From: Utlima Thule
ORIGINAL: Spurius Evidens
Most informative and entertaining indeed. As one of the many (I suspect) that lurk in the corridors of this forum and eavesdrop on you guys talking by the virtual water cooler this is a great read, and a whole lot more fun than sitting down and reading the manual from cover to cover, given that I have WitE and basically just want to see what's different. So I'd like to pose a few questions vis-a-vis your assessment of how your campaign sits at the moment, not in any way as an implied criticism but because I think I'll get some well considered answers.
1) It seems the Med was done about as economically as you could, you got D-Day down about a week early, and you've gutted the Luftwaffe as well as having hit much manpower and such, but it seems lack of supply is holding your offensive back. I haven't yet mentioned the Netherlands landings since they're an interesting point. If I may digress for a moment I've always found the Netherlands easy to invade but impossible to break out from until the main front reaches it, going back to Avalon Hill's '77 game D-Day, but here any argument that it has dissipated the force of the main front fails given the supply issues there with the current forces, and it is tying up some powerful units. However, I note you were late to Cherbourg and that it was a tougher nut to crack than irl, but you've been probably far more busy cleaning up other ports. So what's causing the supply issue to be so acute given your fairly light commitment on the main front? Late to Cherbourg? Or just maybe some fine tuning to the game system? I'm just getting the gut feeling that unless all those German units in front of you are mostly empty shells that you're not getting much further before winter.
2) That Allied salient to the north of Liege looks tempting. What's sitting under that Brit HQ?
That's about it, keep calm and carry on I say, what? Give bally Jerry a right thrashing and all that. Cheers!
One reason for doing this is I think most people will play vs AI and yet most AARs get caught up on the dynamics of PBEM. Also I think the more that is reported, the easier it will be to decide what sort of balance changes really are needed.
The main supply problem is landing enough. There are a lot of incredibly detailed (and useful) tool tips available that allow you to explore the problem. Here, I am landing about 20% of the supplies I need. At this stage the Normandy beaches are still the main source, but those level 2 ports all help (they repair in a turn if you leave a TF outside them). Cherbourg/Le Havre etc are at about 60% of useable capacity. Also once Toulon/Marseilles repair that will help.
So practically its a global lack, worsened by a damaged rail net. My solution is to focus the depot system to the NE and put 2 British Army on #4 for resupply, US 2 is #2 and everything else is on #1.
I have 2 choices, do as I'm doing, ie let supply rebuild a little and then try to dislocate part of the German line or sit back and let stocks build up and hope that 1945 allows more sustained attacking. Since the weather in the autumn has basically been ok, the first has tempted me, as I suspect that Nov-December will see plenty of severe weather, in any case.
I was pleased with the Med, it helps that the AI takes no chances of being pocketed, but I got all I wanted for minimal combat. In that respect the consequence of losing VPs for casualties means there is no real gain to small niggling attacks (that you might do in WiTE just to inflict losses on your opponent).
The Netherlands gambit I think is worth it for a few reasons. Unless you catch your opponent badly off balance you are not going to break out but you can grab (pretty much guarenteed) 3 hexes even PBEM. Those reduce the number you need elsewhere to avoid the July 1944 penalty (for not having 8 hexes in France/Low Countries) and the air bases mean you can fly escorted bombing missions as far as Berlin.
The AI clearly likes the idea of leaving large garrisons in each fort. Its probably quite effective but once I realised just how useful the TFs are its taken me a couple of turns, sometimes just one, per port. Cherbourg showed that simply relying on bombing and supply shortages is too slow. I think now I'd take it in 2-3 turns rather than the 6 it took me here. Its making the conceptual leap from seeing them as transport formations to realising their combat value.
The Liege position is tempting, but I fear I need to broaden the shoulders, I can't build depots etc in the front end as the Germans are still breaking each of the potential rail lines. The unit is an armoured division (2 British is almost all armour at the moment), but with 1 US now freed up, I'm hoping to attack into the western Netherlands and in turn hopefully free up 3 US and the additional supply sources that would offer