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timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis)

 
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timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 7/31/2011 1:38:10 PM   
timmyab

 

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From: Bristol, UK
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As Ketza has started an AAR I'm assuming that he's serious about the game, therefore I'm going to fill in the Soviet side whenever I have some spare time.
Turn 1.
A predictably strong opening from Ketza with no breakable pockets and very few routed units to work with.Intelligence reports suggest that 46th pz corps and at least some elements of 24th pz corps have gone South of the marshes.The Red airforce is decimated with well over 5000 aircraft destroyed.
I've placed Zhukov in command of Stavka, not certain if this is a good idea or not.
In the North Riga is taken, but Kuressaare has not been bombed so the port is not open, (mistake?).Northwest front HQ is overrun in this attack and General Kusnetzov is killed whilst trying to escape capture.
27th army, under the competent General Berzarin, is given the most important job of holding Pskov and the Vilikaya river.1st mech corps guards the Southern approaches in well fortified positions.Estonia is largely empty space except for a rifle brigade and a security regiment guarding Tallinn.A German coup de main towards Tallinn may well succeed but could also be dangerous if it failed.

As usual the center has a desperate feel to it, not helped because the South has been prioritised for reinforcements.Purely checkerboard here with terrain being used to amplify CVs as much as possible.A division is sacrificed in Minsk so as to force the panzers to waste MPs either assaulting it or going around it.It will also pose a threat to the rear of the panzer groups on turn 2 if it's not dealt with.Top priority is given to defending the approach to the land bridge.

I've made an effort to stop AGS at the second Stalin line.This probably wont work but I shall be disapointed if he makes a major breakthrough.The idea here is a strong main line with a checkerboard around it and some strongish outposts in front mainly beyond infantry range to take some of the steam out of the panzer corps before they hit the main line.

Ace General Tolbukhin takes command of 16th army and is given the vitally important task of preventing AGS from breaking through in the center.The more I can force AGS to the flanks, the happier I'll be.The gap in the Stalin line should be built up to level one forts by the time the Germans arrive so the main plug of the defence will have a CV of 22+ with 17+ to the north and 12+ to the South.This should at least slow them down a bit.

I sometimes defend more forward in the deep South, but the presence of panzer units to the NW has forced me to retreat behind the Dnistr.My main concern here is that mobile units will cross the river and turn North behind 16th army.Preservation of the red army is my number one priority and losing 16th army would hurt a lot.


< Message edited by timmyab -- 7/31/2011 1:41:31 PM >
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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 7/31/2011 6:14:53 PM   
76mm


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good luck timmyab, Ketza is a tough one, watch out!

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/2/2011 9:38:07 AM   
timmyab

 

Posts: 922
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From: Bristol, UK
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^Thanks.Yes I know he's a tough opponent.
Turn 2
In the North, 1st mech corps has done it's job well by halting 4th pz group short of the river crossings, giving NW front time to dig and reinforce the river line.163rd mot division is practically destroyed in this action though.
Air recon identifies 7 mobile divisions in the North, could there be an extra pz corps in the area?27th army recieves strong reinforcements just in case.
Out of shot, Tallinn is reinforced with one battle damaged division and the Narva land bridge is held by one medium strength division and a rifle brigade.I don't think his panzers in this sector have that much mobility this turn, but they need to start digging up there anyway.

AGC has made good progress, but fortunately hasn't gained a bridgehead anywhere.This sector is now prioritised for reinforcements.Mogilev is held in strength in order to protect the vulnerable river crossings behind it.There are still two HI and two Arm factories in the city which are now surely doomed.Serious railing out of industry will begin next week.

Vatutin is given command of the powerful 20th army and slams the door shut on the land bridge.
The bit held by 41st rifle corps isn't as strong as I'd like although I console myself that it is at least commanded by Eremenko and as far as I can tell there are no built up pz corps in the area.

To my surprise, the second Stalin line in the South hasn't been breached, therefore I decide after some humming and harring, to defend forward.Normally I'd be quite happy to fall back towards Zhitomir and Vinnitsa, but it seems daft to abandon an intact fortified line and the clincher is that his infantry are for the most part beyond deliberate attack range, so I'm going to sit tight for one more week whilst my second echelon dig fall back positions.This is one way in which the Soviet player can slow down the German momentum and begin to turn the tide.Once his infantry arrive in strength though it'll be time to leave.
One of his pz corps has been built up so my defence here has plenty of strength in depth as well as a fairly formidable main line.

For the Southern front, the panzer threat appears to have receded, therefore this front is not reinforced this week.My previous opponent moved a panzer corps to the west of kishinev on turn 2 which nearly caught me out.Air recon has found no such threat lurking there this time so Odessa is left completely undefended.

(in reply to 76mm)
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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/4/2011 10:49:06 AM   
timmyab

 

Posts: 922
Joined: 12/14/2010
From: Bristol, UK
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Turn 3
My turn 2 lines have not been breached which, strangely, I find rather disconcerting.So much so in the South that i decide to flee in a kind of organized rout.My suspicion is that he has more than one built up panzer corps in the area and I'm not prepared to take a chance on getting my army surrounded.The lid is still on the pressure cooker in the center, I hope it doesn't blow up in my face.

The industry is railed out of Odessa and half out of Kiev.Two HI and two Arm plus the T-50 factory are also moved out of Leningrad.The T-50s aren't very valuable in themselves, but as far as I can make out, the factory will upgrade to T34-1942 so it's effectively one quarter of your T34 production from mid 42 onwards?

His infantry are arriving in the North so I have a few backstoppers in case they bust the line open.It's always a difficult decision to make though because with those units in the line it may be unbreakable this turn.Against a player of Ketza'a ability it's probably best to err on the side of caution.
The Narva landbridge has been further reinforced with an infantry division, an armoured division and two shell divisions under 8th army.
I've sent one division to Saaremaa to annoy him, if he doesn't winkle it out I may reinforce it, not too sure about that though.

Ketza circles menacingly outside the gates of Pskov like a hungry wolf.

My plan for defending the landbridge is for Vitebsk to act like a door post while 20th army is the door.We'll see how that one pans out.
If that pz corps is built up he may get in behind me, but it will be tough going for him with most of his infantry still out of range.
There are some backstoppers here, but most of 31st army is very weak and it will be two more weeks before it has any real strength.
Three divisions in Mogilev still stand gaurd over the weakest river crossings.
Eremenko is promoted to command 24th army.

The Prypyt marshes are the usual mixture of displaced HQs and rallied units from the Western front.The survivors manage to form a sort of front here though which is just as well because that SS division is tanked up.

The Southern front looks like it has exploded.I hate doing this checkerboarding but it's the only halfway house between giving him total freedom of movement and risking getting a large chunk of my army surrounded.
Once again 16th army has the key task of defending the center.
The threat from his mobile units in the vicinity of Proskurov has forced me to partially withdraw from my strong position in the South.
In the West, the Lvov pocket still holds out and probably will do so for another week at least.
In the Crimea, 9th rifle corps is busy digging ditches.


< Message edited by timmyab -- 8/4/2011 11:01:23 AM >

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/4/2011 6:46:37 PM   
Encircled


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Its fine to "hate" checkerboarding, but there isn't a realistic alternative against a competent Axis player in 1941.


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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/5/2011 2:17:58 AM   
M60A3TTS

 

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I like the idea of having Vatutin and Eremenko commanding the 20th and 24th. But not a fan of Zhukov running STAVKA. In this case come week 4, I'd assign 20th, 24th and 31st to Reserve Front and have Zhukov command that. Only thing now is it's a lot of APs to get Z out of STAVKA. Boris S is perfectly fine in that role with the high admin rating.

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/7/2011 1:24:46 AM   
timmyab

 

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^Yes, good idea about the reserve front.I'm actually going to give it to Budyonny though.At the moment there is a critical situation on all fronts and I want Zhukov's influence to be felt everywhere, or be it somewhat dissipated.I'm still learning the system so this may turn out to be a mistake.

Turn 4
A couple of good moves here from Ketza

The Battle Of Pskov
Presumably the only two infantry divisions capable of a deliberate attack, assault a well defended Pskov from across the river.The 191st is one of Russia's best with a base CV of 4.This crucial battle is touch and go and goes right down to the wire.The German infantry just scrape it otherwise AGN may have been held up for another week.
I don't understand the WITE combat system.The fort reduction would drop the unit CV to roughly 130, are the other 80 points down to a series of failed leadership checks?


Zhitomir Pocket
Ketza plows his way through the checkerboard creating a decent sized pocket and even making it into Kiev to bag the remaining industry.He makes very good use of his pioneers and has an uncanny ability to demolish almost every fort that he assaults so that my divisions are effetively just sitting out in the open with no protection at all.
I think he has access to top secret Ninja bulldozer battalions.
The only bright spot here is that the pocket is breakable although it does mean sacrificing 197th division.I think it's worthwhile if it holds up some of his units for a turn.What the officers and men of the 197th think about it is not printable.


The Finns are on the move in the far North.One division appears doomed, three divisions from 23rd army are sent South to defend Leningrad from AGN.


The successful attack on Pskov prompts 27th army to withdraw towards Leningrad.This may be a bit premature but it's more easily defended terrain and further away from the Axis railheads.A light reargaurd is left behind to pinch the neck of the German penetration, restricting their supplies.


The reserve front adopts a carpet defence in front of Smolensk.Some of the non-open terrain hexes form vital strongpoints in amongst the carpet.Sokolovsky is made commander of 31st army and Vasilevsky of 32nd army.


19th army under Purkaev kicks the lead elements of the AGS vangaurd out of Kiev and reoccupies the city.55th rifle corps is thrown to the wolves and ordered to get right in the face of pz group 1.Two other low value divisions also harry pz group 1.All these units will either get surrounded or blasted but either way are a right pain for the Axis player.The sheer disposability of the Red army is a huge asset.
16th army blocks the road to Cherkassy


Pound for pound the Soviet sec regiments punch way above their weight in this game, I get a lot of fun out of using them in the early weeks.
18th army is fairly strong, 9th army isn't as yet.
The factories in Kirovograd and Kremenchug are railed East.






< Message edited by timmyab -- 8/9/2011 10:29:43 PM >

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/7/2011 3:36:13 AM   
M60A3TTS

 

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You should disband that fortified zone at Hanko for the manpower.  I wouldn't let Budenny command an NKVD regiment, but as a Stalin suck-up it's a fitting move for you to give him the front I suppose.  Did you leave Vostrukov with command of the 22nd?  I'm somewhat in the middle with him.  While not stellar, he seems good enough not to spend the APs on a replacement, and the 22nd gets good river positions north of Vitebsk. 

Although I'm sure others would object, I favor stacking high with some depth west of Smolensk.  It should be a fight for the Germans to get through that important piece of ground.  In the last couple game I've started, Tolbukhin gets a STAVKA army and is on the left flank of Reserve Front.

On the Pskov battle results, I've seen an opinion that air power may be an influencer.  What's your air power look like there?  A pair of I-16s won't get it done. 

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/7/2011 8:00:36 AM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab
Ketza plows his way through the checkerboard creating a decent sized pocket and even making it into Kiev to bag the remaining industry.He makes very good use of his pioneers and has an uncanny ability to demolish almost every fort that he assaults so that my divisions are effetively just sitting out in the open with no protection at all.


I have noticed the same thing.

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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/7/2011 12:06:46 PM   
timmyab

 

Posts: 922
Joined: 12/14/2010
From: Bristol, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS
You should disband that fortified zone at Hanko for the manpower.Did you leave Vostrukov with command of the 22nd?  I'm somewhat in the middle with him.  While not stellar, he seems good enough not to spend the APs on a replacement, and the 22nd gets good river positions north of Vitebsk. 

I did disband one of them.
22nd has still got it's original commander I think.It's in a quiet spot at the moment.

quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS
Although I'm sure others would object, I favor stacking high with some depth west of Smolensk.It should be a fight for the Germans to get through that important piece of ground.

It's a difficult one to call.The solid forward defence is more risky I think.If the defenders rout in large numbers and there's a built up pz corps in reserve then it could get ugly.If they survive the infantry assaults or merely retreat then you're better off.

quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS
On the Pskov battle results, I've seen an opinion that air power may be an influencer. What's your air power look like there? A pair of I-16s won't get it done.

There are a few hundred fighters and bombers off to the NE with a few decent fighters mixed in amongst them.Are Yak 1 decent?Maybe they need to be closer.

(in reply to M60A3TTS)
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RE: timmyab (Sov) vs Ketza (Axis) - 8/17/2011 10:48:07 AM   
timmyab

 

Posts: 922
Joined: 12/14/2010
From: Bristol, UK
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Ketza has decided that he wants to wait for the new patch before starting a new game so we've agreed to end this one here.In a way I'm not sorry because I've left Leningrad woefully defended on turn 5 and may have got punished.Depending on what would have happened at Leningrad, I'd put this game down as drawish at this point.
Turn 5
The German army are putting their feet up this turn apart from some attacks West of Smolensk, although intelligence reports are warning of imminent offensives in the center and North.

The Northwestern front retreats behind the Luga and constructs a defence based mainly on strongpoints.The Narva line positions are abandoned due to the danger of 8th army being attacked from the rear.32nd army is reinforced and stands gaurd against the right hook as do elements of 23rd army.
I must admit that I'm a bit worried about Leningrad.My goal at the start was to get the industry out and hold up AGN sufficiently to force pz gr 4 to take the Ladoga ports so they can't be redeployed before the mud, whilst losing as few divisions as possible in the inevitable pocket.
Most of the industry is now gone from Leningrad including the KV 1 factory.I'm tempted to keep it there for a bit longer, but it's just not worth the risk.I could perhaps gain a hundred tanks by leaving it there for a while but I could also lose several thousand over the course of the game if it gets cut off.

This screenshot is one of those that I've looked at with the growing certainty that I've made a terrible mistake.I think that Ketza could carve his way through this defence, isolating 8th army and either crossing the river or possibly even taking Leningrad itself.With hindsight I realise that 8th army should have been positioned further East behind 27th army.My only hope is that he wont believe that I'm stupid enough to leave Leningrad vulnerable to a frontal assault and choose instead to do a right hook or to cross the Volkhov.


AGC has pushed further into the landbridge and also taken the river bend therefore I've decided to carpet 33rd army in case it gets surrounded from the North.The Reserve front is also still carpeted and the whole thing has a series of strong points surrounding it which will hopefully form a containment zone (marked).Really don't know if this is going to work or not.
22nd army has mostly withdrawn from it's river positions and is now SW of Velikie Luki, along with elements of 11th army, providing flank protection for the Reserve front.


The Zhitomir pocket is unbreakable this turn.They've held the germans up for a while and will still continue to mess up their supply next turn as well.
A raid by 2nd cavalry division catches the luftwaffe off gaurd and destroys 36 German aircraft on the ground.Mainly JU 87.


11th army are still a turn or two away from my positions in the South.The pz corps to the North may be heading this way although I've made an effort to restrict it's supply as much as possible.All the industry is still in Nikolaev so they may be able to lock it down next turn.
Strategy for the evacuation of industry is an interesting subject.On turn three for example I deliberately left some industry in Kiev to tempt Ketza to make a lunge at it and hopefully overextend himself.I must admit that I didn't actually expect him to make it but that extension may have made the difference between the Zhitomir pocket being breakable and not, and it really doesn't make much difference because the rail cap that would have been used for those factories will be used to rail others out elsewhere.


Industry lost to date
Minsk - 3 HI 3 Arm
Mogolev - 2 HI 2 Arm
Kiev - 2 HI 2 Arm

OOB


Losses

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