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Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball (Axis)

 
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Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball (Axis) - 2/8/2012 2:43:45 AM   
smokindave34


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I've picked up this match from Bletchley Geek and will continue the defense of Mother Russia against Q-ball's axis invaders. Let me first say that Bletchley Geek's AAR on this game was one of the best (if not THE best) AAR I have read and my AAR will not do it justice. BG understands the details of this game better than I probably ever will. Hopefully this doesn't end up looking like Zhukov stepping down and Pavlov stepping in at STAVKA.....

It's turn 59 and I see the overal Soviet situation as this:

1) North of Rzhev the front is quiet and I'm in prepared positions with recon showing no significant axis buildup
2) Moscow is where the action is. Qball has 3 infantry corps south of Rzhev attempting to punch a hole in my defensive line. Recon didn't pick up any panzers but I suspect this area might be a potential jump off for a northern pincer to encircle Moscow. South of Moscow I believe there are two full panzer armies pushing hard for the Oka river line. This is clearly the main focus of the axis summer offensive and the potential southern part of the pincer to sweep around Moscow.
3) Two panzer corps are spotted near Vornezh and are probing eastwards
4) Army group South has pulled back across the Don river after extending into the Caucasus. It looks like Q ball has transferred his armor from this area north to support the drive on Moscow.

So the first thing I did was upgrade to the new patch and have all my HQ command capacities drop down to 18. I'm not going to spend AP's trying to micromanage the whole front but did re-organize the armies in front of Moscow so that none of them are above the command capacity. BG left me with about 100 AP's. My plan for these will be to build some more tank corps but try and horde AP's unitl '43 when I can start building rifle corps en masse. If others think this is a poor decision please let me know as none of my other Soviet games have made it to 1943 so these are uncharted waters for me.....

Here is the situation around Moscow.....





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< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/8/2012 2:46:38 AM >
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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 2:46:19 AM   
smokindave34


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Situation at Voronezh....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 2:47:23 AM   
smokindave34


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And finall the army strengths at the start of turn 59...




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 2:52:27 AM   
smokindave34


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T60:

I picked the six tank brigades with the highest morale and build two tank corps. My plan is to leave them on refit for at least a month or two to gain experience. Also I pulled all the motorized brigades I have off the line and put them on refit so I can start building a few Mech corps in September. I'm not going to go crazy with tank corps though. I think the key to breaking down the Wehrmacht is the rifle corps and I plan to build a lot in early '43.

South of Rzhev recon shows the 18 and 19 panzer divisions of the LVII corps. This supports my theory that this may be the northern pincer for a Moscow encirclement. I have the Kalinin fronts 54 and 30 armies defending this area with STAVKA units building a second defesive line. There are a lot of forts in this area so I should be able to prevent any "blitzkriegs" in this sector




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< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/8/2012 2:54:33 AM >

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 2:59:14 AM   
smokindave34


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Moscow:

Q ball surrounds almost a full army south of Ryzan (elements of 40 and 13 armies). From the battle reports I count seven panzer corps in this area. I'm not sure how accurate the battle reports are with the fog of war but I'm certainly looking at two full panzer armies here and maybe more.

I assign the Bryansk front to dig in behind the Oka river and transfer the 56th army up from the Transcaucasus front to start digging in on the Para river. The rest of the front seems fairly quiet so all of my reserves are getting shipped to this area.

The panzers from the III and XIV corps have shifted north from Voronezh and may be refitting/building up to support the attack on Moscow - I'll have to watch them carefully.




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< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/8/2012 3:01:18 AM >

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 5:48:54 AM   
AKCLIMBER

 

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This should be great fun to follow. Thanks for continuing the game and AAR!

Good luck & cheers!

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 8:51:52 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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You're too kind Dave :-)

It's interesting to see that Q-Ball was worried enough about his flank as to turn 90º towards the east. My guess is that he'll try to force the crossing at or east of Kolomna - that's where the Red Army CV looks most impressing.

In any case, good luck with the game :-)

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 1:30:47 PM   
Klydon


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Glad to see this one continue.

Especially with the new Russian command limits, I agree that the rifle corps enmass are going to have to wait until 1943.

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/8/2012 1:53:21 PM   
smokindave34


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Thanks. This should be a fun game. I've read a lot of Q ball's AAR's and he will be a tough opponent for sure.

I'm weak east of Kolomna but placed 3 units per hex in this area to quicken the rate I build forts. I also transferred some construction units from other armies to this area to help with the digging. He also has the option to string me out even farther east. I have reinforcements coming up from the south to hopefully address this and have the 56th army blocking here to buy me some time.



< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/8/2012 2:07:39 PM >

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/13/2012 9:55:15 PM   
smokindave34


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T61:

I'm now suspecting that Q-balls strategy for '42 is to use his strong concentration of armor/motorized units to chew up the Red army a few divisions at a time. He continues to move east against my weak Voronezh front and he's in position to pocket 6+ divisions again next turn. I just don't think he has the strength to go for any grand encirclement move near Moscow.

It's clear that the vast majority of axis armor units are in the Tamboy area and recon didn't show any other areas along the front where he may be gearing up for an attack. Based on that I've decided to move the 50th army from near Moscow and the 29th army from the Transcaucasus front to support the defenses around Tamboy. I'm hoping to be strong enough in this area to grind him down and use my tank corps/cavalry corps to make localized counter attacks (I was able to launch one succesfull attack on a motorized unit this turn). My other goal here is to ensure that I don't get any of my guards units or tank corps caught in a pocket.

I didn't spend any AP's this turn as I was very low after doing some re-organizing with the new patch. I need to start stock piling AP's to get in a position to build rifle corps in '43. BG didn't build any rifle corps yet and I personally thing this was a good move - its move cost effective to wait. I have 12 tank corps and pulled 4 back from the line to put them on refit to gain experience and morale.

Here is the screenshot of the action.......




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/13/2012 9:56:18 PM   
smokindave34


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Here is the current OOB....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/15/2012 6:29:17 PM   
smokindave34


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T62:

Q-balls mass of panzers continue to chew up the center of my front. I believe that Q-ball is essentially taking what I will give him at this point - he is sending his panzers to the point of least resistance. 2 panzers corps head north towards the Para river while at least 4 panzer corps head south in an attempt to encircle elements of the Stalingrad front near Boguchar. I've pulled the 5th and 26th armies back to the Bityug river to try and keep out of the trap.

I suspect I'll have to keep giving ground in this way until the mud hits in October (7 more turns). I can grind him down a bit by continuing to build forts on river lines but I can't totally stop his momentum. I tried 3 attacks on his exposed units with only one of them being succesfull. As his offensive continues on he will weaken a bit and I may be more succesfull in my counterattacks (I hope!). I continue to keep my guards units and cavalry/tank corps out of the front lines to prevent encirclement - I'll need them in '43 for sure.

I decided to build 2 tank corps this turn and assign them to the Moscow M.D since there is no AP charge for attaching/removing from a M.D. My plan is to leave them on refit for a few months to gain experience/morale. I looked at the '43 scenario and the Red army had 24 tanks corps in July '43 - that will be my target for tank corps. I currently have 14 so if I build one a month from here on out I'll be on target. Any thoughts/suggestions on that plan would be appreciated.....

Here is the battle area north of Tamboy ....





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< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/15/2012 6:30:10 PM >

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/15/2012 6:31:44 PM   
smokindave34


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And south of Tamboy where I face the bulk of his armor....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/15/2012 6:32:36 PM   
smokindave34


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And some production statistics.....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/16/2012 2:16:13 AM   
smokindave34


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T63:

More of the same, a few divisions surrounded while I pull back my best units out of the trap. This turn I was able to pull off 3 victories including one attack in which I pushed back two stacked panzer divisions. That should make Q-ball pause a bit before he gets his armor out too far in front - a psychological victory!

Here are the screen shots. First north of Tamboy....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/16/2012 2:16:48 AM   
smokindave34


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And south of Tamboy....




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/16/2012 3:06:23 AM   
Pelton

 

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Good job on AAR.

Hold Moscow as it is the War now with the new lowered manpower *. It would appear it is the tiping point now as it would have been historicaly speaking.

Very good tactics on your part.

Pelton

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/17/2012 12:13:36 AM   
smokindave34


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Thanks Pelton. I'll take a very small portion of the credit but Bletchley Geek set the Red army up for me...

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 12:34:24 AM   
smokindave34


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T64:

Q-ball's panzer assault seems to be slowly winding down - only a handful of attacks this turn and recon indicates he pulled back at least two panzer corps possibly to refit? I managed a few more victories this turn including defeating SS Totenkopf across a river. I defeated a stack of 2 panzer divisions last turn and an SS motorized unit this turn - it feels good to be able to defeat the best of the axis units in clear weather (although the Red army still needs to carefully pick its spots to attack...)

I've built my first two mechanized corps this turn, I don't plan on building a lot since they are hogs on truck consumption but the sooner I build them the quicker they will be combat worthy.






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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 12:39:42 AM   
smokindave34


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Q-ball has a 30 mile wide hole in his front line here....I've recon'd it for the last 5 turns and don't see anything in the rough hex. It's tempting for me to send some tank corps in there to exploit it, with the goal of forcing Q-ball to send some troops up there. Without any rifle corps to hold open the gap it would have to be a hit and run. I'll keep reconing until after the mud turns.




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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 2:03:48 AM   
Flaviusx


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Admiral Akbar thinks it's a trap.

Seriously...don't throw a tank corps in there. If you want to get frisky, break down a cavalry corps into three divisions, along with some tank brigades, and see what happens. Cav will probably move faster through there, and the breakdowns will give you 3 chances to flip over control. You're not risking near as many trucks this way, too.

Prep some airborne for giggles. Don't cheese it with deep drops, but I'm pretty sure you can have some fun within 10 hexes of an airfield. These can support your cav.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 2/21/2012 2:06:06 AM >


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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 3:05:44 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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If you've been running air recon missions, then they'll show up on the battles. You should assume that Q-Ball is looking at them, and has an idea that you're focusing on it. However, boots on the ground will let you know whether there's anything in the two hexes (rough, and the town hex 1NE from it) simply by moving a divisional unit into your furthest east RR hex. If you flip the control of the next RR hex, then there is nothing in the other two. This way, you don't tip your hand prematurely by running a boatload of air recon in the hex, and having those air recon icons bring his attention to the potential gap.

More probably is that his forces are lined up in the four hexes one row back, forming a slight cul-de-sac. He's probably entrenched back there better than he would be, if he had moved forward. Again, boots on the ground can do a better recon of the hexes, and if you do like Flavio mentioned, break down a Cav Corps into divisions, you can run in, check out the defenders and run back without alarming Q-Ball to your intent. All he will (might) see would be a conversion of hexes that didn't exist last turn. Players generally don't notice no-man's land gap flips as much as they notice recon icons, and battle icons. Be sneaky and check it out before commiting to an operation that may not go anywhere.

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 4:23:00 AM   
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It's not exactly a massive hole; there's only one line of hexes that you can move units along without paying ZOC movement points.

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 4:43:28 PM   
Flaviusx


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While we are on the subject of hex flipping, don't ever let the enemy keep empty controlled hexes adjacent to your line if you can possibly avoid it.

March your guys in there, and then back out into your front line if you don't want to risk occupying the place. In the case of contested ZOCs, control won't revert to him and will go to you. If you leave such empty hexes alone, he retains the control assuming contesting ZOCs. Think of this as aggressive patrolling. It's pretty clear based on the screens that Q-ball is doing this to you, btw.

Those empty but Axis controlled hexes by the Oka? Yeah, don't let him keep those. Flip those suckers over and then fall right back across the Oka. That by itself helps defend the river line as it will make it harder for the other guy to attack the following turn as MPs get consumed marching into the empty but enemy controlled hex.

Cleavers take this to the next level: they run their mobile units all over the place, flip control, and then scurry back knowing that the enemy infantry hasn't got enough MPs to get at them on their next turn. That gives them a solid base to follow through with deeper penetration on their next turn. James loves this technique. You have a bit of a cleaving opportunity here yourself.







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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 5:14:01 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

While we are on the subject of hex flipping, don't ever let the enemy keep empty controlled hexes adjacent to your line if you can possibly avoid it.

Well...I wouldn't say never (don't ever, is what he said, actually), but in general, this is good advice. Some situations, however, you might want to allow the "no-man's land" to remain enemy controlled for limited amounts of time. Namely, to get your fort levels to greater than 2 + 10%. Once they are 2 + 11% and greater then you should probably resume the active patrolling. The reason for the 2 + 11% threshold is that this will allow the fortification to continue up to 3 + 10%. Unless the hexes are in/next to a FZ/FR, or adjacent to an enemy controlled hex, you won't be able to break the 2 + 10% limit on fortification.

Oh...and Flavio, quit giving away my secrets. I remember when I first starting doing this, I was getting teased for wasting fuel and fatigueing my Panzers. Before people started realizing how effective and important creating the safety zone for the exploiters was, that is...

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/21/2012 7:29:36 PM   
Flaviusx


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I have been refining my picketing technique with you in mind, James.

The first time I saw you do this, you didn't do a Lvov opener, and I felt I was containing you pretty well as a result. It just didn't seem that effective to me. (It also goes to show you how strong the stupid Lvov opener is, but that's a whole other rant.)

Only on our second game did I see the potential of it in the way you broke me by Smolensk and chased me all the way back to Moscow.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 2/21/2012 7:50:12 PM >


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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/22/2012 12:23:49 AM   
smokindave34


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Thanks for the advice. Next turn I'll break down a cavalry corps and hide the divisions under an airbase or HQ before I send them rushing (hopefully) through. I haven't yet done an airborne assualt - this seems like an excellent use for an air drop. I can't expect to achieve much at this point in our game except to maybe catch Q-ball by surprise and force him to send some units north.

I was reluctant to flip over the hexes south of the Oka because I was afraid my units would get stuck on the wrong side of the river without enough MP's to get back. But now that you brought it up I realized I do have a Cavalry corps in the area and that unit should be able to make it over and back without a problem...

Oh and by the way Flaviusx - nice reference to Admiral Akbar!


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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/22/2012 2:10:56 AM   
Flaviusx


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Just don't cheese the airborne, use them reasonably. I don't want anybody to think I'm encouraging suicide drops.

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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/23/2012 7:24:40 PM   
smokindave34


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T66:

Q-ball used his panzers to push through my forts in and around Ryazan. Other than those attacks the front was pretty quiet this turn. I get the sense he is re-grouping his forces for a winter offensive (only 3 more turns of clear weather and I don't think he will plan anything big this soon before the mud hits).

He has also been taking small bites out of my defensive belt due west of Moscow - just one or maybe two hexes per turn. He may be trying to set me up to cut off my forces in Kaluga. I'll watch this area closely over the next few turns.

I managed 3 more victories this turn by moving my tank corps forward to attack weak axis divisions. Nothing spectacular but those wins will add up towards guards status.






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RE: Clash of steel continued Smokindave (Sov) vs. Qball... - 2/23/2012 7:27:22 PM   
smokindave34


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I set the forces in motion for my "recon in force" east of Lake Ilmen. 2 cavalry divsions and an airborne brigade are staged with a cavalry corps on the way. No recon this turn as I don't want to tip my hand.




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