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Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 5:33:18 AM   
redrum68

 

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Wondering where to start besides the basic tutorial and trying to read the manual (which seems very dense)? I saw the updated manual and the library of resources threads but that's a bit much to grasp to begin. I played the very small tutorial scenario a few times and can win as either side (though can't say I really understand everything that is going on). Then I tried the Road to Minsk scenario as Russia and it seemed pretty difficult and ended in a draw. Not really sure what Russia can effectively do as it seems even the German AI runs over everything and easily takes Minsk.
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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 8:37:09 AM   
56ajax


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The official manual is out of date so try the updated manual.

Read the AARs.

Determine who you want to play as then try the smaller scenarios.



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Foch : This is not peace. This is a 20 year armistice.

C'est la guerre aérienne

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 12:19:52 PM   
joelmar


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I guess it's like learning rocket science. You have to start from the beginning and take one bite at a time. But you have a good head start, those ressources you mentionned are those I used myself when I started playing 1 year ago and from them I learned a lot. Searching for specific things in this forum and asking questions is also a good way to get information. Make sure you always use the updated manual (v.2_5_5) though, but keep in mind that most of the existing documentation is about version 1.11.03 or earlier. For the new patch, you need to read the patch notes and overlay them in your mind with the information of the updated manual.


That said, there are many ways to play this game, some just swim on the surface and manage to do most of what must be done to get decent results (or don't, it all depends on talent and vision...) Others dive deep and explore many esoteric aspects of this game. Some play very fast, others ponder and plan every little detail, and both can get very good results... or don't! again, it's all a question of interest and understanding.

For the game engine, I would advise you to start by understanding thoroughly the command structure and the logistics flow, including command and supply ranges. Learn to move your corps (or armies for the Soviets) as teams and not individuals. Which doesn't mean to have all units from one corps stacked together all the time, but keep them grouped in an area corresponding to their assigned frontage. Command range from unit to HQ's, and the supply ranges too all have a great importance. Plan your troops movement taking this into consideration. I know that when playing the Axis against the AI, it is tempting to run all over the place chasing holes in the Soviet lines, but that is the AI... it won't happen against humans, even against weak players.

Learn also rail repair tactics if you play the Axis. Those are important things to grasp to make sure your army stays in the best shape it can be.

As 56ajax said, reading AAR's can give you a lot of info that you won't get anywhere in the documentation.
Maybe you already do, but you also need to understand the basic strategic and tactical principles of warfare, and how they can be applied to WitE. For that, reading of military litterature can help a lot. Myself I am a big fan of Carl Von Clausewitz and have applied many of his teachings to my WitE play.

Anyway, if I have a last advice, it would be to enjoy the learning process in itself. That will ease a lot the learning curve effort and grant a lot of small rewards! :-)

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 1:27:37 PM   
Zug


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When I got the game I played Road to Minsk several times until I could gain a major victory, which I did on my third attempt. It takes a few runs to catch on I think. For example in your first run you won't properly judge the effect of enemy zones of control, and as a result your exploitation forces probably lose a few MPs as they plunge through the gap. In subsequent runs you'll open that breach out, allowing full movement from the forces you send through, which has a carry-over effect in subsequent turns, allowing them to penetrate deeper in to enemy territory, making pockets easier to form, and objectives easier to capture.

You'll learn other nuances like detaching the infantry divisions from the panzer formations so that they don't bog down the mobile forces. Or to run the rule over your commanders and get better ones in place. It's a big, complex game, and it takes a while to learn. Although it seems you are playing as the Russians, so maybe this isn't such a good tip, you don't have panzer formations haha.

I then ran Road to Minsk once more, then jumped right in to the grand campaign. It had taught me enough to tackle the campaign, and frankly I wanted to save Kiev and Leningrad for the campaign proper, and see how I could do without practicing these operations.

On a different site I had a thread about it, and here's the post I made about winning Road to Minsk. Not sure if there''s anything helpful in it really, but it shows my thoughts at the time.

https://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4446567/re-gary-grigsbys-war-in-the-west-and-east#Post4446567

So my suggestion is to keep at it. Keep playing the Road To scenarios until you can achieve victories. Each time you will learn a little more, adding new arrows to your operational quiver, learning the mechanics and how to work within the ruleset of the game. Once you can win these, you are ready for the big show I reckon. Good luck.

< Message edited by Zug -- 3/5/2020 1:29:17 PM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 1:37:37 PM   
tyronec


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I played some of the Road to scenarios until I got a feel of them.
Then the Campaign, at increasing difficulties, until I got the hand of beating the AI.
Don't bother with playing Soviets for the early scenarios, not a great game.
Then time for HvH, just be aware that playing a good human player is a completely different thing from playing the AI and a lot of the tactics that work against the AI are no longer viable.
As an HvH beginner it is easier to play Axis in my opinion, it can be difficult to judge how quickly to retreat as Soviets.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 4:23:24 PM   
redrum68

 

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Thanks for all the quick responses. A few follow up questions:

1. Any recommendations on which scenarios, what order to play them in, or which side is best to learn first? Seems that the "Road to X" are a good place to start but not really sure if some are easier or better than others. Road to Minsk as the Russians seems like maybe that was a bad choice. Maybe I'll try instead as the Germans.

2. Any recommendations for AARs to read for beginners that maybe do a good job of explaining "when/why" not just "what"? The manual seems to have tons of information about all the various systems but doesn't really explain how to utilize that information and why you would say do X instead of Y.

3. Thoughts on the important topics to focus on initially and maybe what to ignore? Seems like command structure, supply, and movement are important. Others?

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 4:30:15 PM   
joelmar


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quote:


@redrum68




it depends. So much to focus (or not) on. What is your objective as a player? You want to play the game casually, or do you want to become a dangerous opponent for a human?

The other thing I could point to you is support units (SU) management. There is the easy way to lock all HQ's so the support units flow is blocked and support units always remain in the HQ they begin the game in. This works, but has many setbacks. The best way to go, both in economy of trucks and supply AND in making SU's easier to send where you need them, is to unlock all HQ's and learn the support unit flow.

If you are interested in the air war, it's a very different and complex matter and there are techniques that are worth learning, here is the most thorough explanation that I know of by Telemecus, the discussion spans a few pages of the 8MP AAR but worth the time.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4606835

This was written on patch 1.11.03, so if you are playing with patch 1.12.03, take note the fuel and ammo levels available on an air base don't matter anymore as airbases get their fuel directly from the supply grid in 1.12.03, but most of the other techniques explained are still valid.

< Message edited by joelmar -- 3/5/2020 5:23:51 PM >


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/5/2020 5:57:33 PM   
Hanny


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

2. Any recommendations for AARs to read for beginners that maybe do a good job of explaining "when/why" not just "what"? The manual seems to have tons of information about all the various systems but doesn't really explain how to utilize that information and why you would say do X instead of Y.




Shalkai two AARs are a great example of clear thinking and methodical play.

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4717612
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4754512

If you prefer watching youtubers play, this is pretty good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXYDztc86ZI&list=PLbSx_b5pOYvHVgVZZ-DVsxxgWtTbd37WQ


< Message edited by Hanny -- 3/5/2020 6:00:54 PM >


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 1:58:40 AM   
redrum68

 

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@joelmar - I'd say casual to start. Be able to understand the core mechanics and beat the AI at a decent difficulty. Then maybe dive into some of the finer details and maybe some day consider a human opponent though that would seem to be a fairly significant time commitment. SU and air are definitely beyond my grasp at the moment though don't seem to have a major impact at least for the smaller scenarios.

@Hanny - Interesting. Those do seem to be good AARs as they lay out the details of the turn and at least provide some justification. Its definitely a little over my head at the moment though. Maybe something a little simpler to start might help.

I also replayed Road to Minsk as Germany instead of Russia and won a Decisive Victory. It appears the scenario is just not well balanced or I just have no idea how to defend with Russia during it.

Oh and another question:
4. I was trying to repair some rails and realized I had a 3 stack of units that had no movement left sitting where I wanted to repair. Is there anything I can do about that or is that something I need to plan around when moving units?

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/6/2020 4:18:55 AM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 6:14:28 AM   
56ajax


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One of your first tasks should be railroad repair.

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Foch : This is not peace. This is a 20 year armistice.

C'est la guerre aérienne

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 10:34:04 AM   
xhoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

I also replayed Road to Minsk as Germany instead of Russia and won a Decisive Victory. It appears the scenario is just not well balanced or I just have no idea how to defend with Russia during it.



IIRC that scenario was designed to teach players about conducting a pincer movement. It is meant only as a short tutorial. Give Road to Leningrad a go, it is a lot better.

Also, it is easier to learn game mechanics when playing as the Germans, since you will get punished less severely for your mistakes. For the Soviets, especially in the first two years, mistakes will cost you a lot more.

quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68
4. I was trying to repair some rails and realized I had a 3 stack of units that had no movement left sitting where I wanted to repair. Is there anything I can do about that or is that something I need to plan around when moving units?


Nothing that can be done about it now. Just try to minimize this in the future. Repairing one more rail hex is more important than getting a division 10 miles forward. Just plan around it and try to leave the hexes that will be repaired empty or just stacked with 2 units so the FBD can move through.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 1:59:20 PM   
Zug


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

I also replayed Road to Minsk as Germany instead of Russia ... It appears the scenario is just not well balanced



I'd bet the soldiers posted to the Red Army's Western Front on June 22nd were saying the same thing :D

Seems about right. It was not a fair fight at that stage.


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 2:10:46 PM   
king171717


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zug


quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

I also replayed Road to Minsk as Germany instead of Russia ... It appears the scenario is just not well balanced



I'd bet the soldiers posted to the Red Army's Western Front on June 22nd were saying the same thing :D

Seems about right. It was not a fair fight at that stage.




Hahaha

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 2:16:38 PM   
king171717


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I recommend just playing bro. Its such a complex game and a lot to wrap around your head at the start. Just try to understand the basic's and go from there. Nice thing about the smaller scenario's is you have way less things you have to do.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 5:11:36 PM   
redrum68

 

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Thanks for the responses.

I'll try to be more careful with rail repair now. It was kind of an after thought and did it towards the end of my turn. I can see that especially for long scenarios this would be very important.

Yeah, Road to Minsk is a very short scenario and definitely should be lopsided though I think the only question is should the victory conditions at least give something for Russia to try for. But given how short it is, it would probably be tough to balance regardless.

I think the one thing I'm struggling with is figuring out what the "basics" are. There are just so many different things when you read through the manual that its hard to figure out what's important and what to focus on.

I guess I'll give a Road to Leningrad a try as the Germans.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 9:28:09 PM   
eskuche

 

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Try to add in one new chapter of the manual each game. Get combat down with auto SU and auto air commitment. Then figure out supply and railroad. Then take a look at production and how you would even think of applying it. Advanced topics include encirclement, good command structure (no overloaded anything, have most effective troops under the best generals with best SUs to crack high forts), HQBU, optimization of leaders, appropriate SU use, good TOE settings, maintaining good higher HQ distance for better rolls (and how this is calculated), and (something I haven’t experienced yet) weather changes. Finally eventually you’ll have to address going on the defensive with Germans as well.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/6/2020 9:55:09 PM   
joelmar


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All good comments, add to it getting a good understanding of the command structure, and how to both move and use your units on the map as teams.

Synergies are very important in this game.

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 4:52:57 AM   
redrum68

 

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EDIT: Is there a way to upload multiple images into the same post? I couldn't figure it out so made a separate post for each image.

Road to Minsk

So I decided to make a short overview here with a few screenshots on my play through with the Germans so maybe folks can give tips and maybe someone else struggling can learn something :)

So to start its only a 3 turn scenario with the objectives to get a decisive victory to take the 3 cities along the far eastern border (Minsk is kind of a given).

The general strategy seems to primarily be optimize your panzer/mech divisions movement and prioritize moving them as far east each turn as possible while closing pockets where necessary and trying to supply them as much as possible. But since the Russians have so little forces, the pockets are almost impossible for them to break.

My first turn went something like this:
1. Bomb nearby enemy airfields that have the most planes
2. Use infantry to attack with at least 3x the defenders CV as you need at least 2x to win and there is a decent amount of randomness (remember hasty attack halves attacking CV so then you want like 6x)
3. Try to keep divisions that report to the same HQ together and move the HQ to follow them and stay within 5 range of all the units that report to it.
4. Use mech/panzers to drive as far east as possible avoiding the southern marshes and close any pockets which weren't closed by infantry, again moving them in groups with their HQ following. End up with a drive north and south of Minsk.
5. Repair a few rail hexes, try to avoid blocking them with 3 units stacked that have no movement left! (I failed here)

Here is where I ended up:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/7/2020 5:45:57 AM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 4:57:54 AM   
redrum68

 

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So towards the start of turn 2 I notice that some of my divisions didn't get full MP so I'm assuming they are out of supply. Interestingly, even panzer divisions on the same hex didn't get the same and I don't fully understand why though it must be something to do with the HQ they are tied to? Here is the screenshot:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/7/2020 5:08:35 AM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 5:00:42 AM   
redrum68

 

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Turn 2 is mostly a repeat of turn 1 though airfield bombing seems to do little. I'm able to capture Minsk and 2 of the 3 eastern VCs to setup a easy turn 3 to finish it off. Here is the start of turn 3:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/7/2020 5:09:57 AM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 5:02:45 AM   
redrum68

 

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Turn 3 I take the final VC and just clean up some Russian units but only play about half the turn as its clearly over. Here is the final screenshot showing the decisive victory.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/7/2020 5:09:04 AM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 9:46:15 AM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68
So towards the start of turn 2 I notice that some of my divisions didn't get full MP so I'm assuming they are out of supply. Interestingly, even panzer divisions on the same hex didn't get the same and I don't fully understand why though it must be something to do with the HQ they are tied to? Here is the screenshot:


At the start of every turn each unit has a an admin and a initiative ratings check. If it fails one it loses 20% of its MPs (which would reduce 50 MPs to 40MPs). If it fails both it is compounded (0.8*0.8 or approximately two thirds - would reduce 50 MPs to 32MPs or so). In addition there can be reductions for fatigue etc.

It seems to me 3rd and 4th Panzer passed both ratings checks and so got all the MPs they could get for their fuel. 17th Panzer failed on ratings check. How do the admin and initiative ratings of XXXXVIIPz corps compare to those of XXIVPz?


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 11:47:36 AM   
loki100


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worth adding to this, your base MP (before the checks above) is variable according to fatigue, fuel and available trucks.

Fatigue will take off the average fatigue/10 MP. Remember you get fatigue not just off movement/combat but also elements recovering from disruption.

Fuel caps movement, if you have say 80% of your fuel you can only get 80% of your MP (this only applies to mobile units)

Trucks are also a cap. Missing trucks can really degrade MP, and as the game progresses you may find your units shed a lot of trucks as they go in search of supply - not likely to be a major factor on T2 though.

the truck and fuel cap doesn't stack, in effect the lowest is the one that is taken out of your base MP.


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 5:58:22 PM   
hei1

 

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I would like to emphasize the point, joelmar mentioned in the beginning: read about warfare. Because: WitE is a simulation of WWII warefare. It's not an Excel-sheet or a 250page rule set. A good simulation should go by intuition. And it goes! (WitE is realy a masterpiece in that point). If you feel, that tanks in heavy wood are not a good idea, logistics is important or air strikes in blizzard is a bad choice - you are right! This (and mutch more mentioned before) is extremly well simulated in WitE (by lots of rules - in fact). So for me personaly, it's just excitement in playing and focussing on strategy. In a second phase you can switch to the tactical details and - step by step - unfold the deepness of the simulation (with the great help of this forum - thanks to all!).
WitE is a great game. Enjoy! (ok, I still hate VP conditions - it reminds me to scripted games ... but thats another topic)

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 6:06:22 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hei1
I still hate VP conditions - it reminds me to scripted games ... but thats another topic


+1

In the past I just ignored VPs unless they were needed for a sudden death condition and just made up my own view of whether I won or not. But if given victory conditions are important then yes!


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 6:17:18 PM   
joelmar


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@redrum68

I know you won a decisive victory, but this is against the AI which almost never does what it should.

I would advise playing the same scenario against yourself. Or if you have saves from all your turns, just take the End of Axis turn 1, set the opponent as human and play the Soviet.

And as the Soviet, try things out. That should show you a few tactical mistakes right there.

I would mention a few:

-not securing your pocket by leaving gaping holes,
-not securing your spearhead flanks, so 3rd pz army was almost isolated at 2 places and wasn't only because the AI doesn't know how to recognize opportunities, but a human would have done so. In the first turn, it's no big deal because of all the fuel and supplies that the HQ's carry, but after that, communication to the railhead becomes a big priority.

If you can on turn 1, and as a general rule, try to keep a few corps of infantry not involved in combats at the frontier and push them as deep as possible in the Soviet territory following the panzers. I know panzer are the glamour guys and are very important, but without infantry they soon bug down before obstacles, or they easily wear down attacking towns, cities, forts, swamps, heavy woods, river lines. You need to be aware that armored units have penalities against those kind of objectives.

As a general rule, infantry digs holes and blows obstacles, panzers exploit, hopefully against very little opposition.

< Message edited by joelmar -- 3/7/2020 6:26:21 PM >


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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/7/2020 7:44:18 PM   
redrum68

 

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@Telemecus @loki100
Ok. I realize there are a lot of factors for supply and glanced through the rules (though a lot of it is a bit beyond my understanding at the moment). I'm struggling to understand which factors are impacting how much MPs I get each turn and whether I'm making bad moves/decisions or I'm getting unlucky rolls (essentially what can I do to make it better next time). Is there a way to see for example why the 17th Panzer only got 40 MPs? Maybe the unit's supply details screen or one of the reports? I think the question I should have asked is "how can I predict how many MPs I'll have next turn and how can I determine which factors impacted how many MPs I got?"

I'm struggling to get information from the UI on where I'm making mistakes as its seems maybe because of the complexity and sheer amount of information that the game can be kind of subtle and isn't yelling at me "this was a bad move because of X" or "this was a poor attack because of X" (besides being isolated or too far from railhead which are highlighted on the UI). Though maybe I'm just not looking in the right place :)

@joelmar
Thanks for the feedback. Playing as the Soviets at the end of Axis turn 1 is a good idea as I think that would help see if there are ways I can exploit my own Axis moves. I realize I have some auto-saves but I'm not sure how to change sides when loading the game as it seems to just reload with AI as the Soviets even if I change it in the main menu? Also it doesn't appear that autosaves include the scenario name so when I play another scenario it overwrites autosaves from a different scenario and I've lost some of them. Is there a way to change the autosave naming so different scenarios don't overwrite each other?

And yeah, having the 3rd panzer army almost get isolated is a good point as well as trying to push a few infantry divisions further forward behind them. Is there a way to see how many MPs enemy units will have? I'm not sure the pocket really matters much as even if they break it they are all still going to either get crushed or re-pocketed in this case but I realize in other scenarios that could have a bigger impact.

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/7/2020 8:11:51 PM >

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RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/8/2020 1:57:43 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68
@Telemecus @loki100
I'm struggling to understand which factors are impacting how much MPs I get each turn and whether I'm making bad moves/decisions or I'm getting unlucky rolls (essentially what can I do to make it better next time). Is there a way to see for example why the 17th Panzer only got 40 MPs? Maybe the unit's supply details screen or one of the reports? I think the question I should have asked is "how can I predict how many MPs I'll have next turn and how can I determine which factors impacted how many MPs I got?"

I'm struggling to get information from the UI on where I'm making mistakes as its seems maybe because of the complexity and sheer amount of information that the game can be kind of subtle and isn't yelling at me "this was a bad move because of X" or "this was a poor attack because of X" (besides being isolated or too far from railhead which are highlighted on the UI). Though maybe I'm just not looking in the right place :)


You can go in to the unit details of any unit and then click on the supply details to get some information on why they got those MPs (retrospectively). I think @EwaldvonKleist produced some sort of supply calculator to look at it propectively - check their library of WitE resources https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4317692 . Certainly do look there at their guide to how supply works.

Rather than trying to understand everything at once you may want to work down the list of things in importance. Usually the first thing to look at is fuel in motorised units and that is maximised by placement of your HQs relative to your units and the rail network. After that comes ratings checks which is most improved by getting rid of command penalties of the HQs and then after that by getting better leaders.

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(in reply to redrum68)
Post #: 28
RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/8/2020 2:46:42 PM   
king171717


Posts: 211
Joined: 5/14/2016
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I recommended playing road to leningrad now.

Too answer your one question. U want to pocket as much as u can. Because isolated units will surrender, where non isolated units will rout. So the open turning is about pocketing as many units as u can and driving as deep as you can.

< Message edited by king171717 -- 3/8/2020 2:56:17 PM >

(in reply to Telemecus)
Post #: 29
RE: Where to Start for a Beginner? - 3/8/2020 3:38:30 PM   
redrum68

 

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Joined: 11/26/2017
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@Telemecus - I'll read a bit more on supply and maybe try to analyze it a bit during my AAR to see if I can figure it out.

@king171717 - Excellent suggestion! I actually just started a new beginner AAR for Road to Leningrad: https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4773226

(in reply to Telemecus)
Post #: 30
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