Gallop/Star (moved from Beta test forum)

Let's keep only one thread active per scenario. What do you think about a particular scenario. Was it too easy, too hard? Did you win or lose at first? Post descriptions of your brilliant victories and unfortunate defeats here.
dougb1
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Gallop/Star (moved from Beta test forum)

Unread postby dougb1 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:25 am

First off i'm very impressed with the game so far. A couple of comments about Star/Gallop (Soviet against the AI).

It seems to be almost impossible to maintain supply for the Soviets anywhere near Kharkov. There are no rail lines to trace supply. I think this is historical - supply difficulties often caused Soviet offensives to run out of steam and I think they encountered particular difficulties in this battle - especially when the SS units showed up. I was not able to take Kharkov and didn't do very well at all in my first two games of this scenario - though I'm probably just getting used to the system. Just wanted to make sure i wasn't missing anything in my game play when it comes to supply. One thing I didn't do was build any bridges - perhaps this is where I went wrong?

Anyway as I wrote I'm extremely impressed so far!

Thanks,

Doug

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Tomislav Uzelac
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby Tomislav Uzelac » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:38 am

Hi, first of all sory for editing the subject of your post - I changed it to be the same as the scenario name. Of course, "Gallop" and "Star" were two equally important operations, so it's fine in either order... well anyway I changed it for consistency sake.

Supply in Gallop/Star: you are right, historically the Soviets outrun their supply and this I think is the effect we got. That said, it's definitely possible to win (we tested that, many times), but it requires skill and a little luck.

An important note about supply sources (also in manual): supply will "travel" accross rail only if the supply source is on the railway line. In Gallop/Star it intentionally is not. This simulates that, historically, other operations were still taking place nearby: the Ostrogozhsk-Roshosh and Voronezh-Kastornoe operations, ie. the "Don Offensives" scenario. Because main supply for Gallop/Star area of operations came from the north via Voronezh railway, Soviet supply was really bad and this is how we've shown it in the scenario.

dougb1
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby dougb1 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:28 pm

Excellent, thanks for clarifying that and I'm extremely happy that you've employed a simple but effective mechanic to model the historical situation. I read somewhere that there was a joke that 5th tank army was '5 tank army', given the supply dificulties and the tendency of the machines to break down or run out of fuel given that they really hadn't mastered the art of supplying modern mobile offensives. It makes it a little easier to understand how the SS units (strong but not superhuman) were able to wreck the Soviet spearheads to the point where the tank army had to be withdrawn and Group Popov was pretty much destroyed.

I did notice the first game that the AI slipped 3 divisions in behind my lines in the south after forcing a gap in my lines. The end result was kind of funny becuase the Germans were out of supply behind my lines while my southern flank was also out of supply. I'll have to play quite a bit more to fully assess the AI but it certanly doesn't just sit back and take it!

Best wishes,

Doug

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Tomislav Uzelac
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby Tomislav Uzelac » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:37 pm

Thanks, I'm glad you appreciate that. I tried to make each scenario "feel" like the historical battle in question, even though I only had these relatively simple mechanics at my disposal. It's good that is shows, at least in this scenario.

Sure, the AI can be too aggressive for its own good sometimes... did ruin your day though :-)

ComradeP
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby ComradeP » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:07 am

I'd say the scenario does a good job, overall, of showing that Mobile Group Popov's Tank corps started the battle understrength, some essentially being limited to a motorized Rifle brigade and a handful of tanks.

This scenario will probably be difficult to win against a human, who manages to use his forces properly, but there are few Axis units in any case.

By clever use of partisans, GD and its detachment will start out of supply (GD might start out of supply in any case, I'm not entirely sure). The partisans are really good for making sure a unit won't be in supply.

Brilliant victory on turn 5. There was nothing in Zaporozhye so capturing it was simply a matter of driving there.

Surprisingly, I didn't lose any units to the SS.
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SiTheSly
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby SiTheSly » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:28 am

*** Note to self ***
Don't play PvP with ComradeP for money, he's too good.

I tried and failed miserably in that scenario

ComradeP
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby ComradeP » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:15 pm

I mostly puzzle my way through the scenario and make good use of the AI's limitations. I don't think all of the tricks I'm pulling would work against a human.

For the developers, I've attached the saved game.
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Spooner
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby Spooner » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:46 pm

I had real problems with the SS. I just didn't have any units that could crack them and they also managed to break through and take the first control point back from me (I'm happy to take high casualties against tough stuff, but I really had nothing that could do any damage at all to them!). In the end, I managed to cut them off and starve them, but it took too long so I needed "just one more turn" to complete the mission.

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Spooner
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby Spooner » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:16 pm

Second attempt - used partisans more effectively and made sure I rushed the final city with some cavalry. SS sat on the penultimate city this time though, rather than all of them hanging around Karkov (I'd starved the one that did go to Karkov and it is completely out of supply). Although I threw about 5 units at the SS in that last turn (2 tanks and 3 men), they were all destroyed outright since the odds were so unfavourable (the remaining tank is given 3:0 casualties, so it isn't going to win either). That said, I did not buy any reserves, so maybe boosting a few units might have enabled them to scratch the SS paint, at least :D I would like to be able to finish (if not perfect) the map without using reserves, though.

gallop1.jpg

The fact that the SS units moved to different targets in this game proves the AI is not entirely scripted, which allows for better replayability :)
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ComradeP
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Re: Gallop/Star

Unread postby ComradeP » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:13 pm

Yeah, you can't really attack the SS, not even with veteran Tank corps with a Heavy Tank step. You just have to hope they don't destroy too many units/your mobile units.

The Soviets have fairly weak individual units, but they tend to have many of them.

Rifle formations can't be depended upon to launch credible attacks on the Germans, but they can defend if needed. If you give them artillery (the towed variant, as it has a better shift), they'll get a decent shift and you should be able to manage to get 1:1 or 0:1 attacks against regular German infantry divisions.

Cavalry corps are useful for capturing terrain and finishing off weak units. Give them a T-34 step and they're better at it. Don't count on them to hold their own against German attacks. Perhaps their combat power could be increased slightly, at least if they had some of the tanks they should get based on their historical TOE. Currently, they're cavalry divisions called cavalry corps (the corps had about a division's worth of cavalry). Attaching a T-34 specialist step to them by standard could also work.

Your Tank and mechanized formations will win the battles for you, combined with massed attacks by your Rifle formations. If the Germans are in supply and behind a river line, you can more or less forget about winning any time soon. Luckily, you can usually cut off the AI from its supply sources.

In some scenarios, I'd be willing to trade 3 of my Rifle divisions for a single strong 7 step Rifle corps unit.

You can really feel the quantity over quality approach of the Soviets in most scenarios, and witness the killing power of even 3 step Panzer divisions. 4 or so 5 step Panzer divisions in a scenario, combined with even a single SS unit are a recipe for either a very costly victory or a Soviet defeat unless you get lucky or plan things right.

In Panzer General and derived series you could use air units or artillery to suppress/weaken strong enemy units, but that's not really an option in UoC. The VVS isn't going to help you as it's not included in the more challenging scenarios. As such, you can count on 5 step SS units ruining the day of one or more of your units each turn. Even with all suppressed steps, they're still powerful on the defense.