From: Kinmel bay
Well you got further then I did in my last game. I only made it to early October before the bridge bombing bug bit the Bolsheviks.
At the time my entire army was on a defensive footing except for a panzer korp in the Caucaus heading for Astrakahn.
I did suspect in that game, though, that I was in for a world of trouble with prestige. I had only played the avoid Stalingrad card, and would have probably lost Poti and Grozny...and although I would like to think not...Astrakahn as well.
That would have put me in the 20's for prestige, and I would have been nickeled and dimed to death with the small minor objectives...
My current game is in late July. I have played Avoid Krasnador, and pulled my Axis minors up to guard the Don. (and Rostov) By not heading into the Caucaus, I give up a chance at an automatic victory, but will save myself from having to take Poti/Grozny
This does free a rather large German push for Stalingrad..which I hope to take on time.
Maybe I should go back to posting my AAR
I'm not quite sure what the solution is, hopefully your tactic of using the avoid cards will work, certainly would be interested to find out (hint, hint, AAR, hint hint). The thing is I like the extra excitement of the game played using the dismissal rule, yet at the moment I think it still needs some fine tuning. I'll fully admit that in this game Olivier was going over to the offensive, but I still had quite a lot of victory points, and could afford to lose a lot and still get a minor victory. Yet if we played without the dismissal rule my job would probably be too easy, as I would've suspended the attacks on Stalingrad far earlier and settled for a good defensive line around Krasnodar in the Caucasus - all a bit predictable and easy for the German player if he doesnt succeed in winning straight off. The dismissal rule makes you do things you dont want, which is what makes it more enjoyable and gives the game its overall flavour of the actual Case Blue - you cant be sensible and you do have to keep pushing for silly objectives at times.
In the game I had going along side this against Jon I was playing as the Soviets in Case Blue and again I was dismissed, just as my troops numbers had reached their low point and were very slowly starting to build up, the trouble being I had to retreat in the north and because of that I had to keep using the ambition card again to stop the dismissal.
Of course, if none of us play with the dismissal rule on, then Vic is never going to get any feedback to help with fine tuning it. For example, with the Trappenjagd scenarios starting in May, the dismissal rules have changed to prevent the Soviet player being dismissed if he doesnt take Kharkov and that has come from feedback from players.
Anyway, the important thing is that both me and Olivier have learnt a lot from the game and enjoyed it; I think we both would've liked to have played the winter offensive though as a counter point to the Uranus scenario which we've played through twice.