Thank you! Toidi
very good comments! i learn much from it, it is the first time that i learn some of the tips you mentioned: the evac of SU;and the armament issue. please keep giving more tips
in our game the Minsk big pocket held, i did a sandbox experiment, and my conclusion is that this pocket could not be broken, i have play 3 PBEM games as GHC, and this pocket was held in all the 3 games.
our game is very interesting and challenging for both sides, and would be very noval, so i hope you could come to have a look later and give more comments,
some of your questions would be answered in my report of T2, we have only finished T5, so it has to wait for some time.
As you wanted comments... here you have some...
1. Middle pocket will be trivially opened (by sec division south of Minsk). That at best slows you down a turn. Also it may allow (not sure whether there will be within range) for evac of all support units attached to army HQ in that pocket (+ planes).
2. South - the downside of not making a pocket around Lviv is that again all the support units attached to HQ will be removed by a decent player. Also, the airplanes can be evacuated without penalties for broken airframes. Also, there is a slight possibility that Marquo will cut some divisions around Rovno/ Klevan area - not very likely, but if it happens, it is bad for you... Even worse (but very unlikely) would be a cut via the hex east of Lutsk. Still, for any of those Marquo would need to be lucky with the reckon and the mp/morale of one of the unit west of Ostrog - as such not very likely. But the tank divisions in the west will be cut (blue tanks likely, red tank certainly). Not sure whether it is worth it...
3. I believe railing units to Romania is wrong for historical accuracy, but from game perspective it is a good idea (hope it will be disallowed next patch). The way you did it is not a game breaker though
4. Parts of the north pocket may be opened if you are not lucky (Marquo would need one of the routed units west of Daugava unrout and move south-west, and the infantry inside to have enough mp to move inside the territory to the rail line west of Rokiskis. Again, that will lead to a delay. I would say more often than not it will be opened...
5. Units in the north may be evac by the Ventsi... port in the north, they are not cut... Of course, that would require them to unrout and have enough mp to do that, which is unlikely. But the support units from HQ may be removed.
All in all, it much depends on how Marquo will play against the south gambit, but you can certainly improve your north/middle opening. However, after this opening, Marquo has, in my opinion, very decent chances to have good game...
Also, from the armaments perspective, routing hq in the pocket will lead to losing some 20% of the attached support unit troops & equipment; Artillery support unit cost is more or less 1/3 of the infantry division (depending on su, sometime more, sometimes less). So evacuation of 10 su is more or less as good as evacuation of 2-3 infantry divisions. There are some morale loses avoided too, but those are less important nowadays when you get to NM rather quickly... On a bright side, Marquo may not have enough points to move out all the support units...
Correction - I forgot the screen is from the Axis perspective. As such the hexes in the north and middle will flip so the pocket opening will not be trivial. Actually in such case north will certainly and middle most likely hold... Me bad... As such disregard points 1 & 4.