Tim Taylor
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After playing my first game, I set AVL up again and examined the situation at my leisure. Listed below are the options available to the Soviet player for his first special combat:

69th army: One 1-1 (vs. H6 & H9) and one 1.5-1 attack (vs. H7 & H13). Low odds attacks like these are fraught with peril since there's more chance to lose steps than make the Hungarians retreat. Analysis: Not worth it.

6th army: One 3-1 (vs. H19 & H23) and one 2-1 attack (vs. Trd & Jul). Better odds increase the chance of making the Hungarians and Italians retreat. But what then... Analysis: Not first choice. revised to primary choice (see below)

1st Guards army: One 7-1 (vs. Rav). Powerful attack ensures an Italian retreat or elimination. This will blow the whole front open. Analysis: Definitely first choice. revised -- choose 6th army instead (see below)

3rd Guards army: One 2-1 (vs. R11 & R14). Slight chance of making the Romanians retreat. Risks a step loss though. Analysis: Probably not worth it.

5th Tank army: One 1-1 (vs. 8Lw). Making a low odds attack like this is just asking for trouble; 16.6% chance the German unit will retreat is not balanced by a 50% chance of one or more Soviet steps lost. Analysis: No way!

After examining these choices, I'm left with a foregone conclusion. It seems obvious to me that the 1st Guards 6th should always be the army chosen to activate for that first special combat phase. To choose otherwise seems almost like handicapping the Soviet player...

I'm left wondering why this is even a Soviet choice at all?

TT
 
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Tim Taylor
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Wow! So it does! Thanks for pointing out my blindness!

But now I've only changed my mind about which particular HQ gets activated, not the site of the attack nor the main target. The attack on the Italian Ravenna division still seems like the obvious choice, plus it'd now be coupled with a 3-1 attack on Trd & Jul. The activation of the 6th army still seems like a foregone conclusion to me.

Perhaps this could be used as a method of handicapping a more experienced Soviet player? Simply take 1st Guards and 6th off the menu, allowing the experienced Soviet player to only choose another army.

What do you guys think?
 
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Chris Milne
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6th Army is the only rational choice. There's simply not enough to be gained anywhere else along the line. I think that if you're looking to give the Axis an edge, you're better off taking the simple route and tinkering with the number of VPs required for victory.
 
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Tim Taylor
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I can almost hear Frank Gorshin as The Riddler in the old campy 60s Batman TV series:

"Riddle me this -- When is a choice not a choice?" and then laughing maniacally.

Then Robin (Burt Ward) would interject, "Holy irrelevance, Batman! What can it mean?"

Batman (Adam West) would sagely repeat, "When is a choice not a choice... Of course, old chum! When is a choice not a choice -- when picking the Soviet army to activate during that Turn 1 Special Combat Phase!"

Both caped crime fighters would leap into the Batmobile while Batman exclaims, "To Boguchar!"

(cue Bat symbol and seque music)
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Sean McCormick
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The entire key to the frontline position is opening up the bridgehead at Boguchar. It's gravy if you can inflict losses elsewhere, but it really doesn't matter. Blow out the Italians there and send everyone through the gap.

It's really nice to see a game with such moderate complexity reward movement over combat the way AVL does. In a lot of low complexity games, you just look to pile up the 3-1 attacks and blow some holes, but AVL rewards you for taking the same sort of approach you might take in OCS, examining the line targeting the weak point and then using maneuver (and HQ dislocation) to effectively neutralize enemy formations.
 
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Red Moss
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Herr Niemand wrote:
6th army: One 3-1 (vs. H19 & H23)


Am I missing something really obvious here? It appears to me that the attack on H19 & H23 by the 25G, 161, and 309/106 stack would give 2-1 not 3-1.

Is my math completely borked?

25G - 3/2 = 1.5 rounded down to 1
161 - 2/2 = 1
309/106 - 4/2 = 2
2+1+1 = 4

H19/H23 = 2

4-2 = 2-1

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M@tthijs
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Oldstench wrote:
Am I missing something really obvious here? It appears to me that the attack on H19 & H23 by the 25G, 161, and 309/106 stack would give 2-1 not 3-1.
Correct.

That's why I wouldn't bother with the H19&H23 and in stead attack (I)Jul&Trd with 350/267+270/172+160/309 making it a 3:1 attack

Not that I'm an experienced AVL player, though
 
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Seth Gunar
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The sooner you open up that Northern Front for the Soviet flood - the better. Therefore, I think you cannot go wrong with the 6th or the 1 Gds.
 
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