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EuroFront II» Forums » Rules

Subject: Soviet Oil Supply rss

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John Spicer
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In a game that's reached the edge of the map, I wondered whether the current oil supply route rule actually achieves what is intended (although it's quite clear as written).

Situation is that the Germans are in Orsk. So the Soviets can ship oil from Baku to Guryev, but then it has to be railed south and round through Kazakhstan. Which is as long a distance as if it went straight to Kransodorsk.

So what was the historical situation? Was Guryev the key port on the oil route with critical handling facilities? And that's why it's the break point? I doubt it, as I suspect it was railed north historically via Stalingrad, but curious as to whether anyone knows.

And I thought I remember a debate on BGG before the rule change that implied or stated that it was the extra 1000 rail miles via Kazakhstan that were the reason for the -5PP's.

In which case maybe the rule should be if the only route is via Kazakhstan then the Soviets lose 5PP's.

And this prompts a second question. I've always assumed that Astrakhan is irrelevant as a control port due to 15.11 that says the Soviets are the only ones with any seapower in the Black Sea.
But RedPlanet believes that if the Germans control Astrakhan then the oil supply route is cut, and that 15.11 is only relevant for sea supply or invasions. Which makes taking Astrakhan in a winter turn, rather than charging to edge of the world, a better option to cut the oil supply.

Please share what you know (history - how did the Soviets move their oil, and did the battle at Stalingrad force them to do things differently for some months) and what you think from the game perspective.

John
 
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Craig Besinque
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John,

Soviet Oil Supply
You are correct that the intent of the Oil Supply rule is to reflect the added cost of railing oil all the way round through Kazakstan to production facilities.

According to my sources, 40% of Russian oil was shipped by rail, and 10% by river (I assume the Volga). Major refineries on this map outside the Caucasus were in Saratov, Moscow, Gorky, Ufa and Yaroslavl.

Looking at the map, blocking Actyubinsk does block all rail connections from Guryev to the rest of the map, leaving only the Krasnovodsk-Kazakhstan route (Orsk OTOH does not do that). I would say that control of that point should logically trigger the Oil Supply rule.

So yes, a general rule specifying reduction to only the Kazakhstan route would be a more realistic definition. House rule that if you like.

Caspian Sea Control
Good question. If forced to interpret the rules as written I guess I would say that the Soviets control the Caspian regardless, which would leave Sea Supply (including vis a vis Oil Supply) open for the Soviets between controlled Caspian ports.

The issue in my mind would revolve around whether the Axis could capture enough Russian naval assets stationed in Astrakhan to affect naval control of that sea (as they presumably could not bring in anything from the Black/Med seas). I would assume the boats would remove elsewhere if Astrakhan were threatened. So I would not have Astrakhan affect Russian Sea Supply on the Caspian (even though it is marked as a Control Port).

You can certainly argue both ways but if forced to choose, I would go with that interpretation.

Glad you are enjoying EuroFront II.

Craig



 
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John Spicer
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Thanks Craig - this really is at the 'what-if' edge of history!

I think using Kazakhstan as the key to the oil supply route (rather than Guryev) makes sense if -5PP's is about the impact on rail capacity. Wherever the oil is shipped across the Black Sea, if it then goes to Kazakhstan it's on a long long journey to the refineries you've listed in the north of Russia. Only the direct route off map (Guryev, Aktyu, Orsk, Magnit, etc) avoids that long detour, so any of those districts being engaged would force the Soviets to rail via Kazakhstan.

As for Astrakhan, most probably worth putting a ruling in if you ever do a 1.17 (1.16 seems really stable though). As you say it could be either way - captured shipping, or the Germans could have moved eboats in by rail I guess. The Soviet's didn't have big naval forces in the Caspian I believe, so a few eboats plus some bombers would have potentially caused a lot of disruption, enough to drive the Soviets to ship to Krasnovdsk instead to avoid losses they couldn't replace, which would justify the -5 PP's.

So I'd most probably edge the other way as does RedPlanet (although I didn't before our discussions), but whatever the ruling it's just a clarification on the current exception in 15.11 as I agree that the Germans could never have captured or built up a shipping capacity for a landing or supply across the Black Sea.

It's a tribute to the game that we are still debating these details after so long. And games really are coming down to these edge situations, it's that well balanced.

Thanks as ever for the quick support.

John
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IMO control of a Naval Base represents air and naval control over a Sea Area (that is why Allied Air Supremacy flips control of Sea Areas in 1944). So, just thinking aloud, control of Astrakhan would allow the Germans to interdict oil shipping from the air even if they had no navy in the Caspian Sea (i.e. the RedPlanet interpretation of Rule 15.11). I also like the idea of giving the Soviets more incentive to defend areas outside of the Leningrad/Moscow region. A -5 PP hit for losing control of the Northern Caspian Sea does that.

Interesting discussion!
 
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John Spicer
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So when we finally get a game of EuF going the house rule is that Soviet Oil PP loss applies if the only route is via Kazakhstan, not if a route can be traced by sea to Guryev.

And the interpretation of 15.11 is that all normal sea control rules apply for the side controlling Astrakhan except that the Germans have no supply or invasion capability, and that the oil supply route cannot be traced through the North Caspian Sea.

Will be in touch.

John
 
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