|Jerry Taylor's EastFront Strategy Tips
|Germany rarely gets the kill in '41
(anything beyond a bare marginal is virtually impossible against a skilled Russian),
but he can sure kick the living hell out of the Red Army and set up the win in
the summer of '42.
The key is to concentrate 3 of your 4 HQs (preferably all 3 3-steppers, but the
less daring use 2 3-steppers and the 2 pointer) and activate only one a turn,
"leapfrogging" each other. Your army must be centralized around each
HQ to get maximum punch and drive. Judiciously blitz; there will be months when
you need to blitz each of the two turns, so when little combat or no encirclement
will result from the blitz, resist the temptation and just activate normally.
You'd be surprised how flexible your army is in this formation; even concentrated,
that much logistical support in one play can drive the central Wehrmacht hammer
all over the map, so the Ruskies can't depend on you simply hitting the closest
part of the front.
The Reds will make your job easier if they stand and fight. Most Russians make
this mistake; they get hypnotized by the River line running from Kiev to Gomel
to Smolensk with a one-hex gap and into the Dvina. The right Red manner of play
is to RUN! Give up ground and make a stand only in July at that line (sans the
River outside Riga; just too close to the German infantry). Unless the Germans
are really playing slowpoke, the Red's should bug from the line in the first turn
of August and continue fading. The idea is to always stay three hexes away from
the German infantry; for the Wehrmacht to hit you primarily with armor and without
infantry support whenever possible. Most German players will tire of chasing you and
throw their Panzers out there alone...a mistake because, without infantry there
to absorb hits, the armor will get banged up pretty quick, will not have enough
support to draw any kind of large-scale noose around breaks in the line, and are
vulnerable to supply-cutting counterattacks by weasally Reds.
But few Russians will do this, and the Germans should just kick the crap out of
anything they can catch with infantry. But be careful of just hammering a dug
in Red Army (even if depleted) head-on; German replacement points are always scarce,
and senseless violence will eventually take its toll. Instead, work to break a
hole by concentrating your attacks and then encircle pockets of resistance.
If all goes according to plan, the Reds should lose either Leningrad and the Finish
exit hex, Moscow and the immediately surrounding cities, or the knot of Ukrainian
production (including -- and this is important -- Rostov). If the Germans cannot
accomplish any of the above three, they simply will not win this game absent a
miracle. If they can accomplish 2 of 3, the Wehrmacht probably has the game sewn
up. If only one of three, then it will go into '42 even.
The Germans have to be careful of the winter, however, as the Red army can pack
one hell of a punch in the snow even if they've been slapped around a lot in the
dry months. The Germans should begin planning a defensive line in October (make
sure that it's no closer than 3 hexes to Red positions if at all possible, as
the Russian infantry and guards can only move one hex per turn and this way you'll
have plenty of warning about where the attack is coming). The Germans should give
ground during the winter if necessary; the Russians CAN cripple the Germans significantly
if the German is careless and even turn a draw (see the definition of that above)
into a win then and there. German armor losses are particularly devastating (well,
HQs are even more devastating, but that's understood), as Hitler rarely has the
luxury of spending to bring them back.
Jerry Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.