Hot damn, this is pretty good analysis. Would like to see this made into a guide after it gets polished by the editors.
Thanks for the feedback! Rereading some of my stuff I can see some grammar mistakes...I'll let someone smarter handle all that.
Game 2: Soviet - Defensive Doctrine vs. OKW - Grand Offensive Doctrine
AE and Stormless's VOD Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQLQHswmFVQ&list=PL5Gq-kPFBcWH3j0gkgPdtGw3ISjv1uUpn&index=28
Pre TL;DR analysis - Personally this game felt much more narrow in terms of what was happening on the field. That being said this was just as interesting as a game, definitely things I thought could have valid merit despite it ultimately going wrong.
TL;DR - Due to Luvnest forfeiting some early game presence to catch out Noggano's M3 (which I assume is actually his intention), this cost him in terms of fuel and munitions. Noggano had the lead an interestingly invested more in manpower units rather than fuel units. This allowed stronger VP control and due to Luvnest's available units, allowed Noggano to snowball resources. When the Tiger would inevitably come, Noggano was able to zone out the Tiger via the defensive artillery ability and was able to leverage his resource inequality to catch up to Luvnest. The Tiger was passive and any supporting tanks failed to support it effectively. The Tiger had too many targets to shoot; it wasn't able to do the work it needed by tanking shots and allowing supporting units to mop up Noggano's army.
SOV opens up with a T1 opening. What you need to know is that by doing a sole T1 opening, the first penal squad will often be outclassed by a normal OKW opening. Luvnest kind of skirts by the first engagement with the penal, which I believe he could have done a little bit better by avoiding the negative cover south of the middle VP. Yes the M3 is there, but it isn't too large of a concern since the flamer engineers aren't out. If you can force the penal off early, the T1 opening becomes weak initially without any infantry supporting the M3.
Noggano wisely moves the M3 to support the penal. By allowing the M3 to take shots, it effectively allows the penal to stay longer on the field. Combine that with 2 engineers allowing for quick repairs mean less manpower loss. Now I found it interesting that Luvnest went for a thin T0 and plan to go to T1. I don't think most people expect early panzerfausts especially since he has panzerfusiliers. I like this double bluff, but it needs to be timed perfectly.
When I saw this I initially thought Luvnest has something great going on, by abusing this hedge and sight line, you can pull out a quick faust and allow another faust or at nade to follow up. He should be focusing on the penal squad though, unless I am mistaken, 2 fausts or 1 faust and at nade can finish off a full M3.
Luvnest is prepping in case his faust plan doesn't work with a mine. Now I don't fault him for putting a mine there, but if he was planning to do the next engagement intentionally, he might have been served better by placing it on the retreat path of his units...
Critically Luvnest catches out a low combat engineer squad, good on him for comprising the retreat path. He does gain an initial lead.
Noggano forces the hedge volks by running straight into it. Luvnest could have played this slightly better by dancing back and forth between the hedge. This would allow the volks to be more split up, reducing the effectiveness of the flamer M3. That being said, the retreat was a safe option, so not a big deal. Due to what happens next, having that volks last there longer would have helped immensely.
If he had held just a little bit longer, he could have gotten a faust off, and with the rest of the army in the center, could have been finished off. The med truck finishes just as the volks retreat, so lost opportunity there.
Here Noggano correctly focuses on the weakest unit in order to force a retreat. What Luvnest could have done is screen his troops better, maybe backpedal the panzerfusilier to the hedge below just as an emergency snare, move the other troops to maybe force Noggano to not target the panzerfusiliers.
Now here is what I don't get if Luvnest intentionally does this or is a slip up. Would it have been worth it to reveal you do have fausts by not retreating that volks squad to save the panzerfusilier? Sure it meant that Noggano would have M3 alive and would be wary, but the panzerfusilier would more likely have lived. Maybe he intentionally retreated to bait the M3 into the mine that Luvnest had laid just shortly before.
The mine gets hit by the penal instead, so that safety net fails. Luvnest goes for the surprise double faust which catches Noggano off guard. But here's the thing, the flamer engineer inside is as dangerous as the M3, especially when it has full health and is already in flamer range. With Luvnest's troops already clustered right next to the cutoff, it's going to sting badly.
The M3 dies but Luvnest's army gets routed. His cutoff is taken, which isn't too horrendously bad because he gets out his first light vehicle. Noggano, seeing a double faust expenditure, a mine, and getting the cutoff instantly goes for mines. He knows that Luvnest pretty much has no munis for sweepers, which pretty much guarantees mp bleed. Interesting that Noggano rebuilds his engineer. This kind of sets him back manpower-fuel ratio wise; his fuel growth will outplace his manpower growth this potentially slowing down his T70.
So I found it interesting that Noggano, upon seeing the flak halftrack, goes for defensive and immediately calls out a M42 AT gun. He isn't terribly far off from a T70, and he could definitely stall the flak halftrack from making any gains by using his penals in buildings or heavy cover wherever available. This suggests to me Noggano is very intent on maintaining as much pressure as possible, sacrificing the mid to late game. The VP bleed will continue on, as Noggano absolutely loves doing.
Noggano manages to catch out and damage the raketen. This comes at a big blow for Luvnest; much like how (intentionally?) hidden the panzerfaust from the M3, he loses out the element of surprise.
Noggano dives heavier into more manpower investments, while Luvnest goes for an Leig as a response to the Dshk. This indicated to me that there will be a much longer mid game, with heavier vehicles coming much later. I always question the Leig as it needs a surprising amount of micro to use effectively. A combination of smoke, manual attack, and ground attack would really help Luvnest deal with the growing support weapon armada.
So here's a small tidbit I find odd no one using. Luvnest does a great job using smoke to help capture the central VP. But if you know where the Dshk is, why not smoke, halt the leig after the first smoke shell drops, then attack ground the Dshk? This would allow more health damage to the Dshk, allowing for it to retreat more often and transition to better control of the mid. Noggano adds more mp investments, which allows so much field control given that Luvnest doesn't flank correctly.
Pro Tip: Apparently if you are the north player and you control the house right next to the VP with a MG, the whole right side is yours. If you noticed, there isn't much territory change between the two other than the initial engagement. Both sides keep their fuels and munitions quite handily, only strategic points get exchanged. Both players kind of tunnel visioned into each other.
Luvnest loses his MG34, but an ober squad correctly screens the penal from capturing it. One thing I noticed is how passive the flak halftrack is, I definitely feel like, given you have the micro, you can attack ground through the hedge and put more pressure on the Sov troops in the middle. Would definitely feel like this would allow Luvnest to maneuver his troops around the map more.
Noggano does a beautiful T70 & M42 attack ground push against the flak halftrack. Luvnest definitely stuck around there too long with no upside. It is unlikely he would have gotten the low T70 without the raketen, which was caught out in the middle. Noggano saw this and stuck his T70 out longer, maybe to entice the flak halftrack to stay longer. But at the same time, Luvnest should have known not much would be accomplished.
Luvnest does a great double flame nade to pretty much bleed the combat engineers heavily. Despite the tactical coolness, I wonder if it was worth it in the macro sense. He's tailing in munitions quite heavily. This reduces the future mines he can lay, smoke pots to allow for flanks, flares, etc.
Noggano gets a late T34 out due to the mp to fuel ratio inequality. Since Luvnest goes for the Tiger, it kind of works in Noggano's favor anyways. Regardless, due to the amount of fuel Noggano has, he would have been just as prepared to handle a P4. Here Noggano dances around the hedge quite nicely to avoid the raketen and maximize support weapon damage.
During the course of watching this battle, I noticed that the scope of engagements was extremely narrow. I understood why the right was narrow (due to the Dshk in the right house), but not the left. If anything Luvnest has swept the area for mines quite a few times yet had no inclination of pushing. This is lost opportunity, as Dshks really excel by having the fields of engagement be as small as possible.
Luvnest's Tiger finally comes out. Immediately he has the advantage and Noggano doesn't have a hard counter to measure up. But guess what, that muni float Noggano allows an easy zoning out of the Tiger, stalling it so that the SU85 can come out.
Whether intentional or not, Noggano has some really great PTRS control. He could have easily bought some when the flak halftrack came out, yet he didn't. This allowed the penals to retain their anti infantry effectiveness to the max and keep a healthy muni reserve. 200 munis might seem expensive to stall a Tiger, but it's essentially a muni to mp transfer. By limiting the Tiger, Noggano is essentially invalidating the shock value of the Tiger.
Langres late game turns into a vision game. He who has more vision essentially has a huge advantage. Both players are using vision quite effectively, Noggano has the vet3 T70 and Luvnest has panzerfusiliers flares. However, one is free and the other drains munis. Not to mention that the Sov army can use the vision more effectively (due to the SU85, allowing the T34 to quick maneuver away from the Tiger to harass when necessary). The OKW army needs to be more proactive with vision intel; it isn't enough to smoke just to cap the mid VP for a few seconds.
Luvnest temporarily deals with the right VP house for a bit, only to get pushed off by the T34. Luvnest could send the Tiger once to the right and knock out the house, just to reduce the effectiveness of the Dshk and allow less vision on the right. I feel like he's beginning to feel the pressure of the VPs and he's tunnel visioning in the middle quite hard.
Here's what all players should keep in mind with heavy tanks. It is only one tank. It is a dominating presence, but it needs support. It can deftly handle targets that can counter it, but once it gets ganged up without a bail card, it is essentially a resource sink. All Luvnest had here was a raketen, which Noggano quickly catches out. Being out ranged by the SU85, Luvnest really has no choice but to pull back his Tiger.
Free vet for the SU85. Not to mention that Noggano is winning the repair game. His combat engineers are having a much better time than the overworked sturmpios, who have to repair and sweep the many mines Noggano has been spamming. Luvnest could have opted for a mech repair hq to alleviate the strumpio overload.
Here Luvnest technically has the armor advantage. As long as he focuses down that SU85 with the jagdpanzer he can absolutely turn the tide. That's the only thing that Noggano really has that can immediately counter the Tiger. Also want to note that due to the rapid muni gain from Noggano, he can lay mines like no tomorrow.
Luvnest suddenly grows shy all of sudden, he knows there aren't any mines in front of him, there are no snares, and he has a raketen in the back in case of any flanks. But he doesn't chase the SU85 too heavily. While Noggano has the VP lead and army value lead, he technically can't stand toe to toe armor wise without using the defensive arty ability.
I just kind of laugh how thorough Noggano is with the right side. Aint nothing busting through there (well maybe a Tiger just hitting the house and putting a minesweeper there :b)
Luvnest stalls out too long in the middle and allows Noggano to get enough munis to call in the defensive arty ability. Combine this with a flank T34 that goes unimpeded because:
A. There are no mines laid by Luvnest (severe muni usage throughout the game!)
B. Lack of awareness from Luvnest to realize Noggano has no minesweepers throughout the entire game. A mine here or there at the right place would have done wonders.
C. Raketen doesn't get brought up quick enough to support.
The JP4 dies without much of a fight. The T34 is lost, but due to the resource glut Noggano has, it isn't much of a loss. At this point, I consider the game to be over, though Luvnest does get enough to get another JP4 out. But the VP bleed has been absolutely insane and pressures Luvnest to be desperate and make mistakes. Noggano can sit pretty and allow Luvnest to bleed slowly.
Psst, don't use your tank to go through ober smoke, it disables the gun! I know the pressure is getting bad for Luvnest, just goes to show how VPs are as much of a psychological game as an actual indicator of win or loss.
That's it for G2. G3 will probably be done after the holidays. If you got any counterpoints feel free to post 'em!