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Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwestern Front" as Axis

 
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Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwestern... - 8/16/2021 2:26:07 PM   
russkly

 

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I'm new to the WitX series and have been playing through the various smaller scenarios as both sides and watching First Contact Gamer's excellent YouTube series following his "Stalingrad to Berlin" campaign as the Soviets.

SPOILERS:

On my first attempt (on 'Normal' level) I made glacial progress and eventually gave up on Turn 15.

So, I tried again on 'Easy', was much more aggressive and fared better, eventually taking all objectives apart from Rostov and Sevastopol (Axis Minor Victory). This was achieved essentially by driving my arm/mech/mot forces into the ground, racing towards objectives and consolidating afterwards with the inf.

By the time I had taken Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkov both Panzergruppen were knackered and the supply lines were non-existent, so there they had to stay.

QUESTIONS:

How should the Axis player do this (similar to RtL)? Does anyone have an AAR or some guidance as to how to capture the Axis objectives in the time allocated?
It seems that you have to go hell for leather until your supply and/or CPP completely dry up, and you can't afford any errors or oversights, or you're toast.

Due to the learning curve, all the air war is automated, but I noticed that, whilst there was recon every turn, the Axis air force didn't provide any GS, even though it's turned on and the weather was mostly excellent or fair.
Any ideas why this would be? Makes it even harder without utilising the overwhelming air superiority.

Cheers for the help.

Post #: 1
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 3:17:39 PM   
msf567

 

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Hey Russkly!

I had this exact same question, and I'm going to be starting a youtube let's play series about this scenario!

I'll reply here with the link to episode one, probably tonight!

Let's learn the axis strat together :-)

(in reply to russkly)
Post #: 2
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 3:39:08 PM   
russkly

 

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Groovy!

Let's.

Will be fascinated to see how you get on.

Will you be managing the air war or letting the AI take it? If the latter, will be interesting to see if you get any ground support. I didn't.

Will also be interesting to see how you manage the armoured spearheads and their supply/CPP situation.

I failed (assuming an Axis Minor Victory on Easy is a failure, which I think it probably is!).

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Post #: 3
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 5:28:06 PM   
Joel Billings


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Don't forget to turn on the ground support button if for some reason it got turned off. The button allows you to shut off any possible GS during your turn if you know you don't want it, so you can save your a/c for other battles.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 6:11:41 PM   
russkly

 

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It was on, Joel.

I checked after a few turns, because I was surprised that there wasn't any (those nice, reassuring red lines on the map during the combat resolution sequence).

I even tried allocating some GA directives manually later in the scenario (on Kharkov units specifically), but they didn't happen either.

It will be interesting to see msf567's AAR to find out, if he experiences the same issue (assuming that he's got AI switched on for the air war, as I did).

(in reply to Joel Billings)
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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 6:22:58 PM   
msf567

 

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russkly, what timezone are you in? I predict I'll be streaming at around 8/9ish EST

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Post #: 6
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 6:40:20 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: russkly

It was on, Joel.

I checked after a few turns, because I was surprised that there wasn't any (those nice, reassuring red lines on the map during the combat resolution sequence).

I even tried allocating some GA directives manually later in the scenario (on Kharkov units specifically), but they didn't happen either.

It will be interesting to see msf567's AAR to find out, if he experiences the same issue (assuming that he's got AI switched on for the air war, as I did).


the AI-assist has a couple of things to watch out for:

a) make sure its allocated to the relevant command, usually best to hook to the Pzr Grp, that will keep the planes up at the front etc
but

b) the AI-assist is very supply aware and won't place planes on poorly supplied airbases regardless of (a). This is actually useful but can leave you without air cover.

The solution lies in your overall logistics system.

In general its hard to keep the LW up with the front in the Ukraine. its the one sector where the front can move rapidly and you can get a long way from your railheads and working depots

_____________________________


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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 6:42:15 PM   
GibsonPete


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You also might consider range of supporting aircraft. If the Air HQ is on hold, they will not deploy forward. If the HQ is on follow give it time or check HQ location it is to follow. The AI is not as fast at moving the air groups forward as a human.

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 7:21:40 PM   
russkly

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GibsonPete

You also might consider range of supporting aircraft. If the Air HQ is on hold, they will not deploy forward. If the HQ is on follow give it time or check HQ location it is to follow. The AI is not as fast at moving the air groups forward as a human.


Good call, GibsonPete.

That occurred to me mid-way through the scenario, so I changed Luftflotte 4 to 'Advance' and ensured Fliegerkorps IV was set to follow PG1.

Still nada in terms of GS.

(in reply to GibsonPete)
Post #: 9
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 7:27:48 PM   
russkly

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: russkly

It was on, Joel.

I checked after a few turns, because I was surprised that there wasn't any (those nice, reassuring red lines on the map during the combat resolution sequence).

I even tried allocating some GA directives manually later in the scenario (on Kharkov units specifically), but they didn't happen either.

It will be interesting to see msf567's AAR to find out, if he experiences the same issue (assuming that he's got AI switched on for the air war, as I did).


the AI-assist has a couple of things to watch out for:

a) make sure its allocated to the relevant command, usually best to hook to the Pzr Grp, that will keep the planes up at the front etc
but

b) the AI-assist is very supply aware and won't place planes on poorly supplied airbases regardless of (a). This is actually useful but can leave you without air cover.

The solution lies in your overall logistics system.

In general its hard to keep the LW up with the front in the Ukraine. its the one sector where the front can move rapidly and you can get a long way from your railheads and working depots


Thanks, Loki.

I changed Fliegerkorps IV to follow PG1, but I would need to check the supply situation again.

Luftflotte 4 was set to Supply Priority 2, IIRC, and I only changed that later in the scenario, so perhaps supply was the issue, as supply in general was for the whole force.

I'm wondering how on earth it's possible to achieve all the objectives with the rapid territory gains and resultant supply issues that you outline and that I experienced.

Hence why I'm interested in how others approach this, because in 17 turns I don't see what can be done to ameliorate the logistics challenges.

It feels as if I'm pushing water uphill

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 10
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 10:52:35 PM   
2ndCav

 

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Russkly, PM sent, the forum is being a pain and not letting me embed pics for some dang reason.

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 10:54:49 PM   
2ndACR


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Lvov pocket is the key. You need to push really hard. 95% of the time, I can have most of 1st Panzer across the Dnepr on turn 3, 85% or so I have Kiev isolated by turn 5 and let 6th Army take it on turn 6.




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< Message edited by 2ndACR -- 8/16/2021 10:58:56 PM >

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 10:59:53 PM   
2ndACR


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Turn 2, the Lvov pocket is created and 1st Panzer continues the push to Kiev




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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 11:00:31 PM   
2ndACR


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Second pic of the Lvov pocket




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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 11:01:25 PM   
2ndACR


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Turn 3, 1st Panzer plunges across the Dnepr




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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/16/2021 11:05:32 PM   
2ndACR


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You have to push hard and fast, virtually exhausting 1st Panzer by turn 5. Getting the rail closer to Kiev by turn 7 can be a chore. I tend to rest most of 1st Panzer until turn 7 before pushing onward. I also assign an additional infantry Corps to 1st Panzer and will use temp motor to get them to the front. Turn 7-8 I have infantry taking over past Kiev and 1st Panzer plunges for D town before sweeping into the rear.

Oh and I always assign one of 2nd Panzer's Corps to help out, turn 9 or so they head back to the AGC area. These pics are taken from my GC game. But pretty sure your scenario is built the same way turn 1 to 4.

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Post #: 16
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 12:03:11 AM   
Sammy5IsAlive

 

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I'm playing this scenario vs the AI at the moment on normal, am on T12 at the moment and it is looking fairly encouraging for a victory of some sort. My pointers would be as follows (note these perhaps specific to this as a scenario vs the AI and may not entirely fit with what you might want to do with AGS in a full campaign vs a human).

1) Make sure you do a good T1. So take the time to set up your own Air Directives for this turn at least to get the most out of airfield bombing and minimise your losses from the couple of unescorted missions that the default ADs tend to produce on T1. If you have a dig around in the AAR forum/War Room people have shared their T1 ADs. On the ground I think the is perhaps not so much a 'default' plan when compared to AGN/AGC but from a logistics point of view at least you want to be clearing out Lvov on T1 and generally getting yourself in a position to be clearing the double rail eastwards through Tarnopol/Proskurov/Vinnitsa as quick as you can.

2) In terms of VPs Odessa is probably the clearest one where you can get ahead of the curve. So make sure you have set yourself up for that siege ahead of time. For example set 11A as an assault army and get your heavy artillery/pioneers into the army early so that when you make your assault they (and the on map divisions) are at 100CPPs or as close to it as possible. Don't forget the Romanian rail repair unit!

3) On the subject of rail - there are a couple of fiddly routes that are easily missed as I believe the game will let you rail-repair a hex that is adjacent to a repaired hex even if there is not a direct link. Speaking from my own experience - at Vinnitsa the rail does not go straight into the city but instead goes straight East and the goes NW back into the city (I spent two turns trying to work out why Vinnitsa was not receiving anything before I realised). There is an identical 'trap' near Odessa where the line goes 1hex East and then 1hex NW rather than just going NE as you might expect.

4) Remember the title of the scenario! There are lots of VPs available for pocketing and surrendering Soviet troops and conversely there are lots of VPs that can be lost if you start taking heavy casualties - especially if you start burning through tanks. So resist the temptation to chase the Victory Locations with unsupported frontal assaults with your Panzer Divs. It feels like you are falling behind time by doing so but you want to be going at a pace where most of the heavy fighting is done by the infantry and you can use your mobile divisions to exploit weakness and form pockets (or at least threaten a pocket and force a withdrawal) without heavy combat. From a logistics perspective be aware that the higher you keep CPP/lower you keep fatigue the more bang you get for your logistical buck.

5) Maybe repeating the previous point but don't panic about feeling 'short' of a timeline towards the more distant Victory Cities and start chasing them. My impression is that the AI fights a bit further forward than a human might. That will slow your early progress but if you are patient and use that as an opportunity to cause lots of casualties they will eventually start running out of units and you'll start being able to make swift progress whilst not taking so many losses.

6) Again, following on from the previous two points - you can plan your campaign out with the knowledge that 2nd Panzer Group is going to arrive later in the scenario. If you have destroyed enough Soviet units then you can get away with being a bit 'behind schedule' in territory terms as the opening of that second front will lead to the Soviets being overstretched and unable to defend everywhere which will give you the space to start outmanoeuvring them and making swift progress. If you have already exhausted your 'starting' mobile forces they won't be in a position to take advantage of this. So be careful to preserve them and position them to take advantage of this phase of the scenario, even if that is at the expense of your immediate aims. This is where it gets quite 'scenario-specific' - you can kind of abuse 2PG and drive them a long way and then on turns 14-16 they will teleport back to AGC to the start-line for Typhoon whereas in a full campaign game by taking that aggressive approach you'd end up getting them marooned with no easy way to get them back to AGC. Although along the same lines the Soviets keep their strong starting army/reinforcements all the way through the scenario when in a full game certainly a human and I think perhaps also the AI will funnel a lot more of those resources to the more defensible areas vs AGN/AGC, making your advance in the south somewhat more straightforward.

[EDIT]

Or you could just do what 2ndACR has done and get over the Dnepr by T3 . As above though I think even vs the AI the stand-alone scenario plays out quite different from what you face in the full campaign?



< Message edited by Sammy5IsAlive -- 8/17/2021 12:22:14 AM >

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 1:30:07 AM   
2ndACR


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Odessa can be taken quick, I normally set ALL of Luft 4 to auto naval with Odessa as the target. Not always but most of the time I can have it taken by turn 6, heavily interdicted by turn 3. I use 1 mainly German 11th Army Corps and 2-3 Romanian Corps, if I have been getting some good interdiction numbers. Granted GC, not scenario.




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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 1:33:38 AM   
2ndACR


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I play with FOW on so it is a bit harder than without finding the weak spot to exploit. But if you can find the weak spot and blast thru, it will cause the AI to fall back to another defensive line. Makes it harder to pocket large numbers after turn 2-3 but better than forcing a crossing across a river.

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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 4:23:51 AM   
IanW

 

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My advice would be to get an old save from one of the middle turns, and look at where your units are being resupplied from, and whether they are getting replacements and whatnot.

Have a look at the rail lines supporting those depots.

Then load up the next save, and track the same things.

Basically, use the old save to try and understand when the units comprehensively run out of supply, and how the supply chains tried to function (and probably failed). Track the number of trucks and what they are doing. See where you have your depots, how they are being fed, and which ones have a buildup of stuff and which ones go hand-to-mouth.

Then go read the Logistics threads over in the War Room, and relate that to what happened in your games.

Basically, an initial offensive in WITE2 relies on the job you do managing your army. Sustaining that offensive relies on the job you do with your logistics services, and in deciding when and where to give units time to resupply.

The concept of 'fire and movement' is a big part of the operational art in WITE2. Basically, you should know - before you start pushing counters - whether you're using a formation to attack the enemy, or to maneuver, or to rest.

(in reply to 2ndACR)
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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 9:00:50 AM   
russkly

 

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Thanks to all for your very helpful input.

I have learned a lot from you, most importantly not to play against any of you (if I ever get brave enough to try H2H)!

@Sammy5IsAlive: Your point 4 is a good one, and perhaps I was too focused on objective locations rather than destroying Soviet men and materiel.

Still can't work out why I'm not getting any GS, but I'll start again and try to work it out.

Thanks again to everyone, who gave input.


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RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 1:12:48 PM   
msf567

 

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Here's turn 1 of my let's play anyways, im certainly nowhere close to good at the game, but it should be interesting casual watching.

Feel free to roast me in the youtube comments!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCBmtxyNWHk

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Post #: 22
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 1:17:21 PM   
russkly

 

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I'm on BST so 5 hours ahead of you.

Are you going to record the sessions and post them somewhere?

Streaming isn't going to work for me unfortunately.

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Post #: 23
RE: Advice on how to play "Destruction of Southwes... - 8/17/2021 1:56:09 PM   
russkly

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: russkly

I'm on BST so 5 hours ahead of you.

Are you going to record the sessions and post them somewhere?

Streaming isn't going to work for me unfortunately.


Went too soon!

Just watched Ep.1 and subscribed.

Looking forward to watching the remainder.

New trick learnt: air drops. Tidy.

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Post #: 24
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