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Advice for a Newbie Soviet player

 
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Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/16/2017 8:02:29 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

Posts: 1442
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Gents-

Bought WitE in 2012; WitW upon release in 2014. Played WitW for three months before returning to WitP AE.

Had two weeks off this Christmas, and really buckled down to read and study the rules, patch notes, Forum posts (The "Best of WitE" notes were very useful) and AAR's (Sheltek, you give me hope! Dinglar, outstanding notes)!

Started a "Bitter End Campaign" as the Soviet vs. Axis AI. While I am comfortable with and have a good grasp of the rules, I lack the experience that only comes with hours of play.

Saved at the end of the Axis resolution, before doing my first turn.

So, the first time around I pulled everyone east to separate, preserve and build a defensive line Leningrad / Novgorod / Velikie Luki in defensive terrain.

However, after some thought, I decided to start again, pulling back slowly with a hedgehog (key cities) / checkerboard defense in good defensive terrain in order slow down the Axis and hopefully make him work to take each city.

I also use armor in the front lines; in the future I will take care to keep them in reserve, allowing training and morale to improve, persevering them for future use.

In any event, this forum is loaded with highly experienced players; so I thought I should ask "The Smart Guys"tm: Do I stand where possible, or pull back to the end of the Axis supply lines and fortify?

Or, a combination of both?

I am doing the homework, and working through the AAR's, am sure that all of the above has been asked before.

Also: It's all in the details, I love the complexity of this series. Considering that my fastest campaign turn in WitP AE is three hours, there is hope that I can finish WitE in my current life span...<grin>

Am very grateful for any and all advice.

My Thanks to you All for your help!

Cricket Mac

P.S.-

TO M60a3TTS- M60's forever...!

< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 1/16/2017 9:15:22 PM >


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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/16/2017 9:47:27 PM   
tyronec


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Don't bother playing Soviet vs AI, the computer is rubbish and making pockets so the game has no balance. The AI does play fairly well as Soviet so you can get a good campaign or two out of it.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/16/2017 10:37:21 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tyronec

Don't bother playing Soviet vs AI, the computer is rubbish and making pockets so the game has no balance. The AI does play fairly well as Soviet so you can get a good campaign or two out of it.



tyronec- Am not quite clear; does the computer AI do a good job of making pockets, or does the AI over extend and allow the human player to pocket and defeat it?

Thanks for your reply, Sir.

Mac

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/19/2017 3:50:15 AM   
wga


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I have played boardgames and Grigsby (intially SSI games on my Apple IIe) for decades. I have always found playing AI to be a waste of time. I have two WITE campaign games vs one opponent, we are both novices and prefer to learn by playing fast paced games, even if both does so poorly, than playing AI. I do not plan to invest the time study to be a top tier player (too many things in like competing for my discretionary time), I prefer just to play, eventually to a competent level. (I just have to be honest with potential future opponents. I spend a few hour of discontinuous time for a turn, do undo any mistakes or poor choices made, to optimize a turn; just like real life.) My original game is vs a much better opponent who spend 5x the time on his turn, and it shows.

One advantage of the Grigsby Pacific games (Pacific War, Uncommon Valor, War in the Pacific, WITP-Admirals Edition) is combat is executed simultaneously between turns, not during a player turn. Benefit is a player may not negate, revise, edit, return to save any portion of the combat; hence both must live with the results of orders placed. I think Grigsbys War in Russia/Second Front/Matrix War in Russia operates the same way as the Pacific Games.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/21/2017 7:51:49 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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wga-

Thank You for our insights.

I also had to adjust to a Igo / You go format; but didn't take long and am really enjoying it.

I still fondly remember playing SSI's War in the East / West / Europe board games so many years ago!

Am continuing to review AAR's and just play and learn. GG's WitE / WitW are outstanding!

Mac

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/22/2017 5:15:05 PM   
tyronec


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The Axis AI doesn't have the tactical skill to create pockets, without which it has no chance.
It can also suffer from being swamped by lots of rubbish units (like many other wargames) and gets pocketed itself.
Tyrone

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/27/2017 10:45:57 PM   
SheperdN7


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Best way to learn basic mechanics is to play against AI. After you learn that, then the best way to learn how to become a good player is to play against a human. I learned the hard way in my early PBEM's in WitP:AE simply because I didn't understand the basic fundamentals that I would've learned when playing the AI.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/28/2017 1:56:40 AM   
M60A3TTS


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tyronec

The Axis AI doesn't have the tactical skill to create pockets, without which it has no chance.
It can also suffer from being swamped by lots of rubbish units (like many other wargames) and gets pocketed itself.
Tyrone


If you play at higher AI settings, it does make a difference as it can conduct a lot of grinding battles.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/28/2017 8:49:08 PM   
Icier


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Don't waste your time playing against the computer its better to throw yourself in against a human player, you will
learn a lot quicker & enjoy it a lot more, but if you want to understand the basic, play a small scenario not a
campaign as the computer takes forever to do a move in 42 ( up to an hour).


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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/29/2017 6:49:45 AM   
Nix77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ice

Don't waste your time playing against the computer its better to throw yourself in against a human player, you will
learn a lot quicker & enjoy it a lot more, but if you want to understand the basic, play a small scenario not a
campaign as the computer takes forever to do a move in 42 ( up to an hour).



Up to an hour? Pffftt... :)

I usually just stare at the units for 4 hours just to figure out the general strategical paths of maneuver. And still I feel I should've thought about them a lot longer!

I wish I could make faster turns though. Each season, year and new geographical acquaintance bring more surprises every time you run into them, so browsing through all these events (perhaps against the AI) should be a good practice. Playing against a human opponent is a lot more educating and fun though, as people have already said here.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/29/2017 5:36:50 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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From: Denver Colorado
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Gents-

I deeply appreciate your help and comments.

It isn't knowing what does what or necessarily who goes where; it is the time it takes to review and then make the moves- I like to make everything organized, and just so (Nix77 I am with you, Sir!).

SheperdN7- I am with you on WitP AE- one to two moves a weekend is the best I have done (against the AI). On the other hand, I do love all of the details...<grin>.

I have learned to spend several hours on a campaign game turn (WitE or WitP AE) and then do a smaller, much faster playing scenario, before going back to the campaign game. This gives me both the long term planning, production and strategy of the Campaign game, and the more immediate lessons of combat in the shorter scenarios.

Cricket Mac

< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 1/29/2017 5:38:01 PM >


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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 1/29/2017 8:57:23 PM   
STEF78


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After trying the tutorial 5 years ago I directly tried a GC as russian.

As I wasn't sure of my abilities and of the power of the AI I bravely tried AI 80 Me 120.... After 5 turns, the AI proved to be unable to take Pskov and bypass the landbridge.

My second GC was AI 100 me 100. The result was quite different. The Ai reached a Novgorod Viazma Bryansk Kiev Cherkassy Dtown Ztown Nikolaïev. 1942 was a cakewalk and Berlin fell end 1943.

WITE is about encirclement/destruction and the computer is really not keen on the task. The only advantage of AI is that it's always available...

My advice is to try versus a (reliable) human.

Against a newbie give no bonus and mild blizzard

Against a veteran random weather.

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Post #: 12
RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 2/4/2017 7:30:36 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

Posts: 1442
Joined: 12/19/2004
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: STEF78

After trying the tutorial 5 years ago I directly tried a GC as russian.

As I wasn't sure of my abilities and of the power of the AI I bravely tried AI 80 Me 120.... After 5 turns, the AI proved to be unable to take Pskov and bypass the landbridge.

My second GC was AI 100 me 100. The result was quite different. The Ai reached a Novgorod Viazma Bryansk Kiev Cherkassy Dtown Ztown Nikolaïev. 1942 was a cakewalk and Berlin fell end 1943.

WITE is about encirclement/destruction and the computer is really not keen on the task. The only advantage of AI is that it's always available...

My advice is to try versus a (reliable) human.

Against a newbie give no bonus and mild blizzard

Against a veteran random weather.


stef78-

Excellent advice that really helps to clarify what the AI can or can not do.

Thank You, Sir!

Cricket Mac

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 2/5/2017 1:07:14 PM   
Toidi

 

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If you want to play German side vs AI, it will give you good feel about what not to do as Soviet. You can also try solitaire human vs human game, very educating for the first 10-15 turns.

Playing against human is a dangerous thing. If you play against good opponent, nothing will save you but a right mix of running away and counter-attacking - you need experience to judge what to do when. On the other hand, playing against poor player, your errors will not be severely punished and you will just simply win.

In short, Axis needs to keep Soviet side in '41 below 4 million (ideally 3.5 million) to reliably win. USSR with over 4 million soldiers in the field during most of summer of '41 is almost auto-lose. Once successful in trimming the red army, Axis can take strategic objectives and factories, which to certain degree will prevent resurgence of Soviet Union in subsequent years. With weak red army, blizzard is survivable and '42 offensives can be done quite easily, again, trimming the red army as much as possible.

Soviet game is a reactive one. It just needs to prevent Axis achieving their objectives and then slowly start attacking. The skill is in managing the army so it fights better than expected via shuffling armies, generals and support units, managing the air force and preserving the troops and industry. Very much a spreadsheet job. Quite boring, unless playing against really good opponent - then it is not boring, it is just desperate struggle - but still reactive to the other side.

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RE: Advice for a Newbie Soviet player - 2/11/2017 7:06:26 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

Posts: 1442
Joined: 12/19/2004
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline
Toidi-

Thank You for your insight and remarks!

Mac

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