Following up the thread about Germans quitting etc...here is a story to give heart to Germans who might want to quit.
I have been having an embarrassing time in one early game where, as Axis, I lost some 20 divisions by Xmas 1941 (mostly armour of course) and spent the rest of the year and most of 1942...
- practising losing more divisions in the retreat
- learning that it pays to read the manual to discover how Hungary surrenders
- understanding just how bad it is when Rumania surrenders
- discovering that a garrison in Helsinki and in the ports in Finland is a good idea if you want to save Leningrad and some 100,000 defenders, including Model.
- realising that disbanding 2 regiments from different divisions destined me to a life of 4 regiments that would not combine
By september 1942, I was on a defensive line from west of Koenigsberg down through the mountains to the Yugoslav border. The line had, at least, become a steel trap of level 4 and 5 forts three-deep in the north by this stage (game was in 1.03 for this period) and the mountains were helpful, but still -- early Soviet attacks brushed the defenders back, albeit with heavy losses. Eventually the south would give way too because the Italians would start to withdraw from 1943 onwards.
I had contemplated several times giving up -- during the early horrors of December; when I saw my allies surrender one by one; when the fort line I had lovingly crafted started to give way. These contemplations usually came after 2-3 glasses of red wine while playing. Then again, without the wine, I would have been in tears.
But a funny thing happened recently.
The 1942 December blizzard arrived just about the time the Soviet attacks were starting to do him more harm than good -- I had one in which 2 divisions in a level 4 fort, with 3 armoured divisions committed from reserves, caused 12,000+ casualties for 900. In the mountains I realised that my troops were actually winning, because of his out of supply state -- some surrenders and I was sneaking forward through gaps in the line and he couldn't counter attack.
I then noticed that the Soviet had stripped part of his front down to almost ant-like levels, in good forts, mind, to stack up for the piledriver attacks (9 units attacking 1 hex). Most of his front was also yellow -- 'far' from supply (in the mountains it was red -- out of supply). I massed 3 Panzer armies and attacked the weakspot. A break through ensued. More panzers trickled through. I had thought to just disrupt him and add a few months to the war. But his reaction was ineffective, perhaps because he thought the same way too. There was no reverse, no rush of reserves. The next turn saw the gap widen and the trickle became a flood of armour - I threw the final panzer army into the hole too, plus all the reserves that were building the last ditch defences on the german-polish border, no point in holding anything back -- defending infantry was shuttled into the hole, leaving their forts barely guarded
Last turn, in January 1943, I completed a huge pocket and have trapped some 50 divisions, linking up the infantry that broke through in the mountains with the armour from the north. More divisions are being trapped in the centre.
I probably can't win the game; I probably can't retake much ground (I disbanded all my FBDs to save manpower - another lesson learned). But it doesn't matter. I have had a hugely entertaining few days and, by hanging in there, have learned a lot about the way the game works.
Meine Kameraden Axis players... play to the end!
I still remember cardboard!