Kharkov

Discussion relating to Battles in Italy

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Postby Leo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:40 am

Hey JVS,

you are correct the rail transport is not working.
I've tried to tweak it as much as i know how. but its not working for me either!! That with the unit being able to take a Train transport and the unit actually being on a rail line

JSS - any suggestions?

thanks
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Postby JSS » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:31 am

Leo,

Sent you an email.

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Kharkov - feedback

Postby mcperis » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:44 pm

Leo,

Thought you might appreciate some feedback on what is a most excellent scenario. This one may even pip Rom MOB as my favourite. Thanks very much.

I am currently PBEM playing as axis, and am on turn 32.

The axis still control the following objectives;
- Voroshilovgrad (surrounded)
- Stalino (strongly defended)
- Yama
- Barovenko
- Lozovaya
- Kharkov (but Ivan is hammering at the door)

The KIA's are axis 89/1080 vs. ruski 20/124

My opponent is winning by 2317 points and scheduled to win by 2018.

After Kharkov goes (which it will do in the next couple of turns)..I will be pushed slowly back to the map edge for the remaining 15 or so turns. There will be no opportunity for any axis counter. The weight, strength, and maneuverability of the russians is too immense and the axis cupboard is bare!

My opponent has played well but by defending and holding the above towns for so long I was wondering if the points shldnt be closer?... perhaps I have lost too many lads in the defence?...

Anyway...thought you might appreciate some feedback. Thanks again for all your efforts... mcperis
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Postby BossGnome » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:19 pm

well, just a few comments on the scenario. It's very fun. In fact, it is probably my favourite scenario so far. I was (in passing), also wondering where I might be able to get some good documentation on this battle.

In terms of gameplay, I'd be interested to see how the game works with the railroad transport fixed. I believe if that issue was dealt with, the scenario would be a lot more balanced, as now it seems tilted towards the soviet side.

An issue I would like to point out lies with the ridiculous point value of most strongpoints. At 5 point per strongpoint (10 or 20 for some), as Germans at turn 22 I am making almost half of my vps blowing up soviet strongpoints in the south with fort-blowing artillery. With two guns firing each turn, this yields me 20 extra vps per turn. Had I 4, 40. Doesn't this seem completely bizarre to you?

Also, what is up with the town of (I believe) Kamenka, on the railroad close to Izum. Why is its point value so high? This forces the German player to commit significant forces to protect this relatively insignificant town for a sizeable period of time, until the end of the game, if possible. Why is that? Is there a historical reason for this? If so, what is it?

Answers much appreciated,

thanks!
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Postby Bertram » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:15 pm

I think you can play this scenario in very different ways (that is why it is so great!). It will be difficult to balance the points for that.

In my game against BosGnome the Axis defended strongly from the start. We are at the major river now in turn 22.... slow going for the Soviets. BUT the Germans lost 63 units, against the Russians 54. As a result I maaged to find a place where I could cross the river. And we are both losing lots of steps there now...
How it will turn out? I really dont know. Both sides are getting low on steps in the remaining units, the Russians have more units left, the Germans get more reinforcements...

In my (mirror) against Alexandra as Germans he dropped back much faster We are at the river at turn 12. He lost 20 units, (mostly secondary ones), I lost a few. The river is uncrossable so the fight goes north and south.

As German defender I choose the middle way, defeding stronger, but falling back when pressed. None the less, we are also at the river at turn 12... I lost a 20 units (but more of them front line troops), he lost about the same number.

I think the Soviets should be able to advance further, but they are hampered, especially in the south, by the lack of railroad supply. As it is, I suspect that the Germans will be able to come back stong when the reinforcements poor in.
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Postby Gen Alexandra » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:47 am

I agree with Bertram on everything he says.

A central push by the Russians is delayed enough by the Axis Forces and Minefields, which results in all the simple River Crossings are covered. When the Russians arrive with enough Infantary they are picked off quite quickly.

In the North any push by the Russians stalls due to Supply Problems and weather.

In the south, its Supply Problems and pushing the Axis off the River Banks.

I have to admit defeat on the best way of playing the Russians, except to try all three tactics at once.

And for that reason I love the senario!!!

My only crit, is the abilty to use ART units to stop the Russians Crossing the River.
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Postby Bertram » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:21 am

My only crit, is the abilty to use ART units to stop the Russians Crossing the River.


Gamey isnt it? :)

It has risks though, if there is an empty hex beside the arty unit (or any other non-combat unit denying a hex across the river) infantry, especially guard infantry, CAN cross, and it wont have any trouble wiping out the non-combat unit.
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Postby BossGnome » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:35 am

... and that's exactly what happened to me. I THOUGHT I had all of the crossings covered, and decided to place an arty unit to stop a crossing point. Well, combat engineers crossed and opened the way to make a bridgehead. There went my plan.

I also agree mostly with bertram, but disagree with a few things he said also.

First: Should the soviets make a strong push Valiuki, there is little the germans can do to stop them, at least in the early turns. I did this myself as soviets and managed to take the city by turn 4. Bertram, in our game, had you attacked towards valiuki at all for the first 10 or so turns, my troops could not have stood up to yours, especially those crazy guard tanks. With Valiuki taken early on, the push from the north and east can create difficulties for the defenders of Zakharovka. Although I do agree that it is very hard to push the axis out of the river banks, I believe Zakharovka can be taken by turn 15 or so. In my opinion, the north is where the soviets are strongest. Yes, supply problems do hamper operations, but then again the germans also have supply problems that are as bad (if not worse) than the soviets's.

Second: The south. For the first few turns as Soviet (while there is still substantial air support availible), I think it is crucial to make every possible push towards Pervomalsk. Should that town be taken, the only stable line of defense remaining for the nazis is the Stalino-Yama line. And notice this: the town of Artemovsk is on the SOVIET side of the river. Major points for the Russian if he can take this by turn 15-20. If Pervomalsk goes, then Voroshilovgrad becomes much harder to hold, resulting in an easier time taking that city too.

Third: I find the center the least important battlezone. Although that is where (assuming the player doesnt radically move troops) the Soviets have the strongest presence, it is also where there is the least points to be gained. A very very important exception is the town of Kamenka, which I think should be a first priority for the soviet player. That town is MAJOR vps.

Overall, I found that the more careful and passive the soviets are, the more time the germans have to get reinforcements to the front and prepare their defenses. In my game against Bertram I found a few times that suicidal attacks by recon units that sneaked behind the front lines worked surprisingly well.

I am also curious as to where the scenario designer intended the russian troops to enter Kharkov FROM. The north? The center? In any case, the VP layout doesnt seem to permit the german player from letting the soviets advance all the way into the city without losing...
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Postby BossGnome » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:39 am

ps: Bertram, in our game, the Soviets lost 65 units to the germans' 53.
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Postby Noakesy » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:58 pm

Gen Alexandra wrote:My only crit, is the abilty to use ART units to stop the Russians Crossing the River. :x


Shows how well I know the rules, I hadn't even thought of that and I have 3 games going as axis. This would actually infuriate me, it happened in a game to me recently but it didn't influence the overall result so I wasn't that fussed. However, SSG can only do so many things to stop gamey play, to a degree it will be down to the ethics/morals of the individuals playing I guess?
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Postby Strax » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:22 pm

Noakesy wrote:
Gen Alexandra wrote:My only crit, is the abilty to use ART units to stop the Russians Crossing the River. :x


Shows how well I know the rules, I hadn't even thought of that and I have 3 games going as axis. This would actually infuriate me, it happened in a game to me recently but it didn't influence the overall result so I wasn't that fussed. However, SSG can only do so many things to stop gamey play, to a degree it will be down to the ethics/morals of the individuals playing I guess?



I won't expect to see you doing it then when I eventually get to the river.
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Postby Noakesy » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:09 pm

Strax wrote:
Noakesy wrote:
Gen Alexandra wrote:My only crit, is the abilty to use ART units to stop the Russians Crossing the River. :x


Shows how well I know the rules, I hadn't even thought of that and I have 3 games going as axis. This would actually infuriate me...


I won't expect to see you doing it then when I eventually get to the river.


I would have thought that recon unit would have seen the batteries upon batteries of guns sitting opposite you all next to rivers in 1 step bunkers :lol: :wink:
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Postby Bertram » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:25 am

I don't know, I think an artillery battery, maybe depending on type, could very wel deny an infantry regiment the crossing of a major river. If not with direct fire then with some observers and indirect fire.

The problem seems to be more that you cant use counter battery fire on that artillery unit. This of course goes for all non-combat units that can deny a major river crossing. Even a supply unit stops (major)river crossings.. Again, the denying of the crossing isnt a problem, a few guys with machine guns could do that, be they cooks or truck drivers. The invulnarability of the unit from supporting fire is.
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Postby Gen Alexandra » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:16 am

That is the problem in one...

What needs to be done (if possible) is for Infantry to be able to assault over a major river against NON COMBATIVE units. Even then history records that the Russians lost many lives against well defended positions crossing to the Seelow heights and across the Spree.

Perhaps a way could be found (at vastly reduced odds) for Infantry to be able to assault across major river crossings ?

Mechanised Units of course will need the bridging Units to construct a bridge first before being able to cross.

This is BiI not Battlefront, so counter battery operations are never going to input into the mechanics.

Couple with the change for river crossing the ability to throw in an Air Strike and think you will improve the game overnight, as it is it is still a great senario, but limited to the North and South for action once the Axis side block the crossing banks in the centre.
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Postby JSS » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:01 pm

Gen Alexandra wrote:
What needs to be done (if possible) is for Infantry to be able to assault over a major river against NON COMBATIVE units. Even then history records that the Russians lost many lives against well defended positions crossing to the Seelow heights and across the Spree.

Perhaps a way could be found (at vastly reduced odds) for Infantry to be able to assault across major river crossings ?



The best that could be done here is to introduce a new terrain type in the editor (say... Dnepr bank or bridgehead). In the editor, you could then make the odds necessary for any combat be something like 5-1 or 6-1. You would also have to enable attacks across major rivers. Throw in a hex modifer of say -3 and this might work.
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