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Soviet Strategy - 8/9/2018 10:54:10 PM   
RickInVA

 

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While I play a good bit of (M)Wif I play solitaire. One thing that has become apparent to me is that my defensive skills seem to be noticeably less effective than my offensive skills.

This is very evident in my Germany vs. Russia and Japan vs. China play.

There are a couple of combat decision points that I may well be playing sub-optimally.

For instance, when defending as SU in 1941 (or in the 1940 Barb I'm currently playing), when would SU choose Blitz over Assault in the 2d10 system? Say Germany is attacking at +4, +6, etc.?

What is conventional wisdom on sacrificial blocking units?

What does a good China defense look like? My Japanese can get 2-1, with one flip and HQ support fairly regularly. That is +7-8. With an average roll of 11 at +8 is 2 losses for the defender on assault and a blitz result on blitz.

All thoughts welcome.
Post #: 1
RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 2:26:17 AM   
paulderynck


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The USSR does (or shouldn't) get many chances to call the table when defending in Barb. If they do, then certainly call a Blitz unless the potential breakthrough advance will leave units surrounded, unless those units are in a city. But for sure a blitz increases the chances of coming back to fight another day. The main reason for speed bumps is to put the Germans in a position where their spearheads are in danger of outrunning their air force and slower infantry, but after the first onslaught you can't keep sacrificing units to slow the Germans down because you'll run out of units. Be willing to fall back even when units are flipped, but ideally defend directly behind them as they will still need to be attacked and are much more likely to be kept in supply and thus will still need to be attacked and may end up on the spiral rather than in the dead pool. Don't be afraid to retreat, especially if factories near the front lines have already railed out. Don't defend clear hexes without an Arm or Mech and an AA or AT in the stack, and try to set up a line such that each such stack in a clear hex can only be attacked from 2 hexes. This means the bulk of the Soviet Arm, Mech and AA/AT should be in the south because the terrain in the north is much better for defense.

In China you can often call the table and unless the hex being defended keeps a ZoC on the only route a resource has to get back to Japan, or is a city, then call Blitz unless Japan is attacking at +5 or lower, because of the chance of the magic 14.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 3:16:22 AM   
Courtenay


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A key thing is not to try to hold. Don't have a line of single stacked troops; they will all die. Always have two units in a stack. Don't let yourself be infiltrated; back up rather than let that happen.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 8:00:59 AM   
Centuur


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Personally, I don't believe in the so called "speed bumbs". Sure, if those units are cheap slow moving GAR of MIL and those are in the frontlines, I will use them that way. But I don't want to use better units for that assignment.

I rather try to run away from the frontlines as fast as I can, since if you can get the necessary distance between the Stuka's and your units, the USSR has simply won an entire impulse in which the Wehrmacht can't attack your frontlines because there are no disorganized units. That's far better than sacrificing units. Sure: it's hard and you lose a lot of ground, but if the factories are railed out, let the Germans have that ground. It's of no importance.



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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 10:17:18 AM   
michaelbaldur


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In my defence of Russia. I always claim Bessarabia. that gives you 2 Russian, in supply cities,

if you include Odessa ..you have 3 cities on the south front, that you can fill with cheap units.

Germany is forced to do something about them, at least surround them. (which use up all Rumanian units)

if they do not, Russia can run out and cut supply or place reinforcements there.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 4:36:52 PM   
RickInVA

 

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Thanks for the thoughts!

Mostly I do all those things. I don't always feel I have units to spare for the Bessarabian cities, but I will look into that more. I do use speed bumps, but mostly Mil, Gar, 3 factor Inf, 2-3 factor Cav, and div in cities/forest/swamp.

On the offence, as Germany I don't feel the need to wait for the Stukas. If I can get 3-1 with +2 Blitz I will take the +8 attack. Sure there is the occasional bad roll, but average+ gives good results. Perhaps I've just been lucky, I don't have enough games with enough rolls for the law of average to be too distorted by good results.

I've also read of players that build reasonable amounts of SU air units. I really don't see how they afford that and still have anything like enough ground units. Quick math says that for a July 1941 Barb, the SU gets 6 production phases with 8 BP and 3 with ~14, which is 100 total BP. How much of that do you typically spend on Air Units? I's assume you would build them late to arrive in M/J or J/A 1941? What are you planning the Soviet Army to look like for a 1941 Barb?

Also, and this may well impact results, I also generally follow a France first strategy, leaving only 1 HQ and infantry (along with all the air) to down Poland. My current game I Vichied France in J/F 1940 and was able to launch a 1940 Barb (which I am still playing, J/A just ended). I have never run a "close the Med" strategy with an attack on Spain through to Gib. What I see in the AARs that do this is that too much (IMHO) of the Wehrmacht has to stay behind in Spain and weakens Barb more than I am comfortable with. I do leave a good garrison in Be/Ne/France, I think 12 units with 1 HQ in my current game.

Speaking of AARs, I read a lot of them here, but I can't remember too many where SU does well. Can someone recommend an AAR that had good SU play?

Thanks!

(in reply to michaelbaldur)
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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/10/2018 9:04:07 PM   
Centuur


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I've tried a couple of times by buying FTR's to keep the German Luftwaffe somewhat contained. But I've concluded that it's better for the Soviets to build the boots on the floor first.

But I always will build out the TB-3 long range ATR/Bombers. That is because they are so valuable if you can use them at a point where the Germans don't have FTR cover available for either reorganisation or ground strike/ground support. And two of those will make sure that the Luftwaffe will defend Ploesti with a FTR too...

Good Soviet play sometimes also depend on plain luck. In the netplay AAR game I'm doing with Gerry, I did roll poorly on a lot of attacks against the Soviets during the J/A 1941 turn. Sure, I killed every bomber and FTR the Soviets did throw into action (I really slaughtered the Soviet air force), but if you don't roll well enough to take hexes... When I got a result which let me take the hex, the defenders tended to get shattered (and not killed). And when I attacked cities, I didn't take the hex. And all attacks were done at +10 or more. The result was that my army got disorganised. And the impulse after that: the exact same thing happened.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/11/2018 2:54:49 PM   
ACMW

 

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Blocking Units (& related issues): the beauty of this game is there isn't really a definitive answer on this. It depends. Sometimes you have to trade units for land; sometimes land for units. But during the first year and a half of Barb you need to be constantly assessing which way the balance lies. And there are multiple factors to consider. Obviously a key one is how much land / how many units you have already lost. So, for example, if you have withdrawn quickly and intact, you will likely have given up land, meaning you have less freedom to give up more, but now you may have the unit density to resist without calamity. What is the weather? If it is a clear impulse in a turn where these are rare (and you are going first) you might be able to pull back outside the range of the bulk of the Luftwaffe (or at least the covering fighters) essentially minimising the GER benefit of that favourable weather. What is your next defensive line like? How many Ger units are facedown & what is the reorg capacity etc etc.
As to Air, I think you MUST have at least a limited fighter capability. Plus the big bombers mentioned by Centuur and, ideally, at least a couple of normal LANs. And you need to use these extremely sparingly. But the point is, it keeps the German honest. So, while never say never, don't expose the big bombers to danger. This is why you need the cheaper LANs, as these can be used where the risk reward is sufficient. All this sucks up GER rebases, because he doesn't want to be in a position where his FTRs can't cover an attack he wants to make, ofter requiring him to take air missions to move a FTR a couple of hexes forward. Frustrating.

Cheers

Adrian

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/12/2018 3:39:56 AM   
brian brian

 

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I don’t build any Russian planes until the 2nd or 3rd turn of 1941, then build one FTR per turn for quite a while. Probably no Pilots until 1942. I use their air missions to keep FTR cover over the Russian armor and also largely keep those stacks out of Stuka range in clear weather. (The FTR defend against Axis medium bombers). Russian bombers are too difficult to use in 1941 anyway. Only the LND4 can survive a long summer turn, but I don’t build the extra two.

Focus on stockpiling oil in Siberia. If necessary dud to rounding, have your Allies send in one oil/turn even before Barbarossa. Build 4 convoy points for the Caspian Sea.

Speed Bumps / trading units for ‘land’ - forget the idea of ‘land’. Only the factories matter, and to save them, you have to lose units. Once a factory is safely railed away, you may or may not wish to lose a unit in a given city - depends on where the next factory is. You don’t have to lose 8 units defending Moscow, just because it is Moscow.

Scrap the 3 factor units when lost and then the 4 factor units too. You have to build up Soviet combat power in each hex, because...

The real battle is in 1942. Let your intact Armor, still with intact FTR cover, keep the Panzers from going too crazy over the Volga. As they move east, the German forces inexorably thin out and eventually can not attack a stack of 2 Russian ARM - because their real focus will be the Caucasus. Retreat Zhukov (also with a face-up FTR nearby at all times) towards this front until he is on the Turkish border. Place all your 6 & 7 factor INF builds in this area too. Hold Rostov as you would Leningrad - even let the Koniev HQ be surrounded there, with another elite INF, an ART, an oil point and a FTR, and use defensive HQ support when possible. Night Fly in a Mountain or Ski division if necessary after an Axis attack.

< Message edited by brian brian -- 8/12/2018 3:42:19 AM >

(in reply to ACMW)
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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/12/2018 8:48:48 PM   
gw15


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Keep the border defense as high as you can for Russia to delay Axis declaring war and then once war starts...retreat like hell.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/13/2018 4:47:22 PM   
paulderynck


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"Stuffing" the border can work very well and delay the Germans into 42. It can also fail disastrously.

When it does delay the Germans, you know it won't last in 42 and the problem becomes how to get the army back from the border with only Combined moves. One neat trick is putting all the aircraft in Russian cities within three of the border and then moving them all to the Reserve Pool at the beginning of the "Run away!" turn.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/13/2018 6:21:45 PM   
gw15


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Nasty play Paul, nasty.

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RE: Soviet Strategy - 8/13/2018 6:38:02 PM   
paulderynck


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Well it does happen before weather and initiative so it could still go balls up.

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