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This is so hard - 2/28/2018 4:39:36 AM   
countrboy

 

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Bought the game a while back but am finally giving it a real go. I'm finding that the game is just impossibly hard! It's more like a WWI slog-fest than blitzkrieg. It takes 2 German divisions to shift a Soviet unit, while it takes three Romanian divisions to achieve the same result. The only time I can win a battle with a single German division if it is a Pz division against no more than 1 Russian infantry division. Is this normal? And if there's 3 or more Russian units in a hex I have to muster at least 4 or 5 German units, or else I get the dreaded message 'attacker out of AP'. And the Fins! Don't even get me started on how useless they were in T1.

Casualties after the first turn were 30k or so German and 130k or so Russian. At that rate the Germans will run out of manpower before Christmas 41.

Of course I am still learning the game, but even so, you would think even a noob couldn't stuff it up too badly on turn 1.



< Message edited by countrboy -- 2/28/2018 4:43:36 AM >
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RE: This is so hard - 2/28/2018 5:41:07 AM   
JoeyBlau

 

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I have yet to figure out how to win as german. I captured smolensk and had to give it up. Lenningrad? Ha! Kiev seems to be protected by 30 divisions.

After a while I just started requesting extra trains, fuel and PP every turn just to get moving.

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RE: This is so hard - 2/28/2018 8:16:14 AM   
countrboy

 

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I thought perhaps I was too used to WiTE, where the Germans cut through the Soviets like a hot knife through butter, until winter and 1943. Obviously it's not just me. I just doesn't feel like 'Barbarossa' at all. More like Verdun or similar...

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RE: This is so hard - 2/28/2018 8:55:19 AM   
countrboy

 

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Today I picked up Case Blue and Warsaw to Paris (they're on sale) so I might give them a go.

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RE: This is so hard - 2/28/2018 4:19:23 PM   
DeriKuk


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It's a tricky game, and you have much to learn ... but here are some things you can start with:

1) Keep you units in supply/communication within their command structure. There is a reason for the OoB hierarchy.

2) Artillery is not "infantry with big guns", or merely there for decoration. Hesitate to attack without softening up target.

3) Stay focused on objectives. Read the victory conditions first.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/1/2018 6:52:45 PM   
Huskalator

 

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I'm far from an expert in this game but I do feel like I can offer a few tips. At least against the AI... PBEM is a different story.

- Don't go toe-to-toe with Soviets that is playing directly into their hands. I'm never looking to go 1-to-1. Punch a hole in Soviet lines and drive those panzers through. At this point you decide whether to:
a) surround and cut off large chunks of enemy troops in a pincer OR
b) drive deep and hard taking all space available. Move into every nook and cranny. Drive at lightly defended bridges and cities. Pierce at your enemy's heart.
Whether you do a) or b) depends on terrain, objectives, and troops available.

- In general, use infantry for holding the ground your panzers take after they punch through. Think of them as the shaft of your spearhead. They follow right behind the tanks and seal off their rear. They also seal and mop up surrounded enemy which frees your panzers continue to drive on. That is in general obviously. I still attack quite a bit with infantry divisions I just make sure I have enough free to swing around through the gap.

Hope this helps!

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RE: This is so hard - 3/1/2018 9:09:28 PM   
Yogi the Great


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Look for thread awful lot of Russians.

Many love this game, for me lost interest real quick but will try again sometime. You can't recreate historic situation as the designer decided to have extra Russians added early and to have them act differently and give a better defense than historic situation gave.

Again many do think this is one of the best games out there, I'm just not one of them.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/7/2018 2:03:28 PM   
JJKettunen


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nevermind, was too harsh.

< Message edited by JJKettunen -- 3/8/2018 2:41:12 PM >


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RE: This is so hard - 3/7/2018 10:18:26 PM   
lancer

 

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Hi,

To clarify one point, there are no extra Russians added to the game early (or later). The OOB is strictly historical.

The only deviation from this are the city garrisons and these are randomised to provide different game experiences - sometimes they are more than historically and sometimes less.

The Soviet AI is a lot smarter than the historical Soviet response but, if it wasn't, it would be shredded once the Germans started running rampant.

It's a trade-off.

The game also has a decent learning curve and would have benefited greatly from a smaller, introductory scenario.

If you're having trouble I'd suggest dropping down a level in difficulty below the default which has been pitched at providing a challenging game play experience to the typical player.

Defining a 'typical' player is more of a art than a science and, in retrospect, the default difficulty could have been a notch lower.

Cheers,
Cameron


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RE: This is so hard - 3/10/2018 4:25:07 PM   
JJKettunen


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Could it be possible to implement, as a game option, Soviet AI that has historical deployment (with no variation), and which would act more historically, ie. not conducting a general pre-planned withdrawal everywhere?

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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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Post #: 10
RE: This is so hard - 3/10/2018 7:43:43 PM   
Duck Doc


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This game requires an extraordinary amount of dedication in order to succeed as the Germans. Hard to fault it though in this regard. The Germans, of course, never conquered Moscow or Leningrad and were eventually halted short of their expectations for Barbarossa by a bunch. It is indeed very difficult to crack a sturdy Soviet line of stacked and dug-in units but in can be done. I consider this one of the best gaming experiences I have had the pleasure to have in spite of my sore deficiency of skill and experience. I would have liked it less if it would have been easier. Agree completely about playing on lower difficulty levels.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/10/2018 8:02:50 PM   
JJKettunen


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If the AI is only competitive with the current approach, then there are some serious design issues. Just as an example, I could imagine that the Axis side could do with much lower bonus values (if needed at all) if the initial state of the bordering Soviet forces were modelled properly (going through reorganisation).

< Message edited by JJKettunen -- 3/10/2018 8:03:58 PM >


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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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RE: This is so hard - 3/11/2018 4:50:32 PM   
JJKettunen


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Ok, after playing with the easy mode (no self-respecting grognard will do it gladly) for 7 turns I see that the fronts are more fluid, something that one would expect. Shame if the AI can't handle bigger gaps later. Anyhow, forget my earlier ramblings, here's a reasonable suggestion: A "semi-easy" option with no extra trucks, trains nor political points.

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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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RE: This is so hard - 3/11/2018 7:51:39 PM   
wodin


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I think the Russian are to stubborn and fight to well during the first few turns. Maybe the odd unit does put up a fight but really they should be a lot easier to blast through and they should dissolve during retreat as well. That's my opinion. On paper the game plays out how o paper strength the battle should but as we know the odds against the Germans blew through them which the game doesn't replicate well.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/15/2018 11:10:57 AM   
countrboy

 

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Thanks for the responses guys. I'm prepared to give it more time, as clearly there is a learning curve. I guess the initial difficulty in cracking the Soviet lines was really stark for me as at the same time as playing Barbarossa I had just started a campaign as Germany in War in the East. The initial Soviet effectiveness in the two games is like comparing chalk and cheese...

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RE: This is so hard - 3/15/2018 11:48:28 AM   
Yogi the Great


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer

Hi,

To clarify one point, there are no extra Russians added to the game early (or later). The OOB is strictly historical.



Ok, that may be so but when you can't eliminate enough because of their initial moves, retreats, line forming, digging in and/or any other game features you end up with a lot more Russians to face than historic situation. I don't know enough to say if the OOB has more Russian units or at what time they came in historically. I have played a number of Russian front games and as this game progresses it has a lot more Russian units surviving and on the board than those other games.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/15/2018 12:05:27 PM   
John B.


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I'm playing the game now as the Russian and the Germans are certainly pretty good at pushing me around. It's early August 41 and they just took Kiev (ahead of the historical timeline) we're in a dog fight near Smolensk (in keeping with the historical time line) and they're closing in on Tallinn in Estonia (just a tiny bit ahead of schedule). I have not yet tried as the Germans but it does give me a few ideas on how to proceed with them when I do. I'm not sure what the German fighting power is when controlled by human but it's pretty impressive when controlled by the AI.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/18/2018 5:10:26 PM   
User1988

 

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I'm a newbie myself at these sort of games, DCB is supposed to be one of the easiest to play, and I bought it a couple of months ago, I didn't even touch it without watching all the video tutorials and reading the logistics part from the manual. One needs to constantly be aware of supply conditions with the Germans and use the special cards, especially artillery, to stand a chance, and keep moving the forward supply base, having good relations with the army group commanders also gives you the chance of playing special cards that will buff your armies' offensive punch and then you also need to rest your armies.

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RE: This is so hard - 3/18/2018 5:31:50 PM   
JJKettunen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: User1988

I'm a newbie myself at these sort of games, DCB is supposed to be one of the easiest to play, and I bought it a couple of months ago, I didn't even touch it without watching all the video tutorials and reading the logistics part from the manual. One needs to constantly be aware of supply conditions with the Germans and use the special cards, especially artillery, to stand a chance, and keep moving the forward supply base, having good relations with the army group commanders also gives you the chance of playing special cards that will buff your armies' offensive punch and then you also need to rest your armies.


Yes, but the balance problem (with normal difficulty) is there even when you know what you are doing. As already mentioned the Soviet AI is very capable of saving a lot of units from destruction, which can mean that the German side will end up facing walls of units much sooner than one would anticipate. When the shock bonuses dry up, it will turn into a slugfest.

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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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RE: This is so hard - 3/18/2018 5:44:27 PM   
User1988

 

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I haven't had a proper go at it yet, lack of time, I shall starting today, but if it's anything like in real life you can't overpower the Soviets with Germany on all fronts and you'll need to focus on one front: capture at least the Ukraine and then rush the Caucasus to deny the Soviets of food and fuel, the rest aren't decisive from a strategic point of view.

< Message edited by User1988 -- 3/18/2018 5:45:05 PM >

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RE: This is so hard - 3/18/2018 6:16:58 PM   
JJKettunen


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Well, let's see what you think after you have played it.

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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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RE: This is so hard - 3/22/2018 9:13:19 PM   
willgamer


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My favorite game. Takes a fair amount of learning to master-

(Many requests to have this sticky'd a long time ago...)

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4223401

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RE: This is so hard - 3/27/2018 12:54:16 PM   
Tamas

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: willgamer

My favorite game. Takes a fair amount of learning to master-

(Many requests to have this sticky'd a long time ago...)

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4223401



good idea!

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RE: This is so hard - 4/1/2018 3:45:45 PM   
SwampYankee68


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I highly recommend Warsaw to Paris. It plays historically but is challenging. No added Russians for "play balance"

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RE: This is so hard - 5/11/2018 1:29:39 AM   
Neogodhobo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SwampYankee68

I highly recommend Warsaw to Paris. It plays historically but is challenging. No added Russians for "play balance"



There is no added Soviets in Decisive Campaign : Operation Barbarossa. I dont know why you would think that. the historical OOB is available pretty much everywhere, books, internet, and the game itself.

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RE: This is so hard - 5/11/2018 2:03:19 AM   
Neogodhobo


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Historically, the Germans failed Operation Barbarossa. The soviets never crumbled during the operation, they were hard to battle against. They were very good at defending and they would fight harder, and to the death, more often than any other armies would have. This was all stated by the Germans during Operation Barbarossa.

The reason why the soviets were pushed back a lot was because of poor leadership, command and control being destroyed, communication being sabotaged and of course, complete surprise. Not because the soviets were not hard to fight. Whenever the Germans had to engage in battle, it was a hard battle. Take for exemple the Brest Fortress where it took the Germans about 7 days to capture.

Its completely normal to have difficulties fighting the Soviets in the game. What makes it easy to destroy them is how,when and where you move your troops. This is what got the Germans trough the gates of Moscow.

Play the game and test it out a lot. The Germans had wargame and had lots of opportunity to recreate Operation Barbarossa before engaging the real thing. It was originally planned to have one panzer army from AGC to assist in the capture of Leningrad, meaning that two panzer armies would be operating in the South. But the wargames had showed that this was not the best course of actions.

Lots of the original plans for Op. Barbarossa were changed after playing the wargames. You can do the same. Play the frontier battle over and over again until you get good and you know what works and what doesn't.
Try different approach, think outside the box.

I have a full playtrough ( of the frontier battles ) where I dont use my Panzer groups AT ALL. Just because I want to save them for October-November-December. I used my mechanized divisions only. ( I do not recommend this tactic however ).

Just try a lot, and play a lot. I have never made it close to Moscow myself, and have about 100 hours put into the game. But I get trough the Frontier battle pretty easely now and in a timely fashion. I need to practice my strategy for the late game a bit more.

What I found out work best is to drive 2nd Panzer group into the Pripyet marshes, along with 4th army HQ all the way to Gomel, once this is done, I use 4th Army HQ to hold and defend the Dnepr river from Mogilev to Gomel. while I shift 2nd Panzer Group into AGS. By the time I arrive in Gomel (with 2nd ) and Mogilev-Gomel line ( with 4th ) ( this is done in about... 3 or 4 turns ). My armies in the South have connected with 3rd Rumanian HQ and have a static defense line from Lvov to Proskurow to Odessa ( Odessa might not be captured just yet though ).

So 2nd Pz.gr will make their way to Kiev ( usually garrisoned so I skip the battle ) and then I continue to Rovno and Zhytomyr. 2nd Pz.Gr Infantry at this time is usually still in the marshes, so I make them walk from the marshes directly down to Rovno. Effectively closing the kessel. What happens here is you have about 1 million Soviet stuck in that Kessel in about 5-6 turn of the start of the game. Nevermind all the other kessel you created with AGN and AGC while you were working on that one, you should have about 2 million Soviets in your Kessels, either already destroyed, or on the verge of.

That creates a big blow, the only difficult choice at this point is where to advance. Because everything is left undefended ( apart from Garrison ). You can go to Kiev,and Kursk almost without danger of seeing enemy troops. Or you can use your newly freed 1 Pz.Gr to drive to Odessa and capture it in a lightning fast. Creating another kessel between 11th Army HQ and your Panzer Group.( if you are going for this, the trick is to not move your Southern armies at all apart from 17th Army, 6th Army and 1st Pz.Gr. That way you can capture more Soviets. You can then drive to Rostov without seeing much enemy troops.

I usually bring 2nd Pz.Gr back to AGC. At that point, you will need them as you will be struggling in the Center. Drive them to Smolensk, and make a kessel 3rd Pz. Gr. You will have another huge pocket of Soviets trap from Minsk ( where your infantry will probably be stuck fighting while you go south with 2nd Pz Gr. ) to Smolensk. This adds another 500,000 soviets to your kessels. At that point you have about 3 millions soviets eliminated and its abouty turn 10 to 15.

Of course, there is an alternative choice, instead of going South with your 2nd Pz Gr. you can stay center. When you get to Gomel, there will be no one in Smolensk. apart from Garrisons. Drive to Smolensk and meet with 3rd Pz Gr. who will be waiting for you in Polotsk. This creates also a huge kessel in the Minsk-Smolensk area, and makes you ready for a drive to Moscow without much resistance ( although, I never yet tried this strategy, but I have thought about it and planned for a while now that I think I am ready to try it soon )

The trick with this game is to plan ahead. Before you even start turn 1 you should know what you are about to do. Choosing Hitler's Directive might be easier on PP, but it can get way easier if you choose to capture Rostov and just completely annihilate the armies in the South with your two panzer groups. Or if you chose to go Moscow, then you would stay in Center and make the Smolensk-Minsk kessel.


Dont just go turn by turn, advancing everyone as the game goes. This is when you create a Verdun type of game. Because you havent planned anything, so you cant move your troops according to your plans. I bet this is the reason why most people dont succeed.

Now dont get me wrong, I didnt get to Moscow myself, just yet, but this is how I used to play the game, without planning ahead. Now that I started to plan ahead and think about my strategies, I started being way more successful. Such as capturing over 3 millions soviets by turn 10-15. With about 200,000 of my own casualties.



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RE: This is so hard - 5/11/2018 2:04:41 AM   
Neogodhobo


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I also started playing as the Soviets recently. The first few times I got annihilated in a matter of a few turns. but now I can recreate history and keeps the Germans at bay ( within the historical time frame ). Its all about learning how to play them because they play very different from the Germans.

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RE: This is so hard - 5/11/2018 8:26:35 AM   
JJKettunen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neogodhobo


quote:

ORIGINAL: SwampYankee68

I highly recommend Warsaw to Paris. It plays historically but is challenging. No added Russians for "play balance"



There is no added Soviets in Decisive Campaign : Operation Barbarossa. I dont know why you would think that. the historical OOB is available pretty much everywhere, books, internet, and the game itself.


So how about the random (and strong) garrisons?

_____________________________

Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

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Post #: 28
RE: This is so hard - 5/12/2018 3:52:45 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi,

Designer here. The random, strong garrisons can be looked at in several ways.

Historically the Soviets went all out to fortify and garrison a number of major cities in the time period portrayed by the game. They used civilian and prison labour extensively for this and dredged up equipment that doesn't show on any official OOB.

They were extremely difficult cities to take and caused a lot of heartache for the Germans (eg. Sevastopol, Leningrad, etc.)

It's a key element of Barbarossa that needs to be represented in-game.

The garrisons are randomly determined each time you play and you can end up with more garrisons than there were historically, or less. Most of the time it's about where it should be but it's possible to get outliers. It's safe to say that, overall, the garrisons provided are equivalent to what the Germans faced on the day.

They are in randomised locations (although there's a measure of geographic logic behind the randomness) for reasons of hindsight. If you started the game knowing that, Sevastopol, for example was always going to be heavily fortified you'd devise a strategy that took that into account.

The Germans didn't have that knowledge. Nor should the player.

In terms of any game replicating historical outcomes it's, from my point of view, largely a non-argument. If you pick up a wargame on, say Barbarossa, and expect to get historical outcomes from historical force dispositions and weapon equivalencies then that's O.K but you start the campaign with a vast level of knowledge and hindsight that the Generals on the ground didn't possess.

The decisions that they made were done using an information horizon that is tiny compared to yours when you recreate the conflict.

I strongly suspect that if Hitler and his High Command had the same level of knowledge as today's player on Barbarossa they would have made the decision to give the whole thing a miss as it was, from their perspective, an unwinnable campaign.

The game is deliberately meant to be tough to win as either side. Even with this you are still, as a player, miles ahead of your historical counterparts.

Imagine having to play Barbarossa knowing nothing about what happened historically. It'd be a very different experience.

Cheers,
Cameron

< Message edited by lancer -- 5/12/2018 7:18:56 AM >

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Post #: 29
RE: This is so hard - 5/12/2018 11:46:52 AM   
JJKettunen


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Everytime I encounter a strong garrison in the Baltic Sates, it feels wrong, and from historical POV it is wrong.

The fact is that the early turns are made tougher because the AI can't handle bigger gaps that might appear. It can be sugarcoated with philosophical discussions, but the fact remains.

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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

- A. Solzhenitsyn

(in reply to lancer)
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