War in the East - Road to Minsk24 Feb 2011 0
The ?Road to
The game was played as German on normal level with fog of war on. In terms of game preferences, I let movement points per hex show, use graphic unit display and icons with combat value and movement numbers. I use long combat message displays to see exactly who did what to whom. I leave game options at default.
On June 22, 1941, Army Groups North and Center have seven
victory hexes they can grab with their twenty corps and well-equipped air fleet.
The elements of advance planning and surprise are compounded with bombing
advanced Soviet airbases. Elements of
the II and XXIII Corps dissolve the units in front of them and race to the
outskirts of the
The end of the first turn sees the Germans lose 7,189 men, 107 guns and 43 armored vehicles as opposed to the Soviets? losses of 99,681, 1,961 and 543 respectively. During its turn, the AI simply sent over recon aircraft and moved something behind the lines. No attempt was made to pull out the Russian units stranded in the center. The Russian northern and southern flanks have disappeared and the center is overripe fruit. My concerns are maintaining supply and corps integrity. The first German attacks were made with great air support and without transferring assets.
Racing with the Moon
At first glance, the situation on June 26 seems a dream for
the Germans. No organized resistance appears likely;
If anything can rain on my parade, it?ll be organized
The end of turn 2 sees 12,512 Germans lost with 132 of their guns and 77 AFVs gone. These sums seem miniscule compared to the Russian 172,838 men, 3,191 guns and 1,029 guns gone. Soviet activity seems lax this turn but I?m frustrated with the speed of German advance.
Ashes in Adolph?s Mouth
Air recon on July 3 shows a few more Russian units north of
Alas, this revelation comes too late. German units from the
north and south come within one hex of
This scenario lacks many of the finer points of War in the East such as administrative points, commanders, weather, production, transferring assets and complicated logistical problems. However, one can learn the essence of combat. So how did I throw away the incredible German advantages? Here are some of my more glaring errors:
- Overkill ? Hitting single Russian divisions with stacks of German units wasn?t necessary. This tactic wasted movement points and time while not actually clearing corridors through the Russian lines.
- Not breaking divisions down ? The tutorial emphasizes building strong Russian units. This logic doesn?t work for the Germans early in the war. German divisions are strong enough. Breaking a few down into regiments allows the fast tactical movements necessary for blitzkrieg.
- ?Victory Sickness? ? The incredible successes on the first turn left me giddy, thinking the rest of the game would be a cakewalk. I didn?t think the second turn through.
- Not knowing the victory points ? I forgot to look at the victory point screen. The three victory hexes I grabbed early were worthless. Most of the time and assets I put into their capture were wasted. The attack on Litovsk was a prime example of this idiocy.
War in the East exemplifies the best goal of gaming: learning, not winning. I learned much about the system while getting my head handed to me. I?ll use those lessons not only in future games but also when studying the Russo-German War.
About the Author
Jim Cobb has been playing board wargames since 1961 and computer wargames since 1982. He has been writing incessantly since 1993 to keep his mind off the drivel he deals with as a bureaucrat. He has published in Wargamers Monthly, Computer Gaming World, Computer Games Magazine, Computer Games Online, CombatSim, Armchair General, Subsim, Strategyzone Online, Ganesquad and Gaming Chronicle.