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Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player

 
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Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/3/2019 10:35:08 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis players[1]



Table of contents
1. Introduction
2. Terms and abbreviations
3. Analysis of the Axis player’s aims and the overall conditions
3.1 Aims of the Axis player
3.2 Paths to reach those aims
3.3 Important dynamics in the game
3.4 Formulating a strategy
4. Conducting operations
4.1 Supporting tools
4.2 Retreat path manipulation
4.3 Formation of pockets
4.4 Design of the first turn
4.5 A new first turn
4.6 First turn air operations
4.7 Air operations after the first turn
5. Tactics and use of the game engine
5.1 Handling of support units
5.2 Ground unit morale management
5.3 Replacement flow management
5.4 Admin point spending
5.5 Structuring the turn
5.6 Winning combats
5.7 Rail construction
5.8 Supply management
6. Two short AARs
7. Miscellaneous

Note there is also a condensed version in German!

1. Introduction
The writing assumes WitE versions 1.10.00 to 1.11.03 and, even though some points can be applied to other situations as well, the GC1941 default scenario, meaning that 290VP are required for Axis decisive victory.
The focus of the AAR-guide is on the Axis campaign in 1941 before the onset of the blizzard in 1941, which is in T25 if playing under default weather, with the aim to present theoretical ideas together with case studies and practical tips to aid new Axis players to improve their campaign, especially against human players.
Obviously, it as an impossible task nor would I be qualified for to write a definitive guide on WitE, therefore this is naturally an non-exhausting resource which surely has many points worth improvement.
The information presented below in text and image is based on official resources (manual), own tests, experience, analysis of AARs and from following discussions, actively or passively, on various channels. Naturally, not everything here can be claimed to be original thought, I tried to give credit where suitable.
I am grateful for both suggestions for improvement regarding the content, and, being a non-native speaker, remarks if I have completely screwed up some things language related :-)


2. Terms and abbreviations
SU=support unit
HQ=Headquarter
herding=force enemy units to take a certain way
SL=support level


[1] In allusion to the infamous Sportpalast speech of 1943

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/20/2019 3:32:38 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 10:40:08 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1830
Joined: 4/14/2016
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3. Analysis of the Axis player’s aims and the overall condition

3. 1 Aims of the Axis player
The aim of the Axis player is to win against the Soviet Union by capturing 290VPs or force the Soviet player to surrender because he considers his chances to avoid this too small. If this goal is not reached, the aim is to be in possession of as much territory as possible at the end of the game, and, if it can’t be avoided, to keep Berlin as long as possible. That for our purpose is the scale of achievement and game balance.

3.2 Paths to the reach those aims
Only the enemy fighting force is between the Axis army and the occupation of the territory as the final purpose, destroying and outmanoeuvring the enemy forces are the only ways to overcome the opposition. Destruction of the enemy army is a consequence of losses in battle outmatching the ability to replace them. Those considerations suggest the following points of attack:
1. Manoeuvring so that the enemy army, albeit not destroyed, is unable to resist occupation of the country.
2. Causing losses to the Soviet Army in terms of their raw material of men and equipment or the units they are filled in.
3. Damaging the enemy war economy, reducing its ability to replace losses by targeting the production.

Before examining those three ways in detail, it is useful consider how each element of the Soviet war machinery contributes to its overall strength. To simplify, we only look upon the numbers of infantry, tanks and artillery. Abstracted, one could assume the the overall strength is the sum I+T+A, or the product I*T*A, or a combination of both and other mathematical relations. This question is more than an academic sophistry as helps formulating strategies. Assume that the overall strength is the product of the individual strengths, and that I,T and A start with a value of 100, and to reduce each one by 1 always has a cost to of one to us. We further set a budget of 100 and ask ourselves how to cause the greatest damage. It turns out that fighting each asset equally ( 66*67*67) is way worse than concentrating on a few ones (100*50*50), and that focusing on only one resource (100*100*0) gives the best result. Furthermore, spending the first 50 points of the budget (100*100*50) only halves the enemy strength, investing the second 50 points reduces it to zero (100*100*0). As the ratios of the opposing forces is more important than their overall strength, we conclude that there are situations where spending resources to hit an enemy one become the more effective the more has been invested before. In other situations, the opposite can be the case, or the effectiveness will be zero before a certain level of damage is done. For instance, a reduced tank production will not be felt unless the the enemy runs out of stocks in the pool. Awareness of those relations helps avoiding misspending.

The three possible paths to victory will no be examined in reverse order.
3. Own experience and analysis of data gathered from AARs indicate that causing lasting shortages of supplies, produced by heavy industry factories, and shortages of armaments points is very difficult. If it succeeds, it is the result of an avoidable mistake by the Soviet player or an accompanying effect of an already enforced decision on another field. The reason is that the Soviet side starts with significant stocks of both goods and can usually evacuate the necessary minimum quickly enough. Still, putting it under pressure can have value, as an armaments shortage usually takes place from the blizzard 1941/42 onwards to some point in 1942, but an effect beyond should not be counted upon.
Factories for special equipment, namely AFVs and aircraft, are different in the way that they are unique, and in case of their destruction, the effect is not nullified by the existence of many brother factories across the map. A city full of factories for special equipment can as such be a valuable target, but unless completely surprised, the Soviet player is able to evacuate one point of each special factory, thus saving the core to re-build the factory later. The effect of an industry rush strategy, no matter if leading to outright destruction or just reduced production due to hasty evacuation, will be nonexistent unless it can create a shortage.
Summarised, the strategy of factory destruction is unlikely to enforce a decision on its own, meaning that it will have little effect and at most act in support of another one.

The situation is different with manpower, every weapon needs man to handle it, and manpower is a resource the Soviet Union tends to be short off for the first two years of the campaign, regularly beyond that. Therefore, any damage done here will directly impact the Soviet ability to resist, this observation makes reduction of Soviet manpower production by conquering, and, to limited extent, strategical bombing of cities one of the key aims of the invasion. The effect of taking away Soviet manpower factory points becomes the greater, the more the Soviet Union has already lost of them, the underlying principle has already been explained. It is an investment which becomes the more profitable the more one commits.
Destruction of the enemy war economy is mid to long term in its effect.

2. Destruction of the Soviet Army is the most immediate way to win the game. The losses caused by battles for hexagons are both from the absolute and relative losses insufficient to destroy the Red Army, therefore the Soviet combat units must be cut off and forced to surrender.
The opposing armies in WitE compose of units and the raw materials men and equipment. Only the use in a unit allows the latter to contribute to the attack and defence. The same raw material will be of very differing use depending on the unit it is filled in, determined by stats like morale, experience and other equipment. As such, targeting especially valuable enemy units, like the ones with very good morale at the beginning of the 1941GC, is useful. The strength of the Red army depends not only on the strength in terms of raw material, but also on the number and quality of units!
Destruction of the enemy army is short to long term in its effect.

1. Outmanoeuvring the enemy force means creating a situation where, although not destroyed, it is unable to resist seizure of land or to recapture it. Being not destroyed, the enemy force can await until the current position is effective again or redeploy. The map of WitE barely features areas where an enemy force can be pinned for a long time without being destroyed, therefore outmanoeuvring is short term in its effect.

3.3 Important dynamics in the game
There are at least two important dynamics in the game one should be aware of:
The snowball effect means that certain developments in the campaign tend to accelerate themselves and others. If the Soviet Union loses manpower centres and suffers casualties in battle, it will have a weaker army and lose more manpower centres and battles. That is just one example of several feedback loops in this game.
The impact of an event in the majority of cases is the greater, the earlier it happens in the campaign. The loss of a single rifle division in 06.1941 tends to hurt the Soviet Union more than the loss of 10 in 1945, when it is at the gates of Berlin. That creates an incentive to spend own resources to cause an immediate effect even if the absolute, but not relative result would be greater if the spending is done at a later point.

The first turn of the GC1941 is among the most important turns in the game. Any moves executed at a point influence all following turns, therefore the first turn naturally has an increased importance because it will influence all other ones. In addition, the initial positioning of the forces and several rules unique to T1 allow great reward for little cost if used skilfully. When facing an experienced Soviet player, the Axis player therefore should not start the campaign without some practicing. Wargames need to be prepared by wargames.

3.4 Formulating a strategy
The considerations above give an idea of what is necessary for victory, a player formulating a strategy must also have a rough idea of what is possible given the resources at hand, and how the necessary can be achieved. That is what theory can be given here about formulating a strategy for the invasion, a field which is too manifold and, next to the conduct of operations, the great challenge and cause of interest in this game.
Instead, it shall be briefly outlined what strategy I relied on when playing the Axis, without declaring them to be ultimate or without alternative.
The idea is to focus on one Soviet resource, namely manpower, by concentrating on pocketing of troops and capture of manpower centres. Fixed objectives do not exist and are replaced by an “as much as possible”, the allocation of forces and a more detailed plan are determined anew each turn depending on how the game unfolds. Decisive victory in 1941 is the aim and long-term advantages will be sacrificed for short term gains if such a conflict appears. Capture of industry or destruction of the Soviet Air Force are secondary, easy pickings will be taken of course. Methodical destruction of the Red army takes precedence before rushed capture of territory.


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 10:42:25 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 10:52:04 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1830
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From: Berlin, Germany
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4. Conducting operations

The tasks given by strategy must be fulfilled by subsequent operations. Non-exhaustive advice on their execution will be given in the following.

4.1 Supporting tools
The attempt to win the game quickly by superior conduct of operations can become difficult to handle if one plans ambitious breakthroughs or encirclement operations. A very experienced player probably can rely on experience and intuition for planning, but I have always struggled to juggle all the information and optimisation problems in my head and adopted use of graphics for planning, using the Reichszeichengerät (Imperial drawing device) “MS Paint”. Depending on the complexity of the operations, one can draw move paths, a detailed battle plan or mark hexagons that must be occupied in the end to create an unbreakable pocket.


4.2 Retreat path manipulation
The retreat path taken by a unit in WitE is deterministic, meaning that the same conditions will always lead to the same behaviour. The manual is vague on the details of the mechanism. From experience and testing, the program works down a list of priorities until at last only one hexagon remains as candidate for retreat.
1. Avoid retreat over more than one hexagon
2. Chose the retreat hexagon with the least hexagons with an enemy unit adjacent.
3. Chose the retreat hexagon with the least enemy controlled hexagons adjacent. Pending hexagons controlled by the enemy are counted as hexagons controlled by the enemy.
4. Chose a hexagon with an undamaged rail. The rail does not necessarily have to be connected to a national supply source.
5. Chose the hexagon with the least friendly units in it.
6. Retreat East (Soviet side) or West (Axis side).
7. Minimize the retreat path MP cost
8. Retreat to a hexagon with fortifications in it and in the direction of the unit’s HQ
2 sometimes trumps 1 and 6, 7 and 8 can sometimes switch position.
Following the scheme, it is possible to predict retreat events with an estimated reliability of 95%. The remaining error makes me suppose the game as coded does not use a list of priorities, but a point system. If in doubt about a decisive retreat event, the editor can be used to recreate the scenario in a test environment, as reloading is usually not an option for multiplayer games.
Especially 2, 3 and 4 are useful to create a breakthrough with minimum effort, prevent retreat of units in hexagons with defensive terrain or to herd them into pockets. As a case study, we will examine an example from a recent GC1941:
To create a breakthrough, the unit marked with an orange circle must be pushed aside. By default, it will take the blue path and end in a swamp hex, where it is difficult to dislocate, has high defensive CV and is not in the planned pocket Southeast of its initial position. By moving a division along the green path to the hexagon marked with the green border, the hexagon with the red border changes ownership, making the Soviet division take the orange route.

As a side note, I consider the predictability of the retreat path a questionable design decision. As another side note, the knowledge of this can be helpful for the Soviet side to open pockets, make its own breakthroughs and pockets later in the war, make Axis divisions walk through a gauntlet and to improve its defensive deployment.

4.3 Formation of pockets
Forming pockets is the premier way to destroy the Red army by forcing units to surrender. Units generally only surrender if in an isolated or beachhead status, therefore keeping pockets tight during the enemy turn is important. In what follows, several aspects of that topic will be discussed.
The pocketed units have to be separated by a pocket wall from the enemy supply network. The pocket wall consists of primarily own hexagons, which can be occupied by friendly units and their ZOC or not, and impassable hexagons if the terrain is suitable. The enemy naturally seeks to open the pocket by manoeuvres and attacks and the pocket wall design must aim to make it as costly as possible, if not impossible. The first necessary step is to estimate the combat value and the mobility of the enemy forces. In terms of mobility, the relevant facts for 1941 are:
Max Infantry MP: 16
Max Cavalry MP: 22
Max mot. MP: 18 for divisions, 25 for brigades. 20 after T11 (?)
The next table shows the cost to enter an enemy clear or pending friendly hexagon.

The cost to leave an enemy ZOC is +1 and to make a ZOC to ZOC movement is +4+the cost to enter a clear enemy hexagon-1
For example, entering 2 enemy hexagons and executing a ZOC to ZOC movement costs 16MPs to a 41-60 morale infantry division, meaning that this would be a formidable wall for a pocket.
The wall of the pocket now needs to resist the combination of mobility and CV.
Intuitively, one tends to occupy every hexagon of the wall with a unit.


However, this tends to be neither efficient nor effective due to the high cost of units and delusion of defensive CV.
If we assume that the attacker needs twice the CV to win and take the situation below as an example, its shows that occupying only every second hexagon is the better solution. CV in normal and MPs in italic letters.



The second one is my default approach to pocket formation. The displayed way to occupy every second is to be distinguished from this way, which does not necessitate a ZOC to ZOC movement to break the pocket and as such tends to be inferior.


Occupying every third hexagon only in the shown manner can create a line that can’t be crossed without a ZOC to ZOC movement, but will not create a secure wall. Adding hexagons in the grey locations however turns this in a formidable barrier. In its simple form, it can be used to shield territory from enemy raiding, for in this case, delaying of an enemy movement through it instead of complete shielding is desired,


At times, a number of hexagons are sufficient for the pocket wall on their own, a situation one encounters if vast areas auto-convert during the logistics phase due to being isolated.

Every pocket wall can be shielded both from counterattacks and movement through it by converting hexagons on both sides. Terrain should be used to increase enemy movement costs the defensive CV against the likely angles of attack.
Units which are inside a pocket usually are short of supplies and have are more likely to reach their full MPs, therefore one can take some more chances in the pocket wall design for those units.
It is useful to squeeze the units inside and outside of the pocket with own units and ZOCs so that they are limited in their movement.

To summarize, a pocket wall should be made as strong as possible with own units, converted hexagons and ZOCs to necessitate ZOC to ZOC movements. Giving thought to the design of pocket is a good investment for Axis players.


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 11:31:42 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 11:33:30 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1830
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From: Berlin, Germany
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4.4 Design of the first turn
Beside variation in morale, experience and default damage of Soviet air and ground units, the conditions during the first turn are always the same. Therefore, a plan can be devised in advance to make the first move as good as possible. Against a strong Soviet player, it is almost mandatory to come up with a good start. Before looking at different T1 moves, we will examine the goals one can pursue on T1:
i) Destroy the Soviet army, both in terms of units, manpower and equipment, either by immediate encirclement or locking them in place for future turns
ii) Destroy the Soviet air force, aiming for overall aircraft kills, kills in certain branches or reduction of Soviet air group morale
iii) Increase the morale of Axis ground units, especially above the critical levels from the [Lnk]
iv) Increase morale and experience of Axis air units by using the weakened enemy air force as a sparring partner
v) Position mobile forces as far forward as possible
vi) Clear the path for the infantry following the motorised spearheads
vii) Ease the reduction of the formed pockets in future turns
viii) Ensure good resupply of the army in T2
ix) Move forces in a way conforming with future plans and force allocations
x) Keep losses and fatigue at a minimum for air and ground forces while saving ammunition, fuel and supplies for future turns
Several demands compete for the same resources and choices have to be made.
According to my personal doctrine, I focus on i) and iii) as the primary objectives in that order, followed by viii)
Depending on one’s aspiration, the T1 development can take some time. Below is a short overview of openings in no particular order which, in my opinion, are good ones to start with:

i) MichaelT: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=3287305 and, as an alternative, http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4079066 Note that the second version locks the rail lines to the Western Pripyat marsh area, units routed there can’t be evacuated by rail.
ii) Tyronec: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4375073 Effective opening that is not too difficult to replicate, so recommended for beginners. If one sets out to replicate it, the pocket in the centre should be made tight.
iii) Hardluckyetagain http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4267387 Very effective in the South with moderate cost to the North and Centre.

4.5 A new first turn
As an alternative to the openings published so far on the forum, I would like to introduce a new one and explain the underlying thinking.
The primary goal of the first turn is to maximize the number of units and manpower/equipment pocketed over the first two turns. According to that demand, as many units as possible must either be immediately encircled on the first turn, or their escape by foot, truck, rail or disbanding during the Soviet T1 has to be denied. At the same time, the Axis forces must be able to strike deep in T2 to catch the refugees and to keep the enemy under pressure.
The problem with existent openings is that those which are strong in the North and Centre do not trap the 16th army at Shetepovka (west of Zhitomir), an opening move which is often referred to as the Super Lvov pocket. Reverse, openings which form the Super Lvov pocket need to replace the units of 2nd PG from the Centre by units from 3rd PG, forcing them to a movement South instead of East and weakening the advance in the North and to Minsk, which saves some Soviet units on T1 and T2. Others do both, but the Soviets can open many pockets and create chaos. Therefore, the decision to start from scratch. For the beginning, we assume that the +1 rule is deactivated. There are special rules for T1:
-Soviet infantry type units which did not participate in ground combat never have more than 8MPs (16/2)
-Soviet infantry type units which participated in ground barely have more than 8MPs
-cavalry MPs approximately halved, I suppose the cap is at 11MPs (22/2)
-motorised units have no cap, but low fuel stocks, damaged equipment, vehicle shortages, lack of support etc. ensures they barely, if ever, reach the 18MP cap, but usually are somewhere between 8 and 12.
-Axis units below the divisional level pay one more MP to enter a pending hexagon than usually (also applies to T2)
-before every ground battle, Soviet units get some elements disrupted, making combat easier. There are claims that this only applies once at the beginning of T1 and advice to avoid ground bombing before an attack has been derived from this. The combat reports contradict this however.
-Axis air field bombing is massively increased in effectivity, and the Soviet air force interception capability is decreased
To prepare the opening, we need some extra knowledge. Soviet infantry divisions with 41-60 morale pay 4MPs to enter a clear enemy hexagons, 5MPs if below 40morale and 3 if above 60. Cavalry pays one less in each case. So with the cap of 8MP on Soviet infantry units, a division will usually struggle to even cross two enemy hexagons. A division can convert a hexagon not contested by an enemy ZOC with its own without entering it, units of smaller size can’t. Together with other MP costs due to sheer distance or terrain, this knowledge can be used to design impregnable pockets for Soviet units with minimum effort.
The Riga with one Panzer division is particularly risky, despite Manstein, SUs and air support. The T1 plan therefore has a fork at this place. If the first attack fails, the 1st Panzer division, which usually locks the airborne brigade at Daugavpils, joins the second attack.



All pockets are designed to hold. The advantages of unbreakable pockets are plenty:
-Soviet players like to hug Axis units. An isolated unit can be easily pushed aside and might even surrender after retreat, a unit in supply can rout out and put up stronger resistance
-the pocket can be liquidated easier
-once broken, the CV malus is immediately removed from encircled units and they can more successfully attempt further counterattacks
-a breached wall around a pocket often equates a cut supply line and an interrupted path for the infantry
The opening requires precise movement of motorised and to a limited extent of infantry forces, a single mis-click can make the pockets leaky or even impossible. Knowing my own unreliability, I made this map illustrating the motorised movements and attacks in the North and Centre to make it a bit easier. Unfortunately, I have no such map to share for the South. Since then, a few minor changes have been made, but it should still help if someone is interested in creating an own version of this opening. Green marks the movement path, orange points of split up, red is reserved for attacks. I think I made minor improvements while actually playing the opening, but do not recall all details as it was on-the-fly.
Note that the infantry attacks are a bit tricky as well and the basic movement should be practised/memorised.


The following link should give you access to three folders with practice runs under different game versions I played. Note that I am not done with moving HQs/airfield bombing/assigning SUs/admin and paid less attention to details as it is only a practice: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UZzqUHQAkVL-lyvoIQkq8VHjIZ5FQiUq


As the safety clearance is generally low, one must do what is possible to maximize chances in battles. Some of the things I do to improve odds:
-optimize HQ and unit movement. First move the unit to the battlefield, then assign SUs. On this way, SUs are not fatigued from the march of the combat unit or the HQ
-AFVs CV is halved, infantry CV doubled in rough, mountain, swamp and urban hexagons
(I think also if fort level is above 2), that must be figured in the SU choice if, for example, assaulting Riga with Panzer divisions
-range does not matter for leader check odds for corps level HQs, but for everything above. Moving army HQs close to the action improves odds. 2nd PG initially is west of Brest-Litovsk for the AGC attacks of 2nd PG, then moves South to support the forming of the super Lvov pocket
-ground bombing and ground support should be flown for important attacks
-change leaders, for example I put Model in LVII PC for crucial around Minsk
-use soaking off attacks (more costly with the +1 cost for each consecutive attack introduced on a hex). In the current iteration, I use a soaking-off attack on the strong 34th tank division near Rovno opposing AGS
-switch units from HQs with a bad leader to one with a good leader before the attack
It has been said that I assume no +1 for this opening. The units forming the Southern tip of the Super Lvov spear are vulnerable to counterattack under with this rule enabled. I have not worked out the details, but am optimistic the opening can still be made secure with acceptable trade-offs, namely less secure supply line for the eathernmost units.

Overall, the opening is quite risky, although it worked in several training/developement runs and server games, sometimes a roll will fail if you play the opening often. However, the risky must win battles happen at a point in the turn where you can easily switch to a plan B which should still give you a good opening, basically a very strong North/Center opening with a pocket South of Rovno, but without the claws locking the Soviet 16th Army.

As an annotation, the opening has not been made possible by the conversion of the 1st cavalry division to motorised status in 1.11.00, to pre-empt criticism of the patch team. At the cost of some safety clearance, the opening works for 1.10.00 as well, I developed it for and with this version, even though it only saw field tests (use in server games) under 1.11.01 and 1.11.03. I never bothered to check if 1st Cavalry historically indeed fitted the criteria for a motorised division.
As another annotation, the new rule of 1.11.02, which adds a +1 cost for each consecutive attack on a hexagon, increases the risk for an opening. Before this version, a 4MP division had 4 chances to win a battle (that is not a complaint!!!)



< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/7/2019 12:48:04 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 12:31:05 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1830
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From: Berlin, Germany
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4.6 First turn air operations
Being only interested in the air war to the extent it is necessary for the ground war, others are in better position to give advice, so the topic will be treated briefly only.
The primary mission for T1 is to reduce the enemy ground unit and manpower count, making support of the ground forces the primary occupation of the air force.
At the same time, I go for maximal morale reduction of Soviet air groups to delay the moment when they will re-appear on the sky while using the special T1 situation to train the air force. By delaying the air-field bombing until the later parts of the turn, the fighter gets the chance to engage Soviet aircraft and gain experience and morale quickly. It is important to spare fighter air groups for escort missions on for later airfield and ground bombing as well as for base defence during the Soviet turn, therefore the training missions are flown by the air groups with lowest experience.
Target priority for T1 air field bombing are, in this order:
-recon aircraft
-tactical bombers
-fighters
-level bombers
-transporters
To get good results from the air force during the Axis T1, it is important to either use staging bases or air transfer groups to airfields located close to the front and the targets. The process has to take place interleaved with the ground war, making it a fiddly thing.
A helpful trick is that air transfer between bases located on the same hexagon, the air groups will always move to the base with the highest ID number. Because this process uses 0% air miles, it allows further air transfers of the air groups. By freeing high ID air bases, one by one the other air bases can be relieved of their air groups, thrown forward and then reinforced with their original or a different allotment.
I usually begin the process by clearing the 13th LW air base. Also note that Rumanian air bases have high IDs and can shelter Axis air groups, creating further space for the air transfer cycle. Below is an example of air bases thrown forward for minimal target distance.


4.7 Air operations after the first turn
I use the air force as a supporting tool to fulfil the main task of annihilating the Soviet army and to capture manpower Centres. Therefore, the Axis air force will find itself used for preliminary ground bombing and ground support. Strategic bombing and attacks on the Soviet air force will use what is left after ground operations.
The Axis fighter arm must ensure that the combat support missions can be carried out, then protect air bases from Soviet attacks together with concentrations of AA guns. If resources are left, the motorised spearheads are protected from bombing.
Care must be given to Axis fighter fatigue, operational losses due to fatigue are more deadly than the Soviet air force can ever be.
As the technical execution and micromonagement of Axis air war has been described well lately by people more competent and passionate about this branch (namely Telemecus), I will not elaborate this topic further. Highly recommended reading for this topic is the Axis AAR on the 8MP game http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=910

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 12:33:45 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 12:39:07 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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5. Tactics and the use of the game engine
The chapter is named tactics mainly to complete the usual scheme of dividing war in strategy, operations and tactics, even though the points below are more related to the game engine.

5.1 Handling of support units
Corps HQs are set to SL 0, Army HQs to SL 0, Army Group HQs to SL 0 or 1, High Command HQs to SL 9. As a result, the support units stream up the chain of command during each logistics phase. The advantage is trifold, first, a support unit in the OKH is available to assignment everywhere on the map for free, giving maximum flexibility for no cost. Second, the OKH will usually be close to the rail head and support units located there will be well-supplied. Third, a unit or low level HQ like a corps can be moved to the destination without attached support units, which only join immediately before the attack and thus remain free of movement fatigue and truck attrition.
A major annoyance is the default, fixed SL of 3 for engineer and construction units (counted separately), which can only be overridden by a “locked” support level. It causes those SUs to move to random, not locked HQs. My partial workaround for this is to lock all HQs that should not be part of the support unit stream for a particular logistics phase, namely Corps HQs void of support units.
If I ever find the officer in the staff who is responsible for that treatment of construction units, he will be executed immediately for Wehrkraftzersetzung.
Another partial workaround is to lock corps and armies low on construction battalions, army groups and the high command will then send more of their construction units to the map instead of transferring them down to lower HQs. Once the construction units have been sent on the the map and the army groups/high command are emptied, the lower HQs can be unlocked again on T2 or T3.


Another thing worth an Axis players attention is the vulnerability of SUs to movement. AFVs suffer before all other equipment types from movement attrition and low supplies. If affordable, I therefore like to de-attach AFV type SUs from combat units before long marches despite the cost of 1AP.
The opposite procedure is recommended for engineer (pioneer) troops. Because of the default SL3 for them, one should quickly attach them to important combat units if one is lucky enough to have them in a useful place, namely a Panzer Corps.

5.2 Ground unit morale management
The cost to enter an enemy hexagon, the combat value, the losses inflicted or taken, the maximum level for experience and other things are dependent of morale, making it one of the most important unit properties. Every side has a national morale level, the unit morale will gravitate to it due to various reason. National morale levels for German units in 1941 are 75 by default, 85 for motorised forces, 90 for black SS units and for the 78th ID, 95 for the Air Landing division and 99 for the Großdeutschland regiment. There are only two ways the unit morale can increase:
-victory in battle, from 1.11.02 only offensive victories are counted. Morale gain increasingly unlikely if above the national morale
-being more than 10 hexagons away from a supplied enemy and below the national morale for the unit type. Rate is increased considerably increased if the unit is on refit
The table below shows the cost to enter a clear enemy hexagon depending on the morale. Note that morale and unit size also influence the cost for ZOC to ZOC movements.


The advantages of reduced movement cost for enemy and pending hexagons for the attacking side are obvious. Motorised forces with an NM of 85 can be easily brought above 85 assuming there are targets for attacks. Getting infantry above 80 morale is more difficult and requires luck with leader rolls, because the national morale is 75. Mountain infantry is the exception with a NM of 80. Having infantry that can follow motorised forces over enemy terrain quickly is important, I therefore value >80mrl infantry highly and force march it to the front without engaging in secondary missions.
Morale farming should be part of considerations during T1. What I do is to use an optimised script for the mountain divisions of AGS and engage the low morale motorised forces of AGC preferably in battles on T1 and T2. By T3 at the latest (T2 in the last game), all unfrozen German motorised units are above 85 morale. When I expect them match the >10 hexagon requirement, I also set units below their NM to refit to accelerate the morale gain. That includes <75 morale infantry and 18th Panzer, which are usually not close to supplied enemies. Morale is king of the battlefield, directly or indirectly!

5.3 Replacement flow management
Replacement flow/allocation management is an important field, and probably the only form of micromanagement I enjoy in WitE (I just like flow charts and to imagine resource flows). Historically, the German side acted foolishly here, and a player should not repeat this mistake! The replacements in question are only the ones added during the logistics phase, the allocation of reinforcement units is a question of operations.
The principle is to give replacements always to the most important, efficient units operating (or operating soon) at the Schwerpunkt. Most important units are the motorised ones, units crucial for others to work at their full efficiency, namely HQs, and the most flexible units (due to their ability to effortlessly warpdrive over the map), namely high CV support units. The most efficient units are generally those with the highest morale, which units operate at the Schwerpunkt is dictated by strategy and operations.
When attempting to concentrate replacements to certain units by the means of WitE, which are MAX TOE settings, disbanding and refit/ready settings, one faces the problem that the procedures for some equipment types contradict each other. For example, we want to concentrate manpower replacements on Panzer division, but at the same time concentrate replacements of AFVs on a few selected high morale units among them. The first aim dictates refit setting for all Panzer divisions, which would spread the AFVs equally over armoured units. The solution is to create an overall excess of globally short resources (manpower), so further differentiation is possible for locally short special equipment (AFVs). The following list shows the standard procedure for T1 settings.
Set all units to 20% MAX TOE.
Select Germany
Select on map units only
Set all infantry to 70%
Set all infantry above 80mrl to 100% and refit.
Set all special infantry (air landing, mountain) to 100% and refit
Set all infantry below 75 morale to 20% and refit.
Set all active HQs to 100%
Set security troops at 100% and refit
Set RHG HQs to 50%.
Set all motorised infantry to 100% and refit
Set all armoured formations to 100%
Set 2-4 90 morale armoured formations to refit, usually I chose some from PG 3 and PG 4.
Set all pioneers to 100%
Set all armoured SUs to 100%
Set non LW AA SUs with AFVs and already decent TOE to 100%

One obtains
Motorised infantry 100% and refit
HQs at 100%
Armoured formations on 100%
Selected armoured formations on refit
Infantry at 70%
Low morale infantry at 20% and refit
High morale infantry at 100% and refit
Airbases at 50% (full support usually not necessary so one can starve them a bit)

The result is you quickly gain a slight manpower excess. TOEs should be adjusted constantly, so manpower does not pile up too much in the pool.

For other countries, I reduce TOEs for units which remain frozen for a long time, focus replacements on high morale, cavalry and motorised forces. Especially Rumania benefits of this management with its chronic manpower shortage. If AP are not at a premium, one can disband some Rumanian air bases.


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 5/25/2019 11:58:37 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 12:48:22 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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5.4 Admin point spending
Ongoing operations always have priority in admin point spending. Apart from this maxim, the best way to spend APs depends too much on the situation to give general guidance. One can however counsel to not spend APs to reduce overloading of armies and especially army groups during the summer of 1941. The cost is very high for comparatively little effect. Prior the massive increase in HQBU cost of 1.11.01, I used to make up to four of them in some turns, but recent versions shifted the AP spending more towards C&C optimisation and other supply optimisation. Some things useful to know about AP spending:
-when the cost for reassigning a unit exceeds 3, split it up in regiments and assign them one by one for one AP per regiment
-the formula for leader reassignment is: (Rounddown(2*square root(command points))+dismissed leader political rating-superior leader political rating) (if this term is negative, replace it by 1)+10-replacement leader political rating
This allows to exchange some corps leaders very cheaply, for example in 4th army with Gfm. Von Kluge an his political rating of 9 (credits go to Telemecus to point me to the point in the manual which describes this, I assumed the formula to be different for a long time)
-for transfer of units between HQs under different high commands/nationalities, it can be cheaper to assign them to their high command and continue transfer from there
-when you select a leader who is already assigned to another HQ, the game will automatically pick a replacement. It usually does a good job in this regard, preferring leaders with good general and political stats. Under some conditions, you can save APs that way (explanation can be given if someone is interested). In addition, the Axis side has a number of leaders who, at the beginning of the campaign, do not have the rank to command a corps. By using this method, you can make the game auto-promote a leader for no cost, if doing this manually, you have to pay 21APs. Be aware that the leader’s skills can still be reduced by premature promotion. If I have nothing else to do with my APs at the moment, I like to do some leader-hopping to improve the average general quality and promote some excellent generals like Rendulic or Balck early. Below is an example of this technique from a recent game as Axis:


5.5 Structuring the turn
A personal weakness of mine is an erratic mind, meaning that my thought usually is somewhere in the future or in the past, but barely focused on the current task. As such, I have always struggled to avoid making many mistakes and to remember things that must be done during a turn. The checklist presented below is an attempt to structure turn processing.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fm-QMFp1iiu3lyqamxH5BuoDwJLEX-8o/view

5.6 Winning combats
Combat in WitE is decided by a simple odds comparison at the end of a battle, the defender holds the hexagon unless the attacking player can muster at least twice the combat value. The final combat value is calculated the following way:
-take only ready, undisrupted ground elements into account and calculate their raw CV
-make a number of random rolls for unit morale, experience and leader ratings
-multiply the result by 1-1/3*(fatigue in %/100)
Explaining the formulas for the random rolls at this points would lead to far, see the CV calculation spreadsheet in the library for further information. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_c3mzuie0TEWPcYCnXcfGOcJ4oDLneqm
I always play with standard CV and all following comments are based on that. Experience and morale influence the displayed CV as a multiplier, but the final CV by random rolls. Therefore, the randomness of the final CV is higher, the lower those two stats are. The effect of good leaders is moderately stronger for low experience and morale units.

I am not an expert on the combat engine and out of laziness only conducted a share of the tests I consider important for an in depth understanding, but will nevertheless explain what I do to maximize the chances apart from optimizing C&C for the final CV rolls. The aim of the Axis in 1941 is not to cause crippling losses in combats for hexagons which, even if tried, is only possible to a limited extent during the first 11 turns, when the Soviets take random roll based extra retreat losses, but to use combat to open the path for encirclements and capture of territory. Therefore, the only measurement of success is if the battle has been won or lost, but not the losses inflicted. To win the battle, I usually try to get as much CV as possible into the combat, be it in terms of on map units or SUs. I am not overly convinced of Axis artillery SUs or Axis artillery in general. If you check the detail window of a combat, you will usually see that the % of destroyed, damaged and disrupted elements (which do not contribute to the final CV) are comparatively small to the overall forces, and only a share of them is caused by guns! Even if we assume that elements with CV are more likely hit than those without (artillery and support squads), the effect of Axis artillery is only an auxiliary factor. The consequence is that I always prefer the commitment of SUs with CV, like Stug batallions and pioneers, over artillery type SUs with firepower. Furthermore, terrain and fortifications reduce the effect of artillery, so it becomes less effective when you need it the most. The Axis artillery SUs by design have a disadvantage to Soviet ones because they are considerably smaller (batallions compared to regiments) but take the same number of slots for commitment.
Ground support on the other hand has a good effect in terms of disrupted elements.

My point is not that artillery has no effect, but that its value for the Axis 1941 attack should not be overestimated.
Soviets like to defend behind rivers. Before an attack over a river, a significant part of the attacking force, approximately one half for minor rivers and two third for major ones, are disrupted. The effect on AFV type elements is even more drastic, therefore infantry is to be preferred for attacks over rivers.
Beware of the effect of dense terrain (city, light urban, heavy urban, swamp, heavy woods, rough, mountain) on the CV: Infantry type element CV are multiplied by at least 2, AFV type element CV are divided by at least 2. Therefore, a Panzer div in swamps is more vulnerable than the displayed CV indicate.
Note that in WitE, a 1940 KV 1 heavy tank contributes the same raw combat value as a 1945 IS 3 heavy tank as they are the same type of equipment (I have repeatedly read statements about a Panther having higher CV than a Pz. 3), but their behaviour during the combat resolution phase is different, with the IS 3 likely dealing more damage and having greater chances to survive.


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 5/25/2019 10:44:36 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 1:09:58 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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5.7 Rail construction
As the capacity of rails in WitE is unlimited, the aims are to get railheads east as quick as possible, and to create some redundancy against partisan strikes. The best way is to begin rail construction in the North to take advantage of the Baltic rail zone special rules and from Rumania, because one starts considerably more East there compared to the Lvov area. The following map from the library shows an optimised railway construction path. Note that 1.11.00 introduced an additional Rumanian FBD which slightly inceases construction speed down in Rumania. There is a little more optimisation possible to use FBDs MPs better, but overall, the map is still up to date. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5BD_rtFxnp5SXVkUXV1LUdBYlE/view?usp=sharing

From 1.11.02 onwards, there is an interesting alternative for railway construction in the South, credits go to the player Joneleth:




5.8 Supply management
Ammo levels influence the combat performance, supply levels the fatigue reduction and element repair, thereby the CV and MPs, finally the fuel level of motorised units is the upper bound of their possible MPs. Therefore, managing supply is crucial for Axis players. Motorised units are key to victory but lose all their power if left without fuel.
On a strategical and grand-operational level, the distance of the area of operations to the supply base, usually the easternmost railhead, is one of the most important considerations.
On an operational level, the Axis side must seek to keep supply lines open, denying the Soviets chances to cut off units. Thought given to securing the supply liens especially of motorised thrusts pays off.
On a tactical (game mechanics related) level, there are some methods to increase the supply flow. For the details of the supply system as of 1.11.03 (according to rumours, the next version will feature a rework of this), see this document from the library https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5BD_rtFxnp5eTlmRWlGYmJ5YkU
As the linked resource is quite detailed with formulas, the most important points are written down below:
-a unit out of range of it’s HQ (more than 20MPs and/or 5 hexagons as the crow flies) only receives half of the supplies it would usually (some units are exempt from this rule)
-the supplying HQ should be placed as close as possible to the railhead both in terms of MPs and hexagon distance. If the distance is below 10 hexagons and 20MPs, there is nothing to be gained from moving the HQ closer anymore. Paying attention to HQ positioning is often forgotten despite its huge benefit.
-it is useful to reassign units to HQs which are closer to the railhead at the end of the turn if their superior HQ can’t be moved closer for other reasons
-under some conditions (can be derived from the formulas in the document linked above), moderate stocks accumulate in HQs. As those stocks can be used to supply a unit even if the HQ is far away from a railhead, a HQ with some fuel stocks can give some one-shot supply for motorised units even when far away from the supply base. Because it is difficult to get more than low to moderate stocks to HQs and the linked AP costs for unit switching, this tactic is of very limited use
-infantry army HQs at the scenario start as of 1.11.03 contain significant amounts of supply and fuel. Depending on the game version, it is recommended to ban their use by house rule for balance reasons
-fuel air drops should be concentrated on motorised infantry divisions, because they have lower consumption than Panzer divisions, thus the same amount of fuel results in more MPs for them compared to heavier armoured units
-the fuel cost for unit movement correlates with the MP cost, which is higher for enemy and for pending friendly hexagons than for friendly hexagons. Converting territory with one group of units while the other one refuels allows this well supplied group to travel for cheap over the converted hexagons the next turn in what can be described in an alternating advance.

(image is from an AAR, I think from Tyronec)

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 1:29:41 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 1:30:44 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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6. AARs
Posted in the AAR-section of the forum: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4601795&mpage=1&key=�




< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/4/2019 11:55:13 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 1:38:02 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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7. Miscellaneous

A largely ignored feature of the game, which I only became aware of due to remarks by the player Telemecus, is the possibility to transport combat units from an air base to another air base with transport aircraft. For example, you can occupy territory with motorised units, then throw a Luftwaffe air base far forward and transfer in a few security regiments close to the spearhead to secure the supply path with ZOCs which the unit could never reach by foot.

Another thing I tried is to lock the rail along the Rumanian border using air lift on T1.
Under an older version (long before I played, but shown in AARs), it was possible to form an enormous pocket by exploiting the unfreeze rules of Soviet units. Here is a link showing it played by MichaelT http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=3331110 and another by mktours http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3381109 .
The idea has been nerfed by repositioning a few Rumanian units so a certain rail line is not locked anymore.
"Fortunately", the LW air bases in the South are not frozen and you can air lift a security regiment to the critical hexagon to block the line, which is then reinforced with an attached pioneer batallion.

Now, just from a pocket in the North and do not go South of a certain line (I do not recall the details), the Soviet units in Bessarabia then remain frozen and you can pick them up on T2/T3.

I consider the use of air lift for securing pockets or the opening idea etc. over the top under the current game version and would ban it by house rule.

Finally thanks to all people I had conversations over WitE with or who wrote other guides/AARs to help teach people, and special thanks to Telemecus for some proof reading of the guide.


Regards
EvK

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 2:03:05 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 1:58:42 PM   
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Reserved for possible future post.

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 2:01:11 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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That is all for now and discussions are welcome.



(I think Pelton is to be credited with the term "to packman" for focussing on small pockets of Soviet units)

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/3/2019 2:26:51 PM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 2:16:17 PM   
wkuh

 

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WOW...thanks, my respects and I'm studying this.

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 2:57:26 PM   
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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide f or Axis players - 3/3/2019 4:31:41 PM   
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Well now at least we know why you REALLY left the 8MP game.... To write this! lol

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/4/2019 11:19:33 AM   
timmyab

 

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Excellent guide. I wouldn't want to be the Soviet player opening up that first turn :)
Thanks for pointing out the sec regt Romanian border trick. That's a new one on me. Personally I would like to ban that and the extended Lvov opening as well.

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/4/2019 8:46:17 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Glad to hear you find the guide useful :-)

quote:

Well now at least we know why you REALLY left the 8MP game.... To write this! lol

Being tired of MP counting and retreat path planning, I turned to writing instead, or so goes the story...

quote:

Thanks for pointing out the sec regt Romanian border trick. That's a new one on me. Personally I would like to ban that and the extended Lvov opening as well.

I agree. Fortunately you can always use house rules to ban certain openings. Although that could push pre-game negotiations close to free trade agreements in complexety
s

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/5/2019 9:00:24 AM   
56ajax


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This is absolutely fantastic. Well done sir. I thought you were a student of the game but you are a master. I will be using many of these techniques.

Though, to be honest, the last thing this game needs under the current patch is instructions on how to cream the Soviets.

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 1:17:21 AM   
ledo

 

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I always do find it strange the relative imbalance between discussions of axis and soviet strategy (leaning towards axis generally, aside from some notable exceptions like HLYA's Pskov defence)

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 1:32:25 AM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ledo

I always do find it strange the relative imbalance between discussions of axis and soviet strategy (leaning towards axis generally, aside from some notable exceptions like HLYA's Pskov defence)


Thanks


< Message edited by HardLuckYetAgain -- 3/6/2019 3:25:13 AM >


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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 5:23:19 AM   
56ajax


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ledo

I always do find it strange the relative imbalance between discussions of axis and soviet strategy (leaning towards axis generally, aside from some notable exceptions like HLYA's Pskov defence)


Probably because the best Soviet Strategy is restrictive house rules and it is hard to do a sexy AAR on that.

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 5:53:59 AM   
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quote:

Probably because the best Soviet Strategy is restrictive house rules and it is hard to do a sexy AAR on that.


You mean like no para drops on rails?

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 6:15:44 AM   
56ajax


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well yeah and no super Lvov pocket, kakbuki? dance airbases, no chaining of FBDs etc etc

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 6:39:22 PM   
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Extremely useful your guide. In particular your handling of SUs. Thanks

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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 7:53:55 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ledo

I always do find it strange the relative imbalance between discussions of axis and soviet strategy (leaning towards axis generally, aside from some notable exceptions like HLYA's Pskov defence)


Personally I am more for short, intense action/quick decision so the Axis is the natural side to pick than the attriting Soviets, although I play both sides equally. But I feel not qualified skill/experience wise to write something similiar for the Soviet side and have less original content/ideas to provide.
However, much of what is written here can be useful for the Soviet side as well, like retreat paths, pocket techniques for late war, resource management etc.
HLYA has good AARs with strategic thoughts and general advice for the Soviet side, I also like MichealT's AARs, although they are old now and again more about the Axis.
Make sure to toggle "all posts" on to view all AARs ever written, not just the new ones.

Some thoughts/memorandums from my side can be found here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4601993
and here between the front reports: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4527578

I hope this helps. I also have something about the minimum Soviet industry needs, arguing that 160ish HI and 270ish APs can be enough, but I need to check the calculations again and write it down.



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RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/6/2019 9:30:59 PM   
ledo

 

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Thanks Ewald. I've tried my hand at Soviets a few times. I don't know if I have the ability to maintain that level of attention to detail with so many units and such a messy OOB. I had one win on the Leningrad scenario (I think my opponent was a bit new), and otherwise my performance has been horrendous. I do prefer the Axis play, generally, but I find the construction of defensive lines and tough choices regarding withdrawals appealing. Still the incremental nature of soviet victories as opposed to massive dopamine rushes when a giant pocket forms or a major city is captured is a lot harder to love.

I love all the particulars and I might try to use them in a new game. I haven't played in a while. From a tactical point of view, I think the most important thing for me is understanding the MP values and the correct way to form pockets, since I tend to have mine broken semi-regularly (although part of that is I am fairly ambitious in my pockets 30-40 divisions in multiple places, all leaking like a rice bag in a granary from a kurosawa film).

From an interest point of view, the strategic layer is my favourite. I tend to count the impact of every loss and try to extrapolate how that might impact soviet industry and frankly I tend to be disappointed when extrapolating losses and accounting for Soviet pools and production. Nothing really seems like it is likely to have a severe impact except manpower. Particularly since I tend to have high casualty games and can recognize that if the soviet army has fewer divisions and a smaller OOB they will need less trucks to supply it and armaments to equip it and will build up stockpiles of trucks/equipment/armaments that will help fill it back up when they start to rebuild. So if you manage to do heavy damage to the Soviet army in terms of manpower, the value of damage in other arenas tends to decrease.

I also seemed to find that while territory matters, looking at recent AARs, the value of territory is directly related to your ability to hold it. With 1:1.5 force ratio each hex is likely to be lets say 1 level of difficulty to recapture for the soviets. But obviously with 1:2 force ratio each hex may be 0.8 etc., and I think this relationship is exponential, with diminishing returns on territory the less damage you achieve against the soviet army. I would argue that severe damage to the soviet army and a static line at let's say Stalino in the South with no major winter offensive by the Soviet army. Is better than getting to Rostov, but with a soviet army that was not severely damaged and is able to beat you back to Stalino instead. I know that is not necessarily the choice, but in my mind, this line of thinking makes me far more concerned with damage to the soviet army rather than territory.

Your (0.66*0.66*0.67) example in terms of soviet degradation resonates with me, and I think the advantage of targeting one aspect is very important. I don't think it is wise to switch objectives. I agree that you need to choose one advantage (whether industry and territory or soviet army) and focus. I made a mistake (one of many, although this one was fairly minor in impact) in a game where the soviet army was taking severe hits and I had just achieved a pocket around Leningrad and Kiev (combined they included 40-50 combat units). With the line becoming dangerously thin for the soviets I made a mad dash for Kharkhov which was about 60-70 miles away from the front. I feel like this is a waste of fuel from my motorized corps, because at this point, with thin soviet lines all fuel should be directed to pressing the advantage. Without enough units to properly defend their flanks the only thing I should have been using precious fuel for is the encirclement and destruction of additional formations to maintain the exponential snowball effect that comes from the 1:1(even 0.9) GHC(not including allies)/SHC Manpower ratio that had already been achieved. By distracting myself from that mission (and the non-static nature of the value of an objective such as Kharkov), I am giving my opponent an opportunity to recover from their greatest weakness (lack of formations and manpower) to chase a prize that has diminished in value (armaments and tank production).

Anyway thanks a lot for your write-up. I will study it carefully.

EDIT: Some softcore pocket porn related to the example I mentioned, for GHC fetishists.

https://imgur.com/a/GJ5DT64

https://imgur.com/a/51Q9Y9G



< Message edited by ledo -- 3/6/2019 10:19:19 PM >

(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 26
RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/7/2019 1:03:59 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1830
Joined: 4/14/2016
From: Berlin, Germany
Status: offline
Hi ledo, agree with your posts. Indeed, while the enemy army is still in good shape, all captured terrain is merely borrowed.

Of course, the "focus on one thing" doctrine also applies reverse for the Soviet vs. Axis side.

quote:

Some softcore pocket porn related to the example I mentioned, for GHC fetishists.


Pocket hub, WitE encirclement porn for Axis players since 2010.




Note that a folder with some of my opening practice saves has been uploaded in the opening chapter.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/7/2019 1:05:58 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to ledo)
Post #: 27
RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/7/2019 1:24:10 PM   
Telemecus


Posts: 3225
Joined: 3/20/2016
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

Pocket hub, WitE encirclement porn for Axis players since 2010.




Note that a folder with some of my opening practice saves has been uploaded in the opening chapter.


Cautionary advice - German produced material is of a more hardcore nature and EvK's material should not be viewed by those feint of heart.

(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 28
RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/7/2019 1:35:54 PM   
SparkleyTits

 

Posts: 836
Joined: 10/7/2016
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

Hi ledo, agree with your posts. Indeed, while the enemy army is still in good shape, all captured terrain is merely borrowed.

Of course, the "focus on one thing" doctrine also applies reverse for the Soviet vs. Axis side.

quote:

Some softcore pocket porn related to the example I mentioned, for GHC fetishists.


Pocket hub, WitE encirclement porn for Axis players since 2010.




Note that a folder with some of my opening practice saves has been uploaded in the opening chapter.


Hilarity!

(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 29
RE: Do you want total war? An AAR-Guide for Axis player - 3/7/2019 9:38:17 PM   
ledo

 

Posts: 59
Joined: 11/6/2017
Status: offline
I think this one goes straight to the library of WITE resources.

Edit: I was talking about pocket hub, i mean the strategy can go too obviously, but I think pocket hub is a victory that cannot be forgotten.

< Message edited by ledo -- 3/7/2019 9:55:51 PM >

(in reply to SparkleyTits)
Post #: 30
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