Haven't posted in ages, the game has been going very slowly over the holidays, and there have not been many exciting developments.
That said, we'd reached July 1943, and the Red Army is finally picking up a little steam.
North of Kursk things have been very quiet (other than a pocket Ketza created in the far north several turns ago, I'm sure he shows it in his AAR. Whoopee. If he wants to send another panzer army up there to encircle some rifle divs in the swamps, god bless him. He still has a few SS mech divs up there, not sure if it is the best place for them...
Here are screenshots from Kursk to Kharkov, and from Kharkov to Stalino:
Bascially I am slowly pushing him back in this area. Note the carpet like formations I've been forced to adopt: due to Ketza's favorite tactic of slicing in, encircling an army or two, killing it, and withdrawing, in this area, where I have the cream of the Red Army, a couple of dozen Guards rifle corps, I cannot allow that to happen...
So every turn I move some corps forward, attack, and then back some of them back off of the front line. A few hexes back I have numerous pocket-busting tank corps, and an entire front (the North Caucuses) is in reserve in this area, with its armies dispatched to wherever looks most threatened. It is obviously a slow, tedious process but so far has prevented any serious encirclements for the last several months, which vs Ketza is doing pretty good in my book. Although he now has panzer concentrations near Kursk and Kharkov, so it will be interesting to see what he tries to do with them.
I now have three assualt fronts, deployed roughly from Kursk to Kharkov, each of them consisting of rifle corps and guards rifle corp, each stuffed with SU, and each front with 4-6 arty divs. These units can now dislodge most German stacks, but I still have to use 2-3 stacks and arty divs for any hope of success.
I just updated to the latest patch, and the effectiveness of German reserves seems much much higher. I've seen one panzer div react as reserve three times in one turn, and two divs (one panzer, one mech) react as reserve in a single battle. Makes things much tougher...
General plan is to keep pressing forward, and to increase pressure on the south, so that everything from Kursk to the Sea of Azov is gradually pushed back.