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Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov)

 
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Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 4:27:19 AM   
heliodorus04


Posts: 1449
Joined: 11/1/2008
From: Denver Colorado
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So Pelton and I have agreed to a game in which he will play the Soviet for the first time in his life. I will play Germany in the campaign against my fifth or sixth opponent. I am probably not a Ďvery goodí German player. Conceptually, I know what Iím supposed to do, but in execution, Iím not really aggressive enough. I tend to play with too much ďrealismĒ regarding flank security and deep penetration. I do not mule (not that one can anymore) and I do not trade divisions for armament factories.

Pelton, on the other hand, is one of the best German players, and one of the most controversial (as am I, but for different reasons perhaps, right Aurelian?). Heís a good friend where this game is concerned, and Iím happy to play him and lose (assuming past performance predicts future events), as it means heíll get to teach me an awful lot about how to improve myself (after he slays me) as Germany.

I do have a couple of things under my belt here.

Iíve played a lot of AI games, especially recently, and as a result, I think I understand the capacity of the logistics engine in terms of what I can do when Iím at a given space. An example of this is that I know now that the rail line to Leningrad doesnít really need to go north of Pskov more than a few hexes and Leningrad will have great supply (in clear). I also know that ground support is not seriously that important to Germany in 1941, so I can tone down the settings.

The other thing I have going for me is the AP concession given by Pelton (in return for some things I gave him). The first of which is the 200% AP setting. So I will be receiving 100 Admin Points per turn starting on Turn 2 (nothing can change the 30 APs of T1). Iíll discuss how that will be important to me later.

In return, we have agreed to Random Weather. Frankly, I prefer random weather as Germany, because it reinforces the need to conduct exploitations with serious concern to security/supply. But I do wonder if Random Weather may corrupt any attempt that Germany has to establish the deep penetrations that constrict Soviet Manpower into 1942/1943. We shall see. I donít expect to win in 1941/1942 unless Pelton does crazy ****, and I doubt he will.
We have the house rules that I witnessed in Glvacaís/MichaelTís games, which are:

1. No HQ bombing unless stacked with combat unit.
2. Max. 3 airbase attacks after first turn
3. No landings West of Sevastopol until 1943.
4. No para drops in 1941 (either side). No para drops to break pockets in 1942 and beyond.

There are some soft house rules that Iím contemplating and hoping I can fine-tune and use against Germany. Since I have this Admin setting that will vastly improve the amount of APs I use and spend, I thought that I should look at some fortification settings and try to establish a protocol that prevents me (as Germany) from fort-spamming the entire eastern front. Toward that end, this is my current idea:

Part 1: All German forts built MUST use 100 TOE (all minor power forts are excepted from this).
Part 2: Any German fort that is more than 10 hexes from a Soviet unit must immediately disband.

Now, Iím pretty sure I can manage part 1 easily and not screw up my theater of war. Where Iím less confident is whether 10 hexes is the right number. Maybe itís 8. Maybe itís 15. I doní t know. But the Ďhistorical rationalization of this restrictioní (as opposed to the mechanical that I do not want to fort spam) is that these align to the ďHitler was an idiotĒ principal. In Part 1, Hitler liked forts and didnít want them abandoned in the face of enemy attack. So the TOEs reflect the Fortress Europe/Bagration mentality. Go all-in if youíre going to build fortifications for defense. Part 2 is rationalized by Hitlerís wild exuberance for the next offensive. So when the front moves east, Hitler says ďTear down that fort, weíll never have to defend that land again because German offensives never fail!Ē

Where I know I will violate this rule is around garrisons for cities. An SEC division broken down tends to be less than 1,000 men from covering the entire garrison requirement for a city. In these instances, a Fort set to 50% TOE turns a city from yellow to blue, and that is an acceptable blind spot for me, given that ****ing partisans can simultaneously cut all supply to forces in the east if the die rolls go completely right.
Thatís about it for my intro to the game.

One thing to say is that I AM ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR STRATEGY ADVICE! Whatever complaints I have about game balance in WitE, I have never lost sight of the fact that I need to improve (by more than just a little bit) to be at the level of the Peltons, MichaelTs, and Glvacas of the community.

If you know how to run a rail line better, if you know how to allocate air bases better, if you know that from hex Y65/X77 that you can perform HQ buildup on Turn 7 (I just made that up), thatís useful stuff for me to know.


A commentary about how I will use Admin Points and my rationalizations for this:

About a year ago, I documented that the starting generals for the Soviet and for Germany differ in quality by only about 20% (I summed the generalís values for Initiative+Admin+Morale+Infantry+Mech, dividing by the total number of generals starting the 1941 campaign). Nevertheless, if you open any Soviet HQ and view the costs for switching a divisionís HQ, the costs are almost always 1 AP to any other HQ. The average is certainly less than 2 AP, and the most Iíve ever seen is 5 AP or so. Germany, by comparison, tends to have a minimum cost of 4 APs for a division, and often they are in the range of 5-7 APs. This is to say nothing about the ****ing Romanians. Both sides can see this cost halved, of course, but half of 1 in game terms is still 1. In fact, itís 1 for any cost value up to 3.9. And the Germans only have about a 20% greater chance of succeeding in an Admin roll, and will still play three times the amount (2 or 3 for Germany, 1 for Soviet).

To me, that is unacceptable for a game in which one power (the Soviet) had to devise field tactics suited to the illiterate, and where the average private could not read a manual on maintaining his own equipment; the other side (Germany) trained everyone to know other jobs in your squad and platoon, where NCOs were fully capable of performing a Hauptmanís role, and an army which moved panzer groups all across the front with regularity, often unloading from railhead and ending up in combat the same day (at least, late war).

This is to say nothing of the German Kampfgruppe, which proved itself from 1940 to 1945 as a force multiplier unequaled by anything but late-war artillery concentrations and allied air power (in the West). The AP costs are reversed from what they should be historically, I believe, and in this campaign, I intend to prove what Germany can achieve when you give it Adminis superiority. Frankly, I think Germany can do a lot with this (I know I have against the AI, but thenÖ).
What kinds of things?

First, I can move SUs with much more precision. Just because wartime Germany had no idea that 5 or 6 SUs is the maximal efficiency level, I see no reason to create a ****-tastically inefficient SU allocation system that creates both an artifice that results in competitive difficulty, and that is extremely un-****ing fun (for both sides). The Soviets have a certain 1941 advantage in this regard in that evacuating SUs is to the Sovietís advantage, and that can be achieved well via 0 Support setting. (Iíve changed my mind that the Soviet ability to create SUs exactly where they are needed is unbalancing. I think it was M60 who changed my mind. Soviets still need to both create SUs for, and assign SUs to, their combat corps.

Germany meanwhile will be required to move SUs from Leningrad to Moscow to Rostov to Sevastapol, etc., often on short notice, and the this admin setting frees APs to achieve optimized control, and thus more efficient fighting. I understand that APs for the Soviet are constricted around building new units. I get that. But to me, Matrix ameliorated that constriction by giving the Soviet an Ďoutí in transferring divisions, in giving the Soviet free divisions in 1941 (which seriously compounds the shell ZOC problem in the same way brigades do), and by giving the Soviet a massive benefit over history in that all reinforcements arrive and can be re-assigned for 0 AP from Stavka. Yes, Germany gets the same benefit, but in game terms, who benefits more from free re-assignment of reinforcement combat units? The answer is the side that will see more units arrive as reinforcements and re-constituted units. By a factor of probably a thousand APs (over the course of a 1941-1944 game), the designers gave the Soviet way too much ability to optimize its command. Meanwhile, Germany is shackled with the problems of Army Group South and Center that will ALWAYS BE.

Iíve heard many people say ďWell, eventually Germany ends up with more APs than it can spend.Ē Also true. But in 1941, having them and spending them increases the efficiency of your army, which means fewer combat penalties, better leaders sooner, and an ability to stay in command at the strategic level that can actually out-perform the Soviet. But if you want to argue that APs donít matter to Germany, my response to that would be ďThen play me as Germany and give me a 400% AP bonus throughout the game).

So how will I use those APS? Well, I have two basic methodologies.
First, itís the SUs. With 100 APs starting on Turn 2, and Turn 3, I can probably have my SUs sorted out by Turn 3 or 4. Everywhere. 17.Army, 11.Army, the Finns, the Romanians Ė all will have a well-balanced setup of SUs. Further, when Leningrad falls (assumingÖ), I can have the SUs out in one or two turns. The difference between having to wait for SUs to arrive at OKH (and subsequently abusing the magical railroad powers of a high command) and assigning them from Army and Army Group HQs is huge. Whatís more, I feel it is realistic, but you may disagree. It is certainly less hassle (along the same lines, if a Soviet wants the historical OOB with an AP balance downward, Iíd entertain the notion).

Second, when you have the same relative cost to switch divisions from one HQ to another, Germany can then design every turnís moves and attacks around WHO HAS THE MPs. This may be less realistic historically speaking, but hey, if you donít know now that I can butcher any historically grounded argument for anything in this game by noting some exceptionally unrealistic thing that the game allows (particularly to the Soviet side Ė and Iím talking to YOU limitless airborne drops in 1941!). You should not bring historical justifications to counter my ideas, because we wonít get anywhere. Instead, if you think something Iím doing is anti-competitive, I will gladly discuss competitive game design amicably, though we may occasionally disagree.

Where this MP-centric organization is concerned, I point you to the massive number of board games that simply give all units of a class/type the exact same movement allowance each turn. It works for Third Reich/World in Flames/Fire in the East, etc., it really canít be awful here.

The idea is simply this: With a 1-3 AP cost to switch a division, boundaries and attachments will be much more fluid. Maybe 1.Korps has 4 infantry divisions, 2 of which received 14 MPs, one of which received 11, and one received 10. Meanwhile, 26.Korps has 3 divisions, one of which received 16 MPs. Now I can take the 26.Korps infantry and move him as far as Iím moving the 1.Korps infantry, and if a combat requires it, I can re-assign the lone division into 1.Korps so it can participate at full strength in combats with other units from 1.Korps. Make sense?

I will of course be swapping leaders out with much greater regularity, though the above issues will take primacy.
On the level of switching divisions, the German side is effectively reduced in cost to 25%. Double the APs effectively reduces cost by half. The impossibility of failing Admin die rolls when switching HQs also reduces costs by half (and often more, given the favorable rounding). I should say Iím not certain it is Ďimpossibleí to fail admin rolls, but Iíll let you know if it happens. When I was making notes this turn, I noted all of the successes, but clearly my bookkeeping will benefit from only counting failures.

Speaking of Bookkeeping, I will track every line division and brigade starting around Turn 3 (unless theyíre in a pocket, which I donít track even then). If youíre not familiar with my past examples of doing so, youíll see around Turn 3.

Start of Turn 1:
At the start of Turn 1, Iím doing a little TOE screwing around. First, I select the 355mm artillery, the 240mm Artillery, and the 305mm artillery and set them to 50% TOE. Those things cost a fortune in armaments to build, and Iím not a fan of them. Can always adjust it later.

As time goes on in the summer campaign, I will reduce the TOE of infantry divisions that have 70 morale. For important divisions that are on the withdrawal list before the blizzard begins will be set to 91 TOE (a number I pick as a mental note Ė no other units are set to 91 TOE) or 71 TOE (depending on starting morale and whether itís infantry or armor Ė armor being higher regardless).

After that, itís time to do recon and bomb aircraft bases.
Initial Air Settings (Recon escort OFF). Ground Support: 40 (Escort 60) I donít use much ground attack, no changes. Airfield attack 100/150. Interdiction OFF (I do not believe in it against an overwhelmingly numerically superior air force). Fighter Intercept 195 (75 to Night). I donít know if these are good overall, but on T1, itís hard to screw up. If there are air settings that others find useful in 1.06, Iíd be happy to know them and why you employ them. Otherwise, this aspect of the game will be trial & error as I know a human will play remarkably differently than the AI in the air.

It was a very pathetic showing, even given 1.06 restrictions. Soviet losses: 1,901 and Axis losses: 97. Reflective of history (although correct me if Iím wrong, Germany scored over 2K kills in the opening days). Meh, the air war is more or less written in stone in this game. It seems to me the Axis must manage a losing war of attrition regardless. I donít mind the air war being a little borked. Itís one less thing for me to need to focus too much on.

The Army Group North operations go Ďnormallyí for Turn 1. I use 23.Corps (9.Army) to start the breakout of 3.Panzer, as well as the southern-most corps of 16.Army (which shattered the tough armor unit south of Kaunas Ė Iíve had three shattered of tank divisions this turn 1 Ė unusual. Riga falls on the first try. I have to figure out how to defend the area between 4.Panzer and 3.Panzer to the south, because against the AI, you can actually Ďguardí that area from flipping using army airbases (try it, it works!). Iím never sure what to do with Totenkopfís remaining MP after itís beach cruise. So I spend 1 AP (roll succeeded, and they will a lot at this setting) to incorporate SS Tot. into 38.Corps, and it will get better than average supply by staying within 5 hexes of the HQ.

I low-balled the Direct attack on Brest-Litovsk (5 divisions across the river from 4.Army plus 1 division from 12.Corps, for roughly 53 CV (on map) to 63. Nice result Ė two retreats and a route Ė no getting away.
Next entry will be screenshot of whole front, with circled areas of interest. In my games against the AI, I have started using some of the Army airfields to help avoid Ďhex flippingí in neutral areas. Where a town is available, I put them there. We shall see how it works against a human. The Army airfields arenít a terrible risk at this point.

My railroad plan is this: Two FBDs working together, starting THIS turn out of the Koenigsburg area, heading toward Riga. At a couple of times, I will be able to branch, but not complete more than a few short hexes. My RHG HQs will, in time, be stocked each with 4 construction units in an attempt to Ďpassively-reinforceí secondary line development. Iím messing around with it, but itís wildly unpredictable whether your SUs will deploy. They do only deploy within 5 hexes though, enabling you to get some important work done at times. Iíve found that more SUs in the RHG HQ are less efficient. Two almost always deploy. Three most of the time. Four it seemed to be Ďoften enoughí and 5 seemed to be the cutoff where the second standard deviation lay. Six and more would rarely see more than 4 used too. But thatís a nice, small, but possibly important strategic benefit of the extra Admin points Ė you can use your RHG HQs in a somewhat useful role.

The line from Brest Litovsk is not going to start. Yep. No point. Turn 2, you start with really good supply anyway, and by turn 3, you can be drawing supply through the area west of Minsk and up toward Vilnius. So the FBD by 4 army hopped on the railroad and got itself one hex over the border on the Baltic line into Kaunas. Once it exits a few hexes toward Minsk, Iím not sure if it will support more toward Smolensk, or if Iíll hop it north of the Daugava to support the 16.Army/9.Army boundary area.

I remove the Ju-52s from AGC and place them with AGN. I assign the reserve Ju-52 to AGS. I made an absent-minded mistake when moving 46.Panzer corps down to the south, and when I meant to click on Das Reich, I actually clicked and moved 10.Motorized first. Done and sealed, looks like AGS is getting heavily reinforced. But honestly, who knows where 46.Panzer corps ends up; I have routinely used it to smash the eastern edge of the Lvov pocket, driving up itís morale to peak form, then moving them north along the frontier and back into the Minsk area by Turn 4, while on the way they move on refit and rebuild the tanks lost in Lvov Ė itís fairly efficient, freeing 17.Army. It also has the advantage of guarding the NW Pripyet, which some Soviets like to use as a spoiling attack area.

Anyway, that brings me back to the point of the AGC southern-most FBD. Iím abandoning the area between Minsk and Brest-Lit. If he wants to annoy me, he can feel free, there will be some pocket clearing units there for a bit. But by Turn 3, my supply corrider will center at Minsk and go Northwest.

In the South, I use a ploy that Pelton himself instructed me on. AGSís FBD is on a railroad in the middle of Slovakia, waiting for Hungary to allow passage next turn, where it will meet up with 11.Armyís FBD and tandem build out of the northeast corner of Romania toward Kiev-ish.

Now my AP expenditures on Turn 1 (a feature throughout the game, so you see the benefit Iím deriving competitively).

AP NOTES T1: Note that (dr) means a successful die roll resulted in the cost listed.
1 AP to move Totenkopf into 38.Corps (18.Army).
3 AP to move 3 SUs to 23.Corps (from 8.Corps)
2 AP to embed 2 pioneers in armor for the Riga attack
3 AP to move 3 SUs to 53.Corps (from 2.PzrGrp panzerkorps).
3 AP to move 3 SU to 13.Corps (from 12.Corps)
1 AP (dr) to move 99 Jaeger into 3.Panzer
3 AP (dr) to move 10 Motorized to 46.Panzer (I made a mistake moving it south)
2 AP (dr) to move 14 PzrDiv to 48.Panzer.
2 AP (dr) to move 1 Cav to 6.Army (it was in range, and a good strategic option)
1 AP (dr) to move Grossdeutschland Rgt into 6.Army
3 AP (dr) to move 290.Inf into 1.Corps (it has 80 Morale) from one of the panzer corps.
I think I missed 3 AP somewhere, probably SU movement.

Finished turn with 4 AP.
I set all aircraft to Night missions at end of Turn 1, and set night interception to 300% (WTF!). I'm experimenting with two things. One, that German aircraft perform better with less fatigue, so only have them fight on your terms. Two, not using your aircraft much in the first 10 or so turns (except at Leningrad) doesn't lose you much operational effectiveness. Two (b) is that letting the Red Air Force fly unopposed also doesn't lose you much.

And I'd like to starve partisans, if at all possible. Less of them would be nice.
Okay, no major problems or successes in Turn 1. Screenshot now.
Post #: 1
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 4:28:03 AM   
heliodorus04


Posts: 1449
Joined: 11/1/2008
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline
Turn 1 End





Attachment (1)

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 2
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 4:29:55 AM   
heliodorus04


Posts: 1449
Joined: 11/1/2008
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline
I flew air resupply to 57.Panzer (Daugava crossers from 3.PzGrp) and 46.Panzer (the PzGrp2 units in the south)

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 3
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 9:06:25 AM   
notenome

 

Posts: 600
Joined: 12/28/2009
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A few comments:

-No soviet paradrops in 41 is massively ahistorical. It was precisely during the blizzard that the Soviets did most of their large paradrop operations, due to necessity. There weren't any large mechanized formations around so that forced the Soviets to use paratroopers in the role traditionally reserved for armor. Glantz goes on for some length in regards to this in "Clash of the Titans".

-I don't understand what the problem is with the Soviets getting shell reconstituted units for free when the Axis get them for free during the entire game. As Flav likes to say, almost all Soviet players would trade away 'their' red army for the historical one. The only reason not to is that its kind of fun to build your own army.

-I would be careful about ground support. Though it may not be diferential in your attacks, it can absolutely maul attempted Soviet counterattacks against exposed Axis units.

-The AP cost of moving divisions has very little to do with kampfgruppen. For one thing, almost all kampfgruppen where smaller than division size. This is better reflected by the Axis ability to attach support units to divisions, which the Soviets cannot do. The Soviet flexibility to move divisions around has very little to do with NCOs or soldier literacy, because that's completely irrelevent at the scale of assigning and reassigning divisions. What this models is that Axis operational capacity was stretched incredibly thin during Barbarossa and the constant bickering between generals. The Soviets had a more centralized system, and if STAVKA decided to send a division somewhere, it went there. The downside to this system of course is that this made the Soviets tactically rigid, whilst their Axis counterparts were given much more leeway and flexibility, a major cause for Axis tactical superiority in the early years of the war.

-As for the airbases... what??? Iirc correctly Airbases don't project any sort of ZOC, and any Soviet player will gleefully punk all those airbases around, causing casualties and supply loss to the Axis. I seriously cannot see any advantage to doing this. Everytime a Soviet unit moves adjacent to that airbase that's 300 casualties and some 5+ tons of fuel your loosing.

-Ground Attack. In my opinion this is underutilized by Axis players. I understand level bombers are at a premium for Germany due to the need for air supply. But if you have to take a fortified hex, repeated ground attacks will damage or disrupt up to 30% roundabouts of the defending elements, who will then be destroyed in a retreat. When I play Soviet I swear by ground attack, and I see no reason Axis bombers, better in all categories, should be different.

-Lastly, regiments. I consider these a bad habit Axis players develop vs AI. I don't know how aggressive Pelton is as Soviets, but regiments are a golden opportunity to wound seemingly invincible panzer divisions in the early game. Also it wastes mps to have to piece them back together the following turn. That Mechanized corp at Prosukrov probably has enough mps to hit (via hasty attacks) both nearby regiments and retire a few hexes back to safety.

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 4
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:08:18 AM   
janh

 

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Joined: 6/12/2007
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quote:

ORIGINAL: notenome
-The AP cost of moving divisions has very little to do with kampfgruppen. For one thing, almost all kampfgruppen where smaller than division size. This is better reflected by the Axis ability to attach support units to divisions, which the Soviets cannot do. The Soviet flexibility to move divisions around has very little to do with NCOs or soldier literacy, because that's completely irrelevent at the scale of assigning and reassigning divisions. What this models is that Axis operational capacity was stretched incredibly thin during Barbarossa and the constant bickering between generals. The Soviets had a more centralized system, and if STAVKA decided to send a division somewhere, it went there. The downside to this system of course is that this made the Soviets tactically rigid, whilst their Axis counterparts were given much more leeway and flexibility, a major cause for Axis tactical superiority in the early years of the war.


I think Helio is viewing this from the wrong perspective since the way this "rule" is devised in the game has very little to do with reality. It is one think to issue an order reattaching some division(s), a corps or even an Army to another parent unit. This is something that the Russians can do as easily as the Germans, bickering and political troubles caused within the generalship aside.

The catch is that this kind of reorganization is followed by a tail of actions, from lining up the new command and communication lines, figuring out the respective positions on corps or army level to report to or request anything from support to supply or replacements. And back then, this surely was a lot of slow paperwork, phone calls and much more potential for mishaps than it would have been in the computer age. So what is missing is that kind of friction, that a reattachment should lead for 1 turn to "some" lowering of supply, replacements, maybe even reducing the probability of getting support during combats, or even the MPs. This "some" should depend on the qualities of both staff involved, and the particular situation (i.e. in a high intensity versus a rearward refitting situation) and could be as low a no reduction, or considerably high.
This kind of mechanism would make it forbidding to reattach units too often, especially if the staff quality was poor, or the unit was sitting in midst of a chaos. For the Soviet, who has a lot more of reorganizations to make, and commonly much poor staffs (or in this game, generals), this would be very detrimental.

The use of AP cost to kind of mimic any friction in such organizational matters does seem like a nice and simple "beer and pretzels" rule, but not a well-derived one. If there were at least two different pools for AP for reattachment/commander replacement, and for unit building, it would be better. But the true friction would still be missing.


quote:

ORIGINAL: notenome
-Ground Attack. In my opinion this is underutilized by Axis players. I understand level bombers are at a premium for Germany due to the need for air supply. But if you have to take a fortified hex, repeated ground attacks will damage or disrupt up to 30% roundabouts of the defending elements, who will then be destroyed in a retreat. When I play Soviet I swear by ground attack, and I see no reason Axis bombers, better in all categories, should be different.


I have different experiences here... It takes quite a huge effort in terms of preliminary bombing of units, or combat air support to make a difference in a battle. To me it is only worth to use such large scale efforts on key hexes, mainly to reduce and disrupt fortified defenders in major cities or sometimes to crack defensive lines of a breakthrough. Otherwise I keep ground support at a very low % to just cause some disruption. All to often the direct effects of the bombing do not exceed the random distribution of the combat engine anyway, and the impact of well supplied divisions stacked with pioneers or sappers is a lot greater. Thus, I think it is "more economic" to convert the Luftwaffe into fuel-haulers, because some 10s more MPs on a few armored units or some 5 more MPS on key infantry units will give you a lot more staying/attacking power than the bombers themselves provide.

(in reply to notenome)
Post #: 5
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:50:18 AM   
timmyab

 

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There are some vulnerabilities in the North especially just North of Minsk which could see the Bialystock pocket broken.You may be alright though.

Notename is correct, the airbase ZOC trick doesn't work against human players.You'll probably lose aircraft as well if they get displaced.

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
So what is missing is that kind of friction, that a reattachment should lead for 1 turn to "some" lowering of supply, replacements, maybe even reducing the probability of getting support during combats, or even the MPs. This "some" should depend on the qualities of both staff involved, and the particular situation (i.e. in a high intensity versus a rearward refitting situation) and could be as low a no reduction, or considerably high.

I'm thinking along the same lines.I'm as guilty as anyone for using unit swapping tricks, but they are highly unrealistic.
This is an area of the game that needs improving.I think that reattachment should lead to lowered MPs and combat power for that unit for at least one turn relative to the new leader's admin rating.In fact I'd be in favor of penalizing the whole corps to a lesser extent whenever a new unit is attached to it.These penalties would disappear after a few turns.
You also shouldn't be able to attach a unit more than once per turn.
I'd like to see bonuses for armor in armored corps, cavalry in cav corps etc.These corps and army HQs must have been packed with people with specialist knowledge and experience in handling these units.

(in reply to janh)
Post #: 6
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 12:50:48 PM   
heliodorus04


Posts: 1449
Joined: 11/1/2008
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: notenome

A few comments:

-No soviet paradrops in 41 is massively ahistorical. It was precisely during the blizzard that the Soviets did most of their large paradrop operations, due to necessity. There weren't any large mechanized formations around so that forced the Soviets to use paratroopers in the role traditionally reserved for armor. Glantz goes on for some length in regards to this in "Clash of the Titans".


I mean this respectfully, but I'm not concerned with actual history where my game settings and house rules are concerned. This is about competitive play balance and the fact that War in the East screws up quite a number of things on the "historical" side of the game.

I would really appreciate it if we avoid, at least here in my AAR, rationalizations based around history. I look at competitiveness only.

The real problem is not that these are terribly a-historical (they are only a little a-historical in function). They are really quite poorly implemented in the game's scale: regiments dropping (formerly as far as they wanted, mind you) parachute brigades that suffer no meaningful scatter/disruption, and you can literally do 3 or so of these a turn in this game.

quote:


-I don't understand what the problem is with the Soviets getting shell reconstituted units for free when the Axis get them for free during the entire game. As Flav likes to say, almost all Soviet players would trade away 'their' red army for the historical one. The only reason not to is that its kind of fun to build your own army.

Again, it's a matter of scale. I would be more than happy to fight a Soviet player bound to the historical OOB. But I would require this to include every SU, and we would have to balance Soviet AP downward since they would never need to build units. Imagine if the Soviet had to re-allocate every SU out of STAVKA for the game, and had to spend APs in that pursuit as Germany does.

quote:


-I would be careful about ground support. Though it may not be diferential in your attacks, it can absolutely maul attempted Soviet counterattacks against exposed Axis units.

Duly noted. I should say that this is an "early summer" kind of setting. It certainly will not hurt me for turn 2, when I can adjust.

quote:


-The AP cost of moving divisions has very little to do with kampfgruppen. For one thing, almost all kampfgruppen where smaller than division size. This is better reflected by the Axis ability to attach support units to divisions, which the Soviets cannot do. The Soviet flexibility to move divisions around has very little to do with NCOs or soldier literacy, because that's completely irrelevent at the scale of assigning and reassigning divisions. What this models is that Axis operational capacity was stretched incredibly thin during Barbarossa and the constant bickering between generals. The Soviets had a more centralized system, and if STAVKA decided to send a division somewhere, it went there. The downside to this system of course is that this made the Soviets tactically rigid, whilst their Axis counterparts were given much more leeway and flexibility, a major cause for Axis tactical superiority in the early years of the war.

All of this is true, but the game simultaneously allows for no Kampfgruppen style efficiency improvements (understandable at this scale). I do not buy the argument that the game MUST implement an Admin system that reflects Germany's historic strategic indecisiveness. I'm simply rationalizing that functionally, the Red Army and the Wehrmacht are doing the same thing (moving divisions between HQs) and they should pay the same scaled cost (what I really believe is that Germany should pay less).


quote:


-As for the airbases... what??? Iirc correctly Airbases don't project any sort of ZOC, and any Soviet player will gleefully punk all those airbases around, causing casualties and supply loss to the Axis. I seriously cannot see any advantage to doing this. Everytime a Soviet unit moves adjacent to that airbase that's 300 casualties and some 5+ tons of fuel your loosing.

They do not project any ZOC, but the algorithm that flips hexes between both sides' turns cannot flip a hex occupied by an airfield. Putting these airfields in 'no man's land' screws up the algorithm enough that multiple hexes will not convert now. It's like putting a small rock into a very shallow stream: now the flow must go around, and 'least resistance' is dramatically altered.

I do not think he can reach any of my airfields, but if he does, then he's entitled to do the damage. It was a risk I intended to take (but only on Turn 1, by the way).

quote:


-Ground Attack. In my opinion this is underutilized by Axis players. I understand level bombers are at a premium for Germany due to the need for air supply. But if you have to take a fortified hex, repeated ground attacks will damage or disrupt up to 30% roundabouts of the defending elements, who will then be destroyed in a retreat. When I play Soviet I swear by ground attack, and I see no reason Axis bombers, better in all categories, should be different.

Duly noted. I should state that again, these settings are definitely for Turn 1, and the early turns in general. My air settings are going to do trial and error, as I said.

quote:


-Lastly, regiments. I consider these a bad habit Axis players develop vs AI. I don't know how aggressive Pelton is as Soviets, but regiments are a golden opportunity to wound seemingly invincible panzer divisions in the early game. Also it wastes mps to have to piece them back together the following turn. That Mechanized corp at Prosukrov probably has enough mps to hit (via hasty attacks) both nearby regiments and retire a few hexes back to safety.

Agree, it's a bad habit. My rule is that my breakdowns never go further than 2 hexes from one another, and next turn, I will move them back together first and move as a division. Furthermore, I understand that the Soviet can find it very easy to attack and displace regiments - they are the only sure-fire wins, and I avoid putting them in line of combat. But on the other hand, I've also learned that a panzer regiment and a motorized regiment defend extremely resiliently together (the kampfgruppe effect) but since there is no kampfgruppe modeling in this game, you pay really bad penalties to try to conduct movement on offense with regiments (in other words, surprise, game-design overlooks German capabilities.

I myself have not played enough campaigns that Turn 1 is rote memorization for me. I would gladly have started on Turn 2 with someone else doing my TUrn 1 in the standard, optimized, unthinking fashion, but that option wasn't available, so I did what I remember.

(in reply to notenome)
Post #: 7
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 12:59:28 PM   
heliodorus04


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab
quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
So what is missing is that kind of friction, that a reattachment should lead for 1 turn to "some" lowering of supply, replacements, maybe even reducing the probability of getting support during combats, or even the MPs. This "some" should depend on the qualities of both staff involved, and the particular situation (i.e. in a high intensity versus a rearward refitting situation) and could be as low a no reduction, or considerably high.


I'm thinking along the same lines.I'm as guilty as anyone for using unit swapping tricks, but they are highly unrealistic.
This is an area of the game that needs improving.I think that reattachment should lead to lowered MPs and combat power for that unit for at least one turn relative to the new leader's admin rating.In fact I'd be in favor of penalizing the whole corps to a lesser extent whenever a new unit is attached to it.These penalties would disappear after a few turns.
You also shouldn't be able to attach a unit more than once per turn.
I'd like to see bonuses for armor in armored corps, cavalry in cav corps etc.These corps and army HQs must have been packed with people with specialist knowledge and experience in handling these units.



Here, I agree with you guys in full. Re-assigning divisions between Corps HQs shifts logistics responsibility, and that shifting would likely see supply inefficiency in the short term. But the game cannot be changed any more, so I do not see the point of arguing that the game over-models or under-models unintended consequences. It is sufficient for me to say that both sides have the same benefits/detriments modeled.

The game uses arcade-mode supply. For both sides.

As a case study, note that in War in the West (at least the last time I Heard, this was true), the movement distance that a unit routs will impact (i.e. reduce) the amount of MPs the unit gets in its own turn. This is a programming step that would do loads for Germany in this game now, but it's not coming to this game. So imagine how much differently 1941 plays out for both sides if this were enacted here.

We have the game that we have, Pelton and I have adjusted settings to create greater enjoyment between us. We have similar views on the state of the game, and we'll see where these settings take us. Hopefully it will provide points of discussion in the future.

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 8
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 1:55:44 PM   
bigbaba


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great to see pelton playing as russian.

finaly someone will pay him back some of the pain he caused for russian players before.:)

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Post #: 9
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 4:18:30 PM   
HITMAN202


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Sorry Pelton, but I hope heliodorus puts the hurt on you Its going to be a great ARR. Since heliodorus asked for advice ( he didn't say "just" good advice ) .... so..... First, a move 1 postmortum... you routed way, way, way too many units out of potential isolation and failed to make, I think, two big pockets. Michael T. has set the standard for opening moves and two salient features include a Brest Litovsk and Rovno pocket and the goal to rout fewer than 10 units outside areas of isolation. Mere opinion..

Flavius (who always has great posts) occasionally refers to a game in which, as the Soviets, he was ground down by an Axis opponenet (I think Brian ???) He mentioned being pushed to the breaking point thru well coordinated combined arms attacks. I think his opponent made many hasty attacks with infantry stacked with armor all thru the '41 assualt. Now don't misunderstand me, isolating units is crucial, but a Soviet player of the caliber of Flavius limit excessive isolation surrenders. I think his opponent spread him out and wore him down with a ton of hasties ( many which were combined arms.)

I think your plan to make a generalized advance will aid this. First with more AP's you will enhance leadership (MP and attack support) and SU use (attack support.) Second, with a broad front the benefit of Soviet "Reserve" status will be less.

I'm going to have to re-read your above posts (some where over my head) , but I like your approach and the increase in AP's I think will be a game changer. Pelton will plan to run, but his gut instinct to fight will rule over his intent. I think he will give you the chance for some big pockets.

_____________________________

WITE is a good addiction with no cure.

(in reply to bigbaba)
Post #: 10
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 7:30:01 PM   
heliodorus04


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Pelton finished turn 1. I did not expect him to be aggressive for two reasons.
1) He's new
2) Even if he could have been very aggressive, I'm relatively sure his macro strategy is going to be to preserve his army size as much as possible by running away in good order (the bigger risk here is that the inexperienced Sovie-o-Pelton will run too far too fast), after which he will set up a reserve command and control structure. I figured Pelton wouldn't push because his real point of playing Soviet is not to beat me in 1941, but to prove Soviets cannot be beaten (possibly only by me) in 1941 if they protect their army.

Next you will see the AGC/AGN start, and the conversion 'feature' that I maximized by using my aircraft bases. None were displaced. Conversion was exceptional between turns for Germany. (By the way, how does the SW Lvov pocket get cleared by inactive Hungary?)

Screenshot follows:

(in reply to HITMAN202)
Post #: 11
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 7:31:36 PM   
heliodorus04


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Note where the airbases remain, and let me know if you think my conversion retention is 'better than normal' in the gap between 4 and 9 armies, and north of Kaunas to the bend of the Daugava.

Note, no recon done yet. Just following up on our prior discussion.






Attachment (1)

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 12
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 8:02:24 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

I did not expect him to be aggressive for two reasons.


I have a better reason, it is largely pointless. The units near the front at the start have miserable experience, morale, readiness and TOE. Better to get them in the woods/swamps and behind the rivers and use them to burn Axis MP. Attacking with them just keeps them in easy reach and usually out of cover, while also lowering their morale, readiness, and TOE. At the start Soviet MP are so low it's quite an accident of nature to have enough forces together to make an attack against the odd German regiment, and with the miserable command structure the Soviets start with odds are you 15 CV attack with turn into 1 CV. With pocketed troops I usually just try to run around spreading the pocket and taking up defensive positions to (however meekly) increase Axis casualties and MP costs rooting them out. Also nice to 'hug' Axis units and try to keep their fatigue up with units that are already doomed. I've found that if the Axis player is lackadaisical about pocket cleanup I can make them pretty aggravating (I've displaced FBDs and otherwise torn up good rail when pocket security was non-existent. If you fly supplies to the trapped units, or at least the ones with some potential to be harassing, they can keep up their movement.

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 13
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 8:26:55 PM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04

Note where the airbases remain, and let me know if you think my conversion retention is 'better than normal' in the gap between 4 and 9 armies, and north of Kaunas to the bend of the Daugava.

I still don't understand.You do know that supplied hexes wont flip back don't you?

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 14
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 8:43:27 PM   
NotOneStepBack


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I hope this game opens Pelton's eyes as to the challenges the Soviet player faces. It also makes you a better German player by understanding your enemy. Will definitely be watching this one.

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 15
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:08:46 PM   
heliodorus04


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab



I still don't understand.You do know that supplied hexes wont flip back don't you?


Let me try to clarify:






See the boxes in this example. I have no zone of control in any of the boxed territory. Even the air bases do not project or protect ZOC. So between the end of my turn, and the start of the Soviet's turn, hexes that I 'tentatively flipped' during my movement are subject to flipping back to Soviet side (allowing them to move at the cheaper rate during their turn).

The airbases, I contend (but do not know for sure) 'screw up' the algorithm that governs which 'tentatively German hexes' revert to 'definitely Soviet' hexes.

By comparison, I would simply ask someone to play a Turn 1 in these areas, leave the boxed areas completely devoid of any units, and see what flips in that example. I'm not certain, but given a number of AI games in which I could re-load and re-try, I came to the conclusion that if the Soviet cannot touch your airbase with a combat unit ZOC, the airbase will help keep terrain, enabling you to push 2.Panzer Group further forward without actually manning the box with units (likewise for the 3.Panzer Group area).

Let me know if I've made it more clear what I think this accomplishes.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by heliodorus04 -- 7/5/2012 11:10:17 PM >

(in reply to NotOneStepBack)
Post #: 16
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:22:33 PM   
timmyab

 

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No, you're mistaken.In supply hexes remain under the control of their owners during the logistics phase.The only hexes that will flip here are Soviet controlled hexes that are out of supply and not in ZOC of a Soviet unit.

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 17
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:43:05 PM   
heliodorus04


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab

No, you're mistaken.In supply hexes remain under the control of their owners during the logistics phase.The only hexes that will flip here are Soviet controlled hexes that are out of supply and not in ZOC of a Soviet unit.


Would not be the first time.

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 18
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/5/2012 11:51:29 PM   
heliodorus04


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But if you're correct, how do situations like this, start of Turn 2, occur at all? No Axis hex has gone in there.






Note the hex possession is reversed because this was taken during Recon mode.

Attachment (1)

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Post #: 19
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 12:16:01 AM   
timmyab

 

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This area gets converted to Axis control when you do the Lvov opening because it's out of supply and not in Soviet ZOC.I don't like it but it happens.Pelton obviously hasn't bothered to convert it back again.
Also as Walloc says it needs to have access to Axis supply as well.So if the Soviet player cordons the area off with touching ZOCs it'll stay Soviet even though it's out of supply and not in ZOC.

< Message edited by timmyab -- 7/6/2012 12:27:12 AM >

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 20
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 12:16:58 AM   
Walloc

 

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Exactly cause the soviet hexes are cut off and is therefor are out of supply. Since there are no ZOC on those hexes and because there is an opening to ur supplied hexes they switch to ur side. Assuming they had been in supply they wouldnt have swicthed, or the ZOC ring had been tight, like if the SEC reg had been 1 hex east, then it wouldnt have happened. Btw this is one of the fastest way for axis side in 41 to switch hexes. If used right.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/6/2012 12:26:13 AM >

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 21
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 12:29:41 AM   
heliodorus04


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Thanks for the learnin.

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Post #: 22
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 12:48:15 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04

Thanks for the learnin.



Np, and for the sake of learning. Just be happy Pelton isnt too experinced as Russian. I would have moved as black lines indicate. Take a guess about the effect
U really should move inf divs and they do have the MP to make it if u move in teh right order, IIRC, to the hexes with orange boxes, IMO.

Kind regards,

Rasmus




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/6/2012 1:22:22 AM >

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Post #: 23
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 1:53:29 AM   
timmyab

 

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I think that screen is after Soviet moves.Also the HQ can't move into enemy hexes.
After looking at the latest screens I'm thinking the Bialystock pocket was probably unbreakable.

(in reply to Walloc)
Post #: 24
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 2:22:56 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab

I think that screen is after Soviet moves.Also the HQ can't move into enemy hexes.
After looking at the latest screens I'm thinking the Bialystock pocket was probably unbreakable.



It is after moves yes, but it was just to show the problem. If u look at screenshoot in post 2, and compare u can see how it easily can be done. If u note the hex with the HQ it has a routed inf unit. Its purely luck/roll that, that unit isnt still there. The russian mot unit u can see in screenshoot in post 2 SW and the one inside the pocket E of it. Can very possibly depending on rolls move into 2 clear non ZoCed enemy hex and then u can link up with out with out needed the hex with the HQ. Depending on rolls in that way is very riscky IMO. Especially since its not needed. Just having stopped the mot reg West of Minsk up between the 2 other the mot regs and that advance possibility its all ZoCed out.

Linking up the Bialystok pocket is very easy. There are 4 hexes with no ZoC between the pocket and swamp hex. In another word u just need to move into 1 enemy hex from both sides as the next hex will switch cause of lack of ZoC preventing the switch and the link up is there. The AB will be displaced on moving next too it.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/6/2012 2:32:12 AM >

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Post #: 25
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 2:53:34 AM   
Ketza


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Concerning killing Soviet planes on turn one. I am averaging around 3.5 by using the delayed bombing tactic. What you do is wait to bomb Soviet airbases until the majority of your border attacks are complete after increasing your intercept rate to 150%. This kills a lot of Soviet airframes through air to air that fly GS while increasing your fighter exp and morale.

The next step is to bomb an airfield just before you overrun it to clear out all the damaged planes. I have seen an airbase overrun produce 100+ destroyed planes that way.

Last step is bomb the crap out of whatever is left.

As skethchy as the air war is in the end it prolly doesnt matter as even back in the good old days of killing 5k Soviet planes the red airforce blossomed but its fun to try and get the number up even with the new rules.

Will be watching this one

(in reply to Walloc)
Post #: 26
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 2:57:13 AM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Walloc
Linking up the Bialystok pocket is very easy. There are 4 hexes with no ZoC between the pocket and swamp hex. In another word u just need to move into 1 enemy hex from both sides as the next hex will switch cause of lack of ZoC preventing the switch and the link up is there. The AB will be displaced on moving next too it.

It's the lack of combat units in the marshes that might be the problem.There may literally be no way to flip even one hex from the South.Close call though.

(in reply to Walloc)
Post #: 27
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 4:45:55 AM   
Seminole


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quote:

Concerning killing Soviet planes on turn one. I am averaging around 3.5 by using the delayed bombing tactic.


I used to see a lot of focus on strategies to kill large numbers of Soviet planes on turn 1, and always wondered - why?
The initial planes are garbage and soon to be obsolete. The Soviets make enormous numbers of planes over the course of the campaign, and can safely train their air groups in the National Reserve before committing them to combat.

I view early Soviet airbases as little more than fuel depots for panzers, and try to move them way back early on so the Axis can't take advantage of them, which surely limits them some in effectiveness, but that effectiveness is relatively low anyway. I suppose some interdictions might cost motorized/panzer a few MPs, but does all the effort put into week one air losses really effect the campaign in a noticeable way?

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 28
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 4:47:28 AM   
heliodorus04


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I had exceptionally good routing luck in that NW corner of swamp (Ivatsevici), so I didn't have anything there to worry about moving NW out of it. Where he likely could have opened the pocket was at Kovel, because he had routed units south of the railroad. If even 1 had rallied, he had the linkup. But it wouldn't have been much safer.

Also, in Turn 1, I believe it was 184 or 185 Rifle South of Vilnius that really performed well. It refused to route in 4 combats and on the fifth finally routed, and that impacted the movement of 3.PzrGrp. This, combined with the mis-click in Turn 1 that saw 10.Motor head south with 46.PanzerCorps meant things had to be a little looser than I usually play Turn 1.

I would not be surprised to learn later that Pelton simply did not care to exploit any deficiencies in my pocket creation on Turn 1, because he's more interested in things going 'normally' to prove/learn whatever he has up his sleeves against me.

< Message edited by heliodorus04 -- 7/6/2012 4:48:05 AM >

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 29
RE: Helio (Axis) AAR vs Pelton (Sov) - 7/6/2012 4:55:15 AM   
notenome

 

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Seminole it does because the engine values morale/experience way more than the airplanes quality. In most AARs the best soviet air groups will normally be flying obsolete craft, as they have the highest experience/morale, whilst the newer fellas have little to no chance to shoot down the luftwaffe. Personally I think the Axis should be more aggressive with the VVS, as this has a snowball effect- higher losses leads to lower morale/xp, which leads to higher operational losses and worse combat performance, which leads to lower morale/xp and so on. Whilst the Soviets can train their planes in the national reserve, this is a very slow process with diminishing returns. Keeping the proficiency of the red airforce down will pay dividends in the decisive years of 42 and 43, where the Axis need any edge they can get.

(in reply to Seminole)
Post #: 30
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