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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint

 
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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 4:00:55 AM   
Flaviusx


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All hell breaks loose in the Donbas. My combined arms forces crack open the second German fort line and 4 tank armies pour through and wreak havoc in the German rear. His attempt at a third fort line is preempted by this massive breakthrough and I am finally clear of this fort spam. I even take the opportunity to slap around some of his panzer regiments -- 3 of them are routed when surrounded and forced to retreat. 4 German infantry divisions get pocketed. Stalino also gets pocketed along the way.

The SS is nearby; we'll see if they are supermen enough to fix this mess.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 4:02:56 AM   
Flaviusx


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With the front aflame from Smolensk to Stalino losses have picked up markedly on both sides. 100k/turn is about the threshold for me before losses exceed my replacement ability and I zoomed well past that this turn. But the German losses are equally grave.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 12:24:34 PM   
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You're doing a great job of exploiting the primary weakness of Bob's defensive strategy: he's forcing himself to be attacked on your terms, he doesn't get that forts are useless against the firepower you're bringing when he can only place a few regiments in them.

Moreover, the way he's using his mobile formations (by placing them in reserve) is quickly draining them of combat strength for little to no gains (he isn't stopping you). His defensive plan has undone the entire recovery of German mobile formations in just 6 turns. SS strength has dropped by around 10 points for most units, for example. In situations where you just know you're going to be hit by a vastly superior force, placing your good mobile units on reserve is the best way to have their strength reduced to nothing in a short amount of time. I'd only use reserve mode in situations where I'm expecting the battle to be a close one, where reserves can matter decisively.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 1:05:40 PM   
Flaviusx


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I dunno, I think Bob's strategy is pretty good in certain respects. He's totally stymied me in the center. If he could be as strong there everywhere, it'd be a pain to grind my way through this fort spam.

But he can't be that strong everywhere.

It is true that if I want to concentrate enough artillery on any given point, I can destroy just about any fort line. The artillery concentration I had in Bryansk Front for awhile was disgusting. Close to a dozen artillery divisions, including 3 rocket artillery. I had over 3000 guns pouring fire in some assaults. Notwithstanding the fact that I've been fighting fort after fort after fort from Orel to Bryansk, they could knock out a hexrow a turn and grind the infantry to bits. But I can't achieve those kind of concentrations everywhere.

His armor is actually in pretty good shape, far better than historical. I think the greater weakness of the strategy is the burden being placed on the landsers, not the panzers. I am indeed going out of my way to hammer his infantry. Once he runs out of grunts, no more fort spam. It almost doesn't matter where I do this so long as it gets done, I'm not very concerned with particular geographical objectives, my true objective is the German army.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 2:09:19 PM   
von Jaeger


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The old quantity has a quality all of its own, eh?   My own Russian army from '42 can only stare in shock and awe!   The change in offensive muscle is extraordinary in such a short time.

It's difficult to work out from the screen shots - what's his remaining fort strength?   Perhaps a shot with that graphic turned on, please?

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 2:18:17 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

I dunno, I think Bob's strategy is pretty good in certain respects. He's totally stymied me in the center.


Isn't that also due to how many AP's/turns you had to spend on activating units?

Losing 100 AFV's/week and especially losing PzG and motorized infantry squads will quickly cripple German Panzer/PzG division strength.

I'm also not too sure how much he can continue to slow you down in the center: you're launching the Smolensk operation a month before the historical operation, and if his guys are still static, he'll be in some trouble soon. As you say, the goal is the destruction of the German army, and Bob's defensive setup is thus far allowing you to do just that.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 7:57:30 PM   
Flaviusx


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On turn 7 I continue to develop the Smolensk offensive. It is pocketed with one infantry division inside. Army Group Center runs away between Smolensk and Bryansk and I rush to activate the rest of Western Front to maintain contact. There is no armor here, alas, to take advantage of this withdrawal.

Bryansk Front liberates Bryansk.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 8:01:16 PM   
Flaviusx


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Meanwhile, down south, I eliminate the four pocketed infantry divisions. My infantry and artillery struggles to advance to the new German line before it can entrench but won't reach it until next turn. The 4 tank armies try to maintain the momentum of this drive on their own and trade blows with Wiking and Totenkopf, now both on the line. Luftwaffe field divisons are starting to show up. Stalino is liberated.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/25/2010 8:05:03 PM   
Flaviusx


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Losses. My tank losses are reaching critical proportions, I can't really sustain 1k per turn like this for long. That's what happens when you push 5 tank armies to the limit. My manpower losses are lighter this time. German losses continue to be high. The four pocketed infantry divisions alone amounted to around 40k men.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 4:18:00 AM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 8, Smolensk is liberated and another German infantry division goes to the deadpile.

Kalinin, Western, and Bryansk Fronts launch attritional attacks along the line.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 4:23:42 AM   
Flaviusx


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Bob is starting to take some shots at my mobile forces in the center and I have to pull some of these out of the line to rest and refit. I'm making no headway here and content myself with simply grinding his infantry. I now have APs available to do something besides activating and 3 new rifle corps join Central Front.

I'm actually not unhappy with having him stick around here given the situation down south.

As for that, despite rickety logistics and heavy tank losses, Stalin demands and gets results. I smash his line open again and pocket a half dozen or so divisions on the Sea of Azov. The Crimea is in danger of being cut off. My spearheads are rapidly approaching the Dnepr bend and there is nothing in front them to stop them. He is going to have to strip the center to reinforce this area. My supply situation is becoming truly worrisome and I have to send a second rail repair unit down here to sustain the drive and Soviet transport aircraft get a workout as well.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 4:25:35 AM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 8 OB. Soviet tank breakdowns are reaching alarming proportions. The Wehrmacht is now down to 2.8 million, a 400k reduction from his starting forces.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 5:51:08 AM   
Sabre21


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How's your production keeping up with your losses?

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 6:04:00 AM   
Flaviusx


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Manpower is ok. I get 100k from manpower centers each turn, and I've mostly been able to stay under that. Plus whatever comes back from disabled losses and whatnot.

Tank losses have shot through the roof in the last two turns and I'm having to cannibalize tank brigades to keep the corps going. (Via merges.) AFV holdings are dropping fast. This is a real weak spot, yet I can't stop and refit given the situation in the south, it's simply too tasty. I've got a lot of corps out there now with fewer than 100 runners, probably most of them.

Artillery is in good shape.



< Message edited by Joel Billings -- 11/1/2010 10:17:05 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 6:39:11 AM   
Flaviusx


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Here's a turn 8 logistics screen. As you can see, the manpower is pretty plentiful. (Too much so? I leave this for others to decide.)








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 6:39:58 AM   
Flaviusx


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Here's a turn 8 production screen.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 11:38:31 AM   
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Edit: OK, it seems scenario production usage is correct, just confusing: it's showing the percentage out of the already reduced percentage for the Germans.

I'm surprised that the Soviet motorpool is OK: you still have a few trucks to spare.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 10/26/2010 2:38:02 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 8:00:38 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 9, I'm starting to sort out my command mess and forming more rifle corps. The kitty isn't quite empty, I have some unactivated reserves, but at this point I've got the mass I need to do what I want. Now the efficiency of said mass needs to increase.

In a desperate attempt to get the Red Air Force back into this game I ruthlessly disband scores of regiments to get planes in the pool and bring what's left back up to strength. Maybe this will even convince the AI to form new groups with new production aircraft.

Kalinin, Western and Bryansk front continue to grind forward and 4. Tank Army attempts to flank one of Bob's defense lines.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 8:02:46 PM   
Flaviusx


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Air recon reveals Hungarians deploying near Poltava. Voronezh and Steppe Fronts shift south and take advantage of this. His position in the center is starting to crumble finally, due to the need to reinforce other parts of the front no doubt.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/26/2010 8:07:38 PM   
Flaviusx


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AGS finally commits the SS to something big and he temporarily relieves the pocket along the Sea of Azov.

In response, I surround the lot again, and add Totenkopf and Das Reich to the pocket for good measure. It's not amazingly tight, but I think I can lock it down this time. I also took Osipenko to make sure he doesn't get beachead supply.

There are a good half dozen mobile divisions in this pocket now, plus other stuff. That's the better part of a panzer army. This has the makings a first class disaster. Air recon shows pretty slim pickings nearby...but has lost track of some panzer units originally located in the center. These may be on the way.

At any event, my combined arms forces are closing in on the Dnepr bend while the Tank armies try to pull off the big pocket to the south.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/27/2010 6:06:51 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 10, Bob stages a dramatic breakout of 1. Panzer Army with fresh forces railed in from the center. I had lost track of these last turn in my air recon and suspected they might be headed this way. My poor tired tank armies just didn't have the oomph to stop them.

I judge this to be a dead spearhead now and begin pulling armor out of the line for resting and refitting. Some of it remains behind to clear a path for the combined arms forces to the Dnepr bend; I'm now in contact with both Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye. Going to need more guns here I think, both to force the Dnepr, and to directly assault Zaporozhye (which is on the wrong side of the Dnepr from Bob's standpoint.)

A stout wall of rifle corps is placed due south of the bend.

He's going to have some trouble redeploying this mass of panzers elsewhere given the rail connections. They will have to take an indirect path to return to the central Ukraine. This presents opportunities.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/27/2010 6:09:32 PM   
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Central, Voronezh, and Steppe fronts take advantage of the lack of panzer forces in the central Ukraine and surge forward, liberating Poltava and closing in on the Dnepr.










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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/28/2010 5:52:20 PM   
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Turn 11, Bob pushes me back around Poltava.

It's time for a showdown with the German armor, once and for all. I clear more territory along the Dnepr northwest of Dnepropetrovsk in preparation for a crossing there. With that accomplished, all 5 tank armies mass west of Poltava. They mostly rest this turn and I spend a couple of dozen AP to fit them out with attachments. More tank brigades are cannibalized to bring them up to strength. A strong line forms next to his panzers, including plenty of units held in reserve. Bring it on, Bob.

If he doesn't counterattack here, I'm just going to keep pushing to the Dnepr in the general direction of Cherkassy. Or alternately, look for possibilities to pocket Dnepropetrovsk. Or, hell, maybe both.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/28/2010 5:57:38 PM   
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I mass a quarter million men and 6000 guns on Zaporozhye and liberate it, crippling the German division holding it in the process. The Dnepr bend is ready for crossings at multiple points. He's holding it with mech units, but I will attack them anyways next turn. If they stay there, that is. I'm not sure he has any choice now, his infantry is pretty well run down in this area.

South of the bend my wall of rifle corps sweeps aside and routs the Romanians.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/28/2010 6:00:45 PM   
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OB for turn 11. The German army is 500k men understrength now. His artillery is fading away fast, too. Only the panzers remain in decent shape, and even they are well below their initial strengths. My own armor has paid a heavy price to date, but they aren't quite as threadbare now as in the last two turns.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/29/2010 3:01:17 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 12. The panzers in the Ukraine throw out another screen of tattered and battered infantry units in front of them and decline to take on my armor directly. This is becoming rather tiresome, these infantry units are down to cooks and clerks, stubbornly refuse to rout and keep getting thrown right back into the line.

However, they are so weak now that I can launch hasty attacks on the entire length of the line, even with my rifle armies. Several turns worth of rifle corps construction has also substantially beefed up my unit density in this area. As General Vatutin says: "they are burning the bread!" The Red Army advances on a broad front closing in on the Dnepr.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/29/2010 3:10:39 PM   
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I force three crossings around the Dnepr bend and throw across three strong bridgeheads. All three cross river assaults were made against mechanized units, who were inundated by a hail of fire from massed Soviet artillery.

I love my artillery. It truly is awesome.

Leaving nothing to chance and the vagaries of command, all the corps in the bridgehead are stuffed with attachments. He is going to have a very difficult time evicting all of these, and I've got his big mass of armor in the central Ukraine locked in a vice -- if he sends these south to try to restore the situation, my Tank Armies in the center will wreak havoc. The forces in the Dnepr bend themselves aren't going to be enough to dislodge all the bridgeheads.

Something has to give here.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 3:34:15 AM   
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Turn 13. Central, Voronezh and Steppe Fronts continue to advance towards the Dnepr. I execute a number of close tactical pockets in order to surround and rout on retreat various German units. The tank armies fan out across the 3 Fronts to do this.

The Hungarians are kind enough to rout on their own without special measures.

This I think may the best way to break down the coherence of his line. It's on the edge as is, won't take much more to tip it over.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 3:39:24 AM   
Flaviusx


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Bob abandons the Dnepr bend and I liberate an empty Dnepropetrovsk. This was probably the least worst option for him. I could have pocketed and forced subsequent surrender of two infantry divisions left behind here, but elected instead to surround and rout them. Time is running short before the rasputitsa and having these guys sitting there for another turn would complicate my ability to press forward. I now have an imposing bridgehead west of the Dnepr and enough forces to bounce the next river line due west. They will keep pressing on in the general direction of Krivoi Rog. This will not coincidentally tend to dislocate the rest of his defense of the Dnepr north of here and ease the path to Kiev.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 3:46:55 AM   
Flaviusx


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OB for turn 13. Wehrmacht is a good 600k in the hole now.

My overall AFV holdings have dropped quite significantly thanks to my ruthless merging and disbanding of tank brigades. There's still plenty left, and I plan on disbanding all of them save the guards tank brigades. I really do not need more than the dozen of those or so. This is no longer a tank brigade kind of war and their usefulness is extremely limited in the offense. I'd rather the tanks go to mobile corps or to regimental subunits that can be directly attached to corps.







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