TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - ALLIED (Full Version)

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mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - ALLIED (8/17/2012 10:47:40 AM)

Note the new version number. This scenario just got a major update from Mark and his crew after a ton of playtesting, including our last game. I'll finish updating that AAR soon. You can always check out the fully updated AAR at my stupid blog that I keep all this stored on: BYAVB. But now, we enter what could very well be the final version of this scenario. I'll be playing as the Allies once again, with Mark on the Axis side. In the previous AAR, we ended up getting really far behind our real-time game, sometimes as much as 30 turns behind. I'll try to keep it closer this time. My goal is about 15 or so turns behind our real-time game.

You can get this latest version by visiting Mark's site:

The Wargame College - TR 42-45 v.1.8




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T001 (8/22/2012 1:23:39 AM)

T001: 5.8.42

Strategic Outlook
This scenario, though the same, is actually quite different from the previous versions. You can check out the scenario notes for whatís changed, but it will definitely have an impact on how I approach this one.

The first area of attention, as always, should be the air power. Iíve consolidated, organized, and assigned all of the movable air units. In England, the RAF Fighter Command is much better this time around, with longer range planes from the start. This will allow a greater capacity to bomb German industry. In Russia, Iíve concentrated much of the air power around Leningrad and the Voronezh - Rostov corridor, which is basically the Ukraine-Don Front. Obviously the southern sectors are the most vulnerable, but Iím planning on not giving Mark any room to breathe in the north. Iíll try to hold Leningrad at all costs, even if that means an offensive there soon. The UK air presence in North Africa is also better this time around, as Iím concentrating the bombers and long range fighters near Cairo, while stationing the shorter range fighters near the Egypt-Libya border.

All naval units are restricted for now, so no movement for them.

Ground forces will be addressed in their respective sectors in a moment. However, my overall strategy this time will be to avoid sitting back and waiting for Mark to just throw himself at my defenses. Thatís pointless, and will only result in another loss for me. The only areas where Iíll make planned withdrawals will be in the southern Russian Front, and in North Africa. From there on, Iíll begin making plans to begin my long march to Berlin. As Patton said, ďweíre not holding anything. Weíre advancing constantly.Ē

Leningrad
Rather than sending the 2nd Shock down to the Don Front, Iím keeping it here. Leningrad it too valuable to lose. So what Iím planning on doing here it opening up the corridor between my main line, and the Leningrad pocket. Itíll be tough, but with Mark likely concentrating on the south and capture of the Caucasus oil fields, I should have an opening to succeed here. With adequate supply, and the ability to rotate fresh divisions in and out of the Leningrad pocket, I should be able to hold the city much longer than in previous tries.

Vyazma
Last time, it took me half the scenario to finally take care of this pocket. Iím not waiting this time. Within the first 20-30 turns, I will begin an offensive to lop off the Rzhev pocket, hopefully converging on Vyazma.

Don Front
As usual, Iíll stage a ďmanaged withdrawalĒ here. But this time, I wonít head all the way back to the Volga River at once. I nearly lost Yelets and Voronezh last time, because I gave up too much ground too quickly. So Iíll try to form my lines a few hexes in front of those cities, then pivot south to whatever defense I can muster up to hold Rostov. The immediate benefit from this version of the scenario is that, for a price of minus-40 VPs, I can release the 45th and 46th Armies early from their sectors in the lower Caucasus. Two full armies immediately available for the defense of the north Caucasus could add another few turns before Mark can break out into the open south of Rostov. That time will be critical. However, once I start to get more reinforcements, Iíll have to watch out for Turkey, as they can activate as an Axis ally.

Northeast Africa
The UK X and XIII Corps are charged with delaying the Italians and Afrika Korps, while also trying to hold Tobruk as long as possible. This should allow the rest of the Commonwealth troops in Egypt to form a defense along the Libyan border.

Northwest Europe
Now that the British have increased fighter ranges, bombing of the German industrial complex will begin early and continue non-stop. Without the fighter escorts, I was really beaten up last time. It should be very different now.

I guess thatís all for now. Hostilities will begin next turn. Iíll offer up screen shots at that point.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T002 (8/22/2012 8:27:14 PM)

T002: 5.15.42

Strategic Outlook
Most of the first two turns is digging in... frantically. The side that gets its units to ďfortifiedĒ status the quickest will be in a much better position moving forward. No reinforcements at all until T003, and even then theyíre not significant. The increased replacement rate for rifle squads is already making a difference. Weíll see how it does after I lose a few rifle divisions down in the Don Front region. That being said, Iím already trying to hit Mark early and often. Much of it is artillery and air strikes, but a few local attacks were thrown in.

Leningrad

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VE6i0BWShgY/UC2cTF52-JI/AAAAAAAAB6s/u-Wa6rY6RPw/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T002+LENINGRAD.jpg[/image]

After some artillery bombardment, the narrow German bulge east of Leningrad should start to give way. The one limited attack with divisions from the 8th, 54th, and 2nd Shock on the eastern side of it forced back one German division, while another Panzer division held firm. It gives me hope that I can put up a better fight in this game, just that I was able to force a German division to retreat by attacking with severely depleted Russian divisions. Opening up this corridor should be the key to holding Leningrad for--hopefully--the remainder of 1942. But I expect Mark to make a serious play for the city soon, since itís his key to opening up a super highway between the main Russian Front and the Finland-Karelian Front.

Vyazma

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Kd9BNJtKX18/UC2cT8YDuPI/AAAAAAAAB64/bnAlrzULONo/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T002+VYAZMA.jpg[/image]

Just east of Gzhatsk, the 33rd Army has moved to the rear area, making way for the bulk of the Western Front mechanized forces. After some debate as to whether or not the mech units should rest for a turn before attacking, I launched a limited assault straight down the road toward Vyazma. The German 211. Division of the IX. Korps retreated to the north in disarray. My turn ended before I could follow up and capture the hex, but like the assault near Leningrad, it was a good tone to get here early. Iím planning on keeping constant pressure on this Rzhev salient, hopefully forcing Mark to syphon troops from other sectors to keep the Vyazma corridor open until he can withdraw the defenders at Rzhev.

Don Front - Voronezh

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IKJ6jEk9PXo/UC2cS0AR0nI/AAAAAAAAB6o/mLVnw_PIsd4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T002+DON+NORTH.jpg[/image]

The main line has been withdrawn to a new position about 100 miles west of Voronezh. Typically in this scenario, the line is withdrawn all the way to the eastern banks of the Volga River, following the road from Yelets to Voronezh. Iím hoping this advanced position doesnít come back to bite me in the ass. The line isnít terribly strong, but should give Mark a headache and buy me some more time. As the line stretches southward, it forks. This was because the 6th Army couldnít get far enough east before the cease fire lifted this turn. The 6th is positioned along a branch of the Don, down to where it meets the main branch. East at the main line, four armies are digging in, while hoping the 6th can hold up the Axis advance for an extra turn or two.

Don Front - Rostov

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r3oYskdiORk/UC2cS9rP_aI/AAAAAAAAB6k/ehrm5EAuxwI/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T002+DON+SOUTH.jpg[/image]

Usually the worst sector in the beginning of this scenario, I might have a fighting chance down here now. At least, Mark should not be able to blow right through in a matter of 7 or 8 turns. Iíve pulled back only 18th and 24th Armies, leaving the massive 54th in its front line position guarding the direct approach to Rostov. The biggest difference in this sector is the availability of the 45th and 46th Armies from the lower Caucasus. Of course, I had to give up 80 VPs to get them, but it should be well worth it. The 51st Army is stationed at the fork in the Don, east of Rostov. Thatís a key intersection that Iím always scrambling to defend with patchwork formations. Now I have a full army ready and entrenching. Just south of Rostov, the 47th Army is digging in, preparing the position for when Rostov falls. The 45th Army has been transferred by rail right up to the front here, so it should be ready to deploy this next turn. The 46th Army was sent a bit north, east of Voroshilovgrad. There the 3rd Guards Tank will need infantry support once the Axis reach the river defenses. Iím also currently looking to transfer at least one more army down to this sector. It will likely have to come from the northwestern sectors. But Iím not sure at this point.

Tobruk

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-V0VMCEI6HJQ/UC2cqoDNJFI/AAAAAAAAB7Q/_HmIaEoSxBA/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T002+TOBRUK.jpg[/image]

The Commonwealth X and XIII Corps are tasked with the defense of Tobruk and delay of the Axis north African commandís advance toward Egypt. I doubt Mark will send his troops too far south, away from supply lines, but I have to at least screen my southern front, should I be flanked.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T003 (8/22/2012 8:28:50 PM)

T003: 5.22.42

Strategic Outlook
Mark is concentrating his efforts on capturing Rostov and moving into the Caucasus. With the oil fields being so valuable to the Axis war effort, itís understandable that this will be the main flashpoint to start this scenario every time itís played. Otherwise, the other big news is Mark activated Early Case Anton, which moves to disband the entire Vichy French army, replacing it with a joint German-French army of smaller size. It also allows Mark to freely move troops in and out of all Vichy territory. That means he can really start to fortify Northwest Africa in advance of my Operation Torch. Itís a big change from the previous version, one that will cause me a huge headache later.

Leningrad

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-M8tkoB4eyBY/UC5nusf1iCI/AAAAAAAAB7k/hFkA34tbvIg/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T003+LENINGRAD.jpg[/image]

My second round of attacks on the exposed bulge in the German line was successful in pushing back all three units Mark had stationed there. No follow up to capture the hex. Three artillery units and the Russian Fleet in the harbor engaged in bombarding the 4th SS, inflicting surprisingly moderate casualties on that dangerous unit. If Mark sticks to his tendencies, heíll use the SS Divisions to spearhead any major attack. Keeping the SS Divisions off balance will save me time and territory later.

Vyazma

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9KC_eEwkZAk/UC5nvN7-mBI/AAAAAAAAB70/nbYJgn9z6yE/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T003+VYAZMA.jpg[/image]

It will probably be short-lived, but I managed a breach in the German line near Gzhatsk, sending two tank brigades through the hole. Iíve spotted some pretty heavy German reinforcements to this sector, which will likely attack and send my advanced troops running back to the original line. Northwest of the Rzhev salient, I shuffled some units around, freeing up the 1st Shock Army for deployment elsewhere. My first intention was to move it to the Rzhev action, probably the western side of the salient to attack from there. But with the situation at Rostov very unstable, I might have the 1st board trains for the southern Don Front.

Don Front - Rostov

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7N4asYg9ZWs/UC5nuu4I_6I/AAAAAAAAB7g/lBW-B4F8m4A/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T003+DON+SOUTH.jpg[/image]

As expected, the Axis troops brushed aside my screening forces--the 18th & 56th Armies--and are now making their way toward Rostov. It seems thatís as far as they will be able to advance before hitting my defensive line built along the Don River, anchored by the 3rd Guards Tank. The problem here is that Iím basically out of available rifle divisions, nevermind entire armies. A single Op Group was shipped down from Moscow, but thatís not going to solidify my line. It looks as though the 1st Shock will have to be shipped down from the Rzhev sector, despite my need for them there to keep pressure on multiple fronts.

Tobruk

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-y0RPMSxN5Y0/UC5nu2gScjI/AAAAAAAAB7s/9NP7yKnj7-0/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T003+TOBRUK.jpg[/image]

First contact has been made with the Axis forces in Africa, as the main body of Italian troops advanced east along the coastal road and supply line. Das Afrika Korps has taken a risky path, sweeping south into the open desert, running smack into my screening tank brigades. I have no doubt that the Panzers will turn my flank quickly, but at least they wonít do it to my surprise. The defense of Tobruk isnít just important because I want to annoy Mark as long as possible. Itís really key to the entire Axis supply situation, should Mark want to make a serious attempt to reach inner-Egypt. The longer I hold Tobruk, the longer Markís forces here will go without decent supply, and the longer he will stay out of Egypt.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T004 (8/23/2012 9:58:44 AM)

T004: 5.29.42

Strategic Outlook
This was the turn where everything really hit the fan, as Mark made huge gains on the Russian Front, while also advancing quickly to cut off the Tobruk defenders. I wouldnít be surprised if he used a Ground Shock disband to really twist the bayonet into the gut of Mother Russia. My big chunk of reinforcements arenít due for another 6 turns, meaning what I have now is all I get to defend against his very powerful attacks. Itís still early, but the level of anxiety is quickly rising.

Leningrad

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_5HlcvB_pu0/UC80wRskI1I/AAAAAAAAB8Q/oboHfVzW0vk/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+LENINGRAD.jpg[/image]

After two assaults on the German bulge east of the city, Iíve successfully pushed back and captured a hex. Only one tank brigade was able to advance into the open space. I expect Mark to push me right back out. But German casualties were pretty high, all things considered. Ideally, I would have just shifted the 2nd Shock down to help out in other sectors, but opening up this access to Leningrad would be a very nice early victory for the Russian effort.

Rzhev


It seems Mark is going with the ďall frontsĒ approach as well, as heís launched an offensive from the top of the Rzhev salient with the XLVI. Panzer. Itís thrown a wrench into my plans to attack both sides of the salient, but I think I can manage this one. It seems like the German attack here is only to keep me from concentrating solely on his massive attacks to the south. The 20th Army has been moved from straddling the river, to now deploying completely north of the river to counter the German threat.

Vyazma

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e9_zPVIf-KU/UC80w80vWeI/AAAAAAAAB8g/HYQLq0ZKjrQ/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+RZHEV.jpg[/image]

If I give up on my attacks here, Mark will have already won. So Iím going to continue putting pressure on either side of the Rzhev salient. Infantry divisions from the 1st Baltic Front have punctured the western wall of the salient, as Iíve flooded about 6 divisions into the gap. On the eastern side, the Western Front mechanized divisions are going back and forth with the IX. Korps. The pressure here must be doing something, because Markís moved the LVI. Panzer to support the front line against my attacks.

Orel

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qQwuewzPdlw/UC80wcTzDCI/AAAAAAAAB8Y/Gf6-w1EfFw4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+OREL.jpg[/image]

This is a new situation, one that didnít pop up in the last game. Mark has sent the XLVIII. Panzer on an attack north toward Tula, using a Brandenburg airborne drop to assist the breakthrough. As the Russians crumbled, I was forced to strip the front line west of this area, moving extra divisions from the 16th and 50th Armies to help contain the Panzersí advance. Originally destined for the Don Front, the 44th Army has been shipped up to a staging area southeast of Tula. Hopefully Mark doesnít reach them before I can get them off the trains.

Yelets

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bypW0qPJkn4/UC80xUWsIcI/AAAAAAAAB8o/IdTzyUBifuo/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+YELETS.jpg[/image]

The 1st Shock Army and a few divisions from the 54th Army are staging for the defense of Yelets. This is a critical rail junction for both sides. The front line between Kursk and Orel is extremely thin and wonít hold for very long. The XXIV. Panzer and LV. Korps are leading the attack through this sector. Obviously, Yelets seems to be their likely objective.

Don Front - Rostov

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_PKIPtZ48yA/UC80wSvrtnI/AAAAAAAAB8M/UGb3Ja1TH3w/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+ROSTOV.jpg[/image]

Two Brandenburg airborne units have dropped behind the Don River line, but it might have been too soon. If I were Mark, I would have made a breakthrough, then drop the Brandenburgers as a real kill shot. But surprisingly, the entire Don Front region is in good shape for me. Much of my good spirits are due to the fact that the Axis forces havenít really reached my main defensive line yet along the river. With so many places to ford the river, I donít expect to hold this line as strongly as I would along the full Don River in the east.

Tobruk

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W6Yu8K3mblY/UC80w59-KzI/AAAAAAAAB8c/GBdNyCd4r04/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T004+TOBRUK.jpg[/image]

There was a moment of sheer terror when I thought there was no Allied supply point at Tobruk, but it was for naught. The defense of Tobruk will be carried out by the main forces of the X and XIII Corps, fielding 3 infantry divisions, 1 armoured division, and assorted combat brigades. To the east, Iím beginning to plan my defensive line at El Alamein.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T005 (8/23/2012 10:00:15 AM)

T005: 6.5.42

Strategic Outlook
It wasnít the greatest turn in the world, but it was a far cry from the near-disaster that was the previous turn. Mark has a great shot to make it farther in this initial push than he did in the last game. His offensives are moving along nicely on multiple fronts, while putting pressure on me in sectors I hadnít needed to defend before. However, Iím actually doing a bit better than the last game, too. Much of my positive outlook comes from the southern Don Front, where Iím making a significantly better defense of the region, thanks to more troops being available this time around. As for the air war, I took a break for one turn. It might not be a smart move to let up at all on the German industrial regions. But the RAF Bomber Command needed to rest.

Leningrad

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Sl8ZGUBdzmU/UC9B6e59B3I/AAAAAAAAB9I/TtWamM7Mul4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T005+LENINGRAD.jpg[/image]

Unless I make any significant gains here, I wonít be updating this sector with a screenshot following this one. All itís been is ďRussians attack, Germans counter.Ē Thatís not to say this sector isnít strategically important. As Iíve stated, holding Leningrad for as long as possible is critical to keeping German divisions out of Finland.

Rzhev

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aB2JYd9lYf4/UC9B6cBrTyI/AAAAAAAAB9M/dzePBRxoxEI/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T005+RZHEV.jpg[/image]

Scraping together as many divisions as I could, it seems as though Iíll be able to contain both breakthroughs in this sector. The one half of the 34th Army that did not get shipped down to the Yelets sector has moved into position on the western side of the Rzhev salient, but itís not in combat deployment just yet. The German attacks have slowed here, while my defenses have toughened a bit.

Orel - Tula

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6btOFUge4GE/UC9B6Xad2cI/AAAAAAAAB9Q/6uOZMcRjJwI/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T005+OREL.jpg[/image]

Quick reaction here has helped avoid seeing Panzers running wild in the open plain. The Orel Front mechanized divisions, along with the Moscow Defense divisions, have come crashing down from the north, forming a defensive line to hopefully keep the German advance to Tula in check, for now. The big news here is the arrival of the entire 44th Army from the Caucasus. The 44th moved in quickly from east, putting up a wall in front of the main spear of the German attack force. In the process, Iíve cut off and surrounded the 24. Panzer division. Destruction of an entire Panzer division would be a nice prize here.

Yelets - Voronezh

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0phxCWqNgAc/UC9B7DyrYVI/AAAAAAAAB9Y/znEjSKqsfHk/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T005+YELETS.jpg[/image]

Ah yes, this deadly stretch of land doesnít look like it will be any less bloody this time around. Right now, itís easily the most chaotic sector on the entire Russian Front. Iím desperately trying to get a defensive stop anywhere I can, while hoping to keep the front formed loosely along the stop line illustrated in the screenshot slide. In the whirlwind battle, the Bryansk Front HQ unit was caught in a pocket with the 13th Army. Losing a Front HQ is bad news for me, as it takes away a valuable unit for my side, while giving a VP boost to Mark. Iím hoping the 1st Shock Army can blunt the Panzer spearhead so that Iíll have a bit more time to deploy my reinforcements from the 54th and 34th Armies. I just donít have enough divisions in this sector to really put a halt to the German offensive. But I do have enough to slow it down.

Don Front - Rostov
Oddly enough, I donít have a screenshot slide for this sector because not much happened. The 14. and 22. Panzer divisions of the III. Panzer Korps have crossed over the Don in front of the 51st Army, but took moderate casualties doing so. Plus, the 54th is in good condition to stop this crossing, with support from the 3rd Guards Tank units in tactical reserve nearby. My rear guard units are able to handle the Brandenburgers, eliminating one completely, while crippling the other as a fighting unit. Rostov, surprisingly, is still holding out.

Northeast Africa
Not much to report here, as the Italians and Germans are advancing east toward Egypt. The siege of Tobruk has begun, as the XIII Corps is entrenched with good supply. Iíve transferred out much of the X Corps to Alexandria, as it was very beat up from its open-field battles with the Afrika Korps a few turns ago.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T006 (8/25/2012 7:12:02 PM)

T006: 6.12.42

Strategic Outlook
Some new sectors opened up as flash points this turn, mainly on the western side of the Rzhev salient. However, after assessing the damage, Iím rather pleased with where my situation stands.

Smolensk - Vyazma

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IAQjtBjfc8E/UC_gHPeh1sI/AAAAAAAAB98/nWhgN8IvFZ4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T006+SMOLENSK.jpg[/image]

This is the newest point of attack for Markís forces. I usually pull back all three of my armies stationed here--22nd, 41st, 39th--but didnít this time, thinking they would hold or that Mark wouldnít even attack. I was wrong, and am paying for it now. Heís overrun all three armies, with a clear path to the rear area of the 4th Shock and 30/10th Guards. The advance of the XLI. Panzer is the most concerning, since it has blown a hole three hexes wide in my front line. I wasnít able to plug it, even with screening units to delay any flow of troops and tanks through the gap. Had it not been for this sector, the entire turn would have actually been a resounding success.

Orel - Yelets

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rDzbag-Kgc0/UC_gG772rQI/AAAAAAAAB9w/F4g6PIWt15E/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T006+OREL.jpg[/image]

The new order of battle for the Russians has helped me immensely this game, specifically the newly revamped Front units. They are the black symbols on field of red. Much of them are mechanized, corps-sized units, making them extremely versatile and mobile. On top of it, theyíre very strong. Without the availability of these units in the Orel Sector, Mark would have probably taken Tula by now. Instead, now Iím giving him a wall of tank-supported infantry. I was even able to force a Panzergrenadier division to fall back northeast of Orel. However, the situation west of Yelets is not as stable. The 48th Army has been punished badly by the XXIV. Panzer, which seemed to pivot north once the 1st Shock Army arrived to block its eastern trajectory. The action here is far from over, but the Orel - Yelets corridor is much better off now than it was a few turns ago.

Don Front - Voroshilovgrad - Rostov

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IzQUwYvxJ-k/UC_gG7Eb7KI/AAAAAAAAB90/cWsv1U8aax4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T006+ROSTOV.jpg[/image]

In a marked change from the last few times Iíve played this scenario, the southern front is extremely quiet for about two turns now. My defensive line from the mouth of the Don River, north along the Donets River to Voronezh (off screen) is stable with local reserves behind the main front. This position is not unbreakable, as Iím sure Mark is simply resting his Panzer divisions for a large offensive in the next few turns. However, by allowing my side to rest and dig in, it will cost many more Axis lives than if Army Group South had kept going full steam. The big turning point in this region is the movement of the 45th and 46th Armies up from the Caucasus. Iíve gone over that already, but I canít state enough the importance of it.

The III. Panzer Korps has successfully crossed the Don just south of where it splits, with the Romanian II Corps supporting the attack. But I now have a full tank corps from the 3rd Guards Tank to support the defense. Depending on how and where Mark attacks, I might have to pull down the rest of the 3rd to bolster this section of the line.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T007 (8/25/2012 7:15:23 PM)

T007: 6.19.42

Strategic Outlook
Just as I became more confident in my situation, things get scary in a hurry. Mark has launched new offensives in the Smolensk and Baltic regions. Now this entire battle on the Russian Front has become about buying time until turn 10, when Iíll get a massive wave of reinforcements over two or three turns. Once I can get those reinforcements to the front lines, Iím hoping to slow down Markís progress to a near stop. If I can get him into a defensive trench war on the Russian Front, Iím very confident I can start swinging the battle toward my favor. Everywhere else is quiet, even in Africa, where the British buildup in Egypt is hoping the Tobruk garrison holds out.

Leningrad
Itís not a permanent gain, for sure, but Iíve managed to push back the Germans in two hexes in the corridor between my main lines and the Leningrad pocket. The 2nd Shock Army has gone into reorganization, so it was unavailable for this turn. If it emerges next turn ready for action, I can send them into the breach and follow up on this small success.

Smolensk - Velikie Luki

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S05to4JKO8U/UDHqBNQgjTI/AAAAAAAAB-c/q4kh10hbU2A/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T007+VELIKIELUKI.jpg[/image]

Throwing together a patchwork defense isnít giving me much comfort, though it should hold Mark from running wild in this region. Iíve moved the 34th Army from the top of the Rzhev salient, down to a position east of Velikie Luki and on the 4th Shock Armyís left flank. My concern here is that the Panzers will keep pressing through my lines on either side of the Shock armies, which have a great position defending along the river. But if Mark can get his divisions around the flanks, then Iím really in danger of having two strong armies cut off. This sector will probably get at least one of the armies that arrive on turn 10 as reinforcements. Or, at the very least, Iíll send as many replacement divisions here to bolster a sketchy defensive situation.

Orel
If my memory serves me correctly, Mark has done this before. Heís pulled back several line divisions north of Orel, leaving gaps in his line in favor of recuperating some divisionsí losses. Iím not going to fill those gaps, however, as it will needlessly expose my units to his counterattacks. My best bet here is to just dig in until I reach fortified status up and down the line. When the time is right, Iíll launch any offensives. If this is turning out how I expect, this sector will be quiet for a while.

Yelets - Voronezh
As the battle has shifted south toward this sector, Iíve had to shift my Orel Front mechanized units down to counter Markís advance. Much of the reinforcing units from the Front group have been placed in tactical reserve status to support the main line. At this time, the entire Ukraine Front is stable, but dangerous. Iíve spotted what appears to be a large Panzer korps arriving 75 miles west of Voronezh. The rail lines end there, so itís only natural that this means Mark will make a dash for Voronezh in the next few turns. Fortunately I should get some help by the time he stages for the assault.

Don Front - Rostov

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IJkTl97nvQ0/UDHqBHVvagI/AAAAAAAAB-Q/M-7BwEOYT1o/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T007+ROSTOV.jpg[/image]

The III. Panzer and LII. Korps bridgehead over the Don gained some ground last turn, but the 3rd Guards Tank was able to counterattack and push back three German divisions. Obviously, this wonít be the last of Markís efforts here, since Iíve seen at least two SS Panzergrenadier divisions in the area. One was badly damaged and retired to the rear for a while. The other hasnít been committed yet to the battle. Iím afraid any reinforcements to this sector will arrive just too late, should the offensive resume with the fresh SS division at its spearhead.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T008 (8/25/2012 7:17:57 PM)

T008: 6.26.42

Strategic Outlook
Things could get very hairy for a few turns, as Mark has activated one of his offensive disbands for 110% ground shock. The German breakthroughs are on almost every front, but only the Baltic areas are in serious danger. Reinforcements are slated to arrive the turn after next, but Iím concerned it will be too late to contain any critical breaches in my line.

Kalinin Front - Rzhev

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AXmW9psploM/UDHqBGtsVnI/AAAAAAAAB-U/9q7OsjwxicA/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T008+VELIKIELUKI.jpg[/image]

The Germans are storming into this area from three directions, sending no fewer than five of my armies running to the northeast. Iím trying to form a line from around Staraya Russia all the way down to the northern tip of what was the Rzhev salient. Much of this is made from the remnants of the 11th, 27th, 53rd Armies, 3rd and 4th Shock, and 30/10th Guards. Many of the smaller units of these formations have remained back along the front line as a screen, intended to keep the Germans fighting their way to my main line. One or two extra turns holding the offensive back could mean the difference between holding this new line, and an open road to Moscow.

Other Russian Fronts
Surprisingly, Mark was unable to make any significant breakthroughs in my line from Rzhev to the Caucasus. Some Russian divisions were pushed back a hex here or there, but nothing that couldnít be contained by local counterattacks by supporting units. With the Axis ground shock bonus coming next turn, this should change.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T009 (8/25/2012 7:19:03 PM)

T009: 7.3.42

Strategic Outlook
Considering the severely undermanned front-line divisions on the Russian Front, my forces held off the initial blows of Markís major offensive pretty darn well. I was tipped off a bit to this in Markís email to me, when he described the situation as ďsome fronts at a standstill.Ē At every turn, Iíve somehow been able to at least keep my divisions in front of the German breakthroughs. Thatís half the battle on the Russian Front right now, forcing Markís units to fight for every hex, even if itís a small fight. The problem this turn happens to be in the two ďotherĒ areas, in the Crimea and Tobruk. Next turn, I should get a massive influx of reinforcements for about three turns.

Kalinin Front

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uJr7_2tmWgE/UDH5ItyxoGI/AAAAAAAAB-4/SoAXmXPaulg/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T009+VELIKIELUKI.jpg[/image]

As my screening units are swept away, the defensive line in the north continues to come together. A German SS divisions managed to break into the rear area, but for the moment I was able to close it off from its own supply. Iím sure Mark will get a relief force to the stranded division next turn.

Sevastopol

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uArLkTFJoxQ/UDH5InyfD3I/AAAAAAAAB-0/ancotSroR3M/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T009+CRIMEA.jpg[/image]

Now that the Germans have broken through the outer defenses, this position is basically a coffin for any troops tasked with holding the Crimean pocket. Iíve evacuated about half of the Primorskaya forces to the Caucasus coast. Next turn Iíll try to get out whatever remains after the next wave of German assaults.

Tobruk

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QgzzVSLuUcY/UDH5IgX7GzI/AAAAAAAAB-w/Jzbv1OQoyyU/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T009+TOBRUK.jpg[/image]

Iíve made a serious blunder here, but not what youíd expect. The outer defenses of Tobruk have collapsed. Normally, it would be an easy next move--evacuation to Egypt. However, Iíve failed to anticipate Markís next move, which will be to send the Italian navy to the scene and blockade the Tobruk port. Even though I have the Royal Navy stationed in force at Alexandria and Port Said, it will take a pretty decent fight if I have to knock out the blockading Italians. In that time, Mark could either criplpe or outright destroy the Tobruk defenders.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T010 (8/28/2012 10:07:32 AM)

T010: 7.10.42

Strategic Outlook
Mark had one more turn of ground shock, and gained some decent ground in a few sectors. However, my forces held up exponentially better this time around than they had during any of the early ground shock events in the last game. The Axis divisions did manage a river crossing east of Rostov, which was the worst of the breakthroughs. But overall, my lines are generally solid, with no major gaps at any point. The big news this turn was the arrival of the 60th and 63rd Armies. The 60th went to Yelets, while the 63rd went south to the Don Front. More reinforcements are scheduled to arrive next turn, including a Guards army.

Leningrad
The lines have returned to the starting points, as German Panzers were able to push back the 2nd Shock. Iíve been forced to reassign the 54th Army to the Kalinin Front, weakening the force tasked with opening up the Leningrad corridor. Iíll have to replace the 54th with some kind of relief for the 2nd Shock, as Mark has the opportunity here to counterattack and maybe gain some new ground. I canít lose Leningrad before, at the earliest, turn 30.

Kalinin Front

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-r8o17NyjxUs/UDMosWmMzxI/AAAAAAAAB_U/x5kwALl4TOY/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T010+KALININ.jpg[/image]

The 2nd SS Division that had rushed through the front line, only to be cut off before any German support could arrive, has been badly beaten up. The 3rd and 4th Shock Armies have been the difference here, with their large corps-sized line units holding strong against waves of German attacks. The full force of the German offensive in this sector could not be brought to bear upon my main line before Markís ground shock advantage expired. Iím chalking that up to the delaying screen units I left behind, coupled with the inability of his German divisions to achieve a major breakthrough at any point. If I hadnít ordered a general withdrawal when I did, this would not be a stable situation in any respect.

Orel - Yelets

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-onUoJem4OyE/UDMosXDQOeI/AAAAAAAAB_g/U-rEAp1wrfU/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T010+OREL.jpg[/image]

Almost every Russian division here is exhausted. But spirits are very high, as the Germans have not been able to break the line. Every time Mark gets an opening, I shift around my local reserves to close it up, many times cutting off a division or two of his in the process. The 60th Army is marching hard to relieve the 1st Shock Army, which Iíll give a 1-turn rest before redeploying. Iím not sure yet where the 1st will be needed, but since itís now a veteran unit with improved proficiency, itís extremely valuable. This sector might quiet down now that the Axis shock event is over, as Mark might want to use a turn or two to improve the rail network and get his forces better supply.

Voronezh
The line is still about 30 miles west of the Don River, which is a great thing this far into the German push. Usually, most of my forces are already across the Don and digging in on the other side. Now, with reinforcements slated to arrive next turn, I can form a very good defensive position IN FRONT of Voronezh, rather than have to defend on the city limits. The fact that Markís ground shock event didnít get him to at least the outskirts of Voronezh and Yelets is a huge boost for my chances of keeping the fight outside of the two key Central Fronts cities.

Don Front - Rostov

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z4N0N_4uaVI/UDMosvpqMWI/AAAAAAAAB_c/prTCDhoGLyk/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T010+ROSTOV.jpg[/image]

In the back of my mind, I was worried that Mark would try a river crossing in a non-bridge/shallow hex. Heís done that, and it worked. An unidentified Panzer division breached into the rear area, well ahead of the rest of the assault force. For now, Iíve been able to isolate the unit and seal up the gap in the line. The 63rd Army has arrived in the sector. Itís split on both sides of the Donís southern branch, and will move north to the front line next turn when it can disembark from the trains. Now that Mark is across the river in two places, this sector will likely not last too much longer. But itís already lasted way longer than any previous game of this scenario.

Crimea
Iíd rather have the Primorskaya units in one piece than hold Sevastopol for another turn or two. The city is officially open, as all Russian defenders are evacuated to the Caucasus.

Tobruk
Oddly and fortunately for me, Mark did not order the Italian Navy to blockade the port of Tobruk and cut off my escape route. I was able successfully evacuate the 1st and 2nd South African Divisions of the XIII Corps to Alexandria, while the 1st Armoured remains behind with some supporting brigades. I wasnít able to get the 1st Arm to the docks in time to evac this turn.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T011 (8/28/2012 10:08:12 AM)

T011: 7.17.42

Strategic Outlook
Much of the action has shifted south, as the Axis breakthrough along the Don River has set up a very dangerous situation for my defense of the Caucasus. Mark continued to press where he could, but my forces have held up extraordinarily well in the face of extreme pressure. Iím expecting the majority of the Russian sectors to quiet down for a while, except in the Caucasus, where Iím looking for Mark to make a dash for Maikop and eventually Grozny.

Kalinin Front
Iím only updating this sector to report that Iíve pretty much mauled the 2nd SS ďDas ReichĒ, while the 1st SS ďTotenkopfĒ is also pretty worn down. Those two divisions were the key to any farther advance in this sector for the Germans. Now they have been effectively neutralized.

Yelets - Voronezh
The span between these two cities is very strongly defended. Markís strategy here seems to be focusing on my flanks. The German attacks have come north of Yelets and south of Voronezh at Svaboda. The breaks in my line were able to be plugged, but not before losing a few hexes in the process. Now that the 60th Army has arrived in the center to relieve the 1st Shock Army, Iíll have some more room to play around with how my formations are deployed here. If all goes well, I might have to send the 1st Shock down to the Caucasus to prepare that defensive line well northwest of Grozny.

North Caucasus

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YkV3BAc6mL4/UDM5olmtdeI/AAAAAAAAB_8/U_PUX0jKsCc/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T011+CAUCASUS.jpg[/image]

With the battle now moving away from Rostov, I have to make a decision whether or not to continue my defense along the Don River, or pull back to Stalingrad. Right now Iím leaning toward holding my forward position, forming a new defensive line that bends southeast along the river, anchored by the newly-arrived 64/7th Guards Army, and eventually bending back southward right into the mountain range. This position would significantly shorten my line, allowing me to focus on strengthening the front, rather than covering more territory. Plus, it will keep the German divisions as far away from Grozny as possible. Even if they to make for another offensive, it will be similar to the Kalinin Front offensive, where Iíll force them to fight for every hex. The 1st Guards Tank Army arrives next turn. Along with the 1st Shock from the Ukraine Front, it should give me enough to hold on for a few more turns.




governato -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T011 (8/28/2012 7:58:23 PM)

Mike, how long does it typically take for your units to go into 'Fortified' and/or 100% entrenched mode?
Also, how is your rifle squads balance in the replacement pool looking?
These are probably the most relevant metrics to see how realistic is the evolution of the scenario...




mike1984 -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T011 (8/29/2012 9:16:08 AM)

The Russian rifle squads currently sit at zero... but that's only because it's early. Russian divisions start out under-manned. Also, I've lost dozens of divisions in combat. That's caused all replacements to get sucked up as soon as they become available.

Right now, we're on Turn 29, and I still don't have any surplus rifle squad replacements.

The entrench rates are purposely set low. It takes a while for units to reach Fortified.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T012 (8/29/2012 9:19:48 AM)

T012: 7.24.42

Strategic Outlook
The only region thatís in trouble is the northern Caucasus, where my forces are in full withdrawal to the south. But Iím not terribly worried just yet, as I have reinforcements coming to the front. One area of concern is the Karelia region, as Markís cut off the rail line to Murmansk. In the air war over Western Europe, Iíve pushed the EEV to +5. There is no effect for that, but itís at least moving in the right direction.

Karelia
Now that Mark has moved to take Kandalaksha, he can move on Murmansk. Iím assuming his strategy will be similar to last time, where he first cuts the rail line, then blockade the port itself so I canít relieve it with reinforcements. Iím not sure yet if itís worth wasting an extra army or two to keep Murmansk for just a few more turns. It wonít kill me to lose the port city, but itís not going to make things any easier.

Baltic Front
Not sure if this is really something, or just a demonstration to see whatís behind my lines here. Mark has breached the front line along the river, with an attack force that includes the 4th SS ďPolizeiĒ Division. Usually when an SS Division is present, itís a serious attack. However, the lack of follow up at this point doesnít seem significant.

North Caucasus

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9TziV7UfDRE/UDQll2_dNJI/AAAAAAAACAQ/uP-5rLvwAHQ/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T012+CAUCASUS.jpg[/image]

Itís a race against time in this region, as my front line has crumbled south of Rostov and the Germans storming toward Maikop. If I can hold them at bay for at least two more turns, I can form a line at the planned position at Voroshilovsk. The 64/7th Guards Army has arrived via trains, but is not even close to big enough to cover such a large area. Iíll need at least two or three more full-sized armies to defend this critical line. One of the few things working in my favor is that Mark has actually had to fight his way southward, wearing down his divisions to the point where heíll need to give them a rest before another big offensive in this sector.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T013 (8/29/2012 9:20:08 AM)

T013: 7.31.42

Strategic Outlook
Another somewhat slow turn as both sides try to recover from the initial wave of offensives by Mark. Compared to the last game between us, Iím in a much better position. Part of that is due to the increased replacement rates for Russian rifle squads. Part is due to the key theater option to make the 45th and 46th Armies available from the early stage of the scenario. Some is also due to my avoidance of ďrun like hell,Ē instead using a partial withdrawal plan for areas like the Don Front. Falling back all the way to Stalingrad would have been disastrous for me just the way it was last time. It opens up the Caucasus for the German Panzers to sweep in and capture the oil fields with little or moderate effort. By forcing Mark to fight his way toward the southeast from Rostov, Iím adding weeks/turns to his timetable for capturing the main chunk of the oil fields at Grozny.

Leningrad
A quick counterattack has at least stunned the German expeditionary force here, pushing them back to the river crossing. At the Leningrad supply corridor, lines have returned to the original starting point.

North Caucasus
Disembarking from their long trip south, the 30/7th Guards Army has formed the western half of my planned defensive line from Voroshilovsk to the river. Elements of the 49th Army have also arrived, but havenít yet deployed. The next army I have scheduled to arrive here is the 30/10th Guards, which are beginning the transfer from the Kalinin Front. Iím very concerned that I didnít act quickly enough to get troops into position here. It could compromise my entire defense of the central and southern Caucasus.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T014 (8/29/2012 9:20:32 AM)

T014: 8.7.42

Strategic Outlook
A strong bridge bombing campaign has hurt my supply lines, knocking out key connections with my troops along the Don and in the Caucasus. Unfortunately, Iíll have to hang on for another turn before they can be fixed, as most of the repair crews had to be sent in by train and arenít disembarked at this time. It feels like Mark is planning another big push soon, but Iím not sure where. The northern small offensive east of Leningrad isnít all that impressive, and I havenít spotted any reinforcements coming up from other sectors. The central sectors have been pretty quiet. The only place is in the North Caucasus, where the main column of German and Romanian forces are hugging the rail line south from Rostov. Markís troops must be pretty spent after a pretty tough fight around Rostov. That would tell me heís not quite ready to launch any large attacks in the next turn or two. In that time, I should be able to get my supply lines repaired. I might even disband a theater option to boost supply for a few turns, just to give my side a bit of a pick-me-up. There are opportunities for me to launch counter-offensives in a few places, though Iím not yet sure where I want to strike.

Leningrad
Mark tried to develop his bridgehead a bit more, but Iím thinking it wonít go too much farther than it already has. My reinforcements are arriving and ready to push back hard in the next turn or two. If I can throw him back across the river, that would be a huge victory, but Iíll settle for simply containing this wound for now.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T015 (8/29/2012 9:56:35 AM)

T015: 8.14.42

Strategic Outlook
Sooner than expected, Mark has activated +5 Ground Shock, Air Trans, Recon, and Supply boosts. Another wave of offensives is coming this turn, but thereís a hitch--I have no idea where heís planning on launching the assaults. I havenít seen any sectors where Mark has moved extra divisions right up to the front lines. Iíve spotted a corps-sized force assembling in the north Voroshilovgrad sector, though about three hexes behind the line. So now, having done all I can to prep for an attack in an unknown location, it becomes a waiting game.

Don Front - North

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MkLhhA0dtr4/UDxhokoRY9I/AAAAAAAACBU/kQf-VI_MP8s/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T015+VOROSHILOVGRAD.jpg[/image]

The Axis attacks have been slow, but I expect them to kick up a notch as the shock bonus takes effect next turn. I'm trying to rush reinforcements to the sector in preparation for what should be a strong push by Mark, possibly with the intention of reaching Stalingrad.

Central Caucasus

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qUwFCuXunek/UDxhod7NrWI/AAAAAAAACAk/nhloLqpteW4/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T015+CAUCASUS.jpg[/image]

Despite the fact that my defensive line is woefully thin from the mountains to the river, my focus will briefly shift to the airborne drop along the Black Sea Coast. This has been a tactic Mark used previously to break my defensive positions along the coast. I'm not terribly worried just yet, but if I can't get some decent troops to this sector quickly, Mark might not have to attack Grozny head-on after all.

Egypt-Libya Border

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0gCLS_MnzM/UDxhoQTMOpI/AAAAAAAACAw/d8cOY2WAsBk/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T015+EASTAFRICA.jpg[/image]

Let's see what I can dig up here. With the four armoured brigades scouting out front, I'm advancing the entire Eighth Army toward Tobruk. The Afrika Korps and Italian forces must be rather worn from the Battle of Tobruk. With any luck, I'll draw them out into battle once again in the open desert. I have superiority in combat strength and supply.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T016 (8/30/2012 7:00:00 PM)

T016: 8.21.42

Strategic Outlook
To counter Markís theater options this turn, Iíve activated a +5 Ground Shock, Supply bonus, and Strategic Bombing Campaign that will reduce the Axis supply by 4 points for 4 turns. It looks like Iím going to have a tough time with several sectors on the Eastern Front, with Markís offensive striking in every area from Leningrad to the Caucasus. Even in North Africa, Iím contending with a surge of Axis troops coming my way. More updates in each sector breakdown.

Leningrad

The counter strikes here have been able to contain the German divisions trying to flood the east side of the river. Iím taking moderate casualties here, but Markís troops arenít making much headway. The two main Russian armies here are the 54th and 59th, both conducting themselves very well against superior German firepower. Three Panzer divisions and about three more regular divisions are across the river, but crammed into just four hexes.

Yelets - Voronezh

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-L7BlSEXq4fI/UDxhpUIVByI/AAAAAAAACBI/OsmP0NiY1zY/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T016+YELETS.jpg[/image]

Iím expecting Mark to make one of his two most serious pushes in this area of the front, focusing on capturing Yelets, possibly Voronezh. His attack forces arenít particularly powerful. But compared to my exhausted front line divisions, the Germans are easily able to push the line back. Iím confident I can hold onto Voronezh until his ground shock bonus expires after next turn. I have about four armies digging in at a strong position in the region. However, the Yelets rail junction will likely fall in the next turn. The sector is manned by Orel Front divisions that were supposed to be resting and refitting a few hexes behind the line. Theyíve been called into action to plug the open gaps in front of Yelets.

Don Front

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gijfdH8Gw7w/UDxhoxol_mI/AAAAAAAACA8/QUiLDQno2Kg/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T016+DON.jpg[/image]

The big problem here is that Iím simply running out of troops to cover the sectors. Mark is attacking right through my front line, as I try to frantically keep my divisions in front of his advance, rather than be cut off and destroyed. Every hex Mark has to fight for here is another turn he doesnít reach the banks of the Don. I have five turns before another big wave of reinforcements arrive. Iíll need to hold him at bay for at least six turns, so those reinforcements can establish the Don River Line and defend Stalingrad.

Northeast Africa

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mTvJ04SG_Uo/UDxhpO12RbI/AAAAAAAACBA/DLtY5ScSKWY/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T016+EASTAFRICA.jpg[/image]

The 10. Panzer and 15. Panzer have both come out to strike at my advanced group of divisions from the XXX Corps. However, in my follow-up attacks, Iíve been able to surround both German divisions. Iíve made a huge blunder here, as I failed to remember to schedule attacks, letting the two most important German units in Africa off the hook. This could really come back to bite me.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T017 (8/30/2012 7:01:08 PM)

T017: 8.28.42

Strategic Outlook
The Axis ground shock has expired, giving me a bit of a hand in defense. Markís progress has been effective, but very slow, Iím sure frustrating him after using up two shock options in the first 16 turns of this game. Overall, the fronts are stable in the East, while Iím enjoying a bit of unexpected success in North Africa. Finally repairing many of the blown rail bridges this turn has immensely helped my supply situation along the southern East Front. More updates in each sector breakdown.

Leningrad
A German division made a river crossing south of the main bridgehead, but as of right now, this sector hasnít changed much from the original offensive launched by Mark a few turns ago. This remains a ďwait and seeĒ situation.

Yelets

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6g9foq85xCg/UDxhqQoaSdI/AAAAAAAACCA/ThgL7-C7Suo/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T017+YELETS.jpg[/image]

I expected to lose Yelets this turn. Somehow my forces held the critical rail junction. Recon hasnít seen much in the way of reinforcements coming to renew the Axis advance, but I can never be too careful here. My line is hanging on by a thread, with much of it made up of the Orel Front mechanized divisions and Moscow Defense forces. Theyíve done a great job so far of holding back against superior German divisions, but one can only ask so much of these front line Russian troops.

Don Front - North

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yf2XfWJplSo/UDxhp4E0GOI/AAAAAAAACBg/mbufiMl63KI/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T017+DON.jpg[/image]

The line is slowly receding east toward Stalingrad, but Iím determined to make this the toughest fight for Markís German forces. Deploying the 1st Guards Army from the Don River at Serafamovich south to link up with the 9th and 39th Armies has at least for now given me some breathing room to form a line on the northern bank of the river. The problem is that I may not have enough units to cover the territory.

Central Caucasus

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oTRHpgCnp20/UDxhpixyRDI/AAAAAAAACBM/kEPJar32jv0/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T017+CAUCASUS.jpg[/image]

Now that I have two Guards Armies and part of the 49th Army deployed here, Mark launched his attack with some success at the southern wing of my line. Iím hoping to hold out for a few more turns, just to wear down Army Group South enough where they wonít be able to push all the way to Grozny. Ideally, I can hold this line at this point for two more turns. Even if I have to withdraw, Iím not going all the way back to Astrakhan or Grozny. The new line will be just to the northeast along the canal. This regionís center, just east of Rostov, is still being held strongly by the Russian armies, giving me no reason to give up such a great position there to threaten Markís access to the Caucasus via Rostov.

Northeast Africa

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4PyQt-H-5aw/UDxhqLpW9rI/AAAAAAAACBY/5XMquq3Oc_8/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T017+EASTAFRICA.jpg[/image]

Yet again, Iíve committed another huge mistake. Thinking I had another round of battle remaining, I did not order concurrent attacks on the surrounded German pocket. The northern half of the pocket did collapse, with the 164. Leichte Division evaporating under pressure. However, the real prize was the side of the pocket I did not attack. That included not only the full 21. Panzer Division, but Rommelís headquarters itself! This has still be an excellent offensive by the British Eighth Army. Hopefully I can keep it going and maybe recapture Tobruk in a few turns. But letís not get too far ahead here.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T018 (8/30/2012 8:38:05 PM)

T018: 9.4.42

Strategic Outlook
North Africa is turning into a really pleasant surprise. From what was originally a scouting expedition by the armoured brigades, I now have bagged two German divisions and Rommelís headquarters! The Russian Front is still iffy, but stable, as reconstituted divisions are slowly getting back up to strength and back to the front lines.

Northeast Africa

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aJSVzWAIets/UDxhqYJlMKI/AAAAAAAACBk/F_-VIYeXRmM/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T018+AFRICA.jpg[/image]

The British Eighth Army has now advanced over a hundred miles from the El Alamein Line. In the process, Monty caught Rommel flat-footed. Since first contact was made three turns ago, Iíve destroyed a light division, a Panzer division, and captured Rommelís headquarters unit. Already, itís a significant victory for the Allies. Iím planning to make another strong push this upcoming turn or the next one. If all goes well, I might be able to recapture Tobruk before November.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T019 (8/30/2012 8:38:55 PM)

T019: 9.11.42

Strategic Outlook
I can tell Mark is growing more concerned with the North Africa situation, as heís dispatched two divisions of the LXXXI. Korps from Italy to Libya. There are no shock or offensive theater options affecting either side this turn, so itís what I like to call a ďcleanĒ period in the game. Both sides have no real advantage over one another, other than the tactical and strategic skill of their leaders.

Northeast Africa

[image]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kn-gg96ZTXc/UDxhqtGmhnI/AAAAAAAACBs/5XdZJpC28W8/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T019+AFRICA.jpg[/image]

The Eighth Army continued attacks this turn, pushing back the main Axis line at several points. The reinforcements from the LXXXI. Korps wonít be ready to deploy fully until next turn, so Iím confident I can really hammer the Afrika Korps and Italians by the time they can get decent assistance. The XXX Corps received the 44th ďHome CountyĒ Division this turn, but it wonít be ready for combat deployment until likely after next turn.

Don Front - Rostov
Plans for Operation Orion

[image]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GE7kUj3Ako8/UDxhq4ap08I/AAAAAAAACB0/0Wk8GXCTk8s/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T019+ORION_PLAN.jpg[/image]

This one could take a few turns to put together, but I think itís possible to make a dash for Rostov. Intelligence confirmed a few turns ago that the Axis have left the river east of Shakhty very lightly defended, even with huge gaps in the line. It is a super river and marsh at this point in the river, but itís not impassable with the help of bridging engineer teams. Right now, I do not have the manpower to undertake such a risky operation. Iíll need, at minimum, four more armies to pull this one off. One of those extra armies will have to be an armored/mechanized army. Speed will be my best weapon here, to go along with what I expect will be complete and total surprise that I would do such a thing. Iíd use the 3rd Shock and other forces east of the Don to pin down the German and Romanians within the ďtriangleĒ section on my side of the river. If all goes well, I could possibly not only capture Rostov, but destroy a significant portion of the Axis forces in the Northern Caucasus. It would also force Mark to recall a good part of his forces currently bearing down on Grozny. If I can do this right, it could change the trajectory of the battle in this part of the Russian Front.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T020 (8/30/2012 8:40:28 PM)

T020: 9.18.42

Strategic Outlook
The action has obviously shifted to the North African front. My concern now is that mark is gearing up for a major offensive on the Russian Front. Reinforcements are scheduled to arrive starting next turn, which should help bolster my defense at key points, such as in the Central Caucasus.

Northeast Africa

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q1H4wbpW5pU/UDxhq2oMQzI/AAAAAAAACB8/qdYJQYvW_6U/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T020+AFRICA.jpg[/image]

Iím normally too cautious. I always tend to worry too much about adequate supply lines, keeping my troops rested, and not exposing units and risk heavy casualties. This time Iím bucking my own trend, pressing the Axis forces in Libya to the fullest extent. In the course of this offensive, Iíve destroyed much of the three Italian corps, at least one full Panzer division, captured Rommelís HQ, and severely crippled the remainder of the Axis forces that originally captured Tobruk. Iíll have to send the rail repair crew forward from Mersah Matruh, as the rail line is very badly damaged. Once the line is repaired, supply will increase and offer my forces a boost heading toward Tobruk.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T021 (8/31/2012 1:28:38 PM)

T021: 9.25.42

Strategic Outlook
Another quiet turn on the Russian Front. Reinforcements have started to arrive, beginning with the 66/5th Guards Army, which was sent down to the Central Caucasus. Montyís Eighth Army is mopping up the rest of the Axis forces in Libya, as it approaches Bardia. Iím afraid Mark will save two of the DAKís Panzer divisions, as they are already in Tobruk ready to be evacuated. The two fresh divisions of the LXXXI. Korps are holding a line near Bardia, and could delay me long enough. No specific sector updates this turn.




mike1984 -> TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (8/31/2012 1:29:05 PM)

T022: 10.2.42

Strategic Outlook
Wow, I am lucky. Just as Mark launched a significant offensive between Rostov and the northern leg of the Don River, the mud season kicked in to drop global shock levels to 50 percent. Thatís a huge break for me. As youíll see in the sector update, Mark was on his way to Stalingrad during that first phase of the offensive. Now heís bogged down with the rest of the forces in the European Theater.

Don Front

[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G4jTdJMF7RQ/UDxhrOD9GVI/AAAAAAAACCE/jEy4xWNiBuk/s1600/TR+42-45+1.8+ALLIED+T022+DON.jpg[/image]

So much for Operation Orion. Not only has the German breakthrough to the north forced me to redeploy the 1st Guards Tank to blunt the threat there, but I wouldnít be able to do anything at all until the mud season dries up in a few turns.




mike1984 -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (9/19/2012 8:23:02 PM)

I'm going to be back with more within 24 hours. I've just completed a total career relocation from Northern Virginia up to Northeast New Jersey. Finally getting settled back down, minus my PC laptop. That's what really killed all of this for the last two weeks, not having that mobile PC platform to work on. Anyway, stay tuned as I ramp this back up.




mike1984 -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (12/5/2012 4:29:32 PM)

After all this, turns out my HP has succumbed to battle wounds. I'm in the process of saving for another computer, probably just a Mac mini with Windows installed on it so I can play TOAW once again.

I apologize for this. I'm rather upset, because this was shaping up to be a fantastic scenario play against Mark. Hopefully within a few weeks (January?) we can resume operations. We'll see.




Ruppich -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (12/6/2012 9:27:30 AM)

Hope to see you back up soon!
Third Reich AARs are very rare...




ogar -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (12/7/2012 6:01:22 PM)

I hope Mike is able to return to TR and posting soon, as well.

I'll mention that Ruppich is doing a nice job (yes, R., you are doing well despite some setbacks) in his own AAR on Third Reich. Other folks can watch the action here :

http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24821&s=e80154f88750790de77b1ea6f265c8c9

There's lots of informative graphics, so even without resorting to Google translate, it's easy to follow the game - though a knowledge of German is a plus.

And if you're interested in the plans of Ruppich's fiendishly clever opponent :

http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24821&s=e80154f88750790de77b1ea6f265c8c9




Ruppich -> RE: TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T022 (12/10/2012 12:50:30 PM)

Thank you, thank you, far too kind [:)]




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