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My first Operational AAR (Leningrad)

 
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My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:37:56 PM   
heliodorus04


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Iíve decided to conduct my first full scenario while making my first AAR. My purpose is to learn in public, hopefully more from tips readers give me than from mistakes I make. To date Iíve played the tutorial and a few turns of Road to Leningrad prior to this game (while reading Dlazov66ís outstanding walkthrough guide).

Iím not experienced with operational games, and so the supply/re-organization stuff is what Iím immediately concerned about. My secondary concerns are 1) getting into good winter positions and 2) bagging as much soviet manpower as I can while trying to preserve as much of my own as I can.

My scenario goals are to hold a line from Lodeynoe Pole to Novgorod (i.e., a mass-Leningrad Encirclement) by scenario end.

Since all I know of the First Winter experience is basically that itís going to kill more men than all combat operations to that point, I know I have to take more than that, or at a minimum take it early enough and in strong enough condition to dig in hard before blizzards. I think in my own mind my objectives are unattainable realistically, but welcome to Hitlerís war machine, right?

Game Setup:
I have given the Axis Logistics, Transport, and Admin levels of 110. All other levels, both Soviet and Axis, are set to 100. I donít want to develop tactics from the start that over-rely on assistance from an algorithm. But those three should help me a lot in cushioning my learning curve of operational tactics. I can tell already from this game that crisp supply and smart attacks are necessary for Axis victory. Still, I have frankly no clue how one would actually TAKE Leningrad in this scenario, at any normal difficulty setting.





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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:40:13 PM   
heliodorus04


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Turn 1: Air Bases Attacks.
I dunno much about anything, but I read the ďAxis Turn 1 guideĒ thread by ComradeP and followed his advice for AGN, downing 1,000 aircraft, which was about 3 times better than I did on my own the first time. Did I use too much aircraft for the combat segment? I dunno. My land combats never showed blue or green linesÖ Mustíve used it all on airbase attacks. Hopefully that pays off down the road.

Turn 1 Movement:
God where do you start? And this is just AGNÖ
Well, I stared at the screen a while and started with XXVI Corps in the North. Each div. attacks outward, 2 deliberate attacks and one hasty (against the fortified zone), all routes/surrenders. Subsequent attack against the NKVD went poorly. I guess those guysí morale matters? After a combination of hasty attacks by one and then two (stacked) divisions, the NKVD managed to retreat in good order. Not sure what to do about them, but felt it more important to move onward than focus on their immediate demise.







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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:41:16 PM   
heliodorus04


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Now Iím moving on to the center of my line: I Corps. The plan for I Corps is simply to open the railway line for turn 2, and keep zones of control against the forming pocket. Attacks as far eastward as can be madeÖ It turned out okay. More NKVD resistance. II Corps likewise pushed eastward as far as it could after first ensuring the fortified defenders were taken out. I and II Corps movement (along with my rail unit) moves ended like this:






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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:42:04 PM   
heliodorus04


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My thoughts turn to my motorized force and what exactly is ďgoodĒ to try to accomplish. Turn 1 is when attacking is as cheap as itís ever going to be, but long term, I want to avoid casualties (for a hypothetical Summer 42 offensive, and because of victory conditions). I want zero bad attacks! (though maybe itís already too late, LOL). Going in to this, here is my 1-turn-ahead thinking: I want to ensure the 2 pockets form and avenues of retreat are hindered (i.e., I can keep isolation pressure easily enough again next turn) or unavailable (i.e., isolated this turn).

I want the rail-line over the Daugava at Jakobpils for my own rail advance (it appears to be the best route for German rail). I decided to stage my armored formations forward, while seeing what I could make develop with the remaining infantry divisions. I did a dumb thing: I moved up a single INF division and attacked Kaunas, which held. Then I brought up another one I found and did a deliberate, and the defenders routed, so maybe that was alright. Who knows. Not sure it was necessary to attack them given how badly I want to encircle them.

When I finally moved forward, here is what it looked like:





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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:44:19 PM   
heliodorus04


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There are a couple units at Kaunas not on map. An AT btn and something. Iím not wild about this Ďencirclementí. Only forces west of Riga are near being cut off, but they have ports Iíd bet. Iím not sure what ancillary moves to conduct from the rear area. I have 3 divisions and some support troops left to move, and no idea how they can factor into the next 2-3 turnsÖ I attached Totenkopf to I Corps for 1 APÖ Will take some basic guesses there. Looks like itís on to Turn 2, more or less.

Noticed before turn ended that I had some units out of command, so I pulled them back/moved HQs around. I did not move any Army level HQs at all Turn 1Ö Figured stockpiles should be burned before I put the motor pool under such heavy pressure. Did not move any airbases, either.

My advance forces have low MPs due to low(er) fuel values overall compared to Turn 1. I knew my supply arrangement wasnít optimal; the question is always whether the sacrifices are worth it, and sustainable for operations. I didnít really check my fuel percentages on T1, so I canít make a very good projection ahead at what my start of T3 would look like for movement allowancesÖ WorryingÖ

I want to mess with trying to air resupply fuel to something. 3rd Motorized (closest to bottom) is at 72% fuel. Letís see if I can figure out this interfaceÖ I flew a transport missions to 3rd Mot. with Ju-52s 3rd Mot is back over 88 percent fuel. I guess it will only count next turn.

Iíve no idea yet the ROI for air resupply of forward units. I know the Germans did it pretty effectively in the early war. Oh well, good news, no interceptions by the Red Air Force yet. I hope theyíre all dead!

I spent a lot of time looking at the map, and actually moving my motorized units to see what I might do with them in terms of further envelopments. But in the end, I just re-loaded and now Iím going to do what I do and let the calls fall where they may. After recon and the air resupply o 3rd Mot., here is the western map (soft factor=supply):







Western Goals:
Red circles are the hexes I want to own at turnís end. Yellow are forces I want to ensure are isolated at start of T3. I made a boo-boo in T1 in that I attacked units I was planning to isolate. Some of them routed east, but a good number apparently routed to the northwest. If that assessment is accurate, and my scouting reasonable, I have to assume that the Reds west of Riga are being supplied by port. There appears to be 3 ports able to supply that stuff out there. Nope, only two, and Mersrags and Tukums are NOT ports. This makes my life operationally easier. Relief.

I had thought I was going to have to move Totenkopf into Mersrags and perhaps even break it down. Instead, only need to take 2 Forts. Itíll be an interesting insight into differences between T1 combat and non-T1Ö

Operationally I need to hold Riga and Jelgava (SW from Riga, rail junction) between T2/T3. That looks like the job of the Mot. Division currently in Jelgava (36th Mot/XXXI Corps HQ). That means the whole of the corps holds back, or I burn AP to re-assign 36th Mot. (harrumph). Meanwhile Totenkopf and 269th Inf. Are similarly stretching away from their respective Corps HQs. Iím going to have to make a decision about command hierarchies THIS turn, and burn some admin doing it. Heck, even Himmler had ONE operational victory. Hope I donít do worse.

I can see whatís developed in the west and I think I have plenty of force to mop that up as a pocket over several turns subsequent to T2.
The East is another matter.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:47:30 PM   
heliodorus04


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Already, my armor is spread out, and T3 supply is seriously hampered by local soviet forces that I probably should have encircled, rather than attacked, during T1. I attacked more than 3 hexes wide, and it seems 3 hexes wide is probably a kick-ass breakthrough jump-off point. T1 is doneÖ Frankly, I think Iíd better resolve the west before I plan for the east, so onward the gunsÖ

My first requirement is to plan my attacks at the corps level. Avoid dispersion/command problems, and try not to have to re-assign any more divisions than is absolutely necessary. Do so only when its benefiting operational considerations. I talk funny.

The only Inf. Division available to attack the port at Ventspils is 58th Inf. (also, the entirety of XXXVIII Corps, with which itís stacked, which is good news). It can only conduct 1 hasty attackÖ Both of those port attacks are all-in, and Iím going all-in. 58th Inf. Is going to teach me how the naval supply system worksÖ

Hereís how it looked after the first maneuver: Both ports fall and get occupied by 18th Army. The Soviet Inf routed when probed by 3/86th Inf. Surprised me, that. The NKVD are encircled.





So it turns out 18th Army had some plan to take Riga, and I havenít gotten in the way too much yet.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:49:00 PM   
heliodorus04


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16th Army is another matter. I honestly donít know what to do with this tandem of Inf Corps and Panzer Group (complete with Panzer 35(t)ís Ė you invade Russia with this junk?). I spent a lot of time looking at the possible distances my panzer corps could move, and ultimately I went conservative. I did manage a small scale encirclement to the south (I think).






I still hadnít moved Totenkopf, nor airfields/HQs/new units. I moved airfields forward a LOT and most Army HQs a good bit (into the region of I corps). I didnít move Corps HQs more than absolutely necessary. Trying to keep my motor pool from driving off cliffsÖ
End T2!


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:50:13 PM   
heliodorus04


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At the start of Turn 3, I fly fuel to 3rd Mot. Again, and I conduct recon, which reveals the following:





The red units are set for elimination this turn. The yellow is the weak line of defense I can see forming, and blue is something I think I really want to encircle and possibly destroy. To start, IV Panzer elements cannot do much but make contact with the line near Pskov. Some could go all the way north to the outskirts of Talinn, but thatís operational limbo for my plan. I figure an experienced player would be hitting Pskov in some measure this turn, but Iíve played a supply-conservative game (or so I think! No one has reviewed this AAR yet).

Given that maneuver wonít net me Pskov or even threaten it this turn, the only Ďprizeí to be scored this turn are those units in the blue circle, which at the end of T2 were isolated (or nearly) just west of the Daugauva. Itís not much of a prize, but itís motorized and thatís slightly better than otherwise in this situation. But ultimately, itís the only thing I can really do with IV Panzer Group this turn. As I make the move forward, I donít know whether to attack this turn or isolate this turn. Isolation looks difficult; thereís a good southeastern escape route. But combat this turn means lesser supply next. Given this debate in my head, Iíve decided to really let supply catch up as best it can during T3 where armor is concerned. I will isolate only. T4 weíll do differently.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:51:30 PM   
heliodorus04


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I proceeded with the combats and they all went pretty well. The large formation west of Riga took 2 hasty and 1 deliberate attack, chewing up some movement of my infantry. What followed was about 3 hours of staring at the screen and trying to organize corps-level movements, plus encircling the Ďblueí units from above. It turned out like this, which is PRIOR to either of the panzer corps moving (much).






Here is another ďNow what?!?!Ē moment. Frankly, I imagine thatís what a lot of German commanders were thinking those first few days.

What Iím thinking is this: Infantry move a helluva lot faster when theyíre moving into completely friendly-converted hexes. Neither of my infantry armies is going to be making deliberate attacks on the Pskov line during T4. Can these two rag-tag panzer corps do anything to that line during T4 that dramatically improves breakthrough opportunities: Iím thinking not.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:53:01 PM   
heliodorus04


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After I moved up the panzer corps, here is what it looked like (Totenkopf re-assigned from I Corps to LVI Panzer).





Soft factor is (wait for it): fuel.

I donít feel I had any choice about the somewhat large number of unspent movement pointsÖ


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:54:20 PM   
heliodorus04


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Moved forward HQs and air bases, and moved on to T4ÖWhich, after recon, looked like this:





Did my recon get very poor this turn, or did a whole lot of Russians just disappear from around Pskov? I did a massive recon, too. Every plane available from the southern-most region to Leningrad (and youíll note that I finally detect a mass at Leningrad). What I donít see this turn that I did last is a source of concern for me. I canít just write them off as disappeared to defend Leningrad.

Iím very happy with my fuel/supply situation. Everyone got good re-supply between turns. My morale is high! Perhaps I played last turn well, despite the dearth of combat operations.

Operationally, I want to see what 16 Army can do about Pskov and the gap toward Novgorod. I want 9th Army thinking about Velikie Luki, and I want 18 Army closing the gap on the left flank. Oh, and by the way, ďCrap the Fins are active! Now what?!?Ē Well, where Finland is concerned, it looks like World War 1 right now, so just a few attacks directly against prepared positions  No pictures this turn.

Turning back to the post-recon picture, Iíve decided that the Inf. Div. blocking the gap south of Pskov must be destroyed (at least routed).
But I also notice that the entirety of LVI Panzer Corps can occupy (an apparently vacant) Novgorod THIS turn. I can fit all counters into a 5-hex command radius that can have solid supply at T5 start, I think. Iím not sure; Iíve got to play around with my movement radii, contemplate supply lines, and debate killing the army vs. taking operationally important cities. Itís not the VPs I need right now from Novgorod, itís the movement options if I can take it in force. A shorter perimeter Leningrad encirclement is possible if you hold Novgorod early.

But I cannot imagine that my recon is accurate and nothing is defending Novgorod. I scouted a lot, and Iím almost positive I scouted Novgorod proper. Iíve got to figure out how to move forces up there in such a way that should I find an unknown enemy, my forces arenít stopped entirely by them.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:56:35 PM   
heliodorus04


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To start, 6th Panzer conducts a hasty attack against the blocking NKVD Rifle Div., and routes it (sweet! Panzers do their dirty work!). Then I did a little creep move with it, and then I decided to flat out move the rear elements forward (what I call ďPhase 1Ē of the movement of the turn). It turned out like this, which Iím happy with.




Soft factor is fuel, and Iíve selected 1st Panzer (circled in blue) along with a border in the NE of its highlighted movement possibility. Iím not sure what I SHOULD do here, but since I set my objective as Lodeynoe Pole, Iím going to consider maneuver more important than encirclement. If I encircle Leningrad by end of game, then AGN would have done a fine job with itís overall objective. Leningrad would fall by Spring 42, one would hope.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 9:57:43 PM   
heliodorus04


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The problem is that Iím pretty sure there are enemy units on the path to NovgorodÖ Well, as it turned out, nyet. No Russians. This is how my maneuver element moved, and how basically the turn ended.






It's now the start of T5.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 10:02:08 PM   
heliodorus04


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Turn 5 started, and this is how things looked after Recon.





I'm not at all sure what to do, and I've spent 3 days (of real life time) to get to this turn, and I'd like some feedback, so I'm posting. Expect more tomorrow.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 11:21:45 PM   
alfonso

 

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Hello Heliodorus,
if you are playing the Leningrad scenario, you dont have to worry much about Winter, because it ends in October, unless you are looking at it as a training tool for the whole campaign. I think there could be subtle differences between both approaches.

My only previous experience with any wargame is WIR, so I do not want to be fool enough to think I can provide very useful advices, but I do want to offer some thoughts I have had when playing the Leningrad Scenario.

1) Tallin is an objective, and you get points if you capture it. Besides, it is a port, and therefore it is a supply source. If you capture it you can consider extending the railway in such a way it arrives at Pskov from the SE, not from the West.

2) If your rail network is therefore "east-oriented" you can supply a thrust towards Velikiye Luki and Rzhev, which are objectives too. I think that is a mission for 9th Army.
Where is your manual railway unit?

3) The terrain between Leningrad and the Volkhov River is horrid (the blue zone at your first post) and you can bleed yourself. Have you considered the posibility of advancing by the east side of the river?

4) As I posted elsewhere, you do not need to take the ports in Ladoga Lake to isolate Leningrad. You can isolate the ports themselves, by linking with the Finns east of the Ladoga. Tivhkin is the key rail junction, if I remember correctly. One mission for the Finns would therefore be to go all the way around the Ladoga to reach the frontier and wait for the Germans to arrive. One important thing is that the Finns can move into the Soviet Union, if they do not have to attack soviet units. They could be useful to create ZOCs in the region to the east of the Volkhov.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/5/2011 11:23:31 PM   
Mynok


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Just send one small corp to clean up in the northwest area.

Get the light purple (18th?) army up with your panzers as fast as you can. You'll need them to screen the panzers flanks if you are doing the right hook move.

Dark purple should take Pskov and then move on Leningrad. Green should move on Velikye Luki and the further objectives to the east.

My next try at this one I'm going to do the same thing. I got a minor victory last time but only because I took all the objectives from Novgorod south. I never got to Lake Ladoga because my panzers got caught up in the swamps of the Volkov. You need to stick to the woods east of these for sure with these guys.

Against the AI, you can screen your panzers flanks with regiments most of the time, using up less of your force.

_____________________________

"Measure civilization by the ability of citizens to mock government with impunity" -- Unknown

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/6/2011 8:26:40 PM   
GordianKnot


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You might try sending 1 or 2 Corps north to the coast and go around that big lake that starts with a P.

The Ruskies will then try to block and your main force can cut in behind them, between them and Leningrad.

I almost always can trap 4-5 units that way. Also, there is a sneaky path between those two lakes. If you get there early enough, you can sometimes get a unit across and that causes some real prob's for the Russians.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 2:23:19 PM   
heliodorus04


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So here is the operational plan based on where I left off yesterday:






Now what?
Frankly, a human probably would have surrounded Novgorod and put me in a bad way. I think Iíll remember this as something I do not want to do again. I feel lucky. By this point in my AAR, Iíve posted it to the Matrix forum, and my two respondents (thanks guys!) say to be sure to advance EAST of the Volkhov river. Understood. That then, is the plan for the turn. This turn is very likely to be about movement and little else. The one thing Iíd like to accomplish that I donít think will happen is isolating Pskov. Without armor, I donít think I can wrap up that area, and my armor simply must drive east, and north. I have very ****ty decisions to make, and Iím already defaulting to ďMove!Ē rather than ďFightĒ.

Having now seen screenshots from other peopleís Road to Leningrad, I think there are simply WAY too few units in my recon results. East and North!
I retool my plans: 18th Army moves in to replace 16th Army, which itself moves to defend the supply path to Novgorod. Holding Novgorod itself will take some special help, either in the form of one of my motorized units, or perhaps I can temporarily motorize some infantry to hasten its path up there (thatís my first order of business to read the manual about).
Meanwhile 4 Panzer Gruppe is the East and North element, with good movement options east of the Volkhov (not shown in screenshot).

I have a small problem with my mobile elements: Theyíre fatigued. Fuel isnít holding them back in MPs as much as being tired is. Infernal mortality, I tell ya. This issue, combined with the fact that it will take 28 (TWENTY-EIGHT!) AP to motorize my infantry units, leads me to wonder what I am to do about Novgorod.

I hate to sound like Der Fuehrer but giving it up isnít ideal, not because itís all THAT valuable to final victory (it is) or to present operational considerations (it isnít). Itís that if I give it up, it becomes the defensive limit around Leningrad, and that seems like a worse proposition than making some sacrifices to hold it.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 2:27:03 PM   
heliodorus04


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Well, look, I donít know what to do with AP anyway yet, newb that I am, and holding Novgorod seems like something I ought to commit to, or abandon, so I am going to motorize a unit to try to get into the city properÖ
This is how that turned out.







That was half my APs saved for the game thus farÖ A true ďcommand decisionĒ. Weíll see if it amounts to anything, or if I was just over-zealous. The rest of X corps leaves contact with Pskov and moves NE.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 2:28:45 PM   
heliodorus04


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XXVI Corps (/18 Army) makes contact at Pskov, XXXVIII advances to Talinn with 2 Inf. Divisions (is that more than I ought to commit thataways?). That eastern bubble of units, SE of Pskov, those look like something I might be able to encircle, so I spend a lot of time making moves that turn out like this:






Note that I have Totenkopf highlighted, and itís move is shown. Iíve decided, as I looked at my own screen shot, that Iím going to re-attach Totenkopf, probably to L Corps (I think itís L), which also contains Polizei SS. More APs, but if you canít tell, Iím not spending much in APs right now anyway. Letting the AI deal with it. No complaints yet. Might fiddle with it later. But thatís 3 armored and 2 motorized divisions, and itís not far enough out of the way that it detracts from my operational offensive tempo (famous last words).

Itís all-in, and if youíre in Hitlerís War Machine, fortune favors the bold (until the strategic situation becomes hopeless, and then all you can hope for is a quiet retirement to the Reichschancellorie or better yet, Bavaria).
Oh, lest I forget, Totenkopf is tired. Very tiredÖ And that right-most element of 16th Army might have to be re-assigned to 9th Army, but letís see what develops.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 2:31:19 PM   
heliodorus04


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Now itís time to move motorized formations.
I decided to commit to that encirclement by adding 6th Panzer to L Corps (Totenkopf/Polizei divs); itís now a crack SS panzer corps in 1941! If I were messing with leaders in this game, which Iím not, now would be a good time to have a good mech commander in this corpsÖ Right?

Anyhow, this is how it looked after I completed the encirclement and moved all motorized.






Note that I had to commit an additional armor division to the southern encirclement. What sacrifices that may entail longer term concerns me.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 2:56:45 PM   
heliodorus04


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As T6 starts, it seems like I really have to start thinking about switching my operational focus back from maneuver to smart engagements. This turn my forward elements are still suffering from fatigue, and supply is pretty close to its range limit at there on the Northeast edge. Moreover, at both my NE and SE flank (the latter covered by 9th Army), I have solid recon on a solid defensive element. The Russians are signaling that they have sufficient strength to claw at the flanks. Bigger decisions still this turn. After recon, the game looks like this (North first):






You can see the Soviet attempt to contain my advance, and the blue marks things I might like to TRY to do this turn. Of the 3 options available, encircling Pskov looks profitable, and I might try to do it hard-core this turn. Thatís a lot of units to bag.

Vyshny Volo-whatever is low on the priority list, BUT, itís the least defended. And the circled Tikhvin location is paramount to my operational plan.

I have reached the limit of casual, callous advancing with little concern for my own encirclement. Beginning this turn downside risk of over-extension becomes a game-changer. I canít let spearheads get encircled.
I am strongly considering this turn doing some HQ re-supply functions, and preparing one turn for a prepared offense for T7. All those advance elements are at risk where they are right now let alone if they move further ahead.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 3:16:37 PM   
heliodorus04


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From: Denver Colorado
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In the south, there are some puzzling issues.





Letís start in the northwest. That empty circle? Thatís where an Armor Div and Mot. Div were encircled next turn. Whereíd they go? Is that one of them to the east? How can they extract themselves and not leave hexes under Soviet control? This leads me to believe they moved South (the red circles) and maybe other units escaped encirclement. But itís puzzling. Iíd like to be able to see enemy moves particularly when it seems obvious I would SEE their movement given I have them surrounded!

Note that in the far south, 9th Army has encountered a pretty strong defensive element SW of Velikie Luki. Looks like they get to join the party.
Also, I have created for myself one operational dilemma from last turn. Basically L Corps is now a de facto panzer corps, with 6th Armored and Totenkopf, plus the Polizei Div. And they are in a position to either add hammer-type strength to the drive for Velikie Luki (and possibly Rzhev and itís 300 VP), or itís got to move itself back north to help out in meeting the fins. And thatís a tough call for me right now.

Finally, add in Pskov. By diverting the motorized around Novgorod to isolate Pskov, I can have my largest encirclement yet. But it would be very tricky to pull off, and as I see growing strength around Leningrad/Novgorod, I have to accept the fact that I wonít have uncontested initiative anymore. I think thatís over, THIS turn.

I think the only thing I know for sure is that I want to bag the units in the encirclement and make a consolidated front in pursuit of Velikie Luki. In the North, no idea. Up there, Iím gonna move the Fins firstÖ


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 4:20:23 PM   
Josh

 

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From: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
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About the "missing" Armor Div? If you press the "battlesites" key, I think it's f11, it'll show you all the battles and recon. Click on a battle and you get to see what happened there, or hover over it with your mouse. It might show you that they may have surrendered. It would show you a battle icon in the place of the missing units, clicking on that icon will bring you the battle report: xxx div surrended. At least, I think that's what happened.

There ain't much Soviet units at first, the *real* battle begins at Leningrad, there you'll meet quite a few enemy counters. That's where I send my armor anyway. Meet up with the Finns to "awake" them, meaning they can move beyond the " no move/ no attack line" (forgot which one). Use Inf stacks to take Leningrad. Pocketing early in this game doesn't bring you much IMHO, pocketing later on, from T6 say, especially in the North, is what brings victory.

Whatever happens, playing this game is the best way to learn it.

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 8:52:21 PM   
heliodorus04


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From: Denver Colorado
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The turn flowed pretty fast, I guess because there was a lot to do. Iím breaking it down into Pskov, Lake Ilmen, and Velikie Luki screenshots, and Iíll start with Pskov.




Practically all of 18th Army was used to encircle, including the key ĎPanzerí Element, L Corps (Totenkopf, 6th Panzer, SS Polizei Div.). First I forced the cav in the center of the Soviet line to retreat (red circle) then I moved through the motorized elements along the red arrows.

One thing I learned this turn is that you MUST OWN all the hexes around the Soviets for them to be considered encircled. If they have even a contested supply path, they apparently draw some supply, and it may not be much, but itís enough. Weíll discuss that again in the Velikie Luki section, because they didnít get encircled the way I thought they would. This config should encircle Pskov and bag all those units in a turn or maybe 2. L Corpsí commitment had better net good results. Theyíre not available out east, though maybe thatís a good thing (again, more later).


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 8:53:44 PM   
heliodorus04


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From: Denver Colorado
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Velikie Luki looks like this.




This is the area where Iíve had the least success this turn. I thought all those motorized elements were encircled before, but they had a path of friendly-owned hexes, 1-hex only, that stretched into Velikie Luki (I donít know if it was open all along, or if they opened it somehow in their movement phase.

From last turn, the western-most Armor routed (seen to east now in SS). Some disappeared, which I spoke about before. And the bulk pressed SE toward Velikie Luki. This turn I tried to ensure they couldnít extricate themselves.
I am very concerned with that stack in the SW by that single element of 9th Army. Thatís an NKVD Regiment, a Rifle division, and a fortified area. I wonder if that division would hold if attackedÖ Enemy fortification level is 2, and that turns out bad to attack most times.

I thought about attaching that 16th Army element to 9th, but itís very expensive (something like 25 AP estimated), and Iím not willing to risk that. As it was, 9th Army inherited an out-of-command range Inf. Div, while 16th Army inherited an Inf. Div that had been attached to OKH while it marched forward. I think if Iím going to give up on any one victory point location, itís going to be Rzhev/Velikie Luki. But weíll see.
On to the panzersÖ


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 8:55:32 PM   
heliodorus04


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From: Denver Colorado
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Panzers look like this:



Iím less happy this turn than Iíve been in several. Not only are we low on movement and high on fatigue, I did NOT get to rest this turn, and I did not exploit. Iíve sort of done a tepid move to consolidate flanks here, to scout the SE corner (of the SS) and to try to prepare for the attack to link up with the Fins east of Ladoga. Maybe Iíve tried to do too much of everything?
It just didnít seem prudent to extend my line of advance all the way to Tikhvin, even though I could reach it with multiple armor units. The Russians are growing in strength and I am ebbing.

In any event, thatís how T6 is going to endÖ T7 should be interestingÖ Itís about time the Russians show me what theyíve got.


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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 9:00:52 PM   
Mynok


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They show up in droves very soon.


_____________________________

"Measure civilization by the ability of citizens to mock government with impunity" -- Unknown

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 10:38:40 PM   
heliodorus04


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From: Denver Colorado
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You can sort of see why Hitler might have thought his Generals lost something:

You blitz from the frontier to the outskirts of Leningrad in 30 days, with hardly a fight, and then suddenly the Russians are going to show up in force and ready to fight (not to mention they've been digging in for weeks at Leningrad).

I'm worried.

My eastern advance is a paper tiger, I think. This Pskov stuff better resolve itself cleanly in a turn, and I hope I can roll back the Velikie Luki defense.

Man, what a beautiful, fun game.

Bearing in mind that my Logistics, Admin, and Transport are set to 110 percent of normal, I wonder how much worse T6 would have gone without that handicap!

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RE: My first Operational AAR (Leningrad) - 1/7/2011 10:49:28 PM   
2ndACR


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From: Irving,Tx
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The Russians will really start showing up soon. You made a great push up north, but I would be worried about the lack of support if they cut you off. That is a long, long way for any help to go.

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