Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Vokt
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Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Vokt » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:47 pm

Turn 66. March 24, 1943.

Eastern front Axis turn. With heavy air support from Luftwaffe, Axis counterattacks targeted again Red Army spearheads. Several front line Soviet units, Guards included, suffered dearly:

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Eastern front Allies turn. Main Soviet offensive actions were not only focused on Kharkov sector but another offensive has started near Smolensk. In fact, in the latter sector a gap was formed in German lines due to the Soviet advance. In Kharkov, main success was to kill a German HQ mech unit (Manstein):

Smolensk front
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Kharkov front
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Med Axis turn. Axis air units in Italy were again very active bombing the already landed Allied units in Sardinia (Canadian corps which ended rather weakened) and those that are to land (Free French mech which was halved in strength). Air attacks went unescorted which explains the high losses on Italian tacs:

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Med Allies turn. Free French mech unit landed in Sardinia. Heavy Allied air forces bombing of the Italian forces much weakened their defensive capabilities. Island should fall soon into Allies hands:

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Last edited by Vokt on Tue May 23, 2017 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:09 pm

The Axis are running out of units in the east. Retreating back to the Dnepr seems important now. Axis units in the south could be cut-off so they must fall back asap.

It seems like the Axis are doing quite well in the Med, but will struggle soon in Russia. The Russian meat grinder kills too many Axis units every turn.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by duncanr » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:29 pm

It seems like a delayed Barbarossa is a bad idea in 3.2!

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:48 am

It's a bad idea in any version.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Plaid » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:51 pm

Victor allowed me to read and comment his AAR few turns ago, so yes, I can confirm that axis struggle with not enough units in the east (and general PP shortage).

Looks like its bad idea now to hold the line during SW - better to retreat. I don't know either SW effectiveness drop is higher now or winter season is just longer (you can get SW in october, which will last for 5 turns and then like 3-4 turns of normal winter to follow). In older version when I hold the line during 1941-42 winter, PP exchange was at more satisfactory range, many Soviet units ended battered, some were finished off by target counterattacks.

Another major issue is allied strategic bombing campaign. With new fighter ranges bombers go for Ruhr area escorted. It means this place can be reduced to 0 PP as soon as mid 1941, and axis can do few things about it. Even if axis deploy interceptors they will just trage damage with RAF fighters (also unpredictable exchange and require constant repairs) Being denied like 15 PPs and some oil for almost entire game hurts. By mid 1942 with US onboard bomber campaign escalates to Berlin and Hamburg. Now Germany lose huge ammounts of PPs (like 40 per turn).
And if Germans deploy interceptors (which I did not - probably wrong decision) how many fighters can you divert for this mission? Like 3 probably. Not much difference against 6-8 bombers and additional repair bills every turn.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by pk867 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:50 pm

Barbarossa started on the historical turn / date of June 22, 1941. Severe winter started on December 12 turn.

Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Plaid » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:46 pm

pk867 wrote:Barbarossa started on the historical turn / date of June 22, 1941. Severe winter started on December 12 turn.
Its right for first one. Second one started on 4th November though.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:53 pm

When I play the Axis I usually have a healthy fighter force in Germany in 1941 to stop the pesky Allied fighters. These fighters aren't really needed in Russia until late 1941 or Spring 1942. The reason is that the Germans have air superiority in 1941. You just need 2 or so German fighters in the east in 1941. The Axis minor fighters should help keeping the Soviet air force down.

I think the big question should be how Victor managed to get so many air units so early. Strategic bombers and fighters are very expensive. I've never been able to have such an effective strategic campaign so early. I wonder if Victor ignored production of new naval units (CV's, BB's) except some DD's. That could free up some PP's for extra air units. However, the transports from USA would be very vulnerable to wolfpacks.

I've seen Allied players starved of PP's since my German wolfpacks sink a lot of convoys. That means fewer PP's for air units.

The air range is a secondary issue in my opinion. When the air ranges were shorter I still bombed Ruhr, Hamburg and Essen quite early since the strategic bombers had the range.

However, having said that. Playtesting GS v3.20 is done for a reason and it's not a big problem altering the air range bonuses from techs so more ranges arrive later.

Anyone having historical data about when the Allies were able to escort air raids over the Ruhr with fighter units located in England?

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:57 pm

Severe winter can start in November in GS v3.1 also. The chance for severe winter in November is just 20% though.

The changes to the weather in GS v3.20 is quite minor and shouldn't have had much impact on the game result. It seems like the Allies had some luck with the weather in this game, but that can happen in any game regardless of version.

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Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:07 pm

Turn 67. April 13, 1943.

Eastern front. After a little Wehrmacht retreat in Stalino and the subsequent Soviet follow up, positions ended like this:

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Med. No Luftwaffe air strikes this turn. Italian mech was killed in Sardinia. Another Free French unit landed in the island :

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Western front. Allied bombers focused this time on cities providing rail points. This way even Paris was dropped to 0 PP’s and Leipzig was first attacked this turn disabling its 1 point rail capability. Currently, Allied bombings are reducing Germany’s PP’s by 35-40 per turn:

Image

.
Last edited by Vokt on Wed May 24, 2017 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:09 pm

I think the Axis struggle in the east in this game partly because of the late start of Barbarossa (June 22nd instead of May). Any reason why the late date was chosen? It seems that attacking Yugoslavia and Greece late contributed to that choice. That is why I always attack Yugoslavia in August 1940 as soon as the 2nd Vienna Award is signed.

The Axis didn't manage to kill a lot of Russian units in 1942. The Russians withdrew to avoid that. However, the Axis failed to get any objectives from the withdrawal (Stalingrad, Maikop, Grozny etc.) and had to give back the conquered territory in the fall of 1942.

When I play the Axis my number one goal in 1942 is to just kill Russian units. It doesn't matter where they are. If the Russians are foolish enough to make a defense line in the south (lots of clear terrain) then there is where I attack. Otherwise I just start clearing units near Moscow. Russian units in forests can actually be destroyed with 2 land attacks after some airstrikes. Any bulge in the line is a place suitable for attacks.

If the Russians are pushed hard in 1941 they need to build corps and garrison units to plug holes etc. That means fewer armor and air units. In this game I see that the Russians have a healthy air force and quite a few tank units. That means the Russians attacks bite much harder.

We haven't done anything with the economy in GS v3.20 so the Axis struggles shouldn't be because of GS v3.20. Until 1942 it should be the Axis benefitting the most from having increased air ranges.

One change that can have an impact is the changes to the XP awarded. Maybe some of the reason can be found here? The Germans gain a lot less XP early in the game since we lowered the XP gained from attacking garrison units.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:11 pm

Having said this I still feel the Axis have fighting chances in this game. It will be a long time until Italy will surrender and the Axis can fall back in the east and shorten the defense line considerably. If they can avoid a 1943 Overlord the Axis can get to 1945 and maybe even to May.

Actually the front line in Russia isn't that bad compared to the real war front line at the same time. Even the real Germans were shattered in the Spring of 1943 having lost the 6th Army at Stalingrad.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:39 pm

I checked the fighter situation regarding Ruhr. Ruhr is 10 hexes from the nearest hexes in England (2 hexes).

In GS v3.1 the initial fighter range is 6 and increases to 9 with strategic operations tech 1. Then to 11 with strategic operations tech 5. That is quite late.

In GS v3.1 the initial fighter range is 8 and increases to 10 with strategic operations tech 1. Next fighter range increase is at tech 5 as before. So Ruhr is reached quite early.

Maybe we can help with this by swapping strategic operations tech 1 and tech 2. Current tech 2 will only increase some values for strategic bombers while tech 1 increases for fighter, tactical bomber and strategic bomber. With the change Ruhr can't be escorted until the UK gets strategic operations tech 2. That will at least be 1941, maybe even 1942 if they put focus into dogfight.

If you want the fighter range to not be able to escort over Germany as before then you just increase the air range by 1 with tech 1 and increase the increase to 2 with tech 5. Then only Cologne (9 hexes away) is the only German city vulnerable to escorted air attacks until 1943 at least.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by GogTheMild » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:24 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:Anyone having historical data about when the Allies were able to escort air raids over the Ruhr with fighter units located in England?
I will try to dig something out, but during the 'Battle of the Ruhr', March-July 1943, both the RAF and the USAAF were unescorted. That is, unescorted on the final run; which I assume is what you meant. Fighters would escort them to the limit of their range, but that did not extend to the Ruhr. Obviously we are talking real, practical range here: not all fighter bases were right on the coast; it took time and fuel to form up and meet up with the bombers; and there was no point in getting over the Ruhr at the very limit of your range if that meant you had no fuel to spare for a dog fight.

Edit. The best I can find is that 'Big Week', February 1944, was the first major use of long range fighter escorts; but that included targets well to the east of the Ruhr. It would seem that during the winter of 1943-4 the US 'upgraded' its fighters with drop tanks and this resulted in a step change in range. Ie from not quite being able to escort to the Ruhr to being just able to reach Berlin. The RAF had followed suit, at least in significant cases, by early March and the first USAAF attack on Berlin - escorted (a little ineptly) all the way.

I will try to get a more definitive answer re the Ruhr.
Last edited by GogTheMild on Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Cybvep » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:42 pm

Fighter ranges don't really affect the strategic bombing campaign in this game very much. The Ruhr is sth like 7 PPs, that's not the end of the world. No fighters can reach Hannover, Hamburg or Berlin from England. Vokt is using unescorted STRATs for that purpose, but Plaid has no fighters protecting the cities. I think that the main cause of his problems is the Eastern Front. Vokt performed efficient winter campaigns which cost Plaid many PPs.

XP changes affect the Axis, too, because it's no longer possible to gain so much XP on GARs. That was the point, though. Axis units became too strong too fast, especially air units. However, that works both ways, since the Allies cannot gain so much XP by attacking all these GARs in France.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:18 pm

That is true. So maybe air ranges aren't that bad after all. I feel we might need a bit more input from experienced players running GS v3.20 to know about the real impact of the changes to the game balance.

Maybe we need more GS v3.20 testing volunteers? :) Especially if the volunteers post AAR's so we can see how the games go. Vokt has done an excellent job with this AAR.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by duncanr » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:21 pm

I am happy to get back into the testing team for 3.2

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Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:19 pm

Turn 68. May 3, 1943.

Eastern front Axis turn. Wehrmacht withdrew from Bryansk sector, abandoning the city either:

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Eastern front Allies turn. Red Army took Bryansk and made some attacks near Gomel which meant a German corps destroyed:

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Med Axis turn. More Axis air attacks to Allied units in Sardinia:

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Med Allies turn. Luftwaffe has definitely deployed a strong force in Italy. German fighters effectively opposed Allied air operations in Sardinia winning air combats by 6:2. Anyway, Italian garrison 1xNW of Cagliari was finally killed:

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Casualties screen:
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Last edited by Vokt on Thu May 25, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:28 pm

As a reply to all of the recent posts, I tend to agree with Cybvep and Stauffenberg. This is mostly about how axis has done in the east on this game. 1941 axis campaign should have ended further east thus denying the soviets the capacity to rail siberian reserves directly to the front line. To reach Orel-Kursk-Kharkov-Rostov line is almost mandatory for axis in 1941. For doing that properly, you have to launch Barbarossa in the turn of June 2, 1941 at the latest.

Regarding air ranges changes, I don't really think that they have affected game balance at all. They definitely add more to the game and what you need to do is to adapt old tactics and strategies to the new air ranges. To represent real ranges (ranges including fuel spent due to air combats, regrouping, etc) on this game might be very complicated. With the new air ranges we assume that if a fighter or a bomber unit theoretically had a certain range at a certain period of the war, that range should be represented in the game. I am Ok with that from this game point of view.

So if a little tweak is to be done to the game regarding the effects of allied strategic bombings, that may be to decrease the cost of fighter units from 90 PP's to 85 or even 80 PP's. Cheaper fighters means more capacity for Germany to deal with the effects of a harsh allied strategic campaign.

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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR

Post by duncanr » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:24 am

cheap FTRs will allow axis to have superiority for longer - not sure thats a good thing,but then I haven't played 3.2

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