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"Another one" - Plaid vs Morris

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:57 am
by Plaid
I decided to take part in newest GS beta testing and play a game vs Morris, who say that axis can't win.
From my experience axis can win, and even more likely to do it, then allies. Also I think that most crucial decisions, which alter game outcome, are also made by axis player. So it will be interesting to see, what rabbits Morris have in his hat, if he is so sure that axis collapse early 1944 with no chance.
Probably we will really find balance flaw over here, so don't blame me for losing too much :)

I see Morris already running a game vs Supermax, so probably it will be interesting to show you very different approach to axis gameplay - more concervative and safe, lets call it.

I will try to serve the most "plain" and "surestrike" axis strategies with minimal risk, which I know.

Here is pretty traditional 1st turn - Poland invaded with all possible german troops.


Also 1st lab built and Rundstedt HQ assigned to help a bit in Poland.
Though no attacks are made against Warsaw, polish army disorganised and defeated with minimal casualties. Very few units will be able to stand at Warsaw next turn or perform any sort of counterstrike.

I am going for sietzkrieg since I don't want to mess with allies without morale loss on the west - its major pain, especially for luftwaffe - fighters degrade pretty fast.

So even if Warsaw somehow holds on next turn, we will just capture it on turn 3, no hurry.

Last to add, when I got a bit worse results with this strategy, I rail armeekorps or 2 from west to Koenigsberg on turn 1, to help me on attack on Warsaw from the north. This time it seems unneeded and units will stand still.

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:21 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
One thing to remember is that any game can have "flaws" regarding game balance against specific strategies. E. g. the Russian armor blob some time ago or the later German armor or mech blob. The British garrison blob in France is another example.

So the main goal is to make the game balanced against pretty normal play. If a player has found a strategy that exploits weaknesses in the game engine then it's better to plug that hole instead of changing the entire game balance because that might disrupt the game balance for "normal" games.

Regardless of game balance I think the skill of the player will be the most decisive factor. If the players are evenly matched THEN bias in the game balance can tilt in favor of one of them, but so can luck with combat results and weather too.

My experience was that GS v1.0 was a bit biased in favor of the Allies. GS v2.00 seemed to be a bit biased in favor of the Axis. With GS v2.01.19 we hope that we've moved the tilt slightly towards the center again. With all my games with GS v2.0 until now I've see that the Allies struggle severely in Russia in 1942 and see the Germans get to the Caucasus and take Leningrad, Stalingrad and sometimes even Moscow. I've both done that to my Allied opponents and been the victim of it. So I think with normal play the Russians struggled in GS v2.0.

The latest changes about linking Holland/Belgium and Denmark/Norway seem to not disrupt the fall time of Paris. The average is about 1 turn later than before. The biggest change is the +1 to war effort increase each quarter and +10 extra war effort when joining the war. That means USA and Russia will get up to max war effort slightly faster and can maybe build and extra lab prior to joining. The change about letting the southern convoy go to USA instead of UK after USA joins the Allies won't affect game balance except making the US stronger at the expense of UK. I believe the effect will be very minor.

If Morris claims that the Axis have no chance to win with GS v2.01.19 then it means he must have some ace up his sleeve as the Allies that the rest of us have failed to see. So this AAR and the one between Supermax and Morris are interesting because we might finally see how you can ensure an Allied victory against elite Axis players.

We shouldn't make any conclusions just yet. We hope to release GS v2.1 (new official version containing all beta updates) to the public late August or early September. It all depends on the schedule Slitherine has for making the new installer.

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:52 pm
by Blunder
Thanks a lot for providing another AAR ! I am really looking forward to see how this and the Supermax-Morris match are going to turn out.

One question: What is the recon mission of the German STR about?

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:09 pm
by Plaid
Blunder wrote: One question: What is the recon mission of the German STR about?
I wanted to see this polish garrison near Visla river (northern Poland).
When it is unseen nearest german corps tend to bump into this unit when ordered to move.

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:16 pm
by Plaid
Poles launched desperate counterattacks, but as expected only infantry corps suffered some damage, nothing serious.


I am happy to see polish fighter used to block Warsaw instead of being used vs luftwaffe. It will be easily overrun by panzer formations with no harm to us.

As expected Warsaw falls with minimal casualties:


Now I have lots of time to properly prepare western campaign. In next post I will share some logistic information about redeploying wehrmacht to the west.
Unlike our friend Supermax, who trust in agressive maneur and daring unexpected operations, I believe that saving every single german soldier and PP until the "decicive battle" is the way to go. If done properly, superiour quality german troops will have upper hand in "decicive battle" somewhen '42-'43 and allies will have no chance to be in axis capitals in time.

Anyway, research outlook and first axis units railed west :


At the end of my turn I got a message, that iron ore can't be intredicted before march 1940. It means that RN already roams near Norway, i guess.

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:46 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
Because of the changes to Holland / Belgium so they're now linked I prefer to build 2 more fighter units so I have 4 available for Case Yellow. This allows to rebase or repair some while others attack or escort. Before you could get away with just having 3 fighters because the initial attack on Belgium from Holland could strike across the Schelde river and into Lille. Now the air units have to start within Germany and then you won't have air range into western France unless you have 4 fighters and rebase 2-3 on turn 1 of Case Yellow.

I like to build an extra tactical bomber as well.

It will be interesting to see how you attack France. The weather in 1940 can decide a lot.

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:57 pm
by Plaid
For now plan is to build 4th lab (armour) and then built FTR -> TAC -> TAC -> FTR.
I will count PPs next turn to see, how possible is it.

From my experience infantry army with heavy TAC support is very good solution for Germany.
Going heavy on panzer units have more negative then positive effect (they are good only in clear terrain and suffer hard from bad weather, exposed to TAC units, also they burn tons of oil all the time - no matter how effective are their maneurs (1 hex in severe winter snow fields will still burn 5 oil like no problem), they are bad on defence afterall).

Mech units are a bit overpriced for their combat effectiveness both in PP and oil. They can be good used to capture key city, but I find mech mass production not good solution - they cant breach serious river defences (like panzers can) and they suffer from movement penalties.

I find out that tanks and mechs are great at very first phase of Barbarossa, when you chase running soviets near borders and infantry lack speed needed for it. After 2-3 turns they will have much less use since only availiable enemy would be garrisons dug in cities. So this units will burn lots of oil for little to achieve.

Another great use of panzer and mech formations can be case Blue launched in Don steppes. But if '42 offencive will be launched in northern forests instead, tanks and mechs will have much less use here.

In late war its literally impossible to operate good with panzers, since they are number one target for allied TACs, which quickly make then unable to fight well.

Army of high tech infantry with TAC support offer maximum mobility and flexibility in close terrain, they are good both on offence and defence, they consume reasonable ammount of fuel and bombers usually dont suffer huge damage to themselves.

I will make few fast moving troops for initial phase of Barbarossa probably, but mostly I will focus bombers (+fighters) and corps units

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:37 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
One problem with not having enough armor / mech units is that if your opponent (mainly the Russians) have many then you need something that can stop them from crushing your infantry. So I feel that armor and mech will often function as second line units later in the war. This way you can punish enemy armor attacks through your lines.

Poland blitzkreig

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:44 am
by Rhialto
"So even if Warsaw somehow holds on next turn, we will just capture it on turn 3, no hurry. "

How many PP do you sacrifice from not holding the Polish towns on turns 2 or even 3 compared to taking Poland on turn 1 as Max did (albeit with some luck)? Is it as much as 8 per turn? If so, this would offset increased cost of replacing losses.

Also, units tied up in Poland are not engaged in taking Holland/Belgium in the precious fair weather turns before winter 1939.

Re: Poland blitzkreig

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:27 am
by Plaid
Rhialto wrote:
How many PP do you sacrifice from not holding the Polish towns on turns 2 or even 3 compared to taking Poland on turn 1 as Max did (albeit with some luck)? Is it as much as 8 per turn? If so, this would offset increased cost of replacing losses.

Also, units tied up in Poland are not engaged in taking Holland/Belgium in the precious fair weather turns before winter 1939.
Chance to take out Poland on turn 1 is low , usually it fails and just expose your forward armour units to counterattacks by untouched polish units. Also when trying to take Warsaw with panzers you will lose expensive armour steps (4.8 PP each).
Poland gives something like 3-4 PP Total (2 german 1 PP cities + 0.5*(4+1) from polish cities).

Early blitzkrieg on the west is not so attractive anymore, since if you will not capture Belgium on the turn when you DoW low countries, allies will suffer no effectiveness penalty at all in france. Together with release of Canadian reserves it is major pain. Also allies will have air superiority with their 3 FTR and carrier, troubling luftwaffe operations.

Game was changed to make realistic spring 1940 case yellow campaign attractive.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:25 am
by Plaid
Allies evacuate garrisons from Maginot line. Don't know why they do it, but corps railed to take the opportunity and surround some forts (remember that forts with 0 production dont provide supply).


Calculated repair price for polish campaigh = 13 corps steps, 1 armour, 2 mech, 1 FTR for total 44.1 PP

Some repairs already complete, while some infantry still await reinforcements.

1st convoy attack this turn - 9 PP sunk.

I am going to track through the whole game, how many damage on different powers inflict my sub warfare and what damage suffer uboats themselves.

Looks like there is no chance to commision 2 TAC and 2 FTR prior to case yellow with current ~70 PP income. Build of 1 TAC will be delayed.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:42 am
by Plaid
This turn weather turns MUD in Europe. But still we were able to exploit hole in Maginot line and capture several forts.

With this hole now we can skip Holland and go straight to Belgium-France...But it will make Holland stronger later, so not so sure about it.


Slow troop redeployment continues to the west at the time.

Also some naval action, as british sub attempted to attack HSF at port and taken good portion of damage from air and naval assets.

At northern atlantic seas become rough and convoys escorted...Probably its time to change hunting area.


Next turn we will be able to order 1st TAC build.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:58 am
by Plaid
Typical seitzkrieg turn - no action at all.


1st TAC bomber in queue now.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:23 pm
by Plaid
Redeploying troops from Poland in progress. We can complete in couple of turns :


Also new built paratroops ready for orders. I don't like using actual paradrop during french campaign, but I will keep the unit around as emergency measure.

At sea my subs spotted convoy escorted by BBs (why? attacking BB is much more attractive, then attacking any convoy). Even more, convoy ran into one of my subs, losing 8 steps ( 17 PP total intercepted so far ).


One of my subs in fact bumped into RN BB and it have chance to be ambushed. If so, we will have reasonable chance to sink it here with 3 subs.

Note low (yellow) readiness of RN - they also suffer from -5 penalty for lack of homeguard.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:27 pm
by leridano
New rules about Belgium/Holland allow now the axis player to carefully plan his operations in western front in spring 1940. So I agree with Borger about building a strong Luftwaffe with 4 fighter units, 3 tacs and 1-2 strats. No matter how many garrisons Morris put in front of you: if you achieved air superiority is only a question of time to reduce those forces.

On the other hand, Morris "gift" (french fortress abandoned) could have more importance than it seems at first sight. You can easily surround the lonely french fortress 4 hexes SW of Frankfurt thus leaving it with no supply so it can be afterwards attacked.

    Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:28 am
    by Plaid
    Naval battle occured in Atlantic, as DD (not BB sadly) ran into my forward sub patrool.


    We were able to almost sink this DD, now it need long and expensive repairs, while we can reinforce subs at sea and continue attacking convoys.

    In Europe preparations continue - only 2 corps left to redeploy from Poland.


    Build of one fighter ordered, and another will be built next turn.

    Italians got their first lab - general (industry).

    Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:49 am
    by Plaid
    Finally troops redeployed for the west.


    I am starting to think about commander for northern portion of my troops, since they are out of Rundstedt's HQ range.

    2nd fighter purchased this turn, while 1st bomber ready and placed on map.

    I also have still only 4/10 labs, probably I should build few more rather then more air units.

    Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:50 am
    by Plaid
    Early fair weather turn allowed us to start campaign on the west right now.


    Sure, there is a chance, that next 1 (or even 2 if thing go really bad) turns will be non-fair and morale loss will be partly wasted, but there is also chance for fair weather, and its opportunity we should not miss.

    Subs sunk 16 step convoy in atlantic (33 intercepted total).

    5th lab (naval - sub) built for Germany this turn.

    Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:46 pm
    by Plaid
    Weather turned winter, but we still achieved something vs depleted french troops.


    Using "forward retreat" feature our units managed to penetrate into French frontline. It will trouble retreat of some french troops seriously.

    RAF fighter scored 1:1 vs my one, despite all morale penalties, by the way.

    2nd air lab built for Germany, uboats repair in sea and wait for new convoys.

    Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:29 pm
    by Blunder
    Looking good!

    I notice three French units with leaders attached. This means he must have bought two additional leaders (unless something has changed).
    This - coupled with the early campaign start and the loss of Lorraine - probably means that he will be short of ground units soon.

    When I defend against Fall Gelb I am always agonising over whether it is best to invest in leaders and/or INF or whether it is better to just churn out GARs.