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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek

 
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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 5:13:52 PM   
ComradeP

 

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What combat hit from poor C&C? As far as I know, there's no documented penalty for leader rolls for STAVKA-attached armies, nor is there a combat penalty (only for units directly attached to fronts/STAVKA). Besides, there's nothing stopping you from using STAVKA like a front HQ and keeping all STAVKA attached frontline armies in more or less the same area.

What you propose (overloading fronts) means that you'll have an extremely small chance to ever make the second leader roll. With non-overloaded fronts, you'll at least have a chance. I don't see any benefit with overloading fronts, considering that there's no real penalty for armies attached to STAVKA. Contrary to units attached to STAVKA, the units attached to the army HQ's that are in turn attached to STAVKA will generally be in command range of their HQ and will thus get normal supplies (the main problem with STAVKA attached units aside from the combat penalties being the minimal amount of supplies they get).

The performance of my STAVKA armies is more or less identical to that of my non-STAVKA armies.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/23/2011 5:16:03 PM >


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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 5:18:20 PM   
Flaviusx


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STAVKA units mixed in with units under a front command will not perform at 100% in combat, Pieter.

Yes, your units commanded by Fronts will pass more out of combat command checks if kept under limits, but pay for it on the battlefield. I'd rather take the out of combat hit and wait for the Front command shortage to straighten itself out.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 5:29:35 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

STAVKA units mixed in with units under a front command will not perform at 100% in combat, Pieter.


Neither do units from different front or army commands. All it takes is some good management. If you can prevent units from 2 different fronts participating in an attack if you don't want them to/if the penalties would be too severe, you can also prevent STAVKA armies mixing in with front armies.

There's a real downside to overloading fronts. With proper management, there's little to no downside to using STAVKA-attached armies.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 5:34:13 PM   
Flaviusx


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A front kept under command limits will only be able to cover a very small amount of real estate. There are not enough fronts early on to properly cover the whole front. So some intermixing between STAVKA and front units is inevitable if you try to stay under Front command limits.

A Front can barely manage 3 full armies. That's not going to go far.

Good management will avoid command penalties in offensive combats, sure. But you're entirely at the mercy of the enemy during his turn, and the Axis can easily contrive things so that units under different Front or STAVKA commands get mixed up as a result of retreats and routs. Things get very messy.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 5:55:39 PM   
ComradeP

 

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With the current weakness of Soviet units, proper C&C will give you the most benefits when attacking. And things getting messy when the enemy breaks through is not something that can really be avoided even with only units of the same command in the same area, as they probably won't have forts to hide in and will just be blown away by the Wehrmacht.

I just don't worry too much about C&C penalties when defending, because I know that when an attack comes, it's going to hurt anyway and that after the initial line retreated, units can retreat/rout anywhere and mix up.

Also: the Germans can only see the commanding HQ, not whether a unit is STAVKA assigned or not. They might deduce it from combat results, but they'd need to pay close attention because they'll only see it when a unit from a non-STAVKA attached army participates in a battle with a unit from a STAVKA-attached army.

As an example:

Let's say you have 2 units from 10th Army that's not attached to STAVKA and 1 unit from 30th Army that is attached to STAVKA. Let's say all units have a CV of 2(ergo:20 in battle). If the commanding HQ is 10th Army, the unit from 30th Army will lose 5 points of CV, but various leader checks might make up for it. If 30th Army ends up being the commanding army, the units from 10th Army will lose 5 CV each for a total of 10. As a percentage of the total it's a lot, but not as a hard number (there's barely any difference between 50/55 and 60 CV). That's why I don't worry too much about it, as the penalties are pretty small. Somewhat decent leaders will generally nullify the reduction in any case.

When you get corps and good units with higher CV's, then yes, it could be a problem, but by that point you should have enough fronts for most of your armies anyway.

The only thing I'm afraid of is a unit being moved to a hex with a STAVKA unit and STAVKA being picked as the commanding HQ, in which case CV goes down the drain in an instant.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 10:07:08 PM   
randallw

 

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Was the KV tank named after Kliment Voroshilov? ( or is that just some weirdness I made up )

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 10:52:06 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Yes. Kliment Voroshilov was the kind of guy who thrived by being so mediocre in almost everything he did that nobody was really bothered by him taking theoretically powerful positions. He was still around at the time of the Hungarian uprising. How his liver survived that long is anyone's guess.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/23/2011 10:52:17 PM   
M60A3TTS


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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

Was the KV tank named after Kliment Voroshilov? ( or is that just some weirdness I made up )


Yes it was.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/24/2011 12:57:41 AM   
Speedysteve

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

Yes. Kliment Voroshilov was the kind of guy who thrived by being so mediocre in almost everything he did that nobody was really bothered by him taking theoretically powerful positions. He was still around at the time of the Hungarian uprising. How his liver survived that long is anyone's guess.


LOL

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 9:54:30 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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Turn 54 – 25 June 1942

The 1942 Axis Offensive starts... or better, half of it. The suspicions I harbored since Turn 48 have materialized

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek
Or perhaps that PzKorps is going towards Orel... in any case, I'd like Q-Ball to commit like that, even if I have to risk losing a few divisions. If I displace forces on the flanks, perhaps I will be able to put some hurt on Q-Ball. Perhaps. 


Q-Ball has committed half of his motorized forces – two full PanzerArmees from my estimates – attacking the salient west of Voronezh. The result has been a major engagement on the western bank of the Don, resulting in 18 divisions being encircled (about 150,000 men). Q-Ball told me over e-mail that my defenses were good: he couldn't get where he wanted to. I must say that his attack was very good as well, he's played craftily the ZOC game to herd divisions into destruction by manipulating retreat paths.

The newly formed Voronezh Front – whose formation has sparkled a quite interesting discussion here – has been badly mauled. Of its four armies – 31st, 33rd, 37th and 61st – the former three have been overrun by Q-Ball's schwerpunkt left wing. Southwestern Front has also suffered. 19th Army has been completely encircled, 12th Army – covering the flank – has been scattered to the four winds and half of 26th Army – left wing of the salient operational reserves – units have been mostly defeated. To make it short: business as usual.

Things on the Caucasus are quiet, for now. Q-Ball is obviously waiting for his railhead to be extended over the Don at Rostov.

Q-Ball has let loose Luftwaffe tactical aircraft to support his offensive. As usual when he does this, the VVS manages to inflict equal losses as it suffered.

Operational Situation Report

I think it's interesting to first take a look at things at Turn 52, when I decided to hold the salient and plan ahead for a major battle west of Voronezh



In this picture you can see part of the on-going troop movements to get ready to battle for the salient, with Voronezh Front – light blue – laying in a messy heap west of the city. Here I had a difficult choice to make. Either I presented a forward defense – by massing its four armies covering the right flank of the salient – or lay an echeloned, in depth reserve. The former had good chances of becoming a dam that could perhaps contain the German onslaught. But I'm very wary of what one can do as the phasing player, and opted for the second option, as depicted on the following picture:



with two armies to the front – deployed along a depth of 30 miles – and two other armies perched on the Don river line. All units not in contact with the Axis, were set to Reserve mode (which involved an unreasonable number of clicks). What I've found when opening the turn isn't really pretty



but not THAT bad. For the very first time after a German offensive, I have powerful formations on the flanks and front of a German thrust. I think I have a quite good idea of what's Q-Ball operational plan, to get into Moscow from the “back door”



creating plenty of opportunities for me to help him into attaining a “revolving door” effect. If he pulls this out, he will have achieved half of a decisive outcome: to destroy the bulk of the Red Army and at the same time, the major source of manpower to keep it on the field.

The other half of the decision that Q-Ball needs to achieve in order to win this game – because, to be honest, he has a very good chance of doing so, having the Axis Armies awesome strength levels – is to negate me temporarily or permanently Caucasus oil fields



M60 is right, it's not “Baku or Bust”. It's more like “Moscow or Bust” and “Baku is Nice in Summer as well if the ticket to get there is cheap enough”. I'm certain I can't stop the two PanzerArmees – that's ludicrous actually – nor fix them as I think I can do in the north – geography and troops aren't the same as around Voronezh. Interesting operational – and strategic – picture. This turn, besides the usual micromanagement to keep the Red Army on the right track, I have to take decisions that might well decide the game for good.

Logistics & Organization

I don't think I'll be able to thank Klydon for his advice to setup a Rifle Division “pipeline”. Things – if they go as I expect – will turn into a major war of attrition... One ingredient – besides using non-phasing player game mechanics to the most and not cooperating with Q-Ball's plans – necessary for the Soviet Union to survive is that of having the ability of throwing into battle the “last battalion”. And for that, I do really need to build in advance a lot of “throwaway” Rifle divisions. I just need to be careful about not throwing too many of them too fast into the bonfire.

Operations

I'm no friend of making quotations of famous individuals but this one – which I've come across while reading Karl-Heinz Frieser “Blitzkrieg Legend” - is something I need to keep in mind at all costs:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred Graf Von Schlieffen
A perfect battle, such as Cannae, is rare in the history of warfare. This is because it features, on the one side, a man such as Hannibal, and on the other side, a man such as Gaius Terentius Varro, both of whom, in their own ways, cooperate towards the attainment the greater end.


And this remark – which I find to be quite ironic – is really one thing that applies well into certain situations that arise during WitE Grand Campaign. Especially in 1942, when there are no “shock effects” nor “blizzards” Deus Ex Machina devices interferring with wargaming.

I counterattack on both flanks of Q-Ball schwerpunkt defeating three German divisions – 1 Panzer, 1 Motorized:



as well as deploying my armies in depth along Q-Ball's most likely axis of attack. I think the separation between each echelon of my defense is “about right”. By placing so many “yummy” guards units on his flank I want to distract him from what I think makes most sense to do: to ignore these screening them with infantry and execute a double envelopment around Voronezh. Either way, I don't think Q-Ball will find easy to breakthrough in depth across my lines.

In the Caucasus I'm not that sure about Q-Ball plans, but just in case I've laid a couple armies covering the approaches to Stalingrad in a hedgehog way, as well as the approaches to Krasnodar



yes guys, that's perhaps the deepest hedgehog I've ever laid, 70 miles. Sure that good old von Schlieffen - or Guderian, if we look to a closer example - would have hated to find the French Army deployed like that at Sedan :-)

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 11:13:53 AM   
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Nice work.  Indeed your defense strategy seems pretty good.  Makes sense to have a strong second line for the units in Reserve mode, the only really thing a defending player can do except to put units into "guesstimated" routes of approach.   That can raise the cost for his initial attack, and swallow his Infantry MPs, and could act as a force multiplier since reserves are not tied to a specific hex to defend?  Then having a 10 mile gap to a second line behind that might be a good way of limiting the tank floods while still hampering encircling of your front line units?  Is that approximately your idea?

How useful -- time will tell, but it seems to prevent at least the deepest breakthroughs.  The "smaller" pockets (many 150k pockets ain't small, not even a single one is, I know...) should still be doable for Q-Ball with the Axis Army being as powerful in 42 in this particular game, and this patch.  One catch with this defense is the weakness of the 1st line, or maybe it is as much of a disadvantage as an advantage.  It can hide weaknesses, but also offer easy targets.  Q-Ball should be a good player to test if it can be broken by Axis tactics, or whether this type of defense is going towards the optimum.  Curious to see how it works out.

BTW, the approach on Moscow he seems to have chosen is one I recently pursued since it simultaneously is a credible threat for a move further East, or Southeast.  Forces you to cover an enormous ground of ideal mobile warfare country.  The approach on Moscow via Tambov and Ryazan is also make best use of terrain for Axis' main offensive weapons, except for one problem I struggled with.  The Oka with its swampy and wooded northern banks...

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 12:20:15 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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Hi janh,

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
Nice work. 


Not so sure about that. I think I was a bit of a chicken by not strenghtening the "inner ring" of the salient. On the other hand, that might well have precluded Q-Ball from crossing the Don north of Voronezh this turn.

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
Indeed your defense strategy seems pretty good.  Makes sense to have a strong second line for the units in Reserve mode, the only really thing a defending player can do except to put units into "guesstimated" routes of approach.   That can raise the cost for his initial attack, and swallow his Infantry MPs, and could act as a force multiplier since reserves are not tied to a specific hex to defend?  Then having a 10 mile gap to a second line behind that might be a good way of limiting the tank floods while still hampering encircling of your front line units?  Is that approximately your idea?


Yes, that's exactly my idea. The reserve mechanism is the only mechanism available to the non-phasing player to respond to the phasing player. As I have discussed elsewhere, it's not only important to have leaders with high initiative ratings. I think it's even more important - as in requiring more time thinking - placement and MP availability. Reserve commitment chances greatly depend on the difference - in MP's - between the cost to reach a battle hex and the amount of available MP's. Tank Corps are particularly effective in this role: I'm being able to keep them on the 40 MP's level or so, and they have intervened quite often this turn. Both in the defense and in the attack.

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
How useful -- time will tell, but it seems to prevent at least the deepest breakthroughs.  The "smaller" pockets (many 150k pockets ain't small, not even a single one is, I know...) should still be doable for Q-Ball with the Axis Army being as powerful in 42 in this particular game, and this patch.  One catch with this defense is the weakness of the 1st line, or maybe it is as much of a disadvantage as an advantage.  It can hide weaknesses, but also offer easy targets.  Q-Ball should be a good player to test if it can be broken by Axis tactics, or whether this type of defense is going towards the optimum.  Curious to see how it works out.


I estimate he needs to achieve 10 pockets like that - or less pockets and grind to dust more Soviet formations - in order to inflict on me a level of losses similar to the historical one. I need to be careful not to help him too much by attacking in the historical fashion. It's very dangerous for me to commit - say, in the Rzhev - Kaluga sector - since I might well acting to reproduce a revolving door effect.

Regarding the "easy targets" thing. Yes, but that's a trap. With so many units in Reserve mode and with plenty of MP's to assist, hasty attacks - the "standard" way to push aside "ants" - can turn into very nasty surprises. Q-Ball is only doing hasty when exploiting: his tactics have changed.

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
BTW, the approach on Moscow he seems to have chosen is one I recently pursued since it simultaneously is a credible threat for a move further East, or Southeast.  Forces you to cover an enormous ground of ideal mobile warfare country.  The approach on Moscow via Tambov and Ryazan is also make best use of terrain for Axis' main offensive weapons, except for one problem I struggled with.  The Oka with its swampy and wooded northern banks...


Yeah, that terrain looks very bad... but I intend to cover it nonetheless. There's no such a thing as "impassable" terrain in WitE other than the one explicitly marked on the map as such :-)

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 12:36:03 PM   
Schattensand

 

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In your foreword you mentioned the game Stalingrad. I loved to play it too, the predecessor Operation Crusader even more so. The planing phase was only exiting for grognards, but the execution phase was somehow more real than this concept here. I would say that this planing - executing concept could even today be sucessful.
Wite is something like a mix of Panzergeneral, what I loved to play as well and Stalingrad.
I could even imagine that a game , where you are just able to choose leaders, who are classified in much more than 8 skills and give them orders, whom they try to obey without your interference and yourself just busy to prepare the
Rahmenbedingungen, railroad building, industry, science, new weapons aso with this concept of planing - executing could have some sucess.
Much more feeling like a Hitler sitting in his Wolfschanze or a Stalina in his Kreml.
Probably the wrong place to play this thought but it was just there, never mind.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 12:44:29 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Schattensand

In your foreword you mentioned the game Stalingrad. I loved to play it too, the predecessor Operation Crusader even more so. The planing phase was only exiting for grognards, but the execution phase was somehow more real than this concept here. I would say that this planing - executing concept could even today be sucessful.


Operation Crusader was a nice one as well, much more fluid indeed. However, it didn't press the right key for me. It lacked unreasonable amounts of artillery :) I also liked a lot D-Day: America Invades and the previous Gold-Juno-Sword. Great games.

If you liked those I'd like you to recommend to check out Command Ops: Battle for the Bulge. There are quite a few user-created scenarios, which cover stuff as Operation Epsom, St. Lo, or some chapters of the Lorraine Campaign. There's on-going work to cover Fall Gelb and some exotic scenarios as the Commonwealth campaign for Syria during 1941.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Schattersand
Wite is something like a mix of Panzergeneral, what I loved to play as well and Stalingrad.
I could even imagine that a game , where you are just able to choose leaders, who are classified in much more than 8 skills and give them orders, whom they try to obey without your interference and yourself just busy to prepare the
Rahmenbedingungen, railroad building, industry, science, new weapons aso with this concept of planing - executing could have some sucess.
Much more feeling like a Hitler sitting in his Wolfschanze or a Stalina in his Kreml.
Probably the wrong place to play this thought but it was just there, never mind.


That would be a great concept for Panther Games' if they decide to move one level "upwards" in their games.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 3:44:25 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Bletchley Geek: you do know that you can place units in reserve mode through the commander's report screen as well, right? You could go to an army HQ, make the subordinates appear, set them all to reserve and then switch the units at the frontline back to normal ready status. That's quicker than switching all ready units to reserve because there will be fewer units at the frontline than in the rear, so it takes fewer clicks.

As to units in reserve: keep in mind that although Tank corps have lavish MP's by Soviet standards, their experience and morale is likely to be abysmal at this point and will become even more abysmal after losing a few battles (which in the Soviet case with their mediocre units also means losing most of their tanks).

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 4:08:12 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

Bletchley Geek: you do know that you can place units in reserve mode through the commander's report screen as well, right? You could go to an army HQ, make the subordinates appear, set them all to reserve and then switch the units at the frontline back to normal ready status. That's quicker than switching all ready units to reserve because there will be fewer units at the frontline than in the rear, so it takes fewer clicks.


Yes, indeed I know. Unfortunately, it messes my Refit policy - which I micromanage closely each turn - and since I assess reserve placement depending on their distance to "hotspot" hexes, this needs to be eye-balled by the map.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
As to units in reserve: keep in mind that although Tank corps have lavish MP's by Soviet standards, their experience and morale is likely to be abysmal at this point and will become even more abysmal after losing a few battles (which in the Soviet case with their mediocre units also means losing most of their tanks).


Yes, that's degradation is something I expect to become apparent in 3 or 4 turns of heavy combat. However, I formed up the Tank Corps out of the Brigades with the most experience and highest morale. I've also been keeping them within 10 hexes of enemy units to benefit from the training bonus. This means that their experience is mixed: ground elements already present on the original brigades have very good experience, newer ground elements have much worse experience. Sometimes as much as 15 or 10 points.

I guess I'll have to eventually withdraw them to refit (or rather rebuild). But that's something I have to live with.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 9:09:44 PM   
randallw

 

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quote:

I've also been keeping them within 10 hexes of enemy units to benefit from the training bonus.


Have you misread some type of rule, or is that me?

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 9:17:04 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

quote:

I've also been keeping them within 10 hexes of enemy units to benefit from the training bonus.


Have you misread some type of rule, or is that me?



I think I've rather misread some forum post by Flavio (?). Checking the rules, you're right, there's no such a thing as units gaining experience faster if closer to the enemy.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 9:36:15 PM   
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You're talking about keeping a unit more than 10 hexes from the enemy where morale <50 so it gets brought to that level and in turn experience rises to that level, eventually.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/29/2011 10:20:31 PM   
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BG I really enjoy how indepth you are on this AAR.
Reading your stuff really helps me think about how to do my own turns as the Russian 8)

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/30/2011 5:36:35 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Baelfiin
BG I really enjoy how indepth you are on this AAR.
Reading your stuff really helps me think about how to do my own turns as the Russian 8)


Writing down my flow of thought helps me a lot to catch inconsistencies in my reasoning ;-)

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/30/2011 11:20:48 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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Turn 55 – 2 July 1942

The Axis Summer offensive continues, though this turn hasn't achieved anything too spectacular. Q-Ball seems to have been forced to change his plans – to what degree exactly, I can't say – and what I see in the map certainly harbors certain signs of “undecisiveness”. Other than that, the fury of the battle hasn't decreased, if anything, the tempo of operations is throttling up. From the 46 battles initiated by Q-Ball last turn, we've moved to 76, 16 of them have turned out to be Soviet defensive victories.

The air war rages on, and this turn the VVS fighter aviation has suffered very high losses. Over 200 fighters have been downed – mostly Yak-1 – in exchange for just 30 German fighters. Luftwaffe tactical aviation has also suffered significantly. I don't think there are many He-111 left in the Luftwaffe bomber staffeln.

Operational Situation Report

The action has centered into two areas: between Tula andVoronezh and southeast of Rostov. Q-Ball has set in motion his legions in the Caucasus, with not too impressive results. His attacks here look to me a some sort of “feeler”



He's been very conservative with his push in the direction of Krasnodar: he just probed the northern edge of my hedgehog, getting a foothold south of the Yeya river. There's however a full PanzerKorps with two Motorized and two Panzer divisions just behind that infantry and cavalry. That certainly does smell like an HQ buildup.

Further to the east, another PanzerKorps, supported by infantry has pushed in the general direction of Salsk, and contrary to my expectations, he's not been able to cut the Stalingrad-Krasnodar rail line. Just north of this thrust, another PanzerKorps has sit out Turn 55. Two groups of inactive German motorized formations usually mean that's there's some sort of envelopement in the works. Or perhaps double envelopment, using the PzKorps that pushed towards Salsk as the anchor for the pivots on the wings. I think I need to extend my deep hedgehog to the east, and adopting linear to cover the Salsk – Stalingrad axis.

The Axis main effort is certainly in the north, trying to pry my defense to thrust a mortal blow into the Russian heartland.



Channeled by the powerful formations I had on the flanks, Q-Ball has followed the path of least resistance and has left in his wake a picture that reminds me of a champagne bottle being uncorked. I honestly think that Q-Ball likes too much riding roughshod on my rear... another player – me for instance, would have widened this 3-hex corridor. Not because there's a chance to cut off half of Q-Ball's spearhead, just because if I tried and reduced to a 1 or 2 hex corridor. With the problems that would entail for him.

After checking carefully German dispositions, I realize there's at least 3 PanzerKorps going unaccounted for – almost a full PanzerArmee. Southeast of Orel I've located what has all the looks of a pincer of an intended encirclement of most of Bryansk Front. Where is the rest? Unfortunately, VVS recon aviation is unable to locate any other German motorized group...

Logistics & Organization

Time to organize my first two Guards Rifle Corps: as others have pointed out on the forums, it's just not worth to spend 20 AP's in a regular Rifle Corps. Other than that, I keep with this 3-division-equivalent-elements building thing. I need to very frugal about my AP's expenses.

Regarding the attachment discussion that went on for a few posts here, I will just comment on two things. You can only evade the AP costs I incurred by leaving commands in the STAVKA forever. I don't assign armies to fronts until it's clear to me where I need to commit an army, but, sooner or later, I have to commit. And I don't care as much with Fronts being overloaded as I do about having my ground units having good VVS ground support. Something that STAVKA units can't have – in my opinion - efficiently if one doesn't focus air power by committing into the two-tiered organization of the Red Army.

Operations

Retreat or counterattack? Q-Ball thrust has really soft spot



in that hex three HQ's are sitting, probably the HQ's of the units which are riding roughshod on my rear. Numbers show MP's to railhead... This is one of those decisive moments that suddenly crop up after dozens of – relative speaking - boring turns... Should I attack or should I rather bow to my opponent superiority and fold?

But this isn't 1943 yet. I lack that “extra” oomph I hope I'll eventually collect while having my ass being handed to me during 1942. I counterattack a lot on his flanks, “defeating” 5 German motorized units, while I try to recover my balance



The truth is that my defenses are unravelling at a terrifyingly fast pace. In some sense, the stakes – for both sides – are being raised each turn. He can keep pushing forward, and menacing my forces around Tula with encirclement, while his flanks grow longer and longer. However, that doesn't matter much, as long as I can't put forward a credible threat. Something I can't do yet. I can nibble at one unit here or there, but I can't strike a real blow – such as the counterattack I was looking at.

In the south I limit myself to correct and expand the hedgehog I have covering Krasnodar



Next turn Q-Ball will show me the cards in his right hand. I wonder which ones does he exactly have.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/31/2011 4:50:48 AM   
M60A3TTS


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You probably shouldn't hang out too long east of Orel since he's over the Zusha with the infantry. That could turn into a quick pocket if he pulls a panzer corps out of his hat near there. The area near Rostov is showing more mobile troops now. It will be interesting to see how far he pushes that, there aren't exactly a lot of units visible there which he could use to extend a penetration of any depth. That may indicate a pocket play as opposed to going for lebensraum over there.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/31/2011 11:50:53 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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The plan is to pull back towards Tula... if I haven't pulled back faster has been by lack of MP's and not wanting to lose cohesion there.

With respect with the Caucasus, as I said before, he'll be pushing all the way only if he finds that to be easy. I'm only hoping that I can counter effectively his attempts at pocketing, but that might be a forlorn hope.

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 12/31/2011 9:56:05 PM   
Pelton


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BG how many total units have you lost 1942? Is your OOB growing or shrinking?

You seem to still be in control of things. He really only hitting you hard at 1 point on the line, which means you can move units from quiet areas.

If I was you I start moving units now, because you will slowly lose control of the breakthrough area,
but you will slowly grind down his assaults.

A big game of chicken hehehe.

Pelton

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 1/3/2012 5:08:27 PM   
invernomuto


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Thank for this AAR Bletchley_Geek.
Full of useful information.

A must read for a soviet player!




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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 1/4/2012 8:01:02 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

BG how many total units have you lost 1942? Is your OOB growing or shrinking?


It's slowly shrinking. Having counted them, but no less than 45 division equivalents or more.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
You seem to still be in control of things. He really only hitting you hard at 1 point on the line, which means you can move units from quiet areas.


Things are starting to veer out of control.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
If I was you I start moving units now, because you will slowly lose control of the breakthrough area,
but you will slowly grind down his assaults.

A big game of chicken hehehe.


The Chicken has landed, Pelton :(

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 1/4/2012 8:01:32 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: invernomuto

Thank for this AAR Bletchley_Geek.
Full of useful information.

A must read for a soviet player!





Thank you invernomuto :)

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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 1/4/2012 8:04:26 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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Turn 56 – 9 July 1942

This game is feeling to me more as a job as we advance into 1942. I must admit I harbor a growing reluctance to make my turns... as I'm haunted by a vague impression of pointlessness. Hence my reluctance to open the turn for a couple days. With the proviso of the blizzard season interlude, this has been a game of 48 turns consisting mostly of disaster relief. Sigh.

Funnily enough, this increasingly despondent attitude of me towards the game speaks very well towards the soundness of the game engine as a platform supporting thrilling Axis play. Please, don't take this as whining, I'm too aware that “thrilling” and “Axis gameplay” in WitE during 1942 is something that has been remarkably uncommon until recently.

The above having being said, this turn hasn't turned out to be as bad as it seems, I think. Q-Ball is showing the kind of short-term, greedy, narrow-minded gameplay that if I push the right keys at the right moment, plays into Soviet hands in the mid or long term. He's ditching the Caucasus option – as he is moving troops to reinforce his success between Tula and Voronezh. There, rather than keeping throwing me off balance, he wants to cash his last three turns successes.

This greedy pocketing is handing the initiative to me in a number of sectors if I have the balls, skill and luck required to snatch it. The problem is that I won't be able to attack in mass this turn – I need to concentrate...

Operational Situation Report

Q-Ball has decided to destroy the Bryansk Front, and it's probable that he'll pull that off, bagging some of my best formations, namely, 1st Shock Army



by massing his armor southeast of Tula, and pushing from the southwest from Orel. From the looks of it, it's clear to me that Q-Ball is going to cast his lot in a north-south push along Tula towards Serpukhov and Kolomna, attacking Moscow from the south and flanking my forces west of Moscow. The problem I see with this is that Q-Ball is leaving the forces I've massed on the Voronezh-Tambov line free to act offensively – even if that means “getting him in ZOC” - against the flank and rear of his amoured fist.

The decision Q-Ball has made to commit further north, has left him very exposed along the Don



To be honest, I see too many Axis Allies here, and too many German divisions holding the meaningless forests southeast of the Svir River. He's left a couple PanzerKorps bolstering his Caucasus bridgehead



however, his infantry down here looks to me somewhat ragged. I have a huge mass of maneuver in the Caucasus, and I think it will be better employed attacking the Axis rather than spending its time digging trenches. On the other hand, it looks to me that Q-Ball wants to fight a huge delaying action down here, tying up troops that might otherwise reinforce Moscow. I'm actually going to send three armies there, and I think I have still the ability to muster enough strength to overwhelm him. We'll see.

Logistics & Organization

Seeing the two Rifle Corps I created encircled – one irretrievably lost, the other not quite as dead as Q-Ball might think – I refrain from building for the time being of building any more “cool stuff”. I will devote this turn as much as 50% of my AP allotment to form up 12 new Rifle Brigades.

Operations

The operational guidelines for this turn are simple enough: converge with all available reserves on Moscow and attack regardless of losses in order to overwhelm Axis forces where they're thin. South of Moscow things are a bit less clear



the concept is to keep Axis forces away from the Oka river for as long as possible, no matter what it does cost. Anyways, Bryansk Front is going to be wiped out. Let's try to make that as useful as possible to my purposes.

The more I look at how Q-Ball is handling the Panzerwaffe, the more I think of how Japanese players use the Kido Butai in WitP:AE. As a huge club that smashes everything it hits... too bad I can't retreat here 6,000 kms nor I have “submarines” to sink those PanzerDivisions



Having a sector of the line – especially the one in front of the main Axis effort – looking as a motley crew isn't a good sign. Too many colors, too little command & control. The only place where I haven't got a feeling of FAILURE is in Valyuki



where 57th, 42nd and 18th Armies have rolled back Axis allies. 6th Army is poised to keep pushing in this sector, with the hope of distracting motorized divisions from Q-Ball's main effort. The attack in the Caucasus got mixed results



Q-Ball's right flank here seems to me to be too weak... A ruse perhaps? I'm outnumbering him here very heavily – even after having took so many troops north. I'll keep insisting: I know by personal experience how difficult can prove to hold a foothold in the Caucasus.


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RE: Clash of Steel: 1941-1945: Q-Ball vs Bletchley_Geek - 1/4/2012 9:28:44 PM   
karonagames


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Hang in there- there are quite a few parallels to my game against Stephane - I haven't looked at Q's AAR, but my guess is that he will start running out of steam around turn 60 and will have to take mech units out of the line to re-fit so you should see op. tempo reduce to something you will find more manageable. You are managing your reserves really well from what I can see, and this will keep you in the game.

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