Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Plaid
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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Plaid » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:20 pm

Well, as we can see from final results game is mostly working as intended. Axis are crumbling and are few turns away from surrender.

But in 1943 winter, when axis launched effective offensive in Kursk area during SW season I was not so sure - thought that balance is broken by new experience rules and front will stay here forever. Both German air and ground units had better combat performance than Russian ones at that time.

On experience - there are some flaws in new system, if you ask me. First of all - bombers get maximum level quite easily (they don't suffer high casualties ever, if escorted) and they benefit greatly from it. Tactical bombers were always deadly vs armour lategame, but with further buffs they will be capable of destroying entire units.
In this particular game air experience favoured axis, but in the future I see new "strategies" with allied player building lots of airpower as soon as possible and bombing random garrisons in France exclusively to gain experience.

In general experience gain is way to fast. If you want to capture some fortress hex defended by single garrison/corps (like Tobruk or Sevastopol) you can be sure - this unit will reach 2-3 stars during very first turn of siege. Also most likely unit will reach 4 start before being destroyed finally.
I think units should be awarded experience for participating in challenging battles - not for being shelled by navy/bombers or sitting in fort in red effectiveness. Same applies for full experience reward for moping up pockets of isolated troops or even partisans (this one was fixed I think, you can't reach higher than certain level while fighting partisans, right?).

If there is no real fight there should be no real experience, or atleast much less than now.

Game balance slightly favours axis compared 3.0 (as they are ones operating with experienced units for most of the game), but I don't know if it is good or bad thing.
In older times people complained that balance favour allies. Now it does not (at least with default strategies used in this match - who knows what you can exploit under new rules?).

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:21 pm

Plaid wrote:
Vokt wrote:Those Red army units in Eastern Prussia and Lithuania will be able to reach the Oder but I doubt that all of those guards units near Lvov will be. Without enough shock units for breaching Ostwall defensive line, soviets won't go much further.
Thats true. Soviet troops in Poland/Germany also suffer from half supply because of fast advance during last few turns.
This is weird. Shouldn't soviet units have at least supply level 4 there?

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Plaid » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:22 pm

Thanks to my opponent for good challenging match and nicely presented AAR by the way.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Plaid » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:23 pm

Vokt wrote:
Plaid wrote:
Vokt wrote:Those Red army units in Eastern Prussia and Lithuania will be able to reach the Oder but I doubt that all of those guards units near Lvov will be. Without enough shock units for breaching Ostwall defensive line, soviets won't go much further.
Thats true. Soviet troops in Poland/Germany also suffer from half supply because of fast advance during last few turns.
This is weird. Shouldn't soviet units have at least supply level 4 there?
Thats rail conversation thing. They covered a lot of ground in 3-4 months and here is a result.

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Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:49 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:What do you think about how GS v3.1 works compared to earlier versions based upon your experiences here?
My feeling is that the Axis have now pretty more chances than before. New xp rules have significantly influenced the game. But I wouldn't say that game is unbalanced.

Changes have influenced Allies strategy and above all Soviet strategy. Soviets must now forget of being offensive (with the exception of 1941-42 severe Winter) on the eastern front until late 1942. USSR must strongly invest on air labs from the very beginning. If some tweak must be made to the game, that could be that one (discussed on this AAR) favouring fighters units defending their own country.
Last edited by Vokt on Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Usually what I do as the Allies / Russians is to have enough fighter units so I can attack German tactical bombers at their airbases. It's e. g. very difficult for the Axis to keep tactical bombers in the Med once the Allies land in Sicily or Sardinia. I build quite a few CV's and sail then into e. g. the Adriatic to hunt down enemy bombers. CV's can often get decent survivability so they can withstand German fighter attacks.

If Russia rebases fighter units quite close to the front line they can hit the German airbases. I also like using Allied fighters hit Axis fighters at their airbases. E. g. German air units can't be based on coastal hexes or they can be hit by Allied BB's meaning they won't fly interception missions.

The Allies can inflict a lot of morale damage on Axis units with their strategic bombers. These bombers often get a lot of XP initially from bombarding resources.

So with GS v3.1 you need a little different strategy. The Germans can be hard nuts to crack unless you soften them up. Getting air superiority as fast as possible is more important than having a very strong armor force.

We also have to remember that there existed tank buster bomber units for all sides. Hans Ulrich Rudel alone destroyed more than 2000 targets in his Stuka including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, four armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.

The Allies had the P47 Thunderbolt, HawkerTyphoon. The Russians had the Ilyushin 2 (Shturmovik).

A nice article here:
http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/threads ... nks.41033/

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:14 pm

I think if we want to alter anything it would be how much XP you gain from certain missions as I showed earlier in this thread. The bonuses seem fair.

My experience is that it feels quite hard for the Russians to actually gain any lasting XP on their units. One reason is that they high XP units are quite battered and lose some of it once they get repaired. The Germans often like to strike at newly created guards units. When I capture Leningrad I often see the defender turn into a guards unit before being destroyed. That doesn't matter for the Russians because the unit is lost.

So I don't think a unit holding a hero city after maybe 6 attacks actually is turned into a guards unit.

I agree that air units maybe gain XP a little too fast since they can get bonus XP by going after soft targets. Maybe fighter units should get very little XP going after ground units (like 1 XP per attack).

Another simple way could be to actually increase the threshold for when you don't lose XP for repairing from 7 to 8. That means you lose 5 XP per step below 8 when you repair.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Cybvep » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:27 pm

Well-earned victory! :D It will be interesting to hear what Plaid has to say about this game, too :).

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Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:38 pm

Now some comments about this game itself.

Game followed usual moves until I decided to launch a different case Blue campaign in 1942. Instead of making the typical southern USSR campaign in order to take the oilfields and/or Stalingrad I launched an offensive in the north as you know. This offensive accomplished its objectives and even threatened Moscow itself. USSR spent many PP's and manpower trying to stop the Germans and that was noted on the Soviet winter 1942-43 offensive that wasn't strong enough to force an axis retreat. Then, it came 1943 year and Germany assembled a powerful army for summer campaign. That late summer 1943 offensive was probably a mistake that could only be partially fixed by that lucky fair weather turn in november that allowed the germans to destroy several heavy soviet units. Because of high losses taken on their shock units, soviets again weren't strong enough in their 1943-44 campaign. So the Axis instead of retreating, engaged on an attrition fight that although it costed many lost units, it made it to gain much time. Ordered withdrawal to Dnper river was key too because it allowed to save most of the Axis units whilst holding in an unusual eastwards front line for 1944. Soviets really struggled along that defensive line as you know, and they only started to progress faster after the Allied airborne operation in Bulgaria made this country to change sides. By that time, it was too late to arrive to Berlin in time.

Western Allies made their typical landings in France in 1944 but they seemed not to move fast enough. I think that one of the keys for the western allies to succeed with 1944 landings is to move fast and to not let Germany reinforce its positions along Albert canal.

Finally the Med. Successful Allies campaign here with some units even crossing the Alps. This game showed that to skip Torch, much limits Allied strategiy on this scenario.
Last edited by Vokt on Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by richardsd » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:47 pm

from a distance the balance seems good - I think the weather heavily favoured the Axis in this game, the 'extra' fine turn in the late 43 offensive and some handy bad weather in 44 was very, very helpful IMHO

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:48 pm

AC67 wrote:Thank you for this AAR!
Cybvep wrote:Well-earned victory! :D It will be interesting to hear what Plaid has to say about this game, too :).
Thank you for following and making comments on this AAR. They are always appreciated as they add different points of view to that of the player that's posting the AAR.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by richardsd » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:52 pm

Plaid wrote:Thanks to my opponent for good challenging match and nicely presented AAR by the way.
thanks to you both and to all the extra work from Vokt - absorbing :D

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Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:01 pm

richardsd wrote:from a distance the balance seems good - I think the weather heavily favoured the Axis in this game, the 'extra' fine turn in the late 43 offensive and some handy bad weather in 44 was very, very helpful IMHO
As I have mentioned above on the general comments about the game, that fair weather turn in the East on November 1943 was decisive as it allowed the Germans to cripple Soviet offensive units.

Allies weren't that unlucky with the weather in 1944. In October, Western Allies enjoyed 2 consecutive fair weather turns and Soviets had a fair weather turn and a mud weather turn.
Last edited by Vokt on Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by richardsd » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:52 am

Vokt wrote:
richardsd wrote:from a distance the balance seems good - I think the weather heavily favoured the Axis in this game, the 'extra' fine turn in the late 43 offensive and some handy bad weather in 44 was very, very helpful IMHO
As I have mentioned above on the general comments about the game, that fair weather turn in the east on november 1943 was kind of decisive as it allowed axis to pay back the soviets for the high losses taken as a result of that offensive that should not have been carried out that late.

Not so agree about the allies being unlucky with the weather in 1944. Western allies enjoyed 2 consecutive fair weather turns in october 1944, thing that not always happens. Soviets had a fair weather turn and a mud weather turn in october 1944.
wasn't suggesting the weather in 44 was that uncommon, just handy :D

from a distance I thought that (aside from the 43 offensive) you played a terriffic axis game and fully deserved the victory

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by richardsd » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:54 am

quickly adding that I could never run such a well managed axis campaign and would equally struggle to match Plaids efforts

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Cybvep » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:28 am

Yes, I think that Vokt had the initiative during most of the game. 1943 offensive was badly executed, but the idea was fine, because the Soviets were weak in this game and shock units are quite precious.

The Allies had an easier time in Italy than I expected and there was a short period in 1944 when there were almost no units between Berlin and the Eastern Front. The Axis collapse in 1944 in the Eastern Front was rapid. I think that Vokt's high PP income saved Berlin. In hindsight, Allied STRATs should have been more aggressive in strategic bombing campaigns IMO. I also think that Plaid waited too long before starting Overlord. Every turn counts in 1944, so parking transports near the coastline even in bad weather is a good idea.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Plaid » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:52 am

Stauffenberg wrote:I think if we want to alter anything it would be how much XP you gain from certain missions as I showed earlier in this thread. The bonuses seem fair.

My experience is that it feels quite hard for the Russians to actually gain any lasting XP on their units. One reason is that they high XP units are quite battered and lose some of it once they get repaired. The Germans often like to strike at newly created guards units. When I capture Leningrad I often see the defender turn into a guards unit before being destroyed. That doesn't matter for the Russians because the unit is lost.

So I don't think a unit holding a hero city after maybe 6 attacks actually is turned into a guards unit.

I agree that air units maybe gain XP a little too fast since they can get bonus XP by going after soft targets. Maybe fighter units should get very little XP going after ground units (like 1 XP per attack).

Another simple way could be to actually increase the threshold for when you don't lose XP for repairing from 7 to 8. That means you lose 5 XP per step below 8 when you repair.
Problem with experience gain is that you get exactly same ammount for engaging capable unit and engaging harmless one. Once players realize how powerful is experience it will be exploited widely.

And problem with units getting maximum experience levels in forts is that their added survivability stacks with bonus defense of fort and it takes forever to inflict any damage on this unit, if your luck is below awerage. It can't hit your units because of low effectiveness, but you also can't hit it because of high defensive stats.
Last edited by Plaid on Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by richardsd » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:38 am

I have been thinking about this a little and although its a bit of work I think an experience table is the answer.

So CORP and ARM only get experience against CRP and ARM - not GAR's, except maybe para's and partisans.

FTR shouldn't get experience in ground attack, only TAC's against ARM and CORPs etc..

in reality you only got experience from 'real' action relevant to your capability, its not perfect but I think it models the original desire pretty well

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Re: Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by GogTheMild » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:56 am

That would certainly stop me building up my Strats' ASW ability by bombing GARs in France.
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Vokt (axis) vs Plaid (allies) 3.10 AAR

Post by Vokt » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:59 pm

As I have already mentioned, xp changes have probably brought what GS 3.1 team was seeking, that is, to increase Axis chances in the game.

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