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RE: Third Reich 42 - 45: Mark (Axis) vs Mike (Allies)

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RE: Third Reich 42 - 45: Mark (Axis) vs Mike (Allies) - 8/12/2012 8:16:21 PM   


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T072 - Sep 17, 1943

The Black Sea area has been quiet for a while. Part of that is owing to the refitting of the Panzer Divisions. 4th Panzer Division, the seventh division to complete the refit process is in the process of disembarking from its trains near Sokhumi. It will take a few turns to build up some supply and get some additional equipment from the replacement pool.

Batumi is a must take objective, mainly because I am paranoid about rear area security... defending the beaches along the Black Sea are 2 German & 3 Romanian Security Divisions, 3 Luftwaffe Field Divisions, 2 Replacement Divisions, 2 MP/Security Brigades, plus 3 coastal forts. Not front line troops, but a decent reserve if TSHTF.

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RE: Third Reich 42 - 45: Mark (Axis) vs Mike (Allies) - 8/12/2012 8:41:16 PM   


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T072 - Sep 17, 1943

The renewed Karelian Offensive amounted to a small surge. While I'll be attempting to continue more reinforcements will be needed to achieve the desired stop line. Come November, that may be a possibility - until then, reinforcements amount to a few heavy tank battalions, security brigades, night attack bombers and some fighters.

Elsewhere -

Italy, thankfully, is taking its time in surrendering, allowing for a few months worth of reinforcements including 10th Armee with 3 Infantrie and 1 (my only) artillery division. Most of my remaining rail artillery has run the gauntlet of Soviet air interdiction to reach Italy - some worse for the wear. The Dora unit made the attempt, too - making it a total of 15 km from the Voronezh-Yeletz line before getting slammed by Sturmoviks.

Italian partisans have generated some havoc with the rail lines, but I do have some security forces contending with them.

France...there's not much happening over there. Nothing in fact. Nevertheless, I feel it prudent to build up some kind of "strategic reserve" - located in France, but not just for France. At this point, the sum total of that reserve is LSSAH, Grossdeutchland and 1st Panzer Division - 3 very capable divisions whereas all of my other reserves amount to 2nd and 3rd rate security and LFD units.

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RE: Third Reich 42 - 45: Mark (Axis) vs Mike (Allies) - 8/12/2012 10:38:32 PM   


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T075 - Oct 8, 1943

With Italian Forces finally laying down their arms, the first Axis ally is completely out of the picture. Now the real defense begins. Almost all available reinforcements have been poured into Italy aiming to construct an impenetrable fortified line stretching NE from Salerno.

Total forces include 8th and 10th Armees amounting to:
* 11 varied Infantrie Divisions (incl. Mountain/FJ/Ski)
* 2 "New" Panzer Divisions: Herman Goehring and Das Reich
* 2 "Old" Panzer Divisions: 15th and 21st
* 155 Reserve Panzer Division
* 999th Leichte Division
* 4 Heavy Tank Battalions
* 1 Assault Gun Brigade (with Brumbars)
* 1 Heavy AT Battalion
* 18th Artillery Division
* 2 Rail Artillery Battalions
* HQ's for SS IV, V and IX Korps

Through its fighting to date, 999th - originally a penal unit, now has a proficiency of 84% - quite probably the best trained/most experienced unit in the Wermarcht. It's not a very strong unit, so I'm trying to get the most out of it by defending in the mountains overlooking a minor escarpment on one side and a river on the other. The hex directly south of it is alpine, so it's not likely to be easily flanked.

Otherwise... The small Grozny Operation has reduced its front line from 105 km to 75. Elsewhere, it is disturbingly quiet and it never stays that way for long...

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RE: Third Reich 42 - 45: Mark (Axis) vs Mike (Allies) - 8/18/2012 11:06:57 AM   


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In real time we completed playing through Turn 116. Mike and I evaluated whether to continue understanding that really, Axis replacements were a bit too high on some line items and Allied (especially Russian) replacements were substantially too low on some line items. Mainly this concerned infantry squads.

Mike Goldsberry's research also uncovered some additional Western (US/UK/Commonwealth) assets - as he mapped out both the USAAF and RAF down to the squadron. In turn, we mapped those out to units trying to capture as much of the "total force" as possible without dramatically increasing the number of units required. This required dropping some early versions of aircraft and averaging aircraft type by unit. It also meant "averaging" entry dates - in that one wing might have arrived in 1942, another in 1943 and a third in 1944 - so, that unit ends up arriving in 1943.

The map bookmarks were removed, the functionally useless UK home guard HQ's removed. Soviet AT brigades almost entirely removed, their assets bolstering the Composite Rocket Brigades and Tank Brigades, making both less susceptible to automatic over-runs (though that is still possible).

Mike played a good game, especially in the West. He was largely on schedule there - in North Africa, Sicily (if a slow capitulation), Italy and Normandy. The Italian campaign is rough for both sides - and ran into one glitch with a shortage of supply points for the Allies. The Eastern Front unfortunately was handicapped from the get-go by as much as 1k squads per turn.

So - lots of issues, but "even then, despite all that" - the Axis were by no means invulnerable, and even with extra replacements were struggling at times in 1943 and 1944. The tipping point for settling this game was consideration of Allies Progress coupled with the expected reinforcement schedule, with the Summer of 1944 giving rise to a lot of VG divisions, and then the Tiger II's. The Axis would steadily be pushed back - but likely not at the rate needed to push it past an Axis minor victory.

But this is what playtesting is for and helps isolate a lot of different issues in the game play. Now, onto the next version.

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