I have completed my first attempt at WitE, Soviet vs. Axis A/I. In this game, I was able to hold the Dnepr line from just south of Mogelev to just north of Dnepropetrovsk, which was briefly captured by the Axis. A fortified line was formed running from the last major river hex of the Dnepr to Rzhev. The Axis made no real attempt to break this line, but moved to outflank the fortified areas. The general defense was a defense in depth, sacrificing dozens of infantry divisions and NKVD units to slow down the blitzkrieg. The forthcoming change prohibiting rail movement of routed units will make a major difference in this defense.
Leningrad was held by a fortified line 30 miles south of the city, which was continuously expanded to prevent the Germans from cutting the vital rail link running east. This was the critical area, which was ultimately saved by the Rasputitsa. The blizzard was a complete debacle for the Axis, mostly unfortified and undersupplied. By the end of the winter, the Axis had over 2 million casualties. After that, it was playing out the string. It is stunning just how powerful a Guards Rifle Corps can get. Berlin was captured in early summer 1944.
I have the following comments.
1. The German A/I needs additional scripting, as only the first turn is scripted. I think there should be three options, randomly selected. Option 1: OKH plan; this allowed for the capture of bridgeheads over the Dnepr, then the transfer of both 2nd and 3rd Panzer groups to AGN for the capture of Leningrad. This should probably be modified, as OKH had no idea of the power of the Red Army in the Ukraine. Option 2: Capture of bridgeheads over the Dnepr, destruction of Red Army forces west of Smolensk, then PG 3 transfers to AGN to take Leningrad; PG2 moves south to assist in the pocketing of Southwestern Front. October and November are spent fortifying for the blizzard. Option 3: AGC all out for Moscow (Guderian Plan).
2. There seems to be an unreal shortage of 152mm artillery and Katyusha rockets in late 1942 and 1943. I hope the change planned to make a higher contribution from general armaments to artillery will correct this.
3. A simple fix. When transferring squadrons from the national reserve, the listing comes up with everything checked, despite the fact that there is a box to select all. It should come up with nothing checked, saving about six clicks.
4. It seems to me that Soviet tank formations should have an advantage during the winter turns until the arrival of Tiger and Panther tanks due to their wider tracks, which were specifically designed for traction in snow. The Germans figured this out for the new tanks and had an advantage in western Europe as the Shermans would bog down in mud, while the Panthers would boogie right along.
5. Question. When filling out newly arrived units, is there an advantage to assigning them to a front or an army as opposed to remaining attached to STAVKA?
6. Were the Soviets still building biplanes into 1944?