HobbesACW -> DCB: Quick Reference Guide (1/24/2017 9:15:30 PM)
Hi folks, I just started a random dump of interesting forum posts and stuff I found elsewhere to help me understand the nuances of the game. I will add to it as I find out more. It may help other new players save a bit of time. I assume many players will have different ideas as to the best strategy to employ. Please post any tips you have.
German Army, or Panzergruppe HQ’s, once lost, return as reinforcements.
German Army, or Panzergruppe HQ’s can be evacuated by air, if cut off.
The loss of a German theatre HQ is considered an instant win for the soviets.
Soviet Front HQ’s and Stavka are automatically relocated if threatened.
Soviet Army HQ’s, once lost, are gone forever.
Soviet divisions, without an HQ, may be automatically reassigned.
German divisions only may have an attached unit which provides permanent combat bonuses
Fast divisions have vehicles (tanks, trucks or half tracks) and require fuel to move.
Apart from the special Pre-Start Turn, only the German player receives decisions.
Decisions are opt in. Ignore any you don’t want to deal with. Your chief of staff will take care of them for you.
Your chief of staff will always choose the last, default, option. if this involves a random outcome then his handicap acts as a negative modifier.
Any decision you delegate will cost 1 PP, but are free if you have insufficient PP to pay.
You can see the outcome of any delegated decisions in the following turns daily staff log.
Ongoing decisions cost nothing to delegate, or ignore.
What if? decisions are optional and can be ignored.
Division events are dynamically generated decisions directly from Battle reports
Staff Efficiency (normally 100) can affect the cost of all decision options if >115 or <85
UP and DOWN arrows allow you to cycle through the Report Bundle
Adjacent German units receiving Direct Fire Artillery support will automatically reduce a Fortification’s structural points
(Engineers are assumed to be doing this under the cover of the artillery fire) each turn.
If they go below zero then the fortification is immediately destroyed and removed. Each turn the local garrison will automatically restore a certain
number of points allowing fortification to repair their damage.
Command range extends five hexes outwards from an HQ
Fast divisions which are outside of the five hex command range at the start of a turn incur greater Action Point (AP) penalties than slow Divisions (insufficient fuel)
Divisions can move outside range during a turn with no penalty
The Red Faced Yelling Man status icon (next to the units name) indicates Command Range penalties
Supply is consumed each turn to recover readiness (which is lost due to movement and combat). The more movement and combat that a unit engages in the more supply it will need to recover its Readiness. Without supply the unit’s readiness will automatically drop .
Low readiness will lower the allotment of Action points that the unit receives each turn and will adversely affect its combat performance.
Supply is separate to the German’s logistical pipelines which are all about getting fuel to their Fast Divisions.
Supply affects a unit’s readiness only. With adequate supply a unit can continue to move and fight. Without supply a unit will quickly become combat ineffective.
All units require general supply so they can recover readiness.
It is separate from the logistical pipelines which are for getting fuel to German Panzergruppes
The Soviets get their fuel automatically and it’s not a concern.
If using the HQ’s organic truck capability. Infantry, even outside of Command Range, can still march but vehicles without insufficient fuel won’t be going far.
Supply allows a unit to maintain and recover its readiness. supply has no other effect.
Each unit in the game receives an allotment of supply each turn. This originates from a central supply source (eg. Berlin or Gorki)
which must be able to trace a route directly to the unit (intervening HQ’s aren’t used for this purpose).
A unit is able to store a certain amount of supply
Readiness drops every turn as a result of movement and combat
Units can store two or three turns of supply in an internal stockpile
Units receive a supply delivery at the start of each turn
Supply comes travels from the source direct to the unit
Press the Supply button (bottom bar) to view the supply layer
Different coloured supply overlays provide different levels of supply (light green is best)
Units that cannot receive supply (out of range or cut-off) suffer a large readiness drop each turn and are soon rendered combat ineffective
There is a special internal ammunition stockpile that is used to maximise artillery barrages
Select the stack, press ‘G’ to move the group (slowest unit determines movement)
If you remove units (press ‘0’) you’ll see numbers in small squares which are additional movement costs in AP’s for that hex
The normal allocation for each unit is 100 AP per turn but there are lots of reasons why it may have more, or less. use the report status! Button to find out why.
Roads are assumed to be where rail lines are. the only roads shown on the map are surfaced, all weather ones.
Units with Trucks can’t move in mud except on all weather roads.
Readiness determines the units action point allowance
Readiness, if low, gives combat penalties, especially if attacking
Movement and combat lower a unit’s readiness
Readiness will recover +40 each turn if the unit is in full supply
Fatigue affects are deducted after the recovery from supply
A unit out of supply will have its readiness drop 40% per turn automatically
If a unit’s supply consumption is less than 100 its ability to recover readiness is affected
Entrenchment is the units ability to dig in and prepare defensive positions
Each point of entrenchment adds +1% defensive bonus in combat
Units will progressively entrench if they remain stationary
Each terrain type has a maximum level of entrenchment which can’t be exceeded
Armour can’t entrench
The soviets get hit with a special entrenchment penalty at the very start (but not if in a city)
Units exert a Zone of control into adjacent hexes
The bigger the unit the greater effect it has
All friendly, adjacent, units combine to exert ZOC over adjacent hexes
Enemy units do the same and cause a 10 action Point (AP) penalty (small transparent boxes)
Crossing a river causes the ZOC penalty to double (20 AP)
The penalty only applies if a friendly unit moves into the hex
There may be other reasons for the penalty. the terrain window (top centre) mouse over tool tip
To gain control (‘flip’) of an enemy hex it needs to be vacant and you need 4X times the enemy Zoc points
Enemy units hidden by Fog of War don’t exert any ZOC
To see how many stack points you have in a hex view the hex status info (top right)
The stacking limit varies depending on the number of hex sides you are attacking from (the more the better)
Exceeding the stacking limit results in exponential over stacking penalties in combat and higher casualties
Every time you fight a battle in a hex (and lose) your stacking points carry over to any further battles in the same hex, during the current turn.
Carry over stacking points are called ‘Battle stack points’ and are shown visually by a small black circle in the hex
When launching an attack you can see a summary of the stacking situation in the unit Display (bottom)
Situation Stacking limit
Attacking from 2 sides, or less, of the hex 200
Attacking from 3 sides 300
Attacking from 4 sides 400
Attacking from 5 sides 500
Attacking from 6 sides 600
Concentric attack bonus
2 sides (adjacent to each other) 10%
2 sides (one hex gap between them) 20%
2 sides (opposite sides) 40%
3 sides (adjacent to each other) 60%
4 sides (adjacent to each other) 80%
4 sides (all other cases) 100%
5 sides 150%
6 sides (unit surrounded) 200%
All divisions in a reassigned Panzergruppes can cross theatre borders without incurring violation penalties
A reassigned Panzergruppe can cross any border and has no obligation to do so (it can stay in its original theatre with no penalty)
There is no time limit to a reassignment but if your relationship with Hitler sours (goes negative) he will withdraw his authorisation and you will incur a Political Point (PP) penalty each turn until you
‘Release’ the Panzergruppe (Action card) or improve your relationship (>0).
Each theatre has its own airfield and Luftflotte (air fleet)
Airfields have a quality rating and can be relocated through decisions
The Luftwaffe fuel level acts as a limiting cap on airfield quality
The result is the net air effort which is used to determine the effectiveness of tac and missions
Air missions are affected by both range and Weather
Range is limited to 15 hexes with exponential penalties over 10 hexes
Visibility over the airfield and target determine the weather effect
Once Tactical Air Suppport (TAC) is assigned it continues automatically
The first time you assign TAC in a theatre the effect is immediate
Only one army, or Panzergruppe, in a theatre can have TAC
Resupply (Fuel or Ammo) cards must be played before a TAC card
Fuel resupply is only for Panzergruppes (fuel used isn’t free)
Ammo resupply is for everybody
You can only fly one Resupply mission per theatre, per turn
Resupply missions consume one third of available air effort
TAC cards are available after the d+2 air Offence decision (depends on option)
Airfield relocation decisions are on a rotating 3 turn schedule and can be ignored
A potential airfield site must be able to trace an unbroken rail route back to OKH headquarters inorder to be considered
Cut off Airfields suffer a big penalty to their Net air effort
Airfields that are over run are automatically relocated
The soviets can designate a city to have air defences later in the game.
Theatre based artillery can be assigned to a single ARMY (not PG) within each theatre.
Once assigned it automatically continues unless you wish to reassign it elsewhere.
Assignment is done via action cards under the ‘Artillery’ category.
Assignments come into effect the following turn. any existing assignment will continue to provide benefits for the current turn.
Artillery can be ordered to provide ‘Direct Fire’ (offensive bonus) or ‘Counter Battery Fire (defensive bonus).
The effectiveness of the artillery is based on your theatre ‘Ammunition Stockpile’
This has a base level of 100 and is determined by your resupply level each turn.
If your resupply level is < 100 then there is a chance of your stockpile level falling.
There is no carry over of unused ammunition between turns.
Resupply levels are equal to the number of Truck Columns assigned to ‘Infantry & Artillery use’
Theatre based artillery can be concentrated behind a single division but its effectiveness is halved.
Divisions outside of command range receive no benefit from Theatre base artillery.
Soviet Fortifications can be freely built once per turn while-ever the Weather is fine.
Fortifications can only be built on Plains, Fields, Woods or forest hexes.
You can only build Fortifications in a hex once (can’t rebuild).
Fortifications provide an entrenchment bonus (a great help to defence) for any unit in the hex.
Fortifications have 2000 structural points (see the green bar in the terrain window, top centre) The Polish border showing dispositions. Germans asleep.
When damaged by combat, or German engineers, this reduces.
Fortifications will regenerate +200 structural points per turn automatically.
If captured you will have to recapture immediately (following turn) or the fortification is destroyed.
Fortifications will continue to provide a benefit provided they have some structural points remaining.
Siege artillery can be ordered to a new location via the ‘Siege Artillery’ Action Card
You can change its orders at anytime by playing the same card again
Siege artillery can be ordered to a friendly city.
Siege artillery can be ordered to a hex adjacent to an enemy city in order to bombard it.
A friendly division must be present in the hex at the time of your order (no need for it remain)
Siege artillery travels by the rail network and must be able to trace a route from A to B
Siege artillery will automatically bombard an adjacent enemy city each turn
Bombardment results in a lowering of the entrenchment levels, of all forces in the city, to zero.
Officer cards are only available to an Army, or Panzergruppe, with command focus
Officer cards are found in the unit display next to the Commander portrait (bottom right)
The type of cards available depend on the posture of the army or Panzergruppe
One card can be played per turn
Once played, the card remains in effect until you decide to change it (fire and forget)
Each card utilises Commander qualities to provide bonuses to the divisions within the formation
Only divisions within command range receive a benefit
The unit display of each division shows a status icon highlighting the benefit.
A Quota is enough fuel for a Panzergruppe to operate at full tempo (expend 100 AP) for one turn
It’s dynamically calculated for each Panzergruppe at the beginning of each turn
The Quota for AGC includes both PG 2 & PG 3 (it’s the only theatre with two Panzergruppes)
A Quota is a shorthand way of quickly knowing if you have enough fuel on hand
Aim to think in terms of Quotas rather then fixed fuel amounts
Individual divisions draw fuel from the theatre they start their turn in
Pipelines consist of bases (main depot, FSB, PG HQ) connected by train and truck column links
The Main Depots are fixed and don’t move. each turn fuel allocations arrive here.
The Forward Supply Bases (FSB) can be relocated to another city via a decision
Whenever you relocate an FSB the pipeline shuts down and no fuel arrives for a couple of turns
The transport links (train and truck) automatically extend as you move your FSB’s and PG HQ’s
The truck column link to from the FSB to the Panzergruppe HQ has limits on how far it can stretch
The AGC Panzergruppes share a common main depot and a common FSB but have separate truck columns transporting fuel to each from the FSB.
The FSB decisions can be safely ignored (no PP penalty, no Chief of Staff interference)
A decision will only appear if there are viable alternative options available
A theatre will only show a decision every three turns (there’s a rolling roster)
FSB’s can only be situated at cities connected with double tracked rail
Not all possible cities are usable as potential FSB sites (lack of suitable infrastructure)
Up to four options will be shown in an FSB decision (if more, only the closest four)
It takes at least one full turn to relocate (more if it’s a long way apart)
No trains or truck columns will be available during relocation (no fuel gets through!)
Once relocated there is a two turn period of consolidation.
Subsequent relocations can only occur after consolidation (’ready to move’ message in Daily Log)
Transport capacity determines how much fuel can be moved through the pipeline
Distance and friction both reduce this
Distance is geographical and is based on how far the HQ’s are from their main depots
Friction represents wear and tear on trains and truck columns and increases every turn
Aim to keep your Panzergruppe HQ’s on roads where ever possible
Friction can be reduced by playing the ‘Logistics’ card on a theatre HQ
Strategic fuel reserves can be released by playing the ‘Fuel’ card on a theatre HQ but this is a diminishing resource.
Once the Germans capture certain Baltic sea ports they are presented with Decisions (within a couple of turns of the citybeing captured)
allowing them the option of running barge convoys up the Baltic sea.
The four possible convoy ports are Leipajas, Windau, Riga and Talinn
All convoys originate out of Koningsberg and are shown visually (with green or yellow icons) once activated.
The convoys serve to increase the number of trains per day for AGN. In effect they provide train equivalents that can’t be affected by all the various land based rail problems.
A convoy to a port won’t provide any benefit (even though it’s showing as green icons) if a railroute can’t be traced between the port and the AGN Forward Supply Base. Whatever arrives by convoy
has to have a valid means of actually getting to the FSB otherwise it’s assumed to be stockpiled at the port. The Talinn convoy decision requires the allocation of Luftwaffe resources (it’s close to the Soviet Baltic Fleet base at Leningrad) in order to receive the full effect (3 trains/day).
Destroyed bridges, once captured, are automatically repaired by your engineers.
Bridge repairs will start provided you’ve captured the side (hex) that it was destroyed from
Reinforcements arrive in two stages - Army HQ’s first followed by their Divisions
Army HQ’s are deployed on the map by the Player by use of Action Cards (’Command’ category)
Army HQ’s can be deployed anywhere, within their assigned theatre, on the transport grid
Divisions arrive automatically but only after their HQ has been deployed
Divisions have a probability of arriving each turn
If their HQ is not on the transport grid then this is halved
If their HQ is in a city then it is doubled
Divisions incur a -50 AP penalty on their turn of arrival
The daily theatre logs contain full details of all reinforcement activity
Forthcoming withdrawals are notified in your daily logs
Terrain effects have no impact on withdrawal probabilities
Units earmarked for withdrawal should be pulled out of the line to avoid penalties (PP) if they take excessive damage
Replacements arrive in five mobilisation waves, once every ten turns
Replacements, once they arrive, are visible in the high command HQ in Berlin
Replacements are automatically distributed to the front line divisions
Divisions will automatically request replacements
Divisions, and HQ’s, have a ‘RPL’ setting (bottom centre) which allows you to adjust who will receive replacements first by adjusting the level at which Divisions request replacements
1. German Army runs out of steam right away. Panzers get choked up really fast. Best not to run them too hard to encircle everything in sight, that will likely not be possible. Take opportunities as they come and encircle as you go along. Sometimes the AI leaves cities undefended if you scout with a fast division you can get a freebie, Worth the Gas and I've taken Riga/Odessa/Polotsk and several other cities this way.
2. Fuel, when moving your FSB, you will need extra fuel already on hand during the down time if you plan an offensive and if you don't then rest your units. (regularly check the stats on the units if their in range of HQ, if your HQ is on a major Rail/Road Line and is green supplied...you need to keep readiness and supply up or on the attack your units get useless)
3. Regularly check through your reports for the level of trucks and trains available and opportunities arise from time to time to put more up at a PP cost.
4. Personally I find both Army Group Center and South the most difficult fronts and the biggest job is pushing your infantry as far forward as possible. They're really the work horses and when you start to run into bad terrain/cities/fortifications/or require cheap defense.. You will need them forward FAST. Biggest mistake I have made is leaving infantry way far behind.
5. Encircle cities with garrisons and forget waiting for Siege Artillery unless it's easy. Choke holds like that will slow your whole forward motion.
6. After you kill off 100-125 or more Red Divisions they will start pumping out conscripts and they will have an endless sea of them. You only have your blitzkrieg and attack bonuses on hyperdrive early, so you really need to sneak in and zap the backbone of the Red Army. It's not as important killing Red Units or Encircling them as it is cutting them or damaging them. You can also bait them into pockets if you back up and don't let them see you and then ambush them with your Panzers. Far better as the fronts are not quite large enough especially in AGC to actually encircle. Not once the Reds Mobilize. (the AI loves the play in the Pripets and this is an ideal location for a counter attack with infantry from the South and Panzers from the North)
7. Decisions are tough, I run continually in Rail/Supply/Fuel issues. I tend to lean too hard onto fuel and not enough onto truck/train issues. Your armies can have a ton of fuel but no way to get things forward. This will choke up your army for turn up on turn upon turn. I have spent 1/2 of a game waiting for the fuel to come up from the rear and you have to learn to ignore some things and focus on others. I would really love some person's input here? To help this along...
8. As for relationships with subordinates, I find it hard to keep all of my relationships good. Usually I try to bring them into line at some point to get the focus on my Panzers but that doesn't always work out. At least it doesn't always matter after the initial shock is over as your Infantry are the work horses and the Panzers will be slightly less important. It is always nice to have all Three Generals on your side early to get a bonus AP ... this is nice to encircle.
9. Upper Echelon leadership, what a headache along with supply. You can never please them all. I am learning that a bad decision can often be better than no decision. At least you can keep things poor to neutral and work things back if you're doing well. W
10. PPs, Killing HQs, taking cities in the objective Theater and having the right relationships with your Leadership really key. Tough to balance all decisions. I am learning this balancing act it's really tedious and makes me really feel like I'm actually dealing with real life in that ... One of the major reasons I bought the game, you can see why the Germans got their rear handed to them by the Russians Western Allies. They fought each other more than the enemy XP
(always put your focus on for your armies, and then click on the card you want to play for that particular Army, also make sure to put your artillery on where you want to crush cities/forts/rough spots) each forest/marsh/mountain/low mountain/city/etc... really matters! for bonuses hover over to see with your mouse.
11. I have gotten pretty deep into the game, I am learning a lot as I go along. So much to learn and will post up more and want to hear more and not just from the manual. Which gives great info on say terrain or the price of various actions you would never guess. So add stuff please and educate, correct and most of all add a Soviet perspective. I look forward to seeing how well they are played after I destroy the game on some the hardest settings on the German Side.
My tips for Russia, after first game:
1) Embrace the paranoia! Really, it's no big deal. Army commanders come and go, because armies come and go. Even if you have a top-notch army commander, sooner or later his army will get chewed up, and there's no possibility of getting that general to another intact army. So it's a bit annoying when Stalin shoots a good general or three, but it doesn't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.
2) In the first few turns, attack. Sounds counterintuitive, but look at it this way: all your frontier armies are dead, and they're all on an offensive stance. And the German all have a defensive penalty. So the best way to inflict some casualties is to have any frontier guys gang up on exposed panzer spearheads. You can inflict some surprisingly heavy losses this way. The exceptions are any frontier armies (eg Baltic MD, 12th, maybe some in Bessarabia or 26th) that you want to try to pull back for later.
3) Later in the game, especially in the Centre, have a defensive or neutral posture army at the front, and an offensive posture army right behind it. That way, the Germans attack, but you have an offensive posture army sitting right there to counterattack wherever there is a breach. The Germans will have reduced readiness because of the fighting they've just been involved with, plus a defensive penalty, and you'll have an offensive bonus and probably at least 3 hexsides on them. Magic.
4) Consider saving up PP for the decision that gets you a permanent +5PP per turn immediately. The additional PP really multiplies out over the whole game, so the earlier the better. One good strategy is to use first turn PP to replace a single marshal and shift 2 armies to neutral posture (eg, Western and Southwestern), then immediately save up the 30PP needed to play the "demand more authority" card.
5) Zhukov's usefulness is obvious; he is needed everywhere. I find it harder to work out what to do with Khrushchev. He's good to have for shooting a marshal or two for the paranoia reduction. Otherwise, I tend to leave him passively on "intimidation" mode at a front HQ, either Central or South where there are more armies.
6) Hit the panzers whenever you can! Even failed attacks can inflict losses on panzers that get too far ahead of the infantry. They are powerful but ultimately brittle, with few replacements. Six conscript divisions ganging up on a panzer division, say from three or four sides, can do a world of hurt. Without strong panzer divisions, no Blitzkrieg. No Blitzkrieg, no large-scale encirclements. No encirclements, and the Red Army wins.
7) Launch counterattacks along the army group boundary lines. For instance, a couple of armies attacking along the AGN/AGC boundary, after most of AGN has gone north to attack Narva/Luga/Leningrad. Attacking along the boundary makes it much harder for the German player to respond effectively without losing lots of PP for overstepping the boundaries. You get penalized as well, but much less.
8) I like having two strong Tsarist marshals, and one other marshal with a really good negative paranoia score. You can use front focus and Zhukov to ensure the incompetent marshal still gets good army activation, without having your paranoia go through the roof by having 3 Tsarist marshals.
9) Don't be afraid to trade space for time. A lot of space, even. Once you lose Tallinn/Minsk/Kiev/Odessa, there really aren't any cities that matter except Kharkov and the final 3 objectives. Heck, you can lose Saratov and it doesn't really matter. So feel free to pull your whole front back 5 or 10 hexes if you need to buy time, shift the whole front on to a defensive posture, etc.
10) A bit gamey, but you can use fortifications offensively to support a breakthrough, when you're on the counterattack. Fortifications can go pretty much anywhere, including on hexes you just captured during the current turn. So attack, and put the fortification on your "breakthrough" hex. It will make it that much harder for the Germans to counterattack.
There are two things that affect the Panzers. Combat losses and mechanical breakdowns (based on mileage). You can recover most of your breakdown losses by ordering Rest & Refits. Panzer Div's are the most powerful units the Germans have, especially with Air support. On Blitzkrieg posture they have 140 AP compared to 100 AP normally. But, yes, they are fragile and a lot of the game play for the Germans is in conserving their strength and knowing when to use them. By the time the Germans got within reach of Moscow they had entire Panzer Divisions with less than a dozen tanks remaining. They weren't magic bullets.
You will never have enough PPs to spend on everything, everywhere. Forget it. PPs are a finite, rare resource, and its abundance or scarcity depends on what happens on the field and pleasing the Führer. The more success you encounter on the battlefield, the more PPs you obtain, the decisional leeway you gain. However, you are expected to delegate. Concentrate on Decisions and playing Action Cards that meet the operational goals either you or Hitler set. And yes, it means also that by doing so you will piss people off, either because they don't like your decisions, either because you don't or can't support them. Accept it. Embrace it. That's one of Nazi Germany's biggest problem, a lack of unity among its commanders and ministers. Too many chiefs and prima donnas, too many factions playing and feeding on one another, by design of the Führer keeping them divided to reign over them.
Some will hate your guts, what matters is to be in favour of the right people for your policies. For instance, if you choose "Support Hitler" your relationship with him is what protects your back. So it pays to actually please him, even if he interferes and changes his mind every month or so. On the other hand if you go "Military Independence" Hitler will loathe your mere sight. In this case being on von Brauchtisch's good side is what makes the difference between you in charge or you being fired.
The German side is much more than just encircling counters and creating huge pockets. You have to balance your relations. If you find that your poor relations hurt your efforts you will have to find ways to mollify them even if the results of such actions aren't optimal.
- Check your decisions. You don't need to execute them yet as most won't have an impact until next turn. But at least understand whats coming up as it might steer your movements. Most you can take at the end as likely too what happens might change your mind a little.
- Pour a whiskey, unwrap a cigar, zoom out the map and have a condor moment. Make a grand plan, decide on your schwerpunkt; overall and for each Army Group. No plan survives contact with the enemy but you'd better at least start with one, and then you should continue to try to get inside his decision loop and make him dance to your tune. Good luck with that!
- Zoom back in to each Army Group. Consider where you want each Panzergruppe to be in 3 turns time and 2 turns time and 1 turns time. What do you need to break to do that?
- Look in detail at your Infantry armies. These are now your tools to create conditions for your PzGrp to achieve their aims. Some divisions will get a chance to attack twice. Consider how you can herd the enemy to create gaps for the Panzers and also encirclements that you will neutalise on turns 2 and 3. Remember they will not be out of supply if encircled on turn 1, and they will be weaker after they are kettled, however often you might as well kill them now if you have the chance. Surrounded units die if they can't retreat - units you continue to force to retreat will have to be fought a few times and slow you down. Circumstances will dictate whats best each time.
- Brest is usually a good early target for you siege artillery. Make sure you have an Inf Div on the rail line leading into the city so you can then play that card.
- Return to your PzGrp's and drive them through the gaps, exploit the breakthroughs and create the encirclements. But don't over expose yourself. An aggressive Soviet will love to gang up on an over exuberant Pz Div and give it a bloody nose. Pair up at the tip of the spear at least, and try not to leave chances to get cut off. Remember to move in conjuction with the HQ so that a) it is not exposed b) your divisions are within 5 hexes, or you will encounter problems next turn.
- Repeat for each Army group.
- Go to your cards. Allocate artillery to the armies that face the heaviest fighting for the next few turns. Assign focus to your favoured PzGrp where possible so long as relationships allow (Remember to go back to them next turn and play the Officer cards...)
- Go back to your decisions and pull the trigger on what seems best. This is obviously an art in itself
I always take Brest on the second turn, and never use siege artillery. Surround and isolate it on the first turn and assault it on the second. Siege artillery is slow and political points are usually in short supply.
After a while I realized that the turns are 4 days long, so it really is pretty realistic what you can accomplish in that time. The initial forces along the border will take a couple of turns to surround, isolate, and kill off or leave to starve - don't expect to do it all in one turn. Also, an oddity of this system is that you assign focus on turn 1 (or can you do that in the pre-turn? I don't think so), and then on turn 2 you get to play commander cards, like say Guderian doing Envelopment, and then suddenly on turn 3 all the panzers are +15AP and +15% combat power. That said I think this game does under-represent German progress in the initial week, which is compensated by the speed at which even infantry can march across Russia later.
The way trains and trucks are calculated means that there is a pretty quick drop-off from full transport of PG fuel to none, dependent on distance and difficulty. You can spend PPs on decisions to try to improve the number of trains/trucks, but those have limited impact. Trains there is very little you can do, since once you have moved the FSB beyond train range all you can really do is move it back. Trucks you can play games with making sure your PG HQ is on a road and possibly run it back closer to the FSB to fill up and then run forward to the panzers (or just leave the PG HQ within truck range and continue operating your panzers at a -AP for being far from the HQ).
There is an odd thing, I might almost call it an exploit. Fuel is stored in 3 places: the base back in Greater Germany, the FSB, and the PG HQ. When you move the FSB, all the stored fuel that has accumulated there is de facto moved with it. So you can outrun your trucks (but the trains are still filling up the FSB), and then when you move the FSB forward to beyond train range suddenly you have all that stored fuel at the FSB which the trucks (now short range) bring to your HQ.
Finally there is always the Luftwaffe. It is not clear to me where the LW pulls the fuel that it is flying to you from. All the way back in Greater Germany? That makes the LW a pretty efficient way to get at least a trickle of fuel to your PG HQ, as long as there is an air base near your forward operating area. Moving the airbase only takes 4 days, and then as long as the HQ is quite close (within about 6-7 hexes or the effectiveness drops off quickly) you can get maybe half a quota delivered. Of course, this consumes 3 PP each time, plus you can only do it in one theatre. The reduction in LW ground support however does not seem like a big deal.
Another aspect of fuel management, however, is the demand side. I learned not to waste fuel making random attacks at the end of the panzers movement against a defensive line, where the only benefit would be grabbing a random hex. Only attack to create a breakthrough; make use of the non-motoried units (inf and cav) included in the PG to do as much as possible. Consider, if you can, using motorized infantry instead of panzer divisions to do the really long exploitation moves. Maybe a Pz div or 2 should just be sidelined or refitted while the fuel goes to the remaining divs. Also, if a motorized or Pz div gets left behind, instead of spending fuel to bring it back up to the front, use the strategic transport card, which does not consume any fuel.
Units that are going to get withdrawn should be physically marked on the map. Too easy to overlook this issue and there really needs to be a visual cue.
Concentric bonuses are halved when units from different HQ's are involved
Fuel use in combat is dependant on a number of factors, another one being the # of units involved (eg. how many tanks have you in your Panzer Division). It'd be very difficult to give an accurate estimate prior to a combat. A simple rule of thumb is that the bigger the battle the greater the fuel usage which is probably as much as the commanders on the day had to go on as well. Telling the player that this particular combat will incur a fuel usage of 110 barrels would also be unrealistic and go against the ethos of the game.
The colour of the depots (main, FSB and PG HQ's) can give you a pretty good visual guide as to your current situation and are probably the easiest way to judge how far you can push things in any given turn, eg. if you've got less than one quota present at the start of a turn then you'll need to be paying attention to the fuel gauge. The PG tab down the bottom also has a quick visual indication (arrows point up, sideways, down, etc.) of how much fuel each PG has available.
Supply comes in two flavors: “general” and fuel. “General” supply is food, ammunition and the other necessities of life. These supplies emanate from Berlin to the Army or Panzergruppen HQs. Transporting “general” supply is a function of terrain and Action Points (AP). The limit of distance to be covered efficiently is measured in 250 AP. Good weather and roads make supply easy but rain, ice, snow and tough terrain cost AP so the deeper the Germans lunge, the more difficult supply becomes. Every division carries two or three days’ supply but, without good paths and being within five hexes of their HQ, movement and combat will consume stocks. Under-supplied troops don’t fight well. A table explains how much supply was used, stocked, requested and received. A color coded overlay shows the path to units HQs and the number of AP needed to reach an area which indirectly indicates units’ supply status.
Fuel for the panzers is more detailed. The main depots and Forward Supply Bases (FSB) for each of the three army groups are initially co-located near the German start lines. Fuel is transported to Panzergruppen HQs by trucks with the Gruppe’s number on them. For the first few turns these trucks are green but, as the panzers roll and the column of trucks extend pass ten hexes to the HQ , they turn to white, then orange and red. These darker colors reflect a decrease in fuel and, thereby, efficiency. The Germans must capture a railhead quickly so that the FSB can be moved up to it via a decision. Depending on distance, all trucks and trains will become greyed for one or two turns as the FSB is set up, allowing the trucks to roll again. Panzergruupe HQs should be moved along or near rail lines or main roads as the primitive Russian secondary road network rips German trucks apart, adding to supply difficulties. The army groups’ logs and reports tell how many truck “runners” are available and the percent that number constitutes of what is needed for necessary transport. Of course, if the Russians cut a supply pipeline or if partisans disrupt transport, all planning goes for naught. Cut off panzer divisions are greyed out and, if a Panzergruppe HQ is isolated, the trucks disappear. Isolated units can re-supplied by air using the very expensive (in Political Points (PP)) “Luftwaffe Supply” card.
Logistical considerations for the German player begin before the campaign starts. Players can noodle up Hitler’s priority and receive seventy precious PP. However, they can spend over thirty PP on logistics by the end of the second combat turn. Players can choose different levels of support for wheeled transport or the Eisenbahntruppen who must convert Russian track gauge to German. Players can choose to delay the offensive to capture a Russian oil shipment, take their chances or ignore it. Any choice could cost PP and sour relationships with REMF officers. Bad relations with officers produce half-hearted performance or clear insubordination. Balancing the cost of optimum supply with the need for PP for other purposes and keeping officers in line is tricky.
I recall it's very discouraging facing a wall of second-echelon russian stacks from Narva to Kiev, just as your own armies tire. In the initial advance I try to remember to manoeuvre and isolate rather than fight with my mobile units to save them and try to get bridgeheads across major rivers instead, but its tempting when there are so many targets. Then rest and change posture to offensive, while the infantry catch up - handily, this usually coincides with a fuel crisis as well.
Once facing the wall though you have to change expectations for at least six weeks, finding the weaker stacks, using optimal odds, isolating just one or two at a time so that Ivan gets weaker and weaker, until hopefully you can get back into a manoeuvre and surround phase again before the mud hits in mid-october. Often though, its down to only one or two crucial attacks that begin that final collapse, so check you have artillery and air support where they are needed and whether any precious cards can be played.
You can encircle the central army by pushing as forward as you can with your infantry, and then sending in armour to complete the encirclement after they're done. The game is complex and small steps can have large repercussions.
Russian reinforcements I think are much sparser in the autumn and the lighter-coloured conscript units are often very brittle - you can check the opposing units to see if they have any heavy equipment.
Be sure your panzergruppe has a focus card played on it. I've also found that the high-octane fuel processed as a part of a decision can be very helpful here. It's fuel processed from soviet airplanes, I think, not sure, decision options offer either "ONE PANZERGRUPPE" or "TWO PANZERGRUPPEN".
Do not be discouraged, the massing of second echelons at Smolensk is definitely a challenge, even for me as an experienced player. Once I bypassed them by sending the newly deployed army through the Pinsk marches, making them appear at Gomel and effectively outflanking the enemy. Another time, I've advanced from the north, through the plains.
Leningrad can get supply by sea but only if a route can be traced from it to a port on the Baltic that has a link to either Murmansk (off map, due north) or to the Moscow/Gorki line. If cut off by sea, and land, it will auto generate a small amount of supply each turn. Enough for a garrison but insufficient for multiple units.
Supply is delivered to a player at the start of the player turn within the round. Before any hexes are swapped due to only one side having units near them.
However there is one particular wrinkle that can trip you up. A unit can be out of supply at the start of the turn (check the small coloured box on the unit counter) but you can't see why that's the case. What can happen is that the a Soviet unit will have interdicted the supply route during their turn and moved away leaving a Soviet controlled hex messing up your supply situation.
At the start of the German turn supply is calculated and the soviet controlled hex is taken into account. But AFTER the supply calc's the hex will revert back to German control (because the Soviet unit had moved away) and display as a German hex making it hard to see what had happened unless you had a close look at the turn History. The internal 'start turn' sequence of events has supply being calculated before who controls a hex is update.
Big cities aren't a problem unless they have a major garrison present. This is semi-randomised and can vary from game to game. The major garrisons not only represent men and equipment but a deliberate fortification of the city. Historically a big city in a fortified state was a very tall order for the Germans. They didn't get close to taking Leningrad and Odessa took 73 days (they only captured it because the Soviets abandoned it) and over 90,000 casualties. Sevastopol, in '41 and '42 was almost as tough.
Failed to deploy, as Bismark has said, means the unit that was scheduled to arrive, but didn't (delays, hiccups, lack of transport, etc.)
Integrity shows how much of the units original Order of Battle are still present and it influences the chance of a unit breaking in combat. It has no direct combat effect other than triggering the chance to break below the threshold shown in the tool tip. Low morale can aggravate the situation and combine to increase the chance of breaking. The tool tip will show the level at which the unit is prone to breaking at. This varies. Normal Wehrmacht units will break at below 50% whereas for SS units it will be 30%. Romanian units, for example, can break at 60% or below.
Morale is a measure of how well a unit will fight. Morale determines how many casualties a unit can stand before losing cohesion and panicking. A Morale level of 50 means that the unit may panic once it has lost 50% of its troops. An even lower Morale level of 25 means that it only has to lose 25% of its troops before it may panic. Panic is never certain and even low morale troops can sometimes hold out while taking severe losses.
When the text mentions a certain kind of outcome (usually specified as good or bad), a die roll inside of the range produces that outcome. A 30% chance of a bad outcome and a die roll of 42 will not produce a bad outcome. A 50% chance of a good outcome and a die roll of 26 will produce a good outcome.
You place the Finnish forces on the "B" hexes, but no further unless the Finns have agreed to attack the Soviets. Beware of attacking an adjacent hex, though, because if you gain control of an adjacent (soviet) hex, even if you do not move to it, you will (I think) suffer penalties.
Unless you chose a specific option at start (at a PP cost), Finns only accept to join Axis after you capture Luga and Narva, at a 10% chance per turn (IIRC)
Units that can no longer move/attack, have their icons turn "dark" on map. If you select the "OOB" tab and check the various units, the ones that can no longer do anything are also slightly grayed out on the OOB tree. I know other ways to check this.
There are a lot of cities that are outside of the main combat zone and they aren't set up for garrisons. The assumption is that if the Germans have advanced that far to the east you've probably already lost the game. You're correct that Fortifications can't be built in the mud. Rasputitsa is wall to wall mud so your construction battalions have to down tools.
Fuel for AGS is almost always going to be the tightest. You have 50% further to go to Rostov in comparison to the other objectives, and even if you convert rail at a good pace its still going to stretch your rail effort. As far as I'm aware aside from early on when you can rest and motorise your workers every other event will slow down the conversion rate, and once its lost, its gone (which seems a shame that as chief you are powerless to inject resources). With care it is possible to get 1 PzGp to Rostov and beyond, however I would never (again...) allow extra artillery ammo for AGS. Thats a massive -8 (or -4) to your capacity (which you can't reverse - which again seems strange). Without that you would be just in balance right now, and with further conversion reducing your rail effort you would improve slightly further. But with a -8 deficit it will take ages before the fuel flows, if at all. You might be able to shift your FSB back west if you are lucky and reduce the rail effort, but usually not.
Luckily (from experience of being stuck like this...) it is perfectly possible to grind to Rostov with infantry alone, but the Panzers are going nowhere fast anytime soon.
AGC you can usually get away with some extra artillery ammo for a -4 modifier, and AGN can cope with a -4 or -8 for extra artillery, but I usually chicken out and keep to -4.
Trains lost to a 'Chokepoint' can be a result of not having full German gauge rail through to your FSB. The entire cargo has to be offloaded at the chokepoint (typically in less than ideal conditions) and reloaded onto Soviet gauge locos' and rolling stock. It's not a given and has a % probability attached to it.
I just read about high octane fuel (had never used it) and its +20 AP's for 16 days for a Panzergruppe. I was quite proud to have 170 AP's on Guderian's Panzergruppe units.
I guess with the Theatre Command bonus (+20 AP's) and high octane fuel (+20 AP's) you could theoretically have a division in Guderian's Panzergruppe with 210 AP's?
That's an absurd, fuel-guzzling, amount but you sure could drive a long way!
High Octane is +30.
You can also have:
HQ Focus - Maneuver with Guderian: +30
Theater Command: +20
Ambiguous Orders Event: +30 (iirc)
Propaganda Film Crew Event: +20 (one division)
That one division could have 270 AP unless there is a cap.
I know I have had a unit at 210, and I think 220.
Von B can have a particularly damaging knock on effect on many other relationships. I try to boost that relationship where possible as its overall a false economy not too. If nothing else there are some good decisions that boost him at the expense of relationships with Jodl, Himmler and others who you can afford to have horrible relationship with to minimal tangible effect. But of course you will want to draw on this bank of positivity sometimes to keep Wagner and Gerke from becoming too much of a problem. Its perfectly possible to have all of your key relationships good or better with a bit of juggling, and once they are the -1pp and -2pp effect that better relationships have on your decisions makes if increasingly easy to keep them this way.
Keeping Von B happy will give you these freedom of movement decisions, plus the Smooth the Way decisions where he offers to speak to your theatre commanders and improve relations with one of them on your behalf. Potentially gives a good boost (though that he has to spend the time doing so annoys him a little and your relationship will take a small hit. But generally cost effective boost to your theatre cmdr relations, moreso than the Field visit decisions. In short there are all sorts of ways you will draw on your relationship with Von B and you certainly should try to keep him happy, and if he drops into negative territory try to get him back. He is your boss after all. Keeping Von B net positive with at least a little wiggle room is a priority for me, next the theatre commanders, then Gerke, then Wagner. Hitler and Goering don't have so many chances to change really but I'll try to keep Goering positive by bowing to most of his demands and not wasting PPs fighting him, except maybe for high octane fuel. Overall by August unless a run of bad luck everybody will be good except Wagner, and 1 or 2 superb theatre commander relationships. Once you get those high you can get most armies with AP bonuses on most turns. Which as we saw above once combined with Von Bs effects, and also focus cards, can really hurt the Soviets with big breakouts.
Von. B triggers various decisions at different relationship levels but they fire on a % probability so their timing is variable.
On the downside there is 'Flip Flops' (rel < -5 & >-16), 'Countermanded!' (rel <-15 & >-25) and 'Pressure from above' (rel < -24 and Hitler rel < 0)
On the upside, 'Smooth the Way' (rel > 9 & < 25) and 'Ambiguous Orders' (rel > 24).
There are additional decisions that relate to Von.B that enable you to manage your relationship directly that also trigger at different levels.
If you've opted for a 'Military Indepedence' Strategy you definitely want to keep him onside as he's your main supporter with Hitler and you risk getting fired if he's upset as well as Hitler.
Von B.was the oberkommando des heeres, Halder was basically his chief of staff.
Von B.has some etherel command position in game which is not historical.
I have received responces that state he was basically a yes man and worthless, okay but he was still "historically" OKH
In the same response Kleist is mentioned as the same kind of toadie but he is in the same position he was historically.
Why not have his chief of staff in game then instead of him for the same reason?
The German Command structure on paper was very different to the practical day to day reality which the game aims to model.
Any orphaned divisions with leaders in the Red Army have a % chance of being reassigned to the nearest viable HQ (not cut-off, etc.) each turn. It'll happen but perhaps not straight away. The Germans have a more efficient and flexible command structure and if you loose a commander (Army or Panzergruppe) it'll be automatically reformed at the start of the following turn and all it's subordinate units reassigned. You can change the leaders of the Soviet Army and Front level HQ's via your Command Cards, eg. 'Tsarist', or more typically, by using the cards of your troubleshooters - Zhukov or Khrushchev (fire them, shot them, leave them a loaded pistol and a bottle of vodka, etc.)
Against the AI so far all I've done is send a skirmish line of Divisions through it until I meet Soviets, usually about 2-3 hexes east of where you are now. From there I just go on the defensive, keeping just enough in the marshes to prevent any serious AI advance while hitting Kiev & the Mogliev delta areas hard North & South of it. The AI is adverse to impending encirclement, so at this point it will usually start withdrawing of its own accord.
I almost always rush at least one motorized division on turns 2 & 3 all the way through the marsh to the bridge at Gomel, to prevent exactly this sort of situation. Sometimes I send the entire 2nd PzG through the marshes to Gomel, from which they can either strike north to take the Dniepr crossings from behind, or head straight to Smolensk, or reassign to AGS and grab Kiev on the cheap from the North. But now that the Soviets are in the marshes in force, you have little choice but to try and establish a continuous screen of infantry. Then, as Steve says, surround the marshes by a thrust south from Mogilev and north from Kiev. You'll force him to pull back, or if you do it well you could surround and bag 30 divisions. I can't see the full strategic situation, but looks like you need to pull 6th Army well back to form a continuous line, linking up with 2nd Army in AGC and further to 4th Army. Get 2nd PzG out of there - they have no business messing around in the swamps! Get those guys across the Dniepr. Your HQ should be up with the panzers. And in the south, focus on Kiev and drive north from there.
Turn 1 breakthrough, turn 2 halfway into the marsh, turn 3 take Gomel and beyond. On this schedule, the most the Reds can do is put a minor garrison in Gomel, but that's only an annoyance. There's no chance of getting any other troops there in time. The strategy has pros and cons. It uses a lot of fuel, and probably delays capture of Minsk by at least a turn. On the other hand it facilitates easy capture of mogilev crossings, or if you like allows capture of Kiev really early.