Author Topic: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart (finished)  (Read 20950 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Setting up my side of the forthcoming DAR of Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa with fellow Groghead Bartheart.

Edited to add: his thread link is here, but we're still playing so I won't read it until then. http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=15513.0

Edited to add: and the aftermath discussion thread shall be here. http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=17083.msg449121#msg449121

Thanksgiving today, got to do errands etc. (including right this moment), so I'll be back to add later.

Note: Bart can read this thread down to a point before we start; I won't be talking about anything secret until later, and I'll make it clear when he needs to stay away until the aftergame.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 07:08:36 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Crossroads

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 09:01:02 AM »
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 10:03:33 AM »
As my thread title indicates ("It isn't paranoia if they're..."), I'll be playing Stalin. Bart will be playing Field Marshal Halder.

For those who don't know the game system, those are actually the characters the game is designed for each side to play, partly to make playing each side as different (yet not too different) as possible, and partly because the entire design philosophy of this game can be summarized as, "How can we possibly make curb-stomping the Russians interesting for either player?"

So I get to fight my own paranoia while paying for my stupidly egotistical murders unspeakably brilliant plan to save Russia in the long run from its greatest nearby threat. We'll see how that works out as I go.

Bart gets to be an upper-middle manager, answering to at least two seniors (one of those being Hitler), dealing with at least two generals around his own command level, and trying to directly manage three Theater Marshals while indirectly managing the Army and Division generals under them.

The game will run no longer than 54 turns (4 days each) plus a pre-game strategy turn which will be more detailed for Bart than for me -- see his thread (which I'll link to later once he makes it) for details.

It might end sooner depending on whether I can get HalderBart shot as an incompetent / traitor by his own people.  >:D Or depending on what kind of strategy Bart picks. If he decides to semi-defy Hitler from the outset, he can win the game relatively early by seizing any of the three target cities (one per theater, although in the South he'd need Rostov plus one of a couple of other cities) and holding it for a month. Otherwise he'll pick one target city, which I won't know about, or let Hitler do that for him (there are benefits either way), and he'll win if he's holding that city at the end of the game. There are some other sudden death win conditions, too, such as if one of us wipes out all opposition in a theater. (As a practical matter, neither of us can permanently wipe out each other's HQs, but we can temporarily put them out of action. Technically mine are permanently gone but I reinforce with new ones quickly; the Nazis just reconstitute the old ones in a safer place. If there are no troops from our regime remaining in a theater when the last HQ of that theater goes down, that's the end of the game.)

Otherwise, whoever has the higher score wins after the final turn. That's calculated by taking the victory points (I own them all at the start), dividing Germany's by half (since realistically every expectation is that he'll be dominating the map by the end of the game), and then adjusting each tally by our difficulty level.

The difficulty level is a multiplier with an initial calculation at the start of the game based on the options we agreed to -- I don't recall the details offhand, we'll see when the game starts -- but it can actually CHANGE DURING THE GAME! Each side has some special help buttons (Germany has more of them) which can be played for free at any time as often as we wish, they don't have cooldowns or limits and don't even cost political points (the currency for most actions in the game)! But whenever they're used, they reduce the difficulty score for that player and increase it for the other player, so that Victory Points will be worth less and more respectively at the end of the game.

So I could use my one super-power, to activate all my armies at once, every turn if I wanted to. But if I did, my difficulty multiplier would be constantly reduced and Bart's would be constantly raised, so that his Victory Points at the end of the game might be godly while mine are worth rubbish.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Windigo

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 01:15:55 PM »
I am looking forward to the match.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 03:02:39 PM »
NON-SECRET PREGAME BLATHER

(Not that the other blather wasnít pregame or non-secret. I just mean that Barth can continue reading through this post.)

Youíre all probably wondering what my big strategy is. Well, Iíll tell you.

My plan is to provoke a war with Nazi Germany.

People will say Iím insane. Thatís fine, so long as they go along with my plan. Those generals who didnít want to go along with my plan, Iíve imprisoned or shot. Kruschev and Zhukov are on board. They understand.

They understand that the Imperialist capitalists will never have the guts to try to stop Hitler before itís too late. Everyone appeased him and appeased him and then ran or got overrun by his panzers.

They understand that while trying to recover from the mess the Tsarists made of our nation over centuries and centuries, we havenít had time to put our Hero Plans into action yet.

They understand we look weak, because aside from numbers we are in fact weak.

And they understand that by the time we grow stronger, Hitler and the Fascist Huns will have had just as much time to grow stronger still.

So.

So I have launched a great strategy to defeat the Huns, our natural enemy, before they grow too strong.

Step one, make an alliance with them. This buys us a little peace in our time to prepare.

Step two, make sure the United States will support us with material if we go to war.

Those steps, accomplished.

Step three: tempt Hitler into trying to conquer us this year.

Our agents have appealed to his ego through various channels.

Our forces have lined up along our border, clearly too weak to attack, clearly too weak to withstand any great war he throws at us, clearly a sign that we intend to attack him once we think we are strong enough.

He would be an utter fool not to strike us while we can still be beaten.

And that is why we will win.

Step four: hold off the Huns long enough for them to be caught stretched out when winter comes, as we train men and material in Asia to swarm down from the Urals and hit them. Many of our troops must be sacrificed for this, but the difference is that we will then be fighting his vast armies in our defensive territory, instead of tucked behind their walls.

Step five: just to be safe, convince the capitalists to open up a western and maybe also a southern front, once the maniacís attention has fully centered on beating us. As in ancient warfare, create a spearline, then hold while the swords and cavalry fall in from the sides.

The Hiterlites will crumble from the sides, and we will have the weight and the power and the experience to push them back to Berlin -- and beyond.

The capitalists will serve us well; and then once we have taken Europe, as a tidal wave draws back and then smashes all before it, they will face a foe much more united, undistracted, and the fittest for having survived the worst in the world.

Many will call this plan insane. A mistake. I will lure them into a false sense of complacency by pretending I have been taken by surprise.

Now let us see the deepness of my strategy...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 11:52:03 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline besilarius

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2015, 04:55:44 PM »
You could always recall the master strategist, Lev Trotsky from exile.  He took care of the Whites and those foreign interventionists.

Oh, wait.  That icepick to the head is a problem.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 09:49:56 PM »
Two men enter..... :-X
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 08:59:53 AM »
All right, Bart has set up and I think sent in his first turn, so from this point Bart can't read farther until after the game is done.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 09:00:13 AM »
This is just a buffer in case Bart is scrolling down.  O:-)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 09:04:02 AM »
Once Bart creates his AAR thread, I'll add links to both our threads in my sig for ease of reference back over to his side.  O0

Thus ends the buffering (probably).
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 11:50:31 AM »
Seriously, you should have already looked away: therefore you are a spy, and I shall have you shot. When I catch you. And I will.


TURN ZERO ROUND 1

In this game, there are rounds not turns. Also, the pre-game turrrround is still called Round 1, not Round 0 or whatever.

For the Soviets, this turn consists in getting reacquainted with the initial Sov dispositions; maybe checking any randomized levels of competency and paranoia factoring assigned to various Marshals and Generals; and most importantly picking which Front to hold at all costs, represented by a particular city which if captured will probably lose me the game.

Iím not really familiar with how this game treats relative front strengths yet, so while I suspect choosing Rostov (the Southern Front) would make the most sense (because depending on how Bart chose his initial strategy he might need another city beyond it in order to make taking Rostov Ďcountí), I decided to choose Moscow since historically the Germans never quite got there.

Thatís the only actual action the Sovs can take on the first round; so there isnít much point looking at the map until Round 2 after the Nazis have had their first shots and we can see what Iíll have to work with going forward.

Still, Iíll post some flavor shots provided by the game (and one by Bart) along the way this turn.

 


Some British spies are trolling me by subtly replacing some letters ďsĒ with that weird ďfĒ-looking version of ďsĒ they used to use back around the time the American partisan revolutionaries kicked them out of America. And then lost their revolution anyway. But I digress. They didnít think I would notice. But I did. Also, I noticed the attempt to seduce me into your Imperial measurements. You cannot troll me, Britain. I will send the head of whoever prepared this report to your Queenís palace. DEATH TO SPIES! Ha ha ha.

(Note: mainly this screen means weíre playing the game with all the historical bling turned on.)


 


The first thing that happens is that someone named ďVanceĒ has hacked the game between Bart and me, and now is taunting us with having done so.

Consequently, if I lose, I shall blame this ďVanceĒ person. This is only reasonable.

I wonít show the stat screen (there isnít much to see yet other than what Iím about to tell anyway), but Russia outnumbers Germany 1431.1K to 1265.6K. But that isnít much, a 1.131 to 1 ratio. And their troops and organization generally are much, much better. But our reinforcement schedule is much, much better. But our reinforcements are cursed. They have the consistency of yogurt, for example.

 


This was part of my Great Maskirovka. (Actually just flavor text in the game.)

 


This is a draft of a letter we are planning to let slip to some chosen probable fascist sympathizers in my staff, to see if we can use them for counter-intelligence or at least increase the probability of their being spies should our sympathizers on their staff hear of a supposed rift between Zuhkov and myself. Lies of course. This is only my Maskirovka being played out, to make us seem weaker than we are and ready for attack. I am not really insane. (Note: also just flavor text in the game.)

 


Obviously I chose Moscow because Iím there. Iím not insane.

 


They may be Tsarist, but theyíll be loyal to me, seeing me as their Tsar. Or Iíll send them into a pit. I can do that, because Iím the leader and I am not insane. Can Bart!Halder shoot his own generals and still win? Can he shoot his own generals at all?? Ha! Ha ha ha! Advantage: me.

With the game already clearly in my advantage, I declare myself the winner and end my turn. I MEAN MY ROUND, I end my round.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 11:53:46 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 11:55:39 AM »
Bart has started his side of the AAR, yay! Here's the link, which I won't read until the end of the game. Also, I'll add it retroactively to the first post; and I'll setup links to both sides in my sig.

http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=15513.0
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2015, 05:30:07 PM »
Not-ROUND 2

For anyone who would rather not Read The Fascist Manual, true Soviet Heroes can instead watch a nice suite of videos in-game (if you have the appropriate bourgeoise decadent video player on your system) under the help tab. Unfortunately, you have to start a game as one or the other side first to watch them -- unless you know how to go into your game folder from the system and look for the tutorial folder. There are plenty of tool-tips, too; which can be set to only activate with a mouse right-click, if you prefer, in the preferences tab for whatever game youíre running. The Pref tab is the farthest left on the upper toolbar (in good Soviet fashion! :D ), and the boxes there will only affect your game, not your opponentís. Iíve got several special boxes clicked, including one to send end-of-round results back to the devs for balance tracking purposes.

First turns are always fraught with lots to do, and thatís especially true for Germany, so while Bart is working on that (and/or whatever else is happening today), letís take a look at some basic game information from the Soviet side as of July 18th before the starting gun(s).

For this purpose Iíve started a skirmish game against the AI. Germs havenít moved yet, or started reducing my troops, so all positions will be identical to our actual game. Probably the starting generals will be historically assigned -- Iím not sure if thereís any deviation on that, since we picked a historical start -- but even with a historical start there will be some minor random fluctuation on their stats. So anything you see about that in these screenies wonít necessarily be true for the game vs Bart.

Letís start by looking at the total available area to play in.

 


Thatís the minimap at game start. The red rectangle roughly in the middle is where my game window is currently zoomed, and weíll see that in a minute (centered on Moscow). The red squiggly line is the front of control between Germany (or their allies, most importantly Finland with that disconnected red line a little left of top center) and Russia.

Most of the blue lines are river systems, which for game purposes are purely roadblocks for movement and defense. You can see a number of oceans (and the Caspian Sea), but Iím pretty sure for this game there are no naval options: there are technical options for getting to Copenhagen etc., but it wouldnít do me any good; and on the other hand I donít think the Nazis can do naval invasions or engagements. For me thatís just as well -- I have enough problems as it is, but it also means the Germans (probably??) wonít be able to interdict some of my supply lines arriving by ocean.

Two of the long squiggly blue lines, which you may have noticed look like I accidentally dragged a pen across the map into the Urals and the Far North, are red on the real map: theyíre the Theater lines, dividing the map into three organizational parts, north, central, and south. Iíll talk more about this later.

On this map you canít see units, but you can see some rough terrain ideas, and if you squint you may be able to see the minor and major towns (in brown and blue respectively).

Letís zoom in a tad.

 


Iím going to try experimenting with the 1024 Imageshack size, since games like this need more resolution; but I donít want readers to have to be scrolling their windows left and right all the time, so let me know how well this is working or not, kthx? (Iíll try to remember to ask again after this post.)

Okay, on looking closer, as far as this game is concerned there is no land connection to that area of Scandanavia in the upper left corner, so it is literally impossible for me to get there, and even if the Germs have naval transport there wouldnít be a point. So Iíve purpled a line around it with a big "IGNORE."

All the other land area is possible playing field. You can see the major cities -- especially important for the Sovs, since losing them drives me insane. NOT THAT I AM INSANE!

Ahem.

Here the regime / ally holding of areas is more obvious, brownish red for us, lightish green for the Nasties; but we can see a little more terrain detail under that, too. The theater divisions are still in blue like rivers -- personally Iíd recommend making them bright yellow, so Iíve penned them in that way for this map. On the main map theyíre red, like the regime control border. Along that border, and scattered in a little depth behind our border, you can see red dots representing all our stacks, and on the other side you might be able to make out some white clear squares for sighted German stacks. The narrow red rectangle window is still there, as in the minimap -- if I unzoom it gets bigger -- and because Iíve got command radius turned on, and Iíve selected STAVKA HQ in Moscow, you may be able to see some slight discoloration around Moscow in a five hex radius. Thisíll be more obvious in a moment.

 


Same map, without the yellow Theater lines, but with the HQs turned on. Well, most of the HQs; the main Front HQs donít get listed on this map for some unknown reason. Donít know if itís a bug.

Those were the minimap and the strategic map, in that order. They have their own tabs which overlay the main map window (the strat map moreso than the mini). The strat map has a few other tools on it, such as where to send messages to your opponent, which will arrive when your turn is sent.

Letís zoom all the way in to Moscow for a moment on the main map. (Iíve tweaked the position a bit south to show the ring of towns better, so it wonít match up exactly with the rectangles shown previously. All those towns are minor, by the way, costing me 1 VP and no paranoia if they fall. Moscow would show a large red dot if I removed the military counters; those cost me a lot more VP and add paranoia.)

 


Now you can see the command-glow around the HQ -- Iíve got that turned on in my preferences for the game. Any unit in that radius will receive various combat bonuses, not necessarily stackable with support from other HQs. I canít move STAVKA and the other Front HQs (I donít think -- if so thatíll be a card operation, costing political points), but the Germans might move them for me! They canít destroy my HQs, but theyíll earn a bunch of political points for overrunning them -- but given an opportunity, the computer will relocate my main HQs somewhere more safe before their overrun. (The same goes for me running over his HQ, but that isnít likely to happen in this game.)

For this game, Russia is freaking empty except near the front line, so itís just as well that I donít have to worry about invasion from the Black Sea or whatever. (Maybe! -- maybe the Germans have cards for that, I donít know, Iíve gone out of my way not to check so Iíll be a bit surprised when various things happen.)

Despite Barbarossa being the largest military operation in world history so far, the designers have streamlined things a lot. There are only five kinds of counters on the map (for Russia; Germany gets one or two more, such as for rail guns.) Youíre looking at one kind now, the HQ.

 


The flag shows itís an HQ -- other units have NATO markings or (if the option is turned on) figure icons instead. Note that Iím not yet using Philippeís alternative counter art, since that mostly affects the Germs anyway, and Iíd rather wait and see if heís going to use it; that way yíall can see both types.

The little red and yellow dot on the upper left is actually a Soviet gold star, and just shows this is a Soviet unit; as does the darker red background to the main counter area. (The Russians have a lot less variance in this than the Nazis, which could have Axis minor artwork instead.) The little green dot under the national dot shows that this unit is safely in supply; it changes color otherwise. The purple bar down the left side is the HQ color, which is unique for Stavka but which helps visually show which units belong with what HQ (along with a couple of other counter-outline aids that Iíve got turned on but which donít affect this HQ because it has no attached counters.) Last is an abbreviation of the HQís name. On other units this would be a number representing a rough combat power value. HQs do have some weak combat power; this one has 500 troops, although you canít see them yet.

I wonít go into a lot of detail about what the various buttons and things do on the user interface; I just want to give readers an introduction to what the various screenshots Iím going to show Ďmeaní.

I do want to show the Order of Battle tab, though.

 


Okay, the left side of this tab shows a quick list of all counters (i.e. game pieces) Iíve got on the map. The list is really a little simpler than this: STAVKA and Army HQs are both HQ types for example; and there are several kinds of mobile infantry but theyíre all ďfast infantryĒ compared to various flavors of slower regular infantry. Cavalry are a special kind of fast infantry which donít need fuel, so they have their own map counter.

The main OOB window can have several things showing at once. Here Iíve got Stavka selected, so only units directly reporting to Stavka are shown: garrisons are a special kind of infantry that I can raise for free once every round, and we start off with one of those on the map already (in Brest). They canít move, but theyíre tough and cannot ever be out of supply even if surrounded (although other units in their stack may go out of supply). You can see they have a NATO infantry symbol, a rectangle with a big x across it. Cavalry would have one slash of that x in the rectangle. Divisions based mainly on tanks or other heavy armor would have an oval in the rectangle (like a tank tread); and motorized or mechanized infantry would have both the x and the tank tread. Weíll see more of this in a minute. Those are basically the only kinds of unit on the map.

If I click any Front HQ (north, central, and south, from left to right), the screen will bring up all HQs receiving supply and support from that HQ.

Central FHQ has the fewest field HQs, so Iíll choose them:

 



From left to right, thatís 10th Army, Western HQ, 3rd Army, and 4th Army. Notice that they have a pink border around them. That means they submit to the HQ Iíve selected! ^-^ On this little tab thatís obvious, but if I went to the main map theyíd be highlighted in pink, too, to help me find them. (However, sometimes HQs wonít be on top of a stack, so they wonít show up as pink on the map, which can be a bit confusing. The OOB tab helps me find HQs quickly by double-clicking on them.)

3rd Army has the fewest Divisions, so Iíll click on it.

 


And thatís it, thatís as far down as the rabbit hole goes for this game! See, not far enough to drive me mad?

Somewhat unnecessarily, my Front HQs all have their own color flag, even though they donít command divisions directly; but notice that each of those divisions connected to 3rd Army all share its color flag. Unfortunately, that flag is almost completely obscured by the usual nation and supply icon plus the unitís health-bar (for want of a better term). This is why itís nice to have the option turned on that highlights all subordinate divisions in pink when an HQ is chosen on the map, and the slightly different option that highlights all fellow divisions (and I think their HQ) when a division is chosen.

On the OOB tab, those divisions wonít show their current power, but weíll see that on the map in a minute.

Okay, back to the map. The full zoom out shows about a quarter of the mapís area at a time. Hereís the bottom left quarter as an example, but you can move this view around with the mouse (at the map edges) or the arrow keys, it isnít locked to the four quarters of the map.

 


I could have shown a couple more hex lines to the north, but I wanted to be clear about how far down the map goes: to Plovdiv in this case, which of course isnít in Germany per se but this game tracks regime not actual national boundaries. In theory I could be running riot all in that hinterland, but in practice I probably wonít as Iíd be out of supply and these groups are too large to forage effectively -- I donít have the same logistical problems as Germany will, but I still have to keep supply up. I have to say the big gap in the line there sure looks tempting, though! -- after all, I can cut their supply line, too...

Letís zoom in there one notch.

 


As in the previous level, itís easy to see where my fog of war shroud it. In that shroud I can see nothing, but I actually have a good four hex radius forward from my front with some chance to detect things. I really wonder what might be waiting for me in those mountains -- or not, perhaps!

Iíd also like to know how that army or two to the south is getting its supply; almost surely from the road to the south which leads to Bucharest. Well, it isnít a road, itís a railroad. In this game, roads arenít shown on the map, only railroads of two qualities (single and double rail). All-weather roads are assumed to exist along with the railroad network; all other hexes are assumed to be connected with what the developers call ďgoat trailsĒ, which in rainy spells (and seasons) turn to a sloggy mud that stops trucks cold, and German infantry (not so much Sov infantry if I recall correctly, since theyíre used to it). Only tracked vehicles (whether tanks or mechanized infantry -- and the latter only if the division has enough Armored Personnel Carriers) can move through mud, and that causes breakdowns.

As a not-so-incidental sidenote, Germans are able to fix their breakdowns eventually. Soviets in Barbarossa were so ill-trained, though, that any breakdowns we suffer amount to permanent losses, abandoned on the side of the road, as if shot by tanks!

Anyway, letís zoom in on that gap to the max.

 


Iíve turned on my supply layer here, which unfortunately doesnít tell me anything about how theyíre getting their supplies, but I can make some reasonable guesses. Our supply is coming in from Moscow (originally) through Kiev (where our Front South HQ is parked), down the rail-line onto the map screen at Proskurow, and then around the rail network to 12th Army HQ there. Some of my divisions around that Romanian salient are getting their supplies from that same railroad route (not shown in that screenie); a bit farther south my troops are getting supply from an Odessa route (also not shown in that screenie.)

At this zoom level, thereís an option to make the counters smaller and unstack them. Hereís what that looks like, supply level still on.

 


Iíve directly selected 12th Army there, so its divisions are highlighted in pink squares. Most of those are getting supply from the route with the little arrows (stopped at my HQ because thatís what Iíve got selected), but clicking around showed me one or two at the eastern edge of that salient are getting supplies from a more southeasterly direction. Still, itís harder for the Germs to cut us off from supply, or rather itís easier for us to redirect overland as long as a route remains open, although supply may degrade due to weather and terrain -- so if I go into those mountains to try to surround the Romanians and their... um... {checking} grounded Luftwaffe allies (thereís a whole Army of pilots carrying rifles down there in grey!), I will definitely be increasing my overall supply load for the theater. May still be worth doing though.

Assuming I can even get the HQ to issue capable movement orders. Which, this early in the game, isnít too likely, for reasons Iíll get into later once Round 2 arrives and I can do things like move. The Germs get to move and shoot first, as the ones with strategic initiative (in this game the turns will alternate regularly back and forth till the end of the game), so when Bart sends his turn I may find the situation down there untenable for trying anything interesting even if 12th Army activates.

Annnnnd, not much point showing much more until then; so until Round 2 starts, thatís it for now!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 12:17:17 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2015, 05:31:48 PM »
Argh, yeah that's too big of a graphic. I'll try downsizing a notch, see how that looks.

Here's the final screenie from the previous post, resized for comparison.



Remember, for this screenie I turned on the spread-icon toggle which tries to show all icons stacked in a hex but which makes them smaller to do so.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 18507
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2015, 04:55:20 PM »
ACTUAL ROUND 2 (Part 1 of 2)

THANK CHRIST!! Finally, itís time to...

.......

...oh, right. Itís time to be Russia at the start of Barbarossa.

Crap.

(Admittedly, still an opportunity for prayer.)

The good news, is that I havenít lost any Divisions (or HQs) yet. Thatís about to change next round I suspect.

The bad news, is that Iím Russia at the start of Barbarossa. This will be a theme for a while.

The first thing to notice is that I have no decisions to make. Iíve read somewhat contradictory information on this -- most Decisions (trademark) are made by Germany, except during the Pre-game phase. But I never got any pre-game decision options, except for the one choosing my Key Front. Is that because we chose ďHistoricalĒ? But everything Iíve read so far suggests that only affects Front Marshall characteristics or something like that. We kept all Decision Off buttons clicked off, which means theyíre clicked on, right? Do I get decisions only as a reaction to any decisions made by Bart? -- so if he doesnít make decisions I donít get any? Decisions do affect both sides in proportionately opposite ways. I dunno. Something to look into later.

While I donít have decisions, I do have Cards, though again not as many as Germany who for this operation naturally would have more strategic policy options. Quite a lot of my gameplay is simpler, which is reallllly nice until I remember again that Iím playing Russia in Barbarossa. :P

Stalin can choose cards from a strategic stockpile every turn ROUND, some of which are free and some of which cost political points. He can also get access to more cards by moving his two chief asskickers around, Zukhov and Kruschev (who each start at Stavka, but can move freely around the area though it takes time with some delay chances). I might as well mention here that I accidentally sent Krush to where I thought I was sending Zukh (though I did send him afterward, too; weíll see where and why, soon.) Thatís probably okay, since this early in the game Zukh doesnít contribute much -- heís more someone who neutralizes paranoia problems, and I still had no paranoia at the start of this round. Thatís going to change.

So, if political points are so important (and they are), how many do I have?

Ten.

10.

Zeit.

Whatever Russian is for Zeit.

I do get to accumulate them if I donít spend them (which can be handy if Stalin has a paranoid incident; excess PPoints will be spent to reduce his paranoia globally.) But this early in the game I canít accumulate them much.

So for example, it would be a good idea to put all three Fronts on Defensive Posture as soon as possible. But that currently takes 15 points PER ARMY, not per Front, PER ARMY, a total of God Who knows Iím not a mathematician. I only start with 10. I could easily lose the game before getting all my Armies shifted over. Until then, the divisions for each Army will be suffering massive defensive penalties (against the Nazi massive Blitzkrieg offensive bonuses). Sure, Iíll get a 40% attack bonus, but keep in mind Iím Russia At The Start Of Barbarossa. My troops largely suck.

Granted, a lot of them start entrenched. But because Iím R-A-T-S-O-B (weíll just go with that acronym for convenience), I start with a massive debuff to entrenchment, which will slowly decrease each round but it means my entrenchments mean nothing. Thatís because historically while the Sovs did set up very nice forts and entrenchments along the border, they were inept about using them, and were being told to not bother with them anyway since Stalin intended for them to invade the Axis and run riot in the Hinterlands.

Beyond that, the Germs get an extra-special Blitzkrieg bonus to start with, which will slowly decrease over time but which stacks on top of the normal Blitzkrieg bonus. (Blitzing eats up more supplies than regular offensive operations, which he can also switch to by spending political points. The game has been designed to naturally encourage Blitzing operations early.)

Thereís also a card I could play each round which costs 10 points and which reduces the cost of switching to defense in any theater by 5, but it raises my paranoia. On the other hand, flying off the handle and shooting a general at this point wouldnít necessarily hurt -- although Stalin will always be semi-randomly weighed toward shooting a competent one, so...

I need to work this out. (Iíll explain what I spent my 10 points on this round, soon.) Um... okay, making one concession wonít accomplish much; Iíll still be spending all my points each round getting an Army set to defense, for twenty rounds or however many Armies I have left by then.

Making two concessions, and I can shift to defensive posture for only 5 points. Thatís two Armies per round. Not too bad but not great.

Making three concessions, and I can shift all my armies to defensive posture for free! So by turn 5, I can be gearing down into some huge defensive bonuses everywhere! -- but Iíll have to deal with Stalinís paranoia out the wazoo. Fortunately, this is what Krush is for, and again itís easier to deal with this earlier in the game than later. Also, his paranoia reduces every round, so long as Iím not losing red-dot cities (although thereís a minimum based on the paranoia threat from his generals; but those go up over time as they get experienced, and I doubt any of them will be all that experienced by round 5.)

So, what did I spend my political points on this round? Weíll see later.

First up, we need to see what my real starting dispositions are going to look like now that Bart!Halder has taken his first shots. Before then, Iím pretty sure I couldnít even set my divisions and armies to retreat at anything less or more than 50% casualties; so Round Two is really my first turn. Round. Arsh.

Look, can I just call them ďturnsĒ? There is no distinction in this game between turns and rounds. Thanks.

Letís start on the Finnish border.

 


I donít know for sure what the White Ss mean. But the Red Bs are hexes beyond which the Finnish wonít budge; or rather Bart could send them, but it would result in a 10 Ppoint penalty per unit per turn. If certain towns on the southern road to Leningrad are taken, the Finns might agree to unrestricted operations -- 5% chance per turn per town held by the Germs (up to 10% for both towns), but until then even attacking Russian units across the border would risk a political penalty. They can park on the Bs (helping surround Leningrad) without penalty, though, and could help fight to take Leningrad depending on how things turn out.

(Despite the gameís vanilla unit flags, the Finnish werenít strictly part of the Axis, although thereís at least one German unit actually on the line up there, or maybe will be eventually. They were definitely the good guys among the Axis, only fighting to recover what the Russians had invaded and seized, and they came out of WW2 pretty well.)

That being the case, the White Ss probably refer to a political point penalty line if an asteroid strikes Finland giving me half a chance of working some troops into their area. If I have the option, though, Iíd send the asteroid somewhere else.

Bart has started a little fighting along the two lines, but hasnít made inroads yet. I counterattacked with some troops, shuffled some up to the southern Finnish line, and otherwise began the long process of pulling the 7th Army off that northernmost line, to get them back down to Leningrad. One of the nice things about the Armies in this area is that theyíre the only ones set to Neutral Posture, meaning they get no buffs or (more importantly) debuffs -- except for being RATSOBs of course.

At Leningrad, I have two Army groups, one in the city itself and one up near the Finnish front. You canít see it on the map, but North Front HQ is in the city, too.

ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.