Soviet strategy by the numbers

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Soviet strategy by the numbers

Postby Tempest » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:28 pm

Below are some handy numbers for the beginning Soviet to know when mulling over tactics:

11: The most number of times a typical Soviet arty can fire in the 20 turn game. Soviet HQs do not give out arty attack bullets as part of normal supply, and arty must refit to regain ammo. Blazing away every turn is not an option; it pays to generally limit attacks to clear terrain and a higher value target (a potential counterattack hex, a 1-step unit, armor, or a regiment without innate replacement steps). Another reason for prudence is the Soviet transition from 1 arty attack per hex limit to 2 arty attacks on turn 11; it's easy to not take much advantage of this bonus for widespread arty ammo depletion.

9 or 10: The number of hexes Axis mobile units can move through uncontested enemy controlled hexes a turn. This is handy in visualizing how far the Axis can move in the coming turn if the Soviet offers no resistance with a defense line. The easternmost objective cities are 70 hexes away from where the Axis will be at the end of turn 1 and there are 19 turns to go, so holding the Axis to at most an average 4 hex advance is in order.

6: The Soviet area of OPs variant to set up at game start and play the first few times as the Soviets. It is easy to muck up your HQ placement to maintain subordinate unit command range, and front line units that go out of command are generally bagged. This variant increases Soviet HQ command range/supply, and is recommended while the Soviet gets the hang of painless movement/placement of HQs.

3: The number of Soviet T-34 units. These jewels have a +3 shock rating and a 50/50 to hit with armor attack. Keep track of where they are and their attack supply state, and keep them out of the front line if possible so they have good movement for counterattacks. I learned early that Roger considered them a high priority target, so ensure they're well protected if in the front line.

2: The number of tactical shift hexes the Axis needs for a +3 combat odds shift. The odds shift for 1 tactical shift hex is only 1, so denying the Axis the second hex makes him compensate for the loss of the 2 extra combat odds shift by adding twice the defenders defense strength in attack strength. The Russian can, with careful placement of detachments, generally limit the Axis to the 1 tactical shift hex up and down the front line.

4-1: The base Axis combat odds shift. The Axis mobile formations have a +4 shift, there is usually an elite unit in the combat for a +1 shift, and the Soviets will generally be dug in for a -1, or 4+1-1=4. Since the only other mechanism to increase the odds are tactical shifts for adjacent hexes or added attack strength, denying the Axis tactical shifts (defending behind rivers or detachments) forces him to compensate with significantly more attack strength to get to 8-1 (the minimum odds the Axis is generally willing to attack at) on the Combat Results Table (CRT). See 2 above.

5-1: The sweet spot for Soviet counterattacks. 5-1 on the CRT has a 50/50 of inflicting 2 step losses and only a 50/50 of a retreat (lack of a retreat is generally a good thing, as the defending hex is still accessible for bringing up more units for a second attack). With an armor or two in the attack and their chance of additional hits, even a 4 or 5 step Axis stack is vulnerable to a double attack, and the Soviets can generally achieve 5-1 with favorable tactical shifts.

6-1: The ratio of victory points (VP) awarded for killed Axis units vs Soviet units. Although the total Soviet step loss required needs to be considered (it is doable but a siren's song to kill Axis units through low odds attrition attacks due to the considerable Soviet step losses incurred; the Soviet Army just seems to melt away), that's an attractive exchange rate for deciding to trade Soviet units for Axis. The Soviets labor under a similiar imperative to rack up VPs through Axis losses as the Axis does to take objective cities in a timely fashion.

All: Use the "Entrench All" feature new to ATD2. Never dig in a unit during the movement phase, as that uses up its action ability for the turn. This enables you to change your mind after initially moving it and do something different with it (move again, attack, take replacement). Use the F7 key to see that all your front line hexes are eligible to dig in (another new ATD2 feature), and make the "Refit all units" button selection (which also Entrenches All if set) the last thing to do in a turn.
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Postby Strax » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:35 am

Very interesting..thanks
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