Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

A complete overhaul and re-development of Gary Grigsby's War in the East, with a focus on improvements to historical accuracy, realism, user interface and AI.

Moderators: RedLancer, Joel Billings

User avatar
xhoel
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Germany

Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by xhoel »

I have been looking into the strength and composition of Soviet armored forces in 1942 and have found some interesting stuff that might affect the game and balance. For one, I have already proposed to the devs to increase the number of tanks in the Soviet 42b Tank Corps TOE, since the current numbers do not seem to match historical ones (in game TOE is missing 33 tanks). I have also proposed the introduction of a new TOE for Mechanized Corps to better reflect the structure of the tank heavy 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mechanized Corps had (3 Mech Brigades + 2 Tank Brigades).

On the other hand I have been reading AARs in the forums and I noticed something interesting in the AAR between M60A3TTS and smokindave34: https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.a ... age=1&key=

It is an outstanding AAR, that I would recommend everyone read as you can learn a lot while also enjoying the whole action and management that comes with the game. The AAR is only being used as an ilustration, I am not passing any judgment on the players, I thoroughly enjoyed the game.

What I noticed, is how strong and big the Soviet armor force is. By T55 (5th July 1942) the Soviets are fielding 16 Guards Tank Corps and 5 regular Tank Corps for a total of 21 TC. Keep the guard numbers in mind as they are important.

Having 21 Tank Corps by this time is quite realistic if we compare it to history: On the 31st of March 1942, the Soviets formed the first 4 Tank Corps (1st to 4th TC). In the span of April-May, 15 more were formed (5th to 15th and 21st to 24th TC). In June, 4 Tank Corps were formed (16th, 17th, 18th and 27th) and in mid-July another 3 (25th, 26th and 28th).

That brings the number of Soviet Tank Corps at the start of August to 26 but by the 5th of July (comparing it to the game) only 23 TC would have been build and a few of them would not have been combat ready yet. So we see similar numbers (21 vs 23) and no big problems.

Which brings us to the issue on hand: The Soviets are creating Guard Tank Corps too early and too easily. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it is appropriate that a good Soviet player is rewarded for managing his tank forces properly and the guards title does just that: Guard status not only gives the Corps a better TOE but also boosts their national morale by 10 points, which is a lot, so the arrival of these units in large enough numbers can have quite an effect on the battles that take place in the east.

Why do I say that? Because by July 1942, out of the 21 Tank Corps fielded, 16 of them have made guards (76%). To compare this to history: The Soviets never fielded more than 12 Guard Tank Corps and the first 3 Guard Tank Corps only received the Guards designation in mid-December 1942, for their performance at Stalingrad (the 1st Guard Tank Corps received the designation on 8th December 1942). Another 2 units would receive the Guards designation in January-February 1943, 2 would receive it in July 1943, 3 would receive it in September-October 1943 and the last 2 would receive it in 1944.

As you can clearly tell, the build-up of the guards formation was slow and wasn’t achieved immediately and especially not this early since the bulk of the guard formations received this designation in 1943. This reflects the fact that the Soviet Army was still evolving and learning even as far as 1944 and that for the Soviet armored forces to evolve, the price had to be paid in blood, sweat and time.

I think the following changes need to be made, to better reflect the historical realities that I talked about above:

1) Less Tank Brigades should make Guards in general.
2) Guard Tank Corps should not become available before September 1942. This is 3 months earlier than historically but I think it is a fair start to the Guards forces as they can be sent to the rear to train up and recover morale and be ready for the battles in November.
3) Guard Tank Corps numbers should be limited to the 12 that were historically fielded.
4) At the same time, the availability of the Guard Tank Corps should be staggered and capped depending on the year. Using the historical records the caps would be: 3 in 1942, 7 in 1943 and 2 in 1944. This still would mean that the Soviets will probably get a bunch of Tank Corps in January 1943 instead of getting them spread out during the year but I think it is a trade-off that we can make.
5) There should be a relative limit to the number of Guard Tank Corps that the Soviets can field. So if you have 12 Tank Corps, you cannot have 12 Guards Tank Corps even though that would be the maximum amount that you could theoretically have.

I think these changes, would see the Soviet armored forces go through a more slow and gradual evolution than is currently the case while at the same time not taking too much from their strength as their TOEs are beefed up. This might allow for a more fluent 1942.

Feel free to add your thoughts!
AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
tm.asp?m=4488465
WitE 2 Tester and Test Coordinator
AlbertN
Posts: 3836
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Italy

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by AlbertN »

I noticed that too - excess of Guard Units in general by '42.

But to me presently it's 'excess' of everything for Soviets.
The amount of planes they can lose, the amount of punishment / losses they can take (within the scope of the game), the operational capability paired with the needed mobility (Since early on Soviets pratically always move administratively) and CPP (Already discussed elsewhere).
Large amount of Admin Points - at times coming in batches for Purpose A but in truth usable for anything - and possibility to tailor their own army as needed (The 'disband this to gain trucks, do the same footed to spare trucks' or 'let's build only these type of ART because it does not cross over INF division allocations' or 'Because this is better due to superior and / or more guns'.).

All of that pours in with an extreme scream of Soviet wet fantasy with historical producion (I assume, I'm not here to crunch numbers), freedom of player skill to do as one pleases - no nation really would just march backward and backward without fighting - and while it is true Germans can do the same later on... the game curve snowballs, so we have Soviets on steroids in '42 already.

To limit the amount of Guard Units is certainly a good step - but I feel from my perspective, one among the many needed.
I feel another problem is how Soviets stall potentially wrong attacks early, at some distance and suffering pratically no losses.


User avatar
GibsonPete
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:53 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by GibsonPete »

I agree. The Axis has no method of creating additional elite units. Allowing the Soviets that sort of flexibility is disturbing. At the same time, I understand it and actually could see a desire to allow it. I suppose, it comes down to your style of game play.
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
HardLuckYetAgain
Posts: 7060
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:26 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by HardLuckYetAgain »

I brought this up in WITE1. In WITE2 with more Soviets attacking than just defending you have a beefed up Soviet in 42. The 5 legged chair that needs one of the legs kicked out from it is the Soviets having 2 assault HQ's from the beginning. Here in lies the first issue of getting to those Guard Tank Corps and guard Infantry lower.
HardLuckYetAgain
Posts: 7060
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:26 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by HardLuckYetAgain »

2nd you have the Soviets can fine tune leadership to a perfect diamond. Give them free AP and BAM perfect chain of command in 41 coupled with an Assualt HQ is pretty damn deadly.
HardLuckYetAgain
Posts: 7060
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:26 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by HardLuckYetAgain »

But I will digress there
User avatar
xhoel
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Germany

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by xhoel »

I think the Soviets get an ungodly amount of APs and manpower dumped at their feet, which means they can fine tune a lot their army and leadership as they see fit without having an incentive to save APs for important tasks. I think this kind of fine tuning should cost a lot more and also be available a lot later in the war but I believe the same goes for the Axis.

I think the changes to the way ranks work is not the right way to go. The fact that I can promote Generalmajors that were comanding regiments at the start of Barbarossa without paying an additional AP cost or risking a loss of skills makes this feature easy to abuse. But that is a discussion for another time.
AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
tm.asp?m=4488465
WitE 2 Tester and Test Coordinator
AlbertN
Posts: 3836
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Italy

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by AlbertN »

So another perceived issue is AP for Soviets. That can be reworked at gradual increments without spikes even?

I am not sure how many depots Soviets need when playing defensive - but they too could have little to few AP spare for leader changes across '41 or so. And still few AP so that they actually must make choices instead of swimming into AP?
To add Disband Cost in terms of AP for Soviets can help as well to mitigate the quickness of the min-maxing of their forces.
jubjub
Posts: 595
Joined: Sun May 02, 2021 12:52 pm

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by jubjub »

All excellent ideas. The guard threshold is way too low in general imo, and the number of wins should be increased to at least 12, probably more. Would love to see how guard creation compares historically in relation to rifle divisions/corps, calvary, etc. as well.

AlbertN
Posts: 3836
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Italy

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by AlbertN »

I may be wrong but I think Events can be used too to dilute Guard Promotions and / or alter the % Max they can have.

So in Xhoel's example of 'many Guard Tank Corps' promoted in Jan'43, I believe with Events there can be a dilution over time of that.
User avatar
56ajax
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:43 am
Location: Carnegie, Australia

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by 56ajax »

In my game against the Axis AI on T 72 (Nov 1942) I dont have any Guards Tank Corps; thats because I havent bothered to build any I suppose - the AI is in enough trouble as it is.

I have 17 Guards Tank Brigades, 19 Guards Rifle Corps, and 35 Guards Divs.

Other than using airborne brigades, I have made no attempt to turn any unit into Guards Status.

fyi
Molotov : This we did not deserve.

Foch : This is not peace. This is a 20 year armistice.

C'est la guerre aérienne
User avatar
xhoel
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Germany

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by xhoel »

@AlbertN: I dont think so. I think Guard % are capped by year. Thats why you will see a lot of promotions in the first turn of January of a year. Like I said in the post, I dont have a problem with the Soviets getting most of their Guard Tank Corps at the start of the year since it is an improvement over the current system.

@56ajax: With 17 Guard Tank Brigades you could form 8 Guard Tank Corps right now. That number was only reached in September 1943 historically. So you are basically almost a year yearly. Not that I am blaming you or anyone who would use the feature. It simply seems to be an oversight that needs to be changed as it gives one side an unfair advantage.
AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
tm.asp?m=4488465
WitE 2 Tester and Test Coordinator
Dreamslayer
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:37 pm
Location: St.Petersburg

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by Dreamslayer »

Guard Tank Corps was promoted from already existing Tank Corps. There was nothing like "lets build a few more Guard Tank Corps from separate Guard Tank Brigades". Normally Soviet Tank Corps its a 3 Tank Brigades, 1 Moto-Rifle Brigade and other sub-units.
http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tk.html
AlbertN
Posts: 3836
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Italy

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by AlbertN »

My deduction is that there are Events that alter Game Data such as the German National Morale and German Manpower factors / multipliers.

Thus I assume via Events other game datas can be adjusted as well such as Max# of Guard Units or Max% of Guard Units and the like.
User avatar
Great_Ajax
Posts: 4793
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by Great_Ajax »

Very nice site and I just bookmarked it for future reference.

The early Mar/Apr 42 Tank Corps organizations list a single Reconnaissance Company. Do you know the composition of that company?

Trey

ORIGINAL: Dreamslayer

Guard Tank Corps was promoted from already existing Tank Corps. There was nothing like "lets build a few more Guard Tank Corps from separate Guard Tank Brigades". Normally Soviet Tank Corps its a 3 Tank Brigades, 1 Moto-Rifle Brigade and other sub-units.
http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tk.html
"You want mercy!? I'm chaotic neutral!"

WiTE Scenario Designer
WitW Scenario/Data Team Lead
WitE 2.0 Scenario Designer
User avatar
xhoel
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Germany

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by xhoel »

@Dreamslayer: That is true, but i think with the changes i proposed, we would still get good results. And yes, the 3 Tank + 1 Moto-Rifle Brigade is the organization that I was referencing too.

@AlbertN: NM changes are set in the data for the scenario. You can change that in the editor. I think for guard units the percentages are per year and cannot be adjusted per month.

@Great_Ajax: That is the site that I linked when we discussed Mechanized and Tank Corps organization. They have a lot of useful info. Worth the bookmark for sure.

AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
tm.asp?m=4488465
WitE 2 Tester and Test Coordinator
User avatar
M60A3TTS
Posts: 4110
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 1:20 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by M60A3TTS »

ORIGINAL: xhoel

I think the Soviets get an ungodly amount of APs and manpower dumped at their feet, which means they can fine tune a lot their army and leadership as they see fit without having an incentive to save APs for important tasks. I think this kind of fine tuning should cost a lot more and also be available a lot later in the war but I believe the same goes for the Axis.

I think the changes to the way ranks work is not the right way to go. The fact that I can promote Generalmajors that were comanding regiments at the start of Barbarossa without paying an additional AP cost or risking a loss of skills makes this feature easy to abuse. But that is a discussion for another time.


I do agree the AP dumps the Soviets get are excessive in light of the lower costs of doing business compared to WiTE1.

For the long campaign, the first two dumps of 200 on turn 27 and 250 on turn 44 could be retained with the remaining 4 events of a combined 1,050 dropped.
User avatar
xhoel
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Germany

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by xhoel »

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS


I do agree the AP dumps the Soviets get are excessive in light of the lower costs of doing business compared to WiTE1.

For the long campaign, the first two dumps of 200 on turn 27 and 250 on turn 44 could be retained with the remaining 4 events of a combined 1,050 dropped.

Good to see an experienced Soviet player as yourself chip in on the convo M60, appreciate the feedback!

1.050? I didnt even know they get that many, Jesus Chris. I think thats a fair proposal, dont want to go too hard on the other direction and not allow the Soviets some flexibility either.
AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
tm.asp?m=4488465
WitE 2 Tester and Test Coordinator
HardLuckYetAgain
Posts: 7060
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:26 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by HardLuckYetAgain »

ORIGINAL: xhoel

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS


I do agree the AP dumps the Soviets get are excessive in light of the lower costs of doing business compared to WiTE1.

For the long campaign, the first two dumps of 200 on turn 27 and 250 on turn 44 could be retained with the remaining 4 events of a combined 1,050 dropped.

Good to see an experienced Soviet player as yourself chip in on the convo M60, appreciate the feedback!

1.050? I didnt even know they get that many, Jesus Chris. I think thats a fair proposal, dont want to go too hard on the other direction and not allow the Soviets some flexibility either.

Soviet get a total of 1,500 free AP up to June 1943. Please check out chart 40.12 Soviet Administrative Point gains and scripted reinforcements. Plus 1,200,000 men.

As I mentioned in another thread the AP given should not be generic AP. It should be another category for the event that just happened. Thus the Nov 41 event of gifted 200 AP should be labeled, "CAV/Ski AP" and those AP points can ONLY be used to purchase CAV/Ski units. At the moment the Soviets just says, "Merry Xmas" every time they get a dump of AP and ask's Mr. Grisby if he can do it again for them. Then the Soviets look what goodies they can buy or forts they can erect in a hurry if not using the AP for what was supposed to be purchased.
HardLuckYetAgain
Posts: 7060
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:26 am

RE: Soviet Guard Armor: Too soon, too many

Post by HardLuckYetAgain »

ORIGINAL: xhoel

@AlbertN: I dont think so. I think Guard % are capped by year. Thats why you will see a lot of promotions in the first turn of January of a year. Like I said in the post, I dont have a problem with the Soviets getting most of their Guard Tank Corps at the start of the year since it is an improvement over the current system.

@56ajax: With 17 Guard Tank Brigades you could form 8 Guard Tank Corps right now. That number was only reached in September 1943 historically. So you are basically almost a year yearly. Not that I am blaming you or anyone who would use the feature. It simply seems to be an oversight that needs to be changed as it gives one side an unfair advantage.

Guard totals are capped by year. There is currently a game bug(not really a bug but known event in the game) that allows you to go over that cap. How? By converting Airborne brigades into Guard Division. Then rinse repeat. You can then buy the Airborne Brigades again, with those 1,500 points and have a huge Army of Guard Divisions and Corps. I brought this out in M60's game. Thus someone can 100% get over the cap at the moment.

I recommend house ruling it out to be on the safe side.
Post Reply

Return to “Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2”