Amoktrappen (FC, v1.04beta) / Bonners (Axis) vs Reconvet (Full Version)

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Reconvet -> Amoktrappen (FC, v1.04beta) / Bonners (Axis) vs Reconvet (10/20/2012 11:00:28 AM)

Don't waste your time, guys. No plan survives first contact with the enemy...

Nomen est omen: I'll try to let my armies run amok around Kharkov. I just have to try at least in one game if Kharkov can be taken, and if forward defense really is no option as other AAR's seem to indicate. Even if I don't succeed in taking Kharkov at least I want to bind German reserves there and prevent their offensive use elsewhere.

Trappenjagd (full campaign, v1.04beta)
FOW on
PBEM protection on
High Command rules on
Dismissal off
Axis Minor rules on
C&C rules on
FOW on statistics off
All others off (no free setup)

I'll report on new turns with some delay, so Bonner may drop in with comments once in a while.

My assessment of the strategic situation at game start:

Major hassle for Soviets is not only poor leaders but also the overall command&control penalty during the first 30 turns (meaning until mid-july in this scenario). C&C failures lead to 20-70% loss of action points and readiness points for affected formations.

In addition to that army commanders with organizational skills lower than 31 and front commanders with org skill lower than 41 may be "out of his depth" resulting in all troops under his command receiving a 25% penalty to offensive and defensive operations. So getting rid of incapable generals leading troops in critical front regions has to be a top priority (front commanders first, then army leaders).

Airforce in shambles:
Soviet airforce is quite useless at first. All air formations are below 60% of their OOB, have poor experience, and will suffer from frequent command & control penalties for the first 30 turns. So air formations will have to fill up their OOB and get higher readiness before they can be cautiously committed to raise experience. At first my best assets against Axis air will be my AAA-units (including HQ's). Getting AAA protection for tank corps has high priority.

Situation on the ground:
The Crimea will be lost. Axis 11th army may be delayed and worn down a bit, but Sewastopol can't be supplied with Axis controlling the skies and the armies supposed to protect Kerch have already suffered high losses during the initial Axis strikes.

Wide parts of the front from Rostov to the northern map boundary are pretty weakly manned on Soviet side. If I can't lure significant portions of Axis reserve and reinforcements troops to Kharkov I have to expect Axis breakthroughs NW of Rostov (where 1st Panzer Army is massed) and possibly up north toward Voronezh.

My initial moves around Kharkov are intended to draw 1st Panzer Army mobile forces north as my opponent has to see the opportunity to cut supply for my 6th Army which is committed to take Kharkov from the south out of the Izium salient. The way I see it it will be a race against time to open up one or more alternative supply lines for my 6th Army or they face a grim future in Germany.

Reconvet -> Turn 1 - May 12th 1942 (10/20/2012 11:06:04 AM)

May 12th 1942 - Turn 1 of Trappenjagd

The day dawns with major fiascoes on the Crimea, the only sweet spots being the repelled attack near Sewastopol and the fact that Axis units can't move north of the Crimea...


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 1 - replacing leaders (10/20/2012 11:08:12 AM)

General Dimitri Timofeevich Kozlov, you are fired for gross incompetence. Whoever appointed you to lead Crimea Front must have been in deep vodka delirium. Organisational skill of a whopping 12 - when programmers deem everything under 41 as "out of depth" for front commands - in combination with enough political clout to cause a cost of 20pp to send you to Siberia makes you one of the costliest mistakes in gaming history. Good riddance…

Here's the overview of my initial leader changes. With my random draw of my officer pool for this game I was both blessed and cursed. Blessed because I got two top generals (Rybalko with 72/74/77 att/def/org and Popov with 62/84/64, both of which harvest 3 command points per turn, very uncommon for soviet leaders), and cursed because both of them cost 20-35pp to appoint.

So I tried to get the most out of this pp-dilemma. I wanted Gretchko and Sergatskov as new front leaders (pp-cost-efficient for replacing baboons with utterly useless organisational skills, potentially crippling several armies per turn). Rybalko was a no brainer to command 6th Army on it's critical drive north to Kharkov. If I want to seize the minimal chance to get my inital prestige objective I need a top commander with high card-reloading capacity.

My initial pp-investments in leadership:


Reconvet -> Turn 1 - North (10/20/2012 11:14:21 AM)

And here are my initial moves, comments on map. Bonner has already sent turn 2, so I don't give much away by posting this already.

Situation up north after Soviet moves:


Reconvet -> Turn 1 - Kharkov (10/20/2012 11:16:34 AM)

And the most interesting part of the front in this Scenario. Trappenjagd offers the Soviets the capability to go on the offensive for some turns, which I did:


Reconvet -> Turn 1 - South (10/20/2012 11:18:50 AM)

And the situation in the south:


Reconvet -> Turn 1 - casualties (10/20/2012 11:34:28 AM)

Turn 1 casualties (end of turn):


Losses for Soviets are pretty high due to several river crossing attacks costing between 1000 to 2000 casualties each, but I needed at least 1 bridgehead north of Kharkov and if it holds it will have been worth the price. The Axis attacks on my initial huge stacks on the Crimea did their damage too...

rominet -> RE: Turn 1 - South (10/20/2012 11:35:54 AM)

Impressive AAR.[X(]

Reconvet -> RE: Turn 1 - South (10/20/2012 11:40:40 AM)


ORIGINAL: rominet

Impressive AAR.[X(]

Thanks. [:)]

I hope it helps people not to make the mistakes I am bound to run into. [:D]

olivier34 -> RE: Turn 1 - South (10/20/2012 3:38:50 PM)

Wonderful read ! I had half an hour to play...I use it to read carefully your awesome AAR ! [sm=happy0065.gif]

Reconvet -> RE: Turn 1 - South (10/21/2012 11:17:14 AM)


ORIGINAL: olivier34

Wonderful read ! I had half an hour to play...I use it to read carefully your awesome AAR ! [sm=happy0065.gif]

Thank you. [:)]

The really interesting phase has not really begun yet. Somehow I'm feeling like a train driver seeing the blocked rails ahead, recognizing there's no way to stop in time. Instinct may dictate to kick down the brakes to minimize damage on impact, but I started this game to check out if the Soviets can get away early on in Trappenjagd with an aggressive offensive around Kharkov. Sooooooooo: Full steam ahead. *grin*

Reconvet -> Prelude to turn 2 (10/21/2012 11:19:23 AM)

Turn 2 - finished by my highly esteemed opponent - is due to be loaded down.

In the meantime I had a short glimpse on reserves that Axis has on the map on turn 1, which has led me to reassess my glorious advances south of Kharkov for a second or two. Right next to my prestige objective the Germans have 2 PzDivs and an Inf Div sitting within a day's march to the crime scenes, with another PzD and a MotD down south ready to be railed to any hotspot. Not to speak of all the Stuka Groups to pound my spearheads at will. Good thing most of my panzers are somewhat hidden in cities and forests and have some infantry units in the same hex to help eat some bombs…

Anybody seeing parallels between the two pics below? Anybody notice that there ARE soviet planes actually in flying condition AND in the air on the picture on the right? Rumors about Red Air Force being grounded are utterly wrong! Absolutely! And YES, there still are a few Red Army tanks around which were not yet turned into smoking hulls by Stukas. Now I'll go open my turn 2… *grin*


Reconvet -> Turn 2 (10/28/2012 5:27:45 PM)

May 14th 1942 - Turn 2

Weather report: Heavy Precipitation (rain or snow)

Urgent memo from Chief of Staff Slogeni Ofoltimovic Maximinimov to regional communist party leaders:


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 (10/28/2012 5:29:34 PM)

German offensive moves:

As much as I hated the weather, Bonners probably started to dislike it too and broke off his attacks on the Crimea after all four of those had failed. Brutal bloodshed, more for me than for him though (his casualties in these battles: 4000, mine 12'000).


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 (10/28/2012 5:31:32 PM)

German defensive moves:


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 (10/28/2012 5:32:51 PM)

Soviet starting situation on turn 2:

Weather is not the only factor sabotaging our war efforts. My 28th Army (leading the northern attack toward my main prestige objective Kharkov) gets hit by both the c&c-failure penalty as well as the "out of depth" leadership penalty. In addition to that South Western front units lose 67 AP. No way to attack and avance in any useful way with such handicaps.

It's very bad to lose momentum at this early stage of my offensive when breakthroughs should be widened and exploited. This enables Axis to rail forward his reserve units and makes my capturing Kharkov a lot tougher if not impossible.


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 (10/28/2012 5:41:42 PM)

On the brighter side partisans have become active in the southern pampa. The rodina has full faith that you'll put terror in the hearts of the Axis hordes...


Reconvet -> Turn 2 generals reassigned (11/9/2012 11:12:42 AM)

Soviet players need to put their few capable generals where they can have an impact or where incapable generals can wreak havoc on their own armies and with your offensive/defensive plans by getting "out of depth" penalties at the wrong moment due to their poor organizational skill.

Right now I need a leader with offensive capabilities to lead my 28th Army which I want to fight toward Kharkov from the north. Lvov is such a man, and I replace him with Chuikov, as his defensive skills might do some good during the retreat on the Crimea toward Kerch. I have no illusions to be able to hold back the fascists there.

So: Chuikov takes over 51th Army on the Crimean front from Lvov, who gets to lead 28th Army of Southwestern Front.


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 soviet attacks (11/9/2012 11:13:58 AM)

My offensive battles on turn 2. Losses sustained show that I ruined Axis' more or less decent kill ratio to something with which I can live pretty well with. Axis can't sustain an average of 10'000 casualties per turn, not if his kill ratio is this low. And I celebrate each Axis counter I can take off the map, as it will thin out Axis frontlines on the long run.


Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 map after soviet moves (11/9/2012 11:16:00 AM)

And a map of what happened on my turn 2 around Kharkov:


rominet -> RE: Turn 2 map after soviet moves (11/9/2012 3:13:55 PM)

Always great pleasure to read your AAR.

Be aware that your southern front (Barwenkovo, Losowaya) remains weak against a possible german counter attack.
I am very familiar to the small Kharkov scenario.

wallas -> RE: Turn 2 (11/9/2012 6:47:21 PM)


ORIGINAL: Reconvet

Brutal bloodshed, more for me than for him though (his casualties in these battles: 4000, mine 12'000).

you will replace 12,000 troops in 4 turns. the German will take 13 turns, so the bloodshed was his not yours.

How I see it anyways. [&o]

James Ward -> RE: Turn 2 (11/9/2012 7:06:25 PM)

^ In the Trappen scenario the Germans get a lot more replacements per turn than in Case Blue, at least at the beginning. It will take them ~4 turns to replace the losses through replacements. Still a good turn for the Russians.

Reconvet -> RE: Turn 2 map after soviet moves (11/10/2012 1:40:36 PM)


ORIGINAL: rominet

Always great pleasure to read your AAR.

Be aware that your southern front (Barwenkovo, Losowaya) remains weak against a possible german counter attack.
I am very familiar to the small Kharkov scenario.

Thank you. [:)]

As you'll see with one of my next posts I definitely am concerned about the weakness of the southern part of the Izium salient.

This is my first ever AAR by the way, so I'm still experimenting with style, what to report and how much, what illustrations to use, which screenshots to make and process, so I'm happy if you guys have tipps about do's and dont's.

For example I have doubts if the size of my pictures is too large for the eyes, and if the number of the pictures makes loading the page a bit slow for some of the readers although I do compress them and take care to keep them under 1 MB.

At a later stage I'd like this AAR to switch into some sort of joint mode, where Bonners can comment each turn from his viewpoint.

Reconvet -> May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:44:08 PM)

May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 / Clear weather

German moves: Crimea

Turn 3 and my formations around Sewastopol aready show signs of malnutrition. Very few supplies arrive, readiness is suffering, ammo runs out. Battle results have to be seen in this context.

Costly air attack on my evacuation convoy:


Reconvet -> RE: May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:45:19 PM)

German moves: North of Kharkov

My supply bridge gets bombed into pieces, and he tries to cut off my brave spearhead militia.


Reconvet -> RE: May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:46:29 PM)

German moves: South of Kharkov


Reconvet -> RE: May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:48:10 PM)

Soviet starting situation on turn 3:

My ponderings on the overall situation:
I have no clear idea what Bonners is up to outside the Crimea. There he has his obvious prestige targets Sewastopol and Kerch. But I can't read his intentions and options elsewhere as well as I wished. Without air recon at my disposal (this would be suicidal for my fighter airgroups at the moment) I'm virtually blind and can only guess that he is massing somewhere which may or may not start to force me to change strategy immediately during the next few turns.

I have to assume that Bonners is assembling a mobile strike force to start encircling or pushing back weaker parts of my front.

Trappenjagd really is an interesting scenario. Both sides have limited resources, both sides have their strong and weak front regions, so both sides are confronted with the dilemma if they want to commit reserves and reinforcements offensifely or defensively and what they are willing to sacrifice to achieve their shortterm/longterm goals.

On the organizational side a new general has arrived: Tsvetsaev with an org-level of 53 and with pretty decent skills cross the bank. He is immediately tasked with taking over 57A which has the crucial task of protecting the southern flank of my offensive 6A, so it's good to get a guy in charge there who won't draw "out of depth" penalties like Podlas did in this turn… I can't risk to have this exposed army destroyed because it's commander draws a movement penalty when tactically his divisions should run for the swamps...


Reconvet -> RE: May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:49:44 PM)

Soviet offensive moves
I had to try to get the minor prestige objective at Debalzewo, which has to be in my hands on may 18th. The outcome of the attack: A very bloody defeat. Stalin won't be happy, so there go my first 2 prestige points…

Speaking of minor orders:
Stalin thinks it a swell idea to send my peasants to Amrowja with a deadline for may 22. Not exactly the direction my tanks have taken, so Stalin will steal me another 2 prestige points for handing out a real silly order.


Reconvet -> RE: May 16th 1942 / Turn 3 (11/10/2012 1:50:31 PM)

Soviet moves: North of Kharkov


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