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41-45GC - A FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL - GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80

 
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41-45GC - A FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL - GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (A... - 3/25/2012 12:10:59 PM   
glvaca

 

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This will be my first AAR and to my own surprise it's going to be from the Soviet perspective. I had always wanted to do one but always figured it would be from the Axis perspective. Well, maybe later.
This is my third pbem as the Soviet. The 2 previous ended with a German surrender either just before Blizzard or half way through. I specifically responded to SJ80 thread after I read his previous AAR because I wanted to play an aggressive German player who knows the value of concentration and speed of maneuvre. I can tell you now, I have not been dissapointed! In fact, I have been tested to the core and it has confirmed my strong belief that 1941 is very, very hard as the Soviet player. Anyone who argues differently has never played the Soviet versus a skilled German, is a fool, or both.

We have several house rules:
1. No bombing of HQ's if stacked without a combat unit.
2. No use of mule HQ's. So no HQ buildups for empty HQ's in the rear, move forward and then attach Panzers too.
3. During the game we agree to no airdrops farther than 10 hexes starting count from the most friendly unit.

Since morale is probably the most important soft factor in the game, I always play with it selected. Even if it is often depressing as the Soviet it's still useful to see the German quality you are facing as it helps to establish the Schwerpunkt of your opponent.

The game is currently at Turn 18 and it has been a nail biter for me from Turn 2 (you'll soon see why). But let's start with listing my start of the game objectives:
1. Preserve my army to enable me to launch a credible blizzard offrensive.
2. Stop the German advance as far West as possible.
3. Ideally, hold on to the Lower and Dnepr bend as a spring board for the Blizzard counter offensive.
4. As an absolute minimum hold on to Moscow, Voronezh and Rostov. In my previous games I have never lost Kharkov for example.

The game started with version 1.05.xx but has been progressively upgraded to the latest version and is currently at 1.06.03 beta.

< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 1:17:11 PM >
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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:15:42 PM   
glvaca

 

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TURN 1

The first turn is pretty standard by now but also of high quality. All pockets are air tight and can't be broken.
The one strange thing is in the North, where Sebastian (SJ80) prefers to surround rather than route the border defenders. He also fails to capture Riga although he does cross the Daugava setting himself up for a rapid advance towards Pskov.

Sitrep before Soviet moves:
North and Center




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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 1:18:07 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:19:24 PM   
glvaca

 

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South:





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:20:23 PM   
glvaca

 

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Losses:





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:20:51 PM   
glvaca

 

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More losses:





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:41:50 PM   
glvaca

 

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Soviet move:
I spend most of my precious AP to disband 6 corps, 4 fortified regions, assign Feyodor Tulbhukin to command 4th Army (which I provide with 4 RR bridgades) and which will be responsible for the defence of the land bridge. Many will argue against disbading Corps as they go away for free but I want to have a descent amount of support units my armies ASAP, disbanding selective Corps will help with that at only 1AP.

I'm also very freaky about C&C, and spend a lot of AP's to have as clean as possible C&C. Probably too much but I think it is one of the ways to make a difference in the game. Many times combats are won or lost by fractions, losing or winning can be determined by not having the -30% modifier.

I also put most of my army in the North, Center and Kiev region on refit. Only the extreme South will have to wait as I anticipate I have more time there. With the massive amount of replacements in the first turns, this will transform many weak divisions into "strong" ones.
I rail out as much as I can in the South and rail in as many unfrozen reserves as I can and use the best divisions to shore up the center and North. What I can't rail out in the South is consolidated in an attempt to survive the next turn and then make a run for it.

Overview North/Center after Soviet moves:





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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 12:47:30 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:43:53 PM   
glvaca

 

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Close up Pskov defences:





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:51:42 PM   
glvaca

 

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Close up upper Dnepr "defences":
I'm basically expecting a classic 2 pronged attack through Borisov and Bobruisk. Still I want to guard against an outflanking move through Ushashi and Lepel.
At the same time I'm building my defences for the land bridge and but have limited forces to spare to put behind the Dnept bend.




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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 12:55:11 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 12:56:45 PM   
glvaca

 

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South:
Here I make a run for the Dnepr. I don't believe in fighting East of the Dnepr and want to preszerve maximum strength to fight on the Dnepr and further East as I possible can. Unfortunately, I can't rail everything out and some units are still frozen.





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 1:13:30 PM   
glvaca

 

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TURN 2

Feeling pretty confident I open turn 2 and get a shock. Well, actually 2 shocks.
In the North, Sebastian has swept away my screen and crossed the Velikaya with easy. 7th Panzer is identified in the area which leads to the conclusion that Leningrad is one of his prime objectives early on in the campaign.
In the Center an outright dissaster has taken shape; he has managed to cross the upper Dnepr bend with 2 Mech divisions! Not pretty. This is blitzkrieg of the highest order and he's got my full attention now!






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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 1:15:12 PM   
glvaca

 

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South:
Nothing dramatic except that I lose the divisions I couldn't rail out last turn. Clearly, I cannot expect to get away with sloppiness!




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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 1:16:22 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 1:45:53 PM   
glvaca

 

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Clearly, I'm faced with a serious crisis in the Center and to a lesser extent in the North. Both require a strong response to keep the situation under controle.
Again, the South is pillaged of it's strongest divisions which are railed to shore up the center.
13th Army (Rodion Malinovsky) is reinforced and deployed against the German bridgehead. Depth is added by deploying strongpoints to the rear. It's not enough, I'm sure, but it's the best I can do for the moment. On a possitive note, the Mech divs are SP55, which, I hope, will limit their mobility severely.
I give up the the East Dnepr as staying there can only lead to a pocket.
The land bridge is further reinforced to prevent a shift of direction.






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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 3:32:13 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 1:53:05 PM   
glvaca

 

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In the North I deploy everything I can get my hands on to slow his advance. On the positive side, his infantry is at least 1 to 2 turns away so I'm hoping that my defense of Pskov and the swamp area's, with some depth, will at least prevent a serious breakthrough to Leningrad where I have virtually nothing to hold him.
NW fronts 27th Army (Nikolai Berzarim) is tasked with holding the fascists at bay.





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 1:58:43 PM   
glvaca

 

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South:
Here I continue to run away as fast as possible and put every effort in preparing a strong defense of the Dnepr.
Unfortunately, with the dire situation in the Center and North, few AP's remain to sort out C&C, or to invest in RR contruction brigades so digging in is slower than I would want...
In addition, many of the best divisions are transfered North which will unavoidably weaken the defense.




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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 2:48:50 PM   
Flaviusx


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Needs more picketing. You're giving the axis too much room for maneuver, particularly down south. (But also in the center.) There's zero point, for example, in withdrawing NKVD units to the Dnepr -- those guys should be zocing the front line. They are going to disband anyways. Just keep throwing junk at him. NKVD, airborne brigades, low morale infantry, antitank brigades, that sort of thing. One unit every three hexes, keep contact with the Axis. No more than this, however. The key is to maintain a skirmish line, but no more than the absolute minimum.

I would have sent more north and less to the center. I hardly bother defending the Smolensk corridor anymore, frankly. You could easily have a dozen more divisions near Pskov this way.

The defense of the Dnepr ought to incorporate terrain features west of it. The marsh and rough hexes in particular.

< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 3/25/2012 3:03:52 PM >


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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 3:43:10 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Needs more picketing. You're giving the axis too much room for maneuver, particularly down south. (But also in the center.) There's zero point, for example, in withdrawing NKVD units to the Dnepr -- those guys should be zocing the front line. They are going to disband anyways. Just keep throwing junk at him. NKVD, airborne brigades, low morale infantry, antitank brigades, that sort of thing. One unit every three hexes, keep contact with the Axis. No more than this, however. The key is to maintain a skirmish line, but no more than the absolute minimum.

I would have sent more north and less to the center. I hardly bother defending the Smolensk corridor anymore, frankly. You could easily have a dozen more divisions near Pskov this way.

The defense of the Dnepr ought to incorporate terrain features west of it. The marsh and rough hexes in particular.


Nah, I don't agree with that concept. I not only find it totally ahistorical, it also doesn't work. If I'm confronted with that as a German, I laugh, actually. If you're playing opponents who fall for that, you should look for better stuff.

Tha choice between North and Center is a difficult one and I guess more a personal choice than anything else. Under the current situation, remember, this is turn 2 you're seeing, I'm not about to give up the Dnepr without a fight at this early stage. I need to buy time, and none better than at that particular spot while I wait for reinforcements. The tricky bit is knowing when to call it quits and retreat to the next line...

As I said in the first post, One of my key objectives is to hold Moscow, I'm prepared to lose Leningrad, but not without a fight.

EDIT: As to defending the marshes etc... to the West of the Dnepr, with 2 mech divs over the Dnepr and with the critical situation as a result, evertyhing you deploy West of the Dnepr is actually not contributing anything to the defense and is begging to be cut of when he bursts out of his birdgehead, which he eventually will. So, we'll just have to disagree on this one, again.

< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 3:47:42 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 3:47:22 PM   
Flaviusx


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It's worked just fine against every Axis player I've done this against, including Pelton.

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 3:49:55 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

It's worked just fine against every Axis player I've done this against, including Pelton.


Yes, and as you yourself said in that game, the reason it worked is because Pelton didn't bother to establish pockets.
I do, and contrary to what seems to popular belief, the Russians don't have anything to throw away for free.

In the end it's a matter of preference. If you like it and it works for you, that's great.

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 3:50:49 PM   
glvaca

 

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To finish turn 2, overview of the North and Center:





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 3:58:05 PM   
Flaviusx


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The picket line, if done correctly, is totally expendable and costs more for the Axis to pocket than for the Soviet to establish. The point is to make the Axis waste time and energy to clear it. It's about feeding the beast just enough to slow it down without compromising yourself. And I'm still wondering why you are trying to save the NKVD units in particular.

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:07:21 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

The picket line, if done correctly, is totally expendable and costs more for the Axis to pocket than for the Soviet to establish. The point is to make the Axis waste time and energy to clear it. It's about feeding the beast just enough to slow it down without compromising yourself. And I'm still wondering why you are trying to save the NKVD units in particular.


I know how it works, what it is supposed to do, and how it is done.
Which particular unit are you refering to? Keep in mind, it may have been routed the previous time? Maybe I'm saving it for later deployment? As you know, the chance for them to disband increases if they are low on TOE.
Rest assured, I'm using them exactly as you want me too.

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:12:05 PM   
glvaca

 

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TURN 3
Again the turn holds a surprise, although not in the order of the previous one and this time down South.
Sebastian has deviously railed XIV Pz Corps down South and is using it to pave the way for the advance of the Rumanians and 11th Army. Any hopes for hit and run attacks against the feeble Rumanians can hereby be put back in the drawer.

Axis moves overview before Soviet moves:
North and Center





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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:18:52 PM   
glvaca

 

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Close-up North:
When I get to Pskov as the German turn 3 is usually a take it easy turn while I wait for the infantry and because I'm low on fuel.
Not so here. He throws in 5 Pz and Mot. Divs and takes Pskov headon. The good news is the Swamp hexes hold and he cannot exploit further.
I would personally not have used the Panzers in such frontal attacks but it sets the scene for what is to come; constant pressure, constant deliberate attacks by Mech Divisions which never seem to run out of gaz or oempfff.



< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 4:28:33 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:21:30 PM   
glvaca

 

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With SS




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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:27:02 PM   
glvaca

 

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Close up Center.
A lot of hasty attacks enlarge the bridgehead and now 4 Pz and 2 Mot Divs are accross. Counter attacking is out of the question against these defensive CV's.
The only good news is that he seems too low on fuel to further expand, for now.




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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:30:36 PM   
glvaca

 

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South:
He finishes of last turns pocket East of Rovno and dives down SE of Vinitsa in the hope of cutting of anything left on the Prut or Dnestr rivers but strikes empty air.
As mentioned, XIV Pz Corps makes its apperance and takes Odessa before I have time to disband the FR and put in a garrison.




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< Message edited by glvaca -- 3/25/2012 4:33:53 PM >

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 4:34:40 PM   
glvaca

 

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Zoom in XIV Pz Corps




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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 7:07:06 PM   
comsolut

 

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I'm going to enjoy this AAR. Please post production and OOB numbers, as I like to compare to my three Pbem campaigns I have ongoing (2 as Russian 1 as German (which I really am bad at but figure it helps me to know my enemy).

I notice you have a lot of refit on front line units and less on the reserve units around Moscow and other cities away from the front lines. I have been more discriminating lately and trying to get morale boost for units farther than ten hexes from the front, and leaving some lower morale units without refit on the front lines.

Any thoughts?

And thanks for taking the time to post the AAR (I'm to lazy to attempt that, not to mention screenshot challenged), and taking on a "expert German player," because to date, I have been too intimidated to go that route. I consider myself a slightly above average Russian player.

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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 9:28:26 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: comsolut

I'm going to enjoy this AAR. Please post production and OOB numbers, as I like to compare to my three Pbem campaigns I have ongoing (2 as Russian 1 as German (which I really am bad at but figure it helps me to know my enemy).

I notice you have a lot of refit on front line units and less on the reserve units around Moscow and other cities away from the front lines. I have been more discriminating lately and trying to get morale boost for units farther than ten hexes from the front, and leaving some lower morale units without refit on the front lines.

Any thoughts?

And thanks for taking the time to post the AAR (I'm to lazy to attempt that, not to mention screenshot challenged), and taking on a "expert German player," because to date, I have been too intimidated to go that route. I consider myself a slightly above average Russian player.


I'll post production, losses and OOB screenshots at the end of my turn 3.
For the first 2 turns I put everything on the board at the start of the game on refit. If memory serves close to a million men arrive as replacements during those 2 turns and most of the starting divs go from weak to pretty decent 3's and sometimes 4's. Usually the quelity of the divisions in the South is higher than in the Center and North. Hence I transfer many of the best units from the South to the North and Center. From turn 3 onwards (you'll see in the next screenshots, frontline units generally go to ready, and the new divisions get all the replacements.


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RE: 41-45GC GLVACA (Sov) v SJ80 (Axis) - NO SJ80 - 3/25/2012 9:37:25 PM   
glvaca

 

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After Soviet moves.
North, I rail in 31th Army and assign it 6 divisions just East of the Valdai hills in preparation for a right hook.
I reinforce the Swamp hexes East of Pskov in the hope he'll take the bait and slow him down.
Lastly, I zoc his spearhead with NKVD to keep his fatigue levels up and I put up a strong screen of units in good defensive terrain that will need more than a 1 Panzer hasty attack to dislog, I hope.

Overview North and Center:




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