Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

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molchomor
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Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

Hi, thought I had good odds falling into Caucasus with 10 Pz. Divs. as spearhead and some 5 more arriving next turn... playing 1.03 normal, '42 campaign against AI btw.

Extensive recon showed no fighting units, just alot of airfields and 2 headquarters. One guard unit routed south from the initial push from Rostov though. As the HQ in Krasnodar hid 2 units under it let's say 5 or fighting units or so were present I reckon.

Good odds you think to establish a bridgehead in the Caucasus ? Wrong [:D]

After hitting end turn, satisfied with what I thought was an OKish push from Rostov, the next turn I count 120+ newly arrived units (some 15-20 newly arrived Soviet Units are north of the Manych, encircling my spearhead there and not in the picture). Doubt they walked all the way from Stalingrad. Hopefully all these newly arrived troops are just empty shells but somehow I doubt it with the 6.6M troops he has (I have some 3.6M Germans).

This Soviet rail capacity is really amazing !

So, is this WAD or not ?

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molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

Just a thought - could the AI be spamming me with newly created units with its unlimited amount of APs ?

But is it allowed to do so that close to the front ?

Picture above is the very start of turn 50. Picture below is how things looked at the end of turn 49 (and yes after lots of recon). I am doomed *sniff*

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molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

I'm slowly starting to get the feeling that the '42 campaign against the AI (which was very enjoyable in SF and WiR) is broken in WiTE. Unlimited APs for the AI results in that unit losses are not felt at all by the AI that can build as many new units per turn as it wants (and trust me, it wants, 100+ corps was lost by the AI in a year and now there are more corps than ever and almost everything is upgraded to guards naturally, almost the whole front line is RED).

Anyone did a successful '42 campaign vs. the AI on normal ?
Speedysteve
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Speedysteve »

I haven't played the SU in 1942 but I can tell you in 1941 they get over 120,000 rail points in 1 week. You can move a LOT of stuff around if you want to. Fact.
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molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

Yes, but 120-some units ?

I actually suspect rail is not involved at all, considering the rail lines going north from Krasnodar are cut during turn 49, but at the beginning of next turn the Soviets in some way managed to get some 50 units up towards the Yeya. Perhaps it railed stuff some way and then motorized all those units with its unlimited APs ?

All hail the zombie hordes [&o], OMG I am doooomed !
Speedysteve
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Speedysteve »

Hard to say without seeing the AI turn exactly. You can easily rail 120 weak/shell units as the SU. Infact if all shell units you could probably move about 1200 in all honesty (I mean 5/5 TOE units). Seriously. I know as I've done it. Maybe partial rail movement then unload and standard move etc as well.
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molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

Yes... so basically it is meaningless to do the necessary preparations as axis for an assault against the AI (collecting your precious armor over several turn, HQ buildup etc.) - even if you manage to wrangle free into the empty hinterland you will be swamped by armies appearing both front and rear and left and right the next turn whatever you do. 
Speedysteve
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Speedysteve »

Not necessarily. Totally deends on current situation, position, losses, opponent strength, unit disposition etc. Not trying to be vague but each and every situtuion is different!
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molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

ORIGINAL: Speedy

Not necessarily. Totally deends on current situation, position, losses, opponent strength, unit disposition etc. Not trying to be vague but each and every situtuion is different!


True, but hey this is 1943 I mean is this really historical ? This lightning countermove by the Soviets would be amazing even in modern times and I doubt that even Desert Storm could match it in speed or scale.

I.e. Soviets are unprepared for this push south but in one week still manage to mobilise 100+ corps, divisions, HQs on the fly AND moving them to a theatre very far away (with limited rail network leading to it) AND in that same week also manage an offensive to encircle my spearheds before they even have time to react.

I want my hands on one of those teleportation devices, can they be bought with APs ?

Sorry for my negative views, it all just feels so hopeless now :(
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Panama
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Panama »

ORIGINAL: molchomor

ORIGINAL: Speedy

Not necessarily. Totally deends on current situation, position, losses, opponent strength, unit disposition etc. Not trying to be vague but each and every situtuion is different!


True, but hey this is 1943 I mean is this really historical ? This lightning countermove by the Soviets would be amazing even in modern times and I doubt that even Desert Storm could match it in speed or scale.

I.e. Soviets are unprepared for this push south but in one week still manage to mobilise 100+ corps, divisions, HQs on the fly AND moving them to a theatre very far away (with limited rail network leading to it) AND in that same week also manage an offensive to encircle my spearheds before they even have time to react.

I want my hands on one of those teleportation devices, can they be bought with APs ?

Sorry for my negative views, it all just feels so hopeless now :(

If you want to speak historically, there never would have been a unit vacuum in the first place. The AI has no defence against the wiley and devious humans so something has to be done to counter them. So it kind of cheats in most games. [;)]
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carnifex
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by carnifex »

ORIGINAL: molchomor

So, is this WAD or not ?

Yes that is WAD against the AI.

Sometimes the AI gets to "warp" units around, basically ignoring movement point limits. If you ever fail to close a large pocket and then the next turn that pocket is nearly empty, that's why. That's what you're seeing with the Guards units. The AI can't create Guards, they have to be transported so all those red units just warped to the Caucasus.

The AI also gets to construct lots of "shell" units. Not sure if they pay reduced or no AP cost, but I know at a certain difficulty level the AI gets to build units AP-free until they reach a total of 200 or 300 (I forget which).

The good thing about these is that the newly created units will be severely understrength. You should be able to roll through most of them.
molchomor
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by molchomor »

Well, this is a bit too much science fiction for me...luckily STW2 just got released and although it does neither have warp transporters nor clone army factories I'm sure it will do just fine until things are a bit more balanced over here.
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cookie monster
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by cookie monster »

The developers said the AI warp move is so they can use the rail network.

They cant program march to rail, then entrain, then move.

Still its an AI, I presume there move was achievable inside of 100 strategic points.
Aussiematto
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Aussiematto »

It's a good reason to play a human. Spent too many years playing AIs... dumb. The joy of WITE is the PBEM which brings fun, shocks, thrills and alarm. My current opponents are great people :).

Practice against AI has lost its appeal too... I suppose some things are just too complicated to program?
I still remember cardboard!
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mmarquo
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by mmarquo »

Well - the problem with the AP theory is that many of the newly appeared units are Guards which to my knowledge can't be bought with APs - so either they were railed in from somewhere or there is a significant "AI can purchase Guards units" cheat.
 
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Joel Billings
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Joel Billings »

Gary and I looked at your screenshots and agree this looks like warp moves that go beyond what he's trying to allow the AI. Do you have a save at the end of your turn March turn or at the start of the Soviet turn (autosave)? If you email this to 2by3@2by3games.com, Gary will take a look. Thanks.
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Klydon
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by Klydon »

I don't mean to try to de-rail the thread, but since someone else mentioned it, I will also bring up about the unlimited CP's the AI gets. I know it is the AI, but as a Russian to be able to build as many units as it seems to want AND also form corps at will is a bit much. I fired up the 42 scenario as the Axis and was looking to make some attacks in the AGC and AGN areas, so I had moved some troops around up there to set it up. Hit end turn and my turn again and pretty much where there had been junk before, I am now faced with corps all over the place.

Just looking at the Leningrad area, the Russians start with 0 regular rifle brigades in the Oranienbaum port pocket and 1 in the Leningrad pocket, yet after 1 turn, not only does the Oranienbaum pocket have a corps in it, Leningrad has 4 infantry corps in it and two tank corps on top of it. North of Lake Ilmen alone, there are 3 Guards rifle corps, 9 rifle corps, 4 tank corps, and 1 guards tank corps. For good measure, 7 guards cav divisions have shown up, including two in the Oranienbaum pocket. I started it up to confirm with no fog of war, although my original game had FOW on.

I pretty much lost interest in playing the Axis in a 1942 scenario on the spot if this is what the AI gets to do in a single turn with CP's.
bevans
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by bevans »

The same issue exists with the '41 GC. By turn 5 or 6 you are faced with hundreds of SU units in very deep (up to 120 miles) carpet defenses in front of all your Pz Armies. Many of the units are shells, but by the time you grind your way to them, they are actual units in level 3 or 4 forts. The Axis player has to be very careful with Pz spearheads; get a little out in front and the SU rails in dozens of units and cuts them off - just like it actually happened - or not. Playing against the SU, one feels they can create an infinite number of units, rail them anywhere and they get off the train into level 2 forts (exaggeration for effect). It is actually impossible to make a breakthrough after mid July in '41 since the SU lines are so deep that one can't grind through them in a single turn, the SU reinforces/deepens the line around the bulge and the Axis then runs out of units to protect the flanks. The 'fun' of running Pz Corps wild in the rear of the SU line ends at Turn 2 in this game, which is somewhat sooner than most historical accounts recount. Same in the '42 GC as the OP shows. The designers pride themselves on historical accuracy; they seem to have done a great job of modelling Axis limitations, epic fail on modelling SU limitations. I follow the AARs and the war seems much more historical than against the AI - at least on higher difficulties - but not all of us lead lives where PBEM is a viable option. Should the game come with the caveat: 'not for single person play'?

And while I am ranting (and sorry for further thread hijacking), why were Stukas put in the game? On my last turn (May '42 in the '41 GC), twice had over 100 Stukas (D variety) attacking stacks containing 300+ AFVs. Total casualties? 14 Stukas and 0 AFVs??? 12 months into the game and I might have to use my left hand but certainly not have to take my socks off to count the total number of AFVs that the Luftwaffe has destroyed. If I get 200 bombers through, I can be pretty sure that I will kill almost 200 Russians and as many as 1 artillery. Yes, it is well known that the model for the airwar is complete garbage, but when is it going to be fixed?
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by marty_01 »

ORIGINAL: molchomor
Yes... so basically it is meaningless to do the necessary preparations as axis for an assault against the AI (collecting your precious armor over several turn, HQ buildup etc.) - even if you manage to wrangle free into the empty hinterland you will be swamped by armies appearing both front and rear and left and right the next turn whatever you do.

Sorry. I don't mean to be a thread de-railer as well. I really like the bones of this game and hope to see it continuing to evolve. Great stuff.

However, -- and I'll admit that I have said this before, and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse -- the ability of the Soviet side to conduct extremely rapid & massed redeployment of large numbers of combat units by rail isn't restricted to games vs. the AI. I just wanted to make it clear from my previous posts on the subject that I am referring to rail capacity as related to Head-to-head play. Very-very rapid Massed redeployments of Soviet combat units via strategic rail movement occurs rather frequently in PBEM as well as what we see in games vs. the AI. It’s a standard Soviet approach to the game management. I have two GCs going in which its become routine for me to blow open a rather huge gap in the Soviet lines -- ala what you were experiencing in your 1942 Campaign game that you posted above -- only to have the entire gap covered in depth by the next German movement phase. All the result of the Soviets being able to very-very rapidly redeploy huge numbers of troops by rail movement.

One classic example, which I would be glad to post images for (or send PBEM files): I had almost completely encircled some 30 to 40 Soviet divisions in the Don Basin. Unfortunately I sprang the trap too quickly -- my bad -- and my crafty opponent was able to squeak back into the Crimea through a small hole in my pocket. I just didn’t have enough movement points to close a two hex gap at the back of the pocket. In my planning of the pincer movement, I had really counted on pinning him against the swampy ground around the Dnieper in the vicinity of the Crimea as well as counted on the high movement cost of Dnieper River crossing itself to slow down his escape through this limited gap. Unfortunately for me, my opponent had sufficient movement points to get 90% of his units over the Dnieper River and through the swamp hexes during his following movement phase. I freely admit this was bad planning on my part.

Of particular interest in this whole sequence of events was that the Soviet front line east of the Don Basin was quit literally completely gone as a result of this pocket formation and the subsequent southward pocket collapse and stampede of Soviet units toward the Crimea safe heaven. I did a huge amount of air recon on the expanse of clear terrain to the east on my breakthrough. Absolutely nothing appeared on the radar screen. I pretty much achieved complete strategic surprise. The very next turn my opponent had shifted upwards of 30-divisions via rail movement and established a completely new front line (in depth). Within one to two hexes of my armored spearheads!

Same occurred in two other instances: The first being a big breakthrough I made in front of Veliki Luki. Like the Don Basin example there was absolutely nothing in front of my spearhead but air at the end of my turn. During my opponents turn there was a massive Soviet redeployment via railroad to completely reestablish the shattered front line. It was like one moment there is nothing, than "Presto" there is a completely new line with reserve positions within only one or two hexes of my spearheads.

Same again occurred several turns later. HQ buildup and a turn of Panzer Division refit. I do a series of misdirection attacks for diversion during my previous turn. After a turn of panzer rest\refit and HQ buildup I punch a huge gap in his line northward from Veliki Luki toward Leningrad. I open a 50 mile gap in the soviet line that extends northward 10 to 15 hexes, nothing east or north of the breakthrough at the end of my turn. I have again achieved what I considered both complete operational and strategic surprise with this breakthrough. During the Soviets movement phase this large lateral gap in my opponents line has been was filled in-depth with 20 to 30 divisions that were railed into the area. I am forced to plan and expend Admin Points to conduct this attack. I am also sacrificing very precious good weather time inorder to build up and refit for this attack. I have to make in game decisions and weigh the potential consequences and the potential gains of this activity.

Just my ten cents...Like I say, great game. It just feels like Rail movement capability is...I don't know.. devoid of any consequences for the Soviet Player. Make him think about how and when he can use large amounts of rail capacity. It's an extremely powerful strategic level force multiplier. It's a game changer. Yet its use by the Soviet player feels like a strategic freebee. It's too much of a simple snap of your fingers to move 30 divisions from the front near Tula to a new line in front of Stalino. I just don't see the Soviets being able to tap into huge amounts of their rail capacity required to move enormous amounts of troops, as well as their associated equipment and supplies without there being a ripple effect somewhere.

And maybe this is a mutually exclusive aspect or mutually exclusive argument I am about to use, but in order to motorize an infantry division, the game requires the Germans to expend upwards of 15 to 17 Admin Points. That’s for one division. In addition, huge numbers of trucks are diverted from normal supply\ammunition\fuel hauling activities. And some percentile of these trucks end-up being damaged and destroyed during the infantry division motorization process. And the divisions being motorized can only be employed in movement along interior lines of communication -- i.e. units temporarily motorized can only move in controlled hexes nor impending control hexes and I don’t think they can't enter enemy zones of control(? not sure on this last one). The point being there are numerous implications associated with the use of temporary motorization. The player has to weigh the negatives with the positives before using temp motorization. Why not apply similar logic to strategic movement by rail roads against both the Axis and Soviet sides? Make the rail capacity available, but associate continual use of huge amounts of rail capacity being diverted from other national requirements toward railing large amounts of troops around with some form of negative effects. Make the player think about the positive or negatives associated with continual over use, or abuse of huge amounts of rail capacity in whisking troops around the map.
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LiquidSky
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RE: Truly amazing Soviet rail capacity

Post by LiquidSky »



If the game was slowed down to say..hourly turns. A major Axis thrust would be detected, oh...lets be generous and say 12 turns (hours). The Russians would then react by starting to move assets which are somewhat close towards the breach, and rail units from farther back.

Now..this part is important! While the Attack is going on!

After 7 days of 24 hour turns, there will be a large force of railed/moved Russians blocking the breach, with panzers meeting the oncoming forces.

Problem is, the game is I go...You go. and each turn is 7 days.

As such, you don't really create a large gap, with strategic suprise. The russian isnt really sitting still for 7 days, letting your panzers move freely before reacting. So some level of abstraction is needed. It may seem that the russian is teleporting/warping in large forces from thin air to 'suddenly' block you, but then, you managed to rip a large hole, and drive 100 miles into his rear without reaction.

The game moves in spurts. The attacker lurches forward, the defender throws up a wall...then it repeats. All you can really do is make sure the rail cap is correct for amount of troops moved over length of time of a week. And not try to analyze too closely 'where' or 'how' the enemy moved his units.
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