Lots of Army Artillery Regts......do you still have Corps Artillery Regts and BM Howitzer units, or no?
Just curious how you organize the Soviet Artillery units. At-start and via reinforcement seems like the Red Army gets more unit shells than it needs, so there is opportunity to cull toward using tubes you have (vs. Tubes in shorter supply)
Sounds like you're looking for the Soviet Guide to Artillery.
If only I had time to do a proper write-up, but it would probably be several pages long and Dave is sending me back turns generally within 24 hours.
In 1941, most Soviet artillery has experience in the 30s and 40s. Most of the corps and army leaders have low or marginal initiative and infantry ratings that combine to determine whether their units hit what they shoot at. This is somewhat important since artillery with the greater ranges has a significant effect on battle even before the first infantry weapons are fired. Of course in the early going the Soviets lose a lot of battles and each defeat usually means a lot of artillery lost in this way. For this reason, I evacuate to the reserves much of these units. They simply add little value to the combat equation under these conditions much like the air forces.
Once the artillery gets experience into the mid-40's they can start going back into the line with emphasis going to any assault front(s). This is becuause non-assault fronts suffer from the artillery ammo malus that exists until 1944. Assault Fronts end up firing with up to 90% of their capability, so the malus in this case is only a slight impact. All other regular fronts are 60%.
As a general rule, tube for tube German artillery is considerably more effective that the Soviets. The German 150mm guns are crazy good for example. The great equalizer is numbers. The goal here is to answer the German very good artillery of perhaps a few hundred tubes with over a thousand of yours. Many of those tubes you have in a battle will be the organic 82mm mortars of the rifle units but these are short range weapons that are only firing after the bigger guns have done their work. There are also lesser quantities of 120mm mortars and 122mm guns in the divisions as well, but due to the sheer quantity of divisions you're almost always chronically short at least some of these weapons.
To supplement the artillery of the rifle units, we then look at the support units. First, I don't add much if any in the way of mortar units. Those units just compete with the rifle divisions for this resource so it's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The guns of the artillery regiments are generally based off the pre-war 122mm A-19 field gun and 152mm ML-20 gun-howitzer. Since the larger ML-20 hits with a bigger punch, it pays to look at how many of these are in the support units. In virtually all cases the numbers are between 12-24. I am looking for more than that, so when the 1941 Army Artillery Regiment becomes available in 1941 with 36 tubes, it becomes possible to start putting more significant firepower down range.
This is where I start to cull the herd of support units with the ML-20s. All BM Howitzer units with them are disbanded. They only have 24 guns in 1941, dropping to 12 in 1942. I should note here the 203mm BM Howitzer is actually a fine weapon, equaling the performance of the ML-20s. But they come in smaller numbers and are really most suited to supplement the 152mm guns. Any Corps Artillery Regiments that are struggling to fill up with 122mm guns and have the ML-20s are also removed from the OOB.
Since the production of the ML-20 gun-howitzer is only 20 per week, they do require some care. That is another reason why I am selective in terms of where they go. The logical place again are the assault front armies with good leaders and which are not often retreating. Generally six of these 1941 Army Artillery Regiments of 36 guns each will go in an assault front army. Give these armies the leaders like Konev, Rokossovsky, Tolbukhin and Vatutin who have combined initiative and infantry ratings of 13 and your artillery has a real chance to shine. When May 1942 arrives, so does Ivan Chernyakhovsky and his combined numbers are 14, matched only by Vatutin and exceeded by Zhukov. It gets better when you pair a strong front and army commander during an attack. Then you can start to see some real results.
To that end, we'll look at an example when it all comes together. Rokossovsky and Zhukov are paired up, German defenders are in an unfortified hex.
Note there wasn't a single Soviet bomber in this fight. The 249 ML-20 howitzers firing at their usual range of 14,100 disrupted almost twice as many ground elements as over 1,600 Soviet rifle squads (the latter of which equates to about 17,000 men. This fight was a one-sided affair with heavy German losses. It isn't a typical battle but it does go to show how if you take time to develop the Soviet artillery arm, it goes from a rather ineffectual mass of men and equipment to a lethal force on the battlefield even before 1943.