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Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 3:53:45 PM   
Firebomber47


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I'm putting together a campaign game which looks at what would have happened if Hitler had been able to restrain Mussolini from his North African and Greek adventures, pushing Barbarossa's launch date forward to May 11th (the planned start date) and bringing in the Finns, Romanians, Hungarians, and Italians at that time. This would also allow Rommel to enter the fray with the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions, as well as the 90th Motorized Division.

The problems I'm encountering are that the editor has a hidden restriction when using the 1941-1945 Campaign game that everything in Finland and below the Y90 row is zeroed out on movement no matter what I try using the editor features. Is there another file that needs to be modified to change that? I can't seem to find it mentioned in the Editor Manual or addressed by any of the editor buttons.

Also, is there a way to change the start date to 5/11/41? There seems to be a hard restriction against setting the start date to anything before 6/22/41. Thanks

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 5:03:10 PM   
joelmar


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Interesting idea and I hope you can set it up and give the results of your trials. But I think you're right, the june 22nd date is probably hard coded because it is an exceptional 4 days week.

In the game though, there are lots of mud turns during may and early june in which movement and offensive CV are very limited, which in real life is also the argument of many historians against the idea that the Balkans campaign was the reason for the failure of Barbarossa.

So in all probabilities, the first turn pockets wouldn't happen and then that would give 5 weeks to the Soviet to organise a much better defense so that when the pz can finally roll freely, going forward will be way more difficult.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 5:22:05 PM   
Firebomber47


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Yes, mud turns could be a problem, but the first turn would still be clear, as would the 3rd. When I played the standard campaign game I would take that into account and made excellent progress during the May/Early June turns in 1942.

But my main concern, besides the start date, is the inability of the units south of the Y90 row or up in Finland to move until July 1941. I'm still trying to find out where I can remove that restriction, but with no luck :-(

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 5:36:45 PM   
joelmar


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you mean using non-random weather. Yes of course. Personally, I prefer random weather as it gives a level of uncertainty and fun, but that's me. And random weather is by nature... very random! So the first turn might not be as hoped for.

And yes, it's true that there are good periods in may beginning of june in which limited progress can be done, but it always has to take into account the mud that's coming, so everything has to be more cautious. By example, in the first turn of the game, you can take risks, push your spearhead very far without too much regards to flanks... but if a mud turn is coming, that is not possible unless you want to get your spearheads pocketed in their turn without hope of immediate relief.

So I really think that gives a big advantage to the Soviets. Of course, how it would go afterwards would still be very interesting!

sorry that I can't help you on the technical side.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 5:43:25 PM   
Firebomber47


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Well, the fun thing is to encircle on clear turns and then creep the infantry forward during the mud turn to be prepared to exterminate the cut off Soviet formations with the infantry during the following clear turn. I typically do a HQ buildup during the mud turn to have the mobile formations ready to move out on the next clear turn. Using these tactics, I had finished off over 9 million Soviet troops by the time I won a 1941-1945 scenario in October 1942, without having any Axis formations wiped out by the Soviets.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 5:51:44 PM   
joelmar


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The degree of success of tactics and strategies always depends on how your opponent react to it of course.

But that was nevertheless a nice victory :-)

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 6:43:28 PM   
Firebomber47


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I took a look at the Random Weather Table and noticed that there could be much better weather on a number of turns, including traditionally mud turns in the spring and the fall. The disclaimers were the following:

»» There will be at most one snow turn per weather
zone in December and January.
»» There will be at most one mud turn per weather zone
during turns from 19 June to 30 September.
»» There will be at most one mud turn per weather zone
during turns from 01 December to 31 March.

Have you found this to be the case when you've played using random weather? Having fewer snow and mud turns could help the Axis enormously.





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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 7:11:08 PM   
Firebomber47


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I did a little additional research on the possibility of launching Barbarossa earlier and came across some historical info on the topic. Here are some points from that dissertation:

*Because of the annual spring floods in eastern Poland and western European Russia, 15 May was the earliest possible date for the start of the invasion of Russia.

*Barbarossa could not possibly have started on 15 May because spring came late in 1941. As late as the beginning of June the Polish-Russian river valleys were still flooded and partly impassable as a result of exceptionally heavy rains.

*Of the two corps headquarters and nine divisions that were diverted to the Yugoslav campaign, all but three were infantry divisions.

*The armored and motorized infantry divisions had to be refitted after the Balkan campaigns for a minimum of three weeks.

*The 2nd and 5th Panzer Divisions, which had advanced as far as southern Greece, were not available in time for the start of Barbarossa.








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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 7:13:43 PM   
joelmar


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I just finished going thru that period in my game, and in practice it's both good and bad. Some very long period of mud in certain weather zones, sometimes 2 periods of clear in a row in 1 zone, but everything is always shifting around.

But can be very effective if well prepared. You have to always think versatile because you never really know and forcasts are not always right even if they are most of the time, as in real life.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 7:17:21 PM   
joelmar


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Yes, about the same as I read. For a long time I was certain that the date of the start of Barbarossa was the big reason of the failure... but I really doubt it today.

IMO not focusing on Moscow in august was not a good idea for many reasons, but at the same time, really open to debate.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 7:25:19 PM   
Firebomber47


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Also, if you opt for Reduced Blizzard Effect, the Axis end up in better shape after the 1941-42 winter. It makes you wonder how much better they would have done if Hitler had prepared the army for winter conditions. Commentary from von Manstein and others has indicated that Hitler was considering a winter campaign against France in late 1939, so they obviously had the gear to fight in the snow. If they had availed themselves of that in Russia in 1941-42, they might have been better able to take and hold Moscow and Rostov.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 3/28/2020 8:43:01 PM   
joelmar


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From what I understand, they had the gear and equipement. The problem was mostly getting it to the front.

Their trucks weren't made for the Russian winter and their truck fleet was already depleted when the blizzard came on an earlier date then expected.

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RE: Activating Romania and Finland - 5/20/2020 3:29:34 AM   
Firebomber47


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Have run this modified scenario a couple of times. Moved 4 panzer divisions and a motorized division down onto the Romanian border, but a game feature that I couldn't change kept all units in Romania deactivated during the 6/22/41 turn, so had to set the start date for the following turn, when that area is activated. Initial progress is good, with Odessa captured on the first turn and Kiev typically captured by the third or fourth. The biggest problem is getting the rail lines repaired quickly. The game is setup in such a way that you can't use rail repair units in tandem, thus doubling the speed of rail repair heading east. I can sometimes squeeze another hex worth of repair out of a teaming of two rail repair units, but then other turns I can't even use up all the movement points of one unit, let alone two. Hereagain, there seem to be no editor features that I can change to alter this behavior. I can typically capture Rostov and get most of the way to Stalingrad, along with capturing Leningrad and Moscow, but in the standard 1941-45 campaign with its requirement for 290 victory points, there's simply no way to capture enough cities before the mud arrives due to the delay in getting rails repaired deep enough into Russia :-(

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