Spending Soviet AP in 1942: CapandGown mirror match (Full Version)

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JoeLewis -> Spending Soviet AP in 1942: CapandGown mirror match (5/26/2021 11:07:04 PM)

I wanted to try a shorter AAR that addressed my thoughts on the CapandGown (German) vs. Bitburger (Soviet)game. I slid in for Bitburger as the Soviet commander in June 1942 and I had a lot of questions about his excellent position in the game. This AAR is not a criticism in any way, but I just had a lot of questions so I will post some screenshots and talk about my thoughts on command and control, AP spending, and 1942 in general. I will keep this AAR about 5 turns behind where the game is right now.

JoeLewis -> RE: Thoughts on Soviet Organization in 1942: The Soviet Side of CapandGown's German mirror match (5/26/2021 11:12:18 PM)

Army at Max Toe for now – may need some modification going forward. 6.6 million men and 10,000 tanks. Oh!

TOE Balance at -36,400


JoeLewis -> RE: Thoughts on Soviet Organization in 1942: The Soviet Side of CapandGown's German mirror match (5/26/2021 11:14:59 PM)

Huge pools of reserves
400,000 manpower
1,000,000 armaments
3,500 T-34s

But major issue is to enter the spring of 1942 w/ 0 reserved rail for troops AND Moscow not evacuated!

Only 5,000 rail for troops in the spring! Is there a reason for this approach? Does 0% reserved rail increase supply to troops in addition to better rail for evacuation? I think that by June 1942 you need rail at 10-30% so you can rapidly respond to any German offensive.


JoeLewis -> RE: Thoughts on Soviet Organization in 1942: The Soviet Side of CapandGown's German mirror match (5/26/2021 11:15:47 PM)

More production numbers


JoeLewis -> Units assigned to STAVKA (5/26/2021 11:31:11 PM)

The next three images show the number of units assigned to STAVKA. In short, you have very few brigades but a lot of corps and divisions assigned to STAVKA. I think part of the issue is that all the armies and fronts are at max command. However, the large number of tank corps assigned to STAVKA were a real problem for me.

Here are some numbers:
26 corps assigned to STAVKA (20 of which were tank corps) - 20 tank corps not assigned to tank armies (which take a few turns to get operational and cost 25 AP each) are really poor for fighting. Would that 400 AP for those tank corps be better used for rifle corps? The Army needs 7 tank army HQs in total.

77 tank brigades and 75 tank battalions - most tank brigades assigned directly to individual armies for reserve combat. Each cavalry corps has 3 tank battalions per. Too much armor?

Only 25 infantry brigades in total. Usually you see hundreds of tank brigades assigned to STAVKA. not sure if Bitburger merged brigades into divisions or disbanded them. Like I said, his approach is clearly excellent with the numbers of soldiers he has. However, the lack of rifle brigades makes forming corps difficult. A three-division rifle corps is not as efficient because it goes way over the TOE of a regular rifle corps. Isn't the 2 division +1 brigade model more efficient?


JoeLewis -> RE: Units assigned to STAVKA (5/26/2021 11:32:29 PM)

A lot of rifle divisions assigned directly to STAVKA. However, these units make useful replacements!


JoeLewis -> RE: Units assigned to STAVKA (5/26/2021 11:33:43 PM)

Very few brigades available to STAVKA for potential rifle corps assignment. Assigning rifle brigades to field armies also limits the flexibility of where you form rifle corps, but does increase your reserve capabilities.


JoeLewis -> Start of Turn 54 (5/26/2021 11:37:08 PM)

i took over this game at the start of Soviet Turn 54 after several major German encirclements. Here are my thoughts on the initial dispositions. Bitburger had some excellent fortifications throughout, mostly level 3 w/ plenty of in-depth defenses.

Northern Command has a lot of units on the Finnish frontier. Some players may consider it gamey to build fortifications here to free up divisions and brigades. I don't. The Germans have plenty of fuel in 1942, which is ahistorical as it is. Also, version 1.12.06 has a bad armor fuel bug that can provide German mech divisions unlimited fuel. So I didn't feel bad about building forts here, esp. considering it costs a lot of AP.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/26/2021 11:39:30 PM)

Bitburger's defenses were too strong in a few areas. You will see how I make the decision early on to transfer 1 x field army from the three northern fronts which were clearly not in any danger of a sudden German attack. Of course that meant thinning these lines, but I figured the bad terrain gave me plenty of reaction time in case the Germans suddenly made a major northern push, which is usually unlikely in 1942 (unless you are playing gmtello who destroyed a lot of my northern units in another game!).


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/26/2021 11:43:10 PM)

Another picture of Bitburger's excellent defenses. My only gripe was the lack of available rail. With only 5,000 rail this turn I was limited in how many reinforcements I could send this direction. CapandGown clearly put all his effort into this area for most of the early summer turns.

The other issue is the limited strength of those 20 tank corps. Those units were assigned to Front commands early on to beef up their CV numbers since all the armies were at full strength. There was only so much I could do until Turn 55 when Tank Army HQs could be built.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/26/2021 11:47:59 PM)

Where is the cavalry? You found it ... at Stalingrad! There are some strong secondary and tertiary defenses here between the Donets and Volga Rivers. However, are those defenses a waste of mobile reserves if the Germans put most of their effort somewhere else? If anything, keeping the cavalry corps on rails would allow you to respond more effectively. I also like to keep the cavalry corps west of major rivers to preserve their MPs for counterattacks. That may sound crazy to some, but cavalry is not there to dig in 1942.

Southern Front is also very vulnerable here and - eventually - gets almost completely encircled in a later turn.

DON'T DEFEND STALINO! The Stalino defenses are clearly a bad idea as I have learned from painful experiences. Too easy for one armor penetration to reach the Sea of Azov, as redrum pointed out to me.

Looks like only one panzer army down here at max so a lot of the cavalry has to move north to plug in the gap by Moscow. Is it too gamey to build defenses this far in the rear over the winter?


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/26/2021 11:50:07 PM)

Overall, I was very excited to take over from Bitburger, who was clearly a tank officer in another life (or perhaps this one). Even taking over with a few encircled units is not a big deal considering the massive fortifications and manpower/production reserves available. 1942 is all about surviving as much as possible while keeping the big cities (Stalingrad, Moscow, Leningrad) in your hands.

Bitburger -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/27/2021 1:29:38 AM)

Hi, and good luck in the game. The germans are going to run amok in the summer and i wasn't planning to even try to stop them until the fall. The tanks and cavalry are well back to keep them safe and trained up and are easily detached from stavka piecemeal if needed. The infantry brigades were all merged to strengthen divisions and you have enough new divisions now to build corps using three divisions. Sure they form overstrength, but that's a good problem. As you say the army is huge, with a half million men pool, so i wasn't concerned about stalino. Sacrificing those troops there for even a couple of weeks delay means maybe the germans fall a week or two critically out of weather unable to achieve victory,and no quality troops were in the pocket anyways. The high tank numbers were achieved by building about 75 tank brigades, which were intended for quickly merging with the 24 tank corps as they take heavy losses if you commit them in summer 42.

Bitburger -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/27/2021 5:05:21 AM)

So you are entering summer 42 holding Leningrad, Moskow, Rostov, and recently suffering a few setbacks much like in real war. Both sides are much bigger than historical though. You can afford heavy manpower losses, and it won't be german losses that stop the germans in this drive either.
Leningrad is indeed overdefended, but in a month you will be sure you have deterred him and you will then hold Leningrad for rest of game. Those units on Finnish side are there to gain experience and be quick reinforcements if needed, fortified zones won't do that for you.
Moskow is heavily defended, you have lot's of time to evacuate the remaining industry if needed, why waste the downtime on production unless it's needed? No reserve rail seems to help supply the large army. He's hitting hard in the center, but a right hook around city without a left hook is unlikely to succeed.
He's going hard to drive deep in the center, keep your quality units intact, ready to defend your stop lines, and you'll survive 42. Victory is pretty tough without leningrad and moskow, no matter how many vp they pick up in the deep center.
Come 43, you'll be happy the germans are so far extended.

JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 54 (5/27/2021 7:34:23 PM)

Bitburger, thanks for all your suggestions! Like I said, I am just offering up my ideas on the current situation, and am nowhere near the quality of player you are.

The 7th Independent Army divisions were still at 35 morale so I have been walking them from the Finnish border due to the lack of rail while replacing them with forts. They gain morale a lot faster as long as you keep them 10 hexes away from the front and on rail lines.

JoeLewis -> End of Turn 54 (5/28/2021 4:21:56 PM)

How I chose to spend my 60 AP. I know some players may think it sacrilege to build anything but rifle corps in 1942. Anyways:

25 AP for 1 Tank Army HQ. I felt the large number of tank corps warranted this measure.

8 AP on new air formations (4 fighters/ 4 tac bombers). There are only 3 VVS bases at Moscow so I will spend some effort on them in this year. I think that VVS bases and partisans are still very useful the longer the war goes on esp. as the Soviets start counterattacking more.

15 AP on Reserved Rail to bring it up from 0.

12 AP on 3 Finnish fortifications (set at 35% TOE) to free up 7th Independent Army for redeployment

JoeLewis -> RE: End of Turn 54 (5/28/2021 4:24:12 PM)

Excellent fortifications from Leningrad down to Rzhev. All factories already evacuated. No panzers in that area and denuded German front lines. That means that 3 armies from Volkhov, Northwest, and Leningrad Fronts can make their way southeast. They have to walk of course because of the lack of available rail.


JoeLewis -> RE: End of Turn 54 (5/28/2021 4:27:21 PM)

My guess on the German most likely course of action: CapandGown wants to extend the Moscow defenses east before making the real attack north. He wants me to diver reinforcements and digging time against his spearhead, then he will be able to do a few HQBUs and bring in his southern panzers north for the real push on a denuded Moscow line. 2nd Option: go to Murom and sever the eastern Moscow rail lines …. Because Moscow’s factories have not been evacuated even though we are sitting at 130,000 factory rail!

Two new formations formed with the Moscow MD and Moscow Defensive Zone Headquarters. These are not ideal for this command structure, but the Soviets are out of army headquarters.

4 fronts and 2 MDs are now fighting this main German thrust, and all of Voronezh Front’s four shock armies (full of cavalry corps) is moving overland to Tambov. There are also 5 Guards Rifle corps in the Moscow defenses that have moved east to give them some more operating space. I think this defense is good enough to counterattack any blows with Guards Rifle Corps in the north and the shock cavalry armies to the southeast.
A lot of air HQs transferred here to start bombing the German Air Force more often. All national reserve planes put into the front lines. It is time for war. You can earn morale through combat not sitting in Moscow drinking Vodka.


JoeLewis -> RE: End of Turn 54 (5/28/2021 4:29:40 PM)

Ok, I have a lot of thoughts about this area:

1) the 2 destroyed Caucasus armies will return for free and can be sent to areas like Stalingrad or even Moscow to rebuild experience and morale.

2) only one major panzer formation looks like 1 Panzer Army committed to this area just for a temporary pocket. I imagine once the infantry front lines meet, this panzer army will do another major attack or move north.

3) very poor rail in this area and not a lot of maneuverability. I doubt the Germans will drive southeast far from their other major spearhead. Give them a few turns to reduce the pocket and gobble up the terrain. Then withdraw again.

However, just in case I am wrong and there is more of a danger here, I have left 4 guards divisions, 1 guards corps, and 4 tank corps for now.


JoeLewis -> Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:44:21 PM)

Start of Turn 55
60 AP Total Spending
-25 for another Tank Army HQ
-10 for increasing reserved rail for troop movement
-8 for new squadrons
-1 for an airbase - we don't have any staging bases
-16 for 4 forts on the Finnish border
-2 for division transfer to another HQ
-3 for support units for future rifle corps: 1 x flamethrower tank, 1 x MG Artillery, and 1 x Ski Battalion

No rifle corps have been built yet two weeks into taking over this game. I wonder if that is a mistake?

JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:45:30 PM)

453k casualties mainly come from the large pocket last turn around Stalino.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:46:50 PM)

Wider view of the defenses. Two scratch armies formed under Moscow MD and Moscow Defensive Zone due to lack of available Army HQs. The transferred armies – one from NW, Leningrad, and Volkhov Fronts – are making their way down but only one could be railed into position. Cavalry Corps and Tank Corps stationed to the east w/ Guards Rifle Corps to the North for digging and for the main future line of defense.

Moscow factories all railed out.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:50:06 PM)

Asking for trouble by defending between Tambov and Lipetsk here.

Cavalry Armies will build tertiary lines on the Moksha and Vorona Rivers for fall back positions. Tank Corps will fall in behind them since they are useless when assigned to STAVKA. They are awaiting a tank army HQ.

Far too many tanks in this game. Two tank brigades per army AND 20 tank corps. Plus, each cavalry corps has 3 tank battalions per. That is both ahistorical and makes your army too heavy on your vehicle drain.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:52:35 PM)

I pulled back the Southwestern Front, but as it turns out next turn, I left the Southern Front too far exposed. I didn't think there was enough armor close enough to pose a serious danger ... but I was wrong!

The need to constantly pull back makes me wonder about the utility of building prepared defenses too far in the rear. It is tough to balance keeping units in the front and units digging in the rear, especially since newly rebuilt divisions with low morale and experience usually suck at construction.


JoeLewis -> RE: Start of Turn 55 (6/1/2021 1:53:15 PM)

3 more infantry divisions surrounded in the Donets Basin. Can’t help it. However, I am a fan of the light screen 1-2 hexes in front of a river position. These position are very hard to encircle and eat up a lot of MP while covering your digging positions on the eastern side of the river.

You see that the Don – Volga fortifications to the east don’t always decay all the time.


JoeLewis -> Turn 56 (6/3/2021 5:09:17 PM)

Start of Turn 56
-The Germans continued to focus on one major spearhead for at least one more turn.

AP Spending:
20 for 1 x Rifle Guards Corps
25 for 1 x Tank Army HQ
1 for airbase
2 for reassignment
4 for a Finnish fort
8 for new plane squadrons - mainly fighters and transports, since there is a shortage of IL-2 bombers. Apparently, CapandGown captured Voronezh's plane factories from Bitburger back in 1941.

JoeLewis -> RE: Turn 56 (6/3/2021 5:10:30 PM)

Casualties remain heavy due to elimination of pockets from the previous turn. Now the entire army is out of pockets! Any time you can spend 1-2 turns out of major encirclements is a win for the Soviets, esp. in 1942 where losing guards divisions and rifle corps can really hurt you as you try rebuilding your army.


JoeLewis -> RE: Turn 56 (6/3/2021 5:13:19 PM)

Lots of recon but the front lines remain solid and it doesn’t look like my opponent has noticed (or perhaps he did notice and expected it) that three full field armies have moved southeast of Moscow.

More rifle divisions are pulled from Finland and sent to Murom east of Moscow. I like to walk divisions that are under 45 morale for Soviet national morale and keep them on REFIT so they gain better morale and experience walking on the rail.

It is not until Turn 63 that CapandGown tries a major offensive in the northern area. Is it a mistake for the Germans to focus too much on one massive spearhead?


JoeLewis -> RE: Turn 56 (6/3/2021 5:15:06 PM)

Look at how many casualties it takes when a panzer division is in the lead of an attack. They lose 470 men, 9 guns, and 8 AFVs as well as time and space. I lose 470 men and 16 guns. The Soviets will always win this kind of war because your weaker divisions are draining the MPs and manpower of the Germans’ best units. In the meantime, you bide your time with rifle, cavalry, and tank corps in the rear. It is July 1942 – you are not ready for an open plain battle with the Germans, and any sort of concentration like that will just get more of your best units encircled. You can afford to retreat a long way still. I will be more aggressive once or if we reach the Volga River, by which point the German flanks will be very badly stretched. They do not have enough infantry to adequately man their entire lines this way nor push the spearhead forward.

BTW the Soviets did the same thing in 1942 in real life once Case Blue started. The strength of the German spearhead – with just 2 tank armies, mind you – reached all the way to Grozny and Stalingrad while the Soviets pulled back and bided their time. Granted, they did launch a major attack in the north with Operation Mars, but right now I am content to just wait out the "summer Germans."


JoeLewis -> RE: Turn 56 (6/3/2021 5:17:28 PM)

Stalingrad Front (green) evacuates the Tambov defenses. These men have abandoned a lot of defenses and towns without a fight, but so what? We control Rostov, Moscow, and Leningrad still so manpower is not a worry right now. In addition, we have avoided big pockets two turns in a row, kept the panzers in front of us, and have 5-6 lines of defenses north and east. South is more vulnerable so it is evacuated.

3 x tank corps and 3 tank brigades move north to join 1st Tank Army, which becomes available next turn. 3 new rifle divisions arrive and are on the banks of the Volga River.

I also formed a new army w/ my rifle guards corps in the north. The rear areas are manned by the three new field armies from Northwest, Leningrad, and Volkhov Fronts. In addition, Western and Kalinin Fronts both have extended east w/ armies. I would be worried about stretching so far out if I wasn’t confident in my defenses in the center.

Overall, I was very happy with this turn. 1942 feels so much more painful than 1941 because your army is getting stronger but just isn't there quite yet so you have to let the Germans control much of the initiative. The fact that CapandGown's army is at 4 million strong w/ 5,000+ tanks is another reason for much of my caution.


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