Orel wrote: from the standpoint of a major offensive. As long as you hold on to the main city/depot in the area, you are the person in control since you are the one that can perform special operations and not the enemy. Similarly, supplies on long distances flows by rail commonly, so railroads play a role. However, the countryside does not: often times to the end of the game the countryside remains in the hands of those that held it in the beginning of the game.
forces are fed from what is carried in their supply wagons. That is why typically major armies in the game just go along the railroad lines. As a result, I have not seen any major battles happening outside of the regions with railroad lines for quite a while.
We don't say that railroad do not play a role, but that it does not all by itself.
We're in RUS, where there were many green and makhnovists armies, which often did not need railroad nor supply wagon, as they were at home, the paesants doing their own supply... they were not typically major armies.
You got me there with partisans, Of course, someone could hide an ace in the sleeve(an army in the countryside), but that is rare. If someone cuts a railroad line in the rear with sufficient forces that came out from the countryside, then the opposing army could use the railroad to come back and strike upon the minor forces of the enemy, and in the following turn go back to its initial target. At least that is the impression I acquired through my experience with RUS.
But we talked about the trains, not about an army (EDIT: I'm not right, the thread has twisted): An alone train could not strike back on a force hidding in the coutryside, it needed soldiers coming out from the wagons, and the train could not help them in this task as they had to go farther than the train gun range.
There were often a stall: red/white military control the railroad, black/green civilians control the countryside (the very supply of the region, town had to rely on train fret) (stall if soldiers were too shy going down their armored wagons). We're here on a limitation of the AGE engine, as ingame main towns do the supply, not the countryside as it should... If paesants don't want to bring their goods to red/white town, the town should not deliver supplies by itself.