Not to mention that you actually CAN destroy German units during this counter-offensive using er... some tricks... And the cold fact remains that the Germans tried to hold ground (Hitler's famous orders) and yet the Red Army did NOT destroy enemy divisions... which proves we are necessarily using tricks to do what the historical counterparts couldn't achieve. So...
Tullius is right on. In a game, where Axis has not overrun SHC beyond the average, and SHC has not outdone GHC in turn, SHC can punish Axis very badly if GHC doesn't give ground where it is weak to defend. If Axis holds forward a la a Stand-Fast order, or SHC fares too well in the previous summer, uuhh, blizzard is a major game changer. I suppose it was designed that way, though, to force a definite change of initiative and independent of pretty much all previous events, enable a SHC offensive to punish GHC and rebalance both sides for summer 42.
In an average game, it would seem the combat penalities are too severe while SHC can act better coordinated, with more hindsight (which in Axis terms would mean a retreat!), and logistics is another matter. I wonder how a game would work out, in which both side would be set up with historical positions and ToE for December 41, and slug is out following the same attack and holding pattern the contemporary counterparts followed -- I imagine it would be bad.
Ideally the prerequisite that allowed the SHC to conduct the successful (more or less) blizzard and late winter offensives ought to be the same in this game as in history: an badly-overextended, under-supplied and attrited Wehrmacht in a deadlock with SHC fronts. And a supply and weather situation, that deteriorated and hurt GHC more than SHC, which had more experience and better equipment for it. So if an Axis player should chose to conserve his forces better, avoid overextension, or managed to hurt SHC more than usual, SHC should not be able to push Axis around so badly as of yet. Just my two cents.
If anything, the attrition isn't quite high enough yet. Remember, the Germans had 165 operational tanks on the entire eastern front in March 42. Now, this number swelled to around 3000 by the time the German offensive jumped off. The game has not been able to replicate that as most games I have seen have tank strength down to around 1k at the lowest and upwards of close to 3k tanks by the summer.
At the start of August, German tank strength was at around 44% of ToE available for deployment. 20% were disabled and 30% were deadlined for repair (no parts). Start of September it was 47% available for deployment.
Pelton, I don't disagree with you on the weather, but I think they have the tank attrition fairly accurate and if anything, it might be a little generous, but then I think most German commanders are a bit more careful with their panzers than their historical counterparts.
Not sure about the attrition rates in summer and blizzard, but they generally look reasonable I would say. Such heavy attrition already by August seems rare though. In my AI games you can say never, though in some GCs I had heavy and in others much lesser tank losses despite not actually doing much different -- I believe. Playing with hindsight 70 years later, in a time where doctrines and knowledge (also the "home by christmas" race) have changed so much, one probably is far less reckless and aggressive with (hasty) attacks with Panzers than a Rommel or Guderian was at the time back? I would start looking there for the difference.
< Message edited by janh -- 9/28/2012 3:53:45 PM >