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FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 2:36:46 PM   
gliz2

 

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The aim:
Show possible solutions to practical problems in FITE2 (e.g. the best T1 outcome).

Best use of force in T1 (AG Nord) Road to Leningrad/Moscow



< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/12/2019 5:16:31 PM >
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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 3:11:01 PM   
gliz2

 

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blocked for FITE2 main observations and Gliz2 house rules (to enhance the game-play experience).

Gliz2 house rules
1.first turn specials: Soviet units cannot move. Simple, brutal, absurd. Call it as you like. But it works like a magic.
Soviets will not be able to set up any MLR in first 2-3 turns thus not restraining the mobility of Germans in the crucial first turns. It does not give any advantages other than possibility to achieve historical results of German advance till mid July.
2. blowing bridges: only infantry and dug in HQ can blow bridges (first dug in and if successful blow up bridge).



< Message edited by gliz2 -- 5/6/2019 8:09:09 AM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 3:11:48 PM   
gliz2

 

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Some discussion on popular myths surrounding Barbarossa'41.

Germans had made no preparations for a winter campaign and it was General Winter who defeated them
It is a common myth which is not substantiated by the evidence. First of all Germans suffered 74,000 dead, 36,000 missing and POWs and 604,000 wounded, injured and sick (this results in staggering ca. 815,000 casualties in total casualties in the first five months (July-November) which represented almost 1/3 of the committed German forces. The losses for December and January were of course big but they totaled to ca. 215,000 casualties (H. Schustereit in the second edition of "Vabanque", p. 147, based on the GQ 10-day reports).
The German forces had universal winter equipment and clothing (as almost every standard army during the time) but it was only suitable for weather similar to the Mid-European climate (temperatures not much lower than -15°C in winter) but not nearly sufficient for the continental East European winter (temperatures often -30°C or even lower sometimes). The Winter of 1941-42 was one of the severest in XX century (I recommend reading a short article by H. Lejenas "The sever winter in Europe 1941-42").

Germans were overpowered by sheer numbers of Soviet troops
Let's start with the fact that Germans had almost 1,000 surplus tanks which were not assigned to any front. As stated by Steve Merc (http://globeatwar.com/article/state-barbarossas-panzer-divisions-fall-1941) the German high command had decided to forgo fully reinforcing Barbarossa's panzer divisions in order to pursue a number of competing and questionable and secondary initiatives. For instance, they had been sending considerable numbers of replacement tanks to the Afrika Corp's two panzer divisions (on behalf of Fuhrer's direct orders). An Afrika Corps that was at that time doing little more than fighting back and forth against the British and their Commonwealth Allies to see who could control Mussolini's strategically irrelevant Libyan colony. In addition, a larger number yet of Germany's surplus tanks had been redirected to equipping new armored formations being formed in the latter half of 1941, such as the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Panzer Divisions. We also know additional tanks were delivered to Germany's Axis allies - albeit these deliveries included only 184 mostly obsolete models such as the Panzer 38(t). As to this last decision it must be said that it greatly bolstered the strength of Germany's allies and thus represented a wise and, given the numbers and quality of vehicles involved, cheap investment. All in all ca. 400 tanks were sent to Eastern Front, majority of (376) only in Sept and Oct 1941.
The logistic is a key for operations and railways were the life lines during the WWII. The Reichsverkehrsministerium (Ministry of Transport, or RVM) under Julius Dorpmüller was largely concerned with the railway lines that were run in Germany by the Reichsbahn and in occupied countries. Following the French Campaign, there was friction between the RVM and the Chef des Transportwesens (Head of OKW Transport), which prompted changes for the forthcoming Russian campaign, as Major General Gercke formed his own railway operating units, Feldeisenbahn-Direktion (Field Railway Direction, or FED), one for each Heeresgruppe, from drafted railwaymen under military officers — the Graueisenbahner. For this campaign, the rear area of the armies was to be kept very narrow, as little as 200 km behind the front line, with Reichskommissariats set up to administer and exploit the captured territories, and in this area the RVM was to set up new operating companies or Haupteisenbahndirektion (Main Railway Direction, or HBD) using Reichsbahn staff. The FED were formed in March 1941 and the HBD in July 1941, but this rapid deployment meant that both were short of staff, lacking equipment, and totally without experience. HBD Mitte set up in Brest with only 60 men, a shortage of qualified officials, and no equipment, including the vital telephones needed to run the railway. There were no route maps, timetables, or station information so that locomotives had to be sent out for several days in each direction to explore the network. In September the SS shot the entire printing staff of the HBD. (source: https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/the-influence-of-railways-on-military-operations-in-the-russo-german-war-19411945).
The above are just examples of how the available resources were wasted or not used properly, which can be observed for most of the German operations, were priorities would change in accordance with Hitler's mood-swings.

< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/12/2019 4:44:40 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 3:12:07 PM   
gliz2

 

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The below picture shows (what is in my opinion) big issue/flaw of the Battle Stamps system. It can be easily exploited.
So what I did:
Step 1: I took some deep unit to attack a Soviet front unit and to avoid spending the 6 rounds I made 3 one-rounded attacks. The result of course being 1 round burn (Move 2).
Step 2: I checked the costs of entering the hexes. The one where the Soviet was requires 16 MPs but the adjacent one just 2 MPs (Move 3 and Move 4).
Step 3: I moved the German unit to finish the poor Soviet unit (Move 5) disregarding penalty cost associated with the battle that took place later on.

It just requires twice the time than normal but you can quite easily exploit the engines with this. In effect You can "ignore" the costs associated with battles freeing the front units by assaulting with later arriving units. Which results in much better advance results.

In the below example I have effectively eliminated an opponent unit with limited round burn plus I freed up the front line units which otherwise would have to fight or bypass the enemy (this is first turn but later in the game it can have a big difference).



I will follow up on this exploit to see what can be achieved with it and will report back :)

< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/5/2019 4:33:05 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 6:01:39 PM   
gliz2

 

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Turn 1: Road to Leningrad
*Red circles represent the maximum possible advance provided the most favorable conditions and/or alternative movement paths.

On the Road to Leningrad the key is to be quick on the move for Riga. If it gets captured next turn then the Germans will gain extremely valuable hub on the northern front and thus creating extremely pressure on Russian to counter the threat. Crossing Dvina at Riga should also allow for rapid advance towards Pskov and opens a possiblity to envelope on the enemy units on the line Riga-Polotsk.

The armored and mechanized elements seen in the middle of the map are one of the most northern thrust for Moscow and also serve as a push towards the bridges on Dvina (to create extra pressure on enemy and alternative should Riga provide a harder nut to crack).



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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/25/2019 6:08:51 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 6:06:57 PM   
gliz2

 

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Turn 1: Road to Moscow (norther part)
*Red circles represent the maximum possible advance provided the most favorable conditions and/or alternative movement paths.

Here the above-mentioned move is seen better (top of the map). My general intention was to encircle the enemy units as much as possible and to advance on Vilnus taken of which gives multiple options to Germans (any cities on the Daugvapilis-Vitebsk line).

Capturing bridges on Neman river allows for easy follow up of infantry trying to keep up with the forward elements pushing for Dvina river.



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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/25/2019 6:15:37 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 6:16:22 PM   
gliz2

 

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Turn 1: Road to Moscow (southern part)
*Red circles represent the maximum possible advance provided the most favorable conditions and/or alternative movement paths.

Norther part of Road to Moscow provides more tricky. Although I have gained some important bridgeheads towards Baranovich and Slutsk (right side of the map) the enemy can easily block my advance if he plays smart. There are some though nuts to crack like Brzesc, Minsk or Sluck. It is a matter of luck. If there will be no disruptive events (which make units stop in the middle of movement and thus not achieving the maximum range) I should be knocking on both Minsk and Sluck doors next turn.




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/25/2019 6:20:48 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/25/2019 6:21:08 PM   
gliz2

 

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Turn 1: Road to Kiev
*Red circles represent the maximum possible advance provided the most favorable conditions and/or alternative movement paths.

Never liked the Southern Front. The enemy is strong here, the terrain is disadvantageous and I never was fan of committing to advance on Kiev. But this I have decided to put some effort into it and try to go for Crimea (Kiev is a secondary objective). I doubt if this is doable (no matter how hard I try as STAVKA I have the German plans in my head). Nevertheless I think this might be the key to a success on Southern Front. Taking Crimea would mean that I would gain control over Black Sea and force STAVKA to rush with any countermeasures against the imminent threat to Caucasus.

The plans for Romanians and Hungarians are also completely not historical. Some Romania divisions will support advance through Prypats Marshes and Romanians and Hungarians will fight side-by-side (which historically would not be much of an option).



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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/25/2019 6:27:32 PM >

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/26/2019 7:28:11 AM   
gliz2

 

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So what have I did wrong in my first turn as ze Germans? Quite a lot as you will soon discover.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/29/2019 7:43:19 AM   
gliz2

 

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The key for the first turn is to push forward as far as possible, grabbing key crossings on them big rivers.
My mistake was paying too much attention to the Soviet units. For the first 2-3 turns you should basically ignore them. To put it bluntly: they cannot do much so why bother?
I have made all the moves for Turn 2 and I'm already in Riga (but I think I will fail to take control of the city this turn; as the Soviet player I missed one bloody bridge which was guarded only by engineers and that's how ze Germans got to Riga), fighting for Baranovitch, closing on Slutsk and down South pushing towards Rovno.
Made some mistakes, had some drawbacks but generally I achieved all the main and most of the secondary objectives.
Taking control of the railway up North allows me for easy strategic movements, which should greatly help in the early stage.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/29/2019 9:06:05 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Thanks for doing this AAR. It's interesting seeing what you think of the game.
Please keep going.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/29/2019 11:31:34 AM   
gliz2

 

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Thanks Larry,
This is not a typical AAR. It involves cheating like reloading, undo moves and such (for both sides). The idea is to get the best possible outcomes for the problems for both OKW and STAVKA.

An example of this is me trying to grab Riga by the end of T2. Got 10 different plays for T2 still every single time I've failed to deliver

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/29/2019 2:32:10 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gliz2
...An example of this is me trying to grab Riga by the end of T2. Got 10 different plays for T2 still every single time I've failed to deliver.

I don't believe I've ever done that. It usually takes me until T2 to get there, T3 to set up my attacks, T4 to execute the attacks once, T5 to attack again and maybe capture Riga. Something like that. Also, I've only captured Leningrad once.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/29/2019 7:44:24 PM   
gliz2

 

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Larry many thanks for your interest, your feedback is always welcomed.

I was able to actually get Riga in T2. Here comes the big elephant in the room - playing against myself proves to be as hard as hell. If I had not know that Germans are advancing on Riga as a Soviet player I would have committed to attack the Brandenburger Regiments. But I knew exactly where Germans were to strike. Hence I chose to block Riga and deal with the Germans in Livani in T2. Normally it would be a huge gamble that might cost the Soviet CO a life.

On the other hand as Germans I also have a general picture where the Soviets are committing. But in the end this is a study of best possible outcomes and not a regular game.

And I do not just sit on my defense as most of the Soviet players would wisely do but I'm trying to act like a normal CO would do - you must counterattack and you must send troops forward for reconnaissance (goes for both sides).

Guess what happened - yes, failed proficiency check

After having a second look I concluded that it was not the worst outcome so far. My advance was not much hampered by the enemy but rather by the fact that I play both sides. Furthermore I have been flexible in my approach and took some unplanned detours when I found a nice gap in Soviet lines.

Historically von Mainstein's 56th Pz Corp have crossed Dvina already on 25th June (185 miles from its start point). This is not possible in the game. You can barely achieve that at the end of T2. And it is not because of Soviet player actions but due still existing flaws in the scenario design

Here is the Road to Leningrad at the beginning of T3:




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/30/2019 3:50:22 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/31/2019 5:16:39 PM   
gliz2

 

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T3 (some battles still to be executed) 3rd June 1941 Road to Leningrad (spot the difference to previous post :P)




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/31/2019 5:17:14 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/31/2019 8:16:13 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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What would have happened if the Axis forces ignored Leningrad and the deep south temporarily and drove everybody due east and grabbed Moscow earlier in the war than IRL and THEN spread out for Leningrad and Kharkov and Stalingrad, etc. I've been wondering about that for four games now.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 1/31/2019 9:11:50 PM   
gliz2

 

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Well Larry this case study are all about this
What I can tell already is that they would not necessarily have huge success as the Soviets would have amassed forces to counter the threat to Moscow.
I think till end of July the Germans should make run for the bridges and transport hubs. In my current game in next turn (T4) I might get to Smolensk or at least vicinity of it. This means the Soviet player will have to move his units to counter this serious threat and give up a bit on the Baltic countries hence providing me with opportunity to exploit the northern flank on road to Moskow.
Soviet player has no means to stop advancing German Pz and Mot elements till 5-6 turns, so whatever ground you make as Germans it must be done super quick. Then it becomes a meat grinder.

PS. My plan for the Germans is to hit Moscov with half of the German Army and 3/4 of the Pz and Mot Divs. Committing more would allow Soviet player to loosen defences on the Kiev and Leningrad. The above approach seems to be the golden middle to keep the Soviets on their toes (as you can still push hard on both Kiev and Leningrad, but without really committing much of units).

< Message edited by gliz2 -- 1/31/2019 9:15:02 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/2/2019 2:00:03 PM   
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Road to Moscow T3 3-Jul-1941
The best outcome of T3 was me taking Besankovici (with Brandenburger units) and got lucky with capturing Borisov (yellow circle with Red Soviet unit in it). Why I did not followed that scenario? Because I have realized that I will loose precious Brandenburgers and Besankovici is not worth it.
Generally AG Mitte does extremely well so far.




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/2/2019 5:34:27 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/2/2019 2:01:11 PM   
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Road to Kiev (T3) 3-Jul-1941





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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/2/2019 5:44:55 PM   
gliz2

 

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Report for Soviets at the end of T3:
Heavy losses in planes, tanks, artillery and men.
Germans are breaking the thin lines and I don't know what is their axis of attack and how big is their spearhead.
The Baltic Front is broken. Was it not for Stalin I would have tactically withdrawn forces after blowing all them bridges. But STAVKA demends counterattacking Germans at bridgheads.
Belarusian Front is in tatters. I have committed forces to defend Minsk but it seems the enemy is rather not interested in assaulting the city at the moment. The result is that enemy tanks have been reported less than 100 km from Smolensk, which at the moment has only skeleton defence. Should the reports be true Smolensk might as well fell to the very next turn.
The Ukrainian Front, although suffering heavy losses is in relatively good shape. The enemy advance is slow and the defensive line is already set up on most crucial parts of the front.
I have my doubts about the Romanians and fear that they may soon join the fray which would put all of the Ukrainian Front at risk as the enemy could try Pincer flanking move.
STAVKA's orders are strict. Delay and obstruct enemy at all cost. Withdrawals will not be tolerated.

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/5/2019 4:33:59 PM   
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<Exploit used: scenario restart>

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/5/2019 7:27:23 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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<Exploit used: scenario restart>

You're going to restart? Cool. Are you going to stay with this thread or start a new one?

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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/5/2019 7:50:23 PM   
gliz2

 

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Here is your answer Larry, no new threads I promise :)

Best outcome for AG Nord (this is before any battle execution). Dropping Brandenburgers at the yellow circled hexes gives the Germans the ability to close on Riga already in T1.

Attention: The rail transport is quite restrictive for T1. I picked SS Wiking, 6th Pz Div and 254 Inf Div (without HQ) as they are all strong and capable and conveniently parked on railways :)




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/5/2019 7:52:50 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/6/2019 6:28:52 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

Dropping Brandenburgers at the yellow circled hexes gives the Germans the ability to close on Riga already in T1.

I'm sincerely impressed. I've been trying to do that forever and here I see you've done it. Now I know it CAN be done. Thanks. I'll be watching this AAR to see what else you have up your sleeve. You're using magic I think.


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/6/2019 6:59:29 AM   
gliz2

 

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Larry,
thanks for your kind words dear sir but no magic involved. Had a look at yours and Kristian's AARs and did my trial and error for couple of hours. Later (turn 2-3 or 3-4) it is best to use the Brandenburgers on capturing important bridges on the way to Smolensk. I would not recommend to use them in South were their impact won't be that much as Soviets anyway will be able to stop any advance (they are quite strong in Ukraine).

Version 2 of the presented move is you might get lucky and swipe with Brandies the Soviet HQ based in city just outside Riga out of the way. Best I got was 2 hexes into that railway (meaning: city where the HQ was and next hex). But in my opinion the presented option is better. You still will be able to brush the Soviet HQ next turn and attack Riga in force :)

PS. Brandenburgers are extremely valuable option for Germans. I have dropped them all over the front in T1 (like Vilnus, bridges on Dvina or Pinsk) but in the end nothing got me better results than dropping them as on the above picture.

On the second thought: dropping Brandenburgs on the road going through Prypat Marshes is also a good idea. It will give the player an option of fast advance south of Minsk. I still prefer going for Riga but maybe one day I explore the outcomes of going for Pinsk :)

< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/6/2019 7:03:39 AM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/12/2019 5:14:26 PM   
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Why not to use German SF someplace else? Simply there are no better way to use them. Only in North you can grab a whole rail-head (up to Riga). As can be seen from the below picture there is only one half-decent place to use them in South.




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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/12/2019 5:15:29 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/12/2019 6:07:23 PM   
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T2 Road to Leningrad (planning phase)



1. Taking Riga is the key to opening the left flank of Soviet defences. Securing the railway up to Madona with the bridges in Riga will provide important supply line for the advance in this sector.
2. As I have only 1 single Brands unit capable of paradropping I think taking the Jekabpils and Livani bridges are the only reasonable options as the recon elements can hook up with the Brands. Perhaps I will air transport some unit up front (I have some free capacity to fly one Inf Battalion).
3. Need to finish the mopping in the central sector to free up the Inf.Divs. They are indispensable for taking advance of the breakthrough.

PS. My gripe to the devs is why-oh-why you cannot move troops to the adjecent hex (or two) to transport them? And why they cannot be unloaded in the same turn? Terrible design

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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/13/2019 9:11:14 AM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/12/2019 9:03:01 PM   
gliz2

 

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Here is the benchmark: Kristian's exploit by the end of T2




As can be seen Kristian managed a lot, taking Riga and closing on Minsk while also finishing mopping. Great opening, mine will have some different focus and will be less spectacular.

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< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/12/2019 9:08:12 PM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/12/2019 9:15:02 PM   
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T2 end Road to Leningrad
I have managed to capture Riga but with some casualties. Transported by rail 2 Pz.Divs and a Pz.Gr.Div to throw them into opening. They hopefully be followed next turn by 2-3 Inf.Div.
Decided to capture the bridge in Livani as the recon elements were just next hex to it.
Still some mopping to do :(

I think I will try to reply T2 as I've realized that my enthusiasm got me carried away and I forgot to cold-execute. This resulted in not achieving best results. Still, after all the years you can easily get into pushing chits for the next turn mode.

Important Try always to follow the Mot/Pz Divs with Inf.Div. The reason being that the following infantry can take care of providing supply lines and take care of any enemy strongholds thus allowing more flexibility to the Pz/Mot Divs.

< Message edited by gliz2 -- 2/13/2019 8:54:39 AM >


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RE: FITE 2 operational studies - 2/18/2019 6:35:46 PM   
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Overview at the end of T3




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