SITREP Sunday 6 Dec 2015
Pavel is going to focus on Mounted Ops. I will focus on Sequential Tasking. I have yet to confirm with Dan but I am hoping he will assist me with the active graphics we need to support the sequential tasking. There are a swag of other features that are all worthy but I am being bloody minded here and limiting the focus to those required to model east front operations.
Nice. The missing dismount option kept me from getting those modules, as the lack of such option AND the fact, that wheeled/armored units can't cross certain types of terrain anymore (since COTA), pose a level of historical inaccuracy that's killing the fun for me. It also restricts the user to certain strategies or play styles, as the tactical movement is hindered by unpassable terrain and confined routes on quite a few maps.
Anyways, in my books, the Russian module will need main features, like
- a dismount feature,
- and doctrines
- the Russians had mastered their push doctrine - I would not call it "deep thrust", as they never managed to fully implement that "deep thrust" (or "deep penetration") doctrine - by early 1944, but they had used it as early as 1942, already
- artillery doctrine, as it was combined since (IIRC) late 1942 and acting as Corps (reserve) asset supporting such thrusts exclusively, usually across a wide front
- tactically, and on the defense, the Germans were superior, resulting in the Germans being able to rectify situations and to keep mobile defenses (in the main, at least)
- even though the Russians lacked the initiative and leadership within their (green) NCO pool, the Russians could compensate such deficiencies at the operational level.
- the Germans used their (very) fast recon vehicles employed in the Aufklärungs-Abteilungen (Recon Bns) to scout in advance, and small inf patrols, the Russians made excessive use of patrols (even behind German lines) and had a halfway working aerial recon going (more than often just combat planes, which often did not have sufficient radio range to report observations during flight, but which tried to contact nearby ground forces, too) - so, small units (German scout vehicles or Russian patrols) will have to be rendered, with their respective speeds
and as secondary features
- the Germans were able to triangulate Russian radio calls (which forced Russian patrols or manoeuvre forces to stick to simple and short radio sitreps, eventully), so that the Germans could compensate the general lack of aerial recon - to some extent, maybe until around 1943
- the Germans could detect Russian artillery units (if in range) with their sound detection devices and performed a lot of counterbattery missions, which forced the Russians to position their artillery units out of range of the German arty pieces (which sometimes worked out, as the max ranges of the German heavy field guns were 2 - 7 km (depending on the gun) lower than the ranges of the Russian heavy pieces.
- German artillery was way more accurate
- mines - both, the Russians and the Germans placed mine belts wherever possible. The Russians made extensive use of mines during the German onslaughts in 1941 and 1942, the Germans placed giant mine belts on stalled fronts (Leningrad front, Northern theater in general), and placed belts where they to tried to slow down the Russian pushes between 1943-1945.
- medium range aerial recon for ALLIED players/AI, short range aerial recon for the Germans (rare, tho)
- general movement:
while German tanks received winter tracks (with almost triangular track extensions) since 1942, they still had a serious disadvantage (if compared to Russian tanks) during mud season in spring and autumn: their tracks were not wide enough to support driving in Russian muddy terrain, so that many vehicles kept getting stuck and that the movement of vital formations often stalled (a random "stuck" generator would be nice). The Germans tried to solve this problem with the "Ostketten" (tracks for the East, issued in 1944), but couldn't solve the problem completely, as these makeshift tracks were wider now, but the extensions were still protruding on the outer side of the wheel bases (that's why ppl keep mixing up these 2 different tracks), with most of the weight / pressure still resting on the inner parts of the tracks, and with the outer parts offering less or even no (additional) traction. A complete wheel base and hull side redesign on most tanks would have been needed to manage solving the problem once and for all. The Russian T-34 design had taken into account that mud seasons and harsh winter conditions called for wider tracks and had left enough room for wide/centered winter tracks (with wider wheels?) that would support acceptable movement rates under such conditions.
in order to create realistic settings for a Russian module.
At the begin of the Russian campaign, the Germans had 168 Panzer III Ausf. H (U) and a number of Panzer IV (U) at their disposal - submersible tanks, which weren't just capable of fording, but capable of actually driving on the bottom of a river that was 6 to 15 meters deep - where some of them were used by the 18th and the 6th Panzer-Division to cross the river Bug without engineer support.
So this should be considered as a minor feature when it comes to German tactical movement abilities across minor and even major rivers in a Russian setting.