Sometime, I attack the same city hex 6 or 7 time in the same turn.
Squatter attacked Demidov about 5 or so times this turn. Guess what: it fell.
Well playing against Talos might not be the best debut for your new Soviet strategy. Talos is pretty good I think.
Talos is one of the best players out there, which is one of the reasons why I want to try my new strategy against him. I might ask him to play an edited version of the scenario though, as I'm already kind of tired of some of the minor or more significant shortcomings of the stock version.
I also want to play against him because of how silly our tournament game for Kharkov was. Seeing almost the entire group Bobkin, Soviet 6th Army and the Tank Corps sit outside a hedgehogged stack in Lannaya (held by something like 2 regiments and 2 battalions), failing to take it because my artillery failed or my rolls and artillery failed, was one of the worst moments in my gaming history I've ever experienced and it left me with a bitter feeling towards how dice rolls can utterly screw up a game.
Did any of you play the first AtD? Strategy is the same - this is a fighting withdrawal for the Russians. The first 15 turns are about delaying, holding a line here or there for a turn or two, counterattacking here and there to slow him down. The last 5 turns are about standing your ground with the army you've conserved in the first 15.
I feel I'm going to be disagreeing with you a lot.
It isn't remotely the same as the original ATD, mostly because the AO's give the Soviets severe problems and because good rolls by the Axis (such as by you in our game) can blow every Soviet defence away in a single turn. In the original ATD, the Germans should be happy with a *-D2 roll, here that's basically the minimum.
The Germans had 36 infantry divisions, 6 motorised infantry divisions, 9 Panzer divisions, 1 cavalry division, 20 artillery units and 25 independent combat units in the original
In this version they have the same amount of divisions, but 121 artillery units (all of which can fire independently) and 33 independent combat units. Most of the German units come back, which essentially doubles their combat units and gives the Germans 100+ divisions. The German units tend to be more powerful than the units in the original version too, and they have more bullets which is also very important.
Due to the generous tactical shifts the Germans get, a 1 step unit isn't necessarily weaker than a 4 step unit in an attack.
1. Where possible screen your line with a line of attachments.
True, but those don't help against tank shock and the Germans will still at least be able to get 5-1 odds.
2. Where you can't hold the opponent, don't feed him your units piecemeal - get out of there. Blow bridges and drop detachments, live to fight another day.
With 18 OP's (and much less for artillery) and the AO's "getting out of there" often isn't an option.
3. Keep a flak carpet behind your lines to minimise interdiction.
There are not enough AA units for that and keeping them behind the lines means giving the German artillery target practice. They need to be at the frontline to make sure the Germans need to roll at least a 4 on air strikes. I'd also say that, due to the new interdiction system where they don't interdict roads but everything, interdiction will be mostly used at the frontline. I don't recall a single instance in our game thus far where you placed significant interdiction in my rear echelons, at least not an instance where that actually slowed me down.
4. When you need to hold a line, make it a double line.
That's usually not possible and it doesn't help if the Germans concentrate at one point. It's a good strategy if the Germans spread out, like Roger did in the official AAR and you're doing in our game, but if the Germans concentrate, everything in the area will die.
5. Preserve a core of armour, motorized infantry, cavalry alive for the end game. Especially T34 units, elite tank regiments, and elite cavalry. These will come in handy. As will full strength T-26 (I thnk) regiments which have a +2 tank shock value when full strength.
That's a good idea, although the cavalry could at first be used to disrupt supply or capture unprotected objectives. Their death doesn't matter much: they come back and when they come back, you also have a unit you can sacrifice if a unit needs to die, as the second time the Germans won't get any points.
6. Defend key marsh areas - leave suicide units in them to slow the advance.
There are only two marsh areas the Germans can't really go around: in the North between Velizh and Rzhev and Southeast of Smolensk, the rest of the marsh areas are not strategically significant on the long term.
If units are about to be pocketed, you should try to place them in marsh areas so the Germans have to root them out the hard way, but aside from that there are few significant marsh areas.
7. A tip for a counterattack: if you won't be able to return most if not all of your counterattacking forces to friendly terrain where they can be dug back in, don't go for the counterattack. There are exceptions, but this is a good general rule.
That really depends on what you can kill and if a counterattack would stop the momentum in a certain area. A single German regiment is worth more than an entire Soviet division, so if you can kill several German units for the loss of 10 or so units, that might be a good trade. It does depend on how many units you have left.
8. Russian cavalry are superhuman, capable of immense (and imo unrealistic) penetration of enemy front, and recon. Don't throw them away. Use them in concert with armour to mount serious counterattacks.
50 OP's isn't unrealistic, that's 200 kilometres a day at most, which is possible in a trot or lope with relative ease. I'm more worried about German infantry being able to walk 80+ kilometres each day than cavalry moving at 200 kilometres a day at most.
Soviet armour has 30 OP's, so they can't really be used in concert with cavalry in deep penetrations. If the Soviet armour would have more realistic OP's, especially the BT series, it would certainly be a valid strategy, but currently it's difficult to pull off.
9. Never blame the dice. If you've put yourself in a situation where the dice determine whether you win or lose, you're strategy was a failure.
This is the part where we'll disagree most. In our game, you get a consistent rate of double dice odds with overruns and often no losses rolls. In the last turn, when you retook Mogilev, you had 50% chance to overrun my forces and 50% chance to force a retreat. You got both and after that you succeeded at a retreat roll where you needed a 6. The way you got into Orsha was similar and the fight over Demidov was the first instance where being in a city hex actually helped a bit.
Sorry, but there's absolutely nothing I can do against such rolls or against your series of *-D2 or *-D3 rolls which often instantly kill a Rifle Division. Luck/good dice rolls are just as important as strategy.
We could take a bet and start an unsecure game where you'll try a turn over long enough until you don't get any overrun rolls or good retreat rolls and see whether you can manage to get to your current point of advance. I guarantee you that you won't. I prefer skill over luck, but luck is always a factor.
Some of the turns you send me back leave me in something of a state of shock for a while. You're really getting good rolls on many attacks, often no-loss rolls which make the game easier for you and far more difficult for me. Heck, when you get double dice odds, 8/10 times one of your rolls guarantees you get an overrun. On the other hand, my combat average is 3.23 after a few attacks on turn 11.
Due to how most combat mechanics work in favour of the Germans in this scenario (tank shock, tactical shifts, artillery, air strikes) good rolls can make any defensive line crumble.
< Message edited by ComradeP -- 4/29/2010 2:37:34 PM >