Place and run the hotfix installer in the same place as 6.2 (in the main HOI3 directory alongside the game exe) Make sure you have podcat's TFH exe overwriting...
Germany guide - Blitzkrieg in Soviet Union.
The Bear. Our arch-nemesis. Few weeks ago in this Forum.paradoxplaza.com topic great debate began. 10 pages and still no clear answer. Well, not exactly ;-) Actually more questions were rised than answered. Inculding the main one - can or can't it be done. As for now my personal record is... 6.XI.1941. Sadly not 5th, so I can't say "Remember, remember the Fifth of November..."
I really wanted to prove that beating commies in 1941 despite all the people who said it can't be done, because of various modifiers, bonuses, scale and game mechanics is possible. It shouldn't be easy. And it isn't. Other side of the coin is that personally I think that Eastern Front is perfect as it is now.
One more thing that became obvious to me in last few weeks is that there are lots of people who have problems with beating Soviets at all or just sometimes need a little advice. Lets face it. HoI3 isn't easy game. And BICE made it even harder, with Eastern Front difficulty boosted even more. Sometimes You just need help or push in right direction. So this will be as much general guide for Germany as explanation of everything that I did to bring SU down in less than 5 months.
Our main goal is beating Soviet Union. FastVeryfastFlashSpeedFastFasterest!!! AND NO GAMEY THINGS! Diff: normal/normal/normal since it was baseline for discussion in thread I was talking about.
So lets begin.
A) Decisions and stuff
B) PreparationsI) DiplomacyII) ProductionIII) PoliticsIV) IntelligenceV) ReserchC) General info (MP, supply issues etc.)
D) ExecutionI) Pre-BarbarossaII) Barbarossa
A) DECISIONS AND EVENTS
I won't explain every option possible because this post will be huge wall text even without it. Just quick info on what I choose this time and short explanation why.
- National Focus - Die Wehrmacht. Each year. +20% MP, -4% Panzer and -8% Land unit build speed are bonuses that we need to build army as big as planned.
- Recruting policy - Balanced. Only logical option in 90% of cases.
- Giant Infra. Projects. - This time it went like this: -1937 - Farms - 15% MP from the very begining.-1938 - Mining - same reason as farms.-1939 - Railroads -1940 - Roads- Sino-German coopoeration - Agree. Extra rares and metal are always welcome.
- Air bases - build all
- Fortifications - none. Plus for Sudeten forts "pick up guns for use" later.
- Warships - commision all. They come with free transport ships and actually are quite usefull from time to time.
- Radar+AA - at this point (event pops in 1940) our IC should be huge so theres not much difference.
- SS Units - ahistorical full divisions because enough micro is enough.
- Revolts and Fascist Militias - Yes.
- Battle commanders - Imo -50% officers is too much, so we skip them.
- Goon squads/Appease them - Goon squads this time. We will have enough "consumer goods" demand because all the divs we are forming will be regular ones so there is no point in shooting ourselfs in second foot. And also dealing with revolts isn't such a big issue imo.
- Secreatry focus - go for "Secretary nationalizes private sector" and hope for "failure". This way our consumer goods demand will be lowered by 1,2%. That can be even 10-15IC. Also don't research this tech prewar. Starting chance for this effect is 60% and each tech lvl lowers it by 10.
- Broadcasting - again lowering consumer goods demand is our main concern so choosing "Entertainment show" is only option we consider pre war. During war it will be less than 20 IC required most of the time so we can move to News & Politics.
- Monumental building - University. Period. Bonus to LS and research eff, and incoming National research center decision. Consecutive years: build stuff that rises rulling party support pre war, and "-revolts" after '39.
- National research center - after dozens of campaigns I noticed one thing. Its overrated. Ofc, sometimes it can do amazing stuff but usually its only support for standard research. Anyway My usual choice is "Support for troops" - tanks from '44 wont win us the war in Russia but Supply Transportation might do that.
- Engines/aircraft/armor - Gasoline (extra supplies throughput), Heavy Aircraft (allows researching heavy bombs and armor plating), Welded Armor (longer build times, but much harder to penetrate)
- Military parades - choose the option increasing rulling party support.
- War heroes - Always go with "Help with recruiting" (+manpower option). We gonna need lots. Like LOTS!
I never do any trades on the first day. Wait untill January 2nd. All countries will have more money to drain. Sell fuel to everyone who is willing to buy and can pay more than you would get by selling supplies. This way You can easily get +180/190$ per day without forcing industry to build tons of supplies instead of tanks (wich will propably happen anyway, but lets try to postpone this as much as possible). Selling ~200 fuel/day is safe. We will create more later with more IC so our fuel supply will reach 99999 anyway.
As for getting resources - nothing new. Rise relations with USA/SOV to 200 and buy everything You can. I always try to hit +100 on metal/rares and +150 on oil. This will keep our growing IC working and still create surplus. Once its done only thing to do is keeping track of broken trades and increasing ammount of our own IC. Not much to discover here. Just try not to spent too much money. We will need them during war for all those military parades and events. And don't worry if war starts and resources aren't maxed out. Right now I had only 44k of steel on 1.IX.1939. Three months and four Capitals later I hit 94K. Also being cut off from USA and in '41 from Russia resources shouldn't be a problem. Even if USA embargo hit us as early as 1939 we will still have enough reserves to keep our industry working. As for war with SU - it will last for only few months and durinng that time "Control over Western Russia" starategic effect should happen so no problem here either.
Also dont bother yourself with influencing other countries. We are going alone. Allies are usually useless anyway :P Ok, I did invited Italy and Japan to Axis anyway, but using Tripartie Pact event. They will help me with dealing with Royal Navy a bit. Invited also Finland and Romania... Both via decisons so no LS spent there. Ok, they didn't helped much, but they provide free units so I wont have to build any to deal with revolts once I conquer Russia. Win/win. Diplomacy is propably less interesting part of this game so this chapter will be short. Not like next one...
Our IC will going up and down a lot because of all the events, decisions and techs that affect it. Its impossible to provide detailed guide or info what to build when in this case so I'll throw some general info and some explanation why and how I do some of the things.
I removed almost everything except SUBs, INT and Med.Bomb. Threw 50xIC + 6xHeavy IC in cities that already have H.IC and will reach 10IC.
Sliders: leave 10 IC in upgrades, 0 in reinf, 20 in supplies should be enough at the start. Later keep supply production 5-10 IC above required ammount. This will provide us steady flow of supplies needed for building all stuff that events and decisions throw at us. By the end of July IC should be completed (not all ofc) and H.IC grand opening is somewhere around september. If IC unit is atleast 1/3 completed when first huge part is finished leave it - remove the rest. Don't spent too much time increasing IC. Its not needed and in longer run only creates problems with resources.
Now we start real fun - building army.
My base que looks like this: 10x Sub, 8xINT, 4x Med. Bomb. 8xINF, 2xPanzer, 2xSemi-Mot. This is sometimes that always has to be in que. Any spare IC will be used to create second similar setup. Its not possible due to the other stuff that has to be build but thats general rule. By the end of '36 our industry should be capable fo building all that at the same time and rewarding us with some spare IC. And don't You dare checking that "Build as reserve" thing. Only regular. What we want is well trained, standing army.
As for division setups:
INF : INF, Art (Rocket Art when available), AT, Eng, Rec.Cav. (no changes with Superior Firepower)
Panzer: LARM/ARM, Mot. Inf. Att, Mot. Art, Mot. AT, AC. (+Mot.AA with SF)
Semi-Mot: Semi-Mot Inf, Mot Art, Mot AT, AC, Eng. (+Mot.AA with SF)
Mountain: MTN. PackArt, AT, Eng, Rec.Cav
Fort.Buster: Mot.Inf, H.ARM, TD, SH.Art, Eng (+Commando with SF)
As You can see I don't build too much different type of units. This sometimes creates confusion or unwelcomed situations (go ahead and defend open terrain with Ligh.Inf against Guard Tanks Division). No Mixed SUpport of any type either. I find them too much IC and Officers sinkhole. Need a prove? Right now my INF divison requires exactly 7.62IC to build. With Mixed Support it rises to 12.24 for one INF division. And this one support brigade uses more Officers than main INF one. And only advantage is that it has... 1 piercing more than standard AT brigade. Just no. Don't touch it. It will only cripple You. Classic INF build is great all-around thing and theres is no point in changing it. Even when Superior Firepower comes to play - leave those 5 brigade INFs alone. They wont get much better and supplying more than 100 5-brigade units is a lot easier than 100 6-brigades ones.
Why Semi-mot? Faster to build, easier to supply, better terrain bonuses (especially woods - whole norther Russia) in most cases than Mot. Inf. And since I dont use ARM to attack rivers - even with eng its waste of time and resources - I need to have something that can do it and able to keep up with tanks. And its a lot cheaper to build. Whole division will cost us 17IC at the begining and even less with maxed out practicals.
As for Panzer Divisions. I build two of them at once and split them in 2 parts. One part is LARM/ARM brigade, and second is all 4 support brigades. Tanks take 139 days to build, support part takes 99 with current tech levels and practicals. When second part is done, we add 2 more ARM brigades, so now we have 4 ARM brigades in que - 2 fresh and 2 around 2/3 completed. When next 2 ARM brigades are completed we add support brigades to the que. This way we have 4 Panzer divisions completed in 238 days instead of 278. Ofc with enough ammount of time and patience we can make this rotation with every division in que down to a single brigade rotation. And don't bother with upgrading LARM to ARM prewar. We will have enough time and spare IC for that after France falls.
Fort busters. Why no AG? Main focus here is high fort attack and high armor. And what is always required - pircing value. AG doesn't come with much pircing, so I decided to switch to TD. We can always add AT as 6th brigade with AG build but aren't commandoes better option? Is it better? Its up for discussion. The fact is that 4 of them+ Fort Busting HQ took Moscow in less than a week, and Leningrad with +100k troops in two weeks.
When our IC and practicals are going up (IC building ends + Anschluss) we will have more and more spare IC. Use it mainly for building land units. As for air units - put 2 TRA in que to rise heavy plane practical. We will need it for building large number of heavy transport planes. Also add 4 CAS from time to time. As for INT - we won't need much in SU but build them anyway. I'll explain that later. Just keep standard 8 in que whole time. Same with Medium Bombers. 4 in que all the time, 8 when industry grows. At some point I had 20 at once but that whats my strategy required.
CAS are very usefull against SU but theres no need for building lots of them. The thing that we have to focus at is called "Heavy Transport Plane". Its essential to our army. Right now my transport fleet has 6 transports and 46 Heavy Transport. Effect? Not a single attack was stopped due to the lack of fuel or supplies. Yes, sometimes shortages happend but they never lasted more than 1-2 days and were only minor in terms of affected units.
Sometimes if we are lucky few events with +15%/+20% IC gonna popup (if You checked the decision about Hitler personality affecting game). This is kinda problematic because they last only 30 days. Its not enough to build any units so build infra, radars or extra airfields with it. It wont finish in 30 days but even if it take a week more to complete it wont have much impact on the rest of our que.
Its good to add SD to production que somewhere in '37 when our practicalss are going up. I usually build 4 of them at once (SD+SD) and que more for the next 2-3 years. This will be our main partisan/antirevolt force until SU falls.
One more very importatnt thing to do in 1939 but in first half of the year - Fort Buster divisions. Even with maxed out practicals building one cost ~32IC and we need 4 of them. They will slow down other things but its a must. Just build them without H.ART. As Germany we have 2 from the start, next 2 from Sudeten Forts, 2 from Maginot, and in '41 2 more from events. 8 total and we need only 5. 5th will be for corpse HQ because I turned it into another division. Remember to have them ready before war starts.
Few campaigns ago I started doing one thing that somehow sliped my mind till then. Using HQs as fighting units. This time I'll focus on HQs for mobile units. I use those from Chain of Command tech tree. They are simply better and easier to spot (I dont use hq counter scale option). Composition looks like this: Mot.INF Att, Mot AT, Mot Art, ENG. It costs around 10IC per one. With Superior Firepower I'll add AG or AC. Mainly for that little armor value. In case of AG maybe not that little. Did it with only 2 mobile armies, but hese units come in handy quite often.
Navy. Always have 10 subs in que. UK needs to go down too.
On September 1st my army and industry looked like this:
48K Steel, 76K Rare, 97K Oil, 99K Fuel, 25K Money. 1138MP.
104 INF, 16 LARM/ARM, 20 Semi-Mot + 16 mobile divs. from events. 34 SD divs + some unattached units waiting for their turn.
150 Interceptors, 20 CAS, 52 Med. Bombers, 6 Trasnport, 9 Heavy Transports.
And in que I have core squad (8 INF, 2 Panzer, 2 Semi-Mot, 8 INT, 4 MED, 10 subs) +
4 CAS, 5 H.TRA, 2 parts of Panzer divs, 2 HQ divs, 2 SD, 4 airfields, 9 Infrastructure, 5 convoys.
Army build up speeds up alot after taking France. Go "Full Occupation" on them for extra IC. At this point practicals should be maxed, our policies allow us to use whole industry capacity for war effort and we have more IC than ever. Now its time to add lots of things to the que. Our target is army bigger than Red Army.
By the 22.VI.1941 it will be this:
147 INF, 28 Panzer, 28 Semi-Mot, 18 MTN, 24 mobile (4SS) from events, 30 SD divs for eastern front only.
214 INT, 26 FTR, 24 CAS, 92 Med.Bomb, 6 Tra, 42 H.Tra.
129 Subs, 16 Transport.
Above that: lvl10 Infra in whole Poland, supply line to Kirkenes, lots of lvl10 airfields in Poland, more than 200 spare convoys. Actually land forces were completed before 1941. In said I started building up surface navy (8 BBs), Radars (10x10) and build more planes in 4 months than in the whole past year. Also what is required - Mot.AA for all the mobile divisions. They have to be put in que in 1940 (February/March 1941 is latest date) so they will have time to upgrade. When the Barbarossa started I had around 200 unused IC. Later big chunk of that will go to the reinforcements (keep whole spare IC there - no more adjusting sliders every hour) and "Russian railroads" events will cut it in half. And welcomed side effect - it will save some resources.
This is the place where part of magic happens. Lets do the standard things first.
Usually I go max on all but this time I'll make two exceptions. Tone down from "Totalitarian System" to "Repression" (keep in mind that this will forbid us from using "Total Exploitation" as occupation policy)and use "State Press". IC effciency - key word. Yes, our counterespinage, and +rulling party support goes down, but there are other ways to deal with that. And higher party support wont help us building larg army. IC eff will. And we have +8% here already.
Schacht Brothers. Appoint Schacht as both Armanent Minister and Head of Inteligence. Plus 10% IC eff from ministers. +8% from Laws. 18% is huge bonus. And it allows us to build more units with less IC. And less IC means that we need less resources to fuel industry.
Minister of Security - Diels for Rulling Party Support and Counterespionage. Before Barbarossa we change him with Heydrich for Strategic effect.
On top of that Blomberg for -10% supply cons.
Other can stay.
a) Domestic spies.
3 bars in counterespinage. 1 bar in Rulling Party Support. This is the answer to ancient question "why my party pop is so low?". Enemy spies. AI usually sends them on three types of missions: tech espionage, lowering NU and "Support our party". And by "our" they dont mean NSDAP. Their party org rises. That leads to their party support going up and our party automatically goes down sooner or later. Only way to prevent that is to catch enemy spies. Thats why we focus on counterspionage (Diels as Min. of Security). The laws we choose earlier dont grant us so nice bonuses but keep in mind that those are JUST bonuses. Main factor here is domestic spies focus. With that tactic my party support just once dropped below medium for one month. 3-4 months later it went to high and stayed there until war.
b) Spies on vacations in different countries.
Austria - support our party. Im genius. After Anschluss, move them to Czechoslovakia with same mission.
Soviets - here comes part of my strategy for taking them down so fast. From day one go full on "Support our party". Fast forward to 1939. Their ruling party support is 26% - Low Support strategic effect strikes them. Soon "Ver Low" will happen. What that gives us? On low: -0.2 NU/day, and -8% Territorial Pride, on very low -0.3 and -16%. Keep in mind that spies working day and night using "Lower NU" option can achieve -0.02 NU/day per spy. Less NU hit and no TP penalty. And those two things are one of the biggest problem in whole war against Soviets. Im not 100% sure if NU hit will be significant enough to actually matter, but 8/16% TP less to deal with will certainly make things easier. In 1940 Rullin Party Support dropped to 11%! And whole idea just died when wartime events hit them rising party support back to almost 50%. It was nice idea... Maybe someone else will find a way for this to work. But still - it gave them less LS prewar for research and officers (81% on Barb launch).
General rule - NEVER research ahead of time.
At the begining just set sliders to get 0.75 spies per day, 50 officerds/day, 0,2 diplomacy/day and rest in research. And when LS rises distribute it to research and officers only. 1-1 ratio.
In 1939 I have 64.46 LS. 46 in research, 2,85 in espionage and 15.62 in officers. All most important techs are up to date. 110% officers ratio (116 total). More than 99 spies in reserve.
During Barb it risies to 141LS with more than 1/3 in Officers. With all those strategic effects available it turned out to almost 500 officers/day - more than enough to cover combat losses and still ~80 for research.
Few things. I dont research Unit Training techs at the beginning. The ones that increase Org. There are few reasons for that. It increases build times by a lot. Also there are many strategic effects and other bonuses to org and org regain so there is simply no point in that. Late '40 should be good time to start those reasearch. One or two lvls will be completed pre-barb, and upgrades will be complete before attack. Our army will be ready by that time so +build time shouldn't be a problem.
Increasing units strenght is also part of what I ignore. Small exception are Special Units. Max it out so our Mountain Divisions wont be "8 thousands people" jokes. Same with all ship techs. Wont build any warships before 1941 anyway so no point in wasting LS there.
Anti Tank Ammo and Dual Puropse AA/AT techs are hightest priority. High piercing is most important thing in fighting soviet tanks.
All supply techs, IC and resources are also first choice all the time.
Hardest part are propably all the air techs. What I do most of the time is simple. 5 LS to prototypes: 2 in single, 2 in twin, 1 in engine. When completed move it to another air techs. theres a lot of them but most have lvl1 or 2 difficulty so they wont take much time to complete. When done, move to another. This way makes keeping our air force up to date relatively easy task. Later when more LS will come it will be even easier.
Don't bother yourself with Mechanized Inf and Armored Eng. Its almost impossible to have them soon enough to make them usefull in SU with our current strategy.
Also dont put LS everywhere. Rotate it. One lvl 36 tech is done? Dont research next lvl37. Move LS to another lvl36 tech. There isn't much more to discover here. With 30-35 LS from the start and 40-45 later spent on research everything what is important should be up to date.
Chain of Command - all those brigade, army etc. techs HAVE TO BE UP TO DATE. Period.
C) GENERAL INFO
As clearly visible (and already pointed out in one of the posts) we have huge army. The reason for that is simple. Soviet army is huge. It gets even bigger after some time. There will be waves of conscripts, after few months Guard units will appear (actually this time war wasn't long enough! Bad luck commies!). We have army that is capable of doing lots of big encirclements and still pushing forward with same speed. Waiting until all those units around marshes or in Leningrad surrender is big NO. We leave 1 INF army there and still gonna have 3-4 armies to move forward in that part of front. Also tons of mobile forces make multiple encirclements possible. Our general OOB looks like this:Nord 1 - 3 INF Armies (4 corps, 4 divs each) + 1 Panzer Army*Nord 2 - 1 full INF Army, 2 INF Corps, 2 Panzer Corps*Mitte - 2 INF Armies, 2 Panzer ArmiesSud - 3 INF Armies, 1 MTN Army, 1 Panzer Army*Nord 1 is standard "Leningrad" AG. Nord 2 is set for naval inavions at Murmansk and Archangielsk.
With this army we have superior numbers at any moment of war. Main problem are supplies for that mountain of troops. As many of You know this is most annoying and often most dangerous thing far east. How to deal with that? First steps need to be made years back. As I mentioned earlier during whole Barb I had 46 heavy transport planes. 3 per wing. Ok, You have them, but what now? Put them in provinces with ports if possible. Set supply convoys to these ports but as starting location use ports west of Berlin. This way we will avoid situation when all supplies are going in one direction and suffer from province transportation limits. Spread distribution lines as much as possible. Put some H.Transports in Sweden, Finland, Romania etc. Even Berlin will do for the few weeks. Second thing. Don't wait until your tanks stops in the middle of nowhere. Units in one area have less than 50% supplies? Send TRA there as soon as possible. One unit is out of supply? Spam area with supply drops. Even if all units are well supplied throw some food and ammo there. No one ever died because of ammo surplus. Great thing about heavy transport planes is that they have huge range. As soon as Riga/Tallin and Sevastopol are taken covering almost whole Western Russia with them is easy. Once in a while we will have to create supply lines for supply lines. It happens when 4-5 stacks of transports are operating from single airfield. They will distribute more supplies than is coming each day in convoys. To avoid this keep 1-2 wings in Berlin all the time and sent them when needed to said port with supply mission.
Always send convoys to each port in SU. Not much more to say here. Free supplies actually. Just remember - starting port west of Berlin.
Infrastructure. Lvl 10 in Poland. In this campaign I had max in whole Poland. Every single province.
Partisan Suppresion. SD units - 30 of them (SD+SD). Move them behind your forces. Not to close not too far. Later when front will move deeper into Russia try to spread them evenly over area so they will cover as much terrain as possbile and will have closer to eventual revolts. Heydrich. Appoint him. This guy gives strategic effect that lowers Partisan Eff. by 25 total (15 Heydrich, 10 strat.). Right now its -19 for me. Partisans problem solved.
Supply trains decisions. Take them. Always. Case closed.
Biggest effort here are supply runs with transport planes. Its sometimes hard to keep track of what flies where especially later when they are scattered all over the place. But with a little micromanagement and combined with all other factors it does the trick . As said before - during 5 months of constant fighting not a single attack was stopped by lack of fuel or supplies. Yes, shortages happened but it was never crippling and never long enough to loose any battles or God forbid - drop org to 0. Also I never had to retreat any units to make supplying my army easier.
It needs to be way above 500 when Barbarossa starts. First reason is that Eastern Front is - as well known - The Meatgrinder, and supply trains decisions require atleast 500MP to launch. Thats why all tech that increase our MP and reduce MP loses are priority. As I said before my army was completed (mostly) before around second half of 1940 so after that I didn't attacked anyone and focused on building things that require small ammounts of MP and province upgrades. This gave me around 10 months of constant MP inrease: 30-35 per month. There is not much we can do to increase our MP - only few techs have direct impact on that. During war great help are "War Heroes" events. They provide us with free MP (exact amount based on... what? If anyone know please share) so take that option everytime. Righ now it gave me 200-250MP. And with so big army buildup don't even dream about "Redirect Manpower" decision. Once we fall below 1k MP we wont have more before 1943.
Air Force (and few words on navy)
Thats actually easiest part with current strategy. The goal is to move so fast that their air units won't have enough time to regain org after they redeploy from airfield that we capture. In my last attempt I had to deal with their planes in first 2-3 weeks and after that months of total air superiority came. This time it was even shorter - after a week their whole air force was gone (this part was achieved by INT) and never regain enough strenghts or org to bother me. Actually since July I counted TWO attempts to bomb my units.
As for UK strat bombings. They wont be much of issue in this war. Our subs gonna take care of them. As soon as France surrenders send all subs to Brest. At this point (late '39) we should have 80-90 of them organised in fleets of 3. That gives us ~30 fleets. With this we can easily cover whole northern Atlantic and all seas around British Isles and still have some spares. If You want to know where exactly put them just relog on UK and check convoy routes. Send subs to do their work and relax. For the first months RN doesn't have required techs to pose any threat to them. They will attack from time to time but except "Death Stack" encounter our subs are immortal. When damaged retreat to Brest, send spare fleet to same spot. February 1940 - by this date whole UK production que was filled with convoys. No BBs, CVs, INT or Strat Bombers. For the next 2 years only strat bombings were made by 4-5 wings total which forced me to leave 4x8 INT in Germany during Barbarossa... 1/7 of my total INT army.
Back on convoys. Never send them from port all at once. Avoid situation when lets say 30 subs are in one place and UK Death Stack just happen to be close. Loosing one fleet of 3 is nothing dramatic. Loosing 30 is a tragedy. Send one fleet, wait few days and send another. And keep them going until whole area is covered. At this point only thing that needs to be done is keeping an eye on their org and str. Naval leaders - assign them or not? Well, with BB Death Stack planned against UK we will need literally ONE good naval commander so go ahead and assign best possible leaders to all those fleets of 3xsubs. Some of them gonna die tho. Ok, theres a way to avoid loosing commander even when all ships are sunk but its... cheating. Just click few times on the picture of commander and window with commanders will open. Just unassign him. Reader saved.
Since air superiority is achieved we can procced to bombing conscripts. As I said before at the day of Barbarossa start I had 92 Medium Bombers and 24 CAS in wings of 4 units. Maximum 12 Medium Bombers at one time assigned to strat bombing. So 84 Medium and 24 CAS doing non-stop bomb runs on enemy forces. We use them in historical way - as support for panzers for the most part. Focus on bombing units that are or soon will be attacked by ground forces. Don't bomb only frontline units, but send some to attack units moving behind enemy lines. And for the love of God never do "Logistical Bombing" in Russia. If our INF will run into russian tanks send some CAS to help. Nothing new here actually.
One more tip. Avoid attacking provinces defended by HQs. Instead just bomb them. Chances are that they will shatter quickly and voila - free province to move into and no attack cooldown. Similar thing with shattered units or heavily damaged ones. Bomb them when possible just to slow down their recovery.
Strat bomb in SU. Dont build Strat bombers for that. They're not worth IC and LS. Use Med. bombers - just remember to reasearch strat bombing techs, so they wont end up with 0 org after one run. Also, don't start strat bombing at the beginning of Barbarossa. After few weeks they will jump back to 100% NU thanks to events and at that time there aren't any juicy targets for that anyway. But after 6-8 weeks when our land forces push further (I was near Moscow in the middle of the August) we can reach Urals industry with Medium Bombers. 2x4 wings should be enough for it. You wont be able to shut down their industry but destroying few IC is always less IC for them to build armor and reinforcements. Russian INTs won't be a issue at this point so go ahead and have some fun.
Focus on encircling enemy forces. With so much mobile divisions a lot fo small pockets gonna be created by accident. Bigger ones like Odessa or Lithuania are easy to create and with lots of spare units easy to hold with INF only while panzers rush forward. Also we have enoug mobile forces to overrun few divisions. And since we are at the subject of running over people... Stalin, Beria and Molotov. Political leaders giving sweet penalties to Soviets when killed. Yes, Stalin is bugged. But since its a bug - aka its not working as intended - I decided to remove 15 NU using console command 3 weeks after his death. The thing with leaders is that they need to be overrun. No shattering . Shattered units are respawned at Theater HQ (Kharkov HQ for Stalin and Beria). Org has to reach "0" in order to force them to retreat. After that all is left is taking province that they are retreating to wich can be accomplished even with standard INF div.
One, already discussed in terms "gamey/not gamey" part of my strategy were naval invasions. And thats why we need submarines for. We are decimating UK convoys with them (explained earlier). RN will chase our subs and because of that wont attack our invasion forces. Atleast thats the only way to make it not gamey tactic. Anyway. Next part of "make it not gamey" is taking Norway and Sweden. This way we can supply Kirkenes port via land (after building some infra along the way) so RN wont raid our supply convoys along Norway coastline. We move all divisions (6 INF corps, 2 Arm corps) there and just unload them on Soviet soil when the war starts. Both Murmansk and Archangielsk are defended only by garrison units so taking them is just a formality.
aka "Did it worked?"
2 weeks. Standard attack from West, South and North. Blitzkrieg to major VPs (Łódź, Warszawa, Kraków, Gdańsk). As always Poland is just a warm up. Split it with Russians after victory. Leave some SD units to deal with revolts and redeploy army to attack France, Belgium and Netheralnds (both already members of Allies and at war with me).
Before my main forces arrived I already took bigger part of Netherlands slowly pushing with few INF divs that were defending borders. After setting up attack I launched full scale invasion through Ardennes and Luxemburg. Sounds familiar? Bulk of my forces rushed into France while some INF were left behind to deal with British, Belgium and France forces in Bruxelles and Antwerp. They were defending for 2 more weeks than France.
After first breakthrough in Ardennes I send my 3 Panzer Armies in 3 different directions:
- To the Channel. Cut off almost whole UK forces (again quite historical) and Belgium.
- South to surround Maginot Line
- Paris and after that other VPs.
Focus fastest mobile units in armies attacking in Channel and Maginot direction. Once both encirclements are created only units left to fight for Paris are HQs and few divisions. Nothing that isn't just a speedbump. After winning I went with "Full Occupation" for more IC, and prepared next attack. From day one attack Maginot with fort buster divisions. They propably wont break the defences but its great practice for them. Losses wont be high because of high armor value that Heavy Tanks and TD provide, so at the end of battle we will have 4 highly experienced fort buster divisions with great commanders. In France most dramatic thing gonna happen in air. Keep close eye on all air battles because this is the moment when RAF shows its potential. They can do serious damage to our air units and even destroy some of them. At this point we are still building up our army so every IC and MP point is precious. If RAF is too dangerous just cease all air operations. France doesn't last long so we can wait that out.
Republicans won the war and were closer and closer to joining the Allies. Actually I have no idea if they are ever gonna do that because everytime they win Civil War I attack them in spring of 1940. I just want to be 100% sure that they wont backstab me while Im deep down in Russia. Conquering them is easy but time consuming. Its actually second longest campaign for me. Attack routes are very limited here. Only two good places for our tanks to attack are South and North coastlines. Go for Bilbao and Barcelona. Avoid major battles in the middle. Lots of mountains and defenders = long and bloody battles draining our limited MP. Just keep them busy so they wont cut off our panzers. After Bilbao turn South to Madrid and sent 3-4 divs to take La Coruna. In the south part of the front move past Barcelona and go straight for Gibraltar taking all VP along the way.
Gibraltar. Bring those fort busters and just wait.
Sweden and Norway
First Sweden, and Norway after that. Can easily be done with INF only and total number of 4 naval invasions. Our commisioned warships and few Pocket BBs that are available from the start should be enough to deal with their navys so we have green light. Invade near Gotebrog and Stokholm and move to next VP with spare units. Same with Norway - only 2 VPs here so not much resources or effort is required.
You all propably gonna be little disapointed with this part. Its easy to explain production que, espionage etc. bur right now we came to part when the thing that matters the most is patience, decision making and milions of mouse click happens. Its almost impossible for me to explain exactly what, when and where so I'll focus on most important things. Propably gonna miss half of them anyway.
Im uploading savegames taken one month before attack, and after each consecutive month with last savegame taken hours before capturing Kyubyshev.
Initial attack.AG Nord 1 - Wilno than Riga (create pocket), after that take LeningradAG Nord 2 - Murmansk and ArchangielskAG Mitte - Minsk, clearing marshes and after that straight to MoskvaAG Sud - Odessa (huge encirclement) than Rostov. After that INF and Panzer attack Stalingrad, MTN go to Caucasus.
Keep in mind that this plan isn't very specific. All we care about is speed. So if by accident one route is opened and we didn't plan on going there and there is a chance that it will help us? Go there. Especialy when we are close to rivers. Always move your unit to other side event if main assault wont go there. Sooner or later it will be usefull and gonna save us some time. And since our time is limited speed becomes our priority. Speed is our goal. Speed is everything. Speed is love. Mobile divisions from AG Sud ended up in Nord? Who cares! Only viable question is: was the job done? If answer is "yes" than everything went as planned. So don't panic when You gonna see total chaos in last savegame :P That happens with abundance of units. Typical attack after few weeks looks like this: attack with 1 div, and move 3 another to adjacent undefended province. This had 2 effects. First: it pushed frontline forward. Kinda obvious. And second: often when AI notice that province next to defending unit was taken it will just withdraw. And since withdraw cannot be cancelled it gives us oportunity to overrun that unit. Even if we cant accomplish that it makes said unit unusable for 1-2 days in case of mobile , and 3+ for Infrantry div.
As You can see in screenshots everything went as planned. Panzers did their job and made major breakthroughs in all parts of the front despite attacking in woods. Thats the case for AG Mitte Panzer armies. Why not south of Pinsk Marshes? Yes, its great terrain for tanks, but somehow every time I used that route I ended up with lots of soviet units digging up in marshes, and making them almost untouchable. So this time I attacked through woods. And it worked perfectly. Only few units managed to get there, and they were easy to deal with. Unfortunately I had to leave few mobile divs because defenders had some medium tanks.
AG Nord 1 almost cleared Lithuana pocket and already moved toward Tallin and Stalingrad. I didn't managed to encircle as many units as planned but still enough to decimate northern part of the front and its ability to pose any threat. Right now its just "push back and wait for oportunity to encircle" war. It wont change until Leningrad and first conscripts wave.
AG Sud almost reached Odessa. Its actually easiest part of first month. Great terrain, soviets focused on Romania. Most of units already gone and nothing to stop us from raching Rostov-Kharkov-Kursk line. Not even much units to fight against here.
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I was late with save this time because I was 100% focued on hunting Stalin. He died day before. Beria was gone week or two before. Cant remember now. At this point first wave of conscripts hit me. Little too late because Moskva (already attacked by fort busters) and Leningrad are already cut off. Little pocket holds its ground in Narva. They broke out eventually but reinforcement pulled from Leningrad siege forces took care of them. Still didn't reached Rostov. Conscripts behind river near Zaporizhzhya can slow down Wehrmacht actually. That was last thing they could do in South. Week later I reached Rostov and sent MTN to Caucasus, and everything else to Stalingrad. There was realy not much combat beyond that point. AG Mitte still had some units to deal with. Most of them conscripts. Nothing dangerous. Most fo them AI decided to redeploy north which didn't turned out for them too good.
AG Nord moved forward very slowly. Lots of woods and some rivers stopped Blitzkrieg and turned it into slow pushing forward with lots of fighting. AG Nord 2 captured almost undefended Archangielsk and moved to meet with AG Nord 1. Its also very slow due to the terrain and here we actually have some arctic terrain to deal with. Didn't bother myself with building Ski Divisions this time. Wood+arctic will stop any attack, so when both happen to you just stop and dont waste time. Find another way.
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As said before AI redeployed most of units from central front to north - right into AG Nord 1 and 2. It did it in worst possible moment: few days before Nord 1 and 2 finally met each other cuting off everything north of Leningrad-Vologda line. This is awesome example of how stupid AI can be considering the fact that I couldnt finish off those units in next 2 months and they were encircled, out of supply and bombed 24/7.
Thanks to that AG Mitte had clear way to last VPs west of Urals. Similar thing with AG Sud. Mountain Divs moving through Caucasus unattacked, Stalingrad already on the horizon.
Leningrad still fighting but already without chances. Fort buster and handfull of other units attack the city. It was capture week or two later.
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Lots of tanks arrived. Classical soviet tank spam. Too late. Leningrad taken. Didn't even bother to move those units to the frontlines. At this point (and date) there was absolutely nothing that could change the course of war. My panzer divs already approaching Kazan and Kyubyshev. Stalingrad was captured in less than a week and is already far behind frontline. Since Rostov AG Sud didn't encounter any real fighting force on its way.
This cannot said about AG Nord 1 and 2. Still fighting with hordes of consripts surrounded near Lake Onega. They will hold their ground to the last days of war.
AG Mitte crushed all remaining resistance and moved towards Kazan.
Few days later on November 6th Soviet Union surrenders.
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This is it for now. Now You can ask all those question, blame me for doing things in some weird way, mess in OOB etc ;-)
This campaign showed me one thing: preparation is everything. Since day one every part of everything I did was focused on SU and SU alone. And final effect of that approach was fastest Barbarossa of all that I ever did (not counting those that I have lost :P). Hardest part was keeping an eye on all techs, building ques and during war - micromanaging every even smallest part of my huge army. Red Army was one of the easiest obstacles in whole thing. Everything they had was countered. Everything they threaten me with (aka Guard divisions) didn't even managed to get to the frontlines. Its all down to basics: come up with strategy, create plan and stick to it no matter what. If it fails - make adjustements and try again. Sooner or later score close to perfection will be achieved. Not claiming that its what I did
I'll upload saves when todays Champions League is over :x
Now... let me prepare for the UK :-)