Europe Test by pterrok

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Europe Test by pterrok

Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:15 am

I have a fairly minimal system: 384 MB RAM and a 750 MHz processor. This leads to long load times, a minute from the time I press End turn until the next turn comes up and 15 SECONDS for the Combat advisor to show me odds! I was having a problem on one of two virtually identical systems in loading a saved game, but defragragging the hard-drive allowed me to load saved games on that system! Email games would load on either system, however. In other words, you have to be dedicated to run this beast on an older computer--but it's worth it!

I started this to see how it played out and if there were any obvious things that might need to be tweaked right off the bat. Rob could see it but not the Lord Chaos, so this'll be his first look at what I've done to his baby! :lol:

I think the first two turns only serve to see how badly the Axis can roll (i.e. how many hits he can manage to take on himself) AND how aggressive he is at moving up and encircling the Soviets. For example, I see that Rob has actually woken some units by moving NEXT to them when I would have just stayed a hex away and let them sleep and encircle and kill them next turn! So Manny got to move them away to fight another day--how would this affect the opening?


Here's my Turn 1 opening which aggressively abuses the alert radius of 1. (I DID accidentally waken a stack of two unit down south, though.) If historically NONE of the Soviet units that start surprised survived then you can duplicate that feat. Everything from Minsk north will be killed and or completely surrounded to be dispatched on Turn 2 or Turn 3. Even if an arty sits in a hex by itself to complete the circle, the Soviet won't be able to attack it.

Down south the Kiev & Cherkasy units will have a chance to get away in their turn 2 (though a very, VERY aggresive Axis may be able to surround one of them) but the Soviet may want to sacrifice themselves and entrench the engineer in Kiev to hold up the Axis advance...

And down south also shows the other way the huge speed of some of the Axis arty units leads to an unrealistic land grab...


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(And I still have three Interdictions to place somewhere!)

I ended up placing another interdiction by Odessa and one in the desert. Speaking of which the Italians managed to get a couple of hits on the Unit in Tobruk and the Axis units hold the line against the British on the front.

For the Soviet Turn 1 the three units in the southern pocket that could use rail movement escaped and the other active unit down there got into Odessa. Up north there was a withdrawal into the forts north of Leningrad to thwart the Finns. The Brits stood pat in the desert.
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:16 am

Turn 2

The Axis assault continues unabated! To the north everything but Riga is taken, but that is pocketed and will be taken on Turn 3 with no fear of an attack by the forces trapped inside.

The south saw a Carpet Bombing large-odds attack on Kiev which succeeded in driving the single surviving defender out. Even though only ARTY could manage to get into the city for the Axis it should be safe as the Soviets don't have much in the way of attack factors or steps there to force the issue on a counterattack.

Cherkasy had to be left unencircled to make the Kiev attack happen--should the Soviets stand and force an assault or flee to keep some bodies to form a line later? After all, the Soviets have lost 110 units without being able to do a single thing about it!

I continue to be aggressive all the way down south--since Odessa and the city to the East both fell I wanted to grab as much rail-lines as possible to be able to rush troops there ASAP. Stalingrad is still a LONG way away! So the lead elements may be subject to attack and death, but any attacking Soviets might then be wiped out in turn.

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All the pockets of Soviet resistance that wake this turn pose a conundrum. They can stand and hold up the Axis advance on the roads OR they can pull back. The Axis IS running on fumes after two turns of max extended movement, so standing will let the Axis gather fuel while he reduces the hard-points. Which gains the Soviets some time but loses him more bodies. This is a place where I'll have to run two different types of turns and see which works best. (Note that East of Cherkasy you can see two of the units which used rail movement to escape the Odessa pocket.)

I still need to place all the interdictions and I DID start taking replacements. I lost a LOT of steps on some Urban assaults over these last two turns...

In the desert the Italians got a retreat on the Tobruk defender, and having left a hole open for it to retreat towards the Germans on the front line, the Germans were able to move back and finish it off and then get back into defensive position!

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Finally, the Finns! Rob changed some map data when I showed him that some water was being treated like woods. But now this makes a narrower opening to get to Leningrad. This may be good or bad, but it leaves an awful lot of Finns to come around from the other side:

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I actually have over-defended my two hexes next to the forts--I have THREE Finns in each when I should probably only have TWO. So I'll be looking to get them out of there. (I need to pull out The Russian Campaign or The Russian Front to see what happened around that area.)

So far I've basically left all the other forces not on the front line alone. I DID move a couple up by rail this turn, and more will move when there is a longer rail-line.

I wonder if I should move the two units off the Danish islands? Since there are no points if the Allies take them it would be a couple of warm bodies for me to use elsewhere. But I'll leave them as a garrison simply because they probably WERE stuck there for a lot of the war, right?
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:21 am

Here was where a house-rule about Finland popped up that I had no idea existed! So there was some internal dicussion about the Finns and how they should be handled via house-rules. Manny posted this link:

http://hkkk.fi/~yrjola/war/finland/summary.html

To suuport his idea that they should not be allowed to attack Leningrad. However, I checked and the board games from Avalon Hill allowed the Finns much greater scope of action.

Third Reich allows them to move the farthest away from their country--down to Vologda! Both the Russian Campaign and The Russian Front basically say that the northern penninsula is fair game and down to the Svir river between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega is basically the southern limit, and both allow attacks on Leningrad.

I urge a less restrictive ruling on the Finnish activities--how does the general playing audience here feel?

We can SAY that these are house rules and you can play a game vs anyone with any rules you want to adopt, but I think the more standardized the house-rules package becomes the better off we'll be. So add your two cents about Finland here or there or somewhere! :lol:
Last edited by pterrok on Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:21 am

Allied Turn 2

OK, here's where the Soviets TRY to defend up at the front. I've got a bad feeling about this, but it's also my natural inclination...

Down south they could and did get a 10-1 overrun on the farthest Axis unit and then pulled back to blow the bridge and make a bit of a line.

The Kiev forces were well and truly screwed--they could get a 6-1 on the Cavalry outside the city but it wasn't worth it--so the Engineer entrenches and hopes to put some hits on the enemy as they die next turn.

The line from Mogilev to Velikye Luki is WEAK, but it's a line. We'll see if this helps at all. The cities with the strongpoints can be made overrun proof when the Axis doesn't have enough hexsides AND where you have enough defense factors since there is that 255 afttack factor limit.

Pskov settles in to get encircled and killed but tries to buy some time. This is mainly to keep the railnet out of Axis hands.

Image


In the desert the max attack the Brits could get was a 3-1 so they eschewed that...

This turn is when the Infantry left Dover and headed by ship to the med.
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:22 am

Axis Turn 3

OK, the guys are running on fumes and now the big thing is to go in and note the BOP and RMC that each unit gets so that as you move them up you can build fuel reserves back. Basically, most Infantry get 12 BOP and 6 RMC, so move 18 of 20 when they are full and you want to maintain that state, and move 12 when you want to go forward but build some reserves back.

That said, there was still enough gas in the tanks to see the following:

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Unfortunately, there were not enough Axis units which could move to the various places to take advantage of ALL the overruns, so I had to pick and choose what attacks to make.

The most important one, I felt, was the unknown up at Pskov--it is a rail-net junction and so is critical to the Axis advance. Moving up to reveal it showed I could get an overrun on the fort but even through the CRT says that these forts have no shift modifier, they do come in with a -1. What this means is that after the fort is gone you can't get an overrun on the city since there is that 255 Attack factor limit!

But, 10-1 Urban attacks have a 2/3 chance of forcing a retreat, so I leave a hex open to the west, move up some arty and the defenders are forced out back towards my slow infantry. Now the Soviets can be overrun and are dispatched. This will be a basic tactic--the 10-1 and force to retreat from a city. Note that this IS bloody for the attacker, but the Axis needs to MOVE right now and can't wait around to seige--this is blitzkrieg!

In a similar vein Mogilev is taken, but I had to leave an escape hex to the SE since no-one had enough fuel to cover it. However, I damaged the defenders enough that a follow-up killed them both.

The next most important objective here is Velikye Luki--another rail-net. Lack of attacking bodies means I can't really pop the fort AND force him out, so I settle for the overrun on the unit to the south and popping the fort. As I bonus I make the hole a little bigger and interdict here. (Vitebsk is mostly unimportant since it doesn't really connect to anything, so by taking the ends I can flank him and/or force him to retreat anyway.)

I cleaned up everything to the south except Gomel which I encircle to ensure they DON'T escape to fight again another day...

So now it looks like this at the end of Axis Turn 3: (Note how I STILL use units fast units with fuel--i.e. arty!--to grab land in the north and center)

Image

The Soviets have lost 125 units--what will save them now is that the Axis can't advance to attack them anymore! If they drop back 3 clear hexes they can be safe from the exhausted Axis Infantry EXCEPT those that have moved up by rail or managed to hang on to some fuel reserves...

The rail-net is the really cool feature of this game--you get 9 trains to use each turn for the Germans, and you need to use them to:

1) Move the Luftwaffe up to provide defensive coverage over a large area,
2) Move some supply trucks up--winter is coming!
3) Move fresh troops up with full fuel tanks to continue the assault

It makes you really think about what to use them for! I moved up a supply truck and a Luftwaffe to the south and for the rest moved up some fresh armor and infantry in the north and the south.

The north especially is wide open what with the last gasp of the AA unit grabbing land to make it easier for the Axis to push forward on turn 4--what can the Soviets get in front of them?

Unremarked is that the Finns pulled back a la a possible house-rule but they did knock a step off the center fort in the Leningrad line. I was surprised to see that it wasn't self-repairing. Should it be?

Pushed the Brits back out of a desert hex but am concentrating more on the Soviet atttack--Manny can show us what the Brits can do if the Axis is asleep down there!
Last edited by pterrok on Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:23 am

Allies Turn 3

The Combat Advisor shows nothing really exciting on the Soviet front--the few question marks which may have been really good down south would lead to moving forces too far foward. So discretion being the better part of valor and all that, they form a line far enough away to be almost attack proof.

They had to use all nine trains to get anything in front of Leningrad. The defenders in Velikye Luki can't get away, but move out to cause the Axis to make two attacks since doing so still keeps the railhead out of Axis hands.

About the rails, hit F10 to see where they are--I was thinking ALL the roads were also rails--almost but not quite true! :lol:

With the steady stream of units coming in until spring, the Soviet line can move back a couple hexes a turn while getting reinforced until each hex is at least two units deep. We'll see if this is enough to stop the Axis juggernaut!

Image

The Brits take a 6-1 in the desert to force the Axis back--not doing maneuvering, just slugging it out here! :lol:

The unit at sea is surprised to find that he can't go through the Med to get to the Suez Canal--so he heads down the West edge of the map-board to represent going around Africa. He'll get to Seuz in 3 or 4 turns!
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Postby Bertram » Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:43 am

Not to hijack your posts, but....


How do you feel about the opening turns of the Germans? Playing the other Russian Front games I have (Russian Front (AH), RGW (Schwerpunkt), and the Barbarossa TOAW2 scenario) and reading about the operation I got the impression of local breakthroughs and encirclements, with the heavy divisions doing the braking, and the infantry doing the mopping up.

In this scenario I just blew away the Russian front units. Before moving anything all the units in contact (which was about the whole front) were destroyed by overrun attacks. Only after that I started moving and surrounding the (few) remaining units. I does feel very different from the other games... (I won't say wrong... I wasn't there.. just odd).
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:34 am

See, my problem is I'm a game-player more than a military historian! If the opening attack is too brutal, well, what's more important is how far the Axis can get and by when, right? (It's because it has to fit the limitations of this game engine.)

So see how far I got in three turns instead of one--is that a reasonable advance or too slow or too fast? The Axis are going to be very slow from now on and the Soviet resistance will be stiffening making it even slower--how far will the Axis get before winter and will that be about the right pace?

Of course it'll be affected since I KNOW that the winter is coming and will prepare for it better than the Axis did historically--I'll be making sure to move some supply trucks up via rail a couple of turns BEFORE winter so they'll have some time to move off the rail into places where they can supply the troops.

But I'll have to play a few more turns to see what happens when the lines meet in earnest--if the Axis can break the Soviets before winter or if the Soviets can hold and then come roaring back!
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:49 am

Axis Turn 4

Well, THAT was almost a complete miscalculation by the Allies! Go back and look how far back I formed the line to try and save them from being attacked, and now see what the Axis saw when he moved some units up:

Image

The Axis Armor and Motorized units are what can carry this off. The same sort of thing is seen in the center and up north, but not ALL the way up north where the line in front of Stalingrad, at least, can hold and gain back their steps.

After the overruns are done, the arty moves up and the units in place take their 10-1s on the defenders they are next to, dealing out even more damage to the Soviets...

The Axis infantry is gaining back fuel by moving up at only 12 OPs a turn and will be able to form the line when winter comes...

The question is, how far back do the Soviets try and form this turn, given this state of their line?

Image


--Edit--
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that although only--ONLY--7 more Soviets were killed, a bunch more were crippled. Bringing the total to 142 dead. The fort in the center above Leningrad was popped and the African front was quiet.
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Postby iBaLkiD » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:21 am

Great post. Just trying to get a grasp of this uber campaign. This definately helps. More please!
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:24 am

Allies Turn 4

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

So the Allies try once more to run away but there are a couple places where I had to leave things a bit close. Like up by Leningrad--I'm making a bit of defense up there, even though it cannot be held if the Axis decides he wants it since it will be taken on a 2/3 R roll. Maybe there needs to be a political unit there, or else a stronger, new type of fort with good auto-repair sitting on the city?

Used up all 9 Infantry replacements--the Soivets sure will need these throughout the game!

A bit of a mistake occured when I just found out that unlike their Axis counterparts, the Red Air Force does NOT get to use rail movement! (OOB Mistake?) So some fly-boys are stuck outside to the west of Rzhev due to the Axis interdiction--I move to cover them for the one turn before they'll be abandoned. Sigh.

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Postby Sgt. Pepper » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:30 am

Great demo so far, lots of good tips!

The south saw a Carpet Bombing large-odds attack on Kiev which succeeded in driving the single surviving defender out.


Err, don't the house rules ban their use in N. Africa & the Eastern front? Of course that raises the question -- what can you do with them at this stage of the war?
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Postby pterrok » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:37 am

iBaLkiD, this is my first time playing this scenario, so there could be much I'm overlooking, too! And I'm going to just start ignoring everything but the Russian Front--I'll leave the other Axis garrisons and Central reserves so it won't be like I'm stripping the rest of the map to get more attackers out east--to see how far I can get before Winter.

In addition, I think what Rob just released is different than what I have, so I'll go a little longer with this one if there seems to be major changes that might have affected how fast the Axis can get out of the starting blocks.

Sgt. Pepper, I'll have to go check, but I started playing without knowing any of the house rules :lol: , but I think you can ONLY use the carpet bombing on the Russian front, and Kiev seems to be fair game if so. i.e. you can't use them in Finland or Africa. Otherwise they should be removed from Turns 1 & 2 since there isn't anything else to attack, like you note! :P


(Note to Lord Chaos/Robjess, since I took Kiev on Turn 2, it's been sitting there showing a Soviet Militia unit about to come in +1 turns. That reinforcement should be routed to go elsewhere when it's closed down, since there is also an AXIS unit slated to come in there a lot later. I'm wondering if that Axis unit can come in when the time comes if the Soviet unit is still not on.)
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Postby Robjess » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:55 am

You need to remember the scale that this game is being played out at. Each hex is 20km or so.. alot can happen in one hex. So you need to assume that alot of micro fighting is also occruing - at a lower level - so even then it looks like on Turn 1 the Russians simply fall apart - the Germans can take some losses and in my game against Manny as the Germans I did lose two units in the first few turns.

Also in terms of encirclements etc.. again remember the scale, many of these encirclements and cutting units off are occuring at a lower level which isnt being reflected in this scale.

Having said that - yes we do value and listen to the feedback so keep it coming..
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:17 am

RE: Finnish troops

Any pair of players can choose their own rules that apply to their game.

I am against using house rules for tournaments. The reason is that you can forget something and make an accidental move, which could have a major effect on the game.

Finnish troops ought to trace supply from, Helsinki and from no other source. That gives an automatic restriction on their movement.
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