RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (Full Version)

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Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/10/2012 9:00:50 PM)

July 28th

More bad news, this is the death throes of the Axis powers. This turn I opened the turn to the usual horrific losses, but also to find that Wiking and another PZ division were surrounded north of Rostov. I've managed to temporarily break the encirclement but I suspect it will be renewed shortly. My only slight solace is that Isokron has also admitted that he is struggling to keep up with the losses. The trouble is I cant play any replacement cards. I've played the more time card twice now and will probably have to play it again in two more turns, I have no choice, due to bad decisions at the start of the game I made to keep on with the attritional offences, I have to keep the pressure on Rostov and Voronezh. I gave the artillery the turn off to recharge (as do my troops need a breather) around Rostov, although I did take a couple of more pops at his battle ships. North and South of Voronezh I had to keep the pressure on, little ground gained and what I do gain Isokron takes straight back the next turn. As per usual the tattered remains of the Luftwaffe try and pound his tanks into submission. Not much going on from the Soviet airforce which as per usual is the only factor in my favour. My only Luftwaffe units still in decent shape are my fighters, so that is the one thing I have going for me.

I do realise that as a contest this game is over, but I'm going to carry on for as long as possible, just to see how badly it does pan out. On the central front I attacked with infantry either side of 1st Panzer Army and actually managed to get a couple of hexes. My main aim was to pin as much of the Soviet forces in place as possible though. 1st Panzer continue the steady advance to Millerowo; I refuse to continue with my earlier mistakes, so no attacks on their front. The infantry and tanks are now in range and he cant retreat any further. Could I actually take an objective?

Northern Front (I use the term 'front' loosely):


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/10/2012 9:01:52 PM)

July 28th

The central front, 1st Panzer continues to march up to its start lines:


EDIT: You can just see the remains of my surrounded PZ Divs on the bottom right.

Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/10/2012 9:04:05 PM)

July 28th

...and finally the overall troops numbers[sm=00000116.gif]


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/11/2012 9:33:38 PM)

July 30th

Just about game over. More moving over to the offensive from the Soviets, several of my units were surrounded and destroyed. I have no points to play and will soon be down to zero prestige. Lots more Soviet airstrikes against my airfields and also my armour this turn. German armour is now down to a 1000. North of Voronezh it is only a matter of time before he breaks through and I have nothing to plug the gap with.

My last great hope was 1st Panzer's offensive. This has failed miserably despite playing a good mixture of speed and offensive cards, I just couldnt get a breakthrough and Isokron has moved ample reserves into place to ensure that it will not happen. 1st Panzer will no doubt be played out in a couple of turns and will then suffer the same fate as 4th Panzer army.

I have been comprehensively outplayed from start to finish. He has exploited every weakness and has made me rush my attacks trying to get in before he entrenches. Isokron has successfully retreated at every opportunity, yet when he does stand and fight he has entrenched reserve forces in place to ensure that I am battering against a heavily armed brick wall, then he hits me with successful counterattacks which means I end up in a panic to try and get my objectives in time and end up in a horrible battle of attrition. He has also made sure that I havent been able to take one city hex, meaning both my supply and prestige have been suffering. I shouldnt have gone for Rostov head on, that was a waste of time and energy. He is now back up to full force and is back fully entrenched with all hexes at 200+ entrenchement. It is pointless carrying on the offensive. I just have a big hole in my lines north of Rostov which I am just waiting for him to exploit.

Not a lot more to add really, I shall be carrying on with the game and the AAR, but there is nowhere to go from here really, it is only a matter of time.

No maps this turn as no real movement, instead here is a load of stats breaking down where we are up to losses wise. Note the overall losses pass the 200k mark and that my fighters took some hefty losses this turn due to the Soviet air offensive.


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/12/2012 8:51:47 PM)

1st August

Case Blue has failed miserably and we have declared the game over as a contest, so you might see Isokron in this thread. Congratulations to him, really good opponent who has shown me I was perhaps a little premature in jumping in against an experienced opponent; out played from start to finish and spent the entire game chasing my tail. Anyway, as I've found it really interesting learning the game against him I have offered to carry on for a while, just to see where we end up, so there may be a few more turns yet.

Right then....opened the turn to see absolute bedlam. My airforce is now down to 200 fighters and a virtual lack of functioning bombers. After a few airstrikes in the last couple of turns Isokron picked the right moment to go in for the kill; loads of my planes were caught napping on airfields. I did have a couple of fighter units with good readiness who I thought my intercept, especially in the area he attacked, but they failed to do so. Dont think it would have materially affected the outcome, but I obviously need to work out how to make the chances of interception better.

More Soviet attacks across most of the front, none of them materially terrible but again added up to fairly high losses which I cant afford. 1st Panzer was thrown back in places and there was the usual carnage and units lost north of Voronezh. By Rostov he completed his encirclement of III PZ Corps, I have no offensive capability left in the South.

After the despair had lifted and I made the decision to carry on some hard choices had to be made. First choice was to forget about cards. We are not playing the dismissal rule so if my forces are played out I need to retreat. So I have withdrawn and tightened the line up around Rostov, there are still a couple of gaps, but I am in a better positions to hold on. I am officially on the defensive in the South:


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/12/2012 8:55:01 PM)

1st August

The one offensive area I really tried again with this turn was with 1st Panzer. The offensive toward Millerowo continued, I tried to engineer a strike on Millerowo itself, but despite managing to surround I found that I didnt quite have enough to take it. I do feel I have made a little bit of progress though, it just depends on what Isokron counterattacks with this turn. The offensive continues:


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/12/2012 8:57:32 PM)

1st August

...and finally Voronezh which shall be known ever after as the graveyard of 4th Panzer. Lots of accepting my fate and withdrawals. The only area I did try and hold onto was the ground north of the city. I have had some success, but again there are still Soviet forces there ready to counterattack.

Voronezh front:


LiquidSky -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/12/2012 9:55:35 PM)

Your aar makes me very sad. I will do what I can in my game to finish off my opponent, so my forces can move into your's to help [;)]

What I notice is that attacking can be very very painful. As well, when you attack you lose your entrenchment if you fail an assualt, you have lowered morale, lowered rediness, and you're entrenchment level is low. Ripe for a counter attack. So I only attack in areas I wish to advance in, and I only do it if I use air/artillery on the hex I am attacking....sometimes I use cards, but not necessary.

Even if you win an assault, the enemy can counterattack your now exposed units and push them back, although that can open him up to the above lowered readiness etc.

On any given turn, I may only attack maybe a dozen hexes at most. Maybe more after a mud turn, when I know he is suffering from lower supply in hard to supply area's...or is spread out. I would rather outflank (and lose the prestige) for a place like Rostov if it is too hard to take frontally, then to lose an army assualting it.

As well, I try to never spread my panzer units out, but keep them bunched in a bridgehead. Making a breach and spreading out behind the russian lines is just asking to have units cut off as he could pop reinforcements on any undamaged, rail-supplied city.

Your losses are so very very high....and I think come from you burning yourself out on attacking...then losses from those burnt out units being taken out.

Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/12/2012 10:13:24 PM)

Cheers LiquidSky. Thanks for the advice, I would say you are 100% spot on, I think the main thing is I panicked early on thinking I had to get to the objectives and cut him off. Against a decent human opponent I now realise that it is not going to happen. So the other thing I need to learn for my next game is that when things dont go to plan I need to show a little patience when things go wrong and wait for the next chance to attack, doing like you say and making sure I am only attacking in the spot I needed. I also need to save points for more time cards. An interesting alternative to that is something you have done in your game, take a gamble and go for the ambition card, you may end up with some alternative objectives that the Soviet is not expecting which could give some easier prestige and maybe give the opportunity to avoid some of the main objectives for a while.

I think my initial attack around Voronezh wasnt necessarily a bad idea, but I should've quit instead of reinforcing failure. Ditto for Rostov, I've just wasted my forces there, again it is basically summing up what you are saying.

Lessons have been learnt for the next game. The only thing I'm not too sure where I went wrong is with the airforce, I think with my fighters I've been very conservative and I dont think my tactics have been too bad, yet I still havent got anywhere. I realise that lessons need to be learnt with how to use my air power I am not quite sure what the lessons are yet.

This is going to sound really strange, but I've actually really enjoyed the experience of this game, I know I've done everything wrong, but it really has been a fun learning experience.

Bonners, off to read LiquidSky's AAR and set up a shopping list of units[:D]

Isokron -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/13/2012 1:13:21 PM)

Very nice thread Bonners. As have already been said I think your main problem might have been a bit unfocused attacks and also that you left your units in somewhat vulnerable positions rather that doing a tactical retreat when it was called for.

The fight around Voronezh was very very close at several points and I think it might actually have been decided (well you can probably still take it if we continue) by a bit of bad luck with the game mechanics on your side. I managed to do a 5 sided attack on your main force (forced march on those units stranded on the wrong side of the don did wonders) so they only had one hex to retreat to, unfortunally it seems like the game engine only allows 16 units per hex so when the forces retreated the last two regiments to retreat where killed outright because of that. And of course those two happened to be the panzer and infantry regiment of 23pz which was your strongest ones in the area. Before that your casulties from the counter attack was bad but that turned them catastrophic.

If we decided to do a second game I think I will try to create an AAR myself for it as well, really fun to see what your opponent was thinking after the game.

olivier34 -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/15/2012 2:47:03 PM)

Thanks Bonners for this AAR.
About your losses, are you over stacking sometimes when you attack ? It seems to me that overstacking increase a lot the losses of the attacker and that overstacking in air attacks and artillery shelling is a waste of ammo.
Another thing, have you check the morale and readiness of your attacking troops. If they are low, it is better to cancel the attack and wait a turn or two...
I am very cautious regarding overstacking in attack and even in defense but maybe to cautious. Liquidsky takes Voronezh with a second attack and the stacking reach 200 on 100...I would have not press the button but his attack was successful!

Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/15/2012 3:45:40 PM)


ORIGINAL: olivier34

Thanks Bonners for this AAR.
About your losses, are you over stacking sometimes when you attack ? It seems to me that overstacking increase a lot the losses of the attacker and that overstacking in air attacks and artillery shelling is a waste of ammo.
Another thing, have you check the morale and readiness of your attacking troops. If they are low, it is better to cancel the attack and wait a turn or two...
I am very cautious regarding overstacking in attack and even in defense but maybe to cautious. Liquidsky takes Voronezh with a second attack and the stacking reach 200 on 100...I would have not press the button but his attack was successful!

That was a mistake I made. I would overstack but only by a couple of point, e.g. rather than a 100 I would attack with 105 to get the best units in place. Where I suffered heavy losses (particularly around Voronezh) was deliberately overstacking on defence. Basically when I won a hex I tried to add a couple of units that hadnt attacked (i.e. with decent readiness) to the stack to defend against the counterattack. If it works, great, if it doesnt your losses can be horrific...lesson learnt for next game.

As for readiness, that comes down to the problems I had with panicking attacks, I kept thinking his line was going to break so ended up attacking with units with low readiness, again this kind of panicked attack leads to high losses. All those tactics are worth doing and taking the high losses, but only if you know the Soviets cannot counterattack, i.e. take the losses but get a positive outcome. Where I was going wrong was taking the gambles at the wrong time and suffering horrendous losses as a result.

I am still making these mistakes to a lesser extent (we are carrying on the game), but that is becuase I'm a little desperate, although I have withdrawn on certain parts of the front. After I've played my turn tonight I'll put an update on.

Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/15/2012 8:05:05 PM)

5th August

We're definitely onto the last turns now. Thought I'd just concentrate on the one part of the front where things are moving. Firstly though, around Rostov and Voronezh I continue to pull back and try and save forces for the coming offensive, despite wasting all my prestige points I'm afraid I've ran out of more time cards, so if we were playing dismissal next turn I would be on a one way trip to theFuher Bunker[:(]

Luckily I have a far more thoughtful superior though[:D] So I have the dubious pleasure of fighting on for a while longer.

Isokron continues to attack along the line and causes significant damage again to my forces north of Rostov, I am vaguely hopeful that the line will still hold though, but reserves are non existent.

...and on my last chance of gaining some points. I took a huge risk with my panzers and left them exposed; Isokron took the bait and attacked them, cue more losses for me. The only reason for the gamble was to try and make sure I still had a four sided attack on Millerowo. Well I did manage it, infantry in place, high degree of readiness, my first offensive that looked like it was planned enough to work. I think about eight Soviet units were in town and unfortunately one out of the eight didnt get a retreat or panic result...another failure. But hey, look on the bright side, I must be improving as it was only just a failure!

Not a lot to show on the map, but here is the front around Millerowo at the end of my turn:


Bonners -> RE: CB: Bonners (axis) vs Isokron (Soviet) (10/17/2012 2:37:34 PM)

This will be the last post on this thread, as you may have noticed Isokron and I have started a new campaign playing it the other way around. Unfortunately I have been called away from the front by the UberFuhrer to partake in domestic duties....strangely enough I dont ever recall in any of my histories of WWII of Zhukov being told to stop playing with his armies by the wife!

Domestic chores complete I shall start my Soviet campaign on Thursday and will start a new AAR. Isokron has more experience of playing as Axis so I'm expecting another tough learning experience!

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