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Best soviet defensive strategy 1941

 
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Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 10:14:27 AM   
matt.buttsworth

 

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is it worth building fortified zones as soviets in 1941, or is it better to use precious ap poins to create more infanrty divisions?

Is it better to fight for every inch chequarboard style or run rabbit run?

Defend Leningradborvabandon it?

All thoughts welcome.

Mb
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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 10:51:55 AM   
bigbaba


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hi Mb,

from my limited experience the russian player should do the following things in 41:

-build a delay line at pskov in the north along the river. that should stop PG 4 for 1-2 turns. if you can hold leningrad until turn 10-11 you have done a great job. a good german player will capture leningrad anyway earlier or later.

-stop the fins in the far north of ladoga sea. reinforce the 7th ind. army. that saves you a lot of fortified regions at svir river. thanks to Flaviusx for that.

-in the center get everything into the landbridge/dnjepr line to prevent a early crossing. that will force the german panzers to wait for infantry to catch up and will cost him 3-4 turns until the infantry is in position. behind the dnjepr line build several digging armies (STAVKA armies with 3-4 construction SU's) and dig a fort 2 line between rzhev and bryansk. i dig more around the tula region because the terrain there is much better for panzer operations then the forrests west of moscow. use the rivers desna, bolva, oka.

hope that helps a bit.

< Message edited by bigbaba -- 5/23/2012 10:54:06 AM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 11:10:36 AM   
76mm


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Here are my tips from a couple of games and lots of time on this forum:

you should probably create a limited number of FZs; I create a few on the Finnish border, several around Moscow, and a few down at the gates of the Crimea.

Generally I avoid creating RifDivs for 40 AP, it is just not worth it. Starting with Turn 10, you will have a flood of RifDivs, you shouldn't really need any more. However, I do create RivDivs in 1942 as I lose units to encirclements and combine them into RifCorps.

You should neither fight for every inch nor run--generally have a picket line facing the Germans, with units to the rear in good terrain. Whatever you do you will get crushed, but you have to at least slow the Germans down...

You have to try to defend Lgrad, although you probably won't succeed. You need to at least tie up enough German units in the effort to make it impossible for the Germans to unleash these units on Moscow before the blizzard.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 11:41:25 AM   
timmyab

 

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I don't spend APs on building new units in 41, they're too expensive and manpower going into them will mean starving existing units.
I don't see any reason to build FZs in 41 either.You have to absorb the energy of the German attack which means giving ground, lots of it at first.Solid lines are going to be broken and surrounded.Forts aren't reliable anyway and can easily be dismantled by pioneers.Base your defensive positions on terrain and use forts as backup.FZs are more useful in 42.
I spend APs on C&C and SUs in that order.

Be flexible in defense.Run where you have to, defend doggedly where you can get away with it without risking being pocketed.This often requires flank protection and can be difficult to judge.

I defend Leningrad to the extent that if they want it they'll have to fight hard for it.Hopefully for the entire 41 campaign season.This does mean losing some units in the city, although some of the stronger ones can sometimes be evacuated through Sviritsa at the last minute.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 12:14:46 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab
I don't see any reason to build FZs in 41 either.You have to absorb the energy of the German attack which means giving ground, lots of it at first.


But sometimes you can't/shouldn't give any more ground, and should at least try to hold your ground. In my view those places are Moscow and the Crimea (and the Finnish border, although that is a different situation).

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 12:39:25 PM   
timmyab

 

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Agree with Moscow.Not so sure about the Crimea or the Finnish border.
I defend the choke points in the Crimea and Sevastopol.I'm not going to make a huge thing out of it though.If they want the place that badly then they can have it as far as I'm concerned.The benefits or otherwise of occupying the Crimea would make for an interesting discussion.
I would only make a stand against the Finns if I intended to try and hold Leningrad throughout 41.Otherwise it's an army wasted that should be slowing down AGN.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 12:43:28 PM   
Callistrid

 

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North:
1. I allways build 1 fortification near leningrad, to fortify the Ladoga-Leningrad line. Expensive 16 AP, but it's necessary.
2. Try to slow the german operation around Pskov. 3 strong (4+ CV) other soviet soviet unit can avoit the early river cross (you need reinforcement from south-center to do that).
3. Fortify the swamps, and forest hexes with 3 unit stack. Useing the hedgehog defense will real slow the german, even if those troops will be encircled.
4. Build the luga line with units from south, or center on T02.
5. The german can HQ build his units after T04, so allways defend deep.

Center
1. Defend the Dnyepr river. Use the 7-10 CV tank units from the south front, particularly on the bulge of the river. The german can't cross the river on T02-04.
2. After T04 retreat from the river, if the german don't cross it, because he will have enough MP to encircle you, and the german infantry can support the attack.
3. In maintime build a chess board around Moscov.
4. Moscow is the front what you can defend well, so send here most of your reinforcements.
5. The german rail line will be close after T06-T07 (around Smolensk), so be carefull with the german mobility.

South
1. Retreat to the river
2. Leave Kiev empty, because you need the Bryansk front, and his 125 AP
3. Evacuate the industry. On T02-T07 you can evacuate most of the inustrial capacity except the Stalino area.
4. Send half of your forces (the better half) to the other fronts.
5. Use the chess board defense strategy.

general advise:
1. Never run back more then 4-5 hex. When you retreat, you must retrteat from the german infatry, and force the german motorized units to fight with you. The hasty attack is risky, but the deliberate attack need 15 MP, so allow the germans to fight with you.
2. Rail 2-3 cavalry unit, and use them to cut the german lines.
3. Try to send expendable units near the german motorized forces. The german can't refit his units near enemy.
4. Hit motorized units, if they stand alone in clear region, and you have chance to do it.
5. Don't spend your AP for fortification, of unit build. Use the AP for better leaders, and sapper units to the HQ.
6. Concentrate your air forces in one or two front. The fighter intercept must be 300%. Upgrade the air forces, after T05. In maintime send them to the reserve.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 1:32:35 PM   
Klydon


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Lot of good general advice here.

My personal take is a very limited number of fortified zones in the Moscow area. The Stalino area is also somewhat a good choice as you want to deny the Germans getting settled in there for the winter with the three cities together. In general, it should be situational due to their high cost. I don't make new counters in 1941, but do make up new support units, especially sapper regiments.

You need to commit enough to the defense of Leningrad to make a German who wants to take it commit all of AGN and then delay him long enough that while the forces of AGN may take Leningrad, there is not enough time for them to participate elsewhere along the front during the rest of the 1941 campaign. Oh, and you have to balance that with not taking a bath on a huge amount of losses either. ;)

In general, you want to try to set your skirmish line back far enough where the German infantry can't really help that much to clear your main pickets out and make the panzer/motorized forces do the work to clear lanes for the infantry and generally carry the offensive themselves. Doing this means they will become trashed that much quicker. You can only do this so much obviously, but you also don't want to get tons of units pocketed either. Having some units further up to flip territory back to Russian control does help as well and trying to keep a minimal amount of units next to the panzer/motorized formations will keep them from recovering as much in between turns.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 5:20:24 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab

Agree with Moscow.Not so sure about the Crimea or the Finnish border.
I defend the choke points in the Crimea and Sevastopol.I'm not going to make a huge thing out of it though.If they want the place that badly then they can have it as far as I'm concerned.The benefits or otherwise of occupying the Crimea would make for an interesting discussion.
I would only make a stand against the Finns if I intended to try and hold Leningrad throughout 41.Otherwise it's an army wasted that should be slowing down AGN.


Unfortunately, while the real contestants cared a lot about the Crimea, in the game it is completely uninteresting. Another thing that might have benefitted from a better VP system.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 5:34:11 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bigbaba

-stop the fins in the far north of ladoga sea. reinforce the 7th ind. army. that saves you a lot of fortified regions at svir river. thanks to Flaviusx for that.



I don't agree with Flaviusx about this. I think it is a waste of troops, and incurring avoidable losses. I wait until turn 3 (or is it 4) when FZs drop to 8 AP, then build a line of them along the Svir. Every unit saved from the Finnsih front can be crucial in the defense of Leningrad. When that falls, there is no reason to defend anything up there, so you can retreat back to the next lake, so it doesn't matter that the position falls apart.

Then of course when I disagree with Flaviusx, time will usually tell he was right all along

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 5:52:22 PM   
Flaviusx


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The payoff for the strong defense against the Finns comes later on. If (when) Leningrad falls is when you really appreciate it because it allows you to immediately stabilize the situation. You can hold the line at the Volkhov river rather than falling back due to Finnish pressure on the Svir. I've seen too many games devolve into a sauve qui peut up north after Leningrad falls where the Soviet is running back practically to Yaroslavl. Screw that noise.

It also cramps the Axis ability to deploy the Finns as he wants and strip the north bare of German troops.

I also absolutely hate wasting APs on building forts as a general principle and the ideal number of forts for me in 1941 is in the low single digits. Throwing away an entire turn's worth of APs on forts along the Svir is not my idea of economy of force. It is cheaper to reinforce 7. Army.




< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 5/23/2012 5:54:35 PM >


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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 6:23:46 PM   
Tarhunnas


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But the Finns are far stronger inside the Finn-no-attack line. If you fall back to the Onega-line, the Finns will start to deteriorate due to low morale and supply. They are easy to grind down in 1942 because of their low replacement rates, and then the Finns will become a problem for the Germans.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 6:37:40 PM   
Flaviusx


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Yes, but in 1941 they are still dangerous. Eventually morale decay will render them useless, but if they can push the Sovs back a long ways in 41, the Soviets are going to have a rough time winning all that real estate back. And the Sovs won't have the +1 beni anymore.


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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 6:45:12 PM   
Tarhunnas


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In my experience, logistics will stop them long before they reach anything important. And yes, it will be a hard time winning the terrain back, but then once Leningrad falls, the Northern theatre turns into a backwater. Campaigns are rarely decided up north. No side usually initiates a serious offensive up there. Too much bad terrain. So why not let the Finns advance, let them wither for a while, then grind them down and see them running back to the shortest possible front, with the Germans having to send reinforcements up north. That's fine with me, just as well as having a static front on the Volchov that will keep the Finns intact.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 6:57:58 PM   
Schmart

 

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Bah, I'm with Flavius. I try to hold back the Finns as long as possible. No retreat to the Svir line. I send my Naval Rifle Brigades to 7th Independent Army. It's pretty much the slowest and best defensible terrain on the whole eastern front. Why no use it? I'm not giving up anything I don't need to.

My general Russian strategy in 41 is to build layers of defense lines (you must have depth, but no carpet/checkerboard - that's gamey), using rivers and forests/swamps as much as possible. I put up my stand fast line in a semi-circle 4-6 hexes outside of Moscow, using forests/rivers, and placing a Fort every third hex to get at least a line of level 3 forts by the time the Germans get there. I wait until the cost of forts goes down to 8 APs before building. I also place one or two extra forts in the Lenningrad area to get more level 3's. 80% of my reinforcements go to the Lenningrad and Moscow fronts. Don't start building Rifle Divs until the cost is 10 APs in 1942 and only build to replace loses.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 7:28:59 PM   
Encircled


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Track his motorised/pz units all the time.

When you know where they are, check his railheads every turn

Then basically, what Callistrid said.


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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 8:21:36 PM   
hfarrish


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I have to say, one of my games is the first where I have tried defending north of the no-attack line and I have come around on this - with minimal reinforcement you can slow the Finns up measurably...if you presume Leningrad is going to fall anyway at a certain point this gets you to a better place without wasting APs on FZs.


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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 9:03:06 PM   
Blutch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Callistrid

2. Leave Kiev empty, because you need the Bryansk front, and his 125 AP



I do not understand what you mean.
I have hot only the Southwestern front around Kiev. If you let Kiev free you unlock Briansk ?

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/23/2012 9:50:40 PM   
Callistrid

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Blutch


quote:

ORIGINAL: Callistrid

2. Leave Kiev empty, because you need the Bryansk front, and his 125 AP



I do not understand what you mean.
I have hot only the Southwestern front around Kiev. If you let Kiev free you unlock Briansk ?



Loosingt Kiev activate the Bryansk front, and all front activation gives you 125 AP.
125 AP could be important to have better leaders, units attachement...

< Message edited by Callistrid -- 5/23/2012 9:51:23 PM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 2:51:43 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Callistrid
Loosingt Kiev activate the Bryansk front, and all front activation gives you 125 AP.
125 AP could be important to have better leaders, units attachement...


I don't really agree on this; I usually am not in desperate need of AP at this point in the game and would rather slow down the Germans by a turn (or half turn or whatever) by trying to hold Kiev.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 3:15:33 AM   
Aurelian

 

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Briansk Front doesn't come into being by losing Kiev. It enters in 8/41.

Losing Kiev transforms Karkhov MD to Southern Ural MD.


Leningrad MD (at start) to Northern Front (6/41) to Leningrad Front (9/41)
„h Volkhov Front (12/41) to 3rd Baltic Front (4/44)
„h Baltic MD (at start) to Northwestern Front (6/41) to 2nd Baltic Front (10/43)
„h Reserve Front (at start) to Kalinin Front (10/41) to 1st Baltic Front (10/43)
„h Karkhov MD to Southern Ural MD (when Kiev is captured)
„h Western MD (at start) to Western Front (6/41) to 3rd Belorussian Front( 4/44)
„h Orel MD (at start) to Bryansk Front (8/41) then disbanded (10/43) then reformed as 2nd Belorussian (2/44)
„h Kiev MD (at start) to Southwestern Front (6/41) to Stalingrad Front (7/42) to Don Front (10/42) to Central Front (2/43) to Belorussian Front (10/43) to 1st Belorussian Front (2/44)
„h Southwestern Front (reformed 10/42) to 3rd Ukrainian Front (10/43)
„h Odessa MD (at start) to Southern Front (6/41) to Southeastern Front (8/42) to Stalingrad Front (10/42) to Southern Front (1/43) to 4th Ukrainian Front(10/43)
„h North Caucasus MD (at start) to Caucasus Front (11/41) to Crimea Front (2/42) to North Caucasus Front (1/43)
„h Transcaucasus MD (at start) to Transcaucasus Front (11/41)
„h Steppe Front (6/43) to 2nd Ukrainian Front (10/43)
„h Voronezh Front (6/42) to 1st Ukrainian Front(10/43)

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 5/24/2012 3:16:38 AM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 4:52:09 AM   
randallw

 

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I also build some fort units along the Finnish stop line, north of Leningrad; that allows a few divisions to be used somewhere else. Other than that, no FZs.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 7:00:57 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw
I also build some fort units along the Finnish stop line, north of Leningrad; that allows a few divisions to be used somewhere else. Other than that, no FZs.


Could one of you guys who don't build any FZs please explain why? While I agree that there is no need to overdo it, I really don't see why not to create a fair number of them--maybe 15-20. What else are you spending your AP on?

I rationalize my armies' C&C, replace some leaders, buy a few SU, and still have plenty of AP. The reason I don't replace more leaders is not lack of AP, but lack of good leaders. If it is lack of men, at this stage of the war I would generally rather have two under-strength units than one full strength one...

Sure you don't want to simply waste AP but ultimately until the blizzard I want as many speedbumps as possible in front of the Germans, and that means a fair number of FZs. Why not create some in front of Moscow, for instance?

< Message edited by 76mm -- 5/24/2012 7:01:42 AM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 10:07:35 AM   
Encircled


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Well, I build one on the hex that is vital for holding Leningrad from the south, and three in the three hexes of Moscow.

Thats it

I also try to hold the Finns as long as possible at the top end of the map, I use brigades to hold the no-attack line north of Leningrad.

My AP usage is critical in '41, and I find I don't have enough to spare to do more than that. I do spend a fair bit though on aircraft changes though, which might explain the difference.

I haven't played it for a while though (certainly before the last patch) due to RL pressures (like PBEM, not so keen on playing the AI), so I might change my style when I have a chance to play again.

< Message edited by Encircled -- 5/24/2012 10:08:16 AM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 1:53:46 PM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Could one of you guys who don't build any FZs please explain why? While I agree that there is no need to overdo it, I really don't see why not to create a fair number of them--maybe 15-20. What else are you spending your AP on?

I rationalize my armies' C&C, replace some leaders, buy a few SU, and still have plenty of AP. The reason I don't replace more leaders is not lack of AP, but lack of good leaders. If it is lack of men, at this stage of the war I would generally rather have two under-strength units than one full strength one...

Sure you don't want to simply waste AP but ultimately until the blizzard I want as many speedbumps as possible in front of the Germans, and that means a fair number of FZs. Why not create some in front of Moscow, for instance?


I try to do a lot of command work in 1941, getting bad commanders out, good commanders in and try to move units around so things are not so overloaded to a point. I also build a fair number of support units, especially sapper regiments. I also disband some stuff I want in the force pools (motorcycle regiments, threaten FZ's for example).

I also want as many AP's heading into December as I can get for cav corps formation as I consider this unit extremely important to help with the winter offensive. It has mobility and is far harder for the Germans to counterattack than a cav division or tank brigade.

I also want a good pool of points headed into 1942 because I think the hardest part of the game for the Russians as far as AP goes is 1942 until mud sets in during the fall. You need points for tank corps and also to build new units depending on what the Germans are up to.

I guess part of the question is do you want to spend 16 points for a FZ or add 4 more points later and get a tank corps (or a cav corps to use during the winter).

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/24/2012 2:09:48 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon
I guess part of the question is do you want to spend 16 points for a FZ or add 4 more points later and get a tank corps (or a cav corps to use during the winter).


Actually, I agree with you on all of these issues, but generally find that I have enough AP for everything I need in 1941. While I would like to hoard more APs for 1942--when I can use all the AP I can get--I'm generally hard-pressed enough in 1941 that I think building some FZs is an acceptable use of 8 AP (only 16 AP on turn 1) in the early turns.

In my current game, I'm heading into Turn 9 or 10 with about 150 APs and have done most of the FZ-building, commander-transferring, and C&C-fixing that I need to do, so I should have quite a pool of APs heading into 1942. The only thing I don't spend AP on is swapping aircraft.



< Message edited by 76mm -- 5/24/2012 2:13:43 PM >

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/25/2012 12:49:33 PM   
rrbill

 

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Good tips for any side here. doing Ger vs AI, these tips seem to explain AI's behavior.

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 5/26/2012 10:04:35 AM   
randallw

 

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It takes so long for the troops in the FZ's to get their experience up the real practical use to help build up the fort ( defensive ) level; even then it may take multiple turns of them being undisturbed for their existence to be worthwhile..

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RE: Best soviet defensive strategy 1941 - 6/20/2012 8:58:11 PM   
Grungar

 

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I am rather new at this game but my opinion is fort zones are for static ereas not for stopping the germans. As for strategy..the marsh and kiev are crucial to the overal defense as this creates an extended german flank that can be teased with threats/ its usefull anyway if the german wants a north of marsh strategy. Reds must be carefull that his center is not trashed and rolled up north along the vitebsk pskov line!. Echelon defenses help. Look for rail lines that lead into the flank of a german advance..even small threats to supply can cause trouble with german plans. What a great game.

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