Problems with Barbarossa in BJR; is this game balanced

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zcharles
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Problems with Barbarossa in BJR; is this game balanced

Post by zcharles » Wed May 27, 2009 7:37 pm

Hi, i'm new around here, i buoght this game 6 days ago and i'm playng it non stop in LAN; i and my opponend have done 5 games; each time the allies where the indiscuss winners.
The first 2 times i, playing allies, have taken Berlin in 1942 charging the germany whit an unlimited horde of garrison (he was still trying to take athen...)
Whe played again, this time with more cognition; I as Allied, chushed itraly forces, invaded italy and normandy in 1942.... I started to think O am a great commander!!!
...then i tryed the axis... paris fall 3 months late than historical date. I Attack russia 6 months late.... disaster....
...downloaded BJR mod, installed: me again as Axis.
I made All perfect...
taken poland in 2 turns, denmark in 2 turns, norwey in 2 turns... meanwhile invaded Belgium and Holland... by now, all ok with timeline. Taken Paris 1 month before time (!!!!); i thought: i'll win the war!
Then i moved war to jugoslavia and grecia, and took them.
In africa: i sent 4 german infantry, 2 italian infantry and 1 italian ariete armored... stalemate. My opponent has 3 fighters (??????????????? From where? Canada???)
I send all th italian and rumenian airforce... but they are disbanded; in africa... a bad situation.
Russia: barbarossa begins: being I as many of you an "expert" in IIWW, i made all perfectly; 3 vectors of attack to surround enemy foces; great first turn, surrounded 13 militias and 1 infantry, other russians on the front disbanded or death.
Then I started to advance and on the Dnepr i met the russian line.... a massacre, again... he has 8 fighters and 2 tactics, i'm strongly under air forces... My tanks are not able to smash the line on the Dnepr (the first river you meet, that one running like a line from north to suoth). In north i'm very very far from leningrad... to be historically correct i should be able to push on lenigrad and moscow before the winter, but in this game the winter came on dnepr and my troops lose efficency, russian counterattack destroing my line... the war is certanly lost for Axis.
I and my opponent then stop and made an examination of the situation;
-UK has as many resuorces as he wants (I have 6 submarines upgraded to LVL1 but they are not SO criticals for britain as they where in real facts...) and he can spend them where he prefers; the UK player has ALWAIS an easy life, enen in sept. 1940.
-Russia collects near 150 resources... russian troops are formidable (usually germans have 4:3 or max 4:2 against russian infantry), russian tanks are invincible (that's historically right, we all know the T34...); there is an invincible wall of russian troops.
-In dec 41 america starts to invade; and it means a lot of firepower...


So, what in my point of wiew the non-historical points are:
-If russian player organize a line then he is invincibile, and has an air superioriti of 2:1 (not being much inferior in air efficency)
-UK never fears really it's enemy
-In Africa there is no way to win for axis, if axis wants to take jugoslavia and greece (tacticals are needed there!)
-The first invasion of barbarossa in not significant in terms of russian casualties (even if surrounding around 15 enemy troops!!!!!!!!)
-In 41 is near impossible to siege Leningrad from north and south, to reach moscow, to push russian troops in karelia front playing 2 opponents with the same ability.

Non-balanced points are:
-For allied force the victory is only question of time, but is out of discussion.
-The axis player alwais need to do everithing super quickly and like a crazy player, the allied player juns have to sit and slowly organize defences, then conterattacking in russia and landing with unlimited troops-airforces-ships in Africa-Italy-France.

This game is making me mad....
So, are me and my opponent so stupid that cannot follow the true historical evolution of the war?
Is there out some one that can help us and tell us how to do?
Should we play in non-balanced mode?
Is it possible to take Stalingrad?
Is it possible to cross suez?
Normally, in 10 games, how many times is the axis the winner?
Thanks to all, expecially for my bad english.. (you know, i', italian and i have few upgrades ) :lol:

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Post by afk_nero » Wed May 27, 2009 9:22 pm

If you play without the BJR mod (Vanilla game) then the Axis should win most of the games. With the BJR mod it is almost impossible to defeat Russia - but then the way you win is different - just by holding on to a capitol should gain you victory.

The fact that the Axis lose in 42/43 is a result of inexperience. To play Axis take skill - there have been a few discussions around how best this is achieved. To summarise the Axis/Germany should be fighting to survive in late 44/45.

As for taking Stalingrad I have only ever done this once - usually I avoid it as it is a pain to get to and even more difficult to retain without being cut off and stranded. The game is essentially qaulity (Axis) versus qauntity in the east. The main strikeforce for the Axis should be in the air - I would ensure that you have around 4 german and 2 allied fighters for barbarossa with around 4 tac bombers.
As for north Africa - I typically go for a german fighter, Italian fighter, german tac, Italian Tac and good commanders (I remove the Italian motorised corps). If he has 3 fighters I would remove the Italian fighter and the german tac and replace these with german fighters - the qaulit will allow you to win - especially with a good commander in charge.
As for your opponent having 3 fighters then the only way he could do this (without building another one) is to ship the canadian and UK fighter groups to Africa to link up with the fighter group already there. You need to remember under the BJR rules the fighter based in Malta cannot leave.

You should get a game going against an experienced opponent - see what tactics they use. I can also suggest reading some of the AAR's and you will see what happens. If Russia strikes too early then they should struggle with a german counter attack.

Good luck and have fun

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed May 27, 2009 10:15 pm

I think the poor Axis performance is due to inexperience with the game mechanisms. The most important attack weapon of the Axis is not the armor units, but the Luftwaffe. You use the Luftwaffe to soften up the units you attack with your land units. When I attack Russia in June 1941 I usually have the following forces:

* 4 German fighters in addition to the Finnish and Romanian fighters
* 4 German tac bombers
* 2 German strategic bombers
* 6 German armor units and 1 Italian armor unit
* 4 German motorized units
* Manstein, Guderian and Rundstedt
* Enough infantry units to cover every front line hex from the Baltic to the Black sea. If you can have a few extra then it's only good.

In the early phases of Barbarossa I build 3 German corps units per turn so they can be railed to Russia. I also build 1 Italian infantry unit per turn. One of the German corps units are placed near Königsberg so it can move directly to the front line without being railed.

After a few turns of corps units I start building a German fighter plus one German corps per turn (if I have 35+ PP's left).

If you've researched properly then you will get tech advances for all infantry areas, all armor areas and all air areas before Barbarossa. So you can upgrade your units (or even better build them after upgrade) before you start the offensive. That should help a lot.

An aggressive Russian player can build more air and armor units prior to Barbarossa, but they will soon be killed if they're used against the Germans in 1941. Russian armor units can lose 4-5 steps per German tac bomber attack. So it's suicide to move these units within German bomber range. Russian fighters will fight at a disadvantage and maybe lose 2-4 steps for every 1-2 German steps lost. If they remain too close to the German front line then the Germans can go directly against the airbases.

If the Russians build hordes of garrisons then they can delay the German advance a bit, but with air support and a concentrated attack to get across the Dnepr then you can encircle the garrisons and cut their supply. Then it's easy to finish them off.

But you can't send your armor units into Russia as spearheads. Then they will get chewed up by the Russian units. You need to advance in a coherent way so you keep a pretty contiguous front line. Then the Russians can't gang up upon some of your units.

I've played the Axis many times and never gotten into trouble in 1941 as you describe. The main danger for the Germans is to fight for too long in 1941 without thinking about the upcoming winter. Then the forces are too exhausted to withstand the counter attack. So you need to not be greedy and stop a few hexes away from the Russian defense line once you get into October.

It's definitely possible to take Port Said as the Axis. Just place German bombers and fighters on Crete to support your offensive or invade Cyprus to get airbases even closer to Alexandria and Port Said. But in order to get the upper hand in Egypt you need to make sure the British defend well against Sealion. So you need to place your units in Atlantic ports ready to invade soon after the fall of France. The Luftwaffe should start harassing the British making them do all they can to stop Sealion. Then they can't send all their units to Egypt.

If the British defend well and make a stale mate in Egypt then it's not a big problem. It happened in the real war as well. Then you abandon the idea of taking Egypt and change the plan so you can keep them out of Libya for as long as possible.

I wonder how the Allies can invade Italy easily in 1942 and take Rome. It's a lot of poor terrain in Italy and the invasion limit means they can only land a few places. Just make sure you have units defending the key places. The Allies won't have air range to mainland Italy until they take Sicily and Sardinia. But they won't take these islands without first taking Libya and Tunisia unless the Axis player forgets to reinforce these islands. I usually keep a few air units near Sardinia and Sicily so they can intercept any invaders. Italian subs are great for spotting the entrance to the Med via Gibraltar or via the Suez. Then you know when they Allies are coming and can move your strategic reserve to where it's needed.

The BJR-mod is designed in such a way so you can't expect to force Russia to surrender. It's possible and I've done it a few times. The BJR-mod is balanced so the German player will surrender in May 1945 if both sides are equally good. if you can hold Berlin through May 1945 then you win the game as the Axis player. So the Allies definitely have a hard job to win.

Our experience with the BJR-mod was that Germany collapsed a bit too soon because they ran out of oil and got so big negative oil that they could never again use oil consuming units. That stopped the Germans from launching minor counter strikes, retreating oil consuming units etc. But the updated country.class file makes the Germans never get below 0 oil. So they get a small oil reserve each turn even late in the game. This means they survive longer when on the defense.

It takes awhile to learn the game mechanisms about how to attack. The player on the offensive will suffer the most until he learns about how to use his forces in the best way. But once you learn how to use your forces then you should be able to achieve historical results.

Remember that the real Germans actually did a lot better than they could expect when you look at the number of troops etc. Better strategy, equipment, soldiers etc. meant they achieved better than they could have hoped at least until 1942-1943. E. g. it was not a given that the Germans would crush the French in just 6 weeks. If they had attacked with their original plan they could have been stalemated and lost the war already in 1941. Barbarossa also did better than one could have expected partly because Stalin refused to withdraw his units far into Russia. So many Russian units were surrounded in 1941. We know in hindsight how the Russians should defend and don't repeat their mistakes. The same applies to the German mistakes. We can avoid them as well so it evens out.

What is a balanced game? A better player will usually beat an inferior player regardless of the game balance. If both players are inexperienced then one might expect to see some weird results because both try to learn how the game works. But if two very experienced players play against each other then you can start talking about game balance.

Since we released the BJR-mod to the public we've see some players like Joerock teach us how to win with the Axis. He crushed Ronnie by launching a successful Sealion and he did the same against Jim. He tried a new game against Ronnie as the Axis and captured Egypt and soon Iraq. he plays against me as the Allies and has forced me into advancing very carefully in Russia. I won't get as far as I usually do.

If you had analyzed each game then you would have said the game is balanced in favour of the Germans if you were Ronnie and Jim and I would have said the game is balanced in favour of the Allies. But the truth is that we're facing a player with a DIFFERENT playing style than we're used to. Therefore we need to adjust how we play and learn. Joe has shown he can beat experienced players like us both with the Axis and the Allies. That shows his skills with the BJR-mod is making all the difference and not flaws in the game balance.

It's still possible the game is slightly favouring one side, but if it's so then it's quite minor and it can easily be offset by a better gaming strategy. So I don't buy that the BJR-mod is so poorly balanced the Axis will lose in 1942. I've never seen that happen in any of my 30+ games and I've never heard of any other players losing that early. The earliest Axis loss I've seen is very late 1943, but the mod has changed a lot since then.

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Post by scarfacetarraff » Wed May 27, 2009 11:32 pm

afk_nero wrote:With the BJR mod it is almost impossible to defeat Russia ...
In PBEM games? Or, SP games as well>
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Post by zcharles » Thu May 28, 2009 6:56 pm

Tanks Staffumberg, i'm not talking bad about you mod: i'm a modder too (Close combat 5, alien VS predator, ecc) and I know how difficoult it is. Certanly after 4 games we have to improve our strategy, but as I sad it seems that the axis player is too under pressure; perfect wath you say about the fall of france and the fall of russia, but if we can't ricreate the same situation (because the Allied player certanly won't let the french-english forces to be surronded nead Dunkerque and he will certanly retreat troops fron front in Russia), then the axis should have more resources, i think...
In this mod i don't like very much this, and the fact that you must obey to home rules... don't sound so good to me, excuse me, brother modder.
I made a quick modification too today, giving to Axis +2 Tacts and +2 Fighters, Italy +10% efficency and a lot divisions more (In suoth Albania, near Venice, in Aosta), and +1 survibility (alpine and bersaglieri where really good troops... very bat where the command and the tanks, until the too late TD), NOT giving a better fleet to UK (they had i think abaut 80% of theyr fleet out of date, like the unluky Hood... ), and many other things i don't remember now.
PRobably (quite certanly) it's not a realistic mod, but it allows the players to do everithing they want, and the UK really fears Uboots and Sealion; soon i'll start barbarossa, and we will see.
Unfortunatly to play a REALISTIC game as you say, we should start in 1942, when the biggest errors of both sides are already committed.

You sad:
* 4 German fighters in addition to the Finnish and Romanian fighters
* 4 German tac bombers
* 2 German strategic bombers
* 6 German armor units and 1 Italian armor unit
* 4 German motorized units
* Manstein, Guderian and Rundstedt
* Enough infantry units to cover every front line hex from the Baltic to the Black sea. If you can have a few extra then it's only good.

NEar what i had, probably something more, but not soo much; i spend some more resources in Uboots because it seems that UK didn't suffered the Atlantic battle. But the problem is the russian, in winter 1941 the t34 are 9:1 against my PZKW IV (it's the true...) and he smashed my forces (I mean he destroyed complytly... no retreat for me, just destruction.) Commanders all wounded, he had 8 fighters and 3 tactics!
But now this is no more a prolbem, as I sad i'm not playng your mod right now. Maybe in a near future

Thanks for your so lond answers brothers, excuse me for my incompetence in this game, i've played just 5 times (but i'm already modding it now)
keep modding! :lol:
thanks to all of you again.

Ps: usually i play UK in IIWW games, but in this game and mod Italy is a bit too weak... it should have more infantry divisions (and some of them very good), more submarines and better tactics (Allied navy crews called them "Gobboni maledetti", "damned humpback"). After all, italy was a ruin in action, but the first radar project was son of Engineer Marconi, the reaction engine for aircraft has been developed and tested in Firenze (and germans stole it for the me262), the first tank destroyer has been used by italian troops, the first paratroopers of history where created by italian army, and in africa infantry had also 90mm AT guns. :wink:

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Post by afk_nero » Fri May 29, 2009 9:49 am

triari wrote:
afk_nero wrote:With the BJR mod it is almost impossible to defeat Russia ...
In PBEM games? Or, SP games as well>

I mean in PBEM games - I think by SP you mean single player? An experienced player should defeat russia versus the AI.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri May 29, 2009 10:40 am

afk_nero wrote:
triari wrote:
afk_nero wrote:With the BJR mod it is almost impossible to defeat Russia ...
In PBEM games? Or, SP games as well>
I mean in PBEM games - I think by SP you mean single player? An experienced player should defeat russia versus the AI.
One of the things I liked the least about the vanilla game was how easy it was to defeat Russia by taking Perm. The real Germans were nowhere near achieving that. So one of the main priorities of the BJR-mod was to prevent this from happening so often.

I think the only way the Russians should lose their last capital is if they waste their army in 1941 and 1942 instead of defending in the rear as they should. If you continue to feed the German war machine new troops then your front line might collapse and you might end up losing Omsk (Siberia) and will surrender.

Since we changed this we also changed the victory conditions so the achievements of the Axis player in the BJR-mod is compared to the achievements of the Axis in the real war. Since the Axis surrendered in May 1945 it means you will win the game if you can hold on to your final capital longer than that. So it's not really necessary to defeat Russia to win the game. You just have the delay the Russian steamroller for so long so you keep Berlin till the end.

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Post by afk_nero » Fri May 29, 2009 4:14 pm

To zcharles;

I think your argument is flawed -

Firstly - Italians in WW2
The training and leadership that the Italians have is totally inadequit - they could not compete with a well trained modern (by WW2 standards) army. A few decent divisions doesnt reflect the total army. The italian infantry in this game doesnt have any negatives - they just need to research and gain better experience. By giving them +1 survivability makes them stronger than allied troops, this is not the best reflection of a bad army. The Italians where generally worse troops than the Romanians - they fought with each other on the eastern front and Romanians where better thought of.
In CEAW, if the Italians survive till 43 with tech advances they can be powerfull infantry units.

I would also happily play you a PBEM game as Axis and without sounding too arrogant I am fairly sure that if you tried to launch a Russian offensive early before '42 I will have a good chance of defeating russia (a bold claim to make).

I am less inclined to make any mods unless you understand the limitations underwhich you can work.

That said the BJR mod only works if you use the house rules and this may not be what you are looking for. In this circumstance then the vanilla version is definably made to favour the Axis. The tactic is simple. Win in France then throw all your air into Africa with some good german units. Crush all opposition in Africa and fly the air back to Europe in time for Barbarossa. You then have all the oil you need. I would then build allot of TAC and Fighters mix them with Infantry and a good smattering of armour - push all your efforts to take lenningrad and drive from the north down to Moscow - ignore Stalingrad and do a limited push in the south (maybe take crimea). You should be relativly unstoppable - I didnt lose a PBEM game in the vanilla version as Axis in over a year so I am pretty confident. The Axis dont need to be pumped up in order to win.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri May 29, 2009 7:07 pm

afk_nero wrote:To zcharles;

I think your argument is flawed -

Firstly - Italians in WW2
The training and leadership that the Italians have is totally inadequit - they could not compete with a well trained modern (by WW2 standards) army. A few decent divisions doesnt reflect the total army. The italian infantry in this game doesnt have any negatives - they just need to research and gain better experience. By giving them +1 survivability makes them stronger than allied troops, this is not the best reflection of a bad army. The Italians where generally worse troops than the Romanians - they fought with each other on the eastern front and Romanians where better thought of.
In CEAW, if the Italians survive till 43 with tech advances they can be powerfull infantry units.

I would also happily play you a PBEM game as Axis and without sounding too arrogant I am fairly sure that if you tried to launch a Russian offensive early before '42 I will have a good chance of defeating russia (a bold claim to make).

I am less inclined to make any mods unless you understand the limitations underwhich you can work.

That said the BJR mod only works if you use the house rules and this may not be what you are looking for. In this circumstance then the vanilla version is definably made to favour the Axis. The tactic is simple. Win in France then throw all your air into Africa with some good german units. Crush all opposition in Africa and fly the air back to Europe in time for Barbarossa. You then have all the oil you need. I would then build allot of TAC and Fighters mix them with Infantry and a good smattering of armour - push all your efforts to take lenningrad and drive from the north down to Moscow - ignore Stalingrad and do a limited push in the south (maybe take crimea). You should be relativly unstoppable - I didnt lose a PBEM game in the vanilla version as Axis in over a year so I am pretty confident. The Axis dont need to be pumped up in order to win.
I have a feeling that ZCharles is probably Italian. ;) That explains the reason he wants to increase the strength of Italy in CeaW. I don't think that's necessary at all. The Italians can be very useful for supporting the German operations. E. g. the infantry can be used to hold parts of the second line in Russia. If you build a decent number of labs and a few leaders then the Italian troops aren't that bad. Italian fighters and tac bombers are actually quite useful.

Jim, Ronnie and I played the vanilla game quite a bit before we learnt what needed to be improved in the vanilla game. Even after having played quite a bit we refined the BJR-mod for over a year before we released it to the public. We tried a lot of interesting ideas and several were eventually discarded. Still we feel the BJR-mod can be made even better and we hope to alter class files so many of the house rules become part of the code. We might even change the game balance a bit after getting more player feedback. So the mod will continue to improve and improve.

I think it's maybe too early to make conclusions about game balance after having only played 5 games. You need to play a lot more times before you get the grasp of the gaming mechanisms. Even after playing 100 games you can still improve your strategies.

The BJR-mod is made around the house rules and the game might not be as balanced if not playing with them. But people can agree with each other which house rules to use and which NOT to use (just like agreeing upon which optional rules to use in WIFFE). The BJR-mod should be fun without all the house rules. Some house rules have more impact on the game balance than others.

I also believe I could show ZCharles how the Axis can crush the Russians in 1941 if they do as he suggested (build a lot of air and armor units instead of labs and infantry). You will inflict some damage to the Germans for some time, but when your offensive firepower is destroyed then you have nothing to stop the Germans in 1942. The Germans can replace losses better than the Russians in 1941 and without labs you won't keep up tech wise and will be stalled in 1943. You NEED to maximize the labs when playing Russia to challenge the German King Tiger heavy tanks, Me-262 jet fighters etc. late in the game.

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Post by raffo80 » Fri May 29, 2009 7:19 pm

In vanilla, axis has advantage. It's harder to beat France, but very easy to knock out russia. The worst tactic russia can do is to defend on the Dnepr: i personally crushed as axis always that line of defence. When i see my opponent defending on dnepr i know i won the game.

In BJR mod, it's easier to beat France and very very hard to make Moscow surrender. But still, if russia try to defend on dnepr, they will lose in '41 as well. Maybe Russia is a "bit" too strong that it should be: but it's very tiny.

Italy isn't weaker than historically. Italy performed badly in any theater (except navy in med) since the start to the end of the war.

Africa in BJR mod is....well, very hard to win for axis. The BJR rules prevent axis to move decent forces there so allies can hold almost always unless some major mistake is done. But then again...even if you take Suez the chances for axis to win don't change a little bit so why worrying?

I think you should play with experienced players and you will see that Axis can be very strong. if you want, i am open for a game with me as axis.
/
Gabriele

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Post by julyderek » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:50 am

Stauffenberg wrote:When I attack Russia in June 1941 I usually have the following forces:

* 4 German fighters in addition to the Finnish and Romanian fighters
* 4 German tac bombers
* 2 German strategic bombers
* 6 German armor units and 1 Italian armor unit
* 4 German motorized units
* Manstein, Guderian and Rundstedt
* Enough infantry units to cover every front line hex from the Baltic to the Black sea. If you can have a few extra then it's only good.
How can you afford so many expensive units + tech + commanders ??

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Post by joerock22 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:49 pm

julyderek wrote:
Stauffenberg wrote:When I attack Russia in June 1941 I usually have the following forces:

* 4 German fighters in addition to the Finnish and Romanian fighters
* 4 German tac bombers
* 2 German strategic bombers
* 6 German armor units and 1 Italian armor unit
* 4 German motorized units
* Manstein, Guderian and Rundstedt
* Enough infantry units to cover every front line hex from the Baltic to the Black sea. If you can have a few extra then it's only good.
How can you afford so many expensive units + tech + commanders ??
This composition of forces is only possible if you are very efficient in 1939-1940, which Stauffenberg always is. In the two games we have played, he has rolled through France and the minor neutral countries while suffering minimal casualties. Those of us who aren't quite as efficient (myself included) will have to go with fewer and/or less expensive units. For example, here is my typical composition of forces when I invade in July:

* 2-3 German fighters (plus Finnish and Romanian fighters)
* 3-4 German tactical bombers
* 6-8 German armours
* 5-7 German motorized
* Mainstein
* Rommel or Reicheneau
* Not sure how many infantry units, but I find that I often continually produce them as Barbarossa is in progress

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:13 pm

julyderek wrote:
Stauffenberg wrote:When I attack Russia in June 1941 I usually have the following forces:

* 4 German fighters in addition to the Finnish and Romanian fighters
* 4 German tac bombers
* 2 German strategic bombers
* 6 German armor units and 1 Italian armor unit
* 4 German motorized units
* Manstein, Guderian and Rundstedt
* Enough infantry units to cover every front line hex from the Baltic to the Black sea. If you can have a few extra then it's only good.
How can you afford so many expensive units + tech + commanders ??
It's very tight and if I'm unlucky in France I have to delay Barbarossa 1 turn or so or start with fewer units. You can't afford a costly war in Egypt either to get this force for Barbarossa. In addition I build 3 new subs so I have at least 6 subs. I group them in 2 groups with 3 subs in each group. Then I have 1 spotter and 2 hitters in each group. :) In addition usually have 12 labs at that time (3, 3, 3, 1, 2).

I've learnt that you should rarely attack enemy units unless you've softened them up with air units first. Then you keep losses down. I also make sure I don't attack minor country units unless I need to clear the path to get to the capital. E. g. the Polish units in Posen and Krakow can be bypassed and screened instead. Screen the Posen one with garrisons and the Krakow one with corps units so it can't hit an armor unit. Try to NOT stop adjacent to the city when you screen it. That means the Allied player must move the unit out of the city if he wants to use this unit to attack. Then they become more vulnerable next turn and less efficiency when they attack.

If you consistently make sure you don't attack at bad odds unless it's really necessary then you save so many PP's and manpower that you will notice the difference. I also live by the axiom that you should often continue attacks against a depleted unit until it's killed rather than initiate new attacks against other units. This way you don't have to see the depleted units repaired so you must finish them off next turn. Each time you attack the defending unit loses efficiency. That means you can attack with a new unit at much better odds.

I usually initiate my land attacks with an infantry unit so I can finish off the unit with armor and not take armor losses at all (or 1 step loss if I'm unlucky). The reason I do this is that I know the enemy will strike at my armor units if they become quite depleted. It's not so much fun attacking a 9 or 10 step armor unit. It will survive unless you can attack it with 4 corps units or 3 units (if one is the French armor).

The way I play is the result of lessons learnt after numerous games. E. g. I don't attack full strength enemy units with my units that will end up at the front line after the combat. It's not fun receiving 4-5 step losses to a corps attacking an enemy garrison or corps. Then my unit will be killed for sure. I also use the terrain for protection of MY units even against countries like France. The river won't bother me too much when I decide to cross it after I soften up the defenders behind the river. I don't advance after combat and can let a new unit cross the river and attack another unit behind the river without penalties to roll up the entire river line. When I defend behind the river then the FRENCH must attack across the river and it's quite bloody for him.

I'm a defensive player by nature and I think that helps me quite a bit. Joe, Ronnie and Jim can concur that I always find good defensive lines with my German units every turn even when I storm the Russians in the Summer of 1941. I almost never send my armor units on adventures deep into Russian territory just to grab Smolensk, Kiev or Minsk a turn early. It's not worth the risk.

I always think many steps ahead and try to analyze the enemy's counter strike capability against my new front line BEFORE I even initiate the attacks and moves. If I find the position is too exposed for some units (primarily armor and units with leaders) then I figure out another plan instead. So I usually end up with my armor and leader units in the second line after the dust has settled after my attacks that turn. This means I rarely lose those valuable units. I learnt this lesson the hard way from Jim. He managed to wound Guderian and kill some of my armor units when I rushed too quickly towards Kiev in a game. I don't underestimate the defender even when I know I will eventually win the upcoming battles.

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