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RE: Turn 11 - 1/27/2011 5:14:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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XXXXVIII Panzer corps commander Kempf has been promoted to Generaloberst.

notenome made 7 attacks, 6 of which worked, 3 of which solely worked due to the odds modifier (that's important to note, in my opinion, as a good attack doesn't require the odds modifier to work and attack that work solely due to the odds modifier are in my opinion not attacks that the Soviets deserve credit for).

The critical attack, that against Wiking and a few Panzer corps HQ's worked solely due to the odds modifier, and only barely (1.3>2.3).

As soon as my level of frustration at the system crippling the Axis to a significant extent (mobile units attacks barely inflict damage, the Luftwaffe is incompetent, Soviet counterattacks are easier than they should be), I'll play the turn.

I have the feeling the 1941 campaign will turn into a train wreck, but it seems that might be necessary before some things are changed. Some of the testers are only just discovering how difficult playing as the Axis is, even though I've been posting about that for several weeks, and others have done so too on the public forum.

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RE: Turn 9 - 1/27/2011 5:19:58 PM   
Schmauser

 

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Question for you ComradeP.

Do you normally play Soviet?

The reason I ask is that your attack style looks like how the Soviets need to attack the Germans and not the way the Germans should be attacking the Soviets in 41.

Just my opinion (which is worth nothing), but your attacks lack infantry support because you are using too many of them to hold quiet sectors of the line. In those sectors I would break down an ID to regiments and put them in alternate hexes. Even a talented opponent will be hesitant to attack into a pocket and a German regiment is a fierce defender. This would give a divisional frontage of 5-7 hexes (depending how you count them) and give you extra divisons to break the line, push the shoulders and ultimately use more of the infantry to maintain more of the front side of the pocket. This will enable deeper penetrations and push his infantry off his forts. It will also give you higher CV's to break the line which will rout more units.


You can then recombine the regiments for pocket mop up so that the leading echelon can resupply and push the advance.


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Post #: 152
RE: Turn 9 - 1/27/2011 6:16:01 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I indeed normally play as the Soviets, which is also exactly why I try to keep strong units/stacks wherever I can, especially with the kind of cheesy results the Soviet +1 odds modifier can give.

The only area I see where there's probably too much infantry is in the Pripyat marshes, where there are currently 3 divisions. That could be thinned out. All in all, the 12 divisions between Pripyat and Cherkassy are probably keeping at least 3 times as many Soviet divisions busy, which is a fine ratio in my opinion. If I'd split the divisions around Kiev up, the Soviets would attack to Zhitomir. The fact that some of their divisions might in the end be pocketed is irrelevant to them, as they'd tie up substantial forces needed to contain and then annihilate the breakthrough.

notenome's counterattacks have, until his turn 11, been entirely underwhelming. 2 working counterattacks in 10 turns is minimal for the Soviets, 8 in 11 turns still isn't good.

There's also the problem that a quiet sector to me might not be a quiet sector to him. If he sees I'm thinning my line near Kiev, the only real quiet sector together with the Pripyat marshes, he can easily rail another army in and take advantage of that. Given my current dispositions and damaged rail lines, it's much more difficult for me to move defenders in then it is for him to move attackers in. The concept of interior lines requires functional strategic movement capabilities.

Amongst the wargames I've played, WitE is probably the most generous to the Soviets in 1941.

Comparing it to, say, SSG titles: in ATD2 you can fairly easily destroy the cohesion of a Rifle corps with a Panzer corps in a couple of days by killing its steps and thus the units. In WitE, the best you can do in a week is inflict about 4000 casualties on 3 Rifle divisions with a deliberate attack. The difference is substantial. Axis mobile units really lack any real kind of punch, as the high CV's on their counters currently significantly overrate their performance in battle.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/27/2011 7:00:53 PM >


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RE: Turn 9 - 1/27/2011 6:52:43 PM   
Schmauser

 

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Thanks and I agree with you on WITE being a little generous.

Perhaps after a few more AI games I'll crawl out of my hole into the world of MP.

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Post #: 154
RE: Turn 9 - 1/28/2011 7:14:44 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The turn turned into a lesser disaster than I had initially feared. 19 divisions were pocketed, with a further 17 being isolated for the moment and being "probables" for being properly pocketed at a later point.

I'm still not really getting anywhere, but at least I might finely destroy a turn's worth of Soviet reinforcements again, for the first time since turn 2.

I have little doubt that notenome, with an without assistance from the odds modifier, will be able to make some counterattacks, but at least I'm getting somewhere in the south now. The delay has been substantial, though.

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Post #: 155
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:16:06 PM   
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In the AGN area, notenome pulled back for no clear reason. His withdrawals in the AGN area are mostly completely unnecessary and mystify me. They make my advance a lot more comfortable than I had expected.

I'll create a buffer between the Soviets and Pskov.

The infantry division north of the security regiment will probably be isolated, maybe even routed, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.




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< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/28/2011 7:17:06 PM >


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Post #: 156
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:19:14 PM   
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Limited successes in the AGC area, which could've been better if notenome had been even slightly less lucky with his attack on Wiking which isolated my mobile units. Two groups of units have been isolated, but their supply can be restored easily. They won't be going anywhere, though.

Three rail lines have been cut.




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< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/28/2011 7:21:49 PM >


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Post #: 157
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:21:04 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Quiet sector.






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Post #: 158
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:23:05 PM   
ComradeP

 

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AGS's infantry mostly widened the bridgehead again, at a cost. The mobile units made some very welcome progress.

The units on the coast are probably doomed, he might be able to restore supply to the others.




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Post #: 159
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:24:57 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The Crimea. I don't intend to try and capture the place, much too late for that. I'll create a buffer and dig in at the exit hexes.






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Post #: 160
RE: Turn 12 - 1/28/2011 7:28:08 PM   
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Losses were steep again: 44k. I lost 6 attacks.

I didn't really use my air force for ground support before, but I'm doing so now. I'm considering whether it might be an idea to just drop fuel on the units at the start of the turn, so the bombers can fly ground support missions. I switched ground support off before because otherwise the bombers would not be able to supply my spearheads.






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< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/28/2011 7:29:25 PM >


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RE: Turn 12 - 1/29/2011 3:50:33 PM   
ComradeP

 

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With the mud turns coming closer and it being rather doubtful that I'll be able to manage to link up AGS and AGC mobile forces, I have to make some difficult decisions.

For starters, my frontline is currently way too long due to the Kiev bulge, so something has to be done about that. A possibility is a "small solution" with a limited encirclement. The main problem with that is that the area north of Kiev is full of swamp hexes which, even with the difficult terrain issue that was recently discovered and fixed (and which came much too late to help me out and which will help notenome more than me at this point), so that encircling it with a smaller encirclement is problematic.

With the limited means available, there was in the previous turns not too much I could do about my opponent's Sir Robin to the Dnepr. At this point, I'd say it's a strategy that's difficult to counter, although I'd still say it's an inefficient strategy for the Soviets. Forward defence is in my opinion the best strategy for the Soviets.

I stand by my earlier statement that the system (terrain and Axis limitations) is causing me more harm than notenome's defence. He has made fairly few counterattacks and has given me most of the initiative, he has also staged some completely unnecessary withdrawals in the AGN area a number of times.

My current strategic position is, quite simply, awful in the south in some ways. On the other hand, any blizzard offensive in the Ukraine would probably not reach my rail lines and will just lead to a longer frontline for both of us, which still favours the Axis as they should be able to create some good pockets in 1942.

Oddly enough, the Soviets attacks that I faced last turn caused more losses than an average attack made by me on a division that doesn't rout as a result of the attack. It's a rarity that the Soviets take 2000 losses per division. Even if an entire stack routs, losses tend to be around 5000-5500, which is low for the Soviets.

Knowing how tough the Soviets can be in 1942, long term prospects are grim.

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RE: Turn 12 - 1/29/2011 9:37:42 PM   
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I am little surprised you haven't taken better advantage of your experience at the game ( being a tester ) vs his newness.

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RE: Turn 12 - 1/30/2011 12:49:33 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I might win a contest of skill, but there are some things I can't counter, because they're more related to the system than the opponent's skill.

The main examples would be his early swamp defence, where minimal forces stopped AGN cold for a moment, and his defence of the Dnepr where due to the serious MP penalties imposed on crossing major rivers in ZOC, combined with the lack of offensive strength of my mobile units, bridgeheads developed only slowly.

Another important thing is that the units I rout are in many cases combat ready or at least in a somewhat decent shape in the Soviet part of the turn, so I'm attacking the same divisions over, and over, and over. Only 1 of his divisions has shattered thus far.

The last thing might be the most critical: you just can't put the hurt on the Soviets as their routed units restore combat effectiveness on the Soviet part of the turn you rout them, and their losses are generally low.

In my opinion, it's at the moment very difficult to counter the defensive tricks the Soviets can use, even when there's a significant difference in skill. Still, notenome has made some beginner mistakes that he probably won't make the next time.

If I can stop a tester who has mostly played earlier versions in 2 turns as the Soviets, I'm not surprised at all that notenome is significantly slowing me down at this point.

The time when skill will matter more than the system is when he's attacking later on, so I'm hoping my experience will help me then.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/30/2011 12:50:11 PM >


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RE: Turn 12 - 1/30/2011 1:35:48 PM   
ComradeP

 

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XXXXVI Panzer corps commander Model was promoted again, this time to Generaloberst.

notenome made two attacks, one which was held and one of the kind that, to put it euphemistically, I'm not amused by due to how cheesy the result is.

The attack only works due to the odd modifier, losses are close to 1:1, and even though these are some of my best units, they can't generally cause over 3000 losses in an attack when they would be attacking.

Defending and attacking are in my opinion just too easy for the Soviets currently.




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< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/30/2011 1:36:13 PM >


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RE: Turn 12 - 1/30/2011 4:14:25 PM   
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Appologies if I'm out of line for asking a couple questions in your AAR thread, but you were commenting on the game systems and how they resolve attacks so hopefully it won't be too annoying.  It seems a bit questionable having the Soviets making a coordinated attack with 8 divisions at this stage of the war without the attacks at least going in piecemeal, which had a lot to do with the success of the strongpoint system the Germans used later on in the subsequent winter but more to the immediate point -

Since the attack above was made in clear terrain and weather, with both sides having 100% command modifiers, what modifiers result in the Soviets getting nearly a 50% boost in effective strength, and the loss of effective combat value for the Germans?  All I can think of is the air contribution, and although the combat is some sort of abstraction of the action, seven light bombers showing up doesn't seem all that much in a battle that size given the era we are considering.  The modifications are significant since the starting strength ratio is 167/193 = 0.85 : 1 and the modified ratio is 235/169 = 1.34 : 1.

And second, the resolution section of the screenshot indicates "Odds 2.3 : 1"  Since 235/169 = 1.34, I'm wondering what that 2.3 :1 represents.  It seems likely that it is this higher ratio that accounts for the retreat result since it is more generally in line with the old rule of thumb that given the advantages of defensive combat, an attacker wants a roughly 3 : 1 effective force ratio to achieve a good success rate.  The difference in the strength ratios (2.3 vs 1.34) is roughly the equivalent of the 169 modified combat strength of the German force.  What does this additional Soviet combat strength above and beyond the roughly 50% modified strength gain noted above for the 8 divisions represent?

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RE: Turn 12 - 1/30/2011 4:26:34 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The Soviets get a +1 on their odds if their final modified CV value is at least 1:1 compared to the Axis one.

Initially, I was told that both sides use the same modifiers for determining CV increases. However, it seems that is not the case as recently, after mentioning that Soviet modified CV's tend to get much better modified values as the Axis, I was told that the Soviet modifiers have a higher variability.

I'm still waiting on an explanation of what's causing that variability, as it has a significant effect on the game as the Soviet CV's tend to improve more than mine during combat.

I also don't know why my air force didn't really show up. The stack was right next to a couple of air bases, ground support was set to 200% and it was toggled on.

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Post #: 167
RE: Turn 12 - 2/1/2011 12:57:46 PM   
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Turn 13 was a fairly decent turn. I pocketed 31 divisions and mopped up a pocket in the south.

notenome already mentioned that he mentioned to force the 13 CV Panzer division to retreat, so the pocket is open and I've essentially lost another turn. It's somewhat surprising, as it could only be attacked from one good hexside (clear to the northeast, minor river to the east and pocketed forces to the southwest). If it's solely due to the odds modifier or some odd CV modification again, I'd be REALLY not amused, as it would be the second time the odds modifier cost me a turn worth of progress in the center.

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Post #: 168
RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:01:45 PM   
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AGN moved forwards a bit more. They won't go much further, the buffer is sufficient against the blizzard.






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RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:03:41 PM   
ComradeP

 

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AGC made a nice pocket, that has been broken on notenome's part of the turn as already mentioned.

I find the ease with which he can break isolation with even his 1-2 CV forces somewhat surprising, to me it just reaffirms my belief that the Soviets get a too easy time in 1941 due to their ahistorically powerful offensive capabilities.






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RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:04:51 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Quiet sector.






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RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:07:06 PM   
ComradeP

 

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AGS moved forwards a bit. I thought I might be able to link up AGC and AGS at some point, but as the pocket in the AGC area can't be cleaned up in one turn, that plan will have to wait.




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Post #: 172
RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:11:05 PM   
ComradeP

 

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In the Crimea, I'm hardly facing any resistance. The forts in Sevastopol and the surrounding two hexes are probably level 5 by now, but we'll see.




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Post #: 173
RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 1:24:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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4 attacks were held, most barely (which also increases my frustration about the odds modifier, as Axis attacks between 1:1 and 2:1 fail without any variability).

Losses were fairly high again.

A Rifle brigade and a Tank brigade shattered after being attacked.




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< Message edited by ComradeP -- 2/1/2011 1:26:23 PM >


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RE: Turn 13 - 2/1/2011 6:15:26 PM   
ComradeP

 

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notenome made 11 attacks, 3 of which worked. One had a 4x higher modified CV than initial CV and the second a 3x higher value. My own CV increases were at best 1.5x initial CV.

I've asked for clarification on this on the tester forum, as this is now happening too often to be coincidental. The +1 odds bonus is bad enough without highly inflated CV's that I can't possibly seem to counter.

Mountain Romanian Corps commander Avramescu is a "Generalleutnant" now.

17th Army's commander Von Stulpnagel's infantry rating improved to 6.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 2/1/2011 6:18:21 PM >


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Post #: 175
RE: Turn 13 - 2/7/2011 11:01:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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After some testing for the next beta, and quite literally forcing myself back into playing WitE after my enjoyment dropped through the floor, Axis turn 14 has been completed.

As my advance thus far has, in many ways, been an exercise in futility, I have little doubt my opponent won't break out most of his isolated units through some miracle CV roll or the odds modifier. I don't think any of the pockets can be opened by a regular combat with natural 2:1 odds, but we'll see. There are some exposed units, but I have to take some risks.

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Post #: 176
RE: Turn 13 - 2/7/2011 11:02:31 PM   
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AGN pushed forwards a bit. A Tank brigade and a Rifle division retreated west, so they're probably doomed. notenome's putting pressure on the central area, and I don't intend to move much further, I'm just ironing out a buffer for the moment.




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Post #: 177
RE: Turn 13 - 2/7/2011 11:07:16 PM   
ComradeP

 

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notenome restored supply to the pocket in the AGC area a few hexes below the Dnepr, but not the one directly below/above it, so I did bag a number of divisions. I've pocketed a few more units, but I doubt it will hold.

Considering that notenome eventually easily pushed a Panzer division aside with a handful of poor quality Rifle divisions with only 1 hexside to attack from without CV reduction, I sort of expect he'll restore supply again.

There are a few possible weakest links. One of the most likely is the stack northeast of the stack I pocketed this turn. Defensive CV is 14 and it's in the same sort of position as the Panzer division was last turn, with the exception that there are now units at the flank and both non-pocketed neighbouring hexes are under my control and have no enemy units in them.

He can probably fairly easily get 1:1 odds and thus 2:1 odds against the stack with the Lehr brigade on top.




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Post #: 178
RE: Turn 13 - 2/7/2011 11:08:48 PM   
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Not much happened in the quiet sector.






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Post #: 179
RE: Turn 13 - 2/7/2011 11:10:00 PM   
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AGS made some progress. Some divisions will be pushed back I think, and the two divisions in the south can probably have their supply restored by the cavalry division in the pocket with some help from outside.






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