Part 45: Turn 42: April 2, 1942
The first turn of the spring mud has a lot of new rule changes. That's great because the front certainly isn't going to be doing a lot of changing this turn. I also love how the line looks right now, defense-in-depth looks really neat when it's organized, unlike the cobbled together nightmare line we had back in '41.
When was the last time we made it through a turn without a promotion? This is getting a little ridiculous.
The first of two new formations that are available to us this turn, we can now spend 5 admin points at any major city to create a motorized brigade. I'm not going to be making a whole lot of these just yet, they're expensive and I honestly don't need the mobility right now. The ToE on these things never upgrades, so this is what they get for the duration.
And the second new formation is we can now fuse 3 tank brigades together for 20 admin points to form a tank corps. These units work very differently from the cavalry corps we've been forming thus far. Cavalry corps have the ToE of a cavalry division, just tripled. A Tank Corps ToE is completely different from a brigades and the units that form the corps lose a quarter of their experience to model having to retrain them for their new unit's role.
Up until now I've been using my armor mostly as reserves, keeping them behind the line and safe and only committing them when I need the extra punch to win an attack. This is mostly because tank brigades are nearly useless in an exploitation role, tank brigades are too small and fragile to act independently and using them to exploit a breakthrough is just asking for a counterattack to rout the formation.
Tank corps on the other hand are fully capable of acting independently and were formed specifically for the purpose of exploiting breakthroughs. I won't be making many just yet because this first iteration is complete garbage and they won't get a decent ToE until July. They're also horrifically expensive with a single corps costing nearly half of my weekly admin point budget even if I use existing brigades. If I want to form a new corps from scratch it would cost 41 admin points (out of 50 per turn,) 15 for the brigades, 20 to reform them into a corps and another 6 for forming the support units and reassigning them. Besides the prohibitive cost is the fact that this first ToE has less tanks in it than 3 brigades and takes 4 command points to assign to an army while the brigades only take 3. So most of my frontline armies are going to be sticking to brigades for now while I build dedicated tank armies to handle the exploitation job. Eventually my frontline armies will upgrade to corps but that probably won't be until '43 at the earliest.
And the final big change for this new month, the command point cap for Soviet armies (denoted by the tank symbol followed by 18:18) has dropped from 21 to 18. I've been preparing for this for about a month now so we're not caught unprepared, only 5 armies out of 58 are overloaded. This is just a big drain our already strained admin points as we need to strip 1-2 units out of every army and then form new armies to lead these now leaderless divisions.
The upside to this is with our armies all shrinking in size a little bit it should be much easier to get our fronts under their CP cap. Only one military district and one front are catastrophically overloaded, the rest are either under the cap or within reach. The Moscow Defense zone is overloaded because it's hanging onto a cavalry army that I don't have the Admin points to reassign just yet (it costs 50+ admin points to re-assign an army if the commander fails his check.) The Kalinin front is 2 armies over cap and there isn't anything I can do about it right now. What I really need is another Front counter but we don't get a new one until June so we'll just have to make due until then.
So mud turns, last time we had mud we were rebuilding the entire Red Army's command structure. This time we have no such projects to work on and so I can instead concentrate on getting tricked by defensive CV numbers. Please keep an eye on that 1=1 German division I've got selected with the pink NATO symbol.
Yeah, so we've got 5 divisions and 3 corps vs a single 1=1 division. You think those are good odds and launch an attack. A million support units get committed and now it's 1=14 and . Attacking stuff in the mud is very hard.
The Volkhov front tries to launch 1 attack, meets similar results and settles for spreading out and digging trenches. I'll bet you can spot the division I tried to attack in this picture, one of these things is not like the others.
The Moscow M.D. manages to muster up 70,000 men and barely drive back a regiment of 4,000. We have 1 piece of artillery for every 4 Germans in this attack and only barely win.
The Western front manages to encircle 2 infantry divisions that were held in place by the mud and our breakthrough in this region.
In the south I occupy some ground the Germans evacuated while pulling back from a breakthrough. I'll probably rail a reserve army into this area to shore it up but for now we just entrench.
The Germans launch a series of attacks on our bulge, I kind of expected this but I wanted to see if they'd let me have it for free anyways.
We launch 7 attacks this turn with 1 succeeding and the Germans responded with 7 attacks, all of which succeed. I guess I'll just have to be a bit more choosy.
I'm not gonna make a map of the front every turn during the mud, they'll return once this mess dries out.