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Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI

 
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Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:36:57 PM   
coralsaw


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Helo all,

Apparently this is one of the hardest scenarios to win as the Axis. Before playing it I searched the AAR forum for a good writeup on it but didn't find much, so I thought I'd share my effort with any fellow newbies that want to try this out too. It was a major learning lesson for me in Blitzkrieg and one that I recommend to all before trying on the GC. All settings normal.

I'll try to explain a few important points as we move forward.

Best regards.

EDIT: Apologies for posting in the wrong subforum, can a mod move this to AAR please?

< Message edited by coralsaw -- 2/20/2011 5:43:40 PM >


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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:45:53 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 1
Airports were bombed, PZ groups were stripped from the slow infantry divisions, and both FBDs were moved to work on the Minsk railroad line. Getting the railroad up as fast as possible is key to winning. For the Pz Corps it's all about avoiding enemy contact and having enough supplies and fuel. All Pz Corps were put in refit mode.

AGN units withdrawing in the first few turns were used to clean up the top of the map. Getting as many infantry Corps as possible to pack up and move, move, move forward is also crucial. Here's the situation in the north



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< Message edited by coralsaw -- 2/20/2011 7:19:44 PM >


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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:49:13 PM   
coralsaw


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3rd Pz Group pushes forward
Unless an enemy unit occupies a crucial breakthrough hex, it's best to avoid contact of the Pz Corps with enemy and keep well within own or pending own territory when pushing forward, even at the expense of a couple more hexes.

It is relatively safe and absolutely important to stretch the flanks for this initial push, since a) the panzers pay half costs for fighting and ZoC traversing for this first round, and because average SU mobility is low (1-2 enemy hexes at most) for most units. There's not much cavalry available either, which is usually a problem for the Axis with its lower ZoC penalties.




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< Message edited by coralsaw -- 2/20/2011 6:42:51 PM >


_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:50:39 PM   
coralsaw


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2nd Pz Group pushing from the south.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:53:17 PM   
coralsaw


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The pocket in front of Minsk

Notice how the left part of the pocket is thinly held by 2 Corps and security forces. Without infantry following the panzers as fast as possible, the attack will bog down fast.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:56:09 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 2

The AI rightly decides to withdraw the Minsk defence, but is caught before it reaches the Dnepr line of defence. The initial pocket is cleared.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:57:56 PM   
coralsaw


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The Vitebsk-Smolensk line
Nobody wants to assault across a major river, so the initial objective of the panzers is the Vitebsk-Smolensk line. All else is smaller fish, including Minsk.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 5:59:54 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 3
The Minsk defenders are annihilated, the infantry is catching up, and the Vitebsk-Smolensk gap is widened.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:01:39 PM   
coralsaw


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The Pz Groups need their infantry too
Notice how it's best to wait for the supporting infantry instead of pushing again through, since the panzers have built some fatigue, and the new line won't have time to fortify. Also, once a gap is created, it's wise to pour all panzers through it.





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< Message edited by coralsaw -- 2/20/2011 6:03:01 PM >


_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 9
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:04:33 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 4




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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:06:06 PM   
coralsaw


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The 2 FBDs working together produce 1-2 more hexes per turn





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:07:34 PM   
coralsaw


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Lots of fighting on the Dnepr line
Most of the battles are won by the infantry, then the panzers handle the weak withdrawn units and secondary defenders.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:08:25 PM   
coralsaw


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Mogilev is captured, the Dnepr line can wait




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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:11:10 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 5
A turn of infantry advance and pocket forming.

The Luftwaffe has not been used on airfields past turn 1, and no fuel airlifts were yet needed by the panzers. Recon and ground support for important battles takes priority.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
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RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:12:28 PM   
coralsaw


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9th Army gets aggressive
Velikie Luki is tough to capture from the west, lots of swamp territory.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 15
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:13:27 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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2nd Pz Group thanks the 3rd Pz Group for their hard work





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 16
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:16:49 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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Turn 6
The SU line is getting to long to properly man, especially considering all the pocketed and destroyed units. Most Mogilev defenders didn't manage to get out of the pocket. The Pz Groups are now fatigued and short of resources, so from next turn fuel air supply and HQ buildups will start to happen.





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 17
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:18:05 PM   
coralsaw


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Smolensk is a tough nut to crack
So we'll bypass it from both sides.





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 18
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:19:43 PM   
coralsaw


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Turn 7
Smolensk and Velikie Luki are in danger, and the whole SU line starts to collapse.




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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 19
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:26:28 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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The Smolensk pocket is almost sealed
Notice how in this case I've actually sought contact between the Panzers and the enemy infantry despite the attrition, in order to increase their ZoC costs and avoid the pocketed units escape.

One Pz Corp in the south is building up to resume the attack next turn. To build up a Pz Corps with the minimum of advance disruption, one needs to a) prepare from the previous round so HQ ends up in a safe hex close to the front (since it won't be able to move while building), and b) use all of the subordinate Pz and Motorized divisions MPs (if not too fatigued) to hit/advance/explore and return within 5 hexes of the HQ that's building up. Then hit the 'Build up' link. Thus, not all the MPs of the Pz are lost for the current turn.

In terms of Support units, I forgot to mention that in the first turns all Pz Corp divisions have been given dedicated support units (Pioneers, Stugs/JagdPz) to strengthen them. Also, all HQ above Corps support levels were set up to 1 and Corps HQ support levels were set to as many as their subordinate divisions.





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< Message edited by coralsaw -- 2/20/2011 7:06:48 PM >


_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 20
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:37:25 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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Turn 8
Velikie Luki and Bryansk are captured, and 3rd Pz Group is resting for a final push.





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 21
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:38:14 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
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From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
Velikie Luki is captured





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A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 22
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:39:09 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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The panzers are building up





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 23
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:40:02 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
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From: Zürich, CH
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Bryansk is captured





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 24
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:41:08 PM   
coralsaw


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From: Zürich, CH
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Infantry will fight all good battles it can get
Anything to inch forward, unless highly fatigued or depleted.




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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 25
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:45:18 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
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From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
Turn 9
Vyazma taken, and a final push for Rhzev. The whole SU front has collapsed.





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 26
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:46:38 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
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From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
Without the railroad, we'd be nowhere as near to Moscow





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 27
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:48:19 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
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From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
The Velikie Luki pocket
Does the Velikie Luki have a supply area? None of these pocketed units was isolated. Nevertheless, I didn't have enough force to push from the west.





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 28
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:49:11 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
Joined: 10/29/2000
From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
All out for Rzhev!





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 29
RE: Road to Smolensk: Axis major win v. AI - 2/20/2011 6:50:30 PM   
coralsaw


Posts: 417
Joined: 10/29/2000
From: Zürich, CH
Status: offline
Turn 10
Rzhev has fallen, and a Pz Division gets adventurous and sails for Moscow!





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_____________________________

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 15 July 1815, to the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

(in reply to coralsaw)
Post #: 30
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