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First Winter - 3/16/2011 4:58:18 PM   
Beruldsen

 

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Playing the GC for the first time...it's late October...what should I do to prepare for the winter?
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RE: First Winter - 3/16/2011 5:39:23 PM   
color

 

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The best you can do is stock up on valium and anti-depressants and forewarn your wife about possibly cursing and ****ty mood in the next couple of days/weeks.

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RE: First Winter - 3/16/2011 6:13:14 PM   
karonagames


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You should have started preparing on turn 1!

Seriously though, without seeing your position it impossible to advise you.

The basic principles are to maintain a solid line, prevent cavalry and tank brigade breakthroughs, retreat if you can be attacked from 4 hexsides. Keep axis allies out of the front lines if you can, and try to get the panzer divisions into cities to gain protection from the blizzard effects. Avoid building fortified zones.

First blizzards are always the worst.

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RE: First Winter - 3/16/2011 9:05:49 PM   
Klydon


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Here is a good thread started by Big A that has a lot of info in that should be helpful.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2743692

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RE: First Winter - 3/16/2011 9:14:39 PM   
color

 

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And here's a thread explaining a way to minimize your losses during the '41 blizzard turns: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2740444

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RE: First Winter - 3/16/2011 11:06:36 PM   
Beruldsen

 

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Good reading...thanks all.

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RE: First Winter - 3/17/2011 1:22:10 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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The best thing to do is forget anything that you might have learnt from reading about what actually happened in 1941 and follow the advice given in previous posts.

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RE: First Winter - 3/19/2011 3:10:26 AM   
Altaris

 

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I think you should just rail everything back to Poland, and give up whatever territory the Soviets can take. I'm finding it utterly pointless to try and defend any hex, regardless of forts or terrain. CVs just get butchered all to hell and back again anyway, nothing really helps. I can't think of one thing on the map that's worth keeping for a few extra turns at the cost of 1 million+ of your men. Is it gamey? Sure. But then the blizzard's so ridiculously imbalanced right now, I don't see what other option there is. Just as the Soviets aren't locked into having half their army encircled, I don't see why I should be locked into having my destroyed. Out of curiosity, how far do you guys think the Soviets could make it if it's not defended at all? All the way to Poland? I've also wondered if it might be possible just to leave a little screen across Russia, just enough to hold up the Cavalry and Tanks from moving forward too quickly.

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RE: First Winter - 3/22/2011 2:18:33 AM   
Altaris

 

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Well, I just hit turn 30 (Jan 8th 1941) in my PBEM, and have officially offered my surrender to my opponent. I can tell you, whatever you do, don't try to defend anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that's within 2-3 hexes of the Soviet front lines. You're just setting yourself up for encirclement if you do. Once your flanks are pierced, those Cavalry Corps can push deep into your flanks, then their ZOC puts you into a position where you can't retreat fast enough to escape the encirclement. This begins a vicious cycle where any troops you use to try and evac the threatened units just become a bigger and bigger part of a massive encirclement.

If I had to go back and do it all over again, I'd have put the vast bulk of my army in safe quarters. I'd have broken up some units in regiments 2-3 hexes back from the Soviet lines, just to hold ZOC screens and try to slow them down. Your army becomes so utterly pathetic, a regiment at 1=1 CV is still going to be the same as a division at 1=1 CV, so might as well minimize your own losses and keep your other units safe from blizzard attrition.

And all the halving (and halving (and halving))) of CVs is ridiculous. I couldn't break through to some encircled panzers against a 2=2 tank brigade with a deliberate attack by two full infantry stacks (6 divisions) because their unmodified CV was something like 6, and that got modified down to 2.5 or so... odds ended up 1.4:1 and couldn't budge the tank brigade. So if a unit gets trapped, don't think you're going to break through to it with anything less than the mountain divisions.

My opponent was quite good (he did pretty well in summer too). I think as we see Soviets get better, the winters will just get worse and worse. The 1.04 changes will help some, but December's still going to be a brutal mess.

But frankly, blizzard is just a horribly lopsided broken mess right now. I hope the dev's get it fixed up, because I'd love to be able to play a game where I didn't have to give up 200 miles along the entire front just to avoid disaster.

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RE: First Winter - 3/22/2011 4:49:17 AM   
Beruldsen

 

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Well ... I'm at turn 36 and only playing the AI. The Germans just seem incapable of doing anything except retreating...and retreating and retreating. The biggest problem is that is just goes on turn after turn. The process becomes quite tedious and boring. I find it hard to believe that every unit has virtually no fighting strength. Even the replacements have no value by the time they hit the front...how can that be (no heat on the train)?

I'll see what happens in the spring...but not very enjoyable at the moment.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 1:00:18 AM   
Altaris

 

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I learned the hard way that defending forward is just a good way to get loads of your units encircled. I thought I would be able to make a reasonably orderly retreat... negative. A good Soviet player will have put together some cavalry corps by this point, and they can really penetrate deep (2-3 hexes) on your flanks. Doing so locks your units into a vicious ZOC battle being next to enemy units. With blizzard movement penalties, you can't move fast enough to retreat beyond the cavalry corps. So the only way to have any hope of saving your threatened units is to put more units behind them to spoil flanking encirclements. But these just get outflanked the next turn, making your pocket all the worse. And since you have absolutely no CV on attack, and hardly any on defense, you really get stuck in a vicious circle. By Turn 30, I was looking at losing around 15 divisions due to this, and this was on top of having already lost 7-8. I gave up at this point in the game, as the next turn was going to see essentially my entire AGC and AGN fronts get encircled and destroyed, and nothing was going to stand between the Red Army and Poland (AGS was on the ropes by this point too BTW).

Long story short, don't ever, and I mean ever, have troops on the frontlines with the Russians in winter. They should all be at least 1-2 hexes back. Keep pulling back each turn, it's not worth risking encirclement, and you can't avoid it if the cavalry gets onto your flanks.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 1:42:28 AM   
Mynok


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Panzers can attack in blizzard. They should be fire brigades dealing with cav that are penetrating like that.

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Post #: 12
RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 1:53:24 AM   
Altaris

 

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Well, I tried keeping Panzers in my cities and urban hexes as firebrigades, but found they weren't too useful a lot of the time. I still had to deliberate attack with them to have any effect whatsoever, and at 16 MP for a deliberate attack and the big MP penalties in blizzard, I couldn't move but so far with them.

In the particular case of the 2=2 tank brigade, it was my Panzers that were surrounded (in Belgorod). That's another thing I have some beef with... the auto-1 CV for isolated units attacking. If those units were just surrounded, they ought to have the capability of contributing to a break-out, at least for 1 week, if they still have plenty of supplies and ammo left.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 2:03:48 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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For heavens sake just remember that how the game represents what actually happened in the winter of 1941-42 is just wrong! Quibbling about this division or that can or cannot do this, or that , is merely tinkering at the edges! I am deep into a pbem game which entered "The Blizzard" four turns ago as the Axis player and I now feel as connected to historic reality as if I was commanding cyborgs on the planet Zog ).

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 2:16:29 AM   
Altaris

 

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I felt the same way bdj. I got 6 turns into blizzard before giving up, as it was simply ludicrous.

Personally, I wish they'd get rid of the whole CV reduction thing completely. It's ridiculous in the way it's modeled, and with it combined on the auto +1 Soviet odds modifier, means it's practically impossible to get a hold unless the Soviets attack very weakly. What I think would be far more realistic is to have the engine give certain German ground elements a chance to not fire during the firing phase. This would simulate equipment failures and such, and would have an overall impact on the final CV, without a heavy-handed forced reduction. Having an auto 1/2 reduction in CV, with another division penalty if leader roll fails, just led to every battle being a disaster of epic proportions, which shouldn't be the case. My method would also make it far less certain for the Soviet player what the end odds would be, limiting the whole "attack across the whole front" syndrome we get now.

The attrition I could live with, though I thought it too high. At least there were some viable methods to mitigate it via towns and cities. I think the perfect solution would be to have units suffer only mildly for being in the open for 1 turn, but progressively getting worse each successive turn. This would create a far more realistic rotation mechanism for keeping the defensive lines intact but still being able to plug those exposed gaps in the flanks. Right now, holing up in cities isn't an option as the Russian cavalry corps just come around the cities and flank/encircle.

I fully believe '41 winter should be bad for the Germans, just as it was historically. I just don't think it should be an unmanageable nightmare like it is now. That's ahistorical, and it makes it absolutely no fun to play as the Axis.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 2:24:15 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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They took your money though, and they either knew or should have done. But what is £70 or $100 if "those in the Know" can carry on testing. I was "flamed" when I suggested a few weeks ago that this game was fatally flawed on release. I think it is highly unlikely that can happen now.

< Message edited by bdtj1815 -- 3/23/2011 2:46:26 AM >

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 2:46:39 AM   
Altaris

 

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Well, a game of this complexity is bound to have some flaws in the balancing arena. There's only so much testing that can be done when PBEM games take a good month or two even at breakneck speed to reach winter. And it sounds like some changes late in the testing cycle made winter far worse than what most of the testers had experienced.

I don't really consider that a "fatal" flaw. Balancing issues can be worked out. And the core mechanics of the game are pretty solid. Also, I think the dev's have made very good changes so far, and 1.04 is definitely going to move things in a better direction. Whether it will fix everything, or cause some other issues, remains to be seen. Personally, I'm holding off on another GC until I hear in AAR's that it's looking pretty balanced out. But that's just a personal thing, I'd rather not devote massive amounts of time to hit a roadblock, largely due to limited gaming time.

In the meantime, the scenarios are really quite good. I'm looking at PBEM'ing Road to Leningrad in the near future, and once 1.04 comes out, I want to test out the new blizzard mechanics in the smaller confines of the Operation Typhoon scenario. Not to mention the smaller scenarios are a much better place to make mistakes and learn the finer nuances of the game before diving into the GC.

Regarding the $100 price tag, that's more due to this being a niche game with a much smaller target audience than a promise of being a perfect game right out the box. Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of this game, it's quite good compared to the other grog games I've been exposed to. Give it 6 months to a year to have all the kinks worked out for PBEM, and I bet it's going to be one hell of a game.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 3:00:59 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Altaris



quote:

Give it 6 months to a year to have all the kinks worked out for PBEM, and I bet it's going to be one hell of a game.


When I bought WITE was I told that? I am sorry but I certainly did not realise when I was paying my £70 I was actually buying what I believe in the computer business is known as a WIP.

Actually I would probably have still have bought it but I wish I had known. As has been proven by some of my previous posts and inherent knowledge I would love to help contribute to this game. It is rather like the old days of board games when it was suggested you coloured in the monochrome map yourself, but in the 1970's you sort of expected that!!

< Message edited by bdtj1815 -- 3/23/2011 3:02:49 AM >

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 3:46:19 AM   
Mynok


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I'll give you a refund myself if you'll go away and quit whining. Sheesh. 2x3 has an excellent track record of getting complex games to a good state as quickly as possible. But you apparently read history selectively. Imagine that.




< Message edited by Mynok -- 3/23/2011 3:47:49 AM >


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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 4:14:12 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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quote:

I'll give you a refund myself if you'll go away and quit whining.


Will send you my address if you are serious!!

But please stop defending the indefensible. There are so many threads and comments on this forum questioning this games claims to historical veracity I find it extraordinary you seem to be unable to except the truth that it could as actually designated as a fantasy or science-fiction game. The fact that the 1.04 patch is supposedly going to correct so many faults is actually proof of my point.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 4:32:49 AM   
Mynok


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No, it's proof of my point. There's no way to test a game of this magnitude without putting it out there for the general public. That vast majority of those 1.04 changes are directly due to player response to the game. This was true for Witp, Witp:AE and every other Grigsby game I've been associated with. They respond to feedback. Quickly and responsibly. All those games became great games because of dedicated players feeding the devs and because the devs responded. You are the one making stupid demands.


Pm me your address and Paypal info. I'm more than happy to send you a refund. You'll have to send me your serial # and promise to never play the game again. I'll pass it on someone more willing to give 2x3 a chance to correct whatever faults are in the game.


< Message edited by Mynok -- 3/23/2011 4:35:40 AM >


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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 4:48:24 AM   
Klydon


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I think you should add a promise to never post here again as well. Sheesh. 

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 4:49:35 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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You are still so missing my point!! I have never bought a "Grigsby" game before so I obviously did not realise, as you have now explained, that what I actually did was buy a game that was a WIP and that we the purchasers were to be the testers of this unfinished product. I just wish that this had been made clear in the advertising that lead me to spend my £70. In fact if that had been explained to me I would have still bought the game. and helped in its development, but would not be now so cross about being duped.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 5:32:29 AM   
pipewrench


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troll alert!

do not feed the trolls!

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 6:17:50 AM   
bdtj1815

 

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What a well considered reply.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 7:21:43 AM   
larryfulkerson


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I used to be a professional computer programmer for a living back when I was still working and it's been my experience that EVERY computer program ( excepting those tiny toy programs used as examples ) is a work in progress.  Everybody who uses a major, complicated, multi-talented computer program is a beta tester whether they know it or not.  There are always bugs in every complicated program.  Even operating systems ( THE most tested programs in existence on this planet ).  It's a fact of life.  Sorry if that upsets you.  Would you rather I lie to you? 

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 10:13:50 AM   
Aussiematto

 

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I think the problem with winter is that you have to work out how to survive it BEFORE you arrive there. I have played 2 games vs AI and had no dramas with the blizzard, even though I knew nothing about how to really manage the problems -- i didn't get towns, i didn't get command and control and had brutally punished my infantry to get myself to the stop line. Now I am playing three PBEMs. The first is about to go into blizzard. I am very confident: I have pretty much everything at 80% or more of TOE, great commanders in the right places, the Finns are in so that takes care of the far north, and mostly my front line is Fort 3s and, if the weather holds for a couple more turns, fort 4s will pop up in several key places. All the armour is now hunkered into cities, urban or towns, I have fort 3 fallback lines and the mountain infantry where it is needed. Hell even Constanza is garrisoned in case of an amphib. To achieve this preparation went all the way back to Turn 1 and the overall strategy (take leningrad) but also the way I husbanded infantry against pointless frontal attacks but, in particular, I stopped before the mud came, got everyone in position, and have been digging in since. So, if I get blown away in blizzard, then maybe there is an issue :).

And if you think I am boasting, in my other game, we've just hit the mud. I am totally screwed because I got caught in an almighty battle around moscow to pocket around 1 million russians. He won, effectively, since I didn't ever close the pocket successfully and in the process I have a weird front line, troops that are down to 50% or less TOE, and 3 Pz divisions that got destroyed. It will be a nice constrast... if I survive the blizzard in the second one, then the Russians will have something to moan about. (They have lost 3.5 million men and have a front line that is wide open elsewhere).

basically, let's stop trashing a truly excellent GAME (note the word game, not reality) which provides endless puzzles for how to do better, do different or even just have fun.


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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 12:16:45 PM   
Altaris

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: majeloz

I think the problem with winter is that you have to work out how to survive it BEFORE you arrive there.


That's a very good point. Your ability to move near the frontlines is fairly limited in blizzard, so you really need to have solid plans for defense in depth and fall-back retreats in place before going in, or you get caught with your pants down.

Don't put too much confidence in those forts. They don't help that much. All the Soviet has to do is pierce the flanks and threaten encirclement, and you have to give up those forts pretty quickly. They'll help for 1-2 turns, but after that, the attrition just kills your CVs and even lvl 3 forts aren't enough to stop a concentrated deliberate attack.

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RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 4:04:21 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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One thing that a lot of folks seem to forget is that it is ok to retreat in winter. Sure those forts look nice and cozy, but as several AARs have shown, when one gets a false sense of security that is when the encirclements begin. Fall back, even if just unsure. Have lines of units (Color's rubber band) that makes encirclements far tougher. Do not think that just because you have three armor in Kursk everyone must respect your authority.

Also, after December (the worst) and January (close to the worst) there should be some February recovery even in Blizzard. So don't hand your opponent your army in the first two months...make him slog in February after you have fallen back then you are ready to do some recovery jabs in March. Just like the German loves to see a linear defense in Summer of 1941, the Soviets will drool over a "stand fast" defense in the Winter.

_____________________________

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- Call me PDH

- WitE noob tester

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Post #: 29
RE: First Winter - 3/23/2011 5:56:59 PM   
Q-Ball


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I thought I had prepared, but it didn't help, not against a good human.

I played the AI, did fine, thought no big deal.

I took Leningrad, build 5 rows of forts, including fall-back lines. I parked Panzers in all cities out of the open, and used every town close to the front. For good measure, I attacked in the snow and pocketed 14 divisions, and routed 20 more, just to be sure. I formed a defensive line based on the specific recommendation of one of the testers. I immediately surrendered ground in the places I attacked in the snow, spending 2 turns just getting back to the MLR.

The Finns manned everything north of their line, and I created an OKH reserve consisting of most of 18th Army.

My opponent did a good job massing armies and keeping reserves, but I don't think that's rocket science, building Soviet formations. He did plan his attacks carefully.

First couple blizzard turns were fine.

My front was collapsing in 4 places by mid- January when I surrendered.

Until the 1.04 patch, defending is suicidal in the Winter. Just retreat 15 hexes and be done with it.

Let us know how it goes in February.....


< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 3/23/2011 5:58:54 PM >


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