I've been on sabbatical from EF for 6 months. Loaded v.1.60 two weeks ago. I like the Sov makeover in 1.60 ... Especially as a Kampfgrupper! Strategically I see many opportunities for crushing the Bolsheviks in the mud. I love fighting in the Rain.
I wish to share a strategy for PE tailored to take advantage of the v1.6xx Sov. Faction It is not intended to be a strat. It is geared to the early game. Consider it as a Skirmish Phase. It is not really a good fit for the Anti-tank Doctrine though it can be adapted. It is not particularly suited to 1v1 play. It requires aggressive play but does not propose aggressive engagement of the enemy. Damage don't destroy and force a retreat. They'll be back but you'll have more time for your mission and a superior OB when they do.
As a Sov Player I have three gripes with v1.6.01. There is a bias against Soviet Vehicular Development. The teching development is highly predictable and presents many tells that PE is particularly suited to exploit. The Sovs have no Armored Cars for recon and must infiltrate to obtain it. PE is particularly suited to exploit these conditions.
NOTE: WE ARE SPEAKING OF RESOURCE COLLECTION TIME, NOT BUILD TIME. A 25 FP/min gain rate is an unadjusted number
The primary objective of this strategy is to create a force to Destroy an enemy base. Your secondary objective is to disrupt the Soviet Fuel Supply. To implement these objectives your goal is to prioritize obtaining PzV Battlegroup 235 FP are required to do this. It will take at least 10 minutes to acquire this much fuel. STOP! Review your elapsed time from your replays. If you regularly win games in 20 minutes or so you don't need a Panther Battle Group. Pick another goal and prioritize it. Full PG development requires 240 FP(correct it). AFV fuel costs will be what they be. Rest assured the Sovs will have something to say about how much fuel can acquire and how you will have to spend it.
The good news is v1.6xx Sov Tech Development Fuel Requirements are inefficient. (I think there are too many constraints on the process, just my opinion). You do not need total map control. 60 % control is probably adequate. Find a Fuel gain value that moves you towards your goal and doesn't give you too many units to micro. Since you are saving up to advance your goal you will normally have a fuel reserve to deal with unpleasant surprises. Do use your reserves as you need to. You are a KampfGrupper. You know how to improvise! Now get out there and disrupt the fuel supply. You don't have to capture a point just decap and run Decap SPs and munis when they will break the lines of communication or set you up to do so. Use camo or Fallschrim to decap, boobytrap if you can, Although if you dont have boobytraps for PGs yet you might hold off for your next target if it is juicier. (Exception: If you have Scorched Earth decap, boobytrap, cap, scorch, run. If the enemy engages while your capping stop,scorch and run). Remember it takes less time to decap a low resource point<med<Sp<VP<high point(correct me if I got the order wrong).
Intelligence gathering: tells. Gather intel while your disrupting the enemy. Deploy a Funkwagon and lock it behind your lines. If you can steal some resources fine; but use it to identify Sov unit types on the field as well as lines of approach and retreat. Some visual tells in v1.6xx, (remember not seeing certain units is a tell too): Lack of CS or Conscripts indicates no crew weapons or AFVs can be deployed. coupled with seeing a sniper, Send in the ACs quickly, but ATGs are on the way, get MHT and Assault PGs on line. AT Squads mean no Snipers. NI means no Partizans. Etc. All of this data has an expiration date. Tells will cease to be important maybe 9 minutes or so into the game.
Using this Srategy and estimating the Sovs FP gain per minute can tell you when to anticipate the next potential arrival of a new unit type and perhaps where it will appear on the map. You have a window of opportunity to attack an inferior foe or prepare a new counter. I believe the design Rule of thumb for FP Gain used in vCOH is 25 FP/minute. Many Soviet upgrades cost 35 FP as do T70s and T90s IE 1m24s window of opportunity adjusted for your estimate of the enemies FP Gain. BTW: PE AC 25 FP, Wehr: AC 35 FP, StuG 50 FP; but of course Sovs have no ACs. And Sniper Starts, Stormovie Starts and Conscript Starts are the current rage.
Now For Something Completely Different
Sov experts are talking of a Fast Vehicle Strat as being viable.http://easternfront.org/forums/index.php?topic=7530.msg114119#msg114119
Frankly I don't see it. Based on resource collection, (not build times); Supporting Data: A Sov Comp Stomp on Kalach yielded 2490 MP, 101 muni, 180 FP in 5m48s or 25 FP/min avg gain and outposted 18 and 8 Fuel Points held, 4VP held by Soviets at the end of exercise.
Note: 25FP/min ratio occurs so frequently in the number crunching and generates whole number answers that it probably is equated to 1 minute of elapsed game time in the DesignTeam's thinking process. IF this is true a player will have an advantage over the game system when above these numbers or multiples. Just conjecture on my part.
Soviet Fast Vehicle Strat FP requirements (Abwehr estimate) Sov T1/T3/Lt Tky/T4, 25FP/min gain:
1 T70 @ 180 FP-5m48s
2 T70 @ 215 FP-7m12s Add Sturmovy @240 FP-8m12s
3 T70 @ 250 FP-8m36s Add Sturmovy @275 FP-9m36s
2 SU76 @ 275 FP 9m36s Add Sturmovy @ 300 FP-10m36s
There is a 25 FP penalty added to obtain Hvy Tky if a T2 upgrade has noy been completed. IE T34s will appear a minute later.
Axis Fast Vehicles @25 FP gain per min.
Wehr T1/T3 yields 2 ACs @ 170 FP-5m48s.
Wehr T3 yields 2AC @ 155FP-5m12s. or 2StuGs @185 FP-7m24s. (3v3 or more only)
PE T2/T3 yields two ACs and 1 IHT @ 120 FP-3m48s.
Pe T1/T4: yields 2 H35s @200FP-7m0s
PE T1/T4: yields 1 PzIVd @230FP-8m12s, (290FP for 2-10m36s).