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Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942!

 
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Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 3:59:48 AM   
bednarre

 

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If the German unit is fortified and supplied, it is basically invincible. This specifically means a single infantry division. Thus you must base your defense on the assumption that high priority areas which are seized cannot be retaken (unless isolated). German units can thus only be successfully attacked if isolated, or unusually weak and unfortified. On the other hand German Allies units are fair game, even in fortifications, except for the Fins of course.

As stated before, I think the Russian offensive capability in 1941 and 1942 in the game is grossly underestimated. The first successful defensive engagement in the war, Brest-Litovsk, cannot be achieved in the game (fell on June 30). At the Berzina River crossing near Orsha Russian counterattacks were vigorous. This caused the German Second Panzer Group to halt on the Dnepr, and the Third Panzer Group was stalled at Vitebsk in July 1941. The Germans had stalled because the Russians were effectively attacking! Because little territory was taken, this decisive engagement is not well known. By July 16 the 18th Panzer Division only had 12 tanks operational. From July 20 to July 26 the Russians successfully attacked and over 100,00 men escaped in 3 encircled Russian armies at Smolensk. From August 30 to September 8 another massive Russian offensive involving 3 fronts recaptured Smolensk! On September 6 the Germans had to withdraw from the Yel'nya salient. From August 21 to 25 the Russian Army retook Velikiye Luke, and broke into the rear areas with cavalry. On November 26 the I Guards Cavalry Corps caused the Germans to retreat 40 kilometers. On August 19, 1942 the Russian counterattack broke the front near Leningrad and created a large salient. The situation was only restored when several German divisions reserved for a new attack on the city had to be diverted. The Russian Kharkov offensive was from May 12 to 19, 1942, and penetrated 50 kilometers in depth and 60 kilometers with width. There were probably many more successfully examples. What is clear is that most of the Russian attacks in the first year of the war failed, but not all!

Also, the Russians attacked the Germans on a continuous basis. The question is why? First, it was very difficult for the Russians to defend against the German mechanized units, which could pick the time and location to break through. In effect, only a small portion of the defensive forces come into action, and the rest are surrounded or forced to retreat if there is a breakthrough. By attacking, a majority of the troops could get into action. Yet with so many unsuccessful attacks and very casualties, why did the Russian High Command continue with this strategy? The reason was that the German took casualties as well, probably more than if they were attacking the Russians. Instead of offensive operations, many German divisions had to go over to the defensive or shift to a threatened sector. This helped stall the offensive. The game could simulate this by having the Russians attack with high casualties, but with some hope of success.

Currently the game models this kind of attack as "suicidal" with almost no German casualties. To model the limited but possible success in actual history, I suggest that the Russian offensive (and probably defensive) CV have a great variation, not factoring in leadership effects! This can be done with a Russian CV uncertainty factor, which multiplies the CV of all of the attacking units (i.e., the factor is only computed once per attack, and once per unit). This can be done mathematically with the following options (the mean is always 1:1):

_______________Probability Per Option and Russian Uncertainty Factor

_____Factor______1/4________1/2_______1_________2________3______
Option
__1____________24.83%____25.22%___26.00%___16.65%____7.29%

__2____________19.66%____24.22%___33.33%___18.71%____4.08%

__3____________29.18%____26.07%___19.84%___14.92%___10.00%


For example, if the highest possible probability for the 1:1 factor is desired, Option #2 would be ideal. A CV factor of 1/4 would occur 19.66% of the time, compared with 33.33% of the time for a 1 factor, and 4.08% for a 3 factor. This means that a little over 4% of the time the Russian attack CV would be tripled and about 20% of the time it would be quartered! Option #1 offers a middle of the road distribution, with almost equal probability from 1/4 to 1. This gives a little over 7% chance at a 3:1 factor. Option #3 offers the wildest gamble, maximizing the 3:1 factor at 10%, while resulting in a 1/4:1 factor of about 29%! Suppose 6 Russian divisions are attacking, with a combined attack CV nominally of 6. A typical German division would be about 12 in 1941 and 10 in early 1942. With no uncertainty factor, the Russians attack at 1:2 odds, and suffer high casualties (like 3000 men) with little German casualties (like 100 men). With uncertainty factor option #1, there is about a 24% chance the net Russian CV will be at least 12. On the other hand, there is about a 25% chance the Russian CV will be 1.5 and about a 25% chance it will be just 3. These will obviously result in much higher casualties than typical. The net result is to give the Russians some reasons for attacking in 1941 and early 1942, and perhaps allow the player to suffer tremendous losses while doing it!
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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 8:20:40 AM   
Krec


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There is no reason for the Russians to attack in 41 as the game sits now. Best options is to RUN

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 11:47:18 AM   
Farfarer

 

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I always attack in 1941, but judiciously. Mostly in the south, as the terrain favours the Cavalry and Armoured Divs. I think the key is to create 2 attack armies - one with your high speed cavalry, the other Armour. Any lonely Panzer Division or any surroundable unit gets pounced. I don't play for the surrender, just the "rout" due to no retreat route. You are unlikely to keep any 1941 pockets intact, and will likely be pocketed yourself trying to do so. Use you good leaders to command these armies, and the Admin rating is important. On average this is only a half dozen victories against mech in 17 turns, but I consider this quite acceptable peformance for summer 1941. Your tank losses will be shocking 10 to 1 easy.

The game is nerve-wracking enough for non-Pelton Axis players in 1941 without making the Red Army even better :)

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 1:00:40 PM   
Tarhunnas


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I think this is a good idea! The Soviets need an incentive to attack in 1941, and the Germans shouldn't be able to be as complacent as they can be in the game. Good suggestion!

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 6:17:20 PM   
randallw

 

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Brest-Litovsk doesn't begin the game with a fort level required to hold the city against a deliberate attack by the Axis on the first turn.

The mechanism of the game that decreases Axis MP usage on the first turn allows a lot of surrounding, which wipes away practical chances to counterattack near the border.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 6:32:37 PM   
Flaviusx


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If you really want to change things up, Randallw probably is on the right track: eliminating the Soviet MP penalties on turn 1 by itself would be a major change and allow for counterattacks. Not to mention making the whole Lvov pocket business a lot more sketchy.

By the time said penalties go away, the Soviet is far behind the curve and the game becomes one long Axis exploitation for several months following that. It's just a crippling opener.

I've long been unhappy with the whole surprise turn in this game.





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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 7:23:30 PM   
Tarhunnas


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But isn't the Soviet penalties on turn 1 supposed to reflect poor C&C and surprise? Letting them move fully will give the Soviets a telepathic ability way too early IMHO.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 7:26:10 PM   
DorianGray

 

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Big concern as a German player would be the tendoncy for a savvy SU player to take advantage of this and RUN faster.

Again, as a German player, I am not worried or concerned about any SU opponent who wishes to stand their ground in 41 - or even counter-attack.

My biggest fear comes from all of those SU formations that "ran like the wind" from the front, leaving nothing to engage ( or potentially surround ) during the initial invasion.

In the long-term, it seems that the only way to weaken a SU's offensive capacity is through elimination of SU units with a resulting effect of draining SU AP points.

In my experience against a human opponent, the game comes down to how many SU units were destroyed in '41 and not how much territory was taken or production disrupted.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 7:56:20 PM   
Flaviusx


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Run with what? Northwestern and Western Fronts will be toast. Only SW Front has a chance to run, but it would be better served by counterattacking.

The Axis might have to keep more armor up north to solidy pockets. That's a good thing in my estimation. But if done correctly, everything west of Riga and Minsk isn't getting away regardless.

It's in the south that the additional movement for the Sovs would make a difference. And it's in the south that the 1st turn surprise is pretty broken. The Axis can presently destroy 3 fronts when it should only be able to get 2.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 8:47:06 PM   
bwheatley

 

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Yea i agree that the soviets are practically kneecapped. The game is designed to help inflate the germans for the first few years while holding down the soviets then it reverses and the soviets are inflated and the germans held down. I remember WITP used to use the same system of giving japan the zero bonus. Then with WITP AE they were able to get rid of that and just have a fair system that still meant the japanese had the advantage as long as their better pilots stayed alive.

I hope one day for the same type of system with WITE/WiE. The fact that the best strategy for the soviets is to run (which i don't personally regardless) says to me the engine still needs a bit of work.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 8:56:54 PM   
gids

 

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prob the best idea in a long time to give some "randomness" to the game in the start on a fair base,as things sit now most german players are gamey with their panzers and a good player can even take moscou leningrad and have some good progress in the south aswell,all together
Atm i play a new GC and this guy seriously he maxed out every move ,it would be nice if they could implement a system where the german player needs to be a tad more carefull ,plus it would add a bit to the reality factor
but dam nice idea

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 10:06:17 PM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I think this is a good idea! The Soviets need an incentive to attack in 1941, and the Germans shouldn't be able to be as complacent as they can be in the game. Good suggestion!

quote:

y Ju


+1, I too think the Germans can be way to complacent in 1941. This is a great idea.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 10:15:12 PM   
Farfarer

 

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No they can't, unless they like losing units ( like I do :)

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/2/2012 11:22:35 PM   
randallw

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

But isn't the Soviet penalties on turn 1 supposed to reflect poor C&C and surprise? Letting them move fully will give the Soviets a telepathic ability way too early IMHO.


Turn 1 has the combination of lower MP costs for the Axis and MP penalties for the Soviet side.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/3/2012 4:30:39 PM   
Offworlder

 

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Frankly, its very difficult to recreate the confusion on the Russian side during the first weeks of the war. So kneecapping the Red army initially may be a compromise in that direction. Let's face it, if a Soviet unit needs to escape it can either a) catch a train - thanks to the enormous lift of the rail system, b) run in the Pripet Marshes where most Axis players are loath to venture until they cut them off at Gomel or c) spread the units out leaving a few rearguards.

And besides - if the Russians are given the ability to move quickly in the first turn, then the arrival of reconstituted units in November should be removed since basically there would be no real reason for it. Let the Red Army rebuild itself from scratch not self replicate. Then we'll see the Soviet player really having to make tough decisions of where to concentrate his forces as happened in real life and the disposal of strategic reserves becomes an art in itself.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/3/2012 8:11:35 PM   
sath

 

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really honestly, going to make Russians even stronger.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/4/2012 4:15:40 AM   
Farfarer

 

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ooooh. Must admit I didn't think of trading off Turn 1 penalties for auto-regeneration...

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/4/2012 9:25:58 AM   
Offworlder

 

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The point is that the Red Army was at its lowest ebb operationally. It had come out bruised from a war which should have been a walk over (with Finland), its Command and Control was at that time being overhauled and dependent on orders from Moscow and frankly, it was caught wrong footed (they were planning for a war 2 or more years down the line). Essentailly during the first weeks if not months, they just threw in reserves in the path of the Germans, trying to buy time - though for what purpose, they did not know.

As the game stands, initial German victories are worth next to nothing because the Red Army just regenerates in November for free. There is no real historical reason for this decision since basically the Red Army was really scraping the barrel of military formations (not manpower please note) and the arrival of the Siberian forces were a godsend. Many historians tend to emphasise the role of these Siberian divisions on the attack during the blizzard, when their real value was in holding the line around Moscow, and counterattacking around Rostov. But due to the regeneration of the defeated forces (gamewise) the Siberians tend to be the cherry on the cake more than the lifesavers they were in reality. Admittedly, I have played fewer Soviet games, but if a player is patient for a couple of weeks, many of the original formations will be up to strength and can push back the Germans while gaining morale and possible Guard status.

Also if the Soviet forces are allowed to attack in great strength in '41 and '42, we might as well call this game the invasion of germany. As explained above, historically they would have been shredded. Secondly, thanks to the regeneration of the Red Army, attacking by the Red Army in '41 is still cheap - what do I care to lose a dozen divisions (which will regenerate later) if I managed to slow down or bog down German spearheads for a few weeks, enough to evacuate my industry and a few non replacable forces (like the airborne brigades)?

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/4/2012 11:00:32 AM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

Brest-Litovsk doesn't begin the game with a fort level required to hold the city against a deliberate attack by the Axis on the first turn.

The mechanism of the game that decreases Axis MP usage on the first turn allows a lot of surrounding, which wipes away practical chances to counterattack near the border.


I think one has to differentiate between counterattacks and counteroffensives. Local Soviet Counterattacks on a division scale were effective from the beginning but attempts at larger operations were all very shambolic. Also, I think their defensive capacity is seriously underrated in the game.

How to represent this? I would go the other way, increase the NM and experience (->increase CV) of the Soviet starting formations substantially but give the Soviets hefty MP penalties that gradually decline over several months. The units would be easier to surround, less able to escape pockets but could hurt adjacent units and would be more durable.

The problem as I see it here would be the huge Soviet rail cap allowing too much mobility.

< Message edited by MechFO -- 2/4/2012 11:07:30 AM >

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:25:17 AM   
bednarre

 

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How many isolated German Panzer Divisions were attacked in 1941 in real-life? How many non-isolated German division were attacked in 1941 in real-life? What the game offers in attack capability, is that only an isolated division can be attacked!

Will this unbalance the game? Perhaps the severe supply penalties going eastward for the Wehrmacht in 1941 in the game can then be toned down. Perhaps the winter effects could be further toned down. These seem very artificial rules. Was it the Great Blizzard itself that was the decisive factor, or was it the ratio of Russians to Germans in front of Moscow? How can the Kharkov Offensive in 1942 ever be contemplated? Perhaps the super-Corps could be toned down as well in 1943 and 1944, and give the German player some suspensefull defense? I personally would like to be able to duplicate the Korsun Pocket.

It seems like trying to adjust Turn #1 movement would not be realistic. The Germans acheived complete tactical, operation, and strategic surprise! Russian communications were poor and prior planning obsolete. Even if the Russian divisions could come into play from reserve, would it make a great difference? Perhaps a few more regular attacks, versus hasty ones, but overall the same effect, 99% German success rate.

This brings up a point which has not been discussed, to my recollection. Alot of the attack factors (and thus clear terrain defense factors) appear to be VERY SIMILAR to SPI's War in the East II, which I have also played. German Panzer Divisions has strengths of 10 (with SS 13), while infantry divisions were 6. Stacking was 3 per hex. Russian tank and motorised brigades were 2 and 3, repectively (no Corps at start for Russians). Russian infantry divisions were 1. Overrun occured at 10:1 odds. A 3:1 attack was a victory. The scale was larger, thus most of the line had 3 Russian divisions (combined strength of 3). Thus 3 Germans divisions attacked at 18:3, or 6:1, with catestrophics results for the defender. Two German Panzer and one Motorised division attacked at 28:3, or 9:1 odds (defenders obliterated). My point? The classic board game required 3:1 for attack success. Units did not stack very well beyond 3 (spill over disaster). Counters were back-printed for Germans, but a step loss was severe (a 10 Panzer going down to 2 and a 6 infantry going to 1)! This basically modeled the division as all but destroyed, but did allow it to be rebuilt. The result was a requirement to have very high German factors, and very low Russian factors. This allowed the Germans to sweep through western Russia up to the gates of Moscow (supply rules had no special eastward penalty). The German attack resulted in a lot of step losses (with THE BLIZZARD causes substantially more), which allowed the Russian to counterattack in the winter (but no time else until 1943). WITE has followed this design philosophy. It also has more flexibility than the board game. For example, tedious setup problems were avoided by having a divisions of one type having the same attack/defense factors. Also, the historical German and Russians had no similar limitations.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:29:08 AM   
bednarre

 

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The Russians retreating without fighting would have been very bad for morale and politically fatal for Stalin. The Ukraine was the bread-basket of the entire country. Fortunately Western deliveries of food under Lend Lease helped to make up the loss, but starvation still occured.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:34:58 AM   
bednarre

 

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Making the Russians stronger per the suggestion is fleeting. Yes, the Russian will have SOME attack capability. On the other hand, most of the attack will be catastrophic (even worse than current). So why should one attack in the game?

1) Cause German casualties
2) Make the Germans defend with a few divisions
3) Avoid unrealistic solo one-division exertions into the interior


So what does the German player get out of it?
1) Moskow supply death-star significantly reduced
2) THE BLIZZARD death-star significantly reduced
2) Want to attack/counter-attack in 1943 and 1944?

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:40:49 AM   
bednarre

 

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Stalin did not make nearly as many disasterous decisions as Hitler. Better German generaling than historical, plus the free ability to build massive fortifications, should not make this a push-over. I anticipate a lowering of Russian CV and an elimation of the 1:1 "Special Rule". How many attacks have you seen succeeding at 1.2:1 odd! It can be very frustrating for the German player.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:43:45 AM   
bednarre

 

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The Russians were not counter-attacking with a single division. They were counter-attacking with a whole army (Smolensk, Kharkov, etc.)! German sources don't like to talk about this capability.

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RE: Let Russia Attack in 1941 and 1942! - 2/5/2012 4:48:37 AM   
bednarre

 

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If the Russians are to attack with 6 divisions, CV would have to go from 1 each to 3, 4, or 5. That is quite a boost in moral and experience! If a division need only move 2 hexes to attack, the MP would have to be dramatically reduced. This would make defending a line very interesting. Later in the war when these are combined into Corps, how would the German player stop them?

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