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Axis Winter Advice - 4/11/2021 11:27:29 PM   
Bamilus


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Firstly, wanna say thank you to everyone who has helped me continue to learn and improve on this game. After doing a few restarts, I did a game as Axis vs AI with 105 morale. I'm at T28 and wondering if I should continue my game, however, or chalk it up as another learning experience, since this is the furthest I've gotten. I don't necessarily need to be in a position to beat the AI, but if I'm already too far behind to even have a good game I'd rather quit now. See below for screenshots. Appreciate any constructive feedback!

Here's my save: https://www.dropbox.com/s/alzracbpywxerq2/t28.sav?dl=0

To summarize: I will avoid sudden death at Jan 1, but barely. I made sure to turn off assault setting before winter, I made sure to have good defensive lines (in my opinion, set up) and everything with at least 10 defensive CV, to degree possible, before forts. Even had some motorized and panzer divisions behind the line as counter-attacking backup. However, feel like I'm about to get destroyed in the south. I know the Soviets obviously had good winter gains but if I'm barely even avoiding sudden death now I'm not sure if it's worth continuing.

Mistakes I think I made are:

1. Advancing too far close to Leningrad knowing I'd never be able to take it (maybe hold line at Narva and lake so I can free up more forces)?
2. For some reason never was able to get good naval interdiction into Sevastapol (tried early but kept losing too many PA and was out of escort range. Maybe I should've thrown other bombers at it?) I think I should've tried to commit more 11th Army to take it.
3. Advanced to take Stalino. Felt like it's better to move 1PG to help take Kursk/Kharkov/Orel as it establishes an easy line to defend rather than bulge in the south.

Almost had Orel and Kharkov but decided to make winter preparations. I actually took Orel first but loaded a previous save as I learned it was too risky to do (normally don't save scum but didn't want to entirely restart).

Turn 28 Summary







Soviet incursions in south



Soviet incursions in north













< Message edited by Bamilus -- 4/12/2021 4:05:23 PM >


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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 12:27:32 AM   
GloriousRuse

 

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Well, you're nor in a good position, that's for sure. That said, you're on the right side of those casualty figures unless the AI is getting bonii. You're bleeding a little heavy going in to winter, but you'll fix that with a good look at your logistics net.

None of which answers the question, so to that:

If you are trying to finish this game with a win, then you can probably say safely it isn't likely barring major AI screw up. However, for learning purposes there's a lot to be gained by going through the summer of '42. Assuming you are going HvH eventually - it's where all GG games shine - this is a great chance to learn how the winter works, and what the feel of the '42 offensive is when you're freed of the '41 logistical impediments but face a much larger and more prepared foe. It's not perfect, but it'll do a lot of teaching so you aren't figuring out just what a blizzard does to you when you're playing for real and you can't undo or retry.

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 1:19:19 AM   
carlkay58

 

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Since you made it past the Sudden Loss check I would keep going. You are only going to learn more if you continue on. Planning for the 42 offensive and experiencing the Soviet 41 winter offensive is very important for the long run game. If you ever hope to learn how to finish the campaign this is a good start.

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 6:51:28 AM   
dudefan

 

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As for taking sevastopol. It was fairly easy to take. 3 divisions of 11th and the rest Romanians and Italians stacked 3x3. I attached to every division pioneers directly. brought up every super heavy and siege mortar and k3 gun i could find and attached it to corps hq... took me 2 turns.

Keep us updated about you overall progress. I am in a similar position December 41. I habd blizzard turns from beginning of November to January without a break... I barely avoided sudden death (thanks to sevastapol).

I made the entire front with infantry division and pulled back all motorised divs to refit and help filling holes after soviet attacks.
Which works... but I don't think I can win either.

Great game.

< Message edited by dudefan -- 4/12/2021 6:55:37 AM >

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 7:24:21 AM   
loki100


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worth noting how the Soviets cope with the winter.

For a variety of reasons high CPP is utterly critical. Its not just the combat bonus this improves their MP (sidesteps the usually low admin scores of Soviet commanders) which really matters in deep snow.

As a player I think the Soviets can set up one sector where they are strong enough to echelon attacks so as one army falls away, another replaces it, on another they can attack strongly but this will weaken in a few turns. Elsewhere, esp once you are into Jan, they tend to be more episodic.

Looking forward, if you make the south your strategic focus for 1942, then you'll retake anything you lose now, so a structured retreat is not a bad idea. the other good thing is most of your winter losses are attrition/damaged, you'll get about 15% of these back by May and a steady flow after that.

So once this horror show is over, you can usually refit fairly well

edit: I would have kept the pzr groups on Assault, as with the Soviets the MP bonus helps deal with deep snow (ok less important as you have better commanders) but this also gives you a tool for some localised counter-attacks


< Message edited by loki100 -- 4/12/2021 7:26:35 AM >


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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 8:54:39 AM   
coolts


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Hi

Just coming out of first winter as Axis in April '42 and it was brutal. I've not seen any AAR's get to winter apart from Loki's from SOV perspective so that was my reference.

From about March, you start getting stronger but its slow. Make sure you.

• Sit depleted units (<30%) on depots and refit for 2 turns then swap out (or move to reserve if you end up with giant sicknote camps near your depots)
• Do not do what I did and put Romanians in the front lines. I had all AG Antonescu phone in sick come January.
• Get your depots sorted out. All along the front and in depth.
• Preserve your panzers! I had to use lots in front line because my blizzard prep was worse than RL Germans so I’ve ben rotating them and sending some to nat reserve since Feb. And use the panzer replacement battalions you get to fix them come spring.
• AI will attack along whole front something like 80+ attacks each turn. You will have to give ground.
• Reinforce the south as when you pull back the ground does not favour defense. Rivers are useless in winter as they freeze. My Volkhov fort line looked silly and Russians skated over it:)
• Regiments will get battered.
• No GS in blizzard.
• You get fresh divisions every couple of turns. Use them to plug gaps and swap out battered units. They saved my arse.


It was actually a great learning experience for me. Fight through it and keep notes for your "things not to do next playthrough" journal!



< Message edited by coolts -- 4/12/2021 9:50:19 AM >


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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 1:09:14 PM   
MechFO

 

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From my winter:

I have a similar frontline to yours except I managed to take Leningrad and Orel, but had a much bigger bulge towards Kiev. I think you really need to do a Taifun in the center and south to kill enemy units, destroy CPP and buy time. Give him time to build up and you die quickly. My southern Taifun took Stalino but I missed closing the pocket by one hex, and most of the Soviet units managed to escape. That left me in an unfortunate place with an overextended flank held by most Rumanians and not many Soviet units destroyed.

You can't be strong everywhere, so choose where to stand your ground. A line needs to be anchored on heavy wood/swamp terrain and with depots close by for resupply. Orel is actually a fairly good stop point for this since it has woods to the NorthWest and SouthWest that are offer good defensive lines. Standing close to Moscow is good because the AI will concentrate a lot of effort there. Accept you will lose ground somewhere, in my case my line of Rumanians and a few German units north of the Dnepr was nearly destroyed by March.

Some things to keep in mind:

-> you need infantry, lots of infantry. When the TB reduction arrives, don't hesitate and transfer 2-3 divisions out each turn. It's better to move them to Axis Reserves first, and then only to the map becauese you can then define the arrival hex.

-> in each combat that takes place there are several checks (no idea against what) that reduce your final defensive CV. You can fail a max of 3 checks which can reduce your defensive CV up to 90% in December, 75% in January, 50% in Febraury.

-> your command chain must be pristine in both leaders and being within command limit, including at Army level. IMO this is the most important of all and given you have Regiments everywhere I doubt this was the case for you.

-> only use Rumanians double stacked and under command of a German Corps. These can be subordinated to a Rumanian Army to save on command points. Don't be afraid to use them up, if they go unready, put them on a railline and transfer to Reserve or Soviet TB.

-> you don't want to commit Regiments to a fight unless there are special circumstances, Regiments increase your command burden and leave less margin for error if a check fails. Rather leave a gap that you counterattack into with a reserve. If it's in a tough place far north like West of Rzhev, only use them where they can only be attacked by one hex. Double Regiments can work as an emergency measure but again, not efficient use of command cap.

->Dont worry about being semi surrounded, hold onto fort levels and defensive terrain, as long as at least some supply is getting through. F.e. that single light wood hex north of Kobelyaki is what kept my entire line in the south from dissolving since it absorbed countless attacks.

->don't be afraid of counterattacking. Soviets seems overwhelming but with a full CPP German division you can shatter most brigades. Smash tanks and cavalry trying to infiltrate and in the North use units in good shape to improve positioning in sections of the front under less pressure when you have the ammo.

-> you don't have enough command capacity to put all armies on defence. You don't need or want to either. Attack Armies can't dig, but they can take over existing forts, so colocate one Assault Army with a normal Army, when the normal army unit has finished a fort at level 3, move it on and put an assault army infantry division in. The Assault Army will also help generate the CPP for your counterattacks.

-> contrary to what one might expect, motorized divisions seem largely unaffected, so you can use them as mobile reserves to shore up an exposed or exhausted line.

-> you need several depots near your front line, anything further than 4-5 hexes burns trucks and not enough trickles through. Use 2-3 FBD's at key points for the supply boost.

-> your panzers are useless, even in shielded hexes. Put them on 50% TOE and static, this reduces the supply burden of constantly giving them new tanks which then get damaged. Don't under any circumstances use them in combat.

-> when your tanks are down to 50-60% TOE, their transport cost is massively reduced and you can use rail to reposition them for the Spring. Due to capacity restraints it will take many turns to shift forces alone the line.

-> repositioning your armoured force takes a long time. You need to decide in January where your 42 Summer offensive will be.


< Message edited by MechFO -- 4/12/2021 1:13:14 PM >

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 1:22:26 PM   
Bamilus


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Thanks for the tips, everybody. I actually have very few regiments except in those 2 screenshot (which are my worst areas) and I make sure all my corps are in command capacity each turn.

What a beautiful game this is. I feel like you can play for years and continue to learn each time. I might try a Soviet game just to learn a little bit more because I'm a bit burnt out playing Axis right now (I've been playing too much!)

Mods, can you move this to war room please?

< Message edited by Bamilus -- 4/12/2021 1:27:28 PM >


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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 1:33:54 PM   
dudefan

 

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Great advices.

I wonder why only so rarely SUs are commited into battles in Winter compared to the soviets. Sometimes no artillery at all is committed even tough corps HQ has 3 different artys and in range etc....

< Message edited by dudefan -- 4/12/2021 1:35:06 PM >

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 1:38:05 PM   
MakeeLearn


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dudefan

Great advices.

I wonder why only so rarely SUs are commited into battles in Winter compared to the soviets. Sometimes no artillery at all is committed even tough corps HQ has 3 different artys and in range etc....



The grease on the artillery shells is frozen?

< Message edited by MakeeLearn -- 4/12/2021 1:39:09 PM >


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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/12/2021 2:59:51 PM   
Bamilus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO

-> you need infantry, lots of infantry. When the TB reduction arrives, don't hesitate and transfer 2-3 divisions out each turn. It's better to move them to Axis Reserves first, and then only to the map becauese you can then define the arrival hex.


Are you talking about the USA enters the war event or another one? I don't have enhanced player TB control on, should I?


quote:

->Dont worry about being semi surrounded, hold onto fort levels and defensive terrain, as long as at least some supply is getting through. F.e. that single light wood hex north of Kobelyaki is what kept my entire line in the south from dissolving since it absorbed countless attacks.


This seems to be my finding as well. Seems like it's better to stay put in level 2/3 forts rather than retreat which guarantees you to have sub 5 defensive CV in December.

quote:

-> your panzers are useless, even in shielded hexes. Put them on 50% TOE and static, this reduces the supply burden of constantly giving them new tanks which then get damaged. Don't under any circumstances use them in combat.


How far back do you put them in static? Do you move them super far back or just like behind the lines in the front line depot?



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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/13/2021 12:55:32 AM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus


quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO

-> you need infantry, lots of infantry. When the TB reduction arrives, don't hesitate and transfer 2-3 divisions out each turn. It's better to move them to Axis Reserves first, and then only to the map becauese you can then define the arrival hex.


Are you talking about the USA enters the war event or another one? I don't have enhanced player TB control on, should I?


It's when the Soviet Winter Offensive begins. If you don't play with enhanced TB then it doesn't apply. Only do so if you feel comfortable microing the TB's for the entire game. It's a house of cards, once you start removing pieces you need to constantly pay attention to it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO

quote:

-> your panzers are useless, even in shielded hexes. Put them on 50% TOE and static, this reduces the supply burden of constantly giving them new tanks which then get damaged. Don't under any circumstances use them in combat.


How far back do you put them in static? Do you move them super far back or just like behind the lines in the front line depot?


I put them on any available fort 2 hexes within 3 hexes of of a depot. Don't forget to adjust their supply priority down to 2. Be aware that you can only put them on static if their Army command is not set to Assault.

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RE: Continue or Restart? Advice Requested - 4/18/2021 10:15:46 PM   
Bamilus


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Restarted, doing much better now. 608 VP at December, at end of December now and no big Soviet penetrations. Thanks for the tips, guys.

Edit: Now end of January. Only like 3 Soviet incursions in entire line and quickly thrown back.

< Message edited by Bamilus -- 4/19/2021 2:17:09 AM >


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