From: Utlima Thule
realise what you are trying to do but (personally) think you may be starting this from the wrong end of the problem. Minimising unit trucks into the supply system is not really something you can do with the details provided.
Its about how you do your best to balance off a series of unsolvable interactions:
for the Axis in 1941 (& again in 1942) you will have to outrun your supply net, so where is the balance point between doing this and using the operational tempo as opposed to running out of fuel.
This pretty much summarises the issue:
As most everyone knows, WITE2 has friction on the supply lines, both in terms of increasing rail costs and a limited delivery capability by railyards. As I suspect most people also know, this leads to geometric supply difficulties as you advance - railyards become a series of shuttle stops, becoming every more consumed in the process of receiving and pushing onward as the chain lengthens, particularly as networks converge and redisperse. As Loki alluded to above, a hundred miles at the start of the chain is a non issue, but the exponential difference of 100 miles at the end of a chain can break a supply network.
Now, players generally try to get around this by using super depots at the end of a longer chain. This creates a threefold dynamic. One, the further you go, the more effort that has to go into making a long network rather than a broad one, so supply along a thrust naturally narrows down and thereby narrows the frontage the of thrust that is powerful. Two, those required super depots to keep up the pace mean that this natural narrowness does not have a chance to broaden, as the primary tool is spent pulling supply. Finally, the SDs suck capacity away from other lines, reinforcing the concentration of local supply in a narrow area. Of course, if you don’t use SDs then the geometric delivery problems catch you earlier. It is certainly a dilemma.
But you knew all that. What is harder to perceive is that in many cases this supply geometry is creating a salient that doesn’t look like a salient. The units all form a rough line after all, with perhaps a couple major turns at apparently natural junctures. This is a lie. In reality the constant narrowing of the supply base means you can end up with a strong “center” supplied by a single extended rail line, while the flanks are starving. And those flanks in turn allow access to the rail line supplying the center. If you’re going west, this is bad enough, but going east under incredible time pressure and with ever expanding frontage naturally exacerbates all of it.
If you look at the offensive near Orel-Tula-Kaluga, you can see this dynamic play out. The strong defense near the SD is holding or slowly being forced back, but the apparently secure flanks collapse much faster and the rails get threatened. This in turn forces another displacement, with the need for a new SD to recoup the damage, recreating that dynamic until the point where the supply net is both short and broad enough to sustain cohesive resistance across a wide area - AKA Bryansk. And while it’s tempting to say the open terrain from Kharkov to Tula is the cause of a lot of this, it’s worth remembering the same dynamic plays out near Vyazama while bypassing Borodino to much the same effect, going through heavy woods and swamps.
This is obviously not just a new numbers came from WitE1 where “oh my rails aren’t infinite, I’ll adapt” it also strongly implies that the WITE1 definition of success - endless Blitzkrieg swallowing up ground as fast and far as possible - probably isn’t the ideal paradigm. At the very least it comes with a set of brand new, harder to perceive, you can kill yourself without knowing it feedback loops.
And that’s a really good thing for a game. As players (and as Axis players especially, having been on that side as well) we tend to think that clearly the side we’re on could have done so much better, and by god our counter shuffling proves it! It is useful to have mechanics like this that remind you “oh, right, the Germans actually did really extraordinarily well despite the strategic issues, and even when I think I’m doing better, I might be falling into a trap they avoided.” As a final thought on that line, if you take all the ‘41 targets, and Moscow and Leningrad, there is only one small part of the map where this “invisible salient” dynamic occurs, and it’s opposite a similar soviet problem set. Perhaps those General Staff knew better than us after all…
As the Soviets its more about supplying a larger (more mobile, post 43) army.
So my suggestion is to start from the overall interaction between your supply net, operational tempo and unit placements. This thread has a lot of useful stuff - https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4993098
but to answer the specifics, yes your understanding is correct.