I haven't been keeping up on the turn by turn updates for the game Brian and I have been playing that was first referenced in the "Status Check on Game" post.
Over the summer, things have turned remarkably in German's favor. Through card play and time, the Soviets have spent through their initial high PP balance. Over late July through Sept I, the Germans have easily inflicted 8-12 steps per turn with the Soviets only able to replace 4-6 steps per turn. Here's the map situation after the German Sept I turn. Weather has been Clear (no Overcast) all summer long for the Germans.
As you can see they are overrunning the Donbas (assisted by 6 partisans) and have advance well past the Typhoon start line in the center and are currently only 6 hexes from Moscow. Other than in the North, the Soviet line has disintegrated. The Germans have outrun their supply so that might trigger a short pause or at least a slowdown in the advance (not sure given the shoestring nature of the Soviet defenses).
German losses are minimal. There is 1 Romanian step loss and one German KG in Krakow awaiting free upgrading. All other Korps/Armies are at full strength. Germany still has 7 1/2 EP and 9 PP. They have one BF-109f in the destroyed box. For cards, they still have not played Roll Bahns or Army Reorg.
The Soviets have 41 PP before Sept I spending and 69 1/2 MP. For cards, the Soviets have Emergency Mobilization to look forward to in October. Manpower Shortages and Scorched Earth are available to them for Sept card draws.
"We want to help, but we also want to have some fun playing."
Unlike other aspects of life, rule #1 is having fun. So what's it like to have a game played through with unchanging rules? I don't recall. :D
The pace of change has greatly slowed. Many of the newer ETO cards and systems are in the posted 0.5.5 module. There have been a few more changes to a card or two as minor issues were focused in the play test games. For example the Labor Battalions and Conscripts card better reflecks its historical recreation of labor makings its way out from Moscow to help build defenses. In the games, the card was played and every key hex along the wholefront line obtained an improved position. Now the card has a range from a single objective hex.
Actually, VVS is stronger than expected due to the ability to upgrade. All the Yaks and LAGGs have been out.
He was also able to play GPW two turns in a row, which has recently been corrected. So the Soviet was getting more to the front than reasonable ... or even historically accurate.
However, you are right. It is hard to keep track of all the changes. That is why Graham and I decided to stick with the 0.42 and 0.4 kit and not get all these constant changes when 0.5 came out ... because each change in process will skew the game even more. We want to help, but we also want to have some fun playing.
We haven't moved to 0.5 and -045 as of yet, because there still seems to be major tweaks forthcoming. We figure give it a little more time while we move forward with current game (0.4 and 042) and get a "feel" for the balance under that non-changing rule set.
Having perfect weather all summer, combined with a later and weaker VVS presence (the misunderstanding RE EM--and it's hard to keep track of the changes) were a challenge for the Russians.
The Partisans can be a bother especially if they take a city you need for supply. You should be able to find some troops to go kill them off. The Soviets problems in your game is not enough troops.
We’re playing 0.4 kit and 0.42 rules as published.
Partisan’s were all placed legally per above plus within the 6 hexes Rule you didn’t list. The 1sr Partisan was placed 6 hexes away from a German unit. Then I “daisy chained” the next Partisan in each ungarrisoned city hex working my way to Stalino.
The RAW means the USSR better leave either the starting Corps in those 3 cities, or spend 2RPs and buy 4 garrisons over the first 3 turns of the game. The cards design intent works nicely, reflecting Stalin’s fear of the Ukrainians. Stalin had garrisoned those cities for a reason, and that didn’t changed even after the war.
I too had done very well with the Soviets for many games but as the rules changed in the play test games, I fell into some older tactics and the pockets started happening. The fear you should have when playing the Soviets in the summer of 1941 should be present. With the current version of the USSR Mobile Forces OOB card, The Early Soviet Mech Corps will demobilize earlier and without an option to obtain an improved position. My thoughts are that it will make a change in play the most in August. Counter attacks can still happen but, you must look to retreat a little sooner to save your army. Did you play with 8 as the spending limit? Did you use Resiliency or Refuges?
Tip your King, you are toast. There has been a change on the placement of Partisan Divisions. They can be close together but they must be placed in empty hex that is either: 1) a Mountain hex (with no other restrictions), OR 2) a City, Forest, Hill, Sand, or Swamp hex that is also not adjacent to a Ground unit from another Faction and if possible, each must be placed within six (6) hexes of another unit from its Faction (even another Partisan unit). That might not have changed the placement in your game but possibly the Stalino unit would have had to be closer to the front when the card was played. I have seen one other game where the Russian Player hoped to use Emergancy Mobilization later in the war. The games look close to the same. The newer plan for TiTE2 is to change EM card to an OOB card which is free into the hand. It only works for three turns but you also get the card draw(s) in August.
EM is now a Medium card. A Major card can be drawn in July, but its benefits cannot be enjoyed until August (being the 2nd month after the Sneak attack).
Yes, I played Labor Battalions and Conscripts in August. In my mind the sooner you get those conscripts in the mix, the sooner they get on the board and get losses inflicted on them which magnifies the value of Manpower Shortages. They need time to cycle through the mix. If you can get 7 or 9 Conscripts in the dead pile, then you're getting good value for a Small card (Manpower Shortages).
Also, by rule (unless I interpret it incorrectly), you can't play EM until October at the earliest. It's a large card so you can only select on the first week of the Season. You can't take it in July because Muted Response limits you to Small cards, so October is the first opportunity. Is that incorrect?
I guess Labor Battalions and Conscripts was used instead of Emergency Mobilization in Aug? You are using .4.1, I assume. EM is an optimal pick for Aug, and helps with the VVS. The Germans often have left-over EP at this the Typhoon point, but not this many PP. In fact, I seldom see many left.
Doc, I'm glad you are having a more positive experience with the Germans, for a change. The system has so much to like, and we don't want balance issues to spoil things.
German losses are minimal.
This is where Graham and I disagree. I started with 6 PP and 9EP and got 12PP and 9.5EP during Season Interphase for a total of 18PP and 18.5EP. So I have gone through 9PP and 11EP.
I'm burning way to much. Granted, many of the losses were my doing (see my gripe about CAS results being worse that the original die roll/odds).
Also, all German units start at full strength ... so at this stage of the game, they are easier to keep at full strength. This is expected. Soviets are bringing corps into the game that need to be built up.
Where Graham and I are both at, is we are trying to analyze what has happened. He went from a strong position, to now retreating ... from a balance perspective, I'm okay with this ... because on an ETO scale, if Germany could not have advanced any further, then the entire ETO game would have been over. USSR will never be threatened. As I approach closer and closer to the three main cities (Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad), will it be in time for EM to come out to save the day? Very exciting if you ask me ...