First, most of my divisions have been digging for a while, and are in level 2+ forts now. However, they are spaced out, with a division every other hex. Am I supposed to face the blizzard with gaps in the lines, or break down the divisions?
Secondly, It appears to me I have to shorten the frontage in the south. Otherwise my guys will be too spread out down south, with the Rumanians holding large portions just north of the Sea of Azov. If I can grab a pocket or two more in the center during the winter, and force a pull back down south, I could leave most of the divisions where they are, and just screen the new territory gained. Once the blizzard offensive starts, just slowly withdraw back to the positions I am now, that would be more of a try and hold line. Then give ground grudingly.
Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.
Sorry Scar, I totally missed your post. Pelton's advice covers it well. I wouldn't use regiments again before March, they will really be toothless in December to January. Your CVs will still be far from what you are now used to and will only slowly get better by February and March. Worst of all is the morale hit on all units outside level 4 cities or level 3 forts (or was it 4?).
In smaller cities you'll have dice rolls that can help to save your units a little pain, but outside in the open terrain you'll quickly accumulate damaged squads and you'll see the morale tumble. Best it to have large cities behind your lines (see Stalino, Kursk, Kharkov etc) manned with Panzers, Mot or the >75-80 morale infantry divisions, on reserve mode, while the majority of the front could be covered with <75-80 morale infantry and minors. Since national morale is 70, those of the infantry divisions that will get a blizzard battering and drop perhaps to something like 60 morale, can recover rather quickly to 70 in spring. With a spring offensive in March-April meant to correct the lines and recover some lost terrain, you can add those weakened divisions then to the attacks and have them clean up the small pockets created, which can get them back to 75 morale and, hence, better movement.
As Pelton said, put the rest of the high-morale German infantry in winter quarters to send them for refit and reorganization back to German until say late February. Then you'll need them as the hammer for the spring offensive before rasputiza. You could do so with as many Panzer and Mot divisions you can spare as well, especially those with 90+ morale, although I don't know whether you have some house rule regarding excessive blizzard withdrawals to Germany. It certainly was something the Germans were historically far from doing, aside from probably unable to have done. In December and January your CVs will be extremely weak, and your Panzers and Mots are anyways not ideal defensive formations. They can help in reserve mode, at best, but I wouldn't put them in the frontline to hold anything except major city hexes.
One annoying thing with this game is that for each lost battle, you'll likely loose plenty of morale: 3 pts. This will create a bad spiral in winter. So even if you occasionally spot a possibility to counterattack in blizzard and want to use your Panzers, it is wise to think twice since the weather and blizzard rules will often prevent a successful counterattack and you'll loose morale for that as well. It is just not worth counterattacking with these penalties. Ideally, morale loss and gain would be rarer in this game, because I feel it has too much effect -- particularly on infantry mobility.
Q-Ball (at least I think he was the first one) used stacks of 3 units, separated by 1 hex, to give the Germans a bit better chances to hold Soviet attacks off. He retreated them 1 or 2 hexes a turn to always keep a buffer layer of 1-2 hexes the Soviet must flip first, which prevented them from "deliberate attacks". That may be an option, but requires to keep pretty much all units at the front. Anyway, the key to blizzard in this game is retreating slowly and steadily at least until February, especially for AGC and AGS.
Also put the German and Romanian Mountain divisions/brigades to best use, they'll not be penalized. The German Mountain divisions are very powerful in attacking during blizzard and sometimes can be the only chance to save some cut-off units that couldn't retreat fast enough. The Soviets will definitely curse them. It may be a good strategy to keep them as "fire-brigades" somewhere well placed, maybe near rail lines.
Ah, and finally, yes - the Luftwaffe is not of much value during blizzard. Your fighters can put a dent in the Soviet air attacks, but for the rest of the air bases it is time walk West. The HQs, both Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht, pack a lot of squads and can accumulate large manpower losses, so they also should go to cities if possible.
< Message edited by janh -- 8/26/2012 11:39:50 AM >