From: Berlin, Germany
One of the most interesting parts of the team game is the need to fit into a command structure and to coordinate operations and doctrine between the players. The central front repeatedly submitted memorandums to the STAVKA and the team to express its view in a structure format. It could be interesting to the public to read the now declassified documents, so I will post them here. Especially with M60 I had a number of discussions on strategy, I think to the benefit of both, at least they were good for me.
Memorandum regarding resource allocation and morale management within the
The memorandum is the result of a meeting among commanders of the Western Direction and
members of the Frunse Military Academy in the 25.01.1942 under the lead of STAVKA
representative for the Western Direction, General Armii Ewald von Kleist
1. Important facts about the game engine
1.1: The moral value of the unit is the upper limit for the experience ground elements can gain.
1.2: Morale can be only increased when the unit takes part in a victorious battle or if it is below the
individual national morale of its unit type and more than 10 hexagons away from an enemy unit. If
it is furthermore in refit mode, the rate will be increased. The morale increase from a battle is 0-3
points, and the chance to gain morale is drastically reduced when the unit’s morale is above the
unit’s national morale. The morale increase from being in the rear usually is 1-2 points per turn,
refit mode increases the rate to 2-4 points.
1.3: The experience gain of a unit usually is one point per turn. When the experience is less than one
half of the national morale, the rate is increased. Some state that having the unit on a working rail
or attacking with it improves experience as well, but there has been no test done yet to confirm
1.4: Unit morale and experience are key parameters for a unit. First, the combat value of a unit is
calculated by the formula 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑏𝑎𝑡 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 = 𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 ∗ 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 ∗ 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑒.
As higher morale allows higher experience, the combat value is proportional to the square of the
morale. Second, units with higher morale pay less MPs to enter enemy hexagons. The magic
numbers in question are 41 and 61 for infantry/cavalry. Third, higher morale reduces the chance of
a rout. Fourth, morale and experience have a high influence on combat losses inflicted and
suffered, attrition losses, ammunition consumption and much more. As a rule of thumb, a fully
trained guards rifle division has 1.5 times the CV of a normal rifle division, and a 45 morale
division has twice the CV of a 33 morale division, and that is before all the additional effects are
taken into account.
2. Conclusions for he praxis
2.1: Units with a morale below the national morale should be brought to the rear whenever the
situation on the front allows this. That is especially true for guards divisions. We have nothing of
the Guards status if the division does not use the potential to grow to 55+morale, but stays at 48
for the rest of 1942. It is nothing better than a normal rifle division then.
2.2: Attacking successfully is an effective way to improve the morale of a unit on the frontline. On
this way, it is even possible to get the unit morale above the national morale, with 2-3point being
easily in reach.
2.3: Try to get guards mountain divisions and guards cavalry divisions/corps above 60 morale so
they pay one MP less per enemy hexagon/2MP less for a ZOC to ZOC movement into an enemy
3. The state of morale management as of T32
A quick review of the situation showed the following situation.
3.1: The Northern direction has a number of units 5 or more points below the national morale. Many
units of them will not have the chance to participate in a successful fight during the next turns. It
should be possible to rotate them to the rear area and return them into their position before the end
of the blizzard. Additional STAVKA rifle brigades might be necessary to preserve fortifications
3.2: The Western Direction has started the unit rotation a while back, therefore the situation is fine
North of Moscow apart from a few overlooks that will be corrected soon. South of Moscow, a
good number of units is below its national morale, but the fluid situation allows to improve the
situation by winning fights.
3.3: The Southern Direction is in a very good shape, only newly awarded guards units are below
their national morale, but should be able to get there by victories.
3.4: The STAVKA units, which includes units send to the front for fortification works, are in a very
bad shape. Good examples are the stacks around Ryazan, Gorky, Penza and the artillery units.
3.5: Most support units have a good morale. Newly formed support units should stay in the rear
until they reach 50 morale.
4. Replacement allocation
The general idea is to send the replacements to the areas where offensive or defensive fighting is to
be expected, while starving the rest of the front for replacements. Having men sitting in units behind
the frontline or on secondary fronts while the frontline units melt down is bad economy of forces. In
addition, replacements should be concentrated in the units where they will generate the most combat
value. Therefore, units with high morale and high experience should be prioritized for replacements.
Looking at the current situation, the committee believes we are refitting too many units, the wrong
units and that we have too many units on MAX TOE=100.
4.1: Rear area units should be set to MAX TOE=20. The many rifle brigades at 100%, the tank units
at Gorky or the entire 60th army take away replacements from the front line, where many divisions
have dropped to 50%. One can argue that we do not only need strong units, but also very many for
defense in depth. This is true, but we do not need them now, whereas strengthening the fighting
units is urgent. If we feel the need to have more low to mid-strength units, this can be easily done
during the last two blizzard turns by setting the entire army at 20% MAX TOE except for a few
4.2: Every shell unit below the national morale should be brought to the rear area and set on refit
and 20% MAX TOE so it does not compete for replacements. Yes, currently we do not care about
their morale, but one day we might suddenly need a unit and it will then make a difference if the
replacements flow into a 30morale unit or a 45morale unit.
4.3: Only few frontline units should be on refit. Ideally, the STAVKA gives orders how to manage
this according to current and future hotspots.
4.4: Setting frontline units to low TOEs to concentrate replacements might be tempting as well, but
there are trade-offs. Only some, but not all resources are scarce. The current trend indicates that we
will be short on manpower but are going to swim in armaments. Setting a unit to, say, 60% MAX
TOE does not only cut down on the allotment of the rifle squads we are short of, but also on the
artillery we have plenty, reducing the added-up combat value of all units. A good middle way for
now could be to set every frontline unit below 50 morale to 80% and above 49 morale to 100%
with Cavalry, chosen tank brigades and units with exceptional morale and mountain units to refit
on top. In addition, standard units which are part of an important offensive can be prioritized as
I am aware that this is a lot of editing MAX TOEs and micromanagement. When playing Soviets, I
spend a lot of time on such stuff, including considerations like “I have a 35mrl brigade maintaining a
fort. There is a 20% TOE division with 45 morale in range to replace it, but it is also maintaining a
fort and therefore I am pull out a 40 division out of the frontline as well and then I need to rail in this
unit to fill the gap etc.”.
The problem is that the NKGB reports indicate that the German army does exactly this stuff in
excess, getting withdrawing units close to 85% TOE, swapping old models into withdrawing air
groups, extracting good leaders out of withdrawing HQs and all such stuff. If we want to compete and
survive 1942, I think we must not fall behind too much in this category.
It is understandable if micromanaging is not your way of playing. But if this is somehow possible
management-wise, I can do some admin stuff for a while if necessary.
Memorandum on the Soviet summer strategy, from around T45
A)There are several options the Axis can draw from.
1. Dispersed effort: That is the least dangerous option, as it will not cause major pockets. Unlikely. Signs: Dispersed panzers.
2. Focus north: Offensive in the Northern-Central area to eliminate the Valdai bulge. The size of the operation can vary, rangin from an effort to encircle a single army to a front-threatening operation. Signs: Considerable infantry deployment and disappeared Panzers.
3. Focus Tula to Boguchar: Major attack in this area, aiming both for encirclements and for grabbing land. An Axis effort there threatens manpower centers and maybe brings the Ural industry in range of the Axis bombers. Signs: Panzer concentration in this area. I consider this to be the most likely option, maybe coupled with a small grinding offensive in the Valdai area. Not at last because it would involve all front commanders. The spring attack also points in this direction.
4. Focus South: An effort to capture the Don bend, preparing an attack into the Caucasus. Signs: Panzer concentrations.
B) In any case, the Axis will and should be focused on encirclements, leaving the land grab as a mere consequence. The puzzle we have to solve is how to avoid losing too many units without running away. The solution to this is situational awareness and defence in depth. We at all cost need to find out where the Panzers are. If the the Axis hits anywhere on a not reinforced front with a panzer ball commanded by an experienced player, it will easily create a big pocket we cannot afford.
We can’t have defense in depth everywhere, therefore we need to find out where it is necessary.
Especially threatened from an encirclement is the front line from Boguchar to Rostov. It has no real depth and allot of open terrain behind it. Even more concerning is the fact that an Axis panzer force seeming at Voronesh can easily swing South to pocket. If Axis forces are nearby, the frontline must be either strengthened considerably, or be taken back.
C) Currently, a considerable amount of forces is refitting in the rear area. There is no reason why they can’t do the same a little closer to the frontline (still out of harm) on a spot where their construction value can be used, while they still remain on or very close to the rail line. At the moment apply their skills in shovelling at useless spots.
D) The STAVKA suggested to use the mobile forces (cavalry and tank/mech) at least 10-12 hexagons as a strategic reserve to counter Axis attempts on pockets. I believe that this position is too far backwards. At least elements of the mobile strategic reserve should be placed so that between them and the last units of the regular defence no route without ZOC on it remains as a general guideline. On this way, they also form the final line of the main defence.
In any case, the strategic reserve should either dig or act as an operational reserve as well. A strategic reserve to manage an operational crisis that is caused exactly by its absence on the front line makes no sense (I consider the Topeverest AAR to be an example of what not to do in that direction).
E) The red army lacks 2.5 million men to fill its ranks. I am therefore sceptical (not critical) about STAVKA plans to build more units.
F) We currently fortify river lines. In my opinion, the thing that needs to be fortified first is the space between the rivers, as it is the favoured axis of attack.
G) I think we need to construct a few non-river related rear area lines to get some depth in the defense. I am not sure what to do with the line in the South, as it takes considerable effort to make it somewhat stable.
< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/4/2019 6:52:27 PM >