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Stalingrad (In Progess AAR)

 
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Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/1/2010 4:31:47 AM   
Obsolete


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Stalingrad

Axis:: German & Croatian
Allies:: Take one Big Red Guess


My biggest weakness is working on over-crowded and counter-heavy maps. So, if someone finds me doing anything a little unorthodox, or it seems very unoptimal, feel free to point it out right away, before I make the Russian winter troubles even worse.

Of all the SMALL battles in the series, this is the one I havenít yet gotten to. It quite scares me to be honest, and Iím starting to realize the big mess and troubles commanders on both sides must have had to deal with at the time.

Iíll post some more info in the near future before I decide on how to begin the opening moves. Axis get first-turn initiative BTW. Now the question is, will I be able to maintain that initiative.




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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/1/2010 6:32:34 AM   
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O.O.B.




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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/19/2010 5:46:37 PM   
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Sept. 14, 6 a.m.

We are given the initiative and push on.  Since I have no clue what really awaits me in Stalingrad, I decided to play a bit safe.  Instead of massive assaults on the front lines, I decided to just move up close and get into defensive positions, until later on when I can SEE things better and get a feel for things.

There was just one real assault I set up near the North-West.  I attacked from 3 separate hexes to get strength bonuses, and also added in an armour from another division to get an extra column-shift.

Unfortunately, I found out later I made a few mistakes here.  There were quite a few divisional HQís, and I had assumed (out of habbit with small maps), that all units would be able to assault in unison.  

And I also made a couple mistakes of placing some units into defending postures when they should have been on the attack.  If Guderian found out what I was doing to his army here, heíd be rolling over in his graveÖ

Anyhow, I did lose a whole platoon on one of my companies while moving into positions.  I was worried about that happening, lots of opportunity fire was going off.  Another reason why I didnít want to just rush all my units right in blindly.

Later on I would lose more platoons by lucky artillery hits, which seems just unfair damnit.  I have a total of 4 air-support missions allowed per day, and 6 off-board artillery barrages per turn.  Yet, the commies, who as I can guest mate so far only having one off-board, are getting all the luck.  Of course, they do have quite a few of standard artillery companies (ahem, battalions) as well.

The only hex I assaulted on my 6 am turn was a failure.  While I did inflict a hit, so did they.  Argggh.  Lucky bastards.  So things are almost a wash in that regard, and their unit still remains.  I will of course try to eliminate it on my 8 am turn coming up.

As for the direct firing phases I do believe I came out ahead in that regard.  In fact, my favorite moment was when I totally eliminated an AT company with 3 full platoons.

Best of all, now that 8 am has just come around, I only have one company which is out of command (OOC), and I also won the initiative by a mile.  Hereís the current battlefield:




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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/20/2010 10:26:02 AM   
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8 A.M.  -- Sept 14

I began assaulting more hexes this time, trying to ping off disrupted units while hoping to take the least casualties as possible.  But those commie bastards again seem to have been holding out quite good.  As bad as the north-west companies were disrupted, I simply couldnít dislodge them, even with my massed forces.  I blame bad rolls and Russian artillery for that.

Speaking of Russian artillery, I decided this time around to mass bombard all the artilleries that I could see.  Unfortunately this endeavor did not smile upon me, and I couldnít even get one hit against all those artys.  I will have to change my attack plan again, and am open for suggestions here.

At least I did completely destroy a full company of riles in the East. 

All my air support missions are used up for the day, so Iíll have to wait quite a while before I can count on them again.  But since they did not seem to help out very much, Iím not that upset about it.

There really does not seem to be much change from the end of this turn, and last.  So I decided to take a medium sized shot (for more interest) of the current battlefield:





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/20/2010 1:13:37 PM   
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whoops wrong forum....

< Message edited by wodin -- 3/20/2010 1:15:06 PM >


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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/21/2010 11:42:17 AM   
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This is really interesting...........thanks. Is the new Combat Command game an Eastern Front title? 

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/21/2010 2:09:54 PM   
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No it is global.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/21/2010 5:24:31 PM   
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10 A.M.  - Sept. 14

Even though I didnít get to do the mop-up jobs I was hoping in the North, Iím still ok with this turn-set.  I scored far more hits vs. the commies than they did against me.  I even killed 2 out of 3 platoons on an artillery company (finally!), so even better.

Most the attacks are by direct fire so far, but Iím quickly shifting the ratio to more assaults each couple hours.  Right now it seems I broke through their North-East flank and will rapidly start funneling beside the Volga river closer to the main city.  Of course, I still donít know what awaits me there, and I am a bit cautious since there are quite a few days remaining in this scenario.  I donít mean to overly state the obvious, but Iím sure the scenario designers put that timeline in there for a very good reason.

Oh yes, and I spent some more time re-organizing my units for better co-operation.

 

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/22/2010 6:34:51 PM   
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Lunch Time -- Sept. 14

Good success in the North-East.  We continue to start funneling down south, and will hopefully pick up more speed.

Our results were so-so elsewhere on the board.  The Red army still has us haulted in most places, but they will eventually get grinded down (I hope).

Iím still annoyed at Russian artillery and their luck.  I can count 8 pieces at the end of this turn, in addition they have an OBS as well.

When 2 pm starts, I will try to severely maul up three of these artillery pieces.  I know Iíll get a CHANCE, since I still own initiative.





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/23/2010 1:45:24 PM   
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Obsolete,

Thanks for this AAR. I played Combat Command Danger Forward several years ago, but havent played it in a while. I may have to see if I still have the manual around here so I can brush up.

Thanks
Rick

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/23/2010 6:44:07 PM   
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2 PM -- Sept. 14

The bloodiest turn for us yet.  I decided to start pressing assaults down in the West-South.  I thought I was being too overly cautious and wasting time.  However, this cost me many hits from Russian opportunity fire.  Then to compound things, I ran into multiple disasters during my assaults.  Donít you love it how one bad thing can often lead to another?

My assaults up north were not anything to write back home about either, but less costly though I had my fair share of retreats.  I was a bit worried I got so mauled up that I wouldnít win the initiative for next turn, but it seems I won by far.

I think my problem is Iím too used to the Panzer-General system,where Iím constantly under the clock to push vulnerable positions in order to tighten the rings before DOOMSDAY goes off.  There really was no need for that here at all, since I have many days at my disposal to go through yet.  That was a good lesson learned (the hard way).





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/23/2010 6:55:03 PM   
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quote:

whoops wrong forum....

Well that was a dirty trick, just when I thought I was getting my first fan postÖ

quote:


Is the new Combat Command game an Eastern Front title?

The re-release has all scenarios from Danger Forward & Desert Rats.  So that would include maps from Asia all the way to Africa.

quote:


I may have to see if I still have the manual around here so I can brush up.

Well I would most definitely suggest that.  As well as reading it more than just one time, or even twice.  I am talking here from experience :P

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/24/2010 3:29:42 PM   
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4 PM -- Sept. 14

I still canít seem to make headway in the North-West.  Iím going to have to take a closer analysis as to what is going on in there, since I donít think I can blame it all on just bad luck anymore :P

At least I was able to keep casualties much lower this time around, and we inched even closer to closing some rings.  Better I try to eliminate these units out in the open now, rather than letting them all get some city cover right?





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/24/2010 7:50:42 PM   
BAL


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Thanks for the AAR.  Like someone else mentioned - I'm going to have to dig out my old copies & check this game out again.  I do remember from the times I've played this I always had a heck of a time keeping my units in command.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/25/2010 5:41:54 PM   
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6 PM -- Sept 14.

After this turn-set, I only have 2 more hours until nightfall, IIRC.  While I think I have come out ahead quite a bit during this first day, the Commies are shortly about to get a nice big pool of re-inforcements, with quite a few more artillery as well.  Unfortunately, I am stuck with only what I currently have for the entire scenario.

I've only had the odd unit not being in command; I try to make a decent effort to minimize this when I can.





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/27/2010 11:38:52 AM   
Alan Sharif

 

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'The re-release has all scenarios from Danger Forward & Desert Rats.  So that would include maps from Asia all the way to Africa'.

Sorry, I am a little confused, the above and the East Front to? I do not remember Stalingrad being in the original releases.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/27/2010 2:06:39 PM   
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And the Pacific. Japan, USMC, China. All the major players plus one generic counter set each for Allied and Axis minors.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/27/2010 2:07:00 PM   
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quote:

 I do not remember Stalingrad being in the original releases.


Alan, you have a good memory.  I briefed through the original Danger Forward manual now, and indeed Stalingrad is not listed in the scenario briefing.  I'll take your word for it that Stalingrad isn't in Desert Rats either, since we are not talking about Africa here.  In fact, I am certain now there were no Russian units at all in Danger Forward, were there?

By the way, there is also a Moscow scenario to be included in the re-release as well.  Out of curiosity now, I will ask around some more details about the Russian scenarios.






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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/27/2010 10:54:16 PM   
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Fantasic news........you have my dollers, well pounds actually. Looking forward to seeing this.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/29/2010 2:03:14 AM   
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Oh wow, I canít believe I am hearing (reading) thisÖ

We have a possible 100% genuine grognard here who doesnít base graphix above strategic game-play.

Unbelievable!!



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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/29/2010 2:24:03 AM   
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8 PM -- Sept 14

Hmm, I still cant crack through very well on the Left flanks, though there are a few decent sized holes I had started to develop a while ago.  But it is annoying that so many singe companies at level four disruption are managing to hold me back.  Hmm!!  This is definitely a case that needs to be hosted on tonightís ďUnsolved Mysteries of the UniverseĒ show.  

ďI see it, and yet I still canít believe it.Ē  Now, I havenít said a line like that since the Uri Geller days.

One little issue that is my fault, is Iíve been a little sloppy with the HQ units.  I should be digging them in to at least get a little extra contact bonus.  To be honest, I donít have much problems with contact so I havenít worried about it much, but that shouldnít be no excuse.  If I ever manage to lose the initiative, Iím sure Iíd be paying for it many times over.

So, it looks like the last couple hours of daylight have been finished now.  And we will start our first night-time phase in the next set.  I guess if we are going to infiltrate anywhere, it is better now than ever.  

I think I will most likely still try to carry out a few more assaults, despite the extra pesky quality checks Iím going to have to go through.  And BTW, in case I didnít mention somewhere earlier, this scenario has Soft Ground on, so thatís another penalty for my tanks that I would rather do without.





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 3/30/2010 10:31:48 PM   
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true

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/10/2010 3:01:05 AM   
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I apologize for not updating this AAR as of late. Itís not that I lost interest (as many AARís go), but being the grog-nard that I am, it seems apparent to me that something was off with me not getting proper kills on some of these Ruskies.

Iíve sent a save and some details to the programmer for closer examination after going over some of the data. Though there is a good chance it isnít a flaw with the program itself, but could be a small glitch in the scenario file. This is after all, a NEW scenario. But thatís just one of the many reasons why beta testing takes place.

In the meantime, I decided to take some closer examination at some of the Anti-Tank combats in order to try and set up my own decisions to be a little more optimal. Iím more interested in AT here during the DIRECT FIRE phase.

To start with the basics, all units capable of AT Direct Fire, can do so from 1 to 3 hexes in distance. Thatís a max of 1.5Km. Sound realistic? Iím not really related to Rommel so I donít know! But since the developer(s) have much more experience in this field, I will simply trust them on this.

Naturally, there is a penalty for the distance. And after doing a little bit of Excel examination, it seems the biggest penalty you pay is crossing the gap from the first hex, to the second across. Itís still painful when shooting 3 hexes away, but the difference between 2 & 3 is not as much as 1 & 2. Makes sense to me.

Hereís a quick chart (yeah, I know mathematicians all hate the 3-D charts).



The vertical axis is the Hit Number. To make things more simple, itís basically the percentage chance to HIT a score against an enemy unit.

So, if our attack strength is less then 15 in total, we would still be able to have an 80% chance of actually hitting an enemy units (at a distance of 1 hex). Now, if that same company was shooting 2 hexes away, that rapidly drops off to just 30%. If now we shot at 3 hexes away, we are left with only a 10% chance.

Now you COULD look at these numbers in two separate ways. Technically youíre three times as likely to get a hit at 2 hexes away, than at 3 hexes. And you are a little less than three times as likely to get a hit at 1 hex, versus 2 hexes. (are you with me still?).

However, looking at the percentage difference as a whole, you lose 50% accuracy on the first step, while only 20% drops on the last. So look at those numbers which ever way you prefer.

Now, bear in mind, scoring a hit here on the random die roll (1-to-100 face die), you donít automatically get a kill. You are instead forwarded down to another algorithm to determine what damage you actually did occur. Beware that while this other algorithm may score kills, often it will cause quality checks instead, and sometimes neither (no damage occurred).

But that my fellow grog-nards, is for another post I thinkÖ



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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/11/2010 3:25:12 AM   
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Well, last time we covered the percentage chance to inflict a HIT.  Now itís time to look more into what damage gets caused from a hit.

Again, this depends on distance.  We take our total AT Strength which originally was a combination of quality and other things, and now we multiply it by either 1.0, 0.85, or 0.66 depending on the range (in hexes).

This gives us the KILL NUMBER.  Then we roll a 1-50 face dice and add this to our KILL NUMBER which gives us the FINAL KILL NUMBER.

So for example, an AT strength of 15, trying to give direct fire at 1 hex distance, would give us first of all, an 82% chance to actually hit the target.

After this, our kill number would be the same (15 * 1.0).

Our Final Kill number would be the random roll (1 to 50) added to the Kill N., which letís assume will be +25 as an average.  Thus weíd expect to end up around 15 + 25 = 40 for our Kill N.

Now we must compare this to the opponentís armour rating.  A common tank value I see in the Stalingrad scenario puts units at a value of 35 for this.  Lower if youíre looking at Stugs, and lower still for scout vehicles.

So, on average we can expect to get 5 more points above the armour rating, but keep in mind these are just averages and can change a lot depending on that random roll.

The reason knowing we have 5 points about the armour rating is important, is because your damage you deliver is due to how many points you have higher than the armour rating.

Between +5 and +15 our opponent does a quality check.
Between +16 and +30 our opponent does a QC but at a 10% disadvantage.
Anything above +30 scores one kill of a platoon.
And anything elseÖ causes no effect.

Therefore, in the case our Final Kill # was 40, weíd force our opponent into a quality check, and that would be the end of that.  

Some further examination shows, that at a Strength of 15, even if we rolled a perfect 50 for our FKN (Final Kill Number), we would be just a fraction too short from being able to score any kills, so the best we could hope for was to get some 10% Qcs on our opponent to force them into disruptions.

This is probably too much information being said too quick, but at least it may be a refresher for some.  As always, manuals are important (at least good ones)!

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/13/2010 2:48:02 AM   
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Intersting observations on AT fire. I look forward to more of your AAR.

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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/13/2010 4:13:07 AM   
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Well, there is actually some more details that I could cram into the description of the AT (Direct Fire) phase, but I think Iíll report now directly regarding the AAR.  I will most likely be continuing it again pretty soon.  Today I received an email from the dev(s) regarding the particular glitch that had caused me to halt:

At some point the game moved from a max of 250 units to 500, however I was still using a char variable (max 256) to track where the hits were going.  Stalingrad's defenders were all above the 270 range so the hits were being applied to random units, essentially getting lost.  

Usually this info is locked under NDA and Cloak&Dagger SPOOK stuff, but I think in light of good-natured spirit to war gamers, and future fans, I believe the world wonít stop turning.

Well there you have it.  I had spun through EVERY single SMALL map scenario, except for the Stalingrad.  And yet Murphyís Law pops up again.  When I FINALLY decide to do a public AAR, thatís precisely when a problem of this nature arises.  Seems to be no way of getting around Murphy, but at least Iím happy itís THAT SIMPLE and we can move on soon.

As you can see, there are an awful lot of counters in this scenario, and in fact thatís the particular reason why I had been saving it as last for running through the SMALL-MAP series.  A good lesson here is that just because a map is small, doesnít mean itís so simple.  

Now, where were we again in our Anti-Tank & Direct Fire Phase discussionÖ.



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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/14/2010 5:14:51 PM   
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10 PM -- Sept. 14

Boy, itís been a while.  I threw in the updated fix and decided to give it a go.  Quite some noticeable difference; we were able to turn-n-burn off some companies, despite doing night-time assaults.  Ones we did not, we at least damaged quite a bit.  In exchange, the weakened Reds couldnít do much, except costing me a single squad from a lucky artillery hit.

Anyhow, I probably still have some catch-up to do, after the new communist reinforcements entered the map, but I think it should be an easy enough job from here on inÖ. I THINK!

Rules for FoW have changed a bit due to night-time operations, and that has an effect on my attacks, not to mention I have to carry out more Q-Checks at night as well.

Since the turns in evenings go by every 4 hours instead of 2, weíll resume operations at 2 am.




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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/15/2010 3:06:04 AM   
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2 A.M. -- Sept. 15

Well, a new day (umm, night).   There should be a noticable difference in remaining Reds during the night-time operation.  I felt pretty good on the mop-job though, though there were a few occasions where I was not so happy.  For example, I moved a tank company in position to assault in the East and direct-fire caused me to lose two platoons in it right away, and IIRC I may have taken more DF hits.  I then backed down from certain assaults I had been planning.

But over all, it was another turn with decent progress.

Now that sun-rise has just come out, we can see the new stacks down south of Russian Guards that had come.  This may be a problem as I donít think the AI will be foolish enough to leave the protection of the city hexes.  But if they donít come out of the city, Iíll just have to bring my units into the area myself.  

We will probably be in the thick of city fighting before nightfall (I guesstimate)?

Anyhow, older nerds will be happy to note that the text-panel for the battle-log has been extended lengthwise a little in this re-release, so no more having important information being truncated off all the time.





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RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/15/2010 6:41:26 AM   
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6 A.M. -- Sept. 15

As can be seen, the Red army cut off in the northern section is beyond any hope for them.  Even if the AI had a priority of trying to break out at all costs, it would be hopeless now.  Iíd bet my life on it.

The current scenario also is reminding me a lot of high school biology classes.  Iím seeing that familiar uncanny resemblance to Surface Area & Volume here.  Each turn the Red Army is allowing more flanks to get exposed, which continues to rapidly spiral out of control against them.  BTW, for each additional hex I can attack from, I get an additional 10% bonus to my assaults.  So over all, a totally surrounded unit can suffer up to a 50% penalty, not to mention a total of 9 platoons stacked in each hex.

Down near the city tiles, slowly they are getting bombed out.  By the end of this scenario, there wonít be that many houses left standing.  But we shall see, I still have no concrete understanding on how this scenario is SUPPOSED to end.  I am positive the axis should be fighting an up hill battle, but so far, I think I WILL change communist history the way things are going.  





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King-Tigers don't let Tiger-I's get over-run.

(in reply to Obsolete)
Post #: 29
RE: Stalingrad (In Progess AAR) - 4/15/2010 8:39:34 AM   
Obsolete


Posts: 1494
Joined: 9/4/2007
Status: offline
8 A.M. -- Sept. 15

As can be expected, the Northern pocket of Reds continues to crumble and disintegrate.  This is actually becoming quite fun.

Down south, most fighting is carried out just outside the city walls.  Most fighting in the city is vs. very weakend units.  Iíve been able to rely on artillery to help out a lot in softening up targets (and a few extra kills) but with cities having a defense value of 7, thatís no longer going to apply very well.

Ironically, I donít even have enough objectives captured yet to count for even a marginal victory.  However, this should change next turn.  I also should have the rest of the northern pocket 100% eliminated long before nightfall sets in.  





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King-Tigers don't let Tiger-I's get over-run.

(in reply to Obsolete)
Post #: 30
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