Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (Full Version)

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BossGnome -> Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 12:57:06 AM)

Hi,

So, just starting a trappenjagd scenario, I was wondering to what extent actually trying to take the city of Kharkov was a good idea. Because of our...aherm, shall we say a-historical hindsight, we know very well what happened to the Soviets during that operation, and I (as a competitive player) am honestly wondering whether being VERY conservative with my advances, or even not advancing at all, but vacating the Iyzum salient from the outset, might not be worth it in the larger scheme of things when it comes to case blue.

Well, to be honest I probably won't do that, simply because I think it would annoy my PBEM opponent.

However, in a more precise way, my question is this: do you, as a soviet player, feel that you are able to cause sufficient casualties and disruption in the german lines with a serious kharkov thrust so as to justify the losses you are taking? Or, conversely, would you say that, with a perfect 20/20 historical hindsight and knowing the Case Blue juggernaut about to be unleashed, it is a better idea to assume defensive positions right from the start?




BossGnome -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 3:48:42 AM)

After reading some more AARs, I suppose a subset of my question that could be added would be: do you think that the Trappenjagd scenario favors the soviets? Historically the germans did excessively well, so it would seem that a Soviet player would need to only do marginally better than his historical counterpart to severely damage the Op. Case Blue that is to follow...




jonny211 -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 8:43:02 AM)

Hi,

If you've read the AAR where Mr. Isokron trampled all over me as the Germans then you can see how hard I found it. At one point Kharkov was holding on by a couple of rail hexes and it maybe only held on as I went on a bridge bombing bonanza to reduce the supplies reaching the Kharkov bulge. However the rest of the front suffered as I had to bleed it dry to shore up Kharkov.

How I could get from the Trappenjagd balance of forces (favouring Russia) to the Case Blue level I don't know, maybe next game perhaps but the reinforcements come in very slowly for the Germans. In particular the number of fighters massively favours the Russians in Trappenjagd, you could just pull them back and save them for later.




Reconvet -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 9:05:26 AM)

Well, the real Soviets did think it was a good idea to go for Kharkow, so you should see the ingame situation at start of Trappenjagd as historical flavoured framework. I wouldn't want Trappenjagd to start without Kharkow as a major objective.

I'm still not convinced that taking Kharkow really is impossible. It's damn tough for sure and you need your quota of luck: No mud turn and no/very few command penalties for your offensive armies around Kharkow for the first 4-5 turns. My take is that soviet players do have a small window of opportunity as long as Axis only has very limited reserves in the area. But for your game you'll have to consider that with Isokron you have picked an experienced opponent who won't give you a free ride, and as he has just finished his soviet Trappenjagd he is aware where your soft spots are.

The soviet player should end up stronger at the start date of Case Blue, and Axis gets the additional handicap that he has to take Rostow, Millerowo and Voronezh sooner than in the Case Blue scenario, but as he should be able to take Sewastopol and Kerch way sooner he enters the Case Blue phase with more prestige points (enabling him to play high command cards sooner and more often, so there is a balancing mechanism to a certain degree. A stronger soviet makes for a way more interesting match for both players right from the beginning.

I do hope we'll see an AAR of your game with Isokron. Should be interesting to see how he defends Kharkow and how he'll try to get to Rostow/Millerowo and Voronezh.





wallas -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 4:15:28 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Reconvet

I'm still not convinced that taking Kharkow really is impossible.



Agreed, but even if you take Kharkow come June/july, the germans will get those needed infantry divisions and just circle it and take it back. In order to take Kharkow you would need to start your air force up close and agressive which would allow the german to destroy it. In the beginning its experience sucks and suffers command failure not an ideal time to commit it. Like you said command failure would be a problem and will cause many casualties. So in a nut shell you expose the bulk of your Russian army when its at its weakest lacking air cover or command. Lets not forget the victory conditions the games goes into the spring of 1943 and the axis can win by not going into the crimea or taking stalingrad. A patient german who conserves units at the expense of land will do just fine in Trappenjagd. Sure the Russians will get 16 political points every 6 weeks for rostov but once there over 50 prestige the rest is a waste and will be just used on the card for 60 political points. Even that will eventually moderate out as cards get to expensive. But I dont think it will come to that scenario once the germans patiently wait for reinforcements and conserve the axis army they will be just fine.

My analysis for what its worth. [:D]




Reconvet -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 4:25:08 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wallas


Agreed, but even if you take Kharkow come June/july, the germans will get those needed infantry divisions and just circle it and take it back.


Agreed too. The only purpose of trying to take Kharkow is to grab the initial major prestige goal. Of course a decent axis player will take it back in early june at the latest.

Well, with the 1.05beta changes the soviet player should be able to avoid getting fired (if dismissal rule is on) in Trappenjagd even without taking Kharkow, as the defensive minor orders should keep him above the water prestige-wise, so this city is not as crucial anymore.




wallas -> RE: Attacking Kharkov: Nonsense? (12/7/2012 7:42:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Reconvet


quote:

ORIGINAL: wallas


Agreed, but even if you take Kharkow come June/july, the germans will get those needed infantry divisions and just circle it and take it back.


Well, with the 1.05beta changes the soviet player should be able to avoid getting fired (if dismissal rule is on)



Yes, and I believe not using this rule is a mistake it adds another dimension to the game.




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