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T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 4:08:48 PM   
Bamilus


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I've played a few games, messed around with Carlkay's saves, and read a ton of posts here (super helpful), but have some questions/guidance on T1 + T2 for Axis. I'm going to list what I've been trying out and areas I struggle with and would appreciate feedback if I'm making dumb decisions (and yes I know each game is different with the variable reserve status and morale and weather, but talking in general). Sorry, this will be a long thread!

This is assuming a historic first few turns (i.e. I'm not going to send 4th Panzer Group south turn 1) and AI morale 110 (so Soviets can reform lines easier) with FOW on.


Overall Questions/Thoughts:

1. There's a lot of corps attached to each army and some have only so many divisions that each corps would average 2-3. Is it better to instead of a few super corps, at least the start, to take advantage of a better leader and concentrate SU's? Meaning, have 9/9 command capacity and leave other corps empty or maybe 1 division until you need to branch out as you get further.

2. I used to set everyone to 0 SU level and bring all the SU's to OKH to then re-send out manually, but typically find it easier to just move SU's from the wealthy beginning corps/armies to the ones that need more. Off top of my head I know there's a corps in the 9th army that has an insane amount of SU's given it's size. Not sure if this is optimal but I try to ensure each infantry corps has at least 1 artillery, 1 AA, and 1 engineer, at a minimum.

3. Speaking of SU's, is it better for infantry corps to have artillery over motorized corps (if you have to pick)? 1st Panzer Group has lots of artillery in the motorized divisions, but wondering if it makes sense to share that wealth since there's many starting infantry corps that are lacking artillery.

4. I think it makes sense in general to use infantry to punch the hole so motorized divisions don't have to take ZOC MP penalty (I know there are T1 special rules), but what about for converting enemy territory? I used to move all my infantry first, then motorized, but lately I've switched to infantry punching the hole with motorized moving forward and converting hexes which allows my infantry to move even further up.

5. Due to regiment MP penalty, I find it best to keep units as a division and then breakdown near last end of their move. Not sure if optimal or if anyone has any thoughts (vs splitting up and taking territory with beginning MP). Obviously depends where you're at and sometimes you just want to fan out and take as much as you can, but I find the regiment MP penalty and inability to convert adjacent hexes to generally be too negative.

6. Generally I only use panzers to attack weak infantry/airborne/security/fortress units. Even low CV tank enemies eat up my tanks. I think I attack too frequently with motorized divisions, in general. I feel like it sucks having to use CPP to take out a fortress unit but sometimes you have to.

7. AP I use for depots/priority repairs on first 2 turns. After that I prioritize dismissing bad corps leaders (PG infantry corps prioritized first). I have set 11th Army on assault in first 5 turns but not sure if that's worth it. Haven't replaced any army leaders except 11th Army eventually.

8. Haven't been using air transports to resupply much, at all. Seems like supply is so precarious early enough that I don't want to take away from depots to air resupply.


AGN:

1. There's 2 Corps attached to OKH/AGN in this region. I typically assign one to 18th and one to 16th Army.

2. T1 - 18th army goes west of Baltic swamp area, 16th goes right. One motorized division goes left and takes Riga, other goes right and crosses river, trapping Soviets.

3. My biggest problem with come T2 and T3 is Pskov and Velikaya river. I can get near Pskov by T2 but it just feels like that river line is also super well defended and the mountain/heavy forest going down to Velikiye Luki means my 4PG and 16th Army (and parts of 9th) just get bogged down. I feel like getting Pskov super early and trying to circle around the river (clockwise) to pocket AI or force them to move back is the most important part of AGN. I haven't had success yet in getting Pskov early enough or forcing AI off that river/mountain line quick enough.

4. 18th army will eventually push to Narva, 4PG can either head east/SE from Pskov or push north to Leningrad, 16th army pushes north/NE to Leningrad.

AGC:

1. There's 3 corps in this region attached to OKH/AGC and one or two aren't activated until T2/T3. I typically put these 3 corps in 2nd Army and then attached 2nd Army to AGC, even though it puts AGC over command capacity.

2. T1 9th army goes north of Bialytosk pocket (basically going east from their starting point). 4th army goes southeast/east of pocket. I use the 3 corps in 1 to basically just ZOC the pocket T1 and blast small units. Leave bigger units for T2+T3 cleanup. 3rd Panzer seals northern pocket at Minsk while also pushing to Daugavpils. 2nd Panzer seals southern pocket at Minsk, some fan out east towards Dnepr.

3. T2 try use PG's to trap units around Vitebsk/Smolensk land bridge. I usually don't have an issue taking Vitebsk T3 or Smolensk by T5/T6, but I find the push to Gomel and beyond to an absolute slog, since I typically send my PG's to the Smolensk land bridge (or north of it), rather than crossing the Dnepr farther south.

4. I typically avoid Pripayet for most part, other than the edges. Use the security divisions to take as much of swamp as I can before they withdraw. However, I do usually have to send a 6th Army division or 2nd Army division to clear out the last few units on a later turn.

5. In my games the 9th Army ends up getting stuck in the forest/swamp past Vitebsk/Dauga and pushes towards Velikiye Luki and meets up with southern part of 16th Army. 4th Army ends up east of Dnepr. 2nd Army above Pripayet and below 4th. 3PG north of Smolensk and 2PG east of Smolensk, but haven't tried sending 2PG south as was done historically. Seems very hard to take Orel on time if you don't do this movement but not sure if it's worth it.

AGS:

1. Lots of units get reassigned so 17th army isn't over capacity. Usually puts lot of infantry to 1PG so it's well stocked.

2. Reassign all Rumanians out of 11th army. This leaves 11th army a little bare, but I try to send most reinforcement divisions first 5-6 turns to the South and add them to 11th Army.

3. T1 basically take Lvov, trap units west with 17th army. 6th army heads east/SE, slowly. 1PG just fans out, usually east/NE of Lvov to avoid activating the SU front. T2 I can meet up with Rumanians to seal a big pocket and can usually get some more pockets in T3 as I push east to Tarnopol and others.

4. Overall, 6th army ends up south of Pripayet marshes and around Kiev. 17th Army south of that. 11th army south of that. I typically have used 1PG to help take Kiev early and then move it further south to push to Dnepro. Doesn't seem that hard to take Dnepro in general, but Stalino and Rostov seem harder to take.

< Message edited by Bamilus -- 4/6/2021 4:55:18 PM >


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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 4:51:43 PM   
Repsol

 

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A short answer to a long question

As far as the support units goes i tend to asign motorized AA to my panzer/motorized divsions directly on turn one to get them in place before moving them all out to OKH. Motorized divisions also gets any motorized panzerjägers avaliable.

I don't know if this is a good plan though but to me it feels nice to have them in place and not having to wait a number of turns before getting them back...

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 4:54:33 PM   
Bamilus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Repsol

A short answer to a long question

As far as the support units goes i tend to asign motorized AA to my panzer/motorized divsions directly on turn one to get them in place before moving them all out to OKH. Motorized divisions also gets any motorized panzerjägers avaliable.

I don't know if this is a good plan though but to me it feels nice to have them in place and not having to wait a number of turns before getting them back...



Even a short answer to anything is appreciated. A dumb Q but the motorized AA is everything with "Mot" in the name, right? I think SP AA is motorized too, right?

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 4:58:23 PM   
Repsol

 

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Yepp...and SP = self propelled so that would be motorized also...When in doubt check the supportunits detail window. It will tell you if its motorized or not.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 5:00:29 PM   
Bamilus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Repsol

Yepp...and SP = self propelled so that would be motorized also...When in doubt check the supportunits detail window. It will tell you if its motorized or not.


Thanks, I thought I was checking that but maybe not. I know I've gotten confused on that since I think even the "non-motorized" AA needs trucks. Will look for the "MOTORIZED" label next time.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 5:01:25 PM   
loki100


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I'll dip in and out rather than be comprehensive

overall

1 - whatever works for you, a German corps has the support elements to cope with being full to command capacity, I'd be more careful with the Soviets in part as there is a generic support element shortage and in part as many HQs open with low TOE

5 - yes, also you get the ZOC conversions, so only break down once you need to

6 - agree, I always feel its a waste to use my Pzrs to actually fight. There is a quirk to the Soviet FZ, low TOE (etc) units that are isolated will often disband in the logistics phase - so if you can go around rather than over them (saves an awful lot of CPP)

8 - you should be able to do some - I tend to use it to dump supply fairly deep behind AGN, that seems to be the supply problem in the first few turns and it all helps

AGN

its a problem - hows that for a real detailed insight. I don't think Pskov by T3 is feasible but oddly perhaps more HtH than vs AI. Once you give the AI 110 on morale it can recover pretty well (in compensation it makes more front line errors) while a human might be off balance

AGC sounds sensible, I'm pretty opportunistic re 2/3 PG, not least this is the sector where you make your big choice. If you are going to really reinforce AGN/S then it has to come out of AGC. My personal view is you are writing off not just Moscow but the Tula-Kaluga-Rzhev sector too if you seriously weaken this sector (whereas in WiTE1 it was perfectly feasible to send large chunks away)

AGS, yep, agree there. The only point I'd make is that its hard to do much pocketing in the Ukraine but that both SW and S Fronts will start to collapse badly around T6 due to sustained combat. Stalino will fall, Rostov can be held - rather depends. But then I'e seen both human and Axis AI get deep into the Don bend in late 1941.


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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 5:08:40 PM   
Bamilus


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Appreciate the thoughts. One other thing that maybe I've done wrong: is it better to keep some parts of the line active with combat (even if you're resting for a turn), just to keep some weak spots at a 0 or 1 fort level vs a 2? i.e. is it worth the expenditure in CPP to keep the fort level low? Mathematically I feel like that's correct, since each fort level is a 100% bonus to defensive CV, right?

I think especially in the Velikaya sector I've maybe let the Soviets build up too much, since the 16th Army is pretty weak in general. By the time they are ready to go I'm attacking across river/into heavy woods/into mountains against 1-2 fort level Soviets.

< Message edited by Bamilus -- 4/6/2021 5:09:28 PM >


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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 11:04:05 PM   
TheFerret

 

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quote:

If you are going to really reinforce AGN/S then it has to come out of AGC.


Looking at the scoring map, it seems quite sensible to stop AGN's advance early along the Tallinn-Pskov-Velikiye Luki line and send its mobile forces elsewhere - it could be to bolster an offensive in the center/cover for sending come of AGC's mobile forces south, or to rest it up and keeping it as an operational reserve. Pushing for Leningrad puts you in a position to take Leningrad and nothing more. Pushing for Moscow puts you in a position to take Moscow and its environs for triple the points. Pushing hard eastward gives you a better shot at taking more points in 1942 along the Volga and in the Caucasus. So if you're going to weaken one front to strengthen another, to me it makes the most sense to weaken AGN to strengthen AGC and/or AGS.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 11:12:24 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus



7. AP I use for depots/priority repairs on first 2 turns. After that I prioritize dismissing bad corps leaders (PG infantry corps prioritized first). I have set 11th Army on assault in first 5 turns but not sure if that's worth it. Haven't replaced any army leaders except 11th Army eventually.



I do 1 assualt and the rest goes into depots until I am happy with my setup. To change leaders I just move my Corps HQ's around and assign to whom I want. Thus I save the points there. I may do one leader purchase for Model but that is it until I have banked some points for later. But that is how I play and may not be the way you do.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/6/2021 11:14:45 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus



8. Haven't been using air transports to resupply much, at all. Seems like supply is so precarious early enough that I don't want to take away from depots to air resupply.



Use the transport to bring supply forward from the rear. That way you arent on the Russian grid per se.



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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 7:02:51 AM   
Nix77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus
One motorized division goes left and takes Riga, other goes right and crosses river, trapping Soviets.


Motorizing infantry division or two at the start seems like a good strategy, although quite AP-intensive.

I tested it out with a single division grabbing Riga, and surprisingly I had 100 trucks more in total after the motorized incursion compared to not moving anything :D

The unit will grab the trucks from nearby depots, or use the depot's freight to get the trucks if there's not enough vehicles at the depot. So this won't work in all situations, but at the start of the campaign at least it seems feasible.





Attachment (1)

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 12:56:38 PM   
Bamilus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nix77


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus
One motorized division goes left and takes Riga, other goes right and crosses river, trapping Soviets.


Motorizing infantry division or two at the start seems like a good strategy, although quite AP-intensive.

I tested it out with a single division grabbing Riga, and surprisingly I had 100 trucks more in total after the motorized incursion compared to not moving anything :D

The unit will grab the trucks from nearby depots, or use the depot's freight to get the trucks if there's not enough vehicles at the depot. So this won't work in all situations, but at the start of the campaign at least it seems feasible.






Interesting, thanks for sharing your test data.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 1:03:33 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus


...

Interesting, thanks for sharing your test data.


yeah, I've just done it, if you do it on T1 you grab the trucks from depots in Poland so that is not much interference with the rest of the logistics system, it gets you Riga and a much more rapid advance in Estonia.

My current feeling is motorise 2 divisions on T1, keep them fully mobile till around T7 or so (clearly depends a bit on where the front is) as they can help with the Luga battles too, then return them to normal infantry status. Next test is whether you get a similar pay back in AGS.

My assumption is not worth in in AGC as you have a decent stock of mobile formations

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 3:41:00 PM   
Nix77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus


...

Interesting, thanks for sharing your test data.

My current feeling is motorise 2 divisions on T1, keep them fully mobile till around T7 or so (clearly depends a bit on where the front is) as they can help with the Luga battles too, then return them to normal infantry status.


That's a heavy AP investment, it's 3AP/turn/division, so having two divisions motorized until T7 would be 36AP. You need them to get Rommel on the field! :D

But seriously speaking, having a strong infantry division(s) make the key battles like Riga, Ostrov and Pskov will probably save a good chunk of your panzers offensive capabilities for later.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 3:43:19 PM   
Bamilus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nix77


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus


...

Interesting, thanks for sharing your test data.

My current feeling is motorise 2 divisions on T1, keep them fully mobile till around T7 or so (clearly depends a bit on where the front is) as they can help with the Luga battles too, then return them to normal infantry status.


That's a heavy AP investment, it's 3AP/turn/division, so having two divisions motorized until T7 would be 36AP. You need them to get Rommel on the field! :D

But seriously speaking, having a strong infantry division(s) make the key battles like Riga, Ostrov and Pskov will probably save a good chunk of your panzers offensive capabilities for later.


I'm going to try tonight. I think the biggest investment isn't even necessarily saving Panzer CPP (although that's huge), but allowing 4PG to shift more to the right to reach Pskov even quicker. If an infantry division can take Riga, that allows me to get a better start on Pskov turn 2. In my experience if you let Soviets even get a chance to set up defenses around Pskov then it will become a nightmare for you later on.

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RE: T1-T2 Axis Thoughts and General Strategy - 4/12/2021 4:23:50 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nix77


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus


...

Interesting, thanks for sharing your test data.

My current feeling is motorise 2 divisions on T1, keep them fully mobile till around T7 or so (clearly depends a bit on where the front is) as they can help with the Luga battles too, then return them to normal infantry status.


That's a heavy AP investment, it's 3AP/turn/division, so having two divisions motorized until T7 would be 36AP. You need them to get Rommel on the field! :D

But seriously speaking, having a strong infantry division(s) make the key battles like Riga, Ostrov and Pskov will probably save a good chunk of your panzers offensive capabilities for later.


worth bearing in mind, my logistics solution is the opposite to Carlkay. He uses lots of smaller depots to compensate for no super-depots (ie spend a lot of AP), I run on a minimalist depot layout (so save AP for other things).

this is not a matter or right/wrong, or even better/worse, just a different perception of how to spend scarce resources

but that is my hope, in the end they revert to being typical ID with low CPP but hopefully I've saved some of my permanently mobile assets

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