Also keep in mind that the forces in the AGS area retreat rather than surrender after many battles, which will mean you will have to take hundreds of losses attacking the same isolated unit a number of times. Somehow, their slightly higher morale/experience has a huge impact.
FYI, I've noticed that the propensity of isolated units to retreat vs. surrender is affected *greatly* by having available an enemy-controlled hex to retreat to. Meaning, if you really want to kill the maximum number of pocketed units with the least amount of your own combat power, try this:
1. First turn, form your isolated pocket, don't attack within the pocket.
2. Second turn, now that you have your proper pocket, you can attack within the pocket... but BEFORE you do this, use any free units (including 1 or 2 mobile units if you have them to spare) to eat away at all the enemy-controlled hexes within the pocket.
E.g., an isolated Soviet pocket may have five infantry divisions present, but the total number of enemy-controlled hexes in the pocket are ten. If you attack those five infantry divisions first, unless their morale and strength are exceptionally low, all you are likely to do is bounce those enemy divisions into retreats all around the pocket until they either finally surrender, or run out of hexes to retreat to.
HOWEVER, in our ten-hex pocket example, if you already move into those five clear hexes to take control of them, you've reduced the areas that the enemy can retreat to. Note that we're not talking about forming a completely new sub-pocket with an unbroken line of your units-- all you have to do is switch those empty enemy-controlled hexes to your control by moving your units next to them or through them.
Once this is done, enemy retreats will result in great numbers of surrenders-- enemy units can't overstack via retreats (e.g. two hexes, 4 units, 2 in each hex-- you force a retreat, only one enemy unit can retreat, the other surrenders).
One warning: I *did* notice a number of times, very few but they did happen, where a retreating enemy unit did retreat out of the enemy-controlled hexes in the new sub-pocket, into a friendly-controlled hex. Usually, this happened right next to one of my HQs, darn it .
But the bottom line was that this was VERY rare, and a lot less frustrating to deal with than forcing enemy retreats all across dozens of enemy-controlled hexes in isolated pockets, particularly in the late game (i.e., the Soviets in 1941 will shatter and surrender far more easily than in the later game, making it more important to force surrenders on as few attacks within pockets as possible rather than wasting time and strength bump-chasing retreating enemy units across big open pockets).
< Message edited by Davekhps -- 1/7/2011 4:18:13 PM >