11. Special First Turn Rules

Focus: This section brings together the rules that affect the first turn of scenarios starting on 22 June 1941.

Key Points:

  • The reduction in Soviet air power
  • Axis ground movement advantages
  • Special rules for capturing rail hexes in the Baltic Region

Many of the scenarios in WiTE2 have special rules for the first turn. These may remove the active phase from one of the players or ensure that certain units are fixed for a number of turns.

However, specific rules apply to the first turn(s) of any scenario that commences on 22 June 1941 to reflect the lack of preparations by the Soviet Union.

11.1 Air Combat

All Soviet attempts at interception and/or flak during the air execution phase will be much less likely to succeed at the start of the week but will improve each day. The Axis player is advised to make a maximum effort on the first day of the turn.

In addition, attacks on Soviet airfields are more likely to succeed if they are carried out on D1. This bonus will reduce as the week progresses.

11.2 Axis Ground Movement

11.2.1 Restrictions

There is no ground movement in Hungary on turn 1 of the campaign.

Axis units have no SMP allocation on T1 (note that not only does this prevent strategic movement it will also stop any recovery of Combat Preparation Points, see section 23.2.1).

11.2.2 Movement Rules

Axis units that meet both of the following conditions will receive a movement bonus on the 22 June 1941 turn:

  • The Unit is moving from and to a hex north of row 173
  • If Motorized, unit has more than 15 MPs remaining and if non-motorized it has more than 8 MPs remaining.

These conditions are checked each hex the unit moves so a unit moving south of row 172 will lose the movement bonus as long as they are moving to/from that area. The image below shows where this divide is on the immediate German-Soviet border region.

In addition, the movement bonus is not applied for movement into (or beyond) the x194 hex row. Basically this is a line running from Polotsk (on the Dvina) to Minsk and just east of Gantsevichi.

11.2.3 Reduced Costs for Zones of Control

Units receiving the bonus do not pay any additional movement costs for entering or leaving a ZOC, nor do they pay a cost for entering an enemy controlled hex.

11.2.4 Combat Delay

Most of the rules for the creation of delay in hexes after combat (22.2.7) are the same during the Axis phase of T1. The exception is that there is no minimum delay of 1 MP simply due to having a Soviet unit adjacent to the combat hex.

Note: this only affects hasty attacks that ended with odds 10-1, so allows the Germans to make faster progress on sectors where they have complete dominance.

11.2.5 Unlocking the Soviet Southern Front

If a Soviet national hex south or east of 187,187 (just southeast of Lvov) is Axis controlled then all of Southern Front and related airbases will be unfrozen.

11.3 Soviet Rules

11.3.1 Ground Movement Restrictions

Soviet units attached to the Southern Front along the Romanian border are frozen for the first turn. These units will be unfrozen if the German player exceeds the constraints in 11.2.5.

11.3.2 Reserve Activations

All Soviet motorized units are set to reserve status with a notional 25 MP on turn 1 if the German side is being played by a human.

Soviet units in the region where X>172 are more likely to commit from reserve (basically the at-start front line south of Wlodawa). This is the same region affected by the rules in 11.2.2 (see fig 11-3 overleaf).

11.3.3 Determining Initial Soviet Unit Morale and Experience

While WiTE2 presents a highly accurate OOB reflecting the situation of the two armies on 22 June 1941, the actual status of many Soviet units is determined each time the game is created to reflect uncertainty about their actual combat capacity and the degree of surprise that resulted from the German attack.

The morale and experience of all Soviet units at the start (on map and TBs) is set as follows:

  1. Determine initial morale by taking a base of 30 and adding Random (1-24).
  2. Add 5 to the morale of all NKVD, Mountain, Cavalry, and Airborne units.
  3. Further modify the morale of all non-support, non-HQ, motorized units, by multiplying their morale by .9 (90%).
  4. Modify the morale of all units based on the difficulty level by taking the morale level modifier divided by 100 and multiplying the unit morale. For example, if the difficulty level is set as challenging and you are playing the Axis then the morale level modifier of 110 would be divided by 100 and all Soviet units would have their morale multiplied by 1.1.
  5. Modify the morale of units in the Southwest area by adding 10. This is defined as Y>171, Y<197, and x<218. The box below shows the northern and eastern limits of this modification.
  6. Modify the morale of units in the Moscow area by adding 5. Moscow area is defined as x>215 and Y<136. This area is roughly bounded by figure 11-4 overleaf.

  1. The final morale of Soviet units cannot exceed 99 or be less than 35 after all adjustments, to include any difficulty level settings.
  2. Set the experience level of each type of ground element in all Soviet units using the formula ((2/3 \Morale of unit) + (1/2 * random (morale of unit))), not to exceed 99 or be less than 30 after all adjustments, to include any difficulty level settings.

11.3.4 Determining Initial Damage to Soviet Ground Elements

As part of the normal automatic game start process, some ground elements in Soviet units will become damaged.

  1. 0-10% of non-AFV ready elements will be damaged.
  2. 10-30% of AFV ready elements will be damaged.

11.3.5 Air Resupply

  • For all turns in June 1941 air resupply cannot be used to prevent isolation of Soviet units no matter how much is dropped (25.9.3). This will take effect normally for any such missions run in the Soviet T3 (so will not affect the Axis T3 where such units will remain isolated).

11.4 Rail Damage in the Baltic Region

For the first four turns any rail hex in this region (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) may be captured with the rail line intact (note that rail yards will be damaged as normal as they change hands). There is a 70% chance that such a rail hex will not be damaged if it is captured in the movement phase or when isolated hexes change ownership.

Note that any hex that is captured in a combat will be damaged.