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RE: Kharkov Barbecue

 
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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/2/2011 8:43:19 PM   
Flaviusx


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Out of curiosity: is this one of the newer armies? I'm wondering if those flip to guards status earlier since they won't have all the losses from the summer on their records.

I have a tendency of sticking with existing armies as much as possible, especially once I've fitted them out with leaders and SUs -- getting anew army up to speed costs APs. But it just might be worth the cost if they get to beeline to guards status.

Edit: never mind, I see it is the 20th army. Go figure.







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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/2/2011 8:54:30 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Yes, it's the 20 Army, fighting since the beginning to protect Moscow approaches

Also note this army is the SECOND most trashed army: 65 defeats. Somehow they prevailed

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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/3/2011 3:11:20 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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The next 3 or 4 turns will be overwhelming

There are some vital tasks I have to do:

A) a withdrawal is necessary in many places
B) pull back tons of divisions
C) reorganize the fronts, the Red Army

A)

That part is obvious. I must not allow Marquo to create a big mess. Especially in areas where his panzers are concentrated.

B)

I have to start the creation of the Strategic Reserves. Don't forget I am a reserves fanboy psycho My goal is having 100 divisions (rifle and mountain). And yes, I know it CAN be done because I managed to do that on my other game (vs 2ndACR). Not a single Guards Division will be kept at the frontline. They will be the first ones leaving the Massacre Scene. I don't want to lose them on the next turns after a bold coup de main of Marquo. That makes like 45 divisions. But I will be pulling back many regular divisions as well. Same thing with the Cavalry Corps. ALL these units will be directly attached to STAVKA, no matter the cost (APs). Not necessarily on the next turn/s though.

C)

I hate chaos I want everything to be at the correct place. If you have seen the screenshots you have noticed there are MANY Stavka armies. When I had started the blizzard offensive the front was manned by FRONT armies. When they reached the maximum capacity -24:24, on turn 26 or 27- I started bringing Stavka reserves. And these many divisions were obviously attached to random empty Stavka armies. So in fact I was not getting weaker. I was getting stronger turn after turn (like a rising wave). But now we need a rational organization again. The front has to be manned by Front armies. And this of course is the most overwhelming part

I have been investigating. Total length of the front right now: 131 hexes. I have 8 fronts. that makes grosso modo 16 hexes per front. Given that each front gets 4 armies, that makes 4 hexes per army... And that's it, folks! But this time I will not spend a single AP (unlike on my other game). I will move the armies, some sort of accordion movement. Well, I had said the same on the other game and finally gave up and paid APs... We will see.

[The Caucasus Front covers Crimea. The Trans-Caucasian Front, well... it's supposed to be the front that covers the Soviet-Turkish border It MUST stay there. Chrome, I know, but sending it to let's say cover an area between Rostov and Stalino (area defended by Southern Front) is er, sort of gamey on my book. Sorry, I can't help it. Any player is free to do what they want. They might even send the Leningrad front to the Caucasus... ]

Rant over... for now

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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/3/2011 3:31:24 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Anyway, some more words about the reserves concept as that is really important, vital to me.

There are in fact 3 levels of reserves.

From top to bottom:

1) "pure" Strategic Reserves. They are the 100 divisions I want to have. I guess the 60% will be attached to Shock, Guards (only 1, obviously) and Regular armies (attached to STAVKA, not to fronts). The 40% will be independent units that may reinforce any army (Stavka or Front) when a crisis appear.

2) the Front Reserves. Each front gets 3 Rifle Divisions + 2 Tank Brigades DIRECTLY attached to the HQ itself. There might be two exceptions. The Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts (in theory quiet places) might get only 2 or perhaps just 1 division (Leningrad Front especially).

3) the Armies Reserves. These are the pure reserves in game terms. They are set on reserve MODE one or two hexes behind the front and might be committed during combats (if only the commanders were not utter clowns! ). Every army MUST have 1 reserve division. I am starting to think the Rifle NAVAL Brigades are perfect for that role. They have really good morale and experience. Therefore I will try to send several such naval brigades to key places. Always on reserve mode. In other words, they won't dig.

Rant over part II

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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/4/2011 5:13:03 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Well, technically the blizzard offensive ended the turn 36. Marquo put his Soviet voodoo doll to good use and got some snow weather in the center (still turn 37). So only a very few attacks, I don't want to push my luck. These are the last statistics. The attacks, retreats, helds, manpower, armaments, losses since the beginning of the offensive.




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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/5/2011 2:43:21 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Well, Marquo has just shown his cards. His armored hordes are concentrated in the South (Stalino area) I pull back quite many hexes. I don't want to be slaughtered. Despite the weather icon, it's snow down there. Mud in the center though.

Will that be his summer objective: operations in the south? Time will tell.




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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/5/2011 2:49:09 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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And his other concentration of panzers. They are in the center. Here I don't pull back. It's Moscow area and I have decent fortifications. I stay. If he wants it he will get it

By the way, I was wrong above. Blizzard in the center, not mud. There is mud in the area between the center and the deep south, I don't know the name of this weather area, sorry.




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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/5/2011 3:08:35 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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I also have started to gather the Strategic Reserves. Like 55 divisions, which is the 55% of the expected reserves Same thing with the Cavalry Corps and the 11 Guns and Howitzers brigades I had created.

The 1st Guards Army has been formed. I paid the APs to attach it to Stavka (it was a former Western Front army). I have attached to this army only guards units, among them 1 mountain + 1 cavalry corps. Given that I have 2 mountain Guards I might form a Mountain Guards Corps, attached to this army

So as you can see, having strategic reserves is not that hard. You don't have them because you don't want to.




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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/6/2011 6:39:44 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Turn 39

12 March 1942


Well, not a lot is really happening (battles, pockets) but there is still a lot of activity. The Fronts are taking shape. In two turns maximum I might finish the reorganization. And yes, the "accordion movement" is working as per the plan, so I only need to spend a few APs here and there. I keep pulling back lots of divisions (rifle and mountain, remember), the future strategic reserves.

Still, in the south -big concentration of the panzer hordes- it's snow (just like last turn). Marquo hasn't been really agressive here, so my doom was perhaps a wild assumption. There's blizzard in the center area and snow in Moscow area.

The brigades that were digging the first line of defence in the south pull back a few hexes and start digging. Well... I have bad news. The brigades construction value is utter sh** now (1.05)... Someone in the government has destroyed my defensive lines thing (yes, I can use Fortified Regions, but can I really afford them -armaments)? Still, I will form these lines the same, the brigades are pickets in the worst scenario. I mean, a place defended by 3.000 guys is far better than a place defended by 0 guys, eh! The enemy will need to waste bullets and some blood and that's the point. Still, I want someone's head!




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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/6/2011 6:47:18 PM   
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Yes, you need divisions to dig in now in inclement weather. Or have massive engineering support for the brigades.

I haven't tried this out yet but I'm thinking doing the following: creating ghetto "sapper armies." That is to say, sweep up all those loose rifle brigades under the excess army commands, and dump a ton of construction assets into those armies. Then use these to dig in during the winter.

Two problems with this scheme: it's hard to find the replacements during the blizzard to bring all those brigades up to speed (most of mine remain as shells until about February) and brigades set to digging may not be getting the most out of training if they are too close to the front line. It also requires to to allocate a lot of APs and manpower to flesh out the army commands, and these are scarce commodities.



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RE: Kharkov Barbecue - 12/6/2011 8:11:35 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

I haven't tried this out yet but I'm thinking doing the following: creating ghetto "sapper armies." That is to say, sweep up all those loose rifle brigades under the excess army commands, and dump a ton of construction assets into those armies. Then use these to dig in during the winter.


That seems a brilliant idea It would sort of simulate the 10 Engineer Armies the STAVKA created (and disbanded in 1943, I think) to prepare defensive positions -absent in the game, or abstracted: the RR you create

I'd like to use the brigades as fighting units, but I need those defensive positions. We are not talking about Atlantic Walls or Maginot Lines, absurd when you think about the tank and the airplane. I'm thinking about the defensive dispositions every army in WW2 adopted. I only want a fort level 1 or 2, that might (or not) buy me one turn here and another turn there

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Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 8:17:43 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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My maths were not that wrong. Now I have 53 Guards Rifle Divisions. I will need them!

And by the way, Marquo is annihilating like 2 divisions per turn (the shattered thing). We can't have that!




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 8:38:27 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Oops, and looks like I finally gathered all the divisions I need (the Strategic Reserves thing): 98 But in fact 1) you have to add the rifle divisions of the 1st Guards Army and the other divisions which didn't arrive yet Anyway, part of these divisions will be assigned to the second level of reserves: the Front Reserves.

Anyway, some Fronts already have reserves assigned (I did that this turn):

Volkhov Front: 2 x Rifle Divisions (maximum) + 1 x Tank Brigade
Northwest Front: 3 x Rifle Divisions + 2 x Tank Brigades
Western Front: 3 x Rifle Divisions
Bryansk Front: 3 x Rifle Divisions + 1 x Tank Brigade
Southwestern Front: 3 x Rifle Divisions + 2 x Tank Brigades

So in fact, if my maths are correct I need 1 RD (Leningrad), 3 RD (Kalinin), 3 RD (Southern), 1 RD (Caucasus, in Crimea) = 8 more rifle divisions are needed for the Front Reserves. Plus the tank brigades (2 per front except Leningrad and Caucasus).

Soooo, I really have lots of hordes




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 8:46:37 PM   
M60A3TTS

 

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How much if any are you overloading your fronts?

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 9:08:02 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

How much if any are you overloading your fronts?


Well, reorganization is not finished so I really can't tell. They will be overloaded, that's inevitable.

Well, right now:

Leningrad: 34:72
Volkhov: 61:72
Northwest: 85:72
Kalinin: 89:72
Western: 103:72
Bryansk: 103:72
Southwestern: 70:72
Southern: 79:72

The most overloaded, in the place where I was concentratiing forces, to protect Moscow that is.

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 9:11:59 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Anyway, here you can see the front now is starting to look more "rational". As you can see, a thin frontline. Inevitable if you want to have Strategic Reserves. You can't have both. And of course I have what the Soviets had (lots of reserves). I am not inventing the wheel, I merely imitate the Soviet doctrine

As for the screenshot, reorganization is not complete yet, and I am talking about the fronts you see.

EDIT: in fact, some arrows are missing, I think. The Kalinin front has to cover parts of the Western AND Northwest Fronts if I am not mistaken. I have to check. I had calculated the whole thing.




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/6/2011 9:36:35 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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In fact, the Leningrad Front needs 3 Rifle Divisions, therefore I will send them. A quiet place but still...




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/7/2011 5:27:05 AM   
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Good for you on planning to fight it out for Moscow. 

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/7/2011 9:08:08 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: randallw

Good for you on planning to fight it out for Moscow. 


Well During a long trip I did in 2009 (Siberia, Russian Far East, Mongolia, China), I was on a train from Vladivostok to Harbin (Manchuria, China). We were only 4 guys in our wagon (myself, two Dutch and one French). I was smoking next to the door of the wagon, then one of the Dutch guys appeared... he saw me smoking, he saw the many fire extinguishers on the gound next to me, looked at me and just said: "they don't take any risk..."

The same can be said about Moscow. I don't take any risk

I didn't miss my opportunity. Here are the bloody fire extinguishers from that slow train from hell: 30 hours to make around 400 km (but a nice stop in the first Chinese city after the border: we drank looooots of beer, that it's true)




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/7/2011 10:33:23 PM   
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Probably there is a regulation that there must be 25 fire extinguishers on the train. If they are kept together, it much easier to count them.

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/7/2011 10:59:07 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

Probably there is a regulation that there must be 25 fire extinguishers on the train. If they are kept together, it much easier to count them.



I really can't tell given that we were not allowed (well, more or less, because yes, we visited the next wagon) to visit the other wagons. But I am pretty certain we were really few people (the 4 of us: tourists), then perhaps 8 Russians, and that's it That's all the people that left from Vladivostok (a weekly train, every monday). So in fact there were more fire extinguishers than people... In the last Russian station before the border perhaps 20 Chinese maximum boarded the train (they carried huge boxes). When I saw them I inmediately thought that in the Chinese border the Chinese guards would angrily tell them "you clowns, it's us who export! We don't import"

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/8/2011 2:11:08 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Turn 40

19 March 1942


Well, I am starting to think that Marquo is trying some mind games Since the snow arrived -well, not exactly snow given that we use random weather- he's been mentioning Moscow every turn (on the emails that is). Moscow here, Moscow there blah blah blah... Basically to say that the weather is not allowing him to do some sort of offensive. Liar! He is concentrating his armored hordes in the south, does he want me to ignore these hordes? As if I could not see them!

One thing is certain, we are not scared by these many hordes and our weak forces there (given that I have pulled back lots of my forces he wouldn't bag a lot down there). Resisting is not my priority until summer, not even close. I can afford a lot of land.




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/8/2011 2:28:32 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Here you can see the many forces he is concentrating near Stalino. It's the biggest concentration of forces of the whole front. And by far I haven't moved. I will possibly be pulling back the forces in the south (Kalmius River thing). Not sure about the 3 cities. I guess they should have some sort of garrison. That might buy me a turn.




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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/8/2011 3:00:09 PM   
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Go easy on those fort units. IMO they are largely a waste of APs unless you're sure you can get to level 3. None of those places in the south are safe and you'll be lucky to reach level 2 with them before the German gets to them. Save your APs for other things. I personally wouldn't build any of them west of the Don in the south. Frankly, fort units kind of suck for the Soviet, they're a huge AP sink and only very rarely pay off.



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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/8/2011 3:28:22 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Yes, you have to be correct. I built way too many Fortified Regions. My plan was about brigades digging and getting level 2 forts. Some FR were planned though. But when I realized the very low construction value of the rifle brigades I was "forced" to create these FRs. And yes, I suspect I CANNOT afford them (armaments are low). And I am talking about the on map units. This is a trial error thing, indeed.

But if I well understood what you said some messages ago, brigades should dig a little faster now that blizzard will be gone.

Sooo, in Moscow area "I will not take any risk". And perhaps there won't be e-enemy offensive operations in summer. But this, I can't discard it (it would be a gross strategic mistake, pure adventurism). Here I will only disband the FRs when they manage to build forts level 4. As for the rest, I might disband them when I get to fort level 2. In some key places, I should need forts level 3, etc. Let's see what can be done.

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RE: Dabai Tovariches! - 12/8/2011 3:45:41 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Anyway, Marquo only has one more turn. Then it's april

Look at the nice weather table:

11 out of 15 = I win
4 out of 15 = I lose





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RE: Dabai Tovarischi! - 12/8/2011 4:49:06 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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Another thing perhaps worth mentioning. All the low morale units should be pulled back (therefore they would be part of the Strategic Reserves). I haven't paid attention to this when I gathered the 100 divisions (my mistake). I was sending people to the rear --like a psycho-- but without paying attention.

Look at this: the 55th Rifle Division, 50th Army, Bryansk Front. Morale: 30 The poor bastards statistics: 1 victory - 10 defeats

New directive: the low morale units, on the 20s and 30s will be minimum 10 hexes behind the front, to recover (in fact to train, in game terms). Rifle Divisions attached to Stavka (aka the 100 rifle divisions I have gathered) will replace them.

Now look at the 3rd Rifle Division. Many moons ago, perhaps like 12 turns ago, I had shown the unit: a truly miserable unit with morale = 24 if I remember correctly. I pulled them back and look now




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RE: Dabai Tovarischi! - 12/8/2011 5:43:36 PM   
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Well, first coordinated attack of the 2:1 era. Northwest Front Eremenko's 31st Army masses 9 rifle divisions and assaults a German infantry division. The hex was a no man's land hex that Marquo decided to occupy. And we can't have that! Blizzard weather by the way. No command penalties, all the divisions were ready. And I forgot to spam the unit before the attack with bombs from the night U-2VS squadrons. Oh well, bombs were not needed as they fled. Cowards!

EDIT: hehehehe, I hadn't paid attention. 45 enemy bombers showed up. 19 of them were shot down... I managed to put 79 fighters on the air, And 32 bombers.



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RE: Dabai Tovarischi! - 12/8/2011 6:47:53 PM   
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Don't put anything with less than 45 morale on the front if you can possibly avoid it. I think a lot of Soviets are not paying close attention to the morale of their units and are paying for this when snow hits. Low morale units suffer tremendous losses in battle, they have no business on the front line. They should be spending the entire winter training more or less. They can reinforce the front as the snows arrive and backstop your tired armies.



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RE: Dabai Tovarischi! - 12/8/2011 11:31:02 PM   
randallw

 

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Joined: 9/2/2010
Status: offline
I suspect those fire extinguishers were collected by some railroad employee who is a secret hoarder.  Soon after the picture he probably showed up with a giant bag to put them in, then he jumped off the train with them ( his very own DB Cooper moment ).

(in reply to Flaviusx)
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