AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:59 pm

Yes and no. All leaders arrive for free at a certain year, but you can purchase leaders ahead of time prior to their free arrival year. The purchase cost is higher than it used to be in earlier versions. So most players will want to save the PP's and wait for the good leaders. By doing this you see the Germans benefit since they get quite a few good leaders early on. Before the Allies made priority getting the best leaders for e. g. Barbarossa so they quickly could get the morale up. Now Zhukov won't arrive until 1942 until you purchase them. Russia will mostly have mid or low quality leaders prior to 1942.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by supermax » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:15 pm

Hey guys sorry for not posting last turn. Game ended in march 1945.

Congrats on vokt for an impressive victory.

It was a fun game!

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by supermax » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:31 pm

I think that loosing my airforce was the game decider, but at the same time i really nurtured it, and put a good part of the revenu on it.

I probably used it too agessively against the allies.

Its a real pain to sustain airforce in russia in winter months. Its a hard difference to halve fighter value is shit weather for the germans.

Is this too high a decreass? I believe it is. I understand the historical fact here. It was diffficult for the germans to maintain and service the luftwaffe in russian winter.

But once they were in the air i dont think the planes were half efficient, half speed or half guns.

I live in canada and we have very harsh winter. The way to do it with machinery is to plug them to make sure they start, start them and let them run until they get hot. But once the engine is hotit perform like in summer time.

I think that in gs it should be reflected differently, by lower effectiveness, quality drop, but not really attack strenght.

Thoughts?

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:19 pm

I usually put my Luftwaffe air units on sentry duty in the winter so they can't be lured to intercept Russian air attacks. Another good strategy is to withdraw the air units to Finland, the Baltic states, Poland and Romania. From there you're less affected by the severe winter. You might even be able to launch a counter strike or two with air units based outside the severe winter area.

The Germans suffered more than the Russians with e. g. the oil freezing. The Russians made cruder vehicles, but they worked in all kinds of weather.

I think the main reason Supermax lost this game (by just 2 or 3 turns) was because he gave full air superiority to the Russians to stop the Sicily invasion. His Germans had been able to push the Russians further east than in normal games so the Russians started their offensive behind schedule. With no air opposition they could afford to be bolder in the basing and attacks with the air units. A good German strategy could be to have the jet fighters pretty close to the front line targeting Russian bomber bases. I use this strategy a lot in my games and it means the Russians will have to base their air units outside of the German fighter range. When the front line then moves westwards then the Russians will have to rebase their bombers to reach the new front line and at the same time stay out of the German fighter range.

This method can be repeated several times saving some turns where there Russian airforce will have to rebase instead of attacking German units.

It might be losing Italy earlier would offset the benefit of holding Russia back more. However, this game was so close that just a a minor change in the progress could have meant an Axis victory. E. g. if the front line in Russia collapsed after the Fall instead of during the Fall. That means the Russians can't take advantage of a hole in the line due to mud and later winter weather. If the Russians make holes in the Axis line in fair weather then they can move very fast.

I also noticed that the Russian partisans captured rear rail depots and cities and quickly got these connected to the main Russian front line. That meant these rail depots and cities could quite early be used as forward cities for rail movement. If you can rail lots of Russian units a lot further west then you gain time. I think it's quite important for the Axis to clear the rear pockets in Russia and have enough forces to deal with the partisans as they spawn. I usually use Axis minor and Italian corps units for that task.

Vokt played very well and kept his head cool when it looked very dark indeed in Russia. He managed to save the bulk of the Red Army and turn the tide with vengeance. He also managed to keep the pressure in italy and France despite setbacks with the invasion attempts. Eventually he got ashore and then it was a matter of technique to bring those forces on the road to Hamburg and Berlin.

Vokt and Supermax seem to be evenly matched. That is why a rematch when they swap sides would be so interesting to follow. I expect a close race for the game victory with Max as the Allies as well.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Plaid » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:28 pm

supermax wrote:I think that loosing my airforce was the game decider, but at the same time i really nurtured it, and put a good part of the revenu on it.

I probably used it too agessively against the allies.

Its a real pain to sustain airforce in russia in winter months. Its a hard difference to halve fighter value is shit weather for the germans.

Is this too high a decreass? I believe it is. I understand the historical fact here. It was diffficult for the germans to maintain and service the luftwaffe in russian winter.

But once they were in the air i dont think the planes were half efficient, half speed or half guns.

I live in canada and we have very harsh winter. The way to do it with machinery is to plug them to make sure they start, start them and let them run until they get hot. But once the engine is hotit perform like in summer time.

I think that in gs it should be reflected differently, by lower effectiveness, quality drop, but not really attack strenght.

Thoughts?
From my point of view problem is the opposite - that Soviets dont suffer from winter weather at all. Their airforce was unable to fly missions during snow storms just like Germans (or anyone else at that period), Soviet ground forces suffered from supply shortage because of poor road conditions just as Germans, and so on...
That was discussed some time ago and devs pointed out, that Soviet winter offensives are important for game balance, and without this edge during winter it will be too hard for them.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Vokt » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:47 pm

First of all, thanks to supermax for a really great game.

Some comments about East Front scenario. I think that air warfare is rather well represented in the game. Experienced and upgraded Luftwaffe figher units can oppose the Soviet fighter units and to get decent combat results even in 1941-42 severe Winter. It's well known that Soviets fared better in Winter than the Germans and that should be reflected in better combat factors. The fact that Soviet pilots were affected the same way than German ones by snow storms could be represented in the fact that the spotting range of Soviet air units is also halved in Winter.

About the game, it was amazing to see how no matter the heavy Germany investment on Kriegsmarine, a really strong Barbarossa was launched. Luftwaffe air support was overwhelming so I was confident that Axis, would be able to get to the usual Rzhev-Orel-Kursk-Kharkov-Rostov line without major problems so it sort of surprised me that Supermax decided to dig in for the winter fixing his defensive line more westwards (not even Bryansk was taken) than usual in this central sector of the front.

I think that conquering those mentioned Soviet cities (and also Belgorod) denies Shock and Siberian units being railed closely to the front line. Not doing so, allowed the Red Army to rail units to Sumy and Belgorod close to the front line in preparation for the 1941-42 offensive. Results of this offensive weren't spectacular but it probably would have been even less effective if the Shock and Siberian units would have needed a turn for making an approach to Axis line.

1942 was the worst year for the Soviets. Not only they lost Moscow but they suffered high losses in units. Supermax could well have won the game on this year. Maybe once Moscow was taken, and instead of continuing a campaign in the forests east of Moscow, Axis should have concentrated its offensive efforts against the bulk of the Red Army in the Don. Some pressure there might have forced a Red Army retreating to the Volga, etc.

Finally, it doesn't cease to amaze me the capacity of recovery of the Soviets and how unstoppable they become once the get the initiative. This game has showed that it's possible for the Soviets to get to the Oder from the Don in only 1 year. It also has showed that it's vital for the Soviets to keep their main army alive no matter suffering huge territorial losses.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Vokt » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:38 pm

Regarding Western front, Allied landings location was unusual but I was forced to do as I did because of the double defensive line with garrisons all along the coast from Normandy to Denmark. I would like to comment about this. This spamming of garrison units to make impossible a landing, although allowed by the game, is rather unrealistic. I wonder if we should take a look at this, implementing rules for avoiding the use of garrison units on a spamming way. I've heard (and I agree) that one of the things that make a wargame to have a good quality is if that mentioned spamming of units is absent from the game.

Furthermore, real Allied D-Day planners discarded that the amphibious operation could be carried out in certain sectors of the Atlantic Wall for not being suitable for a landing. Among those unsuitable spots were the marsh zones of Holland. I wonder if we should ban marsh terrain as a possible one to land along with mountain terrain.

So from my game experience, I would say that something must be done about the above in order to improve the game. I was thinking about the following:

- A possible review of the role of garrison units in the game, so it's not possible anymore to spam beach hexes with a continuous double line of garrison units making physically impossible a landing.

- A possible review of the types of terrain in which landing is not possible, adding marsh terrain as not suitable for landings like mountain hexes aren't either.

For the first one, we could make garrison units being only possible to be deployed and railed to the city hex or resource hex but NOT to any of the adjacent hexes. Garrison units were supposed to be tasked with garrisoning cities and not to act as cannon fodders or "roadblocks" or beach obstacles. I think game will gain in quality and interest if we remove this spamming use of garrison units.

For the second one, I would remove marshes as possible terrain in which to land.

That said, from my game experience, I have to say that Eastern front is quite well balanced and represented. It's in this scenario where the playtesting through several years is much noted.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Plaid » Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:07 pm

I believe transport attack was added to the game for exactly this purpose already. Thats easy to kill garrison with 2 TAC hits and transport hit (mech and armour transports have good ground attack factor in late game).
And in case of double line its possible to use airborne to force retreats of second line units, so it will be no longer double line. In general garrisons (especially with manpower penalties, which should occur because of that unit spamming) are weak on defense and totally useless on offense, I am yet to see game where garrison spam payed off.
And garrisons not necessary simulate, well, 'garrisons'. Thats just some weak infantry, probably understrength or overstretched corps or militia etc. They can't hold the ground as good as proper unit, but still provide some military presence and should be dealt with before advancing forward.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Vokt » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:51 pm

Once garrisons get +1 survivability with Fixed Defenses level 4 (if I'm not wrong), is not that easy to finish off the unit. Garrison unit may survive the attack at 2-3 steps and Allies would be wasting 1 amphibious point with the attack.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Cybvep » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:43 pm

If you change GARs to disallow so-called "spamming", then you may as well rebalance the whole game. GARs are important during Barbarossa, in Italy, in France and in Germany. It's easy to withdraw or destroy a GAR unless it's entrenched in a city or in a mountain hex. Moreover, since most units in game take a relatively long time to build and reach high effectiveness, some sort of shit infantry which is quick to deploy is needed. It's not that GARs are for free.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:48 pm

We are not doing anything with garrison units.

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Re: AAR: Supermax VS Vokt (No Vokt pls) Version 4.0

Post by Vokt » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:41 pm

Cybvep wrote:If you change GARs to disallow so-called "spamming", then you may as well rebalance the whole game. GARs are important during Barbarossa, in Italy, in France and in Germany. It's easy to withdraw or destroy a GAR unless it's entrenched in a city or in a mountain hex. Moreover, since most units in game take a relatively long time to build and reach high effectiveness, some sort of shit infantry which is quick to deploy is needed. It's not that GARs are for free.
Don't think that making such change in garrisons would have a big impact on game balance given the low combat values of referred units. What we would be doing is limiting a bit what you can do with garrisons so they aren't used in a gamey way far from the territorial and static role that they should have.

I honestly believe that railing thousands of garrisons adjacent to cities for blocking a landing is a rather gamey thing. And I say this admitting that I myself have used that possibility. Don't really feel proud about it, of course. Only that game quality resents permitting that move.

That gamey use of garrisons wouldn't occur if we make garrisons to be railed only from city hex to another city hex or from resource hex to another resource hex and not possible to be railed to the adjacent hexes as it can be done now. Since cities are usually already garrisoned, you wouldn't be able to spam the beach hexes with garrisons. You would only be able to move the garrison from the city thus making room for 1 railing but doing so you would lose entrenchment.

All of these thoughts come from the fact that you should be deploying proper corps units to face the enemy instead of garrisons which are supposed to guard cities and resources.

CEAW doesn't admit stacking of units and blocking maneuverability of enemy units by spamming a sector of the front with cheap infantry units appears to be taking advantage of that fact.
Stauffenberg wrote:We are not doing anything with garrison units.
Of course. With GS 4.0 about to be released, these are only comments done related to my game against Supermax. I don't mean them to be even considered as possible last hour additions to the game. Just throwing some thoughts and ideas that may or may not be considered in the future.

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