Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Saper) (Full Version)

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Harrybanana -> Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Saper) (11/5/2012 3:33:50 AM)

I see that Saper has started an AAR on our game so decided that I would too. This is my first AAR so please bear with me as Iím sure to make many mistakes, not just in my game play but also in writing this AAR. In particular I am not experienced in using ďpaintĒ or any similar programs.

This is the second game Saper and I have played, both with him as the Germans and me as the Russians. The first game ended with a Russian victory in early 44 but I expect this game will be very different. Prior to our first game I believe Saper had played and won several games as the Russians, but ours was either the first or one of the first that he had played as the Germans. He is a very quick learner. Not quick enough to help him in our game as he could not recover from some early mistakes; but quick enough to win (or be winning) all of the games he started after ours against some very good opponents. Perhaps the scariest thing is that he keeps improving with each game.

Saper let me choose the game options. We are playing with random weather because I have never played with it before and figured I should give it a try. I know some say that random weather favours the Russians, especially in 41, but I am not so sure. The Germans will always know what the weather will be on the Russian turn, but the Russian will never know what the weather will be on the German turn. That has to favour the Germans right?

I chose the alternate victory conditions for 2 reasons. The first is because in our first game Saper graciously played right until the end even though I offered to accept his surrender and the outcome was not in doubt from the fall of 42 on. I therefore feel obligated to continue this game to the end not matter how badly he is beating me. At least now the game will be over quicker for me. The second reason is because I believe that the Russians should not win the game if they take longer than historical to defeat the Germans.

I did want to play a server game, but Saper informs me that he is unable to play server games. Something about a Russian keyboard and his inability to register the game. This does not concern me as it may others. After all I won our first game and I do not have such a lofty regard for my abilities as to think I could actually beat somone who was not playing straight up.

Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:21:27 AM)

T1 North

I didnít decide to start this AAR until after I sent saper my turn 2, so I donít have any screen shots from during my turns. What I have done is gone back and reloaded saperís first 2 turns and taken screen shots from them. Personally I believe this is Ok so long as you donít do any reconnaissance with either your aircraft or units. If anyone has a different opinion let me know. I assume Saper has provided screenshots in his AAR of the over all progress, so I only intend to highlight a few key events. If Iím wrong and you want some bigger screen shots let me know.

Below is a screen shot of the North after Saperís turn 1. I have shown the battles so you can see how Saper has made several airdrops to his mechanized (ie armour and motorized) units. The hex circled in red is where I am 99.9% certain the Tot SS Mot. Div. ended itís turn. I left the division in Riga to slow itís progress. The area circled in blue is where I placed a number of units in checkerboard formation to slow his advance to Pskov.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:24:50 AM)

T1 South

The Extended Lvov Opening in all its glory. All I could do was cry and run leaving all those nice units circled in red to their doom. Well actually, looking at it now I could have mustered some of the units inside the circle (none outside could reach) to attack the weak German regiment circled in pink. It was a long shot but with a few preliminary bombings it might have worked and opened the pocket. But Iím ashamed to say I didnít even make this attempt. Why? Because of Shock and Awe I guess. Even though I knew, from prior AARs, that this was coming I just wasnít prepared mentally for it, my mind reeled and I just panicked and ran rather than fully analyzing all my options.

By the way, in order to accomplish this Opening Saper diverted two full panzer corps from the Centre.

Note the Russian tank division circled in blue with 0 Mps. I think if a German unit had moved one hex closer to this unit it would have been unfrozen. Does anyone know if this is the case?


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:34:52 AM)

T2 North

Ok so I broke my own rule and did move a unit in the reloaded Turn 2 from Saper. But I only did it so you could see the German Security regiment which was otherwise hidden and I did the identical move on my turn of the game anyway. The reason I wanted you to see this regiment is because in the game I successfully attacked it as illustrated and thereby restored supply to my isolated units, woo hoo! So far this is the only attack I have made.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:37:56 AM)

T2 North

Below is a closeup of Saperís thrust towards Pskov. On my turn I moved several units into ďhugĒ his panzers. This has two benefits: 1st it forces his supply to these units to have to move through several ZOCs. As a result the supply to his two lead units, for example, went from something like 30mps to something like 65 mps (I canít remember the exact numbers). Consequently they should only be getting a trickle of fuel. The 2nd benefit is that he will have to deal with these units before he can resume his advance on Pskov. The downside, of course, is that the units I used are probably toast; but as I only used NKVD or weak (ie low morale) units, this is no big deal.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:39:48 AM)

T2 North

The same shot but Iíve turned on the battle display. From this you can see that I made Saper fight a battle every step of the way. Gotta love those NKVD units. Iím not sure but this may be why his advance here was a lot narrower than it was in some of his other games. You can also see from this shot that Saper dropped some more fuel to a couple of his motorized divisions. The blue circled hex contains the Tot SS Mot Div. which I reconned with a couple units until I had itís detection level high enough to check itís fuel level; it was fully gassed!. Now remember this division was west of Riga last turn so it moved a long way to get here, so how is it gassed up? If Saper isnít telling you in his AAR I can tell you it is because he made a single air supply drop to it using 159 JU88As!! The other motorized unit circled in pink received 7 airsupply drops but with much smaller numbers of mostly utility aircraft each time. Needless to say these two units worry me a lot.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:41:09 AM)

T2 Centre

A close-up of Saperís drive to the landbridge. It was also pretty narrow so I hugged these panzers with several units as well. On reflection I may have used too many. I made saper battle his way forward here too. Of course saper made extensive use of airsupply. You can see the motorized unit circled in blue is gassed up. Luckily Saper does not have many mechanized units here, so I am hoping to delay him for a few turns. I know FlaviusX and others are now saying that it isnít worth trying to hold the landbridge anymore, but old habits die hard. Weíll have to see if saper makes me pay for it.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:43:17 AM)

T2 South

I included the shot below just to show how close I was (1 measly mp) to restoring supply to the Lvov pocket. Yeah I know 18 mps is the max for motorized units at this time, but still[:'(]


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 6:45:19 AM)

T2 South

A closeup of Saperís drive in the south. You can see that 2 of my units didnít run fast enough. The one furthest west is no big loss, but the other one hurts. Trying to make lemonade out of lemons I used them along with several other units to put ZOCs around as many panzers as I could. The net effect was to substantially increase the mps to supply for his lead units. I canít do much to stop Saper from supplying his units by air, but Iím going to make supply on the ground to his panzers as difficult as possible. Oh yeah, if you think that motorized unit circled in red could restore supply to the pocket, think again. There was a hidden panzer in there.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 7:09:04 AM)

So after two turns I am very worried. I have not had to run much in previous games and I'm not sure if I'm doing a very good job of it so far. I used up almost all my rail movement in turn 2 moving units. As a result I only had about 4500 left to move industry. I used it to move 3 T34 factories out of Kharkov. Was this a smart move? In previous games I have always been able to move about 30 T34 factories out of Kharkov; but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to have that luxury this game. But still only 3! It will be a long time until they are productive again.

With respect to my airforce I didn't send it all to the National reserve on the first turn like I usually do. But I doubt I'll get too much use out of it anyway.

To try and save armament points I have reduced the TOE on my motorcycle regiments and all my artillery to 50%. Is that smart? Should I be doing something else?

hooooper_slith -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 4:29:55 PM)

Um I don't think it was a good idea to move so few T34 factories. According to the manual you have to move at least half of the factory for it to fully regenerate.

Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 4:54:55 PM)

I hope you're wrong. My understanding was that you needed to move at least 50% to maintain historical production levels. So by moving only 6% from Kharkov I will build far less T34s than historical becuase it will take so long for the evacuated factories to get back into production and I will always have less T34 factories than historical. In other words those 3 factories may eventually build back up to 52+ T34 factories, but if I had moved 30 factories than they might have built up to 100+ T34 factories.

M60A3TTS -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 5:30:28 PM)

You should be fine on T-34. More factories moved generally means a lower % of damage to recover from, that's it.

sillyflower -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 5:50:56 PM)

That's my understanding too. No factory growth until all damage repaired. Then grow 1 point/turn until reach max expansion.

Move 100% get only 50% damage. This increases pro rata as you move a smaller % of factories out. I think this is linear so if move 50%, get 75% damage.

Baelfiin -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/5/2012 10:54:52 PM)

Harry if you get a chance please show how many air supply missions are being flown into the panzers.

Michael T -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/6/2012 9:44:00 PM)


I did want to play a server game, but Saper informs me that he is unable to play server games. Something about a Russian keyboard and his inability to register the game.

He could possibly source an English keyboard, change language settings to English and loggon. You only need to do it once. He could then put his Russian keyboard back and restore his Russian language. He shouldn't need to re enter his password to loggon again. I never have too. It must be held in memory somewhere. I wonder if there are other Russian players who can't use the Slitherine Server System? It seems odd that Slitherine would make it so difficult for foreign language players.

Walloc -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/6/2012 9:53:32 PM)

About the T 34 evac. There really isnt a problem in evacing less than 50% i'd even say its advisble not to do 50% in this case. U will get a surplus of T-34 any how so saving RR cap here is a smart thing. Same is the true in many cases. Ill refere to my guide here.

If u got any questions, i know im not always the most understandble, please ask.

Kind regards,


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/8/2012 4:43:42 PM)


ORIGINAL: Baelfiin

Harry if you get a chance please show how many air supply missions are being flown into the panzers.

By "panzers" do you mean just his panzer divisions, or his panzer and motorized divisions combined? In any event, turn by turn the number of airsupply missions he flew are:

Turn 1: 24
Turn 2: 25
Turn 3: 39 (he was stuck in the mud turn 3 so flew very few combat missions).

As far as I can tell all or virtually all of his airsupply missions have been flown to his panzer or motorized units, with most to his motorized. Of course, since he has fewer motorized units, it means that he is probably flying 2 to 3 air supply missions to each of his motorized units for every 1 he is flying to his panzer divisions. That is my best guess anyway as it is not always possible to tell what units were in the hex at the time the airsupply mission was flown.

I have now completed my 3rd turn and will post some screen shots as soon as I get a chance, which probably won't be for a few hours.

Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/9/2012 6:15:48 AM)


Mud hits the Central Soviet Zone putting an effective halt to Saperís offensive on all Fronts. Of course this is good news for the Soviets, but it isnít as perfect as it could have been. For one thing I used a lot of units last turn to hug his panzers that were essentially wasted as he wasnít going anywhere anyway. For another it means that I couldnít run away as far as I wanted, especially in the South. For a few reasons I actually wasnít too worried about Saper making any great progress or encirclements on Turn 3 anyway; but now for turn 4 his panzer/motorized units will have more mobility than they would have had on turn 3 if it was clear. Does that make sense? Donít get me wrong; I am happy for the mud as it delayed Saper for a full turn. But had I known it was going to be mud on his turn I would have done things differently.

Below is the view in the North after my turn. You can see Saper has isolated 3 of the units I was hugging him with last turn. By my count he has 4 motorized and 5 panzers divisions in this area. Next turn he will have the option of either encircling some of my units or pounding his way north. Iím just hoping he canít do both.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/9/2012 6:20:40 AM)

T3 Centre

I believe Saper only has 4 panzer and 3 motorized divisions in the centre; so Iím hoping to hold him here for a couple turns.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/9/2012 6:23:34 AM)

It is in the South that I am most worried. I think Saper may be able to put a hurt on me here.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/9/2012 6:25:19 AM)

T3 Production, OOB and Losses are displayed below. Losses are actually far worse than indicated as there are a lot of isolated units that Saper has not yet destroyed.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:32:41 AM)

T4 North before my moves.

Not too much progress by Saper in the North. 8 of the 9 panzer/motorized units he has in the area are visible and donít appear to have too much gas in the tank


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:34:25 AM)

A wider view of the North after my moves. I made two successful counterattacks in the hexes marked with the red Xs. One to restore supply to my unit in Pskov and the other to retreat his SS Motorized back across the river. Both attacks cost me a lot more in losses than him. The attack on the SS unit in particular was probably a mistake. I believe the 36th motorized division is in the hex circled in blue as that is where he ran an airsupply mission with 142 JU88As. It will be interesting to see how far it penetrates next turn. I am again ďhuggingĒ his panzers to reduce their supply


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:35:42 AM)

T4 Centre before my moves.

Again only limited progress by the Germans. 6 of his 7 panzer/motorized are visible. I believe the 7th is in the blue circled hex because 90 bombers flew supply into that hex. Air reconnaissance showed a lot of infantry and other units in the area circled in red. His panzer/motorized appear to be more gassed up in this area and I am expecting a major push here.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:37:47 AM)

T4 Centre after my moves.

You can see I pulled back quite a bit here. But in hindsight probably not enough. I should have formed a line well back from the river. Despite knowing what I should be doing (thanks MichaelT) old habits die hard. I suspect he may pocket several units here in his turn.


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:39:08 AM)

T4 South before moves

I said that Saper might put a major hurt on me here and I was, unfortunately, right. I believe that in addition to airsupply he probably performed a HQ Buildup in the South last turn as several of his units had a lot of MPs. The result is that he isolated some of my best units as you can see in the screen shot below. The screenshot was taken after I moved a couple units to restore supply. I have highlighted the probable routes taken by the Wiking SS motorized divison, almost all of which was through my territory. He still had enough supply to make 2 hasty attacks on a cavalry division to complete the encirclement. What is worse is the cavalry he attacked retreated into the encirclement. Luckily one of my cavalry retained enough MPs to help break the trap


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:41:47 AM)

T4 After My Moves

As you can see from the screenshot below I made several attacks here and was able to push him back from the river and isolate a few of his panzer/motorized units. But I havenít fooled myself into thinking this will be anywhere near enough. Saper has 14 Ĺ panzer/motorized divisions in the south and Iím pretty sure a few of them (thanks to air supply) are close to full MP. When I started my moves in the South I felt I had enough units to hold the river (or at least prevent any major encirclement) for one more turn. About ĺ of the way through my moves I realized this may not be the case. By then, of course, it was too late


Harrybanana -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 2:47:50 AM)

In addition to the 3 T34 factories in Kharkov I have managed to move 37 arms factories from the South (and Mogilev) so far. But Leningrad, Kharkov (except for the 3 T34 factories) and the Donbas are all still fully loaded with their factories.

I have now received Turn 5 from Saper and, surprisingly, have no new disasters to report.

Michael T -> RE: Defending Mother Russia (11/16/2012 3:35:11 AM)


have no new disasters to report

Always such a relief...

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