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RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy?

 
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RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/17/2012 3:52:06 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

The Lvov pocket causes panzers to drive south west...and this is not towards Kiew/Kharkov; yes alot of units get bagged, but the Axis loses at least 1, if not 2 - 3 turns fighting in the wrong direction.

Marquo


Piffle. The Axis can cross the Dnepr by turn 6 in the area of Cherkassy-Kremenchug and then get behind Kiev and strike directly towards Kharkov. This is hilariously ahead of schedule compared to real life. You don't lose any time at all driving SW, you are in fact reaching the historical crossing point almost two full months ahead of schedule.

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Post #: 31
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/17/2012 5:40:38 PM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

The Lvov pocket causes panzers to drive south west...and this is not towards Kiew/Kharkov; yes alot of units get bagged, but the Axis loses at least 1, if not 2 - 3 turns fighting in the wrong direction.

Marquo


Piffle. The Axis can cross the Dnepr by turn 6 in the area of Cherkassy-Kremenchug and then get behind Kiev and strike directly towards Kharkov. This is hilariously ahead of schedule compared to real life. You don't lose any time at all driving SW, you are in fact reaching the historical crossing point almost two full months ahead of schedule.


Have to agree here. The Lvov opening can be extremely powerful. The best way to see the effect it has on the Russian player for the first several turns is to play a "hot seat" game where you play both sides. I think any Russian who says they prefer a Lvov opening vs a weaker central thrust compared to a historical opening is sort of kidding themselves at this point in time with the game. Look at how much more you can rescue out of the Lvov area, including at least some of those mountain divisions, which can come back to haunt the Axis during the winter, not to mention the amount of extra resistance AGS is going to face over the next several turns.

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Post #: 32
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/17/2012 5:45:34 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Here's the thing... Stalin had many defeats in the first months because he refused to trade space for time. He'd rather trade soldiers (and Generals) for time. Only by 42 the Soviets had a clear strategy of giving space to avoid encirclements - and the proof is that they had much less of them in 42.

My point is: it's easy to think of Stalin's stand-or-die orders in 41 (and Hitler's similar orders in 44) as a megalomaniac caprice of an all-powerful dictator who ignored the mathematics of attack/defense ratios, but the reality was probably more complicated. A general (or even dictator) that retreats with no gains easily ends up in disgrace, because it's easy to see in the map the lost territory, but difficult to see exactly how much time he gained.

So problem with retreat (even if necessary) is that nobody likes to lose territory and population. In a democracy we can call that the heroic call of duty to protect the innocent while in a dictatorship we call that a cynical waste of soldiers and refusal to see reality -- but I suspect the underlying reason is the same: nobody likes a retreater.

Therefore, the way I see it, Stalin was not the czar Alexander. The czar could not be deposed, while Stalin could; immediately after the invasion he thought he would be killed, and being so neurotic I bet that he wasn't too comfortable even by 42. I doubt that the official discourse in the STAVKA on 41 was: "Comrades, let's allow the Huns come to the gates of the capital, when a very timely winter will freeze them solid and we'll unleash our Siberians to victory!!". I think it was more in the lines of "Comrades, we'll protect Minsk to death!"; then "Comrades, the enemy will NEVER conquer Kharkov!"; then "Comrades, the war will be won at Smolensk!". And so forth.

I'm not saying the Soviet generals were a warm bunch - I'm sure they would allow 100,000 soldiers die for nothing. I'm just saying that in the real USSR it took a specially ruthless and specially confident general to order and survive a general retreat. Your run-of-the-mill general would order his men to stand firm and die for the Motherland - that's way safer for him.


ps: I think the best way to argue about retreat is this: resistance is always expected to increase when the defenders are defending their own country. In military terms there's no reason to defend a hill in one's country more strongly than the same hill on someone else's country, but that's what happens. The reason is not logic, but ethos.


I agree. Key turning point was probably the successes of the Blizzard offensive, after that Stalin was safe. But if there had not been a successful Winter-offensive, for whatever reason, and another pounding in the summer of 42?...shades of 1916-17. It's often forgotten that Stalin had a huge victory within half a year, and another one a year later. That does wonders of a dictators legitimacy.

Same for Hitler, he's strong late war position, even in the face of reverses everywhere, was built on his resounding initial successes. A German Army stalled in f.e. Poland and France would have been a different story.

(in reply to fbs)
Post #: 33
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/19/2012 3:14:10 AM   
Marquo


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"Piffle. The Axis can cross the Dnepr by turn 6 in the area of Cherkassy-Kremenchug and then get behind Kiev and strike directly towards Kharkov. This is hilariously ahead of schedule compared to real life. You don't lose any time at all driving SW, you are in fact reaching the historical crossing point almost two full months ahead of schedule."

Oh I beleive that the whole S-SW scheme is indeed, "Piffle." My point is that going for Proskurov and cutting the rail acheives pretty much the same thing yet keeps things going in a more easterly direction. Fix logistics, and the issue in this theatre will be fixed.

(in reply to MechFO)
Post #: 34
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/19/2012 4:10:07 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo


Fix logistics, and the issue in this theatre will be fixed.


Probably a post WiTW/pre WiE thing.

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Post #: 35
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/19/2012 4:55:28 AM   
Denniss

 

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Reduce movement points a unit receives or increase movement costs?

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Post #: 36
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/19/2012 1:28:06 PM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

The Lvov pocket causes panzers to drive south west...and this is not towards Kiew/Kharkov; yes alot of units get bagged, but the Axis loses at least 1, if not 2 - 3 turns fighting in the wrong direction.

Marquo


Piffle. The Axis can cross the Dnepr by turn 6 in the area of Cherkassy-Kremenchug and then get behind Kiev and strike directly towards Kharkov. This is hilariously ahead of schedule compared to real life. You don't lose any time at all driving SW, you are in fact reaching the historical crossing point almost two full months ahead of schedule.


Have to agree here. The Lvov opening can be extremely powerful. The best way to see the effect it has on the Russian player for the first several turns is to play a "hot seat" game where you play both sides. I think any Russian who says they prefer a Lvov opening vs a weaker central thrust compared to a historical opening is sort of kidding themselves at this point in time with the game. Look at how much more you can rescue out of the Lvov area, including at least some of those mountain divisions, which can come back to haunt the Axis during the winter, not to mention the amount of extra resistance AGS is going to face over the next several turns.

Yes, agree with this as well.With the way the game is setup, a big Southern opening is virtually forced.The majority of the Soviet SW front can be destroyed in the first month of the war, so must be.
Also agree that Cherkassy South is the best place to cross.

(in reply to Klydon)
Post #: 37
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/20/2012 12:37:27 AM   
DorianGray

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon


The game is too much of a track meet right now. Russians retreat very quickly


No they do not. People need to stop repeating this nonsense. It is not that the Soviets are retreating too quickly. It is that the Axis offensive is preposterously accelerated. The Red Army is simply being blown away too quickly and stuff is being overrun as a result.

You can't hold Kiev until September when SW Front is pocketed on turn 1. Generally the Dnepr is being crossed as early as turn 6. Leningrad can't be held at all. Moscow is falling in a non trivial portion of games. None of these things are because of "runaways." The first real runaway is the one that happens in the winter...by the Axis.




I know the PBEM game I played was like advancing across a frontier ghost-town and I could not find the SU. SU losses were minimum in 1941 in my PBEM. Yeah, I got some initial pockets, but after that, hardly anything.

Perhaps I was too used to playing against the AI and did not zealously pursue fast enough to keep up?

Anyways, it left some deep emotional scarrs as a result.

(in reply to Flaviusx)
Post #: 38
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/20/2012 9:53:54 PM   
AFV


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How about the SU initial setup being slightly different each game? In another words, a unit here or there with a higher CV, or 1 hex away from its normal spot?
If the Llov opening is not a for sure thing, then it would not be done for sure every game.

But with that said, if you take away something from one side, you should give it something else or take away something from the other side for balance issues. Changing turn 1 has a huge effect as it affects the next 200 turns (as opposed to something that changes on turn 150, that only affects things from that point on), so this is a very sticky issue, and has potential to really unbalance the game.

(in reply to DorianGray)
Post #: 39
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/20/2012 10:06:55 PM   
randallw

 

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I see some variance in unit quality for the Soviets; some units can be bad to begin a campaign, in another start they'll be mediocre, or the other way.

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RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/21/2012 4:00:35 AM   
vicberg

 

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quote:


Therefore, the way I see it, Stalin was not the czar Alexander. The czar could not be deposed, while Stalin could; immediately after the invasion he thought he would be killed, and being so neurotic I bet that he wasn't too comfortable even by 42. I doubt that the official discourse in the STAVKA on 41 was: "Comrades, let's allow the Huns come to the gates of the capital, when a very timely winter will freeze them solid and we'll unleash our Siberians to victory!!". I think it was more in the lines of "Comrades, we'll protect Minsk to death!"; then "Comrades, the enemy will NEVER conquer Kharkov!"; then "Comrades, the war will be won at Smolensk!". And so forth.


Have you read Russian History? Stalin took a census prior to the war. He didn't like the results. He purged the entire department. The next group told him what he wanted to hear. Of the two, Alexandra was much easier to depose than Stalin, who repeated purged every part of his government and country until everyone was afraid to stand against him. The entire country was at his disposal.

(in reply to MechFO)
Post #: 41
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/21/2012 5:58:34 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vicberg


quote:


Therefore, the way I see it, Stalin was not the czar Alexander. The czar could not be deposed, while Stalin could; immediately after the invasion he thought he would be killed, and being so neurotic I bet that he wasn't too comfortable even by 42. I doubt that the official discourse in the STAVKA on 41 was: "Comrades, let's allow the Huns come to the gates of the capital, when a very timely winter will freeze them solid and we'll unleash our Siberians to victory!!". I think it was more in the lines of "Comrades, we'll protect Minsk to death!"; then "Comrades, the enemy will NEVER conquer Kharkov!"; then "Comrades, the war will be won at Smolensk!". And so forth.


Have you read Russian History? Stalin took a census prior to the war. He didn't like the results. He purged the entire department. The next group told him what he wanted to hear. Of the two, Alexandra was much easier to depose than Stalin, who repeated purged every part of his government and country until everyone was afraid to stand against him. The entire country was at his disposal.


Purged anyone he thought just might try and replace him.

(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 42
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/21/2012 3:06:18 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vicberg

Have you read Russian History? Stalin took a census prior to the war. He didn't like the results. He purged the entire department. The next group told him what he wanted to hear. Of the two, Alexandra was much easier to depose than Stalin, who repeated purged every part of his government and country until everyone was afraid to stand against him. The entire country was at his disposal.




Well, Stalin's pal, Mr. Krushchev, was removed quite easily, as was Robespierre (who was even more bloodthirsty than Stalin). Any dictator remains in power because of a power base - when that is gone, they fall. Do you really believe that Stalin would continue in power if he had lost the war?

But, more to the point, Stalin was neurotic and aggressive. He had a nervous breakdown and thought he would be purged when Germany attacked, so I doubt that he took as granted as we do that he could do anything he wished. He saw enemies everywhere. He had 10,000 tanks and 300 divisions in early 1941 - there's no way he could justify ordering a general retreat for better positions.

What he did in 1941 was, in my point of view, the best political (but worst military) decision, which was to order the generals to hold fast and attack, and then blame them for any defeats. If he ordered retreat, the blame would be with him. I can't see him telling the Politburo in July 1941 that "Comrades, we have the biggest Army in the world, but we can't defend a river line. We better run like rabbits all the way to the Urals. Seeya in Gorky!".


< Message edited by fbs -- 2/21/2012 4:16:39 PM >

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Post #: 43
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/21/2012 4:32:11 PM   
marty_01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Imagine it's 1980, and the Soviets launched a surprise attack against NATO, and are rolling in all fronts.

Would you order your troops to march to the front and stand and die, so the population can evacuate and reinforcements can build a 2nd line of defense, or would you pull back your troops, face the media (that will call you a coward) and leave the civillians to their fate?

I would stay in the front, for a matter of ethos: it's very difficult to run away and leave the enemy run rampant in your country - even if staying means a high chance of defeat. That's a fundamental dilemma that, I believe, many professional soldiers would struggle with in real life.

Meanwhile players are not troubled with (or punished for) trading territory for time in the game. The lack of attachment to the little dots in the map is, for me, the biggest difference between a player playing WITE and a real general playing the war. The former will choose "X" with mathematical precision because he will get whatever maximum probability, while the later will choose "Y", even if that's not the best mathematical choice, but is the one he can live with in real life.

Any thoughts?



A fair number of those little dots along the frontier are actually Polish or Bessarabian or Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian...i.e. the political stigma associated with Russian Field Marshals abandoning Polish\Bessaribian\Lithuanian (etc.) wasn’t quit on par with your above example. In fact, there was actually great deal of debate amongst the Red Army General Staff prior to the commencement of Barbarossa as to the best strategy to employ if the Germans attacked the Soviet Union. The two possible options being either to fight the German Army on the Frontier -- or as Zhukov argued -- retreat into the hinterland and trade space for time. It therefore wasn’t a particularly inconceivable strategy for the Red Army to retreat into Russia rather than nailing itself to Lvov, Bialystok, Kaunus and etc. And of course there is also historical precedent for the Russian Army employing Fabian strategy – ala. Kutuzov’s 1812 Campaign.

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RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/21/2012 5:11:22 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

A fair number of those little dots along the frontier are actually Polish or Bessarabian or Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian...i.e. the political stigma associated with Russian Field Marshals abandoning Polish\Bessaribian\Lithuanian (etc.) wasn’t quit on par with your above example.




That's a great point. I agree.

Minsk and Kiev are different, though. Players in game just give up both too easily compared to real life.


ps: a per-turn bonus in say administrative points might be motivation for a player to try and keep them a bit more (although I'm not sure anyone would try too hard, whatever the bonus, in face of those death star panzer units).


< Message edited by fbs -- 2/21/2012 5:16:29 PM >

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Post #: 45
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/22/2012 1:56:52 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01


quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Imagine it's 1980, and the Soviets launched a surprise attack against NATO, and are rolling in all fronts.

Would you order your troops to march to the front and stand and die, so the population can evacuate and reinforcements can build a 2nd line of defense, or would you pull back your troops, face the media (that will call you a coward) and leave the civillians to their fate?

I would stay in the front, for a matter of ethos: it's very difficult to run away and leave the enemy run rampant in your country - even if staying means a high chance of defeat. That's a fundamental dilemma that, I believe, many professional soldiers would struggle with in real life.

Meanwhile players are not troubled with (or punished for) trading territory for time in the game. The lack of attachment to the little dots in the map is, for me, the biggest difference between a player playing WITE and a real general playing the war. The former will choose "X" with mathematical precision because he will get whatever maximum probability, while the later will choose "Y", even if that's not the best mathematical choice, but is the one he can live with in real life.

Any thoughts?



A fair number of those little dots along the frontier are actually Polish or Bessarabian or Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian...i.e. the political stigma associated with Russian Field Marshals abandoning Polish\Bessaribian\Lithuanian (etc.) wasn’t quit on par with your above example. In fact, there was actually great deal of debate amongst the Red Army General Staff prior to the commencement of Barbarossa as to the best strategy to employ if the Germans attacked the Soviet Union. The two possible options being either to fight the German Army on the Frontier -- or as Zhukov argued -- retreat into the hinterland and trade space for time. It therefore wasn’t a particularly inconceivable strategy for the Red Army to retreat into Russia rather than nailing itself to Lvov, Bialystok, Kaunus and etc. And of course there is also historical precedent for the Russian Army employing Fabian strategy – ala. Kutuzov’s 1812 Campaign.


I can't judge the above, but I would like to point out that the imperatives of dictators and general staffs are quite different. General staff concentrate first and foremost on military considerations, not politics. However politics is what's the driver of a dictators decisions, since his survival is dependant upon them. It's irrelevant whether the general staff thought it's a good idea or not, it's down to whether Stalin would have thought he could safely give it up without diminishing his authority, and more importantly, if he would be willing to take even an outside chance on it in order to save a few 10'000 soldiers.

I would argue no. A few 10'000 soldiers vs. even slight possibility of diminished authority= soldiers lose every time.

(in reply to marty_01)
Post #: 46
RE: So how easy is it to run away from the enemy? - 2/22/2012 2:30:16 PM   
RCH


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Against Napoleon the Russians fell back and sucked him ever deeper into mother Russia to his eventual defeat. If the Soviet wants to run let him. The problem is that there are no ill effects at all to how far he can run. The Axis therefore should be left in a better position especially after not launching a snow offensive. Soviet runs because he is like a rubber band that will bend, but never break. He knows this and plays accordingly. The Axis no matter what preparations he makes will be taking a licking in the first blizzard. The game mechanics allows for the soviet to conserve and develop into a steamroller. The Axis, because of game mechanics lose all "what ifs" and gets his numbers and CVs manipulated to fit into the Soviet players model.

Carrots are given to the Axis players with dumbed down Soviet CVs in 1941 (or it might be that the Germans infantries CVs are too high)and the Lvov pocket.

< Message edited by RCH -- 2/22/2012 6:13:01 PM >

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Post #: 47
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