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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint

 
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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 3:59:34 AM   
Sabre21


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Flavio..where are you seeing these 600k at that he is short?

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 4:02:49 AM   
Flaviusx


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By looking at his turn 1 OB. He starts off with 3.2 million and is now at 2.6 million.

It's actually even worse than it looks, since those numbers are disproportionately coming from the infantry.





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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 5:17:02 AM   
Flaviusx


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Btw, when is mud supposed to happen in this?



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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 2:37:27 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Btw, when is mud supposed to happen in this?




10 Oct - 7 November providing you aren't using random weather.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 3:39:00 PM   
Flaviusx


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Yup, I just finished turn 14 and saw the mud colors flash at the end going into turn 15.

Are we supposed to go on past mud?

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 4:12:21 PM   
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Turn 14. Lots of reorganization this turn from STAVKA. Northwestern and Kalinin Fronts are renamed 1. and 2. Baltic. Bryansk Front is dissolved; I reassign the armies to a rather badly overloaded Western Front. Central Front becomes Belorussian Front. Voronezh, Steppe, Southwestern and South Fronts become the 1-4 Ukraine Fronts.

At the end of turn 13 I put all my fronts from Central on south on refit; prior to this the only formations on refit had been my mobile corps and artillery. This allowed me to store up over a half million men in the replacement pool. But the rifle formations down south have gotten fairly run down. This fresh infusion of men brings them all up to speed again, and drops my pool of replacements to 100kish. Having done this, I return to my prior policy on refits and will build up another reserve.

Bottom line: you have to be a lot more selective about refits in 1943 than in 1941. You cannot sustain an offensive by placing everything on refits.

I have not been doing anything to formation TOE and do not feel it is necessary or useful to do so.

Meanwhile, Bob's infantry screen collapses east of Kiev and I gain a great deal of ground. These guys are played out. I'm finally starting to see some German units rout on retreats. Luckily for him, the rasputitsa arrived going into turn 15.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 4:13:46 PM   
Flaviusx


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The Eastern Front on the eve of the 1943 fall rasputitsa:








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 10/30/2010 4:14:31 PM   
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Order of battle:






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/1/2010 3:05:01 AM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 20. After 5 turns of mud, the Red Army is tanned, rested and ready. Men and machines have swollen the ranks and many new rifle corps are formed.

As such, STAVKA launches a new offensive, Operation Meatgrinder. This operation has no geographic objectives as such. Rather, as the name suggests, it is simply a broad front advance including all fronts from 2. Baltic down to the North Caucus designed to chew up the German army. Bob has kindly cooperated in this offensive by inexplicably putting some of his infantry east of the Dnepr and it more or less gets annihilated along the entire frontline as a result. I am completely fine with advancing a hexrow a turn until the German infantry reaches the same state it was at just before the mud, at which point the front line collapses of its own accord. It won't take nearly as long to get it to that combat ineffective state this time around, either. They are much weaker now than in mid summer.

His linebacker strategy, which had its virtues when the German army was in better shape, I think now is positively dangerous for him. He needs a new tactical doctrine. It cannot possibly withstand 4-5 more months of this brutal attrition.

Order of battle:







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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:01:13 AM   
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Having 6000 guns support a localized offensive seems quite heavy; I suspect it's more than historical events though I am not sure.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 4:57:06 PM   
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I think Bob had been planning on putting his Panzers in central locations to counter your attacks yet you foiled him. Now on with the slow meat grinding attack.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 5:02:25 PM   
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Hmmmh, awe-inspiring performance of the Russians.  What is the impression of you tester:  Would this have been historically possible, or is just some more tweaking of the model necessary?  Is it consequence of Flavius knowing history and the game engine much better than his opponent, early use of new tactics like the concentration of so many artillery divisions, luck, or a poor German performance?

Imagine if you started the scenario (as I would mod it to be optimal) without any static units and necessity to invest APs: a full blown offensive from turn 1 along the whole front... War would be over by Christmas?

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:01:03 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 22. Half frozen rivers have severely impaired my ability to stage cross river assaults and are effectively impassable until frozen. Given that most of Bob's line is behind major rivers now, this seriously hinders my ability to bring the Red Army to bear. I will not be able to cross the northern Dnepr until blizzard freezes it. I have managed to throw across a bridgehead in the swamps north of Kiev when it was lightly screened, but that's as good as it will get pending blizzard conditions.




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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:04:59 PM   
Flaviusx


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Even in the south Ukraine, where I am past the Dnepr, minor rivers are preventing me from bringing to bear my rifle formations. I'm forced to try to work my way around them with mechanized units, which Bob is repeatedly counterattacking with some success.

Blizzard cannot come soon enough. Then I can attack all along the line. I've got plenty of rifle corps and artillery ready to rock and roll but they just can't get into the action right now.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:08:28 PM   
Flaviusx


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Western Front is making decent progress along the Gomel axis, where the Germans are east of the Dnepr. I've got 3 tank corps flanking his line here. I'm trying hard to get behind him and prevent him from retreating due west.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:11:47 PM   
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Kalinin front liberates Vitebsk and is making good progress overall in the Smolensk landbridge. Bob has reinforced the area with some mechanized forces and is preventing any major flanking maneuvers, but I can at least press forward here without any rivers to stymie my rifle corps.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:20:21 PM   
Flaviusx


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Kalinin Front also liberates Velikiye Luki. 4. Tank and 5 Guards Tank Armies arrive by rail from the Ukraine and exploit the breach. He has no reserves here. I begin activating Volkhov Front in anticipation of a full scale retreat near Leningrad by the Germans, probably in the direction of Narva and Pskov. He's already been making some tactical withdrawals near Leningrad.

I plan on raising a new tank army HQ by Smolensk and attaching the mobile corps near Vitebsk to that HQ. That will give me 3 total tank armies in this area, and 3 in the south. His panzers cannot be everywhere, and this will stretch his line to the breaking point.

Only one Front remains inactive now, Leningrad.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:26:14 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

Having 6000 guns support a localized offensive seems quite heavy; I suspect it's more than historical events though I am not sure.


In real life Voronov achieved similar concentrations in the reduction of the Stalingrad pocket well before these events. By 1943 Soviet artillery had arrived in a big way.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:30:34 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stewart.bragg

I think Bob had been planning on putting his Panzers in central locations to counter your attacks yet you foiled him. Now on with the slow meat grinding attack.


It worked for a while. He stopped me cold in the central part of the front. The problem was he couldn't be that strong everywhere and I found a weak spot west of Rostov and pressed that to the limit. Eventually this unlocked the rest of the Ukraine as he was forced to react to it and send his heavy mass of panzers south to stop the Soviet advance. I very nearly pocketed an entire panzer army against the Sea of Azov and Bob staged a dramatic breakout of those with panzers that had been keeping me at bay near Karkhov.





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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 6:38:34 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: janh

Hmmmh, awe-inspiring performance of the Russians.  What is the impression of you tester:  Would this have been historically possible, or is just some more tweaking of the model necessary?  Is it consequence of Flavius knowing history and the game engine much better than his opponent, early use of new tactics like the concentration of so many artillery divisions, luck, or a poor German performance?

Imagine if you started the scenario (as I would mod it to be optimal) without any static units and necessity to invest APs: a full blown offensive from turn 1 along the whole front... War would be over by Christmas?


The results of this playtest are being evaluated and may result in further tweaks. (Nor is it over yet.) There's some feeling -- I don't entirely agree with this, but it's arguable -- that losses from retreats may be too high and should be adjusted downwards for high morale/experience units.

As far as APs go, I was pretty ruthless about this and had to accept many sacrifices along the way to rapidly activate my static forces. For several months going every AP spent went towards activations (and I am still not quite done activating things going into December.) I wound up having to put most of my tank brigades on static mode to free up further APs, and many of these are still stuck in the rear. My command and control went to hell for a while and is still not really straightened out. I've had to accept the leaders I started with, who are not always the best. And only during the rasputitsa was I finally able to start organizing new rifle corps in a big way.

There is still much to be done to optimize the Red Army. I may never get quite caught up with all the things I'd like to do with it given the very tight budget.

< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 11/2/2010 6:39:07 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 7:17:36 PM   
von Jaeger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

I may never get quite caught up with all the things I'd like to do with it given the very tight budget.


That's just as it should be... You seem to be doing a startlingly good job as it is with your sub-optimal armies.


< Message edited by von Jaeger -- 11/2/2010 7:25:29 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 7:21:58 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
There is still much to be done to optimize the Red Army. I may never get quite caught up with all the things I'd like to do with it given the very tight budget.


Seems like you wouldn't need to optimize and change leaders. If not for mud, you look like you could have pressed your advantage all the way to Berlin before long. Maybe during Blizzard you will make even more brilliant advances? The potential is there: you keep bleeding down his INF, and his armor gets weakened as well. This process will perhaps turn from gradual to chaotic dissolution if you eliminate another 500k-1M men? At that point, the Germans won't have enough anymore to keep it together and everything could fall apart in short order.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 7:25:45 PM   
von Jaeger


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A destruction of AGC six months ahead of schedule? And this is without the foolishness of the Kursk offensive.

I wonder if we can get a scenario where the initial Kursk dispositions have not yet been set up - ie where we are at the start of the Rasputitsa in Spring 1943? This would allow the Germans to adopt Manstein's defensive strategy suggested for 1943 - recognising that the war was unwinnable, he wanted to bleed the Red Army dry so they would have to sue for peace.

< Message edited by von Jaeger -- 11/2/2010 7:31:17 PM >


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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 7:32:38 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Keep in mind that Flavio has advanced around 1 map screen worth of hexes at regular zoom level. He isn't going to be in Berlin any time soon.

The main Soviet Achillesheel is logistics, well it should be anyway and that is still being tweaked. The Soviets lack rail repair units until late in the war and due to some issues with construction battalions spreading out to repair non-essential rail hexes (issues which are also being looked at, I can only stress how quickly the developers try to solve problems we spot) the non-player controlled rail repair is not always optimal, and units need to be close to railheads to get good amounts of supplies.

The main problem with Bob's defensive strategy is that it exposes too much of his infantry: he keeps placing single divisions in line, which in turn get whacked one by one. At first, he also put (in my opinion) too many of his mobile units in reserve mode behind the front, which in turn resulted in even more losses for little gain. Essentially, he's providing Flavio with an abundance of targets, without being strong at any specific point of the line. That has changed a bit after the mud, but by now it might be too late. His defensive as such has been competent, but it has also been more costly than it could have been.

Soviet Rifle formations are still better at taking a beating than dealing it, unless massed and given lavish artillery support. Soviet mobile formations are quite strong, but not quite at their late war best yet. In mid-late 1943, the Tank and Mechanized Corps show their potential, but it isn't maximized yet. Given those shortcomings, Flavio has done an admirable job with his offensive.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/2/2010 7:32:44 PM   
Flaviusx


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Bob would never allow such a thing to happen, he is too good for that and won't let an entire army group get bagged or find itself hanging out to an exposed balcony in this fashion.

The more realistic danger for him is gradual attrition of his forces as they get pushed back.

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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/4/2010 12:34:15 AM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 24. Blizzard hits and the rivers freeze over. The Red Army launches attacks from Leningrad down to the Black Sea. Gomel, Krivoi Rog and Kirovograd are liberated, but the Germans are holding on tenaciously to Kiev still.

In the Ukraine the Red Army manages a spectacular breakthrough and pockets 9 German infantry divisions in and around Cherkassy. 3 Tank Armies pour through the hole as well as a horde of independent mobile corps attached to 5 different Fronts (Belorussia and 1-4 Ukraine.) In light of these developments I put the two tank armies near Vitebsk on rails and they are heading south to reinforce this. Something like 80% of my armor is going to wind up in this area.

Bob has many panzer units nearby, including the bulk of the SS. He stands a good chance of busting the pocket open. It is being held in considerable strength by fresh units, but even so. What happens after that is anybody's guess, since I could just as easily surround the lot again next turn. We are going to have a knock down, drag out fight here in the Ukraine with major consequences one way or the other.








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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/5/2010 5:48:25 PM   
Flaviusx


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Turn 25. Western Front liberates Mogilev. 1. Baltic Front continues to develop its offensive past the Smolensk landbridge and is gradually pushing into Belorussia. I build a new Tank Army Hq outside of Smolensk and assign Chernyakovsky to it, which gives me a total of 6 such armies. It will absorb some of the independent mobile corps in this area and help sustain the drive. They are very expensive to build and fit out, and it's unlikely I'll build any more tank army HQs in this game.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/5/2010 5:58:25 PM   
Flaviusx


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Somewhat to my surprise, Bob fails to relieve the Cherkassy pocket. A considerable disaster for the Germans, and 9 infantry divisions surrender in the cleanup. He is forced to cover the yawning gap in his lines with armor and can no longer hide them behind the landsers.

My own armor is rather exhausted from the lunge last turn and I decide to play it safe and consolidate my gains for now. This will allow the rifle forces to catchup, and the armor upfront to refuel. Most of them began this turn with under 30 movement points and their logistical situation clearly couldn't sustain a major exploitation. He also routed several of my units in counterattacks. I'm in the driver's seat here, no need to get greedy or hasty and throw away an excellent strategic position on some kind of backhand blow, which he remains perfectly able to execute.

4. Tank and 5. Guards Tank armies arrive by rail and reinforce the Ukrainian offensive. Everything will be ready to push in concert next turn, hopefully somewhat rested. Kiev remains in German hands, annoyingly. I'm almost two months behind schedule taking that, although well ahead of schedule in the south Ukraine.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/5/2010 6:04:06 PM   
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Order of battle for turn 25. Soviet losses in the winter offensive are piling up fast. I'm down around 400k men at this point from when I began it. Plainly I'm going to have to cease this broad front offensive and start getting more selective. I've got a quarter million men saved up in the replacement pool, which should just about cover me in the Ukraine on refits, but it's doubtful I can get much else back up to full strength past that.

The body blow to the Wehrmacht by Cherkassy has dropped them to 2.4 million.






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RE: 43 Campaign Flavio vs Bob, Soviet Viewpoint - 11/5/2010 6:20:31 PM   
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Hmmh, I would push relentlessly now, even at the rather unpleasing loss ratio of the last turn.  Pure math says that despite that loss ratio, he'll bleed white before you drop below 5 Mio men?

Plus, with much of his Landsers gone, the Panzer Divisions indeed need to occupy the defensive role, which should not suit them as well.  I would expect that also the process will not be linear, but the defeat will accelerate rapidly as his forces thin out -- until it turns into a chaotic dissolution and a nice mob-up of the battlefield.  I doubt he could stop you now if you pressed your advantage?  Would you agree?

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