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Subject: Supply Questions rss

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Avram Lytton
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Hey guys,

A friend and I have been playing Eurofront II. I'm the Allies and he's the Axis.

He's been playing very aggressively as the Germans and is about to take Baku. It's November 1942, we rolled snow, and the Soviets have counterattacked and retaken Rostov. I also still control Sevastopol and block the rail line that runs past it. Turkey has not joined the Axis (yet). Over half the German army in the east is now trapped near Stalingrad and in the Caucasus.

Its my understanding that I have to roll two dice for the western Black Sea interdiction for each of the two ports in the Eastern Black Sea that are trying to trace to the West. He contends that it is the five ports in the West that I have to roll for (making it highly unlikely that he'll be put oos).

To complicate things even further, my reading of the Eastfront II rules indicate that in that game alone, enemy control of a sea zone would prevent supply altogether (no supply interdiction).

So what's the situation here?

On a similar note. I had to move my guy out of Sevastopol to cut the rail line, meaning that when he dies from supply attrition, it will be unoccupied. Do fortresses act like any other piece of terrain? Can they be isolated and revert to enemy control without walking a unit in?

If anyone has answers or opinions that would much appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Pete Menconi
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Rule 15.73 says you roll for each port, the number of die determined by the interdiction value (in the triangle) for that sea. That would be 5 ports on the west (any one of which puts the Axis in supply...to the Eastern Black Sea). THEN, roll twice more for either of the two ports the Axis wants to use in the EBS, if EBS is Sov controlled. If he can get at least one port in each sea, he is in supply. However, from your description, the Sov controls the WBS (Sevastopol), but the Axis has Batum? If Axis has Batum, he owns the EBS, and doesn't have to roll for interdiction in that Sea (only roll for WBS).

An abandoned Sevastopol would be covered by the new Control by Isolation rule 8.36. The unoccupied hex, if surrounded by Axis hexes, will become Axis controlled in their next supply phase. If the Sov dashes out and back, losing 1 cv due to supply, it may be able to hold on to the rail junction (whichever one it is) until an Axis unit can put it back in Axis ZOC.

Yeah, the EF rules are a bit different, but they do not set precedents for EuF.
 
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Avram Lytton
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Well, the rule states:

"Check each enemy port/BH separately for interdiction. For each port being checked, the passive player specifies a Sea Lane to friendly Rail Supply. The active player rolls a number of dice equal to the Sea Interdiction Value of friendly seas this Sea Lane traverses"

the ports in the WBS aren't checking sea lanes, they're in rail supply. If you were checking only for ports in the area you control, that could be zero, could it not?

He controls Batum, but is tracing a sea lane through the WBS, which I control.

I have to admit, its a little frustrating to me that there are 35(!) German blocks sealed off (temporarily, anyway) in Caucasia, with Turkey still neutral, and its so difficult to put them oos.
 
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Pete Menconi
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The intent of the rule seems to have two factors: each enemy sea will have interdiction rolls; and the number of ports impacts the interdiction. In this case it seems a bit backward from the usual, where the supply sea is friendly, and the receiving sea is enemy, but the only way to interdict from the WBS is to use the 5 ports.
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Pete, are you sure the Soviet player needs to roll for all five ports bordering the Western Black Sea?

Section 15.73 says, "Check each enemy port/BH separately for interdiction. For each port being checked, the passive player specifies a Sea Lane to friendly Rail Supply. The active player rolls a number of dice equal to the Sea Interdiction Value of friendly seas this Sea Lane traverses." My interpretation of that rule is that the Axis player would specify one Sea Lane each for his Eastern Black Sea Ports to reach rail supply. Then the Soviet player rolls to interdict that Sea Lane if it crosses through the Western Black Sea.

To use a WestFront example, Axis units isolated in Sicily pick one Sea Lane for each Sicilian port, and the Allies have three chances of interdicting supply (i.e. once per Sicilian port). The Allied player would not roll to interdict potential supply coming to Sicily from every Axis port in the Mediterranean.

Basically, I think the Axis have two chances at supply in this case...one for Batumi and one for Novorossivsk. If both are interdicted, the Caucasus pocket is out of supply.

The EastFront rules are a little simpler in that there are no rolls for supply interdiction. But if you're playing EuroFront, roll away.
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Craig Besinque
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I support Fitzban's interpretation: 1 roll for each port in the Transcaucasus. Each port usable by the [otherwise isolated] group is what counts, not the terminus ports back in Rumania, etc. Definitely seems more realistic to me in this case as well.

This is an odd situation, usually the interdiction happens in the first sea traced back. Does this need clarification in the rules?

Craig

PS: EuroFront rules are in general more involved but also more refined than subGame rules. Players can always agree to use EuF rules for any XFront system games -- I do.
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Avram Lytton
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Hey Craig,

Yeah, I think a clarification would be a good idea as it seems there are situations where the sea lane is being interdicted at points other than the first sea zone.

Thanks guys.
 
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Avram Lytton
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I was wondering what opinion was on another, related note.

Its possible that in this same game, Turkey will come into the war next month but Rostov and Sevastopol will still be Soviet. Also, the Tito block could neutralize the rail line heading to Turkey. This would mean, unless I'm missing something, that nearly 2/3 of the German Army in Russia would be drawing supply through the Bosphorus, all the way into the Med, to Italy or thereabouts.

This seems a wee bit silly to me. I would suggest that the Germans need more pressure on them to seize Sevastopol or retake Rostov. I admit though, that I don't have a good idea of what kind of monthly tonnage the Germans could have brought through Turkey. I know that, in late '41, the British reckoned they couldn't support much more than a couple of divisions in the USSR via the Persian railway.
 
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Pete Menconi
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[q="cbesinque"]I support Fitzban's interpretation: 1 roll for each port in the Transcaucasus. Each port usable by the [otherwise isolated] group is what counts, not the terminus ports back in Rumania, etc. Definitely seems more realistic to me in this case as well.

This is an odd situation, usually the interdiction happens in the first sea traced back. Does this need clarification in the rules?

Craig

It seems backward to check the ports bordering the friendly sea, doesn't it? And in this case (Axis controls EBS), would you use the interdiction value of the friendly sea (?!) or enemy sea? Yeah, the enemy sea. When you combine the interdiction of WBS with the ports of EBS, it just seems odd. I would also think that the more ports available in an enemy sea, the greater the odds of making it through (but I am not sure of the intent of the abstraction).
 
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Avram Lytton
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Mind you, it is sea interdiction not port blockade.

One could be tracing supply from point A to Point B, with sea interdiction at point C. Then which ports does one roll for? If its the western allies would you roll 14 times for British ports? Then it would be nigh impossible to put them OOS.
 
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Quote:
It seems backward to check the ports bordering the friendly sea, doesn't it? And in this case (Axis controls EBS), would you use the interdiction value of the friendly sea (?!) or enemy sea? Yeah, the enemy sea. When you combine the interdiction of WBS with the ports of EBS, it just seems odd. I would also think that the more ports available in an enemy sea, the greater the odds of making it through (but I am not sure of the intent of the abstraction).


IMO, the key part of Rule 15.73 is, "For each port being checked, the passive player specifies a Sea Lane to friendly Rail Supply." The WBS is not rolling interdiction for EBS ports, it is rolling interdiction for the Sea Lanes selected by the Axis player that trace to friendly rail supply. The Axis player may only select one Sea Lane for each EBS port. The Sea Lanes pass through the WBS and may therefore be interdicted.

This seems more realistic than the Germans having five convoys on standby in the WBS, and sending them out one at a time until a convoy gets through. I doubt the Axis had the shipping for one such convoy, let alone five.

I agree that the supply rules get a bit stretched at times, especially when the MedFront is involved. (Would the Axis really get +20 PP for capturing the oil wells? That's a lot of crude oil to pump back to Germany...) On the other hand, the rules are simple and work in the great majority of cases...adding layers of complexity based on shipping capacity, etc. is not worth it IMO.

The simplest solution in this case is to not let Turkey join the Axis while holding Sevastopol and Rostov. Problem solved.
 
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Pete Menconi
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Look at 15.73 / Example: it specifies either port will be enough to provide supply, so there is a die roll for each. And, I note these are "enemy" ports to the interdicting player. On that basis, in the Ax/Sov example we've been discussing, it seems Sov control of WBS would dictate rolling for each Axis port in the EBS. Upon re-read it seems clear.
 
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Avram Lytton
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[q="Fizban517"]
Quote:

I agree that the supply rules get a bit stretched at times, especially when the MedFront is involved. (Would the Axis really get +20 PP for capturing the oil wells? That's a lot of crude oil to pump back to Germany...) On the other hand, the rules are simple and work in the great majority of cases...adding layers of complexity based on shipping capacity, etc. is not worth it IMO.

The simplest solution in this case is to not let Turkey join the Axis while holding Sevastopol and Rostov. Problem solved.


The trouble is, if the German player is going to throw almost 2/3 of the German army in the East, including nearly all of his Panzer corps and HQ's, into Caucasia, and not bother with Sevastopol nor with proper flank defense, its pretty well impossible to hold the Caucasus, including the border with Turkey.

The possible outcome of all of this is a race between the Russians charging toward Berlin with little opposition while the Germans, supplied via the Turkish rail line, possibly all the way through the Med, charge behind the Red Army in order to take Moscow from the rear. This seems off the rails to me.
 
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Quote:
The trouble is, if the German player is going to throw almost 2/3 of the German army in the East, including nearly all of his Panzer corps and HQ's, into Caucasia, and not bother with Sevastopol nor with proper flank defense, its pretty well impossible to hold the Caucasus, including the border with Turkey.


It is tough to analyze your game without knowing what happened in 1941 and during the summer of 1942. But in my experience, it is pretty much impossible for the Germans to take the Caucasus in 1941, and very difficult for them to do so in 1942. Supply is usually based on one rail line from Rostov (especially if Sevastopol has not been taken). The front gets too long to defend. And if the Soviets are prepared, it can become almost impossible to break through the Caucasus mountain hexes.

Quote:
The possible outcome of all of this is a race between the Russians charging toward Berlin with little opposition while the Germans, supplied via the Turkish rail line, possibly all the way through the Med, charge behind the Red Army in order to take Moscow from the rear. This seems off the rails to me.


EuroFront lets you choose risky strategies. It sounds like both sides are taking some serious risks with their supply lines, but the game does not have to be played that way.
 
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Avram Lytton
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1941 seemed, from what I know, to go fairly normally, other than that he was more aggressive than I've seen any other German player behave and so the Russians were correspondingly more beat up. part of the problem is that by '42 he had at least 12 more blocks in the East than he should, as he has denuded the west of Germans. I am not that familiar with Eurofront, but it doesn't seem like the western allies can threaten the Germans all that much in the West before spring 1943.

I believe he has two additional, disrupted HQ's and around 10 combat blocks, plus he's been using OKW to command in the East. He's also been playing very well and very aggressively. The result is that the Russians don't seem to stand a chance.

I tried to run away in the south, couldn't outrun the blitzes, tried to build a line in the mountains (guarding passable hex sides), he blitzed through that pretty easily. Held on to Sevastopol and retook Rostov, but that won't necessarily help much. The 12 extra blocks may be the key here. I was in a similar position with the Germans in Eastfront but decided that I didn't have enough blocks to storm the Caucasus and hold a line further north. The extra HQ's also give him something like twice the Russian command ability.

Some adjustments I've been thinking about regarding supply:

A) The Germans can only supply through Turkey up to occupation limits (four blocks). This allows the Germans to throw a force into the ME to seize the oil but doesn't allow the Germans to supply all their armies through Turkey in an unrealistic fashion.

B) Germans and Soviets cannot use sea supply from one front to another (with possible exceptions) so the Germans cannot supply their armies in Russia via the Med and the Soviets can't supply units in northern Russia via some circumventive sea route.

C) Kerch's port is put in the Sea of Azov instead of EBS.
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It sounds like the German player had more command ability in the EF than the rules allow. For starters, OKW cannot command in the EF (5.72). Any Axis WF HQs operating in the EF are disrupted and cannot blitz (5.33).

Especially during 1941, the Germans do not have enough blocks to overload the EF while garrisoning the French coast. If the Allies control any hexes in France, especially ports, they can roll for diplomatic event VF, which causes Vichy to join the Allies. That should cause the Axis MF position to basically collapse.

What did the Soviets do during the winter of 1941-42? The Germans are paralyzed during the first EF winter and can easily lose the game if they pushed too far during the summer and are strung out. The Soviets can either counterattack of spend the winter building their half-priced army, without having to worry about HQ activations.

While the Soviets have to retreat a lot in 1941, their backs are pretty close to the wall in 1942...the Germans are in reach of Leningrad, Moscow and the Caucasus. But by that point the Soviets should be able to fight on more equal terms...their army should be built back and they have shock units and 4 CV armor units. The big counterattacks are still going to come during the winter, but I would suggest trying to stand your ground more as the Soviets during the summer of 1942. There is not enough room left to run before the Germans capture a war-winning target.
 
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Avram Lytton
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Yeah, we misread the OKW rule. He thought he could cross command with it.

October '41 was good weather and he pushed HARD (a bunch of panzers were reduced to 2 steps) late in the year when the Soviet HQ's are burned down (attacking everywhere he could). When the snow finely set it in I was holding the line with 0 strength HQ's in a couple of places. It took me all winter to build a reasonable army back.

I was holding the Donets(?) in the South come spring '41, but then he blitzed twice in a row in June and the position fell apart. I tried to withdraw in July but he blitzed again and caught them, killing an HQ with a lucky roll and crossing the Don river. He then used supreme moves and A HQ for the next fortnight. August saw more blitzes from the two HQ's that he had saved in July that brought him down and through the mountains in the Caucasus and to that row of clear terrain straight to Baku. He also took Stalingrad. I had burned a lot of HQ steps during this period. I tried to counterattack where he was weak, but he moved up a bunch of infantry reserves to shut that down (this is where the extra 10 or so combat blocks starts to come in).

Its now the middle of the first fortnight of November and I've retaken Rostov with a successful counterattack, but given the supply rules he can simply hang out with most of his army in the Caucasus. I could try for some crazy race for Berlin but I don't have the HQ steps for it. Also, once he is back in firm supply and has regrouped he'll probably thrust north to Moscow instead of retaking Rostov, and I doubt I can repel him, especially having lost Baku by then.

My only hope is that the imminent invasion of France by the Western Allies starts a catastrophic strain in the German position, since he has nothing of substance the west. Mind you, there are two turns of guaranteed mud coming up in the west, and he could always pull the Germans out of Libya to defend France (who cares about Africa at this point?).

One thing that bugs me is that if this was Eastfront, this would basically be a game over position for the Germans as over half their army would probably die in the Caucasus. In Eurofront, its not necessarily a big deal. This seems like a seismic shift.
 
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Completely agree that Turkey joining the Axis can be a death blow. Even beyond the threat to Baku, the entire British position in the Mid East will probably fall apart.

That seems fair though, given how hard the Caucasus are to take. If half the German army is in the Caucasus attacking mountain hexes (double defense, 2 unit stacking limit), the Soviets should really be able to find weak spots in the German line. It sounds like all the German HQs were concentrated in the south in your game. Leningrad and Moscow should have been completely safe...were the Soviets attacking in the north?

It's easier said than done, but I try to time my builds as the Soviets to have a few 4 CV infantry ready in December '41 to protect the shock armies. That's all you really need to launch a nasty counterattack against the paralyzed Germans. If the German army was spread out with 2 CV armor units holding the line, it could have been mauled over the winter.

 
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Avram Lytton
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The OKW cross command mistake, together with everything else (smart, aggressive play, overloading the East etc.) might have been enough in this game for the Germans to seize Baku.

I was holding the line with little more than cadre come November '41 and he was still mulling over attacking me more (despite the German handicaps) combined with terrain double defense and burned out Soviet HQ's, I wasn't attacking anyone in the early winter. By late winter the Germans had built themselves back up.

I did try and attack north of voronezh while the whole run to the south was going on, but he moved in a bunch of infantry and put a stop to that. Like I said, the 12 extra blocks make it a lot harder for the Soviets to counterattack such an offensive.

I'd have to play it out from the German perspective, but it might be a killer German strategy to bundle everything you can into the south come summer '42 and blitz your way into the Caucasus. As happened in our game, the first snow might find the Soviets blasting into Rostov, but if you can take the mountains (and with repeated blitzes you likely can as its unlikely the Soviets can form a line with 4 step blocks at that point - mine consisted of 2 steppers) then Turkey is likely to enter the war, which eliminates any supply issues.

In our game he was OOS for one fortnight. I did manage to run a mech behind his lines which led to around 8-10 German blocks eventually being killed. However, with Baku he had so many production points and the Russians were so hobbled, that he was able to quickly rebuild a lot of this stuff in Central Europe and use it, together with the SS, to massacre the Western Allies, who had come ashore in November (but were limited by mud until March).

Like I said, it may be that the OKW thing made all the difference, but it does seem like in Eurofront the Germans can really crush the Soviets in the 1941-1943 period before the Western Allies can do that much. If the Russians are crippled in that period then the game is over.
 
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I would switch sides and try the strategy yourself as the Germans, to get a sense of its weaknesses. The Caucasus strategy is certainly valid, but there is no "perfect" strategy in EastFront.

I took a quick look at the German OOB...it doesn't seem the Germans could have overloaded the east quite as much as you think. Until June 1941, the German EuroFront army is basically their EastFront army (green numbers in the bottom left identify EastFront units, and italicized black numbers identify WestFront units). WestFront units start arriving in June 1941, but a lot of those units are forts and statics. Maybe by the end of 1942 the Germans could have sent six infantry/armor/mech WestFront units into the EastFront, but I don't know how they would garrison France or the Balkans.

I absolutely agree that the Allies cannot win the game by themselves if the Soviets are getting beaten. The game is historically accurate in that the Russians have to do most of the heavy lifting.
 
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Avram Lytton
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We called the game, so I looked at what he had in the East in the end, and what I recall him having earlier (that is of the maybe 16-18 German blocks that died in the East during the course of the game).

The alien units that existed in the East, not all at the same time mind you, are as follows (roughly):

2 HQ's
1 Para
2 Panzers
2 mech
5 3CV infantry
2 Mountain
4 static infantry

That's about 18 in total, perhaps a dozen or so at one time. The Germans do start with a number of units (a Panzer, 2 mech, 8 inf etc.) in the west and Balkans at the start of the 1941 scenario.

I think there a psychological factor here. I have played Eastfront/Eurofront 6 times now, winning 4 of them. I have never seen the Germans behave as aggressively as they did in this game. Usually players, aware that the Germans are expensive to rebuild and that the Allies will go on the attack later in the game, tend to behave cautiously when there is the risk of substantial German casualties. In this game, however, my opponent behaved utterly fearlessly, making many questionable, unsupported attacks. He also didn't care if I counterattacked and killed a few of his infantry blocks if it meant maintaining his focus elsewhere.

This may lead to disaster later in the game, but it seems like in 41-42 the Germans outnumber, outgun and outcommand the allies/Soviets by such a margin that they can take the losses (for a time) as long as it means seizing Baku or Moscow or something. Simply put, the Germans have a lot more CV and combat power than their opponents in the first couple years of the game and if they're willing to burn them, it seems incredibly difficult to counter. I mean, they don't really need Germans in Africa come 1942 if they can throw them into Russia and win the game there. Who cares if Vichy joins the Allies if the Russians are blasted to smithereens?
 
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You said it yourself--if the Germans throw everything into the EF they are tossing away their chance for a victory or draw after 1942, because the Allies will be swarming Europe. It's an interesting strategy, but it's not a gamble I would make in most games.

Even in your game, it sounds like the Axis player barely got Turkey to join before half his army was wiped out. And that was after mistakenly using OKW for cross command, having two dry Octobers, etc. If the Soviets had held the Caucasus mountain hexes or you had taken Rostov a few turns earlier, the Germans would have had no shot at holding out in the long term.

You should try the strategy a few more times as both sides to see if the risk is worth taking.
 
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Avram Lytton
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It is a gamble, no doubt.

It seems a reasonable one though, if that's the kind of game you want to play (I don't play like that).

He actually failed the Turkey roll once before he got it and he should not have allowed me to get a mech unit behind his lines. Had that not happened, 10 German blocks would have lived.

My great invasion of France in late '42 was a complete disaster. It turns out the Western Allies are total weenies until 1944. He rebuilt some of his dead Russian front units in the west, which together with the big reinforcement the Germans get in early '43, was enough to massacre the Brits and Americans, (8 blocks dead, ugghh...). With that done, he could turn East again and nuke Moscow.

I might try the '42 scenario with as an overloaded German player and see what happens. I'll post the results if I do.
 
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