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Subject: Barbarossa 1941 rss

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Taking the strengths and deployments from EastFront, one can simulate a historical Barbarossa mini-game, and compare it to what's possible in Triumph and Tragedy.

First off, the formula that I used was EF Infantry/4, EF Mech+Armor/2, and EF HQ resource strength represented as Air Force at 1:1.

Second, the number of T&T CVs works with respect to the T&T 1939 scenario (the forces can actually be built).

My conclusion was that historical results can be obtained only if the belligerents can play two action cards per season. Also, Leningrad is weaker than it was historically, lacking the canalizing terrain of the area.

Here are the EF strengths and deployments in T&T terms:

German Forces, June 1941

Army Group North – Königsberg
Mechanized/Armor – 3CV
Infantry – 6CV
Air Force – 3CV

Army Group Center – Warsaw
Mechanized/Armor – 10CV
Infantry – 8CV
Air Force – 6CV

Army Group South – Warsaw and Czechoslovakia
Mechanized/Armor – 6CV
Infantry – 8CV
Air Force – 3CV

Army Group Romania
Infantry – 4CV
Air Force – 1CV

Reinforcements – Summer 1941
Mechanized/Armor – 2CV
Infantry – 1CV

Reinforcements – Fall 1941
Mechanized/Armor – 2CV
Infantry – 2CV


Soviet Forces

Leningrad Military District
Mechanized/Armor – 1CV
Infantry – 1CV
Air Force – 2CV

Baltic Military District – Baltic States
Mechanized/Armor – 2CV
Infantry – 2CV
Air Force – 2CV

Western Military District - Vilna
Mechanized/Armor – 2CV
Infantry – 3CV
Air Force – 2CV

Strategic Reserve - Belorussia
Mechanized/Armor – 1CV
Infantry – 1CV

Strategic Reserve - Bryansk
Mechanized/Armor – 1CV
Infantry – 2CV

Kiev Military District – Lvov
Mechanized/Armor – 3CV
Infantry – 4CV

Kiev Military District – Kiev
Mechanized/Armor – 1CV
Infantry – 1CV
Air Force – 2CV

Odessa Military District
Mechanized/Armor – 2CV
Infantry – 2CV
Air Force – 2CV

Sevastopol
Fort – 1CV

Strategic Reserve – Moscow
Mechanized/Armor – 1CV
Infantry – 2CV
Air Force – 3CV

Reserves – Kharkov
Infantry – 1CV

Reinforcements – Fall 1941 (Urals)
Infantry – 2CV

Reinforcements – Winter 1941 (Urals)
Infantry – 2CV

See whether you agree with my conclusions or not.

Enjoy,

Dieter
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DieterS wrote:

See whether you agree with my conclusions or not.
Dieter


I don't own the game (yet - it's on its way) but in my reading about the game I have seen comments that the game's combat system cannot reproduce the rates of advance seen historically.
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juerg haeberli
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Thats the reason he uses 2 action cards per season.
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Historically, there was always careful planning and a huge build up of troops and supplies before an invasion to ease the logistics and increase the impact of surprise.

In view of this fact, and my desire to change the rules as little as possible to achieve historical results from historical decisions, what do you think of the this idea:

15.22 DOW Effects:

Surprise: all Declarer units have temporary First Fire (9.0) for that Combat Phase only (but Enemy First Fire Techs can negate this effect). In addition, the Declarer may play up to 2 Action Cards in that first season.

Note that this doesn't apply to Violations of Neutrality, but I suppose it could.

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Sean McCormick
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This is an interesting experiment. It sort of surprises me that the game would ship with combat rules that simply do not allow the historical Eastern Front campaigns to happen.

The fix that comes to mind for me is that armor and air can move and engage a second area if they clear the first one. (Another possibility would be to allow armor and air to move and engage a second area even if they don't clear the first one, provided they leave enough inf steps to tie up the defending steps.

I'll try that variant out at some point with this Barbarossa scenario.
 
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There was a debate here about achieving historical results in Barbarossa. I think it could happen if the Soviet player leaves Bryansk undefended, as was essentially the case in the historical event.

The choke chain on the fierce German shepherd in both Barbarossa and the North African campaign was supply. Outrunning one's supply through deep penetration came at the price of attrition.

Allowing Tanks and Air units to push one area deeper is an interesting idea. I don't think you need a rule as to the number of units required to "hold the shoulders" of the penetration. In T&T, the supply rules will subject the Tank units to attrition, and make a counterattack attractive.

Try some experiments and let us know what you conclude.

Dieter
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seanmac wrote:
This is an interesting experiment. It sort of surprises me that the game would ship with combat rules that simply do not allow the historical Eastern Front campaigns to happen.

The fix that comes to mind for me is that armor and air can move and engage a second area if they clear the first one. (Another possibility would be to allow armor and air to move and engage a second area even if they don't clear the first one, provided they leave enough inf steps to tie up the defending steps.

I'll try that variant out at some point with this Barbarossa scenario.


Wouldn't a back to back, late summer and early fall be able to replicate a breakthrough and more covered ground? Or what is the ahistorical problem?
 
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Let's assume a totally historical re-enactment of Barbarossa.

- Nazi Germany DOWs and attacks the Soviet Union in Summer 1941.

- The jump off is from Konigsberg, Warsaw, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

- Assuming those attacks are all successful, the Fall turn has the Germans attack Leningrad, Belorussia, Kiev, Sebastopol, and Kharkov. All but Leningrad fall.

- Then comes Winter and the Germans cannot attack any more this year.

Historically, the Germans were able to also take Bryansk, and from there, attack the defense of Moscow. Winter then saw the Soviets launch a counter-offensive.

The only way for the Germans to achieve a historical result is for the Soviet player to leave either Belorussia or Kharkov undefended. If the Soviet player simply puts a 1 CV Infantry unit in each area, the Axis player cannot reach Moscow in 1941 unless the major forces come through Finland.

Dieter

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Kevin Thomas
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Good research, Dieter, and I'll likely play this one out. One thing that may need to be reduced somewhat is the equation of EF to T&T force level ratio. It looks like an awful lot of forces for the Germans to muster!

Despite the game's description of scales, I've come under the impression that an Inf at full strength is larger than an army and is getting closer to an Army Group. And tanks are more than Corps, IMO. I see the tanks as Armies. The Germans simply cannot afford to build more than about 12 pips of Armor for the 1940 campaign.....about a pip per division?! Who knows, but it's interesting. And without that build-up, you cannot get those full Panzer Armies for Summer '41.

I like the idea of multiple cards playable in the season. To take it one step further (dangerous to the game, I know...) is perhaps allowing multiple rounds in a season? Like two successive rounds, and not just one. So if the border is overwhelmed in Round 1, the deep penetration can be made in Round 2.

[...or an OMG idea here: each player can play up to two cards, but they are still played in the alpha order in which they fall, so you could get a double impulse if you are lucky or plan it that way]
Perhaps someone has already thought of that. If a player decides to go total war, it could get real dangerous out there if they can fund 6 Command Cards in a turn. And to be fair to the Soviet player, they could just about manage this with their handsize though it will be harsh to keep up that level of activity for long.

I like the way the game introduces the economics of movement and combat. So if you have double the amount of action in combat, it will cost you more cards and therefore more of your economy.
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Thanks, Kevin.

So you're like me---a person who "wrecks" games with historical research!

While the equipment, doctrine, and sizes of combat units varied a lot between countries and over time, I've abstracted about one western division per pip for mechanized (aka Tank) units, and about one western corps per pip for infantry. Both the cost ratios and supply ratios are also roughly the same.

At this scale, the differences between mechanized and non-mechanized units is mostly "tactical" (by which I mean within an area) rather than grand strategic. Both types are limited by their supply lines, which in WW2 was still mostly dependent on rail heads and horse drawn wagons!

One thing that I'm experimenting with is decreasing the ground attack value of infantry units by one and disallowing mech units the ability to control an area . . .

Then, instead of a playing a second card, how about allowing mech to punch through an enemy area as long as the "shoulders of their breakthrough" area are engaged by at least one friendly infantry unit (lose that area and the mech unit is out of supply)?

In general, making these and other changes tends to force things more along historical lines and adds complexity.

Dieter
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Hey Dieter, yes I find it hard to resist proving first that a game can roughly model history......then I'm happy to divert!

I had a solo game going on which just happened to be at year start 1941, so I had a dabble with playing multiple cards. I had to use one spring axis turn to strat move units from captured France and then launched a limited surprise attack into the eastern Poland regions.....again, this game and is a test of historical starting and finishing points. This left the Germans heavily contesting Bryansk and Kharkov by the end of the year. The Russians were getting a bit thin but holding a front. For 1942 I did the classic drive into the Caucasus and Germans had two turns in a row. But here is the kicker: they were too fragile to fan out in all directions so I settled for rolling through vacant Baku to then hold the southern flank of contesting Stalingrad. The Russian tank and inf held out while the Russian had a double turn to smash the south flank, recapture Baku, and then assault 6th Army plus attached panzers. As a final fall turn the Germans backed out of Stalingrad without becoming cut off. All fairly plausible and bloody.

My conclusions thus far on multiple cards is that it results in a burn rate much greater than the production design can keep up with. In a way this burnout can be historical but I have a strong doubt that it could ruin the design. Revised conditions are now that Russian cannot play more than one card in the winter and I'm considering limiting each player to the number of times per year they can have multiple cards in the tree regular seasons. Perhaps once or twice per player per year. In practice I couldn't afford more cards than this anyway. But I'm concerned this will lead to less Uboat activities and diplomacy. But then again, it's Total War!!
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Impressive! It's great how everything is linked together---overbalance in one area and something else suffers.

The last experiment that I tried allowed a double card play on the first turn of an attack only. This was not based on tactical surprise, but the massive buildup of supplies and intensive planning before an invasion.

The following turn, the supply chain will probably be stretched at its maximum, and advances following that will be suboptimal.


 
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Incidentally, when you're playtesting a mod, don't you hate it when you roll something like a 1,1,1,1? I don't want to playtest luck, so I chop off both ends of the normal curve. Here's how.

I take a deck of cards and remove the A-6 cards. The black A-6 cards make one "dice deck" and the red A-6 cards make the other. Then , whenever I need to roll the dice, I pull out the required number of cards from one of the 12-card decks. After an action that leaves one of the decks depleted below half, I shuffle that deck. The second deck is a backup in case the primary deck runs low.

The cards are also a lot quieter, don't bounce out of a cup or box and roll under a couch, and don't land on an edge or corner. ;-)



 
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Kevin Thomas
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I finished my trial game and it all worked out as I'd expected with Allies taking the Ruhr in Spring '45. Next game, extra command cards will be restricted to one per year for Russia since they have the Winter turn and also this extra cannot be played in Winter. Axis and Allies each can play up to 2 extra.

One takeaway I've got from the few games I've played is all sides need to build up a stable of good command cards for when war breaks out. If the german can gets his hands on two summer 9 or 10's, then the big invasions will carry a lot of momentum.

Great game!
 
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Kevin Thomas
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DieterS wrote:

Incidentally, when you're playtesting a mod, don't you hate it when you roll something like a 1,1,1,1? I don't want to playtest luck, so I chop off both ends of the normal curve.


Interesting you mention it: there's an awful amount of luck involved. Air power especially seems to either blitz a defender or completely whiff. Par for the course. Your solution sounds good for balancing play tests.
 
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Geoff Conn
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Interesting points on double cards. As Russia already gets an extra season card play each year (winter), perhaps they never should get a double card play season. Germany should get to play double cards twice per game, (historically spring 41 and 42). Allies should get to do it once? (historically Dday?)
 
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Kevin Thomas
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Hi Dieter, I got my Russian Campaign OBs out to experiment with just opening setup. Ignoring naval forces and any reinforcements, I arrived at a rough guess of 53 German CV to 40 Russian. Yours counted up to 58:47 so not much difference in the ratios between the 2. I was a bit more subjective in approach so your mathematical solution may be more accurate.

As you mention, this is an achievable build using 1939 scenario as a guide.
Interesting strategy focussed on rearmament.


Russian Campaign OB interpretation. Looking back, I think there should be more beefy Russian Reserves.
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Kevin,

Remember though, my setup was based on Craig's historical EastFront forces. One can always adjust the values in each area by a decimal fraction of EastFront German CVs and EastFront Soviet CVs for Barbarossa.

Dieter

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