From: Berlin, Germany
OKH decides to resign after during T8, as such the game ends here and concluding comments will be given.
Support unit creation
The only support units built to this point are sapper regiments. They are very good units, because
-as infantry, they excel in every terrain, while AFV get a malus in dense terrain
-for early war support units, they have good CV
-they are cheap in terms of build cost compared to artillery, lowering arm needs (that assumes the key stat for this is build cost, not ammo use), and only slightly more expensive than standard infantry squads
-they help digging
-they are able to reduce enemy fortifications, a straightforward way to reduce enemy CV
-they can later be attached to corps formations
-they seem slightly better amred than standard infantry squad=better investment of manpower
As such, 24 were created when the Soviet side gets the influx of extra AP for the arrival of a new front in T4, with more following to use excess AP.
They are left in frozen Military District HQs until they have grown to their national morale level of 50, which takes 3-5 turns. From there, they can be transferred for free to other HQs when they are ready.
The strategy of running away has preserved the strength of the Red Army to that point, with losses being low for that turn (less than 10 divisions lost to pockets after T1) with the OOB approaching 4 million men.*
*when comparing games from before 1.11.01 and after, keep in mind that the Soviet OOB on T1 declined by 400-500k men due to scenario changes, while the artillery number increased by a few 1000 guns.
Lately, there has been much debate regarding balance as of 1.11.01 and 1.11.03. I have retired from that debate, but as a comment on it has been promised in the beginning of the AAR, here it is:
I have found this game to be fun and balanced. In T8, the game can go to every direction of course, but extrapolating from AARs, I believe the Soviet side has a good chance holding at least one of the two major objectives Leningrad and Moscow and, independent of this, Rostov, while maintaining a strong army. The Air Force, especially the tac air arm, was developing very well, which gives the Soviet Union a fair chance of hitting back during the blizzard and to begin the never ending attrition campaign against the German manpower.
Note I measure game balance based on the old VC290 VPs campaign, especially if and when the Soviets will capture Berlin. If you base your opinion on the accountant-scenario bitter end, results can differ. In my reasoning I also assume that in most AARs one can use for reference for games going to 1942 onwards, the Soviet player does not use one or more thing that would favour him (I can comment on this if there is interest).
One can throw in that this particular game is not representative or that one side did not use its full potential.
Points that imply the game shows the Axis weaker than they are:
-Axis opening was good, but compared to the best in this regard I have seen so far, it pockets 32 command points less T1 and T2 from a quick counting assuming the Soviet player evacuates everything not pocketed or locked T1
-I think S-T prefers efficiency over maximum result in terms of micromanagement
-one can debate if the deep industry raids were worth it-opinions will differ here I guess
-the Axis side was allowed to use the infantry army HQ stocks, I do not know if it did so, but in any case, resources to prepare for this had to be spent by the Soviets.
-the play can be usually improved by investing more time in a turn, with diminishing return of course
Points that imply the game shows the Soviets weaker than the are:
-the Axis player has a 2:1 or 3:1 advantage in multiplayer experience for the scenario in question here (me as Soviets, S-T as Axis)
-there is micromanagement/optimisation potential I am aware off, but did not use due to laziness and/or time pressure. Examples are air transfer of aircraft even for small distances, very detailed tracking of Axis mobile forces by individual unit name or movement point/fuel estimations for enemy mobile formations, relying to gut feeling instead
-I did not use iterative unit placement, meaning that the defence is set-up on a planning map and then, in imagination, an enemy attack is simulated to iron out possible weak spots. I consider this to be a useful, but also very exhausting and time demanding one. I was not able to summon up the determination for this yet
-more general, play can be improved by investing extra time an thought
-I typically have a high mistake rate. In school, it was common that people to whom I explained physics/math/chemistry stuff before the exam got better marks, because I copied numbers wrong from the task sheet. It an inherent weakness of my thinking and leads to high mistake rate in WitE as well, even though I in theory know better. Someone more structured and reliable in his thinking should be able to squeeze out more
A reasonable doubt remains, for the possibilities for strategies in this game is sheer endless, but from the points above, I do not think that this one is an outlier.
Note that the above comments are under the impresssion of 1.11.01 scenario data, but most turns were under 1.11.03.
If the major issue is the over-the-top Axis opening, it can be easily cured by a house rule.
I repeat my comment from elsewhere that a small Soviet buff is in order, but it has to be a careful one.
< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 9/21/2018 11:56:33 AM >