. I would go so far as to say that Major rivers should not just disappear for the winter, they should have some effect. I am not sure how easy it would be to put into code however.


I'm also very happy to see that someone finally mentioned this winter rivers nonsense.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 10:19:02 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

As to how to manage the March madness, see my post #12 in the original topic for some ideas. This should help mitigate it to some extent. But the measures involved are ahistorical and heroic and driven entirely by game mechanics.


Heroic?

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 10:43:12 PM   
delatbabel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

It wasn't rivers impeding the Wehrmacht (or the Red Army for that matter) in March of 42. It was logistics. That and sheer exhaustion.

I agree in principle that weather in this game needs improvement, but it's not fundamentally the issue in this particular case.

As to how to manage the March madness, see my post #12 in the original topic for some ideas. This should help mitigate it to some extent. But the measures involved are ahistorical and heroic and driven entirely by game mechanics.


I've tried a lot of what you suggested in that post. I simply don't have the number of units for a 10 hex deep screen (and I'm not sure other Soviet players do either, unless they are hoarding APs somehow and using them to buy acres of brigades), but I did try a screen of brigades falling back to a fortified river line. When the Germans hit that river line they just went 15 - 20 hexes straight through it and ran around the back of me. Where I'd heavily fortified rear echelons (e.g. the approaches to Moscow) he simply switched to a frontal assault -- it seems that layers of forts that will hold the Germans off in September and October of 1941 present no difficulty at all in March 1942, they just drive through the middle of them.

I'm now starting to slow down the German offensive but I'm guessing that that's due to distance from the rail heads, not due to units in play. I may or may not be able to stop the Germans crossing the Volga at Yaroslavl, that's a long way and a lot of hexes to recover to get to Berlin. As of October 1942 I will be able to stop them taking Baku but I'm guessing that if my CVs don't improve in 1943 that will just be a matter of time. All that was after a front line that was a reasonably solid block to stop the Germans advancing in 1941.

I'll try this again with zero blizzard offensive in 1941, just using construction units to build deeper levels of forts.


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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 11:07:10 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
The weather swings are too great in the myd-clear-mud period in may-june, and too easy to exploit,...

Which is another huge reason for playing only with random weather.



I prefer random weather as well, makes the whole game less predictable (number-crunching) and more prone to human erring, which gives so many wars their character.
No one would be surprise that weather plays such a key role and predicting it perfectly (as with non-random) can give huge benefits in long-term planning. All the armies in the past, as much as today, go to great lengths to get the best available weather forecast data.

In-game, with a permanent risk of rainfalls and mud, extending your arm too far can be detrimental. Kind of reduces op-tempo to more conservative, self-protective limits. Unfortunately beyond 7 days, there wasn't any real hope of a reliable weather forecast without today's technologies (which are still not very accurate at such time intervals). With 7 day turns, weather reports are kind of obsolete, although you could argue that you move through these days in your turn, so some kind of forecast would be nice in the future titles.

A major catch is the phasing that always at first exposes the Axis player, so gives him some additional warning of the new facts, so to say. I think this is a huge benefit, and weather changes should be allowed to happen between any phase instead. I know the linked Soviet phase is supposed in mind to happen simultaneously, but of course it doesn't (sequential movements simply force a sequential and non-simultaneous time evolution). Another catch of the I-go-U-go system. It appears easier to master for a game, but has just too many disadvantages at this level of simulation detail.

< Message edited by janh -- 12/25/2011 11:09:12 PM >

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/25/2011 11:42:19 PM   
Flaviusx


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Am curious to see how a zero blizzard offensive works out. In the past I would never have recommended it, as you lose your best chance to get some wins and guards conversions. But now, it may be worth it.

OTOH you won't have any kind of territorial cushion if you just sit the blizzard out. So if your defenses can't take the hit in March, you may well yourself somewhere east of the Don before mud hits, and that's not good.



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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 1:12:24 AM   
ragtopcars


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You really have to play with random weather...  otherwise you can stretch supply lines/etc without the inherent risk of the unknown!

Started a 41 GC server game recently on random weather, and low and behold got hit with some mud when least expected really slowing down AGS...



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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 3:38:50 AM   
Pelton

 

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Forts have little effect if the attacker has engineers.

Rivers should be impassable during spring unless crossing at a bridge. The flooding would make even minor rivers uncrossable other then at bridges. Bridges could mean railroads or major citys, but again if the bridge is defended it would be next to impossible to cross.

The effects of spring flooding seem to be left out of the game totally. This would make the snow offensives by the German army much more defendable by the russian army.
German players would have to make sure that units would not be cut off from supplies during flood turns.

Just a thought to make things more interesting.

Pelton

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 7:26:51 AM   
johntoml56

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

What do Soviet players do to stop this? Any ideas?



Once I stopped crying I resigned my game...

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 8:23:59 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: janh

A major catch is the phasing that always at first exposes the Axis player, so gives him some additional warning of the new facts, so to say. I think this is a huge benefit, and weather changes should be allowed to happen between any phase instead.


I agree that it would be much better if shifts could happen randomly between phases, and weather last for at least two player phases to affect both players equally.

I do not agree that the Germans moving first gives them a benefit. On the contrary, in the later war when the Germans are on the defensive, the Germans being hit by new weather first favors the Soviets. Instead of the mud stopping Soviet offensives through supply difficulties, it will protect Soviet spearheads from German counterattacks and doom surrounded Axis units (of which there will often be several each turn, so the odds of this happening on a clear to mud shift are pretty high). However, whatever side you think it favors, a change to weather shift between player phases would solve the problem.

I also think that mud should affect operations primarily through the supply system and not by artificially reducing the combat value of the attacker.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 9:52:56 AM   
delatbabel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Am curious to see how a zero blizzard offensive works out. In the past I would never have recommended it, as you lose your best chance to get some wins and guards conversions. But now, it may be worth it.

OTOH you won't have any kind of territorial cushion if you just sit the blizzard out. So if your defenses can't take the hit in March, you may well yourself somewhere east of the Don before mud hits, and that's not good.




I'll let you know how that goes in my next game.

I had no territorial cushion after attacking in the blizzard. All of my blizzard gains were wiped out in the first two weeks in March, and then some (Leningrad fell in the first week of March after holding from early October onwards, Moscow fell in the second week of March without having been in any real danger in October). Yes, it was nice to have some guards units by the end of the blizzard but I lost about 3/4 of them to encirclements in the first two weeks of March.



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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/26/2011 10:18:16 AM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
I do not agree that the Germans moving first gives them a benefit. On the contrary, in the later war when the Germans are on the defensive, the Germans being hit by new weather first favors the Soviets. Instead of the mud stopping Soviet offensives through supply difficulties, it will protect Soviet spearheads from German counterattacks and doom surrounded Axis units (of which there will often be several each turn, so the odds of this happening on a clear to mud shift are pretty high). However, whatever side you think it favors, a change to weather shift between player phases would solve the problem.


Yes, also the Soviet can rip benefits from it, which can be equally important. What I meant was that the Axis player, first phasing, always knows the weather and can ajdust in his turn. He has what is often extremely critical, the initiative, in this sense. In worst case, he can backtrack (assuming he didn't overextend too badly/boldly), or make use of the weather first. The Soviet player, when playing random weather, relies on luck to see bad weather strike Axis. He can only harvest the "remaining fruits", never the first.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
I also think that mud should affect operations primarily through the supply system and not by artificially reducing the combat value of the attacker.


That for sure, but I imagine that the idea the designers saw behind the lower combat values might be tanks, guns and equipment getting stuck during advances, or relocating during a mobile defense, and exhausted/tired infantry slogging on alone after a while?

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/27/2011 4:33:46 AM   
Marquo


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"Am curious to see how a zero blizzard offensive works out. In the past I would never have recommended it, as you lose your best chance to get some wins and guards conversions. But now, it may be worth it.

OTOH you won't have any kind of territorial cushion if you just sit the blizzard out. So if your defenses can't take the hit in March, you may well yourself somewhere east of the Don before mud hits, and that's not good."


I am finding that keeping Soviet units at a higher TOE and higher moral with less unreadiness is acheivable by merging the flood of reinforcement brigades directly into unready and dangerously depleted units during the blizzard offensive. Instead of divisions falling to 5 - 6,000 men, they can be sustained at 8 - 10,000 men and they are much more resilient. It is a sure way of funneling reinforcements directly to where they are needed rather than depending on refit mode. Hopefully this will buffer the March hit.


Marquo


< Message edited by Marquo -- 12/27/2011 4:34:30 AM >

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/28/2011 7:27:49 AM   
delatbabel


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That's one of the things I'll try in my next game, along with getting the guards units to withdraw and leaving a bigger gap between my brigade screen and my front line. It seems a pity to sacrifice all of those brigades but it's better than sacrificing a couple of fronts.

It's clearly impossible to hold either Moscow or Leningrad in 1942 with the current 1.05 so it will be a matter of where behind the 1941 line to make a stand. I think the Volga river line should be defensible, and it should be possible to hold Baku even if you give up most of the rest of the Caucasus. I'd like to see some other AARs to see where people have defended against the March onslaught.


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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/28/2011 3:37:22 PM   
Baelfiin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

I am finding that keeping Soviet units at a higher TOE and higher moral with less unreadiness is acheivable by merging the flood of reinforcement brigades directly into unready and dangerously depleted units during the blizzard offensive. Instead of divisions falling to 5 - 6,000 men, they can be sustained at 8 - 10,000 men and they are much more resilient. It is a sure way of funneling reinforcements directly to where they are needed rather than depending on refit mode. Hopefully this will buffer the March hit.


Marquo


I think this is a great use of brigades, especially when they have trained up all of their elements.

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/28/2011 6:43:42 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Forts have little effect if the attacker has engineers.

Rivers should be impassable during spring unless crossing at a bridge. The flooding would make even minor rivers uncrossable other then at bridges. Bridges could mean railroads or major citys, but again if the bridge is defended it would be next to impossible to cross.

The effects of spring flooding seem to be left out of the game totally. This would make the snow offensives by the German army much more defendable by the russian army.
German players would have to make sure that units would not be cut off from supplies during flood turns.

Just a thought to make things more interesting.

Pelton


Ah, yes. Bridges... those operationally insignificant little lumps of steel and concrete ;)

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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/28/2011 6:45:26 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

What do Soviet players do to stop this?



IMHO the game is unplayable beyond Feb '42 (if you want some kind of historical feasibility to be involved) until this issue is fixed. But then I am prone to exaggeration...

< Message edited by redmarkus4 -- 12/28/2011 6:46:03 PM >


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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/29/2011 9:20:41 PM   
Pelton

 

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Turn 38

The Blizzard is over and TDV pocketed and destroyed 55 total axis divisions.
As can be seen TDV builds his army for the blizzard. I used the same tactics I used vs M60 and lost not a sinlge division, but vs TDV I lost 55.
Who says that there is no teeth to the blizzard? Me thinks most poeple have no idea what they are doing.There are many tools in the russian tool kits that aren't being used.
I have played through 9 blizzards now and TDV is the only one that truly knows what they are doing.
TDV only had 4,550,000 men at start of blizzard, M60 had 5,400,000 men. Some I have played had 6 million all atleast 5 millions. So with the smallest Red army under 1.05 rules TDV has done the best.
Yes sure the russians can't do anything during 1.05 blizzards. TDV understands a few basic short comings of the game replasement phase and how to use his units he has at his finger tips.
TDV is hands down the best Russian I have played out of the 18 I have faced.

TDV
Kamil
Hoooper
other 15 have allot to learn.
Not sure about this 8421 guy I am playing, Hes using his units allot like TDV. Not as good, but still alittle on the crazy russian side. Its 100% all about morale and IF the russian can pound down german morale during blizzard its game set match unless russian really screws up in 1942.

In closing all I can say is get some skills boys. If one person can do it then you all can. I also better sharpen up my skills to counter this, atleast I have seen it. Not that I want to remember it, heheh Nightmare the horror of it all.

Its 1941/1942 and not 1943 hehehe

TDV is the only person I have played 2 times, because he like me thinks out side the box. Its never a boring game.

Hes not a cookie cutter Russian player.

The data is the data.

Its still possible to have a great blizzard. Flaviusx is on the right track, but Flaviusx has to ask himself a few questions about TDV army size.

Morale is King of the battle field, nothing esle seems to have a real impact on the game.

Pelton






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Pelton -- 12/29/2011 10:17:45 PM >


_____________________________

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15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DiSQ36zfWk

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Post #: 24
RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/29/2011 10:58:43 PM   
Flaviusx


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Yes, Pelton, your runaway defense can be beaten. It's not the only defense available to the Germans.



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RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/30/2011 12:24:19 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Yes, Pelton, your runaway defense can be beaten. It's not the only defense available to the Germans.




yes that true, but this is 2nd game vs TDV and first one I did not use this tactic.

So TDV's playing the game works vs both a forward flexable defence and a retreating defence during blizzard.

In the North I had most tanks in citys with a double line of infantry in woods and swamps, in south a general retreat.

Both tactics failed, so TDV handle on blizzard tactics work vs any defence. It has both power and speed. He like me is flexable and not a cookie cutter player, so changing tactics on the fly works vs anything.

So unless you have some german tactic that has never been tried what TDV does works vs anything tried to dat in an AAR.

He is just playing the rule set as designed to the max in his favor, which is a smart thing.

As you said there will be no changes to the replasement rule set or cav's units so I expect russian players to slowly figure out how to use this design to their advantage in the coming months.

Pelton


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22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


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(in reply to Flaviusx)
Post #: 26
RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/30/2011 7:29:32 PM   
randallw

 

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55 Axis divisions destroyed in the blizzard?  That's an extreme brutalization.

(in reply to Pelton)
Post #: 27
RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 12/31/2011 12:00:57 AM   
Marquo


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"I used the same tactics I used vs M60 and lost not a sinlge division, but vs TDV I lost 55. Who says that there is no teeth to the blizzard? Me thinks most poeple have no idea what they are doing."

There is an alternate explanation....




(in reply to Pelton)
Post #: 28
RE: March Madness 42 back on topic - 1/9/2012 7:29:34 PM   
redmarkus4


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But are you not talking about 'beating the game system' rather than 'gaming the war in Russia'?

I understand that beating the system takes brains and that there are many smarter players out there than I. However, were Hitler and Stalin that smart? The game should demand the same types of decisions as those demanded of the historical commanders, not reward a small minority of very clever whiz kids with lots of time on their hands. (No offence to the champion players is meant here. I seriously admire their brain power).

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(in reply to Marquo)
Post #: 29
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