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43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint

 
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43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/22/2010 7:44:21 PM   
Flaviusx


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Note: This AAR is one that appeared initially on the tester forum and is still ongoing. Some posts have been edited and/or deleted in order to clean up some things that would not be appropriate on the public forum. There was a problem with some of the air model when the game started (too easy to fighter sweep the Soviet fighter force into oblivion, some air production not coming in as it should), but much work has been done on it since then and the major problems have been fixed. Since there has been a desire to see an AAR of a later war scenario, I've decided to move this to the public forum. This is the Soviet side of the AAR. The game is very stable now, with occasional bugs popping up and being squashed. It is however undergoing constant tweaking in order to improve the accuracy of the game model. This tweaking will continue until release, and then will likely continue after release as we expect that we'll determine other changes would be beneficial once a wider community has a chance to play the game. This shouldn't take away from the fun of the game. We like to think of it as our commitment to continually improve the game as more information becomes available. Enjoy.
-- Joel Billings



I'm seriously AP starved in this scenario and most of the Red Army starts off in static mode, excepting those Fronts near Kursk and mobile units pretty much everywhere. This dictates my AP expenditures: everything has to go towards unit activations. Even doing so it will take several months to get the Red Army fully activated. There is nothing left over here for command and control, leadership or unit swaps, subunit attachments, corps formations, etc. All this has to wait. My command and control is going to be a jumbled mess here for some time.

Ironically, this has the effect of simplifying my turns. Not a whole lot of room for fancy micromanagement.

Bob pulls most of the panzers back and is laying out a new fort line around the Bryansk region. He leaves a screen of infantry regiments along the Orel bulge, and I take the opportunity to surround most of them in two layers. He'll bust the outer one, but I don't think he can crack open the inner one. He's going to need to send his panzer here to rescue the lot, which should compromise his ability to build the new fort line by Bryansk. I spent all my APs activating forces in this area for turn 2. As you can see, the commands are hopelessly intermixed, I've got forces from 4 different fronts involved here. Elegance has been sacrificed in favor of sheer mass.











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< Message edited by Joel Billings -- 11/1/2010 10:34:28 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/22/2010 7:50:20 PM   
Flaviusx


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Belgorod falls to a determined Soviet assault that brushes aside the thin regimental infantry screen in this area. And that's as far as I can go until further units get activated. He's got all his SS scum in reserve here and I'm going to need a lot more power before any major advance can happen. Orel is my priority for the moment.

No further offensive ground action occurred anywhere else on the front.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/22/2010 7:53:59 PM   
Flaviusx


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OB for turn 1.








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< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 10/22/2010 7:56:46 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/22/2010 7:58:52 PM   
Flaviusx


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Losses turn1:






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 2:17:32 AM   
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Hmmm. After completing turn 2 the air situation may not be so bad. Germans cannot keep up this tempo, a full third of the Luftwaffe is in repair as of the end of this turn.

This isn't due to anything I'm doing or certainly the Red Air force. Natural wear and tear from pushing the Luftwaffe too hard. Flak and operational losses add up fast.

It may just be possible to reintroduce the Red Air force, cautiously and well behind the front lines, in the center.



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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:24:04 AM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 2, I'm nearly done cleaning up the Orel salient. 4 infantry regiments surrendered this turn, and another 4 will surrender next turn, nearly 3 dead German infantry divisions.

I plan on shifting most of the stuff here to the Karkhov axis next turn. The mobile elements and most of the artillery for sure. What's left will push on towards Bryansk, but frankly, this sector has become secondary in importance now.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:41:59 AM   
Flaviusx


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Southwestern front receives the lion's share of activations this turn and I plan on continuing to activate everything from here down to Rostov.

After that I may let the rest of the Red Army sit in place and start spending APs on sorting out my command mess, which is effectively costing me 20% of my combat power on most attacks. That mess is only going to get messier when the offensive assets from 4 fronts near Orel join up with Voronezh and Southwestern.

But I need the mass. He's got the SS villains down here and it's nearly impossible to launch any hasty attacks at present against even the weakest infantry screen. The men in black just intervene and shut those down. What I need down here is the raw numbers to revert to good old fashioned echelon style attacks and launch deliberate attacks in succession so I can clear that screen and directly bring the panzers under my guns in a single turn. And then grind them to powder. Right now, that's simply not possible. I have to mount massive direct assaults on just the screen (since I can pretty much expect his reserves to show up) and there's not much left over for follow on attacks.

With the front aflame from Bryansk down to Rostov I can probably let the rest of it sit in place. That means, alas, probably foregoing a drive on Smolensk. Maybe once I get into the open in the Ukraine I'll be able to spare something in that direction in late autumn, but given my tight AP budget that is doubtful. I really feel very hamstrung by the 50 AP budget. It's manifestly inadequate to managing even a fraction of the demands on the Red Army. I'm not sure I'm ever going to get my commands sorted out, not when corps cost 7 to 13 points to reassign. Shifting Armies between fronts is effectively impossible with this budget. In future 41-5 games I think I'm going to let tank armies remain under STAVKA command. These puppies have to shift around so much it is pointless to attach them to any single front because the costs to send them to a different front are prohibitive. Here, they all begin preattached except for 3. Guards Tank. Braynsk Front has a tank army for example...and that's not staying there or anywhere near there. There's a slew of independent mobile corps attached (inexplicably) to the immobile Moscow Command.








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< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 10/23/2010 6:42:07 AM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:49:18 AM   
Flaviusx


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OB for turn 2. Note the Luftwaffe, which after two turns of intensive combat is down to 1250ish operating planes. As we shall see, this is largely because of flak.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:55:02 AM   
Flaviusx


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Ground losses. The landser are taking it in the chin here so far. He's keeping the panzers out of the front line. I wonder how long he can keep that up before the infantry burns out?

I'm on a pace to inflicting 120,000 casualties a month on the Wehrmacht. Of course, the Red Army is suffering about double that in return.

My armor losses have been heavy. But acceptable. Soviet production is so high that I can easily lose 500 AFVs a turn without missing a beat. (The air losses, not so acceptable and not remotely within the ability of my production to quickly replace.)








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:56:24 AM   
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Air losses on turn 2.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 6:57:35 AM   
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The mighty Soviet war economy. Manpower is going to get tight soon, though.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 3:34:28 PM   
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It's very difficult to surrender the German divisions because the panzers are still very powerful but I can suggest you a nice trick: bomb the German panzer divisions heavily and then search the weakest points near the panzers, try to encircle them and, if you manage to do so, rout the encircled panzers in the same turn. If you're lucky they will lose about 30 tanks for every routed division and these losses will exceed quickly the production.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 4:57:59 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 3 is a quiet turn relatively with a lot of complex redeployments. The Orel salient is no more and I shift many forces away from here. Bryansk Front can handle the rest on its own now.









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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 4:59:17 PM   
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New forces flood the Kursk salient.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 5:05:17 PM   
Flaviusx


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The German lines near Rostov look rather weak. I decide to send two tank armies here along with reinforcements from as far away as Leningrad and the Transcaucus. This area gets the bulk of my activations this turn. I resort to the desperate and somewhat cheesy expedient of putting a number of tank brigades on static mode to get the APs to accomplish this in one turn. Indeed, I'm moving most of my tank brigades this turn on to forts in order to switch them to static.

There's a strong guards mechanized corps in South Front that starts off on static mode and costs 57 APs to activate. Yeah, more APs than I get a turn just to activate one unit. Absurd. Hence the tank brigade cheese.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 5:09:28 PM   
Flaviusx


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Losses:






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 8:47:47 PM   
Northern Star


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Have you tried to build Rifle Corps? They are very effective and they cost no AP!

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/23/2010 9:42:19 PM   
Flaviusx


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They are very effective and cost 10 AP to build.

I would replace every rifle division in the Red Army with them if I could. I can't. Activations must come first and they come very slowly at 50 APs per turn. I've got less than half my forces in action. My command and control is a joke. There is nothing left in the kitty here for fancy stuff, I'm struggling just to get the Red Army into play.



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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 12:13:58 AM   
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I've almost got everything between Orel and Rostov activated now. Still need to activate various forces in the rear and probably some of the stuff in the Kuban, where Bob is gradually withdrawing across Kerch.

Then I'll have to straighten out my commands.

Bryansk Front continues to grind forward towards Bryansk and is really pounding the German infantry there. I've got too much artillery up here still, in truth.

I'm trying to work my way around the flanks of Karkhov. The stupid SS are making things tough there. I stick my neck out a bit to stretch out his line, but he'll probably hit me pretty hard in return.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 12:19:58 AM   
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Meanwhile, I bust open a substantial hole northwest of Rostov and pour 3 tank armies through. One German division gets isolated. This position is looking pretty untenable and he's going to have to fall back. I don't think he's got the armor to restore the position. I decided to reverse the order of events that happened historically: in real life the Soviets faked an offensive down here to draw the SS south and open things up in the center. Well, he's pretty well fixated on Karkhov, so the South instead of a diversion is becoming my main effort.

I've reinforced this area with a fourth tank army for future commitment as well as fresh forces from STAVKA reserves. He's weak here, and I intend to strike while the iron is hot.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 1:14:20 AM   
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Looking pretty good so far Flavio,

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 7:56:56 AM   
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Andy, it's going to be a tough one. He's doing the whole linebacker thing and planting fort lines in rapid succession one behind the other. There are very few exploitation opportunities here with the way his panzers are set up, too. Any hasty attacks are met by a hail of fire from panzer reserves. I was lucky to find a hole in the south. I'm thinking now about taking a shot around the Smolensk area now, too, where he is also rather thin in the ground. His defenses in the center are very solid.

However, his infantry is getting ground to bits. He's losing close to 200k in casualties a month, and that's all coming from the landser. How long can he keep that up? It's naked, ugly attrition. Eventually the panzers are going to have to take the line and stop hiding behind beat up and threadbare infantry regiments.





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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:22:07 PM   
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Turn 5, I'm liking the Smolensk idea more and more and start activating Kalinin Front. I'm in the process of massively reinforcing this area: STAVKA reserves, 4. Tank Army, various other independent mobile corps, and Bagramyan's powerful 11. Guards Army are on the way (this is my best combined arms outfit.) Near as I can tell from my air recon he doesn't have any kind of reserve here. Once I punch through the front line it's wide open. I probably should send another tank army here, in truth. But I don't entirely trust my recon and want to see if it's as weak as it looks before I send more stuff in this area.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:26:58 PM   
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The Bryansk grind continues and doesn't really merit a screenshot. I'm stripping this area of assets for other drives.

Near Karkhov the SS disappears and this allows me to finally pocket it, with 3 regiments trapped in the city proper. He declined to counterattack my probes near Sumy, somewhat to my surprise. He could've really popped me there, although it might have cost him some tank losses. I guess the business in the south took priority. I continue to gradually stretch his line here.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:33:19 PM   
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3. Guards Tank drives to the Sea of Azov, clearing a path for the rifle formations to Stalino and pocketing 5 German infantry regiments. The 3 regiments pocketed last turn surrender. 5. Guards Tank is trying to flank the northern end of his next line. All my artillery and infantry will be next to it on turn 6, and if I can bounce this his next line past that isn't complete and we can finally break this out into the open.

3 tank armies are on the line here at present, and Katukov's 1. Tank remains in reserve. I'm undecided on keeping it here or sending it to Smolensk and will await developments. Many rifle corps from the Kuban are on the way to this area since we have both tacitly decided to ignore it; he's falling back to Kerch and sending the forces from there elsewhere. It's become a source of reserves for both of us.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:39:39 PM   
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OB for turn 5. The Wehrmacht is shrinking and down roughly 200k from it's starting strength. I'm making it a point to smash his infantry at this point and executing small pockets wherever possible. Losing one to two divisional equivalents a turn in addition to combat losses from heavy deliberate assaults is adding up. My artillery is truly awesome and if I'm willing to mass it and stick to deliberate assaults, no fort line can stop me, although it can slow my advance to a crawl. The linebacker defense is effective where he has the forces to make it happen -- so remove those forces.

The Red Army is slowly growing, my losses have been heavy but still offset by reinforcements.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:40:18 PM   
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Ground losses.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/24/2010 10:41:19 PM   
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Air losses. Thank goodness for this latest patch, I'm actually semi competitive in the air now.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 3:51:28 AM   
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On turn 6 I open up my Smolensk offensive and punch clean through. There is indeed nothing here, no mobile reserves, no linebacker fort spam. I narrowly miss taking Smolensk itself in a coup de main. A defeated German regiment retreated into it and proved impossible to dislodge with hasty attacks from the rather second rate 4. Tank Army. I regret not sending a second tank army here now.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 3:56:03 AM   
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The Karkhov garrison dies. Between that and the pockets in the Mius, that's another 8 infantry regiments in the dead pile this turn.

Bob pulls back and gives up Sumy. I lack the forces to make any real headway in the center; the action has shifted decisively to the flanks. All 5 tank armies have been committed elsewhere and I'm short of artillery here to boot.








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