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Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 2:28:27 PM   
DesertedFox


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I have a link below to an article that is called
quote:

The Soviet-German War1941-1945:Myths and Realities:A Survey Essay
.

I strongly recommend this to all players of WITE, especially those of you whose favourite book is Mein Kampf.

The Russians tried their very best to let the Germans win in 1941 and up until August 1942, but ultimately they failed.

I fully believe the game currently reflects Russian abilities and arms production quite well. As already admitted by the devs, German morale and experience is not working as designed as the war goes on and they are looking at it.

However the Russians were ridiculously strong in 1942 and the Germans can be thankful that Stalin fritted away much of this strength in crazy attacks before and after the commencement of Operation Blue. None the less,the Red Army still had so much strength left over that wallopped the Germans with overwhelming numbers in the counter attack at Stalingrad.

If the game is unbalanced in terms of victory conditions then these need to be looked at for sure. But the inability of the Germans to force a decision against the Russians in 42 is not fiction but fact.

oooops forgot the link.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/50705317/11/THE-SUMMER-FALL-CAMPAIGN-MAY-OCTOBER-1942

Mark



< Message edited by Deserted Fox -- 8/4/2011 2:31:55 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 2:48:37 PM   
Gargoil

 

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Nobody wants to play a game that is a forgone conclusion.

The game must be as realistic as possible but in some way keep a glimmer of hope for the Axis side.

(in reply to DesertedFox)
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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 3:00:20 PM   
abulbulian


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Gargoil,

As a can sympathize with your first statement, it's just sort of hard knowledge that the chances of any German success against the Soviet Union were not great. Given the axis better control over using it's production and building support units could help make it a more enjoyable game for axis players.

There's still some issues, IMO, with the battle engine as well as how German morale and experience is handle in combat and overall in the game. There does need to be some variants in the game to maybe help the axis to have more of a chance, but I'm not sure how many Soviet players would go for that in human vs human.

Per Deserted Fox, people should also realize besides the failed summer Kharkov offensive in which the Soviets through away almost half million men and the Stalingrad debacle, the Soviets also lost millions in the below offensives. Thus, given a competent Soviet player not making this kind of horrible mistakes, the axis is going to have a very difficult creating a stalemate situation in mid-late 42 and onward.

Lyuban (1942) Soviet Union: failed attempt to relieve Leningrad.

Mars (1942) Soviet Union: failed major offensive against Rzhev salient

Jupiter (1942) Soviet Union: second phase of failed major offensive against Rzhev salient.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gargoil

Nobody wants to play a game that is a forgone conclusion.

The game must be as realistic as possible but in some way keep a glimmer of hope for the Axis side.


I'd say plenty of people still play WitE. The misconception most have is that an axis victory means conquering the Soviet Union. That is of course not correct. Just holding out long enough with enough key cities will give the axis a victory.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 8/4/2011 3:18:54 PM >

(in reply to Gargoil)
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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 3:20:44 PM   
DesertedFox


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Hi Gargoil,

I agree 100% with your sentiments.

What I am saying that historical Soviet strength is well represented in game as it stands.

In WITP in both editions the Japanese are "assisted" in having the ability to do their own production. This is purely to make them more competitive against the Allies.

Whilst we don't want to see a WW1 style conflict on the eastern front, parameters would need to be changed to give the Germans a better show of it in 42. Maybe this should be an option for players like it is in WITP for the Japanese.

Victory conditions in any game should also give both players a fair shot at winning and if both perform equally, then a draw.

What I am also saying is to those people complaining that the Soviets are unrealistically or unhistorically strong in 42, my 2 cents is they are not.

Mark

(in reply to Gargoil)
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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 3:42:29 PM   
Gargoil

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deserted Fox

Hi Gargoil,

I agree 100% with your sentiments.

What I am saying that historical Soviet strength is well represented in game as it stands.

In WITP in both editions the Japanese are "assisted" in having the ability to do their own production. This is purely to make them more competitive against the Allies.

Whilst we don't want to see a WW1 style conflict on the eastern front, parameters would need to be changed to give the Germans a better show of it in 42. Maybe this should be an option for players like it is in WITP for the Japanese.

Victory conditions in any game should also give both players a fair shot at winning and if both perform equally, then a draw.

What I am also saying is to those people complaining that the Soviets are unrealistically or unhistorically strong in 42, my 2 cents is they are not.

Mark


You are absolutely right about Soviet strength and Capabilities in 1942 and beyond. I think most players are looking for the "Perfect Storm" win when playing the Axis. What strategy, tactics, Soviet mistakes and LUCK combination can lead to the conquering of the USSR? Victory conditions not withstanding.

(in reply to DesertedFox)
Post #: 5
RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 5:27:38 PM   
lparkh


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Well the factor that keeps being brought up is Stalin. What about a bit of political modeling so Soviet player has to do some stupid attacks or pay costs in some fashion. For example, in Gary's civil war game there is pressure on to take offensives against the Rebs.

In several high quality eastern front board games like No Retreat and Barbarossa Campaign various "No Retreat" pressurs are put in place.

My experience of the game is limited, perhaps this is already captured, but it sure seems like implicitly people are saying "the Soviets were hampered by Stalin... not by their forcepool.. and it is less of a game if the full forcepool optimally used is allowed."


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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 6:51:14 PM   
Jakerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gargoil
You are absolutely right about Soviet strength and Capabilities in 1942 and beyond. I think most players are looking for the "Perfect Storm" win when playing the Axis. What strategy, tactics, Soviet mistakes and LUCK combination can lead to the conquering of the USSR? Victory conditions not withstanding.


Many German players get spoiled at 41 when they get all their bonuses from surprise blitzkrieg and were able to push Soviet side here and there.

42 Germans should be only able to push in one theatre and only if they concentrate all of their best troops in one theatre and spend a long time rebuilding their mobile troops and dont waste them in winter and spring offensives.



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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 7:29:01 PM   
Q-Ball


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Given historical parameters, Soviet players should do better, because they are not consigned to the collosal mistakes the real Soviets made.

A couple caveats to that though: First, I still think it's too skewed vs. the Germans, and they need some help.

Second, if we accept that Germans likely will not have historical results in 1942, then the VP conditions need to change. As it is, it is nearly impossible for the Axis player to win a PBEM in 1942, even when they are clearly outperforming the Soviet.

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 8:18:47 PM   
sveint


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quote:

Nobody wants to play a game that is a forgone conclusion.

The game must be as realistic as possible but in some way keep a glimmer of hope for the Axis side.


This is utterly wrong. The Axis can win the game and lose the war.

(in reply to Q-Ball)
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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 8:25:12 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lparkh

Well the factor that keeps being brought up is Stalin. What about a bit of political modeling so Soviet player has to do some stupid attacks or pay costs in some fashion. For example, in Gary's civil war game there is pressure on to take offensives against the Rebs.

In several high quality eastern front board games like No Retreat and Barbarossa Campaign various "No Retreat" pressurs are put in place.

My experience of the game is limited, perhaps this is already captured, but it sure seems like implicitly people are saying "the Soviets were hampered by Stalin... not by their forcepool.. and it is less of a game if the full forcepool optimally used is allowed."




What about the weaknesses in the Red Army that negated much of their well documented numerical superiority? It all wasn't Stalin's fault. Are these represented in 1942 for the Soviet side? From what i've read.....there may lie a root cause to the complaints being generated.

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/4/2011 8:52:25 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lparkh

Well the factor that keeps being brought up is Stalin. What about a bit of political modeling so Soviet player has to do some stupid attacks or pay costs in some fashion. For example, in Gary's civil war game there is pressure on to take offensives against the Rebs.

In several high quality eastern front board games like No Retreat and Barbarossa Campaign various "No Retreat" pressurs are put in place.

My experience of the game is limited, perhaps this is already captured, but it sure seems like implicitly people are saying "the Soviets were hampered by Stalin... not by their forcepool.. and it is less of a game if the full forcepool optimally used is allowed."




And of course you want the same for the Axis? Such as:

No taking Leningrad, as Mr Hitler said no.

Must drive on Stalingrad, because Mr Hitler said so.

What should the Axis suffer for not following that?

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 4:22:41 AM   
FM WarB

 

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Deserted Fox,

Thankyou for posting the link to that excellent paper by Glanz. It addresses many of the issues that have been discussed here, related to the game.

WB

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 6:52:01 AM   
76mm


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This essay looks quite interesting, does anyone have it on pdf? I'd like to put it on my kindle.

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 8:13:29 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian


quote:

ORIGINAL: lparkh

Well the factor that keeps being brought up is Stalin. What about a bit of political modeling so Soviet player has to do some stupid attacks or pay costs in some fashion. For example, in Gary's civil war game there is pressure on to take offensives against the Rebs.

In several high quality eastern front board games like No Retreat and Barbarossa Campaign various "No Retreat" pressurs are put in place.

My experience of the game is limited, perhaps this is already captured, but it sure seems like implicitly people are saying "the Soviets were hampered by Stalin... not by their forcepool.. and it is less of a game if the full forcepool optimally used is allowed."




And of course you want the same for the Axis? Such as:

No taking Leningrad, as Mr Hitler said no.

Must drive on Stalingrad, because Mr Hitler said so.

What should the Axis suffer for not following that?


Good point, and I have several times argues for better victory conditions that better simulated the political pressures on both sides.

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41Ger
41Sov
41Ger
42Ger
42Sov

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 8:18:14 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian

Per Deserted Fox, people should also realize besides the failed summer Kharkov offensive in which the Soviets through away almost half million men and the Stalingrad debacle, the Soviets also lost millions in the below offensives. Thus, given a competent Soviet player not making this kind of horrible mistakes, the axis is going to have a very difficult creating a stalemate situation in mid-late 42 and onward.

Lyuban (1942) Soviet Union: failed attempt to relieve Leningrad.

Mars (1942) Soviet Union: failed major offensive against Rzhev salient

Jupiter (1942) Soviet Union: second phase of failed major offensive against Rzhev salient.



Operation Mars is actually a very good example of why WITE is not currently getting the right results in 1942. In WITE, operation Mars would not have been a failure! The Soviets would have pushed the Germans back and eliminated their fortifications, which would have made it impossible for the Germans to hold on to their frontline hexes without accepting intolerable losses. Quite simply, the historical operation Mars shows that even in late 1942, the Soviets were unable to penetrate German prepared positions. In WITE, they can easily do that from early summer 1942 and onwards!

Edit: @Deserted Fox: Interesting paper, thanks for posting the link.

< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 8/5/2011 8:19:50 AM >


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Read my AAR:s ye mighty, and despair!
41Ger
41Sov
41Ger
42Ger
42Sov

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 9:25:41 AM   
Tarhunnas


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I compared the numbers that Glantz gives in June 1942 with the situation in my game vs Q-Ball. Very interesting! The OOB i show here is from turn 63, August 1942, I didn't find one from June, but the difference shouldn't be very large.

The Germans have 400,000 men more in our game than according to Glantz, which is interesting in itself! The Soviets have 1,600,000 more men, despite having lost Leningrad and Moscow, which is even more interesting!

Looking at relative strength, in Glantz figures, the Germans have 50% of Soviet numbers. In our game it is 44%. Not all that great a difference.

Consider then that the Germans in history could drive to Stalingrad and the Caucasus, while in our game not even a limited offensive is possible!

I think these figures suggest:

a: The Soviets despite losing Leningrad AND Moscow still come out stronger in 1942 than historically. Edit: even losing more men than historically in 1941!. In our game the Soviets lost 3,700,000 men in 1941, according to Glantz they lost 2,993,80 in 1941.

b: With force ratios similar to the historical numbers, there is not even the slightest chance of a minor advance, while the historical Germans could advance hundreds of miles, so something is clearly wrong in WITE in 1942.

c: German losses in this game at least are somewhat lower than historical, which surprised me a little.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 8/5/2011 9:35:05 AM >

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 10:00:32 AM   
Tarhunnas


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A little correction on Soviet casualties. I cited Glantz figure for killed, missing and captured above, but his total number for Soviet losses is 4,308,09, so that comes to 600,000 more than the losses suffered by the Soviets in our game. Still that is considerably less than the 1,6 million Soviet surplus in men found above. Considering that the manpower centers of Moscow and Leningrad have been lost to the Soviets in our game, the conclusion is still that the Soviets appear massively overpowered in WITE.

_____________________________

Read my AAR:s ye mighty, and despair!
41Ger
41Sov
41Ger
42Ger
42Sov

(in reply to Tarhunnas)
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RE: Open your mind! - 8/5/2011 11:40:43 AM   
DesertedFox


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Hi Tarhunnas, A couple of ?s for ya.

You are looking at current strengths from game to history, what about armour/artillery strengths? On your evaluation above with manpower, it does seem they r getting too much in that area.

I find the Russians are hanging by a thread in 41, to increase German attacking potential in 41 would often tip the Russians over the brink of the point of no return. With 42 being the main issue I believe by most players, and your evaluation of the "extra" manpower the soviets seem to have, if this can be correlated correctly, along with the fix to the Germans morale/experience, we might find a sweet spot for a very enjoyable experience for both sides in 42.

Mark

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/6/2011 3:49:51 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Looking at the numbers Glantz give for German strength, it is surprising that the Germans are so strong in the summer of 1943. I compared this number with my OOB in my AAR game "The Wolf and the Bear" OOB for the end of May 1943. If Glantz numbers are correct, then the German army in my game is 500,000 men below Glantz figures, and that is in a very successful campaign where the German army has not lost an entire army at Stalingrad! If these numbers are correct, then it seems that WITE seriously underestimates German recuperative powers in early 1943!






Attachment (1)

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/7/2011 9:59:36 AM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

A little correction on Soviet casualties. I cited Glantz figure for killed, missing and captured above, but his total number for Soviet losses is 4,308,09, so that comes to 600,000 more than the losses suffered by the Soviets in our game. Still that is considerably less than the 1,6 million Soviet surplus in men found above. Considering that the manpower centers of Moscow and Leningrad have been lost to the Soviets in our game, the conclusion is still that the Soviets appear massively overpowered in WITE.


The current manpower dynamics seem a bit off.

I think the problem might be that too many manpower centers are allowed to escape and repair in the far east, especially when a big center is captured. Or that in combination with too high recruitment factors. Currently a manpower point of 50'000 people generates approx 8'500 fit recruits over the course of the war, that's massive.


< Message edited by MechFO -- 8/7/2011 10:30:08 AM >

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/7/2011 11:45:23 AM   
Der Lwe


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This might have been mentioned earlier, but I think a "sliding scale" victory condition whit certain chans-risk of Russian-German surrender once you reach a ceartain VP number would be an idea. As the Axis take more VP in 41 the chans-risk increase. This would urge the russian player to a forward deffence and the german player can choose a risky winter offensive as a mean to win early. Also the Russian player would want to start an early counteroffensive to reduce the risk of political surender. The same mechanism would work in 44-45, but then the shoe is on the other foot.

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/8/2011 7:17:56 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian

Per Deserted Fox, people should also realize besides the failed summer Kharkov offensive in which the Soviets through away almost half million men and the Stalingrad debacle, the Soviets also lost millions in the below offensives. Thus, given a competent Soviet player not making this kind of horrible mistakes, the axis is going to have a very difficult creating a stalemate situation in mid-late 42 and onward.

Lyuban (1942) Soviet Union: failed attempt to relieve Leningrad.

Mars (1942) Soviet Union: failed major offensive against Rzhev salient

Jupiter (1942) Soviet Union: second phase of failed major offensive against Rzhev salient.



Operation Mars is actually a very good example of why WITE is not currently getting the right results in 1942. In WITE, operation Mars would not have been a failure! The Soviets would have pushed the Germans back and eliminated their fortifications, which would have made it impossible for the Germans to hold on to their frontline hexes without accepting intolerable losses. Quite simply, the historical operation Mars shows that even in late 1942, the Soviets were unable to penetrate German prepared positions. In WITE, they can easily do that from early summer 1942 and onwards!

Edit: @Deserted Fox: Interesting paper, thanks for posting the link.



Much of what Glantz says is covered in his three volume book on Stalingrad (Third volume pending). I fail to comprehend the statement The Russians tried their very best to let the Germans win in 1941 and up until August 1942, but ultimately they failed. which is a gross misrepresentation of what Glantz is writing about IMO, nor does the article solely pin Stalin as the culprit for the failed offensives. That the Soviets had the strength to conduct numerous Counterstrokes and Offensives....and several major offensives of their own is only part of the argument and to my knowledge has never been disputed. Massive numerical strength and large reserves have always been part and parcel of any War in the East game......going all the way back to Chris Crawford's "Eastern Front". Glantz also repeatedly points out that such attempts often exceeded Soviet Tactical and Operational capabilities and severely underestimated those of the Whermacht.

From what i've been reading in this forum as an interested owner of WitE (but thus far have been unable to play it), is that the Soviet side can employ several gambits that appear to belie the German strengths in the game. On the issue of not conducting or duplicating the more ambitious and costly failed Soviet offensives, there should be consequences even there for not engaging the Germans and bleeding them.



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RE: Open your mind! - 8/9/2011 3:14:48 AM   
tigercub


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I also am waiting to play this game, 3 stalled starts and now on hold (i waited 2 years before playing WITP and many restarts held back on WITPAE many stalled starts)because i am hard core and want more from these games and it means waiting for the game to get to place were i feel its ready to go!

Tiger

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RE: Open your mind! - 8/9/2011 10:36:09 PM   
neuromancer


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The thing that is often forgotten by those that defend the current game model in WitE is that Stalin had completely gutted the officer corps, almost literally, that the army underwent several significant overhauls before it became particularly effective, AND there were political officers who would second guess the military commanders or at least add a level of complication which slowed the Red Army ability to do anything.

It took until late 1942 for the mess that was the Red Army in June 1941 to be sorted out until it could actually be particularly useful. Sure, they had vast numerical superiority, but they couldn't use it effectively. In fact their numbers were likely part of the problem, its hard to coordinate that large a force, and the logistics and supply of a larger force is disproportionately more complicated (I'd be hard pressed to say whether the Communists or the Nazis had the worse logistics and supply system, but both were bad). Also the Soviet army soldier was not particularly well trained, and when they are fielding that many fresh soldiers (in between replacing high losses and fielding scores of new units) it only keeps the general quality of the soldiers low. The Soviet officer wasn't particularly well trained even at the best of times either - and like most other armies, trained to fight the previous war.

This is in counter-point to the Wehrmacht (not the SS) which was a professional organization. The individual soldier was well trained, and the officers generally of good quality. Initiative was encouraged, and the input of lower ranking soldiers were considered. Plus by 1941 the Wehrmacht was a battle hardened force with experienced commanders, and good procedures in place. Of course at the very top Hitler was the opposite, but the Wehrmacht was a pretty well run army. Even their replacements were a higher quality than typical as they were kept in Ersatz units which would be training in the field until a formation needed replacements, unlike the replacements from the depots that most other armies did.

History shows that until late 1942, the Red Army was simply not that good. Big, clumsy, unfocused, and poorly led. Their successes were the exception, not the rule. Of course part of the change might (probably?) have been that the units that were used to trap 6 Armee at Stalingrad might have been held back to receive proper training and practise modern tactics, while most of the other formations in the field up until that time had been rushed into the field to try and stop the Germans through sheer force of numbers (the Zap Branigan tactic.... we will bury them in mountains of our dead!)

It can even be argued that at their height the Red Army was a clumsy instrument. Even once they went on the offensive and stayed there, they were still taking higher casualties than the Germans. At war's end the Soviets had suffered twice as many casualties than the Germans. The Germans suffered a total of 5.53 million military casualties spread between Poland, the Western Campaign, Africa/Italy, the East Front (accounted for an estimated 80% of casualties or roughly 4.4 million military casualties), the Western Allied Invasion, and the partisan efforts. The Soviets took 9.75 million military casualties only fighting on the one front (notably, 4 million of those were in the first 6 months of the war).

So the numbers of Soviet soldiers and units isn't the biggest problem (although as T pointed out above, he's seeing too many Soviet soldiers compared to history, and historically they didn't lose Moscow and Leningrad!) The problem is that Red Army becomes effective too quickly.


As another note - historical accuracy is one thing, but only to a point.  Refighting WW2 to the exact same conclusion is boring, we know how it ended.  I've seen that movie.  I want something that can end differently. 

Although as has been said, it may be complete fantasy to say that the Axis has anything but the slimmest chance of winning the war, so a game victory doesn't necessarily have to mean they will win the war.  That probably means doing significantly better than the historical performance.

(in reply to tigercub)
Post #: 24
RE: Open your mind! - 8/9/2011 11:41:17 PM   
kfmiller41


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I am currently reading a book called "Stalingrad to Kursk, Triumph of the Red Army" by Geoffrey Jukes, and it tries to answer alot of thee questions. His logic seems very sound  and recommend it as a good read.


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Post #: 25
RE: Open your mind! - 8/10/2011 2:16:18 PM   
Captain


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It has always been difficult to explain how the Red Army beat the German Heer. The traditional view, propagated by German generals after the war, was that a combination of overwhelming mass of Soviet soldiers/equipment and Hitler's mistakes did them in. More recent histories show that this is a very simplistic view.

The WW2 Soviet Army had many of the weaknesses of Arab armies: top down, overly centralised control; lack of initiative/training among junior officers/NCOs. As the IDF has shown many times, a small, flexible army can beat a large inflexible army almost every time.

What Glantz and others have shown is more of a continuum, the Werhmacht was at its peak of efficiency in june 1941, but their replacement system was totally inadequate and could never supply enough men, AFVs, airplanes, etc. to make up for their losses, so German units kept becoming progressivily weaker.

On the other hand, the Red Army was at its weakest, most disorganised in june 1941. However, it kept improving on a daily basis, officers were promoted on the basis of competence, officers became better and better at coordinating plans/units, the power of commissars was curbed, Stalin learned to stop interfering in military plans and increasingly better equipment was sent to the troops. Already, by late summer 1941, you could see improvements in the batttle before Moscow. In the summer of 42, the Soviet performance was noticeably better than in 41.





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RE: Open your mind! - 8/10/2011 2:31:19 PM   
Q-Ball


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The Wehrmacht possessed qualitative superiority over EVERYONE, IMO, right up to the end of the war.

The strength of the Wehrmacht was it's institutional memory, embodied in it's professional and highly efficient officer corps and procedures. The Wehrmacht consistently attracted the best and brightest Germany had to offer, while the armies of the Western Allies didn't (because there were more outlets and opportunities for talented men).

Obviously, the efficiency of the Wehrmacht degraded throughout the war, as losses took their toll, while the Western Allies and Soveits all improved. But even in the last battles for Berlin, the Germans were out-killing Soviets, just not to the degree they did in 1941.

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(in reply to Captain)
Post #: 27
RE: Open your mind! - 8/10/2011 7:00:28 PM   
Nikademus


Posts: 25684
Joined: 5/27/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

The Wehrmacht possessed qualitative superiority over EVERYONE, IMO, right up to the end of the war.

The strength of the Wehrmacht was it's institutional memory, embodied in it's professional and highly efficient officer corps and procedures. The Wehrmacht consistently attracted the best and brightest Germany had to offer, while the armies of the Western Allies didn't (because there were more outlets and opportunities for talented men).

Obviously, the efficiency of the Wehrmacht degraded throughout the war, as losses took their toll, while the Western Allies and Soveits all improved. But even in the last battles for Berlin, the Germans were out-killing Soviets, just not to the degree they did in 1941.



This is true to a point.....of course always with qualifications. It was refreshing for once to see a modern author (Hastings: Armageddon) not go the usual revisionist path of the last decade or so and try to portray the Germans (or Japan at it's height for that matter) as just average soldiers....not really better than any democratic nation (re: The United States... ), and in fact graver inferior in alot of respects etc etc.....and pump out a bunch of subjective statistics to "prove the point" The author instead just flat out says......noting that it will be unpalatable to Nationalists who will not agree, that in many cases the Germans were simply better when it came to much of the craft of warfare....citing that they'd been at it the longest, and had been built up for war by dictatorships etc etc and embraced war early on whilst the Allied nations tended to shun war but when pushed into it, geared up and went at it as civilian soldiers. He does cavet of course, saying that this was not universal....not every battle...not every unit was better....but "in general" and he cites the fact that despite their crushing material superiority and total command of the air....after the initial and spectacular romp across france, the Western Allies bogged down and (in the author's opinion) unimaginatively and cautiously slogged its way tentatively and at times painfully into Germany whilst the Germans fought with both their remaining skill and the tenacity of defenders guarding their homeland....sometimes beating incredible odds in the process

Hastings is perhaps a little too unfair to the Red Army, agreeing with the one poster here painting that org as a big brutal mass that continued to throw hoards at the Germans. This again, was true to a point, but David Glantz's study of August Storm (The Soviet Manchurian operation) disagrees, saying that the op represented a "graduation exercise" of the new Red Army that had taken it's lumps from the superior Wehrmacht, learned from it and came out as a sophisticated and battle tested org and proved it during that op. So well planned and executed was it, that according to Glantz.....August Storm was essentially duplicated by US operational planners for the Iraq war of 1991, and the code name "Desert Storm" was deliberately chosen by them to honor the orgininators of the template.....the Russians.

I can't help but note that alot of the complaints i'm reading here echo those seen alot in WitP/AE....which has also undergone alot of revisionism. Japanese units in some cases dumbed down (in exp), Allied units were raised. Alot of effort was made to "realistsically" (vs. past games which many thought unfairly portrayed allied units and/or options) represent the Allies better and alot of effort went into giving them more options and putting in more govenors on the Japanese side (for example.....trigger points on the map that make auto-reinforcements appear on rear areas if Japan player invades them etc or having major Allied units appear in "Convoys" or in rear bases instead of where they were historically deployed allowing players to redirect them to other areas where they KNOW they won't be lost as they were historically) It all looks good on paper....but in actual play, it has become evident that combined with total player control and hindsight.....its EXTREMELY hard for a Japan player to even match the historical gains that country made much less exceed them. That brings up two other key points that will invariable distort a "historical" game and represent serious challenges for developers:

1) the AHISTORICALNESS of total player control.

What general in history wouldn't have loved to be in TOTAL control of ALL his units....even his country's economy....with point and click access to each unit in instantaneous real time? This is particularily useful in AE.....the SRA historically was a coalition, each with it's own agenda, command structure and in some cases own language. ALot of fuss is made over the "inaccuracy" of not representing the angst between the IJA and IJN but few complain about the fact that the Allies in the SRA from day 2 of the war are organized in such a way as to make them 200% or more effective than their historical counterparts. Older games got around this with more generalized play and abstractions, including exp level representations. With modern games, with greater detail, control and people arguing that this unit or that unit was unfairly represented.....etc etc. Grigsby style games give players the most detail control (though there's still alot of randoms behind the numbers.....so arguing over this device or that having an effectiveness of 3 vs. 2 can be funny to say the least)....the con side of it is that such control creates abuse situations. No real life commander ever had such control. But a fully realistic C3 simulation would be frankly boring...(envision a graphical representation of a briefing room....with maps and typed reports coming in at various times....your "view" of the big picture). Utimately thats where the game part of wargame comes into play.

2) Hindsight

players start these games knowing what the historical parties did wrong and naturally try to avoid them. Nuff said. Developers can "try" to counter this by implementing penalties of various kinds for certain behaviors....whether that be economic, political prestige or otherwise.

I think the increase in computing power and the desire to reprsent popular war subjects with ever greater levels of details exaserbates this problem because it gives players more and more control. Apparantly in WitE, the Soviet player can tailor the entire Red Army to suit his or her tastes (and exploit rules and loopholes to the max) It doesn't exactly surprise me then given all this that alot of German side players are complaining that they can't even match history much less do better. In old War in Russia....you could create standard divisions only...that was it. Simple...easy...effective...these divisions went into shell corps and armies and were placed on the map. In WitE....its been suggested that the best units to build en masse are brigades and Fortified regions and stack em deep creating trench warfare. I've asked repeatedly does the game represent the distinctive DISadvantages of deploying masses of small units vs. dedicated divisions and corps? As Glantz detailed, a major reason the Soviets were forced to deploy tank brigades initially was not just material losses but more importantly because its leaders and officers were so inexperienced in issues of Command/Control and mobile warfare that they could not employ larger units....but larger units were critical to deep penetration and long term ops. Deployment of lots of wee little units created and caused much confusion for the Soviets and made controling the battlefield tougher. Small units can work for defense and limited offensives but less so for big offensives. Eventually.....slowly, painfully, the Soviets graduated from small brigades, to corps....and then Tank Armies. Increasing Soviet proficiency made these steps possible and as the bigger units prolifferated and gained exp, the Red Army got more effective.

anyway.....i was a developer for AE (part of it anyway....i resigned over a disagreement and then came back on and helped out).....if there's one thing i learned from that and years of beta testing for the parent WitP product and Uncommon Valor....the more i learned about wargame development, the more i realized how little i knew about it. Alot of my former views have been changed as a result. Just my opinions in the end based on seeing things from inside and outside. Ultimatley....its a super hard job and totally impossible to please everyone. Often its a thankless job.





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(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 28
RE: Open your mind! - 8/10/2011 7:24:28 PM   
Helpless


Posts: 15792
Joined: 8/27/2004
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quote:

But even in the last battles for Berlin, the Germans were out-killing Soviets, just not to the degree they did in 1941.


This is not true.

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Pavel Zagzin
WITE/WITW/WITE-2 Development

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 29
RE: Open your mind! - 8/10/2011 8:27:38 PM   
Jakerson

 

Posts: 565
Joined: 8/15/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

quote:

But even in the last battles for Berlin, the Germans were out-killing Soviets, just not to the degree they did in 1941.


This is not true.


Soviet artillery started to take its toll end years of the war.

In the end German army was most dangerous army to serve in world war 2 from all people that served in German army 30,9% were killed at world war 2.

Soviet army even taking staggering casulties was second dangerous army to serve 25,1% of people who served in Soviet army were killed in war. Mathematically it was actually more safer to serve in Soviet army in world war 2 than German army.

Third dagerous army was Japanese army 24,22% who served there were killed in war.


(in reply to Helpless)
Post #: 30
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