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#4451898 - 12/05/18 02:55 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by HardTale
Hi DBond like the AAR’s (if I haven’t already mentioned). Thanks for the effort you put in them.

Curious how long it takes you to do on typical round and do you know if PBEM used much?






The short answer is between 10 minutes and 3 hours. Early turns take a long time, for me anyway, especially the first turn. There's plenty to do smile

During mud season neither side does anything and the turns go by fast. Most turns are somewhere in the middle, probably an hour or so.

PBEM is popular yes, judging by the posts at the Matrix boards. There is a small active base there, and they post detailed AARs of their matchups. Those AARs have given me a lot of insight of operational possibilities.



Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
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#4452026 - 12/06/18 03:03 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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It is that painfully slow, but I could download if the download can be restarted.

If I start a download with the key and my computer crashes, can I pick up where the download left off? If I can, I will give it a try. If I can not, it will be a futile effort.

Between my CAD program and the internet, It was more then a dozen reboots today as I played on the computer when I should have been working on a GL1000. wink winter sux, it's cold out there.


TPA who TWI
#4452083 - 12/06/18 01:28 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Sorry, don't know if an interrupted download would resume. Hope it works!


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#4452208 - 12/07/18 03:57 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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"Hope it works!"
I have no interest in hoping. I had to install a win98 wireless card on this XP machine when the onboard Ethernet port burned out. If the port is pinged I crash. If it is left alone I can spend days on the internet. wink I know, it sounds like aluminum hat stuff. No worries, I prefer aluminum boxers :P.

I have had to reboot 3 times while trying to create a PM for Jelly of EAW. I will wait for the boxed editions and see if I can help EAW in the interim. If someone says I can restart a crashed download of the keys, then I will try.


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#4452253 - 12/07/18 02:30 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Evidently it wouldn't resume unless you use a manager, see this link

http://www.matrixgames.com/support/faq.asp?id=11


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4452370 - 12/08/18 08:19 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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will do, but I am busy with ATV repairs this weekend.


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#4452658 - 12/10/18 02:53 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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So I'm on turn 15 (mid-October) of my second grand campaign. One downside to a game like this potentially is a lack of replayability. This would be because you always start with the same units in the same starting positions and against the same enemy on the same map. With all of that never changing, the only thing that can keep the game interesting is unpredictable AI. If the AI always did the same thing, it would get boring once you unlocked the patterns. Take Vyazma and Orel and the enemy falls back on a new line at Tula. Every time. It would become sort of like painting by numbers and it would be possible to fashion a 'perfect' plan that accounts for exactly how the enemy reacts.

But what I've found is is that the enemy AI is not following a script. I mean I suppose they are in a general sense. But the second run in the campaign has revealed a wildly different AI than the first. And even though I feel I've played better, I'm not doing as well. I still haven't taken Moscow, and maybe I won't in 1941. The enemy there is strong and tenacious. The defense of Leningrad was not as strong, but that too has yet to fall, though it should within a few turns.

Only in the south have things more or less gone the same way as the initial run, and actually I've made a deeper advance.

The main difference between the two runs is that this time I have failed to capture as many enemy as the first one. In the first run I had 4.2 million enemy casualties by turn 18. This time I am at 3 million on turn 15. There will be more from the siege of Leningrad, but not another 1.2 million. The AI has done a better job of recognizing and avoiding encirclements and I've bagged fewer. This is important because in order to stand a good chance of success in 1942 the German player needs to take as many enemy off the map as possible in 1941. I still have time, but to me it's interesting that despite the experience I gained in the first run, and despite feeling I have played better, that the results are not as good. And that's awesome, making the second campaign a much different experience, and just as challenging or even a little more so.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4453086 - 12/13/18 05:24 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Boxed version of War in the West arrived today. It took all of today to determine a seldom used DVD drive and AVAST AV were causing all of the installation problems I was having.

I need to repeat myself. The "boxed" version of War in the West comes with an outstanding, hard bound, 300 page, large print manual.

I have a number of tutorials to watch before starting a AAR, but I will include a pic of what I received. wink serial numbers and order information will be redacted from the DVDs


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#4453929 - 12/19/18 09:10 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Still playing War in the East. Have made it to July 1942 in my second grand campaign. As mentioned things haven't gone as well, especially in terms of losses (taken and inflicted), but it still goes well. I have launched my own version of Case Blue (with too few forces I might add).

Leningrad was taken in October of 1941 and Moscow finally fell on the very last turn in '41. In the south things went even better, but still I moved only as far as the upper Don and Donets bend.

In the north there is a huge enemy salient that I am using all of four panzer corps to try and cut off. It is quite difficult.

This game is something else really. A massive game with so much to consider, so many decisions to make. So many possible courses to be taken.

I could pick a few faults. One thing I struggle with is the strict conformity to history on the German side. As an example, I cannot create new headquarters. There have been many times where I wished to create a new Corps or Army HQ, as it would solve administrative and command capacity headaches, but it cannot be done. Fair enough you might say if that sort of historical authenticity is what the devs are going for. But the Russian player can create units at will, so then it doesn't stand up as this restriction only affects the Axis.

One of the things that appeals to me is the fact that I can play Halder, devise my own plans, and avoid the mistakes that befell the German army in the war (and make my own instead!). But this alternate history is limited to operational moves alone. I have no control over say more tanks at the cost of infantry or artillery for example. I cannot recognize that the war will not end in 1941 and do anything to prepare for the winter, such as requisitioning winter clothing (at the cost of supply or reinforcement possibly)

I wish for more setup latitude. It would be great if there were a mode to allow the player complete freedom in the setup stage, before the first turn. In many games there would be a mod to allow a blank slate on the first turn, but I've seen nothing like it.

One more thing I want to mention...logistics. It is marvelous in War in the East. Brilliant. Bloody brilliant mate smile Due to the game's scale, everything is abstracted to a degree (but still with mindbending detail), but the supply mechanic is the best I've seen in any game. The manner in which War in the East presents the player with the mounting issue of supply as the spearheads range away from the railheads, and dealing with the effects of terrain, of weather, and partisans, and enemy action upon these supply routes is a thing of beauty.


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#4453963 - 12/20/18 02:35 AM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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I am a bit overwhelmed with the transition from tactical (SP1&2 + CMBO& CMAK) to strategic. I watched all the tutorials for War of the States and War in the west. I think the video turorials for War in the West assume you have mastered War in the East.

I decided to learn the game mechanics with War of the States. I decided to play as the South on easy. After a week's worth of free time, I finally managed to play more then the first turn. I am still lost with depots and how many points are available. This will transfer to logistics in WotW. But what I have not figure out is how to attack.. I have set up superior forces in the west, but the game will not allow me to move into adjecent areas to a fort. frown the printed manual is so small with such fine print that I can only read it with stronger readers or a magnifying glass.

I have figured out WotS production, yeha.

I am truly intrigued by the air phase of WitW so I think I will transition to that soon.


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#4454021 - 12/20/18 02:54 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: Brit44 'Aldo']  
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Originally Posted by Brit44 'Aldo'
overwhelmed with the transition from tactical


I felt that a little bit too. These games take time to master, just stick with it.

The 'huge enemy salient' I mentioned was finally encircled last night. I took a screenshot, I should have posted it. I still haven't eliminated it, but by the end I expect to have taken more than 500,000 prisoners from this pocket alone. People talk of the disaster at Stalingrad, and it was, no mistake. But that was 250,000 men. This is over 500,000, That's gotta hurt.

At the end of June '42 I had weathered the winter and the Russian counteroffensive well enough. Heavy casualties of course, that first winter it's unavoidable. As the thaw came to an end and the summer campaigning season arrived I was sort of in an operational funk. The huge enemy salient was in the north, in the worst possible place really since the terrain is so lousy. Swamps and forests. Despite having three infantry armies here (16th & 18th plus the Finns) there was just no way I would be able to crack it. It would be impossible to run a ring with foot soldiers. The only solution was armor and motorized units. But the terrain is so bad for this. If this mass had been in the Ukraine it would have been a far easier proposition.

And if I commit the necessary armor to eliminating this salient, that would leave little for operations elsewhere. But it had to be done. We had swept east from Moscow as soon as the ground dried and took the same two cities that I did to win the first run, Yaroslavl and Ivanovo. Armor was also committed to the salient. With 1st panzer in the Donets bend at the southern end of the line, this left no armor at all from the Oka River all the way to Rostov. All of the grand sweeping plans I had envisioned over the winter months, of panzers roaming free far behind the enemy lines all along the front were no longer possible. The enemy, through his commitment to the north, had scuppered my plans to blitzkrieg once again.

In addition, I had installed too light a screen with the Finns at the base of the isthmus that is not Karelian, the one east of Ladoga, what is it's name? The Russian took advantage and was pressing armor and cavalry through the one-hex wide gaps in the Finnish lines.A crisis was mounting. If they broke through they could knock Finland out of the war, and that would be a disaster.

Then the third week in July happened. The sort of turn that dramatically alters the state of affairs.

In this turn we managed to close the ring on the salient, took Gorky further east from Moscow (more on this city in a moment) and launched our own Case Blue, thrusting 1st Panzer out of Rostov due south taking Krasnodar and Novorossiysk and reached the Black Sea! This thrust compelled the enemy to evacuate the Crimea (aside from Sevastopol) and the Romanians poured in without a shot fired at the entrances where they had been sitting for six months.

The pocket in the north was really big, more than 500,000 as mentioned. That's 1/7 of the entire Russian army at this point, plus hundreds of tanks. This success will drastically alter the picture on the northern end of the front. The Case Blue thrust from Rostov adds another 400 miles to the front, which is beyond my ability to properly form a line, but the enemy has the same problem, and had to thin his line elsewhere to form a new one to contain 1st Panzer. Rostov is no longer vulnerable and the operation straightened the line, and eliminated the threat to our right flank out of the Crimea and the Kuban regions.A quite dramatic turn of events.

About Gorky..... So after having taken Yaroslavl and Ivanovo, I saw the city of Gorky lying about 150 miles further to the east. I'm playing with Fog of War in this run, so couldn't be certain, but I saw little in the way of an effective barrier. If I could break through the line, my tanks might just reach the city. I became obsessed with the idea because when shifting to the production mode I saw that Gorky was jammed with production, possibly some that managed to be pulled out of Moscow. There were three fighter factories (La-5) and at least four tank factories, an armored car factory and lots more. Taking this city before it could be evacuated would deal a serious blow to the enemy's ability to replenish losses. And so it was, that 3rd Panzer took this city and with it all of this production!

So in one turn we had ripped open the southern front, captured massive amounts of production, and trapped a half-million soldiers in an uber kessel. The prospects look brighter indeed smile


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#4454212 - 12/21/18 02:27 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Actually, the Case Blue action moving south out of Rostov added 200 miles to the front, not 400.

I will probably post a couple of screens showing the northern pocket and subsequent operation that continued on to trap the tanks and cav attempting to break through the Finns. It was a perfect confluence of events, that in the end eliminated nearly 900,000 troops and over 1000 tanks. The big pocket ended up having over 700,000 in it. Maybe I will attempt to edit the screenshots and actually illustrate what happened.

Through the winter I envisioned panzer spearheads ranging out over the steppes of central Russia during the summer, capturing Stalingrad and the Volga. Instead I have been involved in the far less glamorous operations in the forests and swamps of the north. But that's where the enemy was, where he was strongest, and these factors dictated where our blows would fall. It doesn't matter where I am eliminating enemy formations, as long as they are gone. The one real drawback to these actions is that perhaps fewer cities are being taken, and those are all that earn points towards victory. Because of this, it does not appear I can win it in 1942, and another winter looms. Fortunately, the harsh effects of the first winter are removed for the rest.

It's nearly September of '42 and it's time to start thinking of a winter line. Time remains for more gains, but 1942 looks like it will fall short of my geographic goals, but exceed those of eliminating enemy units. We caused 4 million losses in 1941, and I didn't think that we could match that in 1942, with the enemy stronger, better positioned and with better equipment, not to mentioned his ability to form armor, cav and infantry corps now. But we've already reached 8 million enemy casualties, and that will grow through the remaining three months of 1942. In addition to those troops, we have destroyed or captured over 25,000 armored vehicles! By contrast, we have lost less than 3,500 (infantry losses 1,400,000).

So in late August 1942 we hold an infantry advantage of over one million men, a 6 to 4 advantage in armor and even guns are about even. Only in aircraft strength does the Russian hold an advantage, about 2 to 1.

The losses he took in 1941 hurt him, but they were rather easily replaced due to the Russian game mechanics. But in 1942 the cost to the Russian increases, and these 1942 losses (along with the captured and displaced production) hurt him much more. It's been a highly successful campaign, but I can't help but think we haven't advanced far enough, haven't taken enough victory points. I am banking on the fact that the massive losses they have taken in 1942 will render them unable to resist our 1943 offensives, but that's thinking a little too far ahead. Much work remains before that point.

Not sure anyone cares too much about what is going on in my campaign, and that's to be expected. Too bad too that Oden lost his interest and Cheyenne's never took off, as I had hoped to be discussing the finer points of this game with the folks here. But it is a massive, complex eight-year old game and I realize not the sort of thing that most gamers will be interested in. Shame that, because it is excellent.



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#4454559 - 12/23/18 03:48 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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After looking at the screens I realized that what happened is sort of self evident, and that a couple of arrows wouldn't really be necessary biggrin

By late July, 1942, a huge salient east of Leningrad had been permitted to form, and something had to be done. The advance of Army Group Center to well east of Moscow had opened a very long left flank. AGC kept moving forward, while AGN was stuck at Leningrad, so the flank continued to lengthen, requiring more and more troops to defend it. The problem was this enemy force was not only massive, but in the sort of terrain that restricts any sort of offensive movement. Numerous rivers, heavy forests and swampland drastically reduces movement and hands a number of advantages to the defender. To attempt to seal off and pocket some of this mass was risky. But what choice did I have? I kept pressing forward in the center, thinking at some point it would unhinge the enemy's northern front, compel them to pull back as they became increasingly vulnerable to entrapment. But they not only stayed in place, but continued to pour more troops in to the region. Not only that, but they committed strong cav and armor formations to the extreme northern wing, attempting to take advantage of my poor disposition of the Finns.and had made partial penetration through the gaps. A crisis was mounting. If they succeeded in a true breakthrough it would outflank our entire operation and possibly knock Finland out of the war if they moved far enough.

A second problem was that forcing a ring would take a long time. I'd be fighting the terrain as well as the enemy in an attempt to dislodge him, and combined with the closely packed ZoCs would mean it would take a number of turns to pull off. In the early stages the enemy would have ample opportunity to pull back and out of it. At some point though, the terrain would work against them as their movement is restricted too.

A third problem was this was high summer, of 1942. A time when panzer spearheads should be taking advantage of the good weather and launching another series of encirclement battles ever deeper in to the Russian heartland. Committing substantial armor assets in to the swamps of northwestern Russia means they aren't ranging across the steppes astride the Don. But a bag o' Ivan is a bag o' Ivan regardless of where it occurs. The fact remains though that a victory in the game comes from taking cities, not soldiers. Since the start of the game though my main objective has been to eliminate the enemy. And here was a fantastic opportunity to bag a big bunch of 'em.

Using three panzer corps, both from 4th Panzer and one from 3rd Panzer, we struck north, from positions along the upper Volga southeast of the Rybinsk resevoir, a town called Sonkovo, with the objective of reaching and cutting the only rail that served the enemy on this sector of the front, a point 60 miles west of Cherepovets (6 hexes), using the river and marshland as a barrier and boundary to the east of the penetration. Upon reaching the rail line, the attack wheeled to the west where it made contact with 18th Army, sealing a huge enemy force in a pocket. The enemy would bash their heads against it for a few turns, but my encircling units held and 16th and 18th Armies would then pound it down from the west. It took a month to reduce it and eliminate the enemy units in the kessel.

Here you see this pocket. Unfortunately it does not show the area directly to the north where another strong force of cav and armor is pushing through the Finns. Would the Russian recognize the threat to this attack from the encirclement happening to the south?


[Linked Image]



Yes, he did in fact see it. And attempted to withdraw. But he had stuck his head too far in the noose. The ZoC of the Finnish units and the lousy terrain prevented him from extricating these valuable formations. He pulled back a couple of hexes, but was then set upon from the rear by the panzer corps that had just sealed the first pocket. These units had continued on to punch north and trapped the enemy against the Finns. This shot shows this action, along with what remains of the first pocket to the south three weeks (turns) since the first screenshot.


[Linked Image]


In all, roughly 900,000 enemy were trapped, along with over 1000 tanks. The enemy would lose a number of valuable cavalry and armor corps. With the closing of these pockets, AGC's flank was reduced, but the enemy remained in the marshes, and we failed to force a strategic withdrawal from the region. Still, it was a massive haul and eliminated any serious threat toward Leningrad and the Finns. Prior to the operation, troop strength for both sides was about even, at roughly 4 million per side. After, we held an advantage of about one million men. It was a smashing success that not only caused a massive shift in force ratio, but released a number of my infantry corps to continue to the east. Shortly after, AGC made another leap, all the way to Kazan!. where it overran many of the enemy's aircraft factories.

Attached Files pocket1.jpgpocket2.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 12/23/18 05:17 PM.

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#4454800 - 12/24/18 11:14 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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My prediction that the war would last in to 1943 proved pessimistic, as I stepped up the operational pace after those battles in the northwest. With mud season fast approaching I got some panzers rolling and with the fall of the city of Kuybyshev 290 points were reached and with it a decisive automatic victory on October 1st 1942. Very happy with that, with the way the campaign turned out. Needing the additional 30 victory points meant a proper offensive season in 1942 was required. Absolutely stellar game this is, I had a blast.

Kuybyshev is located 1040 miles from the starting point at Brest Litovsk, and was the furthest point east we reached. Kazan was also taken to the north and was just about as far. So we advanced the first 500 miles in five weeks (with the fall of Smolensk), and the next 500 in fourteen months smile

This was a lot of fun. I did a lot of things differently from the first run, and in some way did even worse than the first time. But overall I think I played better, knowing quite a bit more now.

In the end the Russian lost 8.7 million men, plus almost 28,000 armored vehicles. We lost nearly 1.6 million men and 4,000 armored vehicles. Aircraft was 24,000 to 4,000, This time I was much more aware of enemy factories and production and we captured quite a bit of it, especially T-34 factories. But right through the end the Russian kept churning out gobs of planes and tanks. It was only in manpower that the war truly hurt him. By the summer of 1942 he had seemingly run dry of men. By the end only 2.7 million in all, and could no longer cover his losses. So it means that it's really difficult to break the Russian through the denial of production. It's only by destroying armies in the field, and taking manpower centers that the German can really get the upper hand. I've failed in each run to come anywhere near smashing the Red Air Force, let alone reach anything near parity,.

Now I'm not sure what to do. I'm curious about the Russian side, but it seems like it is much more involved than even the German side, and that's a massive undertaking in itself. Maybe I'll go get War in the West. For some reason I have been looking forward to sacking Monty.

Edit: Bought War in the West from the Matrix sale. Allies or Axis.....


Last edited by DBond; 12/25/18 02:25 AM.

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#4456786 - 01/10/19 06:01 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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Curious about the Russian side....

That's the sort of thing that can make time disappear. After finishing the second German grand campaign, I spent a couple of days in gaming limbo. I wanted to see what it was like to play War in the East as the Russians. But I had trouble getting started. Not only did I not know what to do exactly, I also realized the massive scale of the undertaking. The German side is big enough, but the Soviet side is on another level, and this heavy load kept me from actually getting started. There are far more units (eventually), far more organizing, strategic movement, administration and on and on. But the challenge of it all was like a flame to a moth. Having seen what the Germans were capable of, how they could rip the Russians apart when the commander takes a non-historical tack, I was really curious of how I might do. But this is a complex game, and I had zero clue about Russian mechanics. What should I do? I had an overall grand strategy, but no idea how to do it within the context of this game.

After a couple of days of browsing the Steam sale and reading the Decisive Campaigns:Barbarossa manual, I had failed to shake the nagging desire to replace Stalin and see if I could do a better job. I didn't take screens since I planned no AAR, but I want to give an overview of the grand campaign in War in the East from the Soviet side.

I think that having played the Germans a couple of times was valuable for tackling the Russian campaign. I knew what they were capable of, what their objective likely were, the distances they could cover in a turn, who their best commanders were, their reinforcement schedule, that sort of thing. But I still had no clue how to play the Russians. I concluded that was perfect. Being clueless would mirror the state of the high command in June of '41, and as the Stavka did in reality, I would learn as I went smile

1941

When the map opens, your forces are arrayed more or less as they were on June 22 1941. Fatally vulnerable to a panzerblitz. German has the initiative, it is a surprise attack after all, and gets to go first. As the Russian, this is pretty traumatic. The opening airfield strikes were effective, but against the AI I got off a bit better than I expected. Lost 2,000 planes, which are historical levels, but half of what I managed when playing as the Germans. On the ground the Germans had what I felt was a poor opening in the South. They took Lvov and Rovno first turn, but failed to gain any big encirclement, or deep penetration, allowing me to extract most of the forces in the south and begin a retreat to the Dnepr river. In the Ukraine my best armored forces were deployed, and most were saved. I began the retreat toward Kiev and the Dnepr. Falling back on my own railheads, while the Germans ranged away from their own meant I might be able to get there first despite the German mobility advantage. And in Army Group South there is only one Panzer Group, most of it is foot slogging infantry and no faster than my own.

In the North and Center however, the German AI ripped me apart. Not only did they manage a number of large encirclements, they also managed to flip a lot of territory. The AI's first turn was better here than any I have managed. The entire front was written off essentially. A few of the trapped units would hold out for a few months, simply because the German bypassed them. One air-drop supported cavalry unit almost reached Warsaw when I deemed the enemy wasn't paying attention, but they were and destroyed them one hex short.

After the first turn I was in a sort of mild panic. My forces were no match for the German. Crap units, low morale, obsolete equipment and on the run everywhere. And the Germans had just chopped off a full quarter of my total strength. German success in this campaign is critically tied to their performance in the first summer. Is is crucial they destroy as much of the Red Army as they can, otherwise they will eventually be snowed under. Here the first turn had to go to the German, but I felt I saved more than expected, especially aircraft and the good tank and mechanized divisions in the Ukraine due to the German's tepid opening turn in the South. More than anywhere else there is space to trade for time here.

Despite the dire situation I had a couple of things going for me. Reinforcements and rail capacity. Virtually every turn new units arrived at the far eastern edge of the map. Using the rails, these units were relatively quickly moved to the places I needed them. In addition, the rails were used to shift forces from one threatened sector to another. This sort of strategic mobility is a big advantage over the Germans, who never have enough rail capacity to do this sort of thing.

As the turns ticked by I got my act together, and formed defensive lines. We were able to stop the blitzkrieg on a line Narva-Pskov-Smolensk-Kiev-Odessa. This was better than I had expected frankly, especially after the opening turn. But the relentless reinforcement and ability to shift forces quickly meant I had plenty of operational leeway to defend the country. Heavy German pressure eventually forced me out of Pskov, and I abandoned Odessa and fell back on Nikolaev when the German threatened to get behind me. But we held firm 100 miles west of the Denpr bend. The high point of the German advance saw them reach the gates of Kiev, and they had shoved me out of the way to the north of Smolensk, though the city itself would hold. As the mud and blizzards arrived the German assault had ground to a halt and we were managing our first local encirclements. It felt like the two armies had reached an equilibrium, which meant the future looked good for me.

Mechanically I at first had little idea what to do. It's completely different from the German side as the Russian player needs to essentially build his army. Things like support units are created manually using admin points. The command structure goes through a number of changes. For example I had spent a good deal of time and points squaring away my corps structures only to have these HQs abolished several turns later. I knew this happened historically, but in the game this info is missing for the withdrawal list, it just happens with no notification. Additionally, over time the command capacity of each HQ drops, as the Russians realized that smaller formations were easier to control. It all adds up to a massive administration challenge to the player. Honestly the amount of effort that goes in to organizing and transporting the Russian army in the game is daunting and few will relish this sort of thing.

Along these sames lines other changes occur. Those beautiful tank divisions that I was so happy to have saved in the opening stages are downgraded to tank brigades, which are a fraction of the combat value. The excess tanks go in to the pool to fit out arriving units. So while it has an immediate detrimental effect it is setting the stage for the Red Army 2.0.

Another thing the Russian player needs to deal with is the evacuation of threatened industry. Our prospects of successfully mobilizing a kick-ass army are closely linked to our industry and production. It's important to save what you can, and transport these factories to remote cities near the Urals. I managed to save everything. We didn't lose a single armament or heavy industry point, nor any vehicle or aircraft factories. The bliztkreig did have an effect on manpower, but our production was unaffected long term. There is a short term effect as these factories come back on line however. Crucially, the production at Leningrad, Kharkov and Moscow was never seriously at risk.

So 1941 was spent retreating to defensible lines, re-organizng the command structure and filling out HQs with support units. I focused especially on AAA, artillery and units that could dig like sappers, engineers and RR construction units. Fortification levels are so important, especially as the Russian in 1941. You need to be able to dig in as quickly as possible to help resist the powerful German units.

When the blizzard hit I launched a counter offensive north of Smolensk that eliminated the salient there and re-took Vitebsk and straightened the line. The stage was set for 1942.

1942

1942 is the birth of Red Army 2.0. A number of important changes occur that help to strengthen the Russian formations. The best of these is the corps structure. The Russian army after 1941 is set up similarly to the German army, but with the corps eliminated as a HQ level. In the German army the descending hierarchy is OKH-Army Group-Army-Corps. in the Russian Army it is Stavka-Front-Army. So in effect, the Russian Army is the equivalent to the German Corps. Except it's not really, and that;s because of the Russian ability to form corps out of their divisions and form a single counter. Three brigades can be combined in to a division. Three divisions can be combined in to a corps. Over time, the Russian player gains these abilities, and cavalry corps are the first to be allowed, and this occurs in December of 1941, just in time for the counter offensive. The reason that corps are so powerful is due to the stacking limit. You can't have more than 3 units of any type in any hex. So by combing divisions in to corps, you are essentially putting 9 divisions in a single hex. By the end of 1942 the Russian has the ability to also form Rifle, Tank and Mechanized Corps. All of this cost admin points, it's not free and takes time.

The Russian player also has the ability to manually build any type of unit for an admin cost. need more tank brigades or fighter squadrons? Just a couple of clicks and they are formed and will fill out depending on pool levels. It's an amazingly flexible system and one that I complained earlier that the German player would benefit from, especially the ability to create new HQs. I didn't even know I could manually build combat units until spring of 1942 when I worked it out. Until then I had only built new support units. Which is fine because I think it worked out well, and meant the summer of 1942 would see a massive expansion of the Red Army.

So we simultaneously launched a general offensive and built a new army. New airfields, and fighter and bomber squadrons. New tank brigades and mechanized brigades. Turn after turn these units were built, and combined with arriving reinforcements and the Red Army would be massive by the end of the year. In the South I essentially held in place in 1942. Local attacks, small gains, getting new armies in to the line. In the Center we pushed forward a bit. More of a blunt thing, no chance to run pincers or encirclements really at this point. The German had recovered over the spring, My main operation was an effort to shorten the line to set good jump off points for 1943. The goal was to strike west from a point north of Vitebsk, using the Dauvina river as a southern boundary and heading for Riga. This would cut off any forces that failed to get out of Estonia. And that's what happened. It took a few months, but the German failed to properly recognize the threat and we ended up cutting off nearly a million men. It was a blow from which they would struggle to recover and our first real operational success other than the counteroffensive north of Smolensk during December and January.

The end of 1942 saw us hold a line of Koenigsberg-Orsha-Kiev-Nikolaev. As good as that was, the best thing to come out of 1942 was Red Army 2.0. The corps structure meant we could now put a hell of a lot of combat value in each and every hex along the front. Three Guards Rifle Corps is about 100,000 men. Three German Infantry Divisions is about 45,000 men. This is where the real power of the Russian army comes from. As 1943 opened we held a massive advantage in numbers across the board. 10,000 more tanks,15,000 more aircraft,100,000 more artillery tubes and 4 million more men. With our industry at full tilt the stage was set for massive assault in 1943.

1943

The new Red Army crashed in to the German all along the line with objectives of Lvov in the south, Warsaw in the Center and crossing the Vistula in the north. All were achieved, although Warsaw only in the final week of December. In addition, operations were run to strip Germany of her allies. The Italians left in summer, that's scripted. But Romania surrendered in August and Finland followed the next turn! In just one month, the German lost three of his satellites and their southern front was ready to crumble with the sudden loss of the Italians and Romanians (who it should be noted flipped to our side). The surrender of the Finns freed all of the forces defending the Leningrad region and they were sent south to add weight to the push to Berlin.

The German reacted well and constricted his lines but it meant that by the end of 1943 we had taken Posen, Warsaw, Bucharest, Krakow and Danzig. Of course as we move to the west in these regions, the front becomes narrower, meaning greater and greater concentrations of striking power on both sides per hex. My army is so big that this means large groups of operational reserves that can be railed to any sector, usually to exploit an advance as the German is no longer attacking except to relive pocketed units.

At the end of 1943 my army was complete. A massive force of over 8 million, with 25,000 tanks and 20,000 aircraft and all structure sorted. Armies linked to fronts, each with their attendant air groups, and in place and under command capacities. The stage was set for the assault to the Oder and then Berlin itself. Each hex sports an army. Of course the entire army can;t fit in the front hex, but across the frontage each hex is an army. Three rifle crops in the front hex, with additional corps and divisions along with tanks/mech backing them up with Shock Armies and Tank Armies deployed behind them. So even if the front hex burns all of it;s MP on an attack, the units in the next hex can leapfrog them and take advantage of an enemy dislodgement. And that's how we advance, Bang them back one hex at a time. The Germans don't hold a massive CV advantage like they once did, but they haven't stood still either and those German units have some excellent equipment in them. Still, they are just no longer able to hold us off in in general. The Red wave rolls on

1944



In 1944 I had a few objectives. One was to knock the last remaining German ally out of the war. Hungary still stood by them, so I shifted an entire front, the North Caucasus Front, to an assault through Romania to take Budapest, and with it Hungary surrendered. The Hungarians and the Germans put up a fanatical resistance on this operation and it was difficult but Hungary was out. It's now June of '44 and I have launched an offensive toward Berlin and the leading armor spearheads are within 30 miles of the Oder, and from there 30 more to Berlin. What a massive game.

A few screens.

This was the front at the end of 1943, Warsaw has just fallen. I seem meticulous about keeping a tidy line eh?

[Linked Image]


This is a month later and shows two offensives as well as the operation in Romania/Hungary to capture Budapest and knock Hungary out of the war.

[Linked Image]


And finally, the turn after an armored breakthrough was made in a thrust to Berlin in June of '44. The enemy has placed a ring around it. I will need to feed infantry in to the salient to hold the shoulders before the armor can push on. All of the red counters are Guards units. Units gain this designation through meritorious combat achievements and it increases morale and TOEs and if the entire Army is designated as Guards they gain an increase in command capacity.

[Linked Image]



Attached Files december43.jpgjanuaryoffensives.jpgberlin.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 01/10/19 08:31 PM.

Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4457022 - 01/12/19 05:52 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
Joined: Jun 2012
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USSCheyenne Offline
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USSCheyenne  Offline
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Warsaw, Poland
Originally Posted by DBond
Curious about the Russian side....

But I still had no clue how to play the Russians. I concluded that was perfect. Being clueless would mirror the state of the high command in June of '41, and as the Stavka did in reality, I would learn as I went smile



Wow, your're turning this game to a cRPG biggrin

As always, really great read!

Last edited by USSCheyenne; 01/12/19 05:52 PM.
#4457125 - 01/13/19 02:20 PM Re: Gary Grigsby's War in the West AND East [Re: DBond]  
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DBond Offline
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DBond  Offline
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NooJoyzee
Haha, thanks.

The Soviet side is quite a challenge. Against a skilled human opponent it would be really difficult. One that is skilled in the ways of the "Panzer Ball" techniques could really do some damage. I managed to hold Rostov, Moscow and Leningrad, but against a good human player I can't see holding more than one of these objectives as the Russian.

Frankly I was amazed to see the massive mobilization that I had been up against as the Germans smile


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