Q-Ball -> RE: Death Ride to Russia: Q-Ball (Axis) v Bletchley Geek (Sov). 1.05 beta (9/26/2011 8:31:57 PM)
When I opened the turn, quite a surprise; the Russians had pulled back several hexes almost everywhere south of Smolensk. In some places, like around Poltava, they moved back 7 hexes. Very surprising! After fighting me tooth and nail forward, B-G suddenly is doing a limited Robinsky.
I think he is growing weary of the POW losses; I have captured alot of Russians, nearly 1.7 mil POWs so far, after the 120K or so I liquidated this turn. The Robinsky might be a way of limiting my gains, and preventing more Comrades from joining my cause.
As a result, only 18th and 16th Army Infantry were able to come to grips with the Russians. The rest were mostly left to just move into empty space. Which meant that in order to pocket more Reds, not only would my Panzers have to close the pocket, but they would have to OPEN the holes. With my tank losses so far, I can't really afford to slug it out for a turn.
Therefore, I made a big decision: I CALLED A HALT to most of my Panzer Formations. One Panzer Corps did breakout toward Kursk, and Pz Gp 4 kept going. But all of Pz Gp 1 and 3 basically stopped, went on REFIT, and sat in a hex with no Russians adjacent. Rather than burn fuel the Infantry was covering anyway, why not save it? And why attack into a line without infantry support?
I hope next turn, my Panzers are rested and re-fueled, with repaired Panzers and everything else in tip-top shape. I suppose he could retreat again, but unless I make 40 hexes in the next few turns, he has to stop somewhere. When he does, we will use them again.
The HALT: Good idea, or bad?
This could be famous in the annals of warfare, like the halt before Dunkirk. Good idea, or bad?
Driving through "enemy" hexes, then attacking infantry, then attempting to exploit I feel is very tough for Panzer alone, when they are already depleted like mine are. I have tanks in the pool, and alot of the ones on the map need repair. I hope I benefit from rest, in that tanks are repaired, the pool is emptied, fatigue is reduced, and fuel increased, to take max advantage of the infantry support I hope to have next turn.
If he keeps retreating, I guess I'll have another decision to make.
AGN: There was no halt up here, as we were VERY much in contact with the Russians.
In his turn, he pushed a stack of two mobile units back, killing a number of my tanks and guys. First time he has pushed a STACK of Panzers. Ouch!
It was "Rout o Rama" my phase though, as the Soviets were stacked 3-deep but kind of weak, so when they retreated they had no immediate path, and ROUTED. I think over 20 units routed total.
Unfortunately, B-G had the foresight to fortify the NEVA line. The "backdoor" hex has a level-3 fort on it. Drat!
I HALTED; nothing going on here
We did make a push to KURSK; we are now up to 29 Armaments taken. There were 2 taken in the town. I was surprised the place was empty of combat units; B-g has been good about keeping units in cities. As a side-note, this was also the only point in AGS where I had infantry support right at the point of breakthrough, making it much easier.
Side note, there are 2 more Armaments stuck in that town next to Bryansk; Ordzeho-whatever. With a Panzer unit adjacent, that should be ours.
Once we get to 31, though, I don't see where the next Armaments are coming from. He should be able to evacuate the rest in the Donbas this turn. Maybe TULA if I get that far.
I actually hope he spends rail cap to move the 17 Vehicles still in Kharkov. While the Red Army definitely feels a Vehicle pinch, the factories don't make a whole lot compared to Lend Lease. Those 17 factories make 170 per turn, which is puny compared to the thousands sent from the US of A later on.