I've made things a bit easier by requesting Wiking, the Slovak Fast Division, a new corps HQ, and the 2nd Romanian Infantry Division to hold the flank eastern. Note that although this might sound like an impressive force on paper, Wiking is a high quality unit but the other two units are reasonably decent but won't get many (if any) replacements so I don't intend to use them for more than flank security or finishing off weakened enemy units. The Romanian and Slovak formations also don't have a separate artillery unit.
Without those reinforcements, I would be forced to make a narrower drive towards Armavir but in those case I have some room for a more elaborate encirclement.
After having played 2 turns, I don't feel the additional units give me a huge advantage thus far, but they do make things easier.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you can't make too many attacks at a low risk because your artillery units lose most of their power after 1 turn and need to refill their supplies for 4 turns before they're fully combat capable again. This means that even though my units are better than the Soviet units on average, I can't simply blow through a line of units turn after turn because it would be way too costly.
As a consequence of the above, I will again try to avoid as much combat as possible by using my superior mobility to encircle the Soviets and/or to threaten to encircle them to force them out of their positions. I think I can take a reasonable amount of losses before the combat power of my units drops spectacularly, but I'd rather take as few losses as possible this early on in the campaign (especially keeping the very random replacements in mind).
Unit placement on turn 1. As before, I did try and optimize my placement for what I wanted to do. This is at the start of turn 1, after requesting the three reinforcement divisions and the additional corps.
Note that you have to be careful with the order in which you place the units as the units will automatically be assigned to the nearest HQ. Placing the additional corps HQ last would've meant seriously overloading XXXX Panzer Korps, so I placed it before placing the Romanian and Slovak divisions. Wiking is attached to III Panzer Korps.
The idea is to use Wiking to cross the river in the west and drive along the rail line where it will link up with part of the 16th Motorized which will force a river crossing targeting a regiment of the 31st Rifle Division. The infantry divisions will clear a path to the river east of Armavir and the 13th Panzer will then move to the river east of Armavir. The idea is to force the defenders of Armavir out of their positions by turn 2 or 3. Note that the 111th Infantry is stacked with 13th Panzer initially.
Even with a Speed card, 13th Panzer can't cross the river east of Armavir on turn 1, which is only a minor problem as it converts the hexes there using ZOC anyway. I used a Speed card on 16th Motorized to make sure the two pocketed Rifle regiments in the river bend wouldn't run towards 1st Panzer Armee HQ. The Soviets did cut the rail line, but that's only a minor inconvenience.
XXXX Panzer Korps will advance east of Stavropol and will, together with 13th Panzer coming from the other side, threaten to encircle Stavropol which should force the Soviet divisions in that area out of their excellent defensive terrain. Note that the two Panzer divisions are stacked on top of eachother at the start of the turn, so you can see only one of them.
Likewise, the Romanian and Slovak divisions are also stacked on top of eachother.
The Romanian and Slovak divisions will hold the flank until the Soviets start to withdraw.
I used a Speed card on 3rd Panzer (so it would be able to advance further) and I believe the 111th Infantry as well (so it could push the 176th Rifle Division back across the river).
The 81st Naval Rifle Brigade was very badly mauled but survived.
< Message edited by ComradeP -- 7/21/2012 12:40:50 PM >
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