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First Turn in the North ?

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So - in my first game, trying to get off to a good start in the North.


Typically with Russian Front games, you want to pocket the Russians right away and mop up in order to deal with the hordes that are coming.


I tried a number of different move / attack combinations  and this is the max penetration / prep for encirclement that I could achieve.


Seems like these guys are going to be able to slip back to the East quite well as I was not able to shut the door to Riga.


My general plan is to follow up next turn and try to get a pocket going and then occupy the one town inside before trying to reduce it.


Would appreciate any advice from experienced players : Is this typical of opening play in the North? Am I missing the boat somehow and should have achieved an encirclement by the end of the first turn?


My thoughts on approach for next turn are shown by the Blue arrows ....


Any thoughts?



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     Your first turn seems pretty good from what I see.  I have found it difficult to achieve large scale encirclements in this game due to the lack of units and scale involved.  I usually get a good sized pocket around Mazeikai and Kaunas the first few turns.  I try to take Kaunas on turn two with my northern panzers and then turn hell bent for Riga.  Here is a screen shot of the end of my first turn in my current campaign against the AI( I am at the beginning of August 41 right now).



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Thanks for the sanity check Fox.


I see in your game, that you wheeled the Panzers south a bit to pocket the Infantry, HQ and Armor.


I guess the other factor about not achieving large scale pockets are the interesting ZOC rules.


Did those 3 units escape in the AI turn or were they trapped and then eliminated?

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Hi Don Czirr :) ,


Lots of combinations possible on first turn but with the good movement/combat sequence you can get it done (see screen below).

Of course you need some luck here and there with rolls plus uprading one of starting lvl6 german HQs to lvl9 in the north.

The trick is to cut railroads in the back (forcemarch) and eliminate supply sources (kill or reduce HQs) for turn 2.

Without HQs and high supply soviet units won't be able to move/escape or reinforce much plus they won't come back for a while once out.


Also destroying air units is quite easy and will also clear the path to advance further.

You can also avoid some enemy ZoCs with panzers as hidden units won't project any.

Of course ambushes can happen but on turn 1 many soviet units are reduced and won't fight back.

Use Luftwaffe only to finish 1 step units after unlucky rolls or to finish units retreating in bad spots.



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That is impressive Strat !


Something to work towards for sure ...  I'll need to investigate upgrading that HQ on the first turn and the Forced March - as I see your Infantry unit is the one that actually sealed the Northern pocket - not the Panzers !



Thanks for the tips ... I will endeavor to emulate your skill in this matter    ;)

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Thanks Czirr :) ,


Just keep in mind those big pockets arn't always the best thing to do as they can be quite troublesome to deal with.

Forcemarch take a heavy toll on your units stats so it's better to avoid it for main ones like panzers.

The more you keep units in pockets the later you'll face them deeper in USSR but it will tie down some of your forces.


One other thing to consider is killing HQs first reduces a lot combat efficiency of encircled soviet units.

However that also means they die in good supply and will come back quicker.

That said most of starting soviet HQs are low level (3-4) so you can consider just crippling them so they can be destroyed in low supply next turn.


Anyway I can send you part of a first Axis turn as a MP game so you can see the replay of various moves if you want to take a look ;) .

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Next round turned out better, with the Panzer Group getting deep penetration.


I could have went one space North instead but that still left me 1 square shy of the cut-off square near Riga.


So - at this point I am still mystified about how that Infantry Corps of yours got that distance.


I tried a number of combinations and my Infantry guys just looked at me strange when I ordered them to go that far in one turn.    :)


I looked at Motorizing one of them but apparently that puts them out of action for that turn.


I looked at upgrading my HQ and the only option there was to increase it's AA or I could replace the Leader - neither of which did anything for my marching capabilities.


Looking in the manual, I could not see anything about a Forced March option.



So - very eager to see your magic in action    .....

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If you click on an active unit not adjacent to an enemy unit and with supply 5 or more you will have on the upper right where normally the game menu buttons are an icon for forced march. It's where normally the purchase units button is.

Edited by Accoma
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Hi here is the MP file :) :



And my bad I assumed you knew about forcemarch ! Thanks Accoma, I'll add a screen to help a bit more:

1) left click on any eligible unit as said above supply 5 and not adjacent to enemy forces

2) left click on the white man and arrow in the upper rights corner of screen/menu

(you'll have doubled movement but forcemarched units can't enter enemy controlled tiles = red ones)

3) left click to move your unit where you want


Edited by Strategiclayabout
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Thanks Accoma - I accidentally found it last night while moving an Artillery Corps (of all things!)


And with that, I was able to achieve the much coveted cut-off of the Reds to the North in front of Riga ....


Now armed with this deadly knowledge, the march resumes    ;)




PS - thanks for the MP File Strat - saw your post as I was responding to Accoma .....

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EDIT: ah so you found it already congratulations for your first Riga pocket but remember to keep your supply lines guarded ^^ .


And yes sometimes your infantry guys will just say: "go yourself man" :D .


Anyway some more things to think about:


0) retreat moves can mess up the best strategies so it's better to surround important targets with controlled tiles before attacking

(that said you can use retreat moves to your advantage as fleeing units will move through easier tiles = a clear one vs a forest)


1) crossing river tile borders into enemy territory (red tiles) will cost you 1 more AP

(that's why in the turn I sent you I move that GAR unit near the river south of Brest-Litovsk before moving the panzer around the fortress)


2) upgrading one of german lvl6 HQs in the north to lvl9 before attacking is an increase of 50% efficiency (for only 45MPPs)

(so attach your panzers and elite infantry to it to have better combat results and less casualties)


3) in the center you already have Guderian lvl8 with 1 full experience star for the 3 panzers there

(you can move Guderian a bit to the south to be able to attach the 3 other panzers there but you won't gain much vs lvl7 HQs with 1 full exp star)


3) by killing some easy units like planes with that upgraded HQ's units before using panzers you can gain half an experience star

(meaning even better chances for your panzers and with 4 of them in the north it's snowball effect to provide more exp for your HQ)


4) panzers have 2 strikes so try to have several attack options after moving not to waste one strike just in case you get a 1 hit kill

(sometimes it's also better to "waste" that second strike and not attack if your panzer took high/unlucky damage with the first one)


5) about killing units there are priorities early on:



they won't retreat so no bad surprise when you attack them, at worst they'll play heroes and survive with 1 step needing 1 more strike to finish them

however they only need 1 supply to fly away on soviet turn so unless you can make sure they'll be at 0 supply just kill them all :D

having them destroyed in low supply will maintain Luftwaffe superiority longer

but even if detsroyed in good supply (putting them at half price) Soviets will have to buy land units first so planes will be delayed anyway



most starting frontline soviet HQs are atrocious between lvl 3 and 5 so you can just roll over them if needed

even if Stalin buy them back at half price it will cost some MPPs and one turn to upgrade them do decent levels

killing them right away will also destroy supply and command bonuses for attached units

also even if you kill a lvl9 in low supply the commander will "escape" and you'll be able to upgrade a low level HQ to 9 the nex turn

killing HQs in low supply can still be interesting (3 monthes to produce vs 1,5 month) but benefits arn't that big



can be destroyed in good supply as USSR can't buy them back so you can eliminate them to create gaps for encircling other units

that said they are easier to destroy at 0 supply without an HQ backing them

but even with 1 supply they have good defense and mobility plus 2 strikes and demoralization so better be cautious around them


That's it :) !

Edited by Strategiclayabout
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have played countless hours of SC and I never knew about forced march.  Shocked and stunned.  :o



As an aside, I've always found the supply model in SC to be... strange and unintuitive.  Pocketed units are always much stronger then I expect and a pocketed unit in a city with HQ support might as well not be pocketed at all.  :P

Edited by Fintilgin
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We did introduce some new supply rules a couple of years back, which are included in our more recent releases, full details of which can be found in the Expansion Notes within the Manuals folder of applicable games.


One part of it I've pasted below, and I post it because this is a good way to reduce the supply of the cut off enemy troops below whatever level they are currently at, and doing so will also reduce the supply effectiveness of the HQ. Damaging the HQ will also reduce the HQ's supply giving ability, leading to a starving enemy and an easier victory!


1) Any resource that has 4 or more adjacent enemy units will have their resource strength reduced by 1 point per turn until it reaches 0. The absence of enemy units will see the resource regain strength by 1 point per friendly turn, i.e. deterioration happens in both friendly and enemy turns, but regaining strength only occurs in friendly turns.

The exceptions to this resource strength degradation rule would be any capital or fortress resource.

2) Any port that has an enemy naval unit adjacent to it will no longer provide supply to friendly land units within supply range of this port. Port strength itself will be unaffected, and the only effect of the presence of the enemy naval unit will be to impede supply to land units.

Edited by Bill101
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  • 2 weeks later...

There is no definite answer to that because of random retreat moves and combat results.

Several strategies or move combinations are possible depending on what happens.


Here is one of them for the center:

First the southern pincer

1) move that GAR unit to take control of river Bug banks

2) roll your southern panzer all around Brest-Litovsk

3) eliminate fighter unit and reduce nearby HQ

Second the northern pincer

1) move designated panzer east to recon/cut railroad

2) attack soviet HQ if you're lucky you'll destroy it with 2 strikes

3) now you should see a big pocket coming :D



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Now that we've crippled soviet HQs in the area next goal is to take Bialystok.

As said above things can go wrong there is no perfect plan so you'll have to adapt depending on combat results.

Moving/forcemarching units before combat can help negate some retreating pathes but it uses some units you may need later on.



A use remaining panzer north of the town to attack army in low supply to the south

B advance panzer to destroy fighters behind it

C use adjacent elite german corps to finish soviet army if it survives



A move that german corps in the back forward to eliminate remaining fighters unit near Brest-Litovsk

B that also allows Germasn to control crossing points on the Bug river

C if needed bomb any of previous attacked units with Luftwaffe to finish them



A move panzer adjacent to the fortress on the tile where soviet fighters were 

B widen the gap by eliminating the bombers then nearby army

C finish that army with german corps north of Siedlce if it survives



A move remaining panzer near Bialystok and hammer the division in it

B here things can go wrong as the soviet division can retreat in a bad spot (blocking the town with ZoCs)

C you still have a chance to kill it with Luftwaffe but at this point it's down to your luck



A attack the remaining soviet army west of the pocket with adjacent german corps

B move that german corps in Bialystok to capture the town

C force march german units (usually need two) in the back to close the ring northeast of Bialystok


Edited by Strategiclayabout
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Now to the south where I'll only talk about Lviv area since there's no panzers further down.

Same strategy as in the center with a giant encirclement denying supply sources to trapped units.

There are two main possibilities here: capture Lviv first or encircle units first to avoid retreats (red moves 3, 4 & 5).

It's up to you to test both and see what you find better but I usually prefer to block retreats first.



A move designated panzer on the free tile near Lviv and attack the division there

B it will either defend or flee if it defends the second panzer strike usually kills it

C if it survives finish it with Luftwaffe as it's a critical tile


A move second panzer unit in the empty town and attack the soviet HQ

B it will also defend or flee if it defends the second panzer strike will usually kill it

C if it flees don't use Luftwaffe on it (yet) as you still have a chance to bag it with other units


A move elite corps on the right wing near low supplied red army in the western woods

B attack with that elite corps to reduce the army and ensure a 1 strike kill for remaining panzer

C if the army retreats use other corps/Luftwaffe to finish it



A if the army doesn't retreat crush it with your panzer first strike

B then roll it in the gap all around Lviv to the east

C if you can't reach the woods because of ZoCs just cross the river further east

(or even to Buchach town but you'll need more units to close the ring int he north)



A complete the encirclement by moving/forcemarching units in the north

B that can be tricky if you don't use the good sequence of moves or if you used too many units in the center

C at worst you can kill planes (especially the northen fighter) to reduce the ZoC problem a bit and gain some APs ^^


Edited by Strategiclayabout
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