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RE: AI for MWiF - USSR

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/4/2007 1:40:35 PM   
dale1066


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quote:

Once at war, the Russians should make a policy of keeping at least one oil in both Leningrad and Sevastipol. Even if the oil doesn't have to be spent due to rounding fractions, the dependent units must be able to trace to oil in order to reorg.


This implies that it is possible for a number of units to trace to different oil resources, each resource only being utilised to the free 0.4 limit consequently the oil resource need not be spent.

eg you have three inf HQS (0.4 oil reorganisation cost) each of which can trace back to three oil points stacked in Moscow say, does this use one oil resouce (3 x 0.4 being 1.2) or none, each resource beoing depleted by 0.4 and hence not being consumed.

What would the situation be if one each of the oil was in sev, leningrad and moscow and the hq's could only trace to one of these only?

Is this situation covered in the oil rules?

(in reply to Neilster)
Post #: 121
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/4/2007 1:46:45 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

I agree it makes the game more accurate, requires more thought and helps the allies a little, but its damned annoying when as germany Italy or japanyou start running low.

This is historical.

(in reply to dale1066)
Post #: 122
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/4/2007 1:53:31 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

quote:

Once at war, the Russians should make a policy of keeping at least one oil in both Leningrad and Sevastipol. Even if the oil doesn't have to be spent due to rounding fractions, the dependent units must be able to trace to oil in order to reorg.

This implies that it is possible for a number of units to trace to different oil resources, each resource only being utilised to the free 0.4 limit consequently the oil resource need not be spent.

eg you have three inf HQS (0.4 oil reorganisation cost) each of which can trace back to three oil points stacked in Moscow say, does this use one oil resouce (3 x 0.4 being 1.2) or none, each resource beoing depleted by 0.4 and hence not being consumed.

What would the situation be if one each of the oil was in sev, leningrad and moscow and the hq's could only trace to one of these only?

Is this situation covered in the oil rules?

If you have 3 disrupted HQ-Is (that you want to reorg), in 3 separate home cities where there is also an OIL point, and if these cities are isolated from each others, then you need not spend any one of them, but the USSR must still expend 1 of its OIL (1.2 rounded down to 1) from somewhere on the map. This "somewhere" does not need to be linked to any of the 3 cities where you have those 3 HQ + OIL.

If one of those cities also have a disrupted FTR (that you want to reorg), then this place expends 0.6 OIL, and then you NEED to expend this one OIL as part of your global OIL expenditure.

If one of those cities contain no OIL, then you cannot reorg the HQ-I, nor the FTR if any. No OIL equals zero reorg of OIL dependant units. You can't say that 0.4 OIL round down to 0 and that no OIL is needed. At least 1 must be present, because you need to physicaly trace to available OIL.

(in reply to dale1066)
Post #: 123
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/5/2007 6:35:50 PM   
dale1066


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Thanks for that, thats pretty clear and how I'd expect it to be.

Only one question, I seem to remember, and I may well be wrong, reading somewhere that if you have no saved oil or oil resouces it is still possible to re-org 0.4 worth for free?

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 124
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/5/2007 6:40:59 PM   
Froonp


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From: Marseilles, France
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quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

Thanks for that, thats pretty clear and how I'd expect it to be.

Only one question, I seem to remember, and I may well be wrong, reading somewhere that if you have no saved oil or oil resouces it is still possible to re-org 0.4 worth for free?

This is wrong.
You need to trace to available OIL to reorg, if using that option.
If you have OIL available, and you spend 0.4 OIL points to reorg only 2 FTR, then the total amount of OIL you must spend is 0 (0.4 rounded down to 0).
If you have no OIL available, you can't trace to any OIL in the first place, so you do not count at all.

(in reply to dale1066)
Post #: 125
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/5/2007 6:50:51 PM   
dale1066


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Fair enough, can't remember where that idea came from.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 126
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/6/2007 5:50:12 AM   
Mziln


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

Thanks for that, thats pretty clear and how I'd expect it to be.

Only one question, I seem to remember, and I may well be wrong, reading somewhere that if you have no saved oil or oil resouces it is still possible to re-org 0.4 worth for free?


As Patrice said you would have to trace to an oil resource or saved oil. Here is what you are thinking of.

quote:

ORIGINAL: RaW 7.0.pdf

13.5.1 Oil (AfA option 48)


If you are playing with this option, you only automatically turn units face-up during the final reorganisation step if they are not oil dependent. To flip oil dependent units, you must spend oil resources.

Oil dependent units are shown on the Unit costs chart (see 28).Work out how many oil dependent units you want to flip face-up.

Each HQ-I counts as 2 units, each HQ-A counts as 3 and each aircraft that takes 2 turns to build counts as half a unit. Divide the total by 5. This is the minimum number of oil resources (whether from the current turn or saved) that you must spend. This means that you can turn 2 units face-up for nothing (because 0.4 rounds to zero). If 3 or more units trace a path to the same oil resource, you must spend that resource. This may mean that you will have to spend more oil resources than the minimum number.

Example: You have only 2 oil resources and 6 face-down oil dependent units. You will have to spend a minimum of 1 oil resource to flip them face-up because 6/5 = 1.2, which rounds to 1. You will only have to spend the minimum if 4 or 5 of the units can trace a path to the same resource. But suppose that 3 units can only trace to 1 of the resources and the other 3 can only trace to the second resource. In that case, you would have to spend both resources to flip all 6 units face-up.

SiF option 9: Each naval unit (CVPiF/SiF option 56: or carrier plane) you turn face-up counts as half a unit and each convoy point counts as a quarter of a unit.

CLiF option 75: Each CA or CL you turn face-up counts as a quarter of a unit.


quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

you have three HQ I (0.4 oil reorganisation cost) each of which can trace back to three oil points stacked in Moscow say, does this use one oil resouce (3 x 0.4 being 1.2) or none, each resource beoing depleted by 0.4 and hence not being consumed.

Hq I (2 units) x 3 = 6 units

6 units/5 = 1.2 rounded to 1.

Your minimum 1 oil is removed from Moscow.



quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

What would the situation be if one each of the oil was in sev, leningrad and moscow and the hq's could only trace to one of these only?

A Hq I (2 units) traced to Savastapol
A Hq I (2 units) traced to Leningrad
A Hq I (2 units) traced to Moscow.

Hq I (2 units) x 3 = 6 units

6 units/5 = 1.2 rounded to 1.

Your minimum 1 oil is removed from your choice of Savastapol, Leningrad, or Moscow.



It always costs the minimum or greater to reorganize.

The line should read:

If your total number of units to be turned face-up are 2 or less there is no oil cost (because it rounds to zero).

Not:

This means that you can turn 2 units face-up for nothing (because 0.4 rounds to zero).

< Message edited by Mziln -- 7/6/2007 7:30:22 AM >

(in reply to dale1066)
Post #: 127
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/6/2007 7:14:20 PM   
dale1066


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I know thats why I like it and hate it

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 128
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/6/2007 8:58:27 PM   
freeboy

 

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sorry. what is face up mean?

(in reply to dale1066)
Post #: 129
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/6/2007 9:22:21 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy
sorry. what is face up mean?

Units can be face up, or face down.
Face up is the normal combat state.
Face down means that the unit is disrupted (may happen as a combat result for example, or after moving in a terrain that cost too much movement points for the unit), or that it has expended its combat & move capacity (flew a air mission, shore bombarded, etc...). Basicaly, a face down units is kind of "used up", and can't be used anymore during that turn.

HQs, transport planes (ATR) & naval transport (TRS) ships can put face up the units that are face down, this is called Reorganization. This gives back the units their full fighting power. They can become disrupted again latter, and again Reorganized if enough Reorganization points are available.

In the very last stage of the action part of the game turn, all disrupted units are Reorganized to be able to move & fight next turn, this is called Final Reorganization. If you play with the optional Oil rule, during Final Reorganization you can only reorganize oil dependent units if they can trace a supply line of any length to an oil you own. Oil dependent units are all planes, ships, and mechanized & armored units.

In WiF FE, the cardboard counters are physically flipped to show their state.
In MWiF, the counters stays displayed the same way, but an indicator show that they are disrupted. Normaly, the MWiF rulebook should not talk about face down or face up units, but should talk about disrupted or undisrupted units.

(in reply to freeboy)
Post #: 130
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/7/2007 2:11:40 AM   
freeboy

 

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makes sence thanks.. I remember some older board games where you flipped a unit and it was the same unit at a reduced power.. this will be an interesting multiplayer I think!

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 131
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/7/2007 2:30:54 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy
sorry. what is face up mean?

Units can be face up, or face down.
Face up is the normal combat state.
Face down means that the unit is disrupted (may happen as a combat result for example, or after moving in a terrain that cost too much movement points for the unit), or that it has expended its combat & move capacity (flew a air mission, shore bombarded, etc...). Basicaly, a face down units is kind of "used up", and can't be used anymore during that turn.

HQs, transport planes (ATR) & naval transport (TRS) ships can put face up the units that are face down, this is called Reorganization. This gives back the units their full fighting power. They can become disrupted again latter, and again Reorganized if enough Reorganization points are available.

In the very last stage of the action part of the game turn, all disrupted units are Reorganized to be able to move & fight next turn, this is called Final Reorganization. If you play with the optional Oil rule, during Final Reorganization you can only reorganize oil dependent units if they can trace a supply line of any length to an oil you own. Oil dependent units are all planes, ships, and mechanized & armored units.

In WiF FE, the cardboard counters are physically flipped to show their state.
In MWiF, the counters stays displayed the same way, but an indicator show that they are disrupted. Normaly, the MWiF rulebook should not talk about face down or face up units, but should talk about disrupted or undisrupted units.

Yes.

Earlier there was a discussion in this forum about what phrase to use to replace face-down and face-up. In writing the optional rule descriptions I was extra careful to use the words organized, disorganized, and reorganized. Units when placed placed on the map start in an organized state, except for reserve units that have just been called up (they start disorganized). There are 4 mechanisms for reorganizing units during a turn: by air (using air transport units), by sea (using naval transports), by land (using HQ units), and lastly by expending an Offensive Chit. Disorganized units are static and more vulnerable to land attack. As a turn progresses, and you use units to accomplish various tasks, they become disorganized. At teh end of the turn, during Final Reorganization all disorganized units become organized, with the caveats as described by Patrice above.

The Rules as Coded portion of the Player's Manual will not contain any references to face-down, face-up, or disrupted. Nor will it refer to "white print units". Instead, "white print units" is replaced with "elite units".

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 132
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 7/11/2007 8:14:37 AM   
trees

 

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I started a new thread about stuffing the border instead of adding it to this one.

Thinking about Bessarabia while working on that post made me start to remember that by the summer of 1942 in Russia, I can't always remember who had Bessarabia when Barbarossa began.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 133
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/7/2007 9:15:28 PM   
bj_rohde

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

Attacking units
Focusing on a single front line, the FM determines the land units he has available with which to attack. That is, the units are face up, in supply, and can reach an enemy zone of control this impulse. Sorting these units by combat strength and separating the corps from the divisions, he creates hypothetical stacks of 3 units per hex, again arranged from the best through to the worst. This is just a first pass for estimation purposes, since the units may or may not be able to actually form up in those groups because of their positions in the line. What he now knows is the highest number of combat factors that he can bring to bear on 1, 2, 3, or more hexes.

Defending units
Switching over to the enemy front line, he examines each hex that is in the ZOC of an enemy unit and sees if he can move units into it.


Just finished reading through this thread, and I'm stuck with this question: If you use enemy ZOC to determine the front lines (my emphasis in the quote), wouldn't you risk the AI missing or misinterpreting hexes with only divisions in them? Since divisions only has ZOC in their own hex?

Also, what about hexes with only aircraft or naval units in them - ripe for overruns, are they taken into consideration?

Bjarne

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 134
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/7/2007 10:41:53 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bj_rohde


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

Attacking units
Focusing on a single front line, the FM determines the land units he has available with which to attack. That is, the units are face up, in supply, and can reach an enemy zone of control this impulse. Sorting these units by combat strength and separating the corps from the divisions, he creates hypothetical stacks of 3 units per hex, again arranged from the best through to the worst. This is just a first pass for estimation purposes, since the units may or may not be able to actually form up in those groups because of their positions in the line. What he now knows is the highest number of combat factors that he can bring to bear on 1, 2, 3, or more hexes.

Defending units
Switching over to the enemy front line, he examines each hex that is in the ZOC of an enemy unit and sees if he can move units into it.


Just finished reading through this thread, and I'm stuck with this question: If you use enemy ZOC to determine the front lines (my emphasis in the quote), wouldn't you risk the AI missing or misinterpreting hexes with only divisions in them? Since divisions only has ZOC in their own hex?

Also, what about hexes with only aircraft or naval units in them - ripe for overruns, are they taken into consideration?

Bjarne

Excellent point. I missed that. Thanks.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to bj_rohde)
Post #: 135
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 8:24:41 PM   
npilgaard

 

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Even more old notes from the list - this time on LL to USSR (in most games I have played the Allied have agreed on doing significant LL to USSR at game start, but somehow it always turns out to be actually only little or no LL - maybe a AI is able to handle it better than a human player who likes to use his BP on his own units, rather than giving them away to another player )

(66374) :

"> I'd rather have the CW/US BP's to build more lift and LND4's to pull
> pressure off of Russia and to open a second front ASAP.

I've seen this attitude before from many other players. It reminds me of the old joke about WWIII...two Soviet tank generals meet each other in Paris after vanquishing the NATO armies, and one says to the other, "by the way, who won the air war?"

I might be wrong, but I hear a lot of people on the list complaining about Russia getting wasted in their games, its so effective that Barb41 is a really good way for the Axis to go to ensure victory. And you know what? They're right, it is pretty effective, because Russia is the weak giant of the early war. If Germany nails them and does it early, they won't come back in any real sense of the word. And that frees up the German army to reinforce the west and slow down the western juggernaut. Heck, its possible to give Russia a knockout blow in a Barb42 if you're lucky. That's how bad it is.

At the same time, lots of players don't do (or don't do much) LL to Russia. I've played with many and boy they sure don't. Many times old FF gets more BP than Russia does.

Let's get something straight here. Just like the real war, have you ever seen a US or British player kill 40BP of German land units in a nice long July-August? Doesn't happen all that often does it?

But the Russians CAN and WILL do this routinely if you turn them into a Frankenstein monster on steroids in 44. Under these conditions, a Russia that has 2 OC to burn each turn will do so in land impulses and that means that about 2.5 stacks of units are vaporized by that means alone.

If the breakthroughs from this can be exploited effectively, I've seen Russians pocket huge German forces for extermination. Rare, but possible, and darned unlikely in France or Italy against the Allies. Its possible for Russia to gain 10, 15 or even 20 hexes back from the Germans in these situations (note for you Germans, Russians that withdrew in an orderly manner like fighting in Russia in 44, your best shot is to retreat and form a strong line on the Bug or Vistula and
Carpathians; otherwise, sooner or later they will break you, cut off a section and then roll past it). Its not fun to get your army cut off and unable to retreat faster than the Russians because of ZoC's.

(...)

A strong Russia on steroids will do several things:

1) early war, it will build up faster. Its harder for Germany to deliver a knockout blow, punch through and mop up the Russian backfield. This roughly translates into a more orderly Russian
withdrawal, and more time to ensure that the Russian factories are all railed out, not captured and burned.

2) mid war, it will mean the German high tide crests quicker, and that the Russian has more of their elite forces on map faster. It also means the odd OC for counterattacks. It also means a larger more
effective Red Air Force.

3) late war, it means 1 'free' OC for Russia a turn until cutoff. Meanwhile Russian production, having built the good stuff or much of it, can also afford 1 to (really late war) 2 OC per turn as well.

4) at some point, the allies will want to make the game competitive, that is, you don't want the Russian to win on points. Identify this point, say when the Russian gets to his borders and then cut off the LL. You do control the spigot you know.

They'll still keep munching the Germans, but their pace will slow.

===========================================

Now lets talk about how much LL is enough? I'll submit for argument that each BP loaned to Russia is worth 2BP you spend on your own armies. I likewise think BP loaned to FF are worth about 1.5BP.

So, a good answer for LL? Ramp it up to 10BP a turn as early as possible. Yes it takes some infrastructure but, once done its done. Once you've cleaned out northern Finland its done. These theaters can then be abandoned to go on to others; the Soviets will fill the gap.

Can Russia get this much? Well, lets suppose they are completely cut off in the north but they were set up competently. So they got 1 factory into Murmansk and 2 factories into Archangel, plus have plenty of oil up there. The Allies land and take out Petsamo, and the resource is used by the Soviets, along with 2 more shipped in from the Allies. But the north is otherwise cutoff.

Under the LL rules, under non-blizzard/snow you can send Russia: 6BP (Murmansk + Archangel + major port + 3 factories)

In blizzard or snow you'd be limited to 2BP if Murmansk were isolated.

This makes knocking out Finland early an attractive option for the West, because you can also use Petsamo to ship to Leningrad.

So in a worst case you are limited to 6BP plus some resources. Fighting in this theater by the way, is one way to pound on the Germans, they can't reinforce up here very well, and the darned Finns
are ever so much more useful employed elsewhere.

I think you can set up to keep your rail links clearer than this, and besides, with 8 oil stacked in Archangel, it can feed its own factories on the turns when it gets nothing.

One note: simply plonking down 10BP a turn in 44 will do nothing for the Soviets. All this time they have to have been slowly building out their Arm, Mech, divs, etc. so they have a force that can use the OC you deliver. Likewise, early LL allows them to add goodies like theHQ-A and other expensive toys to their arsenal quicker. If LL is to work, you have to start feeding them early.

Finally, in the beginning of Barb, you want to do something to pull off as many Germans from the Russian front as you can to save them. But if you do the LL, in 44 the Germans will be pulling everything they can off of your front to stablize the repeated Soviet breakthroughs in the East. You have to see it to believe it.

But Russia cannot deliver these hammer blows without YEARS of preparation. I've played many games lasting to 46 even; many players have not.

One last caveat, a Russia that can counterattack in mid-war forces Germany to do fewer combineds to mess with your convoys; no German will do this sort of thing knowing that the Russian is going to try for a */2B on a 9-6 Arm, 9-6 Mech and 2-6 Mech div in it.

My suggestion? Adopt a max Soviet LL strategy sometime, and play clear to 44 or 45. Nurse them early when they are weak, fortify them in the mid war and go all out at that point. Let slip the bear of war and then watch the Germans want to quit the game because its no fun at all.

Or not."

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 136
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 9:13:52 PM   
npilgaard

 

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On USSR counter-offensive strategy:


Bryce (68435):

"> In Jan/Feb '42 most of the German army and air corp were parked on
> the Eastern front. Two Italian HQ and ~8 aircraft supported this
> effort. Most of the WIF-list is probably familiar with the Bob and
> Don double o-chit impulse where they play a German land OC and an
> Italian air OC on the same impulse.

As I noted earlier the best way to shatter a Russian is with a
combined German land/Italian air operation. I shudder to imagine the
same with OC involved. Some of the other tactics (including the
armored first I've mentioned) are not worth a hoot in these cases. If
you defend forward, you will be flipped, surrounded and killed, in
that order.

> declare. Long story short it worked. The German's declared in
> March/April.

I usually don't mind a MA DoW either. Unless they are a demon, they're
going to have bad weather. One key item to watch out for here is snow
in the Pripets. Have some units ready to block them from overrunning
the Pripets and coming out behind or between your armies.

> Not much bad happened except that my declaration of war messed with
> my gearing limits. I had expected to be able to have unlimited
> gearing limits, but didn't because I was the one who declared war.

This happened to me once as the US (DoWing on JA). Its not good for
Russia either, you need high gearing limits in the summer months to
replace losses, which means fairly high gearing limits in the late
winter turns too.

> I made a HUGE mistake and kept my army to close to the border. The
> first May/June impulse was clear and I was mildly abused by the
> Axis. The combined ground strikes kept me pinned very close to the

We have to say you get the bimbo award in this case. :) You mean you
saw all those Italian bombers up there and moved forward anyways?

> The horror! The horror! The double OC's hit in J/A and my army was
> blown off of the map. Kiev and Smithville were just gone. One
> second happy happy Russian corps, the next smoke and fire. The
> Dniepr/Dvina line was shattered. I fell back in good order in the
> North, but casaulties were high. Important lesson here, in the
> early game run, run like a little girl screaming from the German
> army.

Yep. In the original post, the writer showed his aggressiveness by
wanting to counterattack. Early in a Barb, that is a nice little
dream. Instead try to concentrate on survival. Survival is defined as:
1) getting your factories out, and I mean all of them
2) getting your units (good Mil) out
3) retreating in good order

The Dniepr line can hold against Germans for a couple impulses or even
a turn sometimes. Once they bring massive air power to bear (or kindly
ask the Italians to do it for them) then a line like this tends to
burst like a balloon. Worse, the units not immediately breached are
often flipped and unable to retreat.

I've said it before and will say it again...when faced with a massive
Axis air force, a Soviet player who consistently pulls back, clear to
the Urals even, is infinitely better off than one that chooses to stay
and die. The difference between the two is: in the first case you make
it back with your army intact and can first hold and later push
back...in the latter case the German pushes to the Urals and
stabilized their front while you rebuild.

> I took the double OC again and after about 150 build points in
> casualties the line stablized with with Gomel, Bryansk and Kursk

As a general rule for Barb (which means its only loosely correct), the
first TWO summers the Axis have the initiative. The summers after that
the Soviets do. Certainly be ready to launch the occasional
counterattack, etc. in the second summer, gain GBA, etc., as events
permit. But you still will do your counters AFTER German moves, late
in the turn, after their AC have flown, or when the turn is about to end.

As the Soviets I am keeping my OC, etc., in reserve ready to respond
to the Germans, or to use my OC in more defensive ways (unflip all HQ,
etc.).

I've seen several cases where the Soviets survived like this, got some
good units in the field and then tried to play major league ball with
the Germans too early...to their sorrow. Attacking too early can burn
many MANY BP that would be better spent on OC and heavy units.

Instead, once you've reached a parity of sorts, concentrate your
builds in the FTR/LND areas, and focus on nibbling more than biting.
This is not to say that you can't blow your OC on the last impulse of
SO though, if you see a chance to do something with little risk, take
it by all means.

I'm just saying that there'll be plenty of time later for you to give
the Germans a real bear hug.

> I'm out of OCs and will not start getting them again until Jul/Aug.
> The Axis will have five. Don't put yourself in this position.

One thing about late war Soviet builds that might surprise you: build
LOTS of AC!

After all, your main army is pretty much fielded, and you are adding
to it slowly. Losses are not HUGE like they were during opening Barb;
the German can counterattack but can't launch a sustained push against
you, he has far too many chestnuts in the western fires.

This means (besides OC) that you will be building many airplanes.

I tend to build LND3 early in Barb, because they have good factors and
have good ranges (after use they can fly back to safety).

During middle Barb I switch to LND2 because they are cheap and have
great factors. By that time I am not so concerned about always
retreating so they tend to live too.

FTR should be built at all times. Find a way to shoehorn in 2 FTR a
turn, as quickly as you can (and Soviet AC production will mushroom
from there). The Soviet answer to German air superiority is sheer
numbers. After the first couple impulses of a turn their planes will
have all flown while you've reorg'd for another try. Once you get a
breakthrough or two and stomp on facedown AC your situation will only
improve.

By late war, as Russia you may find yourself pumping out AC (6 per
turn forex, 2xFTR2, FTR3, LND2, ATR, LND4 plus 3xPIL). Certainly most
of the time you will build 4 AC plus pilots. This sounds incredible
but simply put if you can get air superiority in a theater your
progress on the ground is going to be VERY rapid.

Think about it. Early on, the Germans tend to stop attacking once
their AC have flown and are flipped. But you know you're close to
turnover when they still have AC (and so do you) but they are not so
keen to attack hexes (because the chance of your AC lowering the odds
OR your AC having already flipped key attackers).

I have found 3 types of AC that are underrated in most Soviet
strategies, but part of this may depend upon the rules used.

ATR - without variable reorg, these become incomparably useful,
particularly with night missions. Build them all, their use in air or
land impulses is invaluable. Each one also frees up a TB-3 for other
duties. Simply put, you can NEVER have too little reorg, and it can
always be used somewhere somehow (and 11 range is so much better than
being in range to an HQ).

LND4 - Russia gets 5 heavy bombers initially (4xTB-3, 1xPe-8) of which
2 are either on map or in the reserve pool. The TB-3 should all be
build after Barb starts (maybe even some before) because their dual
use is unbelievable (such as airlifting a MTN into an unoccupied city
the Germans are about to take, etc.). One of these units on the
Scandinavian map can fudge the poor Germans at every turn with a good
unit or two running behind them in some of the hardest to supply
territory ever.

In the mid- to late war, you begin to have these bombers operating in
larger numbers. Suddenly the ability of the Russian army becomes much
fiercer with respect to fort hexes, etc. A Soviet player can pull an
air impulse (or even two of them), reorging with OC. Then either a
land OC or a supercombined, with carpet bombings of the key hexes on
the front being attacked. It doesn't sound like much, but if you kill
one unit in this manner, when you attack the hex and take it the
German 12-5 SS Arm does NOT survive...there were only 2 units in the hex.

FTR3 - Before Barb, I build 1 NF. In 42 I start to make an effort to
build 1 FTR2, 1 FTR3 a turn at some point. If you have FTR3 in your
force pool, build one of them instead of a regular FTR. Why?

If playing with night missions, their use is invaluable. They make
those missions more successful/more lethal to the Axis. If the West is
doing its job, the Germans shouldn't have too many NF against you. A
caveat is that by 43 your pool will be depleted and you can quickly
get out some P-61's. Finally, these units have some of your best
ranges/A2A.

If not playing with tac night missions, they are not as good. I've
played both ways and I like night missions, its the only way the
Russians can contribute in the air war until late 43 or so. I still
might buy some however, simply because they have high A2A ratings, the
later ones aren't penalized against single engine FTR, and they have
excellect range."



_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 137
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 9:14:44 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2683
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Always assuming, of course, you have the convoys, the convoy escorts, and the search rolls to deliver the goods.

If delivering massive amounts of LL is the goal, then the CW and US have to plan for it from the start, including appropriate convoy and escort builds, being able to invade Petsamo (and maybe also Norway) for the airbases, and understanding that they will be a good deal less able to stretch the Axis in the peripheral theatres.

In particular, the CW will be very hampered by the effort to deliver the USSR the build points and whatnot early, since until the US is in the war and getting 50+ bps.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to send a lot to the USSR (I almost said lend, but you won't be getting it back) - indeed, it's an excellent idea. But first make sure that Germany's going to go in and go in real hard. Building convoys is always good for CW, but they need to build a LOT more to pitch in big-time to USSR than they do if they're just keeping the lines to England open.

Incidentally, my own experience is that USSR has had little trouble crushing the Germans in 43-44 without much (or any) lend-lease if they over-commit to defending against the W. Allies, take heavy losses, or don't do enough damage to the USSR.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 138
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 9:26:52 PM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 166
Joined: 5/3/2006
Status: offline
The last of the old list-posts (I think that I might have posted some of the below before in another post some months ago, but here is the full text - a lot of stuff, but feel free to skip ):

Soviet Armoured Fist Defence of Barbarossa (tactics + build strategy):

quote:

Post:

73701 - Bryce

"STRATEGY I MOST OFTEN USE

I call my Soviet doctrine I use the most the "HEavy-AT" Strategy, or
HEAT for short.

Before Barb, you:
+ build EVERY gun
+ build EVERY Arm
+ build EVERY Mech
+ you start game with 8-6 heavy mech in force pool, build it for 7
+ you spend 4BP in 41 converting to 9-6 heavy arm and mech
+ remaining BP are spent on grunts, consider the possibility of
building pilots for your Ftr.

After Barb begins, your three tasks are:
+ Rail out ALL factories
+ Gain signifigant LL (you should have been badgering the Allies for
turns and turns already)
+ Extract your army with few losses

Once Barb begins, the German must kill the speed bumps in Lvov, etc.,
the first few impulses. Some players think this is not that useful.
Way I look at it, I am spending BP to burn an Axis impulse. They will
not advance their land units that turn, and that means they can't
really advance their aircraft that turn either.

Speed bumps further back are less useful. Here, a keen Student will
simply advance on it and then (closer to end of turn) simply fly all
their bombers needlessly in support (which will rebase them close up
for next turn). I like to avoid that, but sometimes you can't have
everything.

HQ will be pretty far back, and will reorg as many units as I can,
along with 3 TB-3 (I'll build some before the war). TB-3 are your best
unit, able to reorg as you fall back, huge range, and can even fly at
night protected by NF. I will rarely risk them to ground strike unless
again, at night. Their use under these conditions can degrade German
ground strikes and always complicate battle calculations.

Bottom line, my initial Barb strategy is all about denying the Axis
effective use of their action limits their first impulses, so they are
out of position as much as possible. I try to do this a lot in early
Barb. The trick is to succeed at it.

After the speed bumps, I employ "heavy-AT stacks" particularly in the
south. These stacks are spaced so any one of them can only be faced by
2 Axis land stacks. I fly HEAVY Ftr protection, and stay ahead of the
advancing Stukas and Axis fighters. Hopefully this will burn 1 or 2
more Axis impulses.

At some point I run across the Dniepr. If I've done a heavy-AT, I'm
likely to stand and fight at that point, simply to burn another turn
and OC for as cheaply as possible. I am much more likely to withold my
OC to unflip my HQ, pull them back and reorg the line than I am to use
it to counterattack at this point, I will willingly trade an OC for an
air OC played by the Germans, forex, in these circumstances I may not
even fly any planes of my own at all...

In the north, the front splits quickly with the main force retreating
to Smolensk and a smaller force retreating to Novgorod-Leningrad.

Once the Germans have crossed, I fall back once more, again using
heavy AT stacks to shield the rest of the army. I will fall to the
factory line in good order and hold there til the city stacks (I keep
them in front) are taken then I retreat again.

If the Rostov-Voronzek-Moscow river line is breached, as is likely, I
resume a retreat to the Urals, with a large number of crappy units
infesting the Caucasus stiffened with some good ones in key hexes.

I employ only long range bombers early on. Fighters fly and then
rebase back as far as they can. Most of the time I can get them to a
city (even a hero city) where I can remove them if need be to get them
out of danger. Forex, in my current game as Russia, its JF45 and I've
lost ZERO AC to overruns.

I also build every single Ftr3 the Russians have, if playing with
nightmissions the Russians now have the ability to get 'some' factors
in along with the occasional key ground strike. The Germans can
counter this, but then the Brit night-bombing of their factories is
unimpeded. Its a tradeoff.

I concentrate my 2 ski and mtn div with 6 corps including the
Astrakhna Mil for the dreaded 3 hexside counterattack once winter sets
in (which isn't that effective against a German that knows its coming
and plans accordingly).

There are several mods to this strategy. If the Germans have more OC,
I'm less likely to stay and fight in a place, depending on which HQ's
are where.

If I've railed out all the factories, I'm much less likely to stay and
fight for a spot. Hexes are just hexes til you get to the Caucasus and
Urals. Basically if I have the factories out and LL secured then I am
happy to fall back and conserve my forces (and burn Axis action limits).

If the Germans have built an Italian air force from Hell, I'm damned
sure not going to stay and fight for anything. HEAT or not, you'll get
rodeoed and surrounded, then its Communists and Indians, with the
Wehrmact driving round and round shooting arrows into your little red
wagons...not pretty."


quote:

Post:


Bryce 67728:

"Hmmm...I still don't know, but it seems like Russia is playing into
the hands of the Axis in your games. Break contact with the Germans
and either let them:
a) consolidate their lines, <OR>
b) chase you deeper into Russia to the next defense line

I firmly believe that a USSR that concentrates on a mobile mechanized
army early can do an optimal withdrawal (fast enough that German
airpower is at a disadvantage, slow enough that you rail out all your
factories).

Once these are accomplished you simply fall back once again. And
again. At no time do you let the Axis attack you at advantage.

A strategy like this often results in ~10BP of Soviet casualties in
bad weather turns and 20-55BP of casualties in the long summer turns,
but it assumes the Germans are sticking to you like a tarbaby.

If the Germans do not take the bait and follow you (option a) then
being at least 6 hexes away from them will result in an effective gain
in production for the USSR (10/turn in bad weather to 35/turn in good
weather). This initial bonus I would first use for additional FTR,
after moderate parity I would then start spending some of it on OC and
cheese units (Russian OC production would commence in late 41).

Note also that you can't leave Russia alone and then change your
mind...4 turns of AC production will result in a very different air
force mix...now Russia can actually do counterair operations as you
rebase forward, which translates into flipped units on the German
front and massive Soviet blitzes of these hexes. So now Russia can
hold for more than 2 impulses, flip AC and units, vaporize a key hex
or two and THEN fall back again.

Finally, at some point, Russia will have 4 or 5 OC, plus a large air
force plus a large unblooded army (and we're assuming no LL btw). They
will race forward to meet up with the Germans. They will either do so
in bad weather (slowly rebase FTR forward) or in good (supercombined
or fly all FTR as CAP, reorg with HQ's, next impulse reorg all HQ). In
any event, the Russian will be in contact with the Germans at that
point and the main event will start to unfold.

Tactics such as Mr. Jacobi's come to mind, there are plenty of others
as well (if you don't bother Russia, then Russia is going to bother
Japan, Finland, etc., 10x 3-3 Inf is only 30BP and that was one turn's
savings. Give them an HQ, one kill stack, a couple AC and a slogan and
send them on a rampage somewhere without affacting your Eastern Front
in the least.) I would not want to face this sort of fight in 1943,
because the 2d10 is not about the strength of the hex, its only about
the plusses you get in the attack.

===================
The German alternative is to deny this scenario by following the
retreating Soviets and continually embed your jackboot in their
backside. It will result in the losses described above, so no
effective counterattack force is formed, and no Soviet
counteroffensive can begin the next year(s) either.

The disadvantage here is that you will have to abandon your turtle
strategy. Partisans will matter, Soviet winterized attacks will
matter, rebasing AC becomes quite problematic because you are
attacking, not to mention that each impulse finds you further away
from home as the Soviets continue to retreat to interior river lines
(Dniepr -> factory line => Moscow-Voronzeh-Rostov => etc.). And you
may not succeed in really blooding them the way you want to.

To sum up, I think your strategy is most effectively employed if you
first beat the stuffings out of the Soviets by chasing them down
(assuming you do) for 2 summers and THEN adopting your hedgehog
defense at a river line. This is the best strategy I know of; many
Germans don't know when to quit and so they die OOS and fragmented. I
think 2 summers enough to bleed the Soviets so they aren't a complete
monster.

But doing this AND defending shallow territorial gains only works if
the Soviet player doesn't grab his marbles and march off to Moscow. I
see the two objectives as being pretty much incompatible unless one is
early Barb and the other late Barb."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67840):

"> I can think of a number of things that are also very high priority. ARM for
> one, since this is the only way the Russians can take advantage of the Blitz
> table. Then there is ART and other divisions, since you can be expecting to
> take losses or advance hexes, and those good quality mobile AT and AA are
> invaluable. Dont forget that we want some TAC, too.

My Soviet builds tend to be one Arm/turn, 2xFtr/turn, at least one
pilot, one gun, one div and grunts. If an HQ is available it takes the
place of 2 grunts. This works well and gets out the key units in a
timely manner.

Note also that it depends what you play with: many hate MiF because
the Germans get all those mech in the late war. I like it, I am
willing to give them that because I get all the Soviet mech early on
as well. Many are good enough to stack in the secondary front hexes,
and thus help delay the German advance.

> I would be very surprised indeed to see a 1943 Russia with 15+ FTR, a
> respectable TAC force and enough ARM and supporting forces to strike fear into the
> hearts of Germany. This doesnt mean that it cant be done, or that its never
> happened, or that your style of play is wrong - I'm not trying to

Well in my current game, the German has been very aggressive, using a
huge army and air force. I've employed a heavy mechanized defense.

The German killed ~10BP/turn, managed to hold him to 15BP in early
summer, last JA he managed to kill 50BP. In the last 6 turns I've
counterattacked and killed 3 Mech, Mech div, 2-3 Inf and some divs.
The Germans have only had one bad battle for Kursk where they lost a
Para and Para div. They have had NO Italian help in Barb (one key
reason I've been able to hold my own in the air).

Its MJ43, I only have 12 FTR, 4 LND4 and 7 LND3 (I detached 1 FTR, 2
LND3 to Iraq for the defense, now its an advance there). All Arm and
HQ on map except 1xHQA on spiral. I think I have 4 Mech in the force
pool left, some of that because I upgraded GBA. All mech/arm divs,
ART, AT, TD on map, I am now concentrating on Katyusha and SPA (none
on map). LL has been minimal. I've built 2xOC (none on map).

I am still on the defensive of course, and this summer promises to be
a bloody one for both sides...I am about to fall back to the
Moscow-Voronzeh-Rostov line, since the factory line has been breached
(because of some of the battles I have chosen to defend much farther
forward than I would normally). In the north they managed to cut the
link between Vologda and Archangel, but I think I'll have it re-opened
in the next couple turns.

Most of the German mechanized losses have been in battles where I've
flipped one unit perhaps (or none) and then massed the Soviet blitzers
against them. Its worth doing just to force the German to fly huge
numbers of bombers and fighters to the hex defending it (one key
battle saw 9 Lnd3 support a hex), because those bombers won't be
ground striking me. Repeatedly, the German has managed to knock a hex
out of my line and advance, but quickly learned that a blitzable hex
surrounded on 4 or 5 sides is a BAD thing when faced with a mechanized
defender. You don't do it unless you have them flipped, and my
threatened counterattacks threatened his ability to do air impulses.

There is no doubt that weather and luckballs have played a part, in
other games we often see Germans advancing to the other map or
aligning Turkey. But then, I wasn't playing Russia those games either...
:)

We think the heavy mechanized strategy works for Russia, maybe not
quite as well as this time perhaps, but it does well. But your mileage
will vary depending on what rules and counters you play with."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67794):

"> Well, you certainly have a mighty Russia then, what with all the FTR being
> built, and all the HQ, and heaven only knows what else. I never seem to manage
> it - must be poor play on my part.

Nope, but the descriptions I've heard so far (slow German advance AND
heavy/moderate Soviet casualties, more German reorg than Soviet reorg,
etc.) certainly suggest that your Soviet gameplay could be more effective.

You're right that early on, Germany has more reorg and can reorg FTR
even on a land move (necessary sometimes when you only have 4 air
missions). But this doesn't last forever. Russia can, in some cases as
early as mid-43, start the turn with an air impulse, use all their HQ
and then spend one OC the next impulse to unflip all their HQ.

Assuming that only Zhu, Kon, Yer, Timmie and Vatty are on map, this
would allow 17 AC to reorg. Since I'm a cautious soul, suppose I leave
Yeremenko unflipped to guard a threatened hex with HQ support in case
the Germs get frisky. That's still 14 AC reorg'd. And no, the German
can't come close to matching this without flipping their HQ and
leaving them that way. Which is fine with me, let them sit that way
the entire turn.

Or rather, the German CAN match this, once perhaps. And then their
last OC is gone. The Russians will be doing this every other turn in
43. In 44, they will be doing it EVERY turn (good weather turns only,
we can assume in bad weather they will simply make high odds
winterized attacks).

Finally, if Russia ever does make a breakthrough (its not a sure
thing, but I believe they can during a turn with multiple OC to play),
the Luftwaffe has a very good chance of getting stomped on while
facedown. If this happens, the German better pray he goes first and
can fall back. Been there, done that (and had it done to me), got the
T-shirt."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67853):

"> Remember, desire and execution are two different things. Germany WANTS
> to kill Russians. Russia desires to stop that. Also note that Jeff very
> importantly stated the Germans wanted to kill Russians with few casualties by
> making high odds attacks. That's an important part of Jeff's statement.

Well then I am completely flummoxed then, and can only assume that
your Russians are being done in by their own choices. Germany can
dream of dead Russians all she wants but if they don't pursue them
fullbore then the Soviets get to decide if this happens or not.

Germany is apparently calling the shots in your dance and Russia is
doing her best to be Ginger Rogers to your Fred Astaire. Now I (as
Stalin Rogers) like to step on Fred's toes, drink vodka from a bong,
twirl the wrong way and do the robot at inopportune times. And I
always keep belching my borscht-onion breath in your face. Always.

If you are committed to:
+ only making high-odds attacks <AND>
+ gradual consolidation of territory (due to Soviet retreats)
and I am committed to:
+ heavy mechanized build strategy <AND>
+ retreat at first opportunity (factory & units safe)

then I see no way for the German to make any high odds attack except
upon my sufferance. I'd submit from past experience that there would
be no long summers where you can apply the lash...I'm not there. Have
fun beating up my ex-peasants. Put an extra SS unit on map.

As I have posted earlier, against a passive German, retreat gains me
several things:
1) my on-map army is not damaged
2) my on-map air force is not damaged
3) each turn's budget will buy ADDITIONAL units, not REPLACEMENTS
4) faster OC production (say within 4 turns of start of Barb)
5) I'll have more saved oil than God

Now I see some gains for the Germans as well. You can pull a combined
or even naval whenever you want, the West ain't gonna like that.
Soviet partisans are kaput. And your oil expended in the East is going
to drop to zero, same as mine. The West can forget about serious
invasions of France/Italy, you can even rail out some land units if
need be. I don't see you flying out many AC though, that's a lot more
dangerous as the Russian gains parity with you.

I guess my point is, if you don't keep banging on my head and I
retreat to the MVR line well ahead of time, with you slowly loping
along after, by the time you get there you are going to face a Soviet
player with 4 extra turns of production. Their army is bigger, their
air force is MUCH bigger, and they aren't as eager to retreat anymore.
I can darn nearly put 2-3 mechanized per key hex on the river by this
point.

One thing I have found is that, with a heavy mechanized force, the
Soviet can launch spoiling attacks on you without flipping you first;
without flips such a battle can be a +13, if the turn were close to
ending I would certainly consider doing this to the lead German kill
stack. If I ground struck the hex and one adjacent to it and then hit
the hex itself, sure you could intercept both strikes and then
hopefully escort your support bombers in, but so what, I just used
practically every single plane you have in this key sector, so next
impulse you aren't going to do much to me and I'll still have some Ftr.

What are you going to do, call an air to reorg the planes in this one
sector? Do a land and rebase more in while 2 good HQ reorg 3 of them?
I just bought an impulse and my newly formed GBA will lead my
triumphant blitzers back across the river. Score: Russia 1, Germany 0.

I've done this several times, and it can be very effective at stalling
a front. The only hard part is knowing where to place old Zhukie and
Vattie Zhuke adds to the battle, the other waits to reorg those flippe
from behind the river line). Once you got that its trivial to pull
back across and leave him flipped with the Saratov Mil and a 1-5 Cav
div stacked with him, as long as he has a good retreat route back to
the river line. That way Zhuke protects the front to a faretheewell,
but can't be killed himself. I'll console myself with the 3BP gain I
made in the battle and the fact that he won't cost me oil to reorg.

But suppose you're indeed careful and approach MVR in a way so that I
can't pull stunts like this. So what, bad weather will have set in.
I'm fine til early 42. So in MA42 you begin operations when it clears,
but by then I'll have had 6-7 turns of production versus no losses.
You'll have 1-2 OC and lots of AC, but so will I. You'll have huge
reorg ability but so will I.

You go first? You can do your air and fly all your planes, then do an
OC next impulse to unflip HQ. Big deal. Wholesale flippage of the
Russian front is not going to happen, at least not on average. Key
hexes will soak up 2 or more bombers to ensure they are flipped. I
don't even have to fly my aircraft, I could choose to just fly a few.
Or none. Flip all you want, Uncle Addie.

On my impulse, I choose a land, reorg my HQ and proceed to unflip
every land unit I have. Yes assuming you still have a faceup HQ you
can now do a land OC and blast a hole, but I don't think you'll be too
keen on crossing over the river line to my side while I still have a
protected HQ ready to blast you back. Not to mention unflipping your
HQ's to maintain the offensive will burn your last OC. )Otherwise
you're pretty much done at this point, with no real advance past what
you have. I'll be out of OC too, but unlike you my third one will
arrive shortly...

If Russia goes first in this scenario, I can launch spoiling air raids
in a key sector. No I don't have as many Lnd3 as the German, nor do I
have as many FTR. But if I gang up in an area, I can get an edge.
Early war my Sturmo's are not self-escorting but you can bet that
there will be enough for the German to be forced to fly FTR to protect
a key sector. Its a good way to scrap the loser Sturmo anyway.
Send them to their dooms.

I like playing with night missions for this exact reason, the aircraft
don't hit very well but boy do they burn up FTR trying to stop them.
But even without night missions, I've just protected that key sector
from his riposte on his impulse, because Addie has to reorg first.

Giving the Russian the initiative in deciding what battles will be
fought and when is a recipe I think for disaster. All my strategies
have assumed a standard income and meager LL, but you can bet I will
demand max LL from the Allies from the get go. Suppose I get 7BP/turn
that way, this translates about 112BP I picked up before the MVR
clash. Add this to the army that I did NOT lose, and Russia has firmed
up very nicely indeed. This is an ideal, of course, but the real
answer isn't too far off.

I've heard the repeated comment that your Soviets are stymied even
with 60BP/turn economies. If this is true, then something is not
right. My suspicion is that your Soviets have been attrited and pruned
by your Germans so much so that they are still in recovery, buying
replacements.

But thats a Soviet choice and one I would suggest not making. I feel
pretty comfortable saying that a Stalin who did pull back would not
lose much and by the time he gets up to 60BP/turn Hitler is definitely
going to be feeling it. I would not want to face a Jacobi twice a turn
at that point, followed by land OC. As the Soviet I can and will burn
3 OC a turn in the summer turns, and maybe more than that. Sooner or
later I will break through and when I do, the Luftwaffe will be the
main victim. Even killing 4 FTR in a sector at the end of the turn
spells disaster for it when the next turn begins, especially if I go
first.

Let's not even consider what the Sturmoviks will do if they get to fly
unopposed. Hell, I won't even use an OC the first impulse, no need
when 3 bombers will do just fine. I'll wait til the second impulse of
JA to play that game we all know and love called "Who wants to be a
Cross of Iron Candidate?" Hmm...should Manstein use his reorg? Or
should he phone a friend? Is that your final answer? Let's ask the
audience.

We have of course not considered other options, such as flying carpet
bombing missions in the air/supercombined impulses against unprotected
hexes. On a combined this can lead to all sorts of nasty events like
your lead kill stack vaporizing, leaving a div to be overrun and a
tender hex behind it to be immolated, or the hex adjacent to it faces
blitz from 4 hexsides (+15 without HQ support). Even killing just the
div in a carpet raid is very bad because in the blitz the same impulse
both corps will die. The 12-5 SS doesn't get to go to the spiral. You
get to rebuild it.

Once the air force is gone, the Germans cannot hold against these
tactics. And I strongly believe that the Soviets can get a
breakthrough in the late war."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67898) ( buildstrategy + tactics )

> Obviously you've tried this enough times to have some answers to my concerns.
> How exactly do you manage to disengage from the Wehrmacht? Or do you refuse
> to engage them at all, retreating just slow enough to rail out your
> factories? Do you do this against a 1941 Barbarossa only, or 1942 as well?

Good questions. Part of the answer depends upon build strategy, part
of it on your tactics (and what the German built, when he does Barb,
etc.).

In the below, I've made some assumptions. You will have to modify
this slightly if you don't play with these options:
2d10 combat (stop reading, it only works for 2d10)
MiF Mech & Mot
Night missions

PRODUCTION
================================
First off, Russia should build out their Arm, Mech, AT, AA and all
HQ. This includes all possible Arm and Mech divs. Without MiF, this
translates into something like:
1xHQA, 3xArm, 3xMech, 2xAT, 3xAA, 1xdArm, 2xdMech
Of these, 1 Arm is 9-6 heavy, 2 Mech are 9-6, 8-6 heavies. When GE
DoW's you add 1 Mech from reserves. Let's also assume you built your
41 Arm and Mech so they'll start to arrive by JA.

I'd station 1 AT or AA + 1 Mech in the northern flank. The balance of
your mechanized troops will be based in the south. This doesn't
really depend upon the German. If he masses all his Arm in the north,
yours are still south. If he masses in the south, yours are still
south.

Your additional builds should consist of:
+ all HQ as quickly as possible.
+ build ALL Arm/Mech heavies. Note you start with the 8-6 in your
force pool (in other words, you NEVER draw the 5-6 Mech at start)
although it can't show up on map.
+ a few Mot...think of them as outrigger escorts for your land
battleships, and able to stop most boogers from trying an endrun.
+ build *some* pilots prior to 41. Possibly a couple Lnd4 (or the
Atr).
+ Gear up in ND40 so that, starting in JF41 you can build 2 or even
3 FTR, and they can mate up with your already built (and stood down)
pilots.
+ If you play with night missions, build 1 FTR3 and 1 FTR2/turn in
41 on. German NF are needed elsewhere. Yours on your night raids will
cause much consternation. ALWAYS build them all, and get the P-61's
if you can. They all cause no end of pain.
+ A useful build but one hard to stomach early on are ATR. Often
the Germans will manage to flip one key unit. Being able to reorg it
with an ATR instead of flipping your HQ is invaluable (night ATR with
FTR3 escorts in the worst case).
+ Once FTR3 are done for the year, build 2xFTR2 and 1xLND3. Don't
build LND2 yet, your goal is to build planes with plenty of range to
run away after their use. By 43 however, start in on your LND2. This
means that you've scrapped all of them prior to 41, so they are all
pretty good planes. They are a real force multiplier, because often
you fly them unescorted. Many will die, but in flying they do a
number on German air superiority. Unlike Stukas, 5- factor Sturmoviks
are not terrified of a 7- factor Fw-190.

The rest of the army is much as you might expect, Gar and Inf
slowpokes. Note that in the south you DON'T need as many speed bumps,
the whole logic of bumps is to burn a German impulse. Your armored
fist can do the exact same thing, except that it won't get overrun,
and its plenty fast enough to run backwards.

Have saved oil kept in Leningrad (4), along with Archangel, Murmansk
and some in Sevastopol.


TACTICS - NORTH OF PRIPETS
================================
I am assuming your German is playing standard. Standard play for
Russia is then to fall back in the north, first to Vitebsk and thence
to Smolensk. You take advantage of terrain, etc.

Take a look at the German setup closely. If they only put 1 Arm up
north, your AT and Mech are fine. If they put 1.5 Arm up north,
consider an Arm and AT instead. If they put 2, go back to the AT and
Mech.

As you fall back in the north, your force splits to one guarding
Pskov-Novgorod-Leningrad and one guarding Vitebsk-Smolensk-Gomel. The
German is likely to try to hammer the second group and screen the
other one. Make sure no oil dependent land units (except possibly an
HQ) moves with the Leningrad force.

When do you retreat? This is easy. If in Germany's next impulse they
will be able to hit you with multiple nasty ground strikes, then its
time to do the bugout boogie. There are mods to this of course, if
you are in woods hexes, forex, or if you have more AT/ARM and can
make him fight an assault across the river by Smolensk forex, but in
general, when he has a good chance of ground striking and flipping
you (same number of FTR as you plus 3-4 bombers) then its time to
leave.

Slow Gar in cities can rail out; if so rail a 2-1 Gar in as a stopgap
and walk back out of FTR escort range.

The biggest problem I have with Russia is retreating when I should.
My biggest disasters I always look at afterwards and realize that I
waited an impulse too long to walk out. Once your units flip they are
stuck, and the German will simply get even stronger the next impulse.


TACTICS - UKRAINE
================================
This is where it gets fun (well fun is a relative term). Your German
may smile as he sees the wide open spaces here, with no bumps to stop
him. And then you rush forward to the west side of the Dniepr with
the armored fist. You can easily space your army out every other hex,
the best the German can o is *maybe* get a 3:1 battle.

To call a blitz, he'll need either 4 Arm or 3 Arm + an dArm. If he
hasn't planned for this it will be a rude surprise (remember, you get
to keep your -blitz bonus in assault).

If he does have the Arm, he can call a blitz, but with NO AC (well he
can fly unescorted Ju-88's I suppose, which is pretty scary so let's
assume he doesn't). So the best he can get is about 55:21. Of course,
the Soviet can add in massive support (Lnd3) and you may have Zhukov
right behind the 2 stacks. So the final odds will be around 3:2 (+3)
+4 blitz (+9 - 5). I don't know many Germans who have to stones to
try a +7 blitz at this point; if they roll slightly less than average
their force is flipped and you aren't...which means the Soviet
armored fist is going to vaporize 1 or 2 of their flipped kill stacks
in counterattacks (I suppose they may employ an HQ to reorg but
flipping them now on the Polish border works for me).

Remember also that some of their units are not fast; half are 5
movers, not 6 movers...judicious hex selection can usually put you 'a
hex too far' for the 5 movers to seriously contribute.

So, in general, the German isn't going to want to attack like this
early in the turn, if it fails it immolates his entire blitz force.
They'll advance instead, trying to ooze around your armored bastions
while they rebase some FTR forward. OK.

It's either time to LEAVE or time to ATTACK. If a kill stack is
placed forward where you can take a shot at it, consider doing so. Of
course, factors like end of turn and weather apply here, i.e., no you
probably don't do this early in the turn.

But you do have several AC. Fly 2 bombers at 2 of his front hexes.
Chances are only 1 FTR can guard both, meaning one of your bombers
will get through automatically. Fly night missions if you can, or
just intercept with 1 of your FTR, you should have some good ones
from your JF41 build.

If your bomber does well, consider an attack (odds +6, flips +4,
blitz +4 is a +14 blitz. This is enough to give the German pause.

If you do so-so, well, you have stopped a couple blitzer units from
trying to surround and kill your armored formation.

If you miss, well, you definitely need to fall back. Console
yourself; one downside of attacking is that the German often will fly
every bomber that can make it. Its a free rebase up to the front for
next turn.

Remember, at this point, if you do one good counterattack and remove
3 German blitzers their ability to launch nasty blitz attacks back at
you might be curtailed for a couple impulses...suppose forex, that
you kill an Arm div + Mech, and */B the Arm, thats 1.5 Arm on this
front he's lost for this turn. If he doesn't have enough Arm left
over to call a blitz on your armored fist (2 Arm + AT gun) then he is
going to go kaput for at least an impulse while more armored units
rush forward.

On the other hand, if taking 3 out doesn't really change his force
mix (i.e., he's got the max Arm pointed at you) then it makes no
difference and counterattacks are only useful for propaganda, GBA,
and instilling caution in them.

My only concern here is victory disease; if you counterattack don't
do this for more than 1 impulse. Constantly dance just out of range.
Your fist is powerful, but if it stops moving for 1 impulse the AC
will flip it and the German rodeo will finish it off. Chortle as the
German kill boogers are reduced to a crawl, but ALWAYS be ready to
get out of dodge, avoid the flip-flop etc.

I would suggest that you try for a counterattack within 4 hexes of
the Dniepr so your FTR can rebase back across the river for next
turn. Don't be afraid to use the Zhukov + Mil + Cav div strategy if
you can do this adjacent to the river line. But as long as you fly a
couple bombers a turn you keep burning up the German airpower that
would rather be used to move forward again.


TACTICS - STATIC DEFENSE
================================
When the Germans have finally gotten to the Dniepr, evacuate across.
Station your units optimumly and wait for counterattack. Its ok here
for your units to be ground struck, you're as strong as you can be.
Enough others have written about this strategy so I'll be brief.

Once pierced (with an OC forex) retreat in good order to the factory
line and repeat. Then to MVR. Then to Urals-Caucasus.

If you've maintained your armored fist you can cause the retreat to
be at your pace (the German MUST face your fist with his armored
units, can you imagine being able to counterattack against 2 Mot and
a div?).

In a game like this I tend to fight VERY hard for the defense lines,
not because I can hold them, but because by fighting for them I can
make Germany exhaust their store of OC, bombers, etc.


TACTICS - DYNAMIC DEFENSE
================================
The above production and strategy tends to put the kibosh on a
Germany that can 'make killing Russians a priority'. Its hard to do
when their big bad Arm are glaring at you under air cover, etc., when
you are on the advance. One misstep and they can attack, it opens
your eyes.

Now, if the German begins to operate as you have described in your
games, i.e., moves slowly to consolidate his territorial gains? Once
this becomes apparent, as the Soviet all you need to do is get your
army organized to keep moving and get EVERY SINGLE FACTORY out. Leave
no factory behind.

Once this is done (that is, production has been permanently
protected), then you can retreat at will. Wait for the Germans to
crawl forwards. To be honest, really all you need to do is just drive
your tanks the same way you did in the Ukraine, i.e., always staying
hexes in front of the Germans, able to slash back if he sticks his
nose out, but safe from counterattack.

You can continue this retreat strategy clear to the Urals (at some
point you'll have a Caucasus army set up to repel the invaders down
there). Contrary to popular thought, fighting from the Urals is NOT a
bad thing if you CHOSE to move there, i.e., you have all your
factories, all your planes and all your army. In fact its a very
nasty thing, becuase your ability to really fudge the German by
overextending him is huge. Think about it, your army is still as huge
as always. Just as the 2d10 table is all about bonuses/flips (not the
odds), so too is Soviet strategy all about massive breakthroughs; A
Russian can gain 15 hexes in a turn this way when the German is
pinched.

This is one way that breakouts happen; a very strong Russian goes to
the Urals and then smashes back, breaks the German line and then
suddenly its a race west to maintain supply. If the Russians win such
a contest, the German line is devastated and entire army groups can
find themselves 30 hexes past Poland cut off (and soon to be dead).

This isn't the only way of course, Mr. Jacobi's methods are equally
devastating if the Soviets start near Moscow or even when they're in
Poland. But a well prepared Soviet player in the Urals often
accomplishes the most spectacular offensives using the OC this way.
Lots of German hordes dead and cut off in a matter of impulses. But
ONLY if the Russians weren't pared back getting pushed back..."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67971):

> First off, is the use of Patton in Flames "heavies" (which I do not use) key
> to your defense? Are they in fact a seperate force pool, which means that you
> -cannot- draw the low value MECH? You imply that this is the case, and Im not

Regards PatiF...the USSR certainly has an advantage using PatiF with
the "heavy AT" strategy; essentially upon Barb your 6-6 Arm, 5-6, 6-6
Mech have all gained 3 combat factors. This allows the Soviet a couple
stacks equal to the Germans, better actually when AT are added to them.

When using PatiF, a unit can either be normal or heavy. If you convert
it to heavy, the normal unit is removed from the game permanently. The
heavy version is the same type but costs 1BP more to build, ie. an Arm
costs 7BP, and costs 2BP to convert over one that is currently on map.
If I have a regular Arm and a heavy Arm in my force pool, I can choose
how much to spend, just like Ftr2 and Ftr3.

Regards the low value Mech, the setup rules do not allow you to start
with heavies on map for the Global War scenario. Russia does have a
8-6 heavy mech in 39 though. What I usually do is exchange the 5-6 for
its 8-6 heavy, then choose from the 6-6 and 7-5 Mech for setup (mopre
choices if using MiF). You can't draw the 8-6 heavy.

PatiF is not central to the heavy AT defense; a 6-6 Arm, 7-5 Mech and
2-3 AA gun is still a respectable defensive stack; I still think you
can retreat as per Patif. Attacking is not as easy, certainly some
odds shifts down here due to lost combat factor density. So a
non-Patif AT strategy can't counterattack as aggressively.

> you dont use fractional odds - night TAC missions become less attractive when
> you are affecting the die roll by .05 instead of a full chart.

==============
Night missions fall into 2 groups: ground strikes and ground support.

Strikes aren't usually hurt much, your bombers hit on 2's instead of
3's. The benefit you gain (bomber survivability) is worth it early on,
at least from what I've seen.

We don't do fractionals. Just 2:1, 2.5:1, 3:1, etc. So one night
bomber adding 2 factors may or may not improve the odds. In general,
I've found it will usually mean a +1 change in favor of the Russians.
Worth doing on a +9 attack, not worth as much on a +16.

> Second, where are you getting all the production to build all these quality
> units? You casually mention about 70 BP of mechanized units (without MiF!) ,
> and also suggest building 6-9 FTR plus PIL manufactured earlier. That's a heap
> of production, considering you get ~142 BP (total) to play with prior to J/A

Not casually. Do the math:
36 3-5, 4-5, 5-5, 6-5, 6-6, 7-5, 7-6, 8-6H 1-5D, 1-6D Mech (1 map, 1 GE)
28 6-6, 7-6, 8-6, 9-5, 2-6D Arm
5 Patif upgrades
10 2xHQ
8 2xMot
16 2xAA, 2xART
6 3xPil
12 6xFtr(1 SO, 2 ND, 3 JF41)
?? Grunts

Now, I am assuming that nobody considers Soviet HQ as 'luxury' items,
they are MUST builds. Ditto for guns. If you deduct those from the
equation, then the AT build only soaks up 69/49BP (MiF/No MiF).

The Mot and extra Pilots, AC are a preference of mine, and technically
not a part of the AT build. Build other things if you like.

> Third, what German worth his salt tips his hand regarding the direction of
> his armored forces? I mean, come on, German ARM can set up in central Poland
> and go either direction.

In my earlier post, I said their direction does not matter. I will
cheerfully let you put all your stuff up north while I remain armor
heavy in the south. Armor are wasted in the tree/swamp line, so
practically they will funnel right on to Smolensk and thence to the
Gomel-Tula area which is clear terrain. I'll have plenty of time to
use my AT force to first evacuate the Ukraine, establish a Dniepr that
you can't break and THEN round the Pripets corner to stiffen my line
just fine.

The key is that with both armies (north and south) retreating in
lockstep, I have plenty of time to reinforce the north. Remember, my
heavy AT can hold clear hexes against the Axis vanguard elements.


> You know what I would do against your proposed defense? I would send the
> great bulk of the Wehrmacht NORTH, and slam through your thin defense there with
> the goal of taking Novgorod in summer of 41, and hope to pick off Leningrad
> sometime in 42, if not in the winter. I would send sufficient forces in the
> south plus the bulk of the air force to take Kiev and keep those expensive units
> pinned.


I would not consider my line in the north to be thin in quantity. It
would be thin on initial mech and AT, for sure. But the forest and
swamp hexes don't matter.

I have no doubt that largescale attacks on Pskov followed by Novgorod
will result in the fall of these cities. If you start in JA41 however,
you may find Novgorod a city too far however.

If you don't have a large mechanized force in the south, forget coming
in. The Soviets can and will chew you up on your initial advance.
Worse, they can sit on adjacent to Kiev if they want to, IF they can
ensure that you can't blitz them. With MiF this is possible, without
its harder to do of course.

The counterattack ability is the chief threat in the south at first.

If I've secure the front, got the stragglers across the river AND you
have a small army facing them, then I know you ain't coming across
anytime soon. So after that the AT force will probably go up to where
its needed. Just that I *may* have gotten 1 or 2 GBA in the meantime.

Let's put it this way, I consider Davis one of the better German
players out there and this last game I faced a heavy German force in
the south. There's no doubt I got lucky on a few items, but I killed a
9-6 Mech, 8-6 Mech, 2-6 Mech div, and B'd 2 Arm back while still west
of Kiev. This won't happen every game, and is much less likely against
a German expecting a heavy AT strategy. But my point is that we were
both surprised by the Soviet ability to do exactly this and still
retreat in good order.

> in front of Leningrad (say within 8 hexes or so) is very tough to take when
> there are a lot of Russians there. Maybe you're happy with that result - but I
> know that the loss of Leningrad will cost you a LOT of production in 1943 and
> 1944.

You apparently think that I retreat everywhere. I am sorry to have
given that impression.

Places like Pskov I may retreat, but more likely it will fight to the
death. Novgorod will fight to the death. Leningrad will fight to the
death. My play sees the northern front (quickly) split up into 2
groups, the Leningrad front (which is going to fight til its
conquered) and the Smolensk front (which will retreat whenever its
overpowered).


> That would certainly set up an intriguing 1942, wouldnt it? Assume that the
> Germans have taken Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod in the north; Minsk and
> Vitebsk in the center (and are adjacent to Smolensk); and hold everything west of
> the Dnepr save Dnepropatrovsk. Do you turn tail now? Wait for the Germans to
> blow across the Dnepr first? Or stack 'em up and fight?

If you come at me as you describe, i.e., JA41, heavy Wehrmacht in
north, heavy AC in south, I have no doubt that you would take out the
following:
DEFINITELY: Minsk, Vitebsk, Kiev
PROBABLY: Pskov
POSSIBLE: Novgorod, Smolensk

You have to be lucky with weather to get a shot at Novgorod and
Smolensk. Leningrad? No way. Even with the Finns, it'll be secure for
the winter. I suppose you could build a German winterized army to
fight for this particular objective. If so, I'd pretty much see it and
plan accordingly. Forex, exchange some of those pilots and FTR for a
fort on Novgorod. These are questions of taste and vary from player to
player.

I would assume in this game that I held the Ukraine, retreated my
factories and stragglers, perhaps launched 1-2 counterattacks and then
retreated. So now I'm holding the Dniepr against your smaller army,
and the better half of my AT force move up as a flying reserve to
overwatch the retreat from Smolensk (which is either sitting tight due
to bad weather or started retreating early because of good weather in
SO, etc.).

So would I hold in 42? Tough call. I have several choices. But what
would probably happen is that the situation in the Smolensk front will
dictate what I do. If I am holding there, my flying reserve will
remain split; I'll hold at the Dniepr. If Smolensk is abandoned,
having the 2 fronts retreat in lockstep isn't a bad idea. If I have
fallbacks prepared I may have the Dniepr line stay until broken by an
OC (or just plain broken).

In all cases, once the northern Wehrmacht force fans out behind the
Smolensk funnel the 1st Ukrainian Front will retreat to the factory
line. The question is whether this happens in 41 or not.

Frankly, I'd assume you'll start earlier (MJ41) to have a crack at
Novgorod and its surroundings. Or are JA41 Barbs typical for your group?"


quote:

Post:


Bryce (68011):


"> Regarding the Soviet MiF Mech corps, they're dog meat (5 bps for a 3-
> factor MECH??). Your proposed builds are frightfully low on INFs and
> GARs, so use the bps budgeted for these MiF corps for foot soliders
> instead. In any event, most groups play without the MiF corps (using
> only the divs), so these weak corps are likely unavailable even if
> you wanted them.

I agree, most games they are unavailable. But their worth is
inconceivable to me. In a heavy AT strategy, a 3-5 Mech across the
river adds a -2 on the roll. Sure it sucks. But stacked with a decent
unit (forex a PatiF heavy) they can make a real difference.

I build them all out (we do play with MiF in the San Jose group) and I
relegate them to the secondary theaters and the flanks. The German had
better pay attention to your armored fist, and that means the rest of
his forces are contending with your second string, the 5-5 Mech forex.
And like I said, these boogers stiffen up a river line like you
wouldn't believe.

One final caveat: the idea behind the heavy strategy is that you lose
fewer units because of your ability to retreat in a timely fashion.
The idea is that your army is actually in better shape than one
composed of more units (but fewer blitzers).

> The Soviets should scrap their weak INFs: anything less than 5
> factors (except for perhaps keeping the fast 4-4 INF). Your heavy
> ARM/MECH builds won't leave you many bps for your entire INF force,
> so might as well maximize your INF strength. Same strategy with the
> GARs.

This is one of those problems that I have not found a solution for.
Many players do exactly this, and hey, if it works then it works so
who am I to say differently?

But I have found that I don't scrap a one of them. And the reason is
yes, they suck, but when running, I vastly prefer to throw a 3-3 Inf
into Kiev rather than a 5-4. They cost the same, but the loss of the
one does not hurt my on map combat factors as much.

Furthermore, I posted a while back all the myriad missions that these
'worthless' units are capable of. Time and again in the late war, as
Russia I find my force pool exhausted and I want more grunts.

I believe that if I employ a heavy AT strategy and conserve my army,
then I will survive til the late war AND have all these 3-3 jokers
stiffening my line. And that allows me an operational flexibility that
you don't have.


> Your builds don't include AT guns. These are good. I'd include them.


I've assumed the Russian was unlucky and his initial gun setup
included all his AT guns. Thats why they weren't listed. You start
with them.

> Your builds include no TACs. Not a bad thing since you're on the
> defensive and you need FTRs more. Just realize that your dreams of
> groundstriking Germans are probably just that. At least early on in
> the war.

Agreed, you don't get many shots, and they are mainly night missions.
As I said earlier, once you have faced a Soviet AT strategy as
Germany, the next time around I doubt the Russian is going to get many
counterattacks on you because you're focused on it. But it will still
slow down your advance.

I definitely countenance building TAC. In fact in 42 I think you
should start building Lnd3 instead of Lnd2, simply because they are so
damned good (and because after their mission they can rebase backwards
out of harm's way). In 43 I begin switching over to Lnd2, you only
build from the 41-43 pools, and they are all good (some spectacular).

Another nice build if you can shoehorn it in (and yes its tough to
build all these planes!) are Atr. These suckers on your land impulses
(where normally you are reacting to the German) can be instrumental in
flying night mission(s) to reorg the 2 flipped units on a front. They
are hard to kill, they burn up German Ftr on a front where they
already flew, and your HQ doesn't have to flip to reorg, its still
there waiting to provide support. Definitely a force multiplier if you
can get it.

Russia needs a nice army. But her AC dictate her ability to defend and
attack. If you don't agree with the above, fine. At the very least,
always build lots of fighters.

> Consider advance building the '42 Vatutin IHQ.

We often don't play with this rule...

> To hold a vulnerable/blitzable river hex, use this combination: 1
> Mech div, 1 AT gun, and 1 strong INF/GAR/MIL. The Mech div is nice
> to force an extra attacker loss, and deters Germany's use of ENGs.
> Defense cost is 8 or 9 bps/hex, and frees your expensive MECHs and
> ARMs to defend other hexes or be available for counterattacks. This
> assumes the 2d10 combat table.

First off, remember that if everybody is attacking across a river,
then its extra loss. If some of them aren't then this hex is pretty
much had it.

I like this, but to me, a 'vulnerable' river hex is one they can paste
from 2 hexsides. Assuming stacks of 18 each, with one having a
motorized Eng in it and the other just having a Mech div plus corps,
the German gets something like:

HEX1: 18 CF, +2 blitz
HEX2: 9 CF, +2 blitz
TOTAL: 27, +4 blitz v. 11 CF, -2 blitz

Its reasonable to assume the Germans concentrate their AC here, if
they flip all 3 and use ground support they'd have:
3:1 => +6 (at least)
flip => +4
blitz => +2

If I faced two hexes like this on the Dniepr I could use 1 OC to
pretty much make sure both were toast. The extra loss goes bye-bye
because there's no way the German can roll the 13 result, you can only
catch them with the 19 (I forget what it is).

Plus, this worries me because a Guderian could double 2 of the units
in this battle and 6 in some other battle. Multiple perforations in
the same impulse is more likely to lead to catching the Soviets before
they can run, and (potentially) nailing a large part of their army.

Now I would CERTAINLY agree that these 3 units are perfect for a more
secure river hex, i.e., only 1 German stack can attack it. Then you
are golden."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67972):

"> Nice summary of the Russian problem and solutions.
> Two questions:
> 1. With an active committment of Italians, say 4 FTR2 and 2 LND, can the
> armored fist of death still function in the Ukraine?

SHORT ANSWER: HELL NO! You turn into the Armored Fist of Chickens.
What good is it to be a Hero of the Soviet Union if you can't show the
medal to your grandkids?

LONG ANSWER: A Barb with active Italian support is MUCH harder. The
reason is that the German gets to rebase forward his AND the Italian FTR.

(A Barb42 in which the German has taken Gib and lent to Italy so
they've built 5 FTR and 7 LND3 is much much worse, with the Axis
basically getting to do an air the first 3 impulses of each turn
(Italian HQ, ATR to do the reorging). Believe me its horrible, even if
your Axis bombers can't hit for ****e. Just ask Dave S.

So what happens? It means the Soviet advantage of forcing the German
to advance into his heavy AT stacks (protected by FTR) can no longer
effectively counterattack. Even when advancing the German is better
than you are in the air, with more FTR to fly. He still doesn't have
his good GS AC up to flip you, so you can still hold for an impulse
but that's it.

If its a Barb42, you don't want this, because now they will have FTR
superiority AND plenty of bombers in range (8-9 hexes) to wallop you
good. Some are going to get through and flip key units which will then
be surrounded and taken out.

You might consider fighting adjacent to the Dniepr then (1 AT unit + 2
crappy ones) in key hexes (they can always retreat. But thats the only
place short of the Dniepr (insert river line here) that I would really
try to hold.


> 2. When people say fighting from the Urals, I do not see the Russian coming
> back if the German holds along the Asian Volga (8 hexes) from Astrakhan to
> Perm. Do you really mean retreating across the Volga to the mountains, or is going
> to the Urals simply shorthand for a rearward defensive line?

What I mean is, IF you've retreated in good order (i.e., low losses)
then just stacking on the Asian map does wonders for you. You will be
able to double stack your front on that map. Germans that push onto
the map tend to find themselves surrounded by blitzers who try to GS
them. In general, progress is slower.

Of course, if your army was torn to ribbons and you retreated, you're
still going to have problems.


> 3.And one more -- does this strategy envision holding Leneingrad,
Archangel
> and Murmans, or not?

SHORT ANSWER: NEVER GIVE UP THESE CITIES.

LONG ANSWER: Regards Scandinavia, if the Finns mass up they can often
take Murmansk. If so, cry but relax its not the end of the world. In a
way you did your job by removing their HQ and large numbers of units
from your immediate problems.

Regards Leningrad, you should hold as long as you can at Pskov, you
either fight to the death or retreat depending upon the situation.
Once Vitebsk falls your northern front begins to split into the 1st
Karelian Front (based out of Leningrad) and the 1st ByeloRussian Front
(centered around Smolensk).

The 1st Karelian has as many units as you can spare. Its job is to
hold in the swamp and forest hexes. Consider a fort in a key hex or
two. Hold Novgorod at all costs, its the key to Leningrad. Keep a
crapper behind the lines to stop the pesky Finn from cutting your rail
link. Rail out the Leningrad factory. Have at least 4 oil stored there.

The 1st ByeloRussian Front is more mobile (fewer Gar, faster AA, AT
and HQ) with the exception of 5- mover Cav, which are in Karelian
swamps if possible. After Vitebsk it will fall back to Smolensk. When
the Axis firepower against it is dangerous it will retreat again.

The German will have a choice: engage the Karelian Front or chase the
ByeloRussians (soon to be renamed the Moscovian Front). If they max
against the Karelians, the ByeloRussians may hold at Smolensk for some
time. If not, keep your jogging shoes on. Rail your good Gar out of
Smolensk, rail in a 2-1 Gar if you have it ready (or some equally
juicy booger) and fall back."


quote:

Post:


Bryce (67797):

"> Are you really clearing out of the city line without va fight
> justbecause GE can get ist army and air into play there? Wish my
> opponent would give up that easily!

Against an aggressive opponent that is snapping at my heels? NO.
Against you I will have to fight in order to give the factories time
to leave. Which means you bust the line, I fall back to the factories,
etc. and we do it all over again.

But yes, once you have broken a line, I will fall back. As long as
I've gotten the factories out, its not that big a deal. If Russia has
retained her entire factory base but gets pushed to the Urals and
Caucasus, she can come back just fine in 44. It can get real ugly.

Now, if I were facing a German who wished to slowly advance and
consolidate their acquisitions (who knows, perhaps they are doing
combineds even to sink Brit shipping?) then I will often fall back at
the first opportunity. Why not?

Am I going to get a shot at killing some units? No, they're set up
defensively and have more air.

Am I going to get my factories out? Yes.

Am I going to get my slower units out? Yes.

With the aggressive German I have no choice: stay = DIE. With the
passive German, to stick around his front line for any reason = WHY? I
will lose AC and land units by attrition. Which is not to say that
some key hexes like red factories and resources would have unit(s) on
them for the production bonus.

Given a passive German Barb and a rapid Soviet fallback, I lose the
production bonus for attacks but gain over 100BP (when you include LL)
in the first year. You better bet I'll do that. But stick around? Why
would I do something that complements the German strategy of a slow Barb?

Now, having said all this, I'd have to start out the game assuming
you're doing an aggressive Barb, so I would build and place my units
accordingly. I would then retreat, employing my heavy arm/mech/AA/AT
units etc., to the next line, etc. as described above. But if you
switch tactics on me and go slow, I'd switch tactics as well."


quote:

Post:


Bryce 67800:

"> As I've stated before, I believe that a lot of ftrs are a liability
> before the front solidifies. Certainly, the strategy of retreating in
> front of a GE advance will come to an abrupt stop if you USE ftrs a lot.
> Or you lose the critters to overuns.
> Secondly, the oil 'problem' is a chimera: it doesn't exist if RU
> retreats back to the Urals.

What I've done in the past which works is:
1) early on, Russia only flies Lnd3 and Lnd4. These can fly missions
and rebase far back.
2) I build plenty of Ftr, you cannot have too many. Why?

If you build lots, the German attack is correspondingly slowed. Now
suppose the German builds up and slams your line finally, and both of
you fly lots of planes. Well, first off, its harder for the German to
make headway since there are more Soviet FTR. He's still superior in
the air, but the Soviet forces fly over friendly hexes and enjoy the
bounce (Bf-109's cannot say the same when bouncing Sturmoviks).

What I have found is that:
+ my Soviet FTR retreat as far as they can (4-5 hexes for many) and
land in cities, etc.
+ the German used more AC to counter the extra Soviet AC, so their
followup attacks are not as strong.

Finally, remember that as the Russian, you DON'T have to fly all your
planes. Just fly some. If he flies enough to do overkill, sigh and
cry. But later that turn you'll still have plenty of FTR ready when
he's scraping the bottom of the barrel. And that pretty much ends the
flipsville festival.

Varying your techniques amongst the above will allow you to enjoy a
large air force without getting them overrun very often. Of course, it
helps to build your land force as well...in my games a heavily
mechanized Soviet force can do a slow retreat (and protect those
flipped planes) even when faced with the cream of the Wehrmacht."


quote:

Post:


Bryce 68032:

"> Reorganising with an ATR? I would assumer:
> - flip (if it is a problem) occured in frontline
> - GE FTR is within interception range
> ergo an ATR reo is an unhealthy proposition. (Only advantage I can see
> is that it might delay GE a bit - as it might have to bring up one more
> ftr. and perhaps can bomb one fewer hex.)


The above assumes a couple things which you find on the front.
Germany just succeeded in some ground strike, but was doing other
things with their other air missions. Suppose 2 ground strikes,
perhaps 1 rebase and maybe 1 mission given to the Med.

Your ATR flies at night, escorted. A DX result will result in a dead
I-16. At this point, a 5- factor Me-109 has a good chance of clearing
you. Granted that the the bounce will hurt, even if its down a result.

I try to build one Russian NF for the express purpose of escorting
that critical night-bombing/ATR/paradrop/air transport mission.

IF:
- the Germans have multiple faceup FTR in range (possible if this
front has been static long enough for them to rebase forward) <OR>
- Russia doesn't have enough FTR to escort this and still provide
some air cover
- You have to escort with your FTR while the German can elect to
intercept (or not)

THEN no, this might not be a good idea. I'm sure there are more
situations where this is true.

That being said, if you are prepared to do this you can sneak the ATR
in more often than you think. Reorging a key hex or a flipped AA/ART
is a nice thing to be able to do."


quote:

Post:


Bryce 68034 :

" >Fly 2 bombers at 2 of his front hexes<
> Which bmbs? I thought you didn't build any? Or do you advocate doing
> this with your LND4s?

How many bombers I have depends upon when they come in. At start you
have what, 4-5? As to whether you build AC as Russia pre-Barb, thats
a matter of choice for most players.

Most of the time, its not worth it to send in a bomber to change a
+15 to a +14 attack, in my opinion. It does make sense to me to try
to change a +10 to a +9.

So I don't see my bombers flying all that much until I get into
a 'key hex' situation. At that point, yes, I will try something like
the above.

With regard to being on the retreat, *sometimes* its possible to fly
a night bombing mission against a German spearhead with rough
equivalence in the air. I will often consider flying one bomber to do
exactly that, and I am willing to fly them on unescorted night
missions. If this pulled off the only FTR and I get through AND
manage a flip or two, this leads up to a counterattack. The German
can fly in ground support himself, but if its unescorted he may be
flying at night as well.

If the above situation existed but it looked like it just gives the
German a chance to rebase all his bombers that particapate in the
mission (say we're close to end of turn) no I'd probably forego it
unless the target were completely flipped, i.e., I got really lucky.

I will rarely risk a TB-3 unless either the situation is desperate or
the chance of balling up the German move is too good. And then it
will almost always be a night mission. And yep, even then, sometimes
they die."


quote:

Post:


Bruce (67973):


"> > My inclination is to be mentally prepared to retreat but to see how
> > it goes. Furthermore, my inclination is to mass all my arm/mech
> > behind the Dnepr and to make it a pain for Germany to get across
> > . . . .
>
> Nothwithstanding your caveats (most of which are subsumed by the
> hypothetical I posed), I put you in the stand-and-fight camp. I'd be
> tempted to run, but fighting is a valid, and certainly the most
> common, defense. There are advantages and disadvantages to either
> strategy, which we have already discussed.
>
> I'd be interested in hearing from Bryce what he would do as the
> Soviets in the above situation.


Assuming I understand the setup:
2d10 combat
MiF = yes
Germans have superiority but not markedly so
No significant Italian air force
1 German, Soviet OC

==============================================
IF THE BYELORUSSIAN FRONT IS DEFENDING SMOOTHLY, I think I would
station 2 HQ in the south behind the lines (forest by Kharkov?) and
make the Germans blow their chit to dig me out. In this case, I really
want that OC burned and gone.

There's a good chance I'd have a fort in the south somewhere. The
forest hex or 2 sides of Dnep are a good choice. As Russia I often
(not always) spend on 1-2 forts somewhere. But not always. Let's
assume that I did NOT this time.

To hit most of the line they'll have to take out the western forest
hex, which would have some good grunts in it plus an AT. Without that
much of the line is out of bounds. That ate up 2 impulses. After that?

If they try an air/land w/ OC combo, my HQ would probably be used to
reorg on my turn. 9 reorg should get my army back faceup, plus gets
some key FTR ready to defend the line. On the OC, the Germans will fly
3-4 missions, say 3 because 1 will be an paradrop. I should have
enough to cover these and skedaddle the planes back to the factory
line. So figure the Germans flip a key hex and blast it. If they flip
2 key hexes and blast one, I have to retreat with everything that is
left. Hopefully the flipped units can be mated up with crap and not
surrounded. If just one hex is nailed, then I should be able to
retreat in good order and the heavy AT strategy comes into its own again.

If they just go for the land OC breakthrough, then I might consider
counterattacking with Zhuke the Duke.

What really scares me more is if they do a land/land w/ OC, or even
use a land/land/land w/ OC late in the turn. At this point,
significant parts or the Red Air Force have flown and are face down.
At this stage you can wind up with serious flippage and a retreat
disaster. So late turn I may even consider burning my OC as a super or
something else just to reorg the entire air force and troops. To me
this is the worst tactical problem; incremental flippage followed by
an OC.

==============================================
IF THE BYELORUSSIAN FRONT MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLES COMMANDER ADAMA
FLEEING THE CYLON TYRANNY, then the 1st Ukrainian Front better be
packing their bags. Its often possible for some fast German Arm to
surge south around Gomel and start to shaft you easy, it can happen in
2 impulses (just imagine a flip-flop under these circumstances).

In this case I would flee once the Germans have air superiority, and
retreat to the factory line. Most of the armored fist would position
itself north of Kharkov, around Kursk.

==============================================
IF THE AXIS DO A MAX ITALIAN AIR FORCE, I'm retreating period unless
my I-16's shoot down enemy AC on a 3:1 ratio. Otherwise you will be
subjected to 2-3 Italian air impulses in a row while also facing
repeated German land impulses. The Germans won't be flying their
bombers either, just rebasing them forward. Once the Italians run out
of planes the German Stukas will fly unescorted (no Russian FTR left
faceup).

I'd rather pull back hopefully far enough so that the Italians are out
of range for a while. Problem is, you have to fly *some* units just to
get those Axis FTR flipped. Another reasons night missions are so
critical to Russian survival.

The only bad thing for the Axis on the above is that it BURNS OIL like
you would not believe to keep that air force going. But we can assume
that they saved enough, and it don't matter if they run out but kill
you, because you have oil wells they can then take out.

Just my $0.02."

Edit: have split the text into the individual posts for easier reading.

< Message edited by npilgaard -- 8/17/2007 11:58:13 PM >


_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 139
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 9:41:38 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2683
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Might I suggest cutting up the list posts some and demarcating them with quote sections?

It's rather hard to tell what is the old posts, what is your commentary, and whatnot.

I know it's a bit more work, but reading long documents with little white space on a screen is rather difficult.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 140
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/17/2007 11:27:53 PM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 166
Joined: 5/3/2006
Status: offline
Yes, I fully agree that it is hard to read such long posts of dense text.
There is a lot (perhaps to much) of text and difficult to read - some of the posts were a part of an ongoing discussion at that point (I have included the posts here in their full length (almost - I have removed a little non-related stuff already), partly to allow for a full read, and partly because it was easier ).

But actually I have already split them up - each post with list post no. (e.g. ' Bruce (67973): ') and then the post text in " " afterwards. So each " " indicates the text from a single post. But the one right above is especially long, and I have now split it into sections for easier reading.

Except for a single introducing line or two I have made no comments at all in the various posted texts (the original posts from the list were actually that long ). So the content of the posts are all from the original poster.

Also, the posts were not necessarily taken from one thread - often they have been posted with no connection to each other, at different times. I have just brought them together, as they treated (roughly) similar subject. So they should not be seen as an ongoing coherent discussion, but rather just as independent, different aspects or tips on a subject.

Edit: Have now split the longer of the posts into sections for easer reading.

< Message edited by npilgaard -- 8/18/2007 12:10:44 AM >


_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 141
RE: Value of a Hex - 8/18/2007 12:20:40 AM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 166
Joined: 5/3/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
In particular, the CW will be very hampered by the effort to deliver the USSR the build points and whatnot early, since until the US is in the war and getting 50+ bps.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to send a lot to the USSR (I almost said lend, but you won't be getting it back) - indeed, it's an excellent idea. But first make sure that Germany's going to go in and go in real hard. Building convoys is always good for CW, but they need to build a LOT more to pitch in big-time to USSR than they do if they're just keeping the lines to England open.


Yes, I agree. For the same reasons we often in our games see little LL from CW/US to USSR. Often it feels like to much trouble having to build, maintain and defend the convoy lines to USSR, and all that just to be able to give away BP! The CW / US players much prefer to spend those BP on their own units.
So I have never myself tried a game with a highly boosted USSR - I think that the original poster had quite some experience with it, though, and he advocated for it strongly, especially combined with the mobile armored defense vs. Barbarossa strategy. So definitely worth being included in the AI's options, imho.

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 142
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 8/19/2007 7:36:42 PM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 2794
Joined: 11/16/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

ORIGINAL: dale1066

Thanks for that, thats pretty clear and how I'd expect it to be.

Only one question, I seem to remember, and I may well be wrong, reading somewhere that if you have no saved oil or oil resouces it is still possible to re-org 0.4 worth for free?

This is wrong.
You need to trace to available OIL to reorg, if using that option.
If you have OIL available, and you spend 0.4 OIL points to reorg only 2 FTR, then the total amount of OIL you must spend is 0 (0.4 rounded down to 0).
If you have no OIL available, you can't trace to any OIL in the first place, so you do not count at all.


I just learned something about the RaW Oil rule - if you have only one oil, you can only re-org units up to ten tenths or five fifths or what have you. You can't go to 1.4 oil unless you have more than one to trace to. Once you hit ten tenths the first oil is used up and you can't gain the 0.4 for free via rounding as you then have zero oil. Makes total sense but we had never thought about it and were always going to 1.4 when we had only one oil.

Perhaps the RaW oil rule needs it's own thread?

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 143
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 8/19/2007 7:46:26 PM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 2794
Joined: 11/16/2005
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The three key hexes to have for the Axis to defeat the Russians are Vladivostok, Bandar Shapur, and one of either Petsamo or Narvik (though taking Narvik gives ten CPs to the CW making their lines easier to build). It is good Allied play to give lots of aid to the USSR.



(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 144
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 8/20/2007 7:31:15 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2683
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
I would have said the key hexes for the Axis to defeat USSR are Leningrad, Rostov, Baku and Novosibirsk, myself.

Also, if I am not mistaken, Petsamo needs an HQ in the area or it is useless to the Axis. Likewise with Narvik (even if you can trace supply through Sweden).

That's an HQ you're not using either on the central front or to maintain supply in France or the Balkans.

As for AI stuff, the USSR AIO should always ask for as much lend-lease resources and build points as it can. For the USSR, there is no such thing as too much.

In the meantime, the CW and US AIOs should, based on their assessment of Germany's overall strategy, decide early on (probably no later than S/O 1940) how much lend-lease they are going to send to USSR and how it will get delivered. They should coordinate with USSR so it knows where to rail its factories in event of Barb.

They could probably have four levels of lending: High, Moderate, Low, and None, with None to appear only if Germany did a Sealion or late in the war (mid '44 on) when USSR doesn't need it. Low would be 1-5 resources and/or bp; Moderate would be 6-12 resources and/or bp; High would be 13+ resources and/or bp.

These numbers can be tweaked. The CW and US need to decide what levels they will be lending at and when, and build out convoys, plan out escorts, etc. accordingly.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 145
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 8/20/2007 8:11:51 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21210
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

I would have said the key hexes for the Axis to defeat USSR are Leningrad, Rostov, Baku and Novosibirsk, myself.

Also, if I am not mistaken, Petsamo needs an HQ in the area or it is useless to the Axis. Likewise with Narvik (even if you can trace supply through Sweden).

That's an HQ you're not using either on the central front or to maintain supply in France or the Balkans.

As for AI stuff, the USSR AIO should always ask for as much lend-lease resources and build points as it can. For the USSR, there is no such thing as too much.

In the meantime, the CW and US AIOs should, based on their assessment of Germany's overall strategy, decide early on (probably no later than S/O 1940) how much lend-lease they are going to send to USSR and how it will get delivered. They should coordinate with USSR so it knows where to rail its factories in event of Barb.

They could probably have four levels of lending: High, Moderate, Low, and None, with None to appear only if Germany did a Sealion or late in the war (mid '44 on) when USSR doesn't need it. Low would be 1-5 resources and/or bp; Moderate would be 6-12 resources and/or bp; High would be 13+ resources and/or bp.

These numbers can be tweaked. The CW and US need to decide what levels they will be lending at and when, and build out convoys, plan out escorts, etc. accordingly.

Now that you have said it - obvious. Before then, I hadn't realy thought it through.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 146
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 3/7/2008 11:22:32 AM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 166
Joined: 5/3/2006
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Re: USSR stuffing the border.
Stumbled on the below post in the wifdiscussion forum - it presents a very structured decision process with assessments of the success of various USSR / German strategies (he has explained the details behind his assessments in other posts - I can see if I can locate some of them if you like).
Maybe this formalized structure can be of interest regarding the AI. Also, the continual reevaluation of garrison ratio and calculations needed for this should be well suited to the AI.

Regards
Nikolaj

----------------

(...)

Let

AOV = sum(Value(OS)*P(OS|A))

Where
AOV = Average outcome value
OS = Outcome State, ie the situations on the board when a given
outcome happens
A = The action/choice/strategy that I make
Value(OS) = the "value of the board" given the OS. Gernally, this is
the same as the chance of winning given the OS
P(OS|A) = the probabiliy of OS happening, given Action A.

Whenever I make an action or choice in the game, I try to select the
action or strategy A that maximizes AOV, the average outcome value.
Very often, this implies another action, than the action whose most
probable P(OS|A) gives the highest Value(OS).

The 2d10 analogy is chosen for simplicity. If you make a +8 assault,
and roll average (11), you will loose 2 units and the defender 1. The
change to AOV can then be expressed as -1 unit (ignoring the negative
vaue of flipping), and the attack seems bad. However, if calculating
the full AOV, attacking means that the value will increase by about
1/2 unit (+ the negative value of flipping times probability + the
value of taking the hex * probability + the value of the defender
shattering * probability).

Applying this to the stuffing example we must evaluate the following
probabilities and values:

P(Stuffing successful | Stuffing attempted)
P(Russia pull back | Stuffing attempted)
P(Germany pull back | Stuffing attempted)
P(Stuff broken | Stuffing attempted)
Value(Stuffing successful)
Value(Russia pull back)
Value(Germany pull back)
Value(Stuff broken)

The alternative strategy (not trying to stuff) is used as a null
hypothesis (NH). For simplicity, it makes sense to estimate the
values above relative to the NH.

(This is of course a quite coarse grain with regards to outcomes. For
more exact understanding, one may need to add more results, such
as "Germany break the garrison J/F", "Germany breaks the garrison
M/J", etc., but that is not necessary to show the main point.)

Now, my personal assessment, is as follows:

P(Stuffing successful | Stuffing attempted) = Small
P(Russia pull back | Stuffing attempted) = Medium
P(Germany pull back | Stuffing attempted) = Large
P(Stuff broken | Stuffing attempted) = Very small
Value(Stuffing successful) = Large positive
Value(Russia pull back) = Small positive (at least Super Balbo is
avoided)
Value(Germany pull back) = Medium positive
Value(Stuff broken) = Very large negative

Total AOV = Small to medium positive (for Russia), so a rational
Russian should always go for it, imo.

Now for Germany, the choice is to attempt a Barbarossa. Here the null
hypothesis is to follow a close the med strat from the beginning:
P(Stuffing successful | Barb41 attempted) = Small
P(Russia pull back | Barb41 attempted) = Medium
P(Germany pull back | Barb41 attempted) = Large
P(Stuff broken | Barb41 attempted) = Very small
Value(Stuffing successful) = Large negative
Value(Russia pull back) = Zero or maybe small positive (Since the
stuffing anyway made Germany unable to build the best barb41 units)
Value(Germany pull back) = Small to medium negative
Value(Stuff broken) = Large positive

Total AOV = small to medium negative. On average, the
close_the_med_41 strat is significantly better for Germany.

This is why I claim that a rational Russia should always prepare to
stuff, and a rational Germany should always do a close_the_med_41 if
assuming that Russia is rational, when using the RAW stuffing system.

All of course, according to my estimates about the P's and Values. In
particular, the relative probabilities of the the different P's
depend on how much information each player has. If Russia has little
information, the P(Russia pull back) gets smaller compared to P(Stuff
broken) and if Germany has less information, the P(Germany pull back)
gets smaller compared to P(stuff successful).

This is why it is so important for both sides to have maximum
information and to deny that information to the opponent.

(...)

Cheers
Hakon

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 147
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 3/7/2008 7:36:59 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21210
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: online
I would be interested in the other posts if you can find them. Hakon has contributed a lot to the AIO discussion for MWIF.

What he is doing here is an Operations Research analysis using Basian (sp?) analysis. It most often is shown using a decision tree with the 'leaves' of the tree being final outcomes and the 'branches' decision points/alternatives. The value of each leaf contributes the value of the branch, weighted by the probability of the leaf outcome occuring. Then each subbranch can be added to the value of the 'higher' (or 'lower" depending on how you draw the tree) branches. This lets you evalutate each alternative at each decision point.

I completely agree with his use of low, medium, and high, rather than numbers. Though the analysis may be quite rigorous, it is never going to encompass the full range of possibilities in WIF. That's because of the random unit draws, the weather, and the initiative rolls, just to name a few of the more important highly dynamic variables. Given that perfect precision is impossible, using precise numbers is silly/arrogant/delusional. Far better is to use the fuzzy evaluations low, medium, high. I prefer the scale: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, and Awful. This igives a slightly broader range of outcomes and imposes a desireability bias in the labels - which in this case I want to have, since the analysis is for a competition (us versus them).

I disagree with his recommendation for always choosing the alternative with the better outcome. Instead, I want the AIO to choose the clearly superior choices (Excellent, Very Good), and avoid the inferior ones (Poor, Awful). For those in between (Good, Fair), the AIO will use a random number to decide, where the probability of choosing the better outcome is weighted by how much better that outcome is. My purpose for doing that is I do not want the AIO to be too predicatble. I see predictability as a major weakness in head-to-head competition - poker comes to mind as an excellent example of why predictability is bad. Blackjack, of course, is a counter-example, but that is because the house is forced to take hits/not take hits. In WIF, there is nothing constraining your opponent from taking advantage of his foreknowledge when you are too predictable.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 148
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 3/10/2008 8:45:26 PM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 166
Joined: 5/3/2006
Status: offline
Sounds good regarding the AI.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
I would be interested in the other posts if you can find them. Hakon has contributed a lot to the AIO discussion for MWIF.


Lol - hadn't noticed - then he can probably explain his assessments better than I can :-)
I will see what I can dig out, though.

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 149
RE: AI for MWiF - USSR - 3/18/2008 6:17:29 AM   
hakon

 

Posts: 298
Joined: 4/15/2005
Status: offline
It's been a while since I've been writing much on the strategy threads on this forum. I had a rather long discussion with Patrice on the stuffing topic about a year ago, I think, where most of my argument was presented. Basically it goes:

- Russia should always stuff (reason: little to loose, very much to gain)
- If Russia stuffs, Germany should not try a 41 barb. (Reason: little to gain, more to loose)

Which means that all games will be close the med games.

While I agree that this logic may not apply to the AIO, since it doesnt have the same ability as a human has to learn from mistakes, create counter strategies on the fly, etc, I feel it does apply to human players. (Which is my prime concern.)

What I am hoping for, eventually, are rules changes, that:
- Allows Germany to go through with the historical actions, regardless what the USSR does, that is that they get to attack Russia in 1941 even if they finish Tirpitz, wage a battle of the atlantic, even takes some losses in France or in a Battle of Britain, and even allows them to have some forces in Africa while doing this.
- Prevents a knock out of Russia if Germany goes for the Super Balbo strategy (as it's been called, one of my posts on this strategy has been copied into the German strategy thread), ie the strategy of building a large air force of more than 10 (maybe even 20) aircraft prior to Barbarossa..

Secondary concerns, include:
- Reduce the effectiveness of the Super Balbo and Super Alex strategies in general.
- Create more friction beteen nations allied to each other, for instance by altering the victory point system into a system with separate victory conditions for each country. (The Britannia board game has a good system for this, for instance.)

Since all of the above really require changes to RAW (imo), I understand that it is currently out of scope for MWIF, which is why the discussion has been going on in the wifdiscussion forum. What I hope, is that MWIF, when released, will lead to the game being played more and more competitively, which should then lead to imbalances like this being fixed in patches, which may or may not be led (or followed) by corresponding fixes to RAW.

I expect one of two to be the case:
- MWIF implements a good stuffing strategy for Russia, which is quite often (or always) used by the AIO. This should frustrate German players enough for them to demand a nerf of that strategy.
- MWIF doesn't, in which case, super Balbo will dominate Russia so badly that people will also complain.

Of course, this should also show up more in multiplayer games.

Cheers
Hakon

< Message edited by hakon -- 3/18/2008 6:21:42 AM >

(in reply to npilgaard)
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