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Axis Minor allies strategies and more...

 
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Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/28/2012 6:04:56 PM   
Offworlder

 

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I have to admit that the way that the Axis Minor allies (AMAs) are treated in the game is one of those things that bother me a bit and so I always seek ways in which to maximise their potential. So, I'm posing a few questions for the forumites in hope of enlightenment Please note that I normally play against the AI on steroids meaning that it won't be shy to take on the AMA armies where they show themselves in the frontline.

Armoured units - There aren't that many in the AMAs arsenals - 2 Hungarian, 1 Romanian and 1 Finnish armoured divisions and 1, possibly 2 "hussar" light armoured divisions in the game (plus a transitory Italian Celere formation). Given the dearth of decent armoured commanders in all AMAs, and possibly excluding the FI division, would you consider putting these formations under German command? The biggest problems with these formations seem to be the low morale and the lack of armoured vehicles (plus the fact that they cannot be reinforced with SUs) and therefore would possibly make decent panzergrenadier units a la the Slovakian Schnelle division. Therefore, does it make sense to put them under German tutelage - would morale improve and what would be the pros and cons (if ever anyone tried it)?

Romanian Cavalry - in the real world, they were highly regarded formations, even by the Germans, since they basically had the best men and equipment assigned. Aside from the fact that I think that the game does not do them justice in having low morale as they do, I find myself in a dilemma on their usage. Of course I concentrate the bulk of the units in the available Cavalry Corps under the general with the best 'mech' aptitiude, but that leaves an extra 3 divisions (or 2 if the Romanian Armoured division is attached to German panzer corps) to use. Normally, I parcel them out between 2 or 3 corps attached to one Army to provide some mobility to the otherwise rather static army. Would you consider concentrating them into a second mobile corps though? And what is the best use you put the Cavalry Corps - mopping up or as backup for panzer thrusts?

Romanian Infantry - following the rather useless campaigning of '41, I normally pull back the whole army to Romania proper and restructure it in two unequal pieces - one army will include the Cavalry Corps and 3 Infantry Corps while a second army will be formed up as an army of occupation. Some garrison units are either attached to one of the numerous extra corps HQs and attached to Army Group Antonescu as well to help guard the rail links. Now I'm thinking of making two small field armies of roughly 4 Corps each for frontline duty (in quite sectors obviously), with all garrison units still going to Army Group Antonescu because of its command radius. I don't know if anyone ever tried any of these setups before. Any other alternative setups would be welcome

Hungarian Infantry = The Hungarian army is the best amongst the AMAs in my opinion as it continues to evolve over time. However, it does start off rather weakly and till '43 it is rather a balancing act with them. By '42 they deploy a host of strong security brigades and a few infantry brigades making it the most delicate period for them. Would you consder using Hungarian Security Brigades in the frontline in quite sectors? Or would you let them garrison cities until they convert to light divisions? It also seems that Hungarian Infantry brigades are decent mopping up units though and they can unpgrade to decent divisions in their own right. Is that your experience?

Italian army - what is the best use for the 8 Army? It has low mobility and striking power and even 2 divisions in a hex are worth next to nothing defensively. I normally employ it in limited front line combat, especially if I'm aiming at the Caucasus where the Alpini Corps comes on its own. But other than that, I can't find a good use for them except maybe as garrison units where basically they have the unique 'ability' of being on friendly terms with all the Axis and therefore don't hinder the mobility of the other AMAs.

AMAs reserve activations - Normally minor allies are placed in quite sectors but of course they do need some shoring up by German units. Having said that, the first reserve reactions would possbly be made by local reserves rather than the Germans. So how would you place such armies - a division to a hex with the fourth division in the corps in reserve? Or maybe two coupled divisions for each corps, with one full corps in reserve?

AMAs air forces - how do you use them? Except for the Finnish airforce which is led by aggressive commanders and is basically upfront due to the small size of the front they are engaged in, the others don't fly. Admittedly, they have rather crappy commanders but except when ypu manually target a bombing mission, they rarely fly. (In the last game for example, the original Italian formations never shot down a plane in one year of residence on the Eastern front) Given that they recieve precious planes from Germany, I'd love to have them use them in other ways than bombing single units. Do they fly more if they are placed under German commanders? If you assign them to German commanders, would you assign the HQ's to a Luftflotte or individual airfields to Luftflottes or Flieerkorps? Or do they fly more if they are in the vicinity of ground troops of the same nationality?

So if you had the patieince to read this rather long post (thanks btw) I'd appreciate your opinions!
Post #: 1
RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/28/2012 8:12:39 PM   
SuluSea


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Interesting thread Offworlder. Happy Holidays to you!

I wish I could help you more but I found this from A collection of the best Great War in the East Posts V2 helpful. You may already know of the thread but added it as a refresher.

quote:

AXIS - MANAGING AXIS ALLIES - Q-Ball
Looking at AARs, I personally think most Axis players misuse their Allies.
The most important thing they miss is replacements. You have to plan for the
long-haul.

Everyone seems to be OVERUSING the Finns. They keep them over the no-move
line in 1942, which is a disaster for Finnish morale. Finns can't go static,
so they also attrite over time. Finland gets almost no replacements, so doing
this burns the Finnish army out forever. Those 10-CV Infantry units are gone
permanently if you do this. I think it's smarter to use them sparingly
until 1944, when you will likely REALLY need them. (exception might be first
Blizzard). At that point, they can easily take-over large sections of front
from German units north of No-Move line. In the meantime, you can still use
Finnish HQs to relieve command burden, and command German units.

Everyone underuses the other Allies, particularly Slovaks and Italians.

The Slovaks are decent, but get plenty of replacements; that SEC div should be at
the front taking attrition losses in lieu of a German one, IMO. The TOE of
that unit is an Infantry unit, even though it's called "Security".
Most players seem to use that unit for Security, but it's wasted there; use a
Romanian unit that needs a break instead. Because the Slovaks get plenty of
replacements and armaments, losses to that unit are basically "free".

The Italians really stink, but the one thing they have is plenty of
replacements and armaments. Italian losses are basically free, so anything
they do to the Soviets is a bonus. Plus, losing an Italian unit in 1942 or
'43 isn't a big deal, because it's leaving anyway. The Italians are the
ultimate "throwaway" units.

The Hungarians are the best balance, because they are decent if given rest,
and by 1942 you will have a good replacement pool of Hungarians, plus a
surplus in armaments.

The Romanians are brittle, but they are OK if you give them rest. This means
rotating them, which there is plenty of opportunity to do, as you need
garrisons anyway. They do struggle to accumulate armaments.
Everyone uses the Axis Allies primarily as diggers and security only, but if
you are going to make it to 1945, they have to also be at the front taking
attrition losses in lieu of Germans. Ideally, German units should be digging,
not because they stink, but because you don't sufferlosses digging.
Obviously, players should pick quiet sectors or easy to defend hexes to put
Romanians/Italians at the front, and probably need to stack them.
That's my two cents, but I think you have to manage all this to keep the
Wehrmacht in reasonable shape in late-game.



I copied and pasted this from another thread to my notepad as it got a plus 1. I wish I could give credit but am not sure of the contributor.


quote:

I would attach 3rd & 4th Rom Army to AG Ant. as soon as possible in 1941. Then I would move Romanian units under 11th army to 3rd & 4th Rom Army.



I'll be reading seeking to learn some refinements. Thanks.

< Message edited by SuluSea -- 12/28/2012 8:14:20 PM >

(in reply to Offworlder)
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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/28/2012 8:56:22 PM   
sjohnson

 

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Here are some tips regarding "AMAs". They can actually be very useful on the defensive or on flanks of a German drive. However, they have to be "stiffened" with German troops.

I generally try to create corps with 4-5 divisions in them of AMA's. These corps will deploy 1 unit per hex on a frontage of 3-4 hexes (I use one division for rotation) in with German troops to stiffen a front line.

Place a good mix of the AMA's SUs in the corps command - I think 6-8 is a good number with a mix of artillery, aa, engineer, MG (for rumanian). Shoot for about 3 artillery, 1-2 flak, 1-2 engineer and anything else carrying some actual CV.

What you will find is that as long as the AMA corp is at least in the same army group as the defending German unit, then the AMA unit will suffer only about a 10-13% Command CV reduction. However, the unit's corp HQ will commit (with a good init leader) around 3-6 SUs to the fight bringing a good amount of firepower to the defense. Also, note the SUs, if the fight is won, will gain victories and over time will be reasonably high experience/morale and thus begin to have their effect magnified.

The only way to get AMA SUs to fight is to have them under their own corp/army HQs and you will note that to start the 41 scenario that:

Finland - has one tank bn, one commando bn, one inf bn, 20 art SU, 9 AA SU, 8 engineer and 11 MG SUs (total 51 SU)
Rumania - 19 MG units (each one is 1400 men!), 9 engineer, 9 aa, 2 cavalry bn, 33 art, and 5 AT bn (total 77 SU)
Hungary - 18 art, 20 aa, 9 engineer (total 47 SU)
Italy - (note some reinforcements come later) 1 MG, 1 Eng, 4 AA, 1 AT, 3 art, 5 CCNN legion (1,500 man infantry components) - total 15 SU

Germany by comparison has:
3 Flamm PZ bns, 1 bicycle recon bn, 125 art, 5 at, 127 AA, 25 SP gun, 52 pioneer, 28 rocket, 3 MG - total: 371 SU

So the AMAs offer a total of 190 SU to 371 for Germany. This is a lot of extra manpower that can be brought to the fight, especially as reacting defensive units.

(in reply to SuluSea)
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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/28/2012 10:08:05 PM   
Offworlder

 

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@SuluSea - thanks for the heads up. Seems that the author of that post was actually thinking on the same lines. I've ommitted to mention the Finns on purpose in most cases since their army, although initially powerful, just withers on the vine. Only through the disbandment of some of the SU battalions and possibly some of the brigades can the Finns keep a decent army in the field. Having said that, they are a great help during the first blizzard

@sjohnson - re the SUs, its actually one of the points that I don't agree on how the AMAs were designed. If one looks at the Romanian army, basically the bulk of infantry divisions could easily have an MG battalion attached, with a significant addition to its CV I believe. These could also be added to the Cavalry divisions to make them a little less pathetic and a bit more effective. The Italians would also profit from having the large CCNN legions attached (which if I recall correctly, in real life, were always integral rather than attached, to infantry units - in effect making up the third regiment in select Italian infantry divisions). Which is why I always thought that maybe it would make sense that AMA divisions should have at least 1 slot for SU attachments (making for less flexibility than the Wehrmacht). One rarely sees Romanian MG units enter into battle for example, so they end up being little more than eye candy in the game. However, I have to admit that I never considered the cumulative morale effect of SUs in the equation...

Regarding Hungary, SUs are a bit of a challenge since as you rightly pointed out, they do have few SUs to go round and few are added later on (some construction battalions and 2 Tiger battalions). However, for 1942 activation one can strip the the frozen army SUs for front line duty, though when '43 comes around and the second Hungarian army unfreezes, a rebalancing act should be performed. The biggest headache is anti-tank defences, where they have to rely on AA units mostly, which is in turn, tied to cities - though I believe that Corps do have integral AA units. Still these units are quite small and not that effective in my experience.

Regarding the attachment of AMAs to German army groups, this may be taxing on their command points but unavoidable - which is where the split of Army Group South becomes a real necessity. Attaching the Romanian Armies (except for the 'extra' corps HQs, of which there are at least 2) to AG Antonescu just cripples them in my opinion.

BTW when you say that you have one division on rotation, does it mean that you send it to some city or does it simply stay on a connected rail line? Also has anyone seen any Hungarian or Romanian division reach a morale level of 60 or more? ( I haven't to be honest)

(in reply to sjohnson)
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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/29/2012 4:39:45 AM   
Pelton

 

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Minor allies as SJ has pointed out is a HUGE help to defending.

SU commitment is huge over time.

I would follow sj advise and add to it if you can.

_____________________________

GHC
23 - 4 - 8

16 games ended in 41 (16-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DiSQ36zfWk

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/29/2012 9:34:31 AM   
Offworlder

 

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BTW anyone has any ideas regarding AMAs armoured formations and the best use of their airforces as per the initial post?

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/30/2012 4:54:14 AM   
Dili

 

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quote:

In the last game for example, the original Italian formations never shot down a plane in one year of residence on the Eastern front) Given that they recieve precious planes from Germany


That's strange and ahistorical. They never received German planes IRL.

From Aug41 to January 1943 15 Italian Fighters, and 4 Recon, unknown the number of transports were destroyed ( a total of 6361 fighter missions(1983 escort,2557 patrol, 511 land troops protection, 1310 machine gun land attack/fighter bomber) , 698 recon missions, 144 bombardment missions). For this 88 Soviet Aircrafts were destroyed.
Data from Santoro.




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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/30/2012 10:03:04 AM   
Offworlder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

quote:

In the last game for example, the original Italian formations never shot down a plane in one year of residence on the Eastern front) Given that they recieve precious planes from Germany


That's strange and ahistorical. They never received German planes IRL.

From Aug41 to January 1943 15 Italian Fighters, and 4 Recon, unknown the number of transports were destroyed ( a total of 6361 fighter missions(1983 escort,2557 patrol, 511 land troops protection, 1310 machine gun land attack/fighter bomber) , 698 recon missions, 144 bombardment missions). For this 88 Soviet Aircrafts were destroyed.
Data from Santoro.

You are right - actually I was referring to the Hungarians and Romanians regarding them recieving planes from Germany. I believe that in real life the Italians only recieved Stukas and Storches but little else.

Problem is that the minor's airforces are basically useless at this point. They don't fly in my games. So I'm curious if anyone managed to actually make them fly...






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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/30/2012 8:55:50 PM   
Naughteous Maximus


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Have you ever concidered using the editor? I've known from all the books and research I've done, what axis minor units are "elite" and what units "sucked". I just mod the morale and experience factors +10 for those units I concidered better quality. If you don't want to use the editor, then what I do is set all the axis minor units not engaged in the frontlines to refit. I keep the entire Hungarian army in Hungary refitting until the Russians come close then release them. With 2-3 years of refitting, they will reach morale and experience into the mid to high 50's and some even in the 60's and they will be fully equipped too! I do the same with the Romanian units and commit them once they reach their potential. Works great when you can use them and let your German units rest and refit. I usually stack my Romanian about 3 high to get maximum effectiveness.

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/30/2012 8:58:47 PM   
Naughteous Maximus


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P.S The Italians suck generally except for the "Alpine" Corps, use them behind your other allies so they can entrench and if the Russians breakthrough, slow them down. They are pretty much cannon fodder.

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 12/31/2012 1:31:22 AM   
Dili

 

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quote:

You are right - actually I was referring to the Hungarians and Romanians regarding them recieving planes from Germany. I believe that in real life the Italians only recieved Stukas and Storches but little else.


They received some more in 1943 (Me109 mostly) but only operated in Mediterranean.

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 1/6/2013 8:32:01 PM   
Offworlder

 

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Speaking of the Italians - I was under the impression that they sent bomber units as well. Yet all they have at this stage are fighter squadrons and recon planes. Maybe I'm wrong though...

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 1/7/2013 3:56:41 PM   
Offworlder

 

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BTW is it possible to have allied minor airforces deploy under a Luftflotte? I have tried but did not manage (maybe its hard coded that way).

As far as I know, this was the case in real life, where air units were subordinated to German HQs. On the ground, it is possible but as yet I still have to see airforces join under the Luftwaffe. 

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 1/8/2013 5:00:31 PM   
Dili

 

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Italians sent some Fiat Br.20 bombers for heavier recon work, they were in OA(translates as Aerial Observation) squadriglia. OA units also typically did close support when necessary.
No bombardment units were sent.

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RE: Axis Minor allies strategies and more... - 1/9/2013 1:53:25 PM   
banskevie

 

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BTW when you say that you have one division on rotation

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