The Soviet Initial Offensive - Feb 2nd to Feb 19th, 1943.
Flushed with the success of the victory at Stalingrad, Stavka launched Operation Gallop/Star on the day the Paulus surrendered 6th Army in ignominy. The Soviet operation was hurriedly pulled together from the march to take advantage of the perceived disarray of the Axis forces. Report after report was received and it was obvious to Stavka that the Germans were abandoning both Rostov and the Mius River line - just as they had withdrawn from the Caucasus. Pushing both south and west they could trap Army Group South and dwarf Stalingrad. The Soviets satisfied their strategic aim with Star - the capture of Belgorod and Kharkov. With Operation Gallop they went perilously close to capturing both the Dnepr crossings and isolating 1st and 4th Panzer Armies on the River Mius.
After 18 months of play, experienced players are finding that the campaigns are weighted too heavily towards the Germans in the initial phase. This is preventing the Soviets from having a chance to attain their historical achievements. Particularly in the south of the map, the German armour is in a position to immediately counterattack the Soviets and never allow them to close with their objectives. Variant 1 has taken into account much of the communities’ commentary and these new releases should play out closer to the historical result.
The included files are :
Read Me Kharkov ’43 Variant 1 Notes
The latest Kharkov ’43 patch must be applied for these scenarios to work. As at release this is version 1.01a
Change Log : Initial Release :
1. PDT file : Foot speed dropped back to 4 (from 5). This will slow all German motorized units and will prevent two step movement. I know people would prefer faster Soviet movement but the current rate is historical and some of the below changes fix up some of the loopholes.
2. PDT File : Bunker probability is .5%
3. PDT File : Night move disruption is set at 60%.
4. PDT File : Rubble creation has been doubled to 10,000. Most PzC games use 1,000 as the base value.
5. PDT File : Unit Recovery loss is now set to 0% for both sides (see OOB below)
6. PDT File : Wired bridges are in play with a 20% chance for both small and large bridges. NOTE : Only bridges on rivers are wired, all others (streams etc) will not blow. This should allow VST to work properly.
7. PDT File : Range effect modifier is now 1.5 (from 3). This increases the emphasis on ranged fire.
8. PDT File : Various movement rates adjusted. Particularly Cav/Ski in forest and motorised in villages.
9. OOB File: Replacement rate set to 1% for both sides. This is a key change as it is impacted by supply levels (if it is less than 50), rather than by quality.
10. Scenario : No German reinforcements by rail
11. Scenario : Most German Panzer Divisions have had all formations (other than tanks) dropped to between 60% - 88% strength. This change is to prevent the German player immediately going onto the offensive. It is necessary to rest Panzer forces to get them to a level that is viable for the Backhand Blow. This impacts, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 11th, 17th, 19th & 27th Panzer Divisions as well as Wiking. This could be justified as these formations had retreated back from the Caucasus and had little time to rest or reorganize.
12. Scenario : German 7th, 19th & 27th Panzer Divisions have been fixed for the first day.
13. Scenario : Most German Infantry Divisions have been set at 75% of their nominal strength.
14. Scenario : Soviet forces are untouched. The Soviet Tank Corps are as crappy as they appear – they managed to advance as far as they did in the main due to the Germans having nothing to stop them with. They had very little supporting arms and a major change in their structure now has a very big impact on all scenarios. Toning the Germans down will see these forces improve.
15. Scenario : Supply adjusted to 100 for the Soviets and 80 for the Germans. The Germans are steady for the whole scenario, the Russians drop to 70% on Feb 19th.