Russia on Ten Barrels a Day

Decisive Campaigns III design blog #4
Note: Screen shots show an Alpha version with graphics being either missing or subject to change. Except for a few stragglers, the Soviet military forces are otherwise occupied. Somebody mentioned Manchuria.

Let’s invade Russia. Right now. While nobody is looking.

The bulk of the Wehrmacht can sit this one out. All we’ll need are the four hard hitting Panzergruppes.

Russia. Empty. Nobody home. Drive straight down the main road. All over in a fortnight.
Knights Crosses, first class with Golden Oak leaves all around.

Glory awaits.

How hard can it be?

D+0
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All Panzergruppes report in at one hundred percent operational capability. Ample fuel. Morale excellent. Smartly creased uniforms. Square of jaw. Stare down the sun expressions. Forward!

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The weather forecast is all roses and sunshine. Kiev is the place to be. Warm, almost tropical. The Abwehr informs us that they’ll be girls in bikini’s waiting to drape flowers garlands over we steel-eyed warriors as we roll past in our shiny Panzers.

D+4
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Minor resistance on key avenues of approach. Nuisance value. Envelop and eliminate. The men are enjoying the outing and the opportunity to fire their weapons.

D+8
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Now that the Luftwaffe has achieved air superiority we’ll switch their focus over to providing Tactical support to our fast advancing Panzergruppes.

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Glancing at Armeegruppe Nordwärts, we find that the Luftwaffe is all conquering. Nearness to the main theatre airfield, the excellent flying weather and the well prepared airbase all combine to give Col. Gen. Hoepner’s 4th Panzergruppe an iron fist as he steamrolls through the token Russian resistance.

Everything is right in the world, The Fuhrer is, we have been informed, bouncing off the walls with excitement and contemplating pushing the Bolsheviks even further eastwards, beyond the Urals.

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Col. Gen. Hoth’s 3rd Panzergruppe, thrusting eastwards in AGC isn’t gaining the same benefits from his close air support due to an increasing distance from the main AGC airfield and poor weather. Even so, the Luftwaffe clearly rules the skies.

D+12

We are suffering some schedule slippage. There are cracks developing in the master plan. Not many, but enough to create some concern.

Col. Gen. Hoepner’s 4th Panzergruppe at AGN is suffering it’s first bout of mechanical failure. Panzers, sadly, aren’t built like Volkswagens. On the other hand Volkswagens don’t have to thump and bump their way cross country at a rate of knots.

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Of greater concern is Col. Gen von Kleists 1st Panzergruppe down in AGS. They appear to be outrunning the ability of their truck columns to keep them resupplied.

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This is a matter that warrants further investigation.

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The situation is somewhat stretched at AGS but still manageable. It is important that the Col. Gen. Kleist maintains his momentum. The Führer demands it!

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It may well be worth moving the AGS Forward Supply Base up to Lvov as Kleist is going to be beyond Krakau’s ability to support him within the week.

Right now all our FSB’s are still behind the border and it’s our truck columns that are doing the heavy lifting. General Gercke and his trains will have to take up the slack sooner or later.

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Col. Gen. Kleist has broken through and is sending back reports of endless rolling steppes. He appears to be concerned about the vastness of Russia.

The man is clearly dreaming.

To be continued…

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9 Responses to Russia on Ten Barrels a Day

  1. Jeff says:

    Interesting, does the human actually play as in the “normal” context ? Is a human player required to move units through the map ?

  2. Cameron Harris says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Certainly. Without a human nothing would happen.

    What’s shown above is myself playing the German side in order to demonstrate the difficulties the Germans are confronted with despite their being an almost non-existent opposition. The further the Germans move eastwards, the more these difficulties will become apparent.

    It also serves to highlight various game mechanics in a ‘big picture’ manner.

  3. Rasputitsa says:

    Thanks for the update, it gets more interesting with each blog and it’s nice to see the screen shots.

    The point about logistic constraints, with, or without, much enemy intervention is well made. Many games do not take this into account enough, as with the Anschluss with Austria in 1938 against negligible opposition, the Germans had up to 50% of their tanks out of commission, just from the wear and tear of the move alone.

  4. Rasputitsa says:

    Just to add to the point, an ordnance officer in the US 3rd Armored Division in 1944, noted that a Task Force of 50 tanks moving 30/40 miles a day could lose 15/20 vehicles a day, due to maintenance and repair. OK, many were put back into operation quickly, but it is a significant loss, showing that it was a major problem for all armies, at all times, to keep up strength when moving, even if there is no combat : source (Death Traps – The survival of an American Armored Division in WW2 – Belton Y. Cooper).

  5. Chris says:

    Are air units handled abstractly unlike in Decisive Campaigns?

  6. Jafele says:

    Hi Cameron. Very nice graphics. I´m really loving the innovation that brings this game.

    Will DC 1&2 upgraded to use DC3 AI? If possible that would be an intelligent choice for both customers and developers.

    Cheers

  7. Cameron Harris says:

    Hi Chris,

    The Air war is abstracted however there is still a significant amount of detail and decisions required from the player.

    In a nutshell the air component of Barbarossa has been stripped of all the unnecessary fluff and micromanagement and given a stronger focus on the parts that actually made a difference. The Luftwaffe is portrayed in a theatre based, operational, context and, for the player, is a difficult balancing act.

    Hi Jafele,

    AI matters are beyond my pay grade and will be handled by Vic.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

  8. MaxG says:

    Hi Cameron, I’m wondering if HQ units and their role in the game will change in any way in DC3. In the old engine, units have decreased combat effectiveness if they are more than 5 hexes away from HQ. That makes HQ tactics pretty boring and unrealistic: just keep moving HQ behind attacking troops during your side’s phase. I think that what would make more sense is to make all HQ units static during the normal movement/combat phase and then have a separate “HQ movement” phase when only HQ units can be moved. That would encourage more careful thinking and planning in anticipation of how the situation will unfold in the next turn. What do you think?

  9. Cameron Harris says:

    Hi Max,

    HQ units have been significantly upgraded in importance. Briefly you can set the ‘Posture’ of an HQ to Offensive/Neutral/Defensive which has repercussions for every unit under it’s command.

    Additionally you can choose one HQ in each theatre as your ‘Command Focus’ which allows you to allocate theatre resources and staff time and opens up a range of tactical options for that particular HQ.

    Air and artillery support is also allocated on an HQ basis. For example you don’t say I want Tactical Air support for a battle in a particular hex. Instead you allocate a Luftflotte to an HQ and all it’s related divisions will have TAC on tap.

    Unless, of course, they are outside of their HQ command range. The ramifications of this are considerable.

    As the game aims to put you ‘In Command’ the management of the campaign is largely done through your subordinate HQ’s. You are still shuffling your divisions around the map at will but the big decisions that matter all revolve around your handling of your HQ’s.

    There is a lot more detail involved here and I was aiming to turn this discussion into a blog post all of its own.

    In the fullness of time.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

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