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42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 11:05:53 AM   
Tarhunnas


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I am currently playing a grand campaign 42-45 PBEM as the Soviets. I didn't plan to write an AAR originally, but now I've realized that there are very few AARs of the campaign starting in 42. As the blizzard issues may cause people to think about playing campaigns starting in 42 I thought an ARR of a 42-campaign might be of interest. The situation at the start of the 42- campaign is rather interesting, and both sides have options for offensive action, the Germans more so than the Soviets of course.

As I start this thread we are on turn 14, but I will start from the beginning. I don't have any screeenshots earlier than turn 5 though.

The Germans started out with an offensive in the south with two prongs, one dirrected at Voronezh and one straight east from the Donets basin. Vorozhilovgrad fell on turn 1 and various smaller pockets of Soviet units were created, though none larger than a few divisions. The German advance to the northeast of Kursk was rather audacious for 1942 conditions, and I promptly counterattacked and routed an encircled SS-brigade (I didn't think the encirclement would hold, so I opted for giving them a good scare instead of starving them).

The Germans were unlucky in that there was mud on turn 2 in some areas, but the advannce continued generally along the same lines. I followed up the success against the SS-brigade with spoiling attacks against the northern flank of the drive towards Voronezh, which caused the Voronezh thrust to change direction and head north toward Tula instead, which I think was a mistake, as the area is crammed with Soviet reserves.

In the south the German thrust also turned north towards Boguchar, which was a relief for me. I was worried about Rostov, which was insufficiently fortified and defended. I think Rostov is a key in the South, if the Germans hold it, it oppens up a lot of threats that the Soviets have to guard against, in Soviet hands it is a threat to the German southern flank.

Here is a screenshot from the Voronezh area at the start of Soviet turn 5.






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< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 2/27/2011 11:12:10 AM >
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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 11:10:36 AM   
Tarhunnas


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And here is the situatition in the Don bend with the German armour moving north east towards Boguchar.




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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 11:32:06 AM   
Tarhunnas


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By turn 7 the Tula attack had stalled and gotten caught in a meat grinder. I counterattacked with all I had from all sides and managed to cut off German stacks on several occasions, but the panzer stacks are strong, and manage to reopen communications each time. Now the Germans are beginning to extricate the panzer divisions. This has cost me massive casualties, but the Germans have suffered too, and they are much less able to afford it.

I note that Soviet tank corps are quite brittle. The can go from strength 5 to 2 just by making one attack. This feels about right to me.

Here is a shot of the Tula thrust starting to back out of the meat grinder, start of Soviet turn 7.






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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 11:43:19 AM   
Tarhunnas


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In the north, there has been a scuffle in the area north of Smolensk. The Germans cut off a number of divisions in tip of the finger pointing at Smolensk, but I reinforce the area with some reserves from the plentiful array of units parked around Moscow. My aim is to continue to make trouble to prevent the German moving any reserves out of the area. I capture Velikie Luki in a surprise assault (surprised myself that it succeeded). There are a number of weak German units in the are that can be hit. I only have resources to attack a hex here and there, but the objective is to stir things upp and make the German uncomfortable, not any major advance.

Around Leningrad, the Germans have been reducing the Oranienbaum bridgehead and taken the two hexes south of Leningrad. I am not worried about that, they will never take the city itself (or - a little worried, but I won't let that show). I think those German forces could be better employed elswhere.

Here is a shot of the area north of Smolensk at the beginning of Soviet turn 7.







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< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 2/27/2011 11:45:06 AM >

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 12:04:26 PM   
Tarhunnas


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In the Don bend, the German thrust is aiming at Boguchar. Arrows in picture below denotes German direction of attack. I just barely escape being encircled on the north side of the river.

Note the circled German units. Sings of a buildup? Unfortunately, I did not pay enough attention to that at the time.






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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 12:27:11 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Turn 8, mid August. The German thrust to the northeast at Boguchar continues. Inconclusive fighting south of Tula with the Germans slipping out. I had hoped to be able to cut some of them off, but they were too strong.

In the Don bend I am formulating a plan. I aim to collect my reserves in the area southeast of Boguchar and then strike into the rear of the German panzers, as shown by the blue arrow. Shot from beginning of Soviet turn 8.

Edit: I relize I should have been using red for friendly forces. I am playing the Soviets, so red is good! Still, now, I've started I'll continue with blue for friends and red for enemies.






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< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 2/27/2011 12:30:23 PM >

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 12:56:01 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Double surprise in the Don bend! Turn 10 and I have assembled my reserves in the Don bend as indicated in the last screenshot, but the Germans strike first! Apparently they have transferred a couple of panzer corps from the Voronezh area and struck without warrning, encircling my unsuspecting attack force! Nicely done! However, the pocket is weak and can easily be broken. The tactical execution could have been better.

I have forces at hand, not very strong but adequate for the job, so I move in the direction indicated and encircle the encircler!






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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 1:13:46 PM   
Tarhunnas


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This starts a furious round of encirclement and counter encirclement in the Don bend. Neither side is strong enough to force an encirclement that holds, both sides continue to attack with weakened units inflicting and taking great losses. But the Soviets can afford this, the Germans cannot.

Meanwhile, the absence of Germann armor in the Voronezh sector is proving crucial. I am able to go over to the offensive, and encirce part of the Hungarian army and a couple of German divisions. After a couple of turns, the entire front is ripped oppen from Bryansk to Kharkov! And the majority of the German armor is still stuck in the Don bend!

Voronezh - Kharkov area turn 13.






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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 1:23:09 PM   
Tarhunnas


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And this is the Don bend after turn 14. The cream of the German panzers are still struggling in the Don bend, and meanwhile the enire rest of AG South ave been encircled west of Boguchar.

Off the picture to the south, the Rumanians holding the line at Rostov have been pushed back, in addition, I have been experimenting with my first amphipious landings and landed two divisions at different ports on the northern shore of the Sea of Azov. That should hopefully make me able too unhinge the Rumanians even further, and add to the woes of AG South.




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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 1:34:17 PM   
Tarhunnas


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News: I have just recieved a note of surrender from the Wolfsschannze! Just as I was getting up to current in my AAR! But I understand my opponent, I had really gotten the Soviet steamroller up to speed, and it cannot have been fun to be on the receiving end.

Here is a map graciously provided by the OKH of the situation from the German perspective, start of German turn 15, 3d october.






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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 1:41:49 PM   
Tarhunnas


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And here is the northern part of the front. As you can see, the Germans have started to evacuate the Rzev bulge, presumably to free up troops to shore up the front elswhere. I have continued with diversionary attacks in the Velike Luki area and towards Smolensk. The prong towards Smolensk have been somewhat reinforced by me, and is starting to develop into a threat to the rear of AGC.





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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 2:04:59 PM   
gids

 

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yea i did several mistakes there but all in all a fun AAR , i was thinking to continue it but i Had nothing left whatsoever on the southern section i really hoped that surprise attack at the don would save me there , i never suspected the amount of reinforcements you had there after my diversion towards tula,after your counterencirclement i was pretty much done for :) nice 1

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 2:16:06 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Conclusions from the Soviet prespective

* Things felt rather easy as the Soviets in this campaign. There are adequate reserves at hand, several reserve armies start the campaign parked at convenient places behind the front. I certainly did not get the feeling of panic at STAVKA during the autumn described in books (Glanz, Erickson). It was more of a question of waiting for the momennt to strike.

* I was initially worried about Voronezh and Rostov. Initial Soviet forces there are weak, and the fortifications are not extensive. Luckily, the Germans in both cases deflected their thrusts to other targets (which I believe might have been a mistake).

* The soviet growth rate is amazing. Just leave a little fledgling 1-strength rifle division behind the front for a couple of turns and it grows into something really useful.

* Soviet armor is very brittle! Tank brigades cannot hold their own and become unready almost by thinking about being involved in combat! Tank corps can lose half their strength in one combat. This feels realistic to me. They spring back quickly, given a turn or two to recover.

* I get the overall feeling that the Soviets are overpowered in this campaign. I really don't see how the Germans are supposed to get both to Stalingrad and to the Caucasus! I even hardly touched the forces in the Transcaucasus, I had several armies just sitting there, as I didn't have the AP:s to reassign the armies to another front.

* I did not have any problems at all sustaining deep penetrations. Once the front was ripped oppen, I sent armor brigades and corps all ways to mess up the German rail lines and stop them from patching up the front. But during this period of the war, the Soviets had real problems supplying their spearheads, which often brought offensives to a halt. I did not feel this at all, I could have rolled on much further without supply problems. I think maybe Soviet supply ought to be restricted somehow.

* Soviet tank brigades can be used almost as sacrificial units once a penetration is achieved to mess up the German rear areas. This doesn't feel really right. I don't have the feeling that they were historicallyy capable of independent operations in the enemy rear. Perhaps they should be restricted to moving only a couple of hexes away from a corpps or division? Or maybe pay extra to convert enemy hexes? Just 15 tanks or so in an unready brigade gets an effect out of its proportion as it is now.

Edit: My keeyboard is acting upp, so any double letters are not duue to me sttammering, its the #"%& keybboard, and it's a reeal chore to go back and edit double lletters away. Mustt fix this!

< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 2/27/2011 2:32:38 PM >

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 2:34:40 PM   
gids

 

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it was my first time as 42 and yes it was a mastike not to go for rostov,wont happen 2 :p

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 3:03:24 PM   
gids

 

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mistake :p

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 2/27/2011 5:53:27 PM   
Oleg Mastruko


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42 puts Germans in *disastrous* starting position. I commented elsewhere that main reason to play 41 GC is to get better than history positions by spring 42 and then play a nice delaying defensive game till 45. However getting better spring 42 positions currently seems impossible for the Axis no matter what they do because of winter rules but that's not the discussion for this thread.

In 42 GC Germans have lots of forces tied up in some semi pockets here or there, plus everything in the starting position suggests they should try the repeat of the historic Fall Blau in the south. Fall Blau was IMO totally wrong thing to do in real life, and will be even more wrong in terms of this game. I really don't see how Axis can get any success in 42 GC, but this time I am not blaming game's weather mechanics for that, just the awful historic setup....

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 6/22/2011 8:30:14 AM   
delatbabel


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Try this again as the Soviets in 1.04. I achieved similar results in 1.03 but in 1.04 it's much harder.

_____________________________

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Del

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 6/22/2011 12:29:21 PM   
Tarhunnas


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What are the differences? Has the scenario been extensively changed?

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RE: 42-45 GC Mini AAR - 6/23/2011 3:16:06 AM   
delatbabel


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Something has significantly changed. In 1.03 I was able to easily roll my Axis opponent in the 1942 GC. In 1.04 with the same opponent it's 1944 and I'm still retreating. I have lost Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, and most of my rifle divisions are CV 1, with a few 2s and some 3s. I even had to pull a guards rifle corps out to refit because it had hit CV 1. There seems to be a complete collapse in the manpower situation after you lose the 3 big cities and the extra time it takes to build fortifications plus the inability of front line units to receive reinforcements seems to make it much easier for the Germans to take them in late 1942 and then hold them to the end of the war. I will probably retake Moscow in mid to late 1944 but it will be tough going.

I have a huge pile of tanks in the pool but none are being sent to units as reinforcements. I haven't built any tank corps and have disbanded about half of the brigades because they were next to useless.

So it's very much tougher.

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