wosung
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Grand campaign - Red strategy?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:16 pm

It's probably a bit early for this. But nevertheless, let's share some obersvations, thoughts and questions, shall we?


Building strategies:
Up to now, until the developer's commitee does some re-balancing, let's just say, Marx was right, money is the big issue, much more than recruits, war supplies or the rail pool.

The centre (the area between Don and Volga, Petrograd - Kazan - Tsaritsyn
This is your main base. Apart from obvious strategic locations like Moscow, Petrograd, Tsaritsyn, there are other key points: Frex, Kazan (for its Imperial Gold train), Liski (as a harbor for Black Sea units). The White may approach from the East and the South ... and later the North and ... . The best probably is to defend the main railroad approaches.


Opening moves in the Northern Caucasus:
I wonder what to do with with those three or four unorganized stacks in the Ekaterinodar area South of Rostov. Those is the biggest troop concentration you'll have at the start. But in the first turn they are locked, thus easy prey for the White forces approaching from the North. Probably you'll be beaten up badly and forced to retreat into positions even worse. It's hard to concentrate those three stacks into one big one.

But if you manage this, it's even harder to defend the area until General Winter takes over. And then you'll have the problem to get your troops supplied (building more depots or not), because the Whites quite aptly close down the rail to Tsaritsyne. Now you could dispatch troops from Tsaritsyn South. But only at danger to leave this strategic key location weakened.

So what I do in the very first turn is putting those three North Caucasus stacks on passive posture and ... pray to ... Marx, hoping to extract them at least in parts, going North to Tsaritsyn.

Now what to do with upper Don fleet? There are exactly 2 harbors for it: Novossiysk (Black Sea) and Liski (inland, upper Don). Because I don't see how to defend the North Caucasus from start, I tend to move this Red fleet inland to Liski, helping to defend this place by bombardment. It could be a trap. But well, so is Novossiysk.

Opening moves in Western Turkestan:
There are two cities with depots (Aralsk, Tashkent) worth defending (?!), plenty of green rebels and chances are big to loose both places.

East of Volga (excluding Kazan):
You'll find a few Red cities and partisan areas there. I managed to loose most of it. The cities are defended only by one ore two Mil. The partisans sometimes appear in the middle of nowhere and thus are in trouble to reach any cities for resupplying or doing harm to the Whites.

The Greens:
They are a nuisance and it could become worse. Because of them you'll loose income. They can block your main lines of communication. And, as it is now, you don't have much spare troops to combat them. Whether it is possible to "use" them strategically as blocking forces against the Whites remains open. The designers of RUS have disabled requistions and the consequential Green uprisings in front provinces soon to be conquered by the Whites.

Spreading the Revolution?
After the German capitulation in Nov. 1918, the juicy Ukraine gets unlocked. But as it is now, I hardly have spared troops to conquer it. At start Ukrainian independance forces seem to be rather weak (small divs at most).
In spring-summer 1919 I've got some tough diplomatical choices: Spread the Revolution to your Finish, Baltic and Turk(mene?!) neighbours, or otherwise you you'll loose National Moral, risk to make those countries anti-communist bases and what not. But because of the financial game balance as it is now, having more than enough to do with my own Whites, I frankly don't see any chance to bring Revolution to foreign ... brothers. Because, if you don't conquer their capitals and (?!) key cities quickly, you'll loose National Moral (?!) as well. So you'd better do it blitzkrieg style or not at all.

Last not least, I could be wrong with parts of the above or all of it - what do you guys think? What were your experiences and what are your solutions, comrads?

Regards

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Florent
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:40 pm

I agree totally here with what you wrote.
The Kuban situation is difficult and disaster as it happened to me is a real danger.
Yes the cost are so huge for now that it's impossible to spread the revolution nevertheless with hindsight after 3 days of play, i would buy my units differently at first with 34 money.
Instead of buying costly Regiments of Fusiliers in small numbers, i would buy initially 17 units of expendable Redguards Rgts at a cost...of 2.
Perhaps it is a solution to create some Strategic Reserves for the fight in Ukraine, Baltic countries, Finland and Poland.
With the Gold Event you can create the Fusiliers Divisions to reinforce them.
And with the soon working Requisition there will be some Extras if you collect 5-6 areas regularly.

wosung
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:42 pm

Leaders:

As it is now, they die like flies. That means I start thinking about when to use the good ones (Tukhachevsky, Frunze and those able ex-Tsarist officers) at all. Because the danger of getting them killed in an rather unimportant second rate battle, like against the Greens are really high. But when I'm not using them they can't get experience and seniority.

Trotsky is a special case. He gives huge bonus. Thus he should be everywhere. He has this train symbol, but he can be redeployed to areas without rail. OTH, when he retreats, he seemingly tends to retreat along rails (I could be wrong with this).

Have the designers thought about giving Trotsky a personal redeployment capability, so that he alone could be send to hot spots every turn additionally to the regular free Red redeployment every turn? Now that would nicely represent Trotsky's image, like it was modelled with this furious Dr. Shivago black leather & armoured train dude...

Regards

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Florent
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:50 pm

After my first playing where nothing happened at Tsarytsin, i would not hesitate to send Stalin to help in the Kuban, he has plenty of armored trains but should fight in defense only.

wosung
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:09 pm

Florent wrote:I agree totally here with what you wrote.
The Kuban situation is difficult and disaster as it happened to me is a real danger.
Yes the cost are so huge for now that it's impossible to spread the revolution nevertheless with hindsight after 3 days of play, i would buy my units differently at first with 34 money.
Instead of buying costly Regiments of Fusiliers in small numbers, i would buy initially 17 units of expendable Redguards Rgts at a cost...of 2.
Perhaps it is a solution to create some Strategic Reserves for the fight in Ukraine, Baltic countries, Finland and Poland.
With the Gold Event you can create the Fusiliers Divisions to reinforce them.
And with the soon working Requisition there will be some Extras if you collect 5-6 areas regularly.


As for building strategies until the first balancing patch, honestly I'm quite clueless. But you're probably right on this. Good one!

Red Inf Rgt:
building costs: 8 money, 10 conscripts, 30 days
strength: 20, cohesion: 50
1 regular Inf replacement element: 9 money, 10 conscripts.

Red Guard Mil:
building costs: 2 money, 14 conscripts, 20 days
strength: 12, cohesion: 40
1 Mil replacement element: 1 money, 7 conscripts.

Thus, Mil gives you more bang for the buck. And they can be trained to regular status by training officers (I could be wrong with this).
Now whether some more Mil could resist the Whites remains open. But maybe one first should train them (?!) and send them against Greens and Ukrainians.

Maybe the designers should add some Mil divisions in the building panel, additional to the Mil double regiment, or brigade?

Regards

wosung
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:17 pm

Florent wrote:After my first playing where nothing happened at Tsarytsin, i would not hesitate to send Stalin to help in the Kuban, he has plenty of armored trains but should fight in defense only.


Yeah sure, from hindsight I did the same. But you'd better hope Clovis is NOT reading this. Otherwise he might fiddle with the AI. And next time we both loose Tsaritsyn in a nick of time and build up a nice "proto-Stalingrad" down there in Northern Caucasus. Who they rename Tsaritsyn after later on remains open ...

What about Athenagrad? Clovisgrad?!


Regards

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Florent
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:22 pm

I would buy artillery for them in support in this long term Strategic Reserve building. We have to keep in mind that in defense in a fortress, they will be perhaps good.
I would put 10-11 units to compensate for the loss and keep the remaining 6-7 to be put on the borders at Voronej ready to strike in Ukraine, and other strategic location ready to go for Vilnius, Riga. I have to admit that i have no plans for Finland now.
In all cases it seems that red units will be created in the Baltic States or Poland as it was the case in Ukraine thus adding some help.

Kotik
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:27 pm

Well in the Kuban area I have, a couple of times, managed to make the whites to disperse their forces and with a powerful counter attack to destroy some units and stabilize the front over winter 1918.

My "trick" was to defend close to the front which makes the whites to strike deep in my territory and weaken them self, then I counter attack with my strongest force which does some damage, although I'm not sure on how much and how lasting, I haven't played for so long into the game.

But otherwise I agree with previous posters, some balancing and some extra help would be quite helpful. I for once dont understand what to do with partisans on foot, they are slow and small and die of like flies, heck raiders on foot in AACW were more useful.
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

wosung
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:42 pm

Kotik wrote:Well in the Kuban area I have, a couple of times, managed to make the whites to disperse their forces and with a powerful counter attack to destroy some units and stabilize the front over winter 1918.


Yeah it's a gamble. But I've got the impression in the Kuban area the Whites crush the Reds more often than it's the other way around, like:
"Whites:3 - Reds: 1"

Kotik wrote:My "trick" was to defend close to the front which makes the whites to strike deep in my territory and weaken them self, then I counter attack with my strongest force which does some damage, although I'm not sure on how much and how lasting, I haven't played for so long into the game.


So you didn't even combines those three stacks?!


Kotik wrote:I for once dont understand what to do with partisans on foot, they are slow and small and die of like flies, heck raiders on foot in AACW were more useful.


Especially when taking into account the HUGE distances in sparely populated RUS Sibiria...

Regards

Kotik
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:59 pm

wosung wrote:Yeah it's a gamble. But I've got the impression in the Kuban area the Whites crush the Reds more often than it's the other way around, like:
"Whites:3 - Reds: 1"


Warfare is gamble, you try to evaluate our enemy and our own forces and make an assessment were your attack or defence will be most successfully. You could almost roll a dice and let it decide what to do.

wosung wrote:So you didn't even combines those three stacks?!


I combines 2 of them into a single force and use them as a strike force, usually the 2 farthermost from the front. The other one us usually destroyed within a few battles.
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

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Alexor
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:13 pm

Great advices...only one thing...I play the Whites and i need advice too !! :neener:

Kotik
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:17 pm

Alexor wrote:Great advices...only one thing...I play the Whites and i need advice too !! :neener:


Start your own thread!! :thumbsup:
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

wosung
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:20 pm

Alexor wrote:Great advices...only one thing...I play the Whites and i need advice too !! :neener:


Now, YOU Whites surely live in the land of milk & honey & abundance!

Just post some thoughts and questions here. Or even better just start a White strategy thread yourself. For forum clarity. Your ... reactionary fellows surely will surface in order to exchange some evil strategies ...

Regards

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Clovis
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:20 pm

Kotik wrote:Well in the Kuban area I have, a couple of times, managed to make the whites to disperse their forces and with a powerful counter attack to destroy some units and stabilize the front over winter 1918.

My "trick" was to defend close to the front which makes the whites to strike deep in my territory and weaken them self, then I counter attack with my strongest force which does some damage, although I'm not sure on how much and how lasting, I haven't played for so long into the game.

But otherwise I agree with previous posters, some balancing and some extra help would be quite helpful. I for once dont understand what to do with partisans on foot, they are slow and small and die of like flies, heck raiders on foot in AACW were more useful.


Partisans: design decision:These troops were locally recruited and got part of their efficiency from their knowledge and support they had on a territory they were inhabitants. As there's no possibility in AGE engine to hinder these forces to be limited in an aera, choice has been made to make them very slow, to force layers to use them differently than regulars.
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Clovis
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:42 pm

wosung wrote:Yeah sure, from hindsight I did the same. But you'd better hope Clovis is NOT reading this. Otherwise he might fiddle with the AI. And next time we both loose Tsaritsyn in a nick of time and build up a nice "proto-Stalingrad" down there in Northern Caucasus. Who they rename Tsaritsyn after later on remains open ...

What about Athenagrad? Clovisgrad?!


Regards


I've built as much as possible uncertainty in AI decisions, and the AGE AI is itself built to produce variations in AI reaction. So, leaving Tzaritsyn defenseless is a gamble, sometimes successful... :D
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Kotik
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Clovis wrote:Partisans: design decision:These troops were locally recruited and got part of their efficiency from their knowledge and support they had on a territory they were inhabitants. As there's no possibility in AGE engine to hinder these forces to be limited in an aera, choice has been made to make them very slow, to force layers to use them differently than regulars.


Well cant you give them some kind of speciality like being able to live of the land, I think were such a speciality in AACW, "forager"?
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

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Clovis
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:50 pm

Kotik wrote:Well cant you give them some kind of speciality like being able to live of the land, I think were such a speciality in AACW, "forager"?


They should. I will take a look. Thanks. Maybe another bug.

Edit: stats for Partisans are right so they doesn't need supply. We will look for cause of their prematurate death.
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Cat Lord
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:14 pm

wosung wrote:Trotsky is a special case. He gives huge bonus. Thus he should be everywhere. He has this train symbol, but he can be redeployed to areas without rail.
Ah. That shouldn't happen. It's a bug, thanks. :D

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Kev_uk
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:15 pm

I find in the three times I have started the GC (and finished around 12 months later) that I can start with the Reds quite good. In my last game I was doing well in the East (putting all garrisons on defend at all costs I found was quite rewarding in the early days, as sometimes the AI would leave the particular city alone if they never took in first round), and I was using Trotsky with Bela Kun troops from Moscow as a form of 'fire-brigade', reacting to threats along the rail lines, repairing broken tracks and shoring up possible areas under threat. About 10k troops, and with Trotsky's abilities he is the most useful Red leader. Not perfect and cannot stand up to a White stack of 20k+ troops, but at least he bites.

In the South, the Don, I try and pull back to Tsaritsyn, and with Stalins armoured trains, use these in defence. I give ground as you are sending the troops who hold the cities down in the Caucasus to their demise as Whites so stacked and strong here. Hit and run along train tracks with your armoured trains to cause casualties, but without leaving Tsaritsyn undefended, or just with garrison troops, you cannot take AND hold ground. At least not this first year of the conflict.

My current game (which is now over waiting for patch) I started taking Ukraine cities and aimed for Kiev, but not strong enough plus again leaving rear undefended if stack all units to gain strength.

In many ways, from what I know about this war, I guess its very historical for the Red player to suffer from lack of good troops, lack of money (economy was wrecked after WW1), to be pressed on all fronts. This first year is about defence. I have yet to form a offensive strategy as have not played later than 1919.

Kev.

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Clovis
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:54 pm

Kev_uk wrote:I find in the three times I have started the GC (and finished around 12 months later) that I can start with the Reds quite good. In my last game I was doing well in the East (putting all garrisons on defend at all costs I found was quite rewarding in the early days, as sometimes the AI would leave the particular city alone if they never took in first round), and I was using Trotsky with Bela Kun troops from Moscow as a form of 'fire-brigade', reacting to threats along the rail lines, repairing broken tracks and shoring up possible areas under threat. About 10k troops, and with Trotsky's abilities he is the most useful Red leader. Not perfect and cannot stand up to a White stack of 20k+ troops, but at least he bites.

In the South, the Don, I try and pull back to Tsaritsyn, and with Stalins armoured trains, use these in defence. I give ground as you are sending the troops who hold the cities down in the Caucasus to their demise as Whites so stacked and strong here. Hit and run along train tracks with your armoured trains to cause casualties, but without leaving Tsaritsyn undefended, or just with garrison troops, you cannot take AND hold ground. At least not this first year of the conflict.

My current game (which is now over waiting for patch) I started taking Ukraine cities and aimed for Kiev, but not strong enough plus again leaving rear undefended if stack all units to gain strength.

In many ways, from what I know about this war, I guess its very historical for the Red player to suffer from lack of good troops, lack of money (economy was wrecked after WW1), to be pressed on all fronts. This first year is about defence. I have yet to form a offensive strategy as have not played later than 1919.

Kev.


Reds in the next version should be able to build more units, at start of low quality, except some crack ones like the Latvians.

The real challenge should be more related to NM and loyalties. Bolsheviks control the richest aeras and should be able to get more ressources and conscripts than Whites. But requisitions are hard to sustain for people, so revolt risk will rise and NM lower. Red player will have to discove the right balance in requisition use, as low NM has effects on production, combat. In the same time, White chances are slim and depend mostly of exploitation of Red error, and use of diplomaty to get more invloved some minors. But this diplomatic way have too a huge cost in NM, and therefore is only possible if a higher NM level is reached by victories. 1919 is for Whites the key year. after, it should be just a question of tim, like in RL. If Poles or Finns come to the rescue in 1919, another outcome is possible. The loss of Petrograd or Moscow could be devastating for the Red.
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wosung
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:21 am

Kev_uk wrote: About 10k troops, and with Trotsky's abilities he is the most useful Red leader. Not perfect and cannot stand up to a White stack of 20k+ troops, but at least he bites.


This also might indicate that the Reds might be underpowered a tad.

Regards

wosung
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:25 am

Cat Lord wrote:Ah. That shouldn't happen. It's a bug, thanks. :D

Cat


Tying Trotsky to his train, like Ahab to his whale makes the most useful Red leader extremely vulnerable. So vulnerable that he probably is better used only in the rear, given the maybe still somewhat shaky retreat routines of the Age engine (I could be wrong there). There are many situations, this dude better does not retreat, esp. in terrain with only a few rail escape routes.


Regards

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OneArmedMexican
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:45 am

wosung wrote:As for building strategies until the first balancing patch, honestly I'm quite clueless. But you're probably right on this. Good one!

Red Inf Rgt:
building costs: 8 money, 10 conscripts, 30 days
strength: 20, cohesion: 50
1 regular Inf replacement element: 9 money, 10 conscripts.

Red Guard Mil:
building costs: 2 money, 14 conscripts, 20 days
strength: 12, cohesion: 40
1 Mil replacement element: 1 money, 7 conscripts.

Thus, Mil gives you more bang for the buck. And they can be trained to regular status by training officers (I could be wrong with this).
Now whether some more Mil could resist the Whites remains open. But maybe one first should train them (?!) and send them against Greens and Ukrainians.

Maybe the designers should add some Mil divisions in the building panel, additional to the Mil double regiment, or brigade?

Regards


Don't forget training officers. One training officer can transform a unit of Red Guards into a unit of Line Infantry within two turns. :D

Red Guards are the bargain of this game. I would leave my training officers behind and let them build up my new fighting forces. If the Reds cannot afford a leader to die, it is their precious few training officers.

StephenT
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:53 am

OneArmedMexican wrote:Don't forget training officers. One training officer can transform a unit of Red Guards into a unit of Line Infantry within two turns. :D
At which point, instead of being able to use militia replacements which cost one money each, you have to use Line infantry ones which cost 9 each. Thus crippling the Red war effort since you'll never be able to afford to replace any of your losses... :bonk:

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Kev_uk
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:47 pm

wosung wrote:This also might indicate that the Reds might be underpowered a tad.

Regards


True, I have thought on this in my GC on how strong the Whites are - some places, even if I outnumber them, I cannot take with an assault.

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Clovis
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:58 pm

Kev_uk wrote:True, I have thought on this in my GC on how strong the Whites are - some places, even if I outnumber them, I cannot take with an assault.



Currently the game engine isn't allowing you to get the ery large number superiority you will need, more than you can create now with lack of money trouble.

Red forces in 1918 were very very poor, to the exception of some key units like the Latvians. Think about demotived militia organized in new division level without sufficient experienced AND loyal officers. Whites weren't the best army in the world, but they were a little better.

Think about Yudenitch menacing Petrograd in 1919 with 20,000 men against 100,000 Red Army... Only a fraction ofthe Red, even in 19, was ready to fight efficiently. the situation really improved at the end of 1919 for them.


So we will have in the game to amas considerable forces on key points at first. That explains why reds, even with large superiority couldn't attack in both directions at once during the first years...
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Kev_uk
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:46 pm

Interesting. Thanks for clarifying. Its hard to change a normal mindset playing the Reds with this game, i.e you really need to think defence and low quality troops, even stacked. Give ground and live to fight another day seems to be the right strategy playing Reds.

Kotik
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:19 pm

if you add more artillery to fighting forces that could help compensating militias lower fighting capabilities while on the defence. Once you have worn down your enemy and gained experience your self then you can go on the offensive.

I dont know how the promotion system work when it comes to promoting militias to regular infantry but only militias with high experience should be able to promote. I think like this, a militia with high experience are units that are important, either they are in front line service and they have gained so much experience that they can just as well be infantry or you have so few of them now that you can spare officers to train them to a higher level.
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

wosung
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:05 pm

Kotik wrote:if you add more artillery to fighting forces that could help compensating militias lower fighting capabilities while on the defence. Once you have worn down your enemy and gained experience your self then you can go on the offensive.

I dont know how the promotion system work when it comes to promoting militias to regular infantry but only militias with high experience should be able to promote. I think like this, a militia with high experience are units that are important, either they are in front line service and they have gained so much experience that they can just as well be infantry or you have so few of them now that you can spare officers to train them to a higher level.


Training officers are the key for transforming Mil to regular Inf. The Reds have two (ex-zarist) leaders with the training bonus (symbolized by the "rabbit-like" yellow symbol) from start. It appears that one should use them wisely. Probably they are best placed not in front provinces, but in the Red interior: It looks like in cities under siege you can't deploy reinforcements. And those training masters better should be supplied with a steady stream of Mil (double-element) units. Each of them can train one of those units per turn into regular infantry. Those Mil are really cheap rubel-wise (Edit: two money, 14 men). And: If the training masters can't go to the Mil, the Mil has to come to the training master, frex by river boat.

Side-line: Maybe those Black Sea naval transport units even could be used to extract those doomed Kuban forces to the north. Arguably it's better to loose the Kuban area than Tsaritsyn.

Regards

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Clovis
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:11 pm

This thread is full of great analysis and tips. Rafiki, it should be stickied IMHO.
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