From: Loches France (but properly part of England)
Having opined on the importance of pockets, here are my tips for less experienced players.
Big, sweeping pockets are fabulous when they work but require your opponent to make a big mistake when you are finally in a position to make one. I know this from the times I was on the receiving end. I shall therefore focus on the smaller ones. Ideally they will comply with 4 rules
1 they should be compact. The bigger they are, the easier to break. Herding is very useful - the trick is to squeeze your targets together, whist trying to reduce routs. In '41 Russian units often rout if forced to retreat into a hex with an axis ZOC in it. You may need to move a unit out of the way to avoid this.
2 It should be unbreakable. That usually means no gaps and an outer level of defence against counterattack: either units or flipped hexes. The mobility of enemy cav and armour can be more annoying than you would think.
3 Don't be too greedy. It is usually better, even if frustrating, to go for a smaller pocket that will hold even if that means routing a potential captive or two.
4 Make sure you will be able to close any break next turn and make a stronger perimeter if necessary . Armour without petrol are pretty poor at this, particularly if your opponent turned the tables and isolated some of your troops.
When going for a pocket, it usually pays to hit the hex(es) that you first need to clear to break through with what might be overkill
A good example of a pocket meeting these criteria was my T6 one in the Kiev area which you can see in an earlier post. I haven't got a bad example in the AAR so far, but you may find ones in other AARs.
Another type of pocket is one that is not intended to succeed in the first turn, but the next turn or even a 3rd turn. No hard and fast rule of how long success needs to take. It's the usual trade off between cost (resources and time) versus reward (what you kill). A good example (I hope) is the turn 1 lockdown just S of Rovno that finally turned into a secure pocket on T3. Against many players it would only have taken 2 turns, but Brian G does not make life easy. However, that also caused him to lose even more units so I'm very happy with the result.
An example of how not to do a lockdown-type pocket well is AGC's attempt this turn, as will become clearer in later turns. I broke pretty well all my own rules. Of course, part of playing games well is to know when the rules can be bent.
Other experienced players are very welcome to share their ideas here
< Message edited by sillyflower -- 12/27/2015 9:27:24 PM >
Post: I am always fearful that when I put this game down on the table and people see the box-art they will think I am some kind of neo-Nazi
Reply: They already know you're a gamer. What other shame can possibly compare?