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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton)

 
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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 1:11:24 PM   
Flaviusx


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Notenome lost Moscow in 41 due to snow throughout the rasputitsa in his last game.

The weather gods are a fickle bunch. Over the course of a full game it's by no means clear that weather favors the Soviets. Only during the summer of 41 is it a clear cut advantage for them, and only if mud hits at the right time and place. I've had some games where the mud was damn near perfect...and others where it didn't do me any good at all.

If you think the blizzard is still too strong -- I'm doubting this, but let's go with it -- then random weather can toss in a few snow turns and reign in the Soviet counteroffensive.



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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 1:35:53 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
The weather gods are a fickle bunch. Over the course of a full game it's by no means clear that weather favors the Soviets.

If you think the blizzard is still too strong -- I'm doubting this, but let's go with it -- then random weather can toss in a few snow turns and reign in the Soviet counteroffensive.


The random weather really makes things much more interesting, and less predictive, which means also means it gives the game a much more realistic feel. So far I would agree it doesn't give either side any significant favor, though. A snow turn during December 41 can easily disturb the Soviets more than a mud turn the Germans in their 41 summer offensive, though, as time is much more scarce for that lot. However, it appears also rarer, so it probably evens out. But we all like to keep our myths alive, like then one about random weather.

Regarding blizzard, I have recently caught myself thinking the same. With the recent patches, it appears more manageable from the German side. Not a heavy crush as back at the time when BigAnorak wrote his guide. On the other hand, we now see pretty much every German PBEM player do the Sir Robin. Not matter how much it is despised for a Soviet player during summer, also for the Germans it still seems to be better than to have a Hitler forcing you to take the beating. Both side rather use hindsight to pick the fights they can win, and withdraw from the ones already lost before started. It has little to do with what happened back then, but that is ok as it seems fair for both sides.

Nonetheless, I guess it would be more interesting if (a) the CV modifiers weren't as brutal so the Germans would stand a better chance for fighting forward (though still face a disadvantage), (b) pockets in both sides could be sustained easier and longer. I miss the aspects like the Demyansk pockets, for example -- that would be spice to the blizzard part, or later in war. It can not be recreated, even with an airbase inside, much as the Soviet pockets melt too easily and allow for an increased op-tempo in the summers. The CV melt too quickly it would seem.

On a side note: During summer 41, when counterattacking with numerically superior the Soviets, and doing so even with morale 30-35 infantry divisions and anything else you can lay hands on, do you also often get results that basically wipe out some 1->4k Soviets, perhaps a couple dozen to a hundred tanks in case you brought some, yet many times the Germans even get out with 0/0/0 losses? Is that just FoW? I have tried to find some way to attrit the Germans with relentless forward fighting, but I find that the engine results for engagements with strong disparities in morale seem to give very poor losses for the highly experienced side, maybe too small losses to recreate the attrition?

< Message edited by janh -- 9/5/2012 1:37:53 PM >

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 1:46:52 PM   
Marquo


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In terms of time, it takes one turn to make a larger pocket, and then 1 - 2 or even more turns to wipe it out; this is 2 - weeks or more so it is not so bad in terms of time...

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 1:58:47 PM   
Marquo


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I never really paid attention: are the MPs calculated and set at the beginning of the player's move; i.e. if a unit X starts in a ZOC, but the enemy unit exerting the zoc is displaced by combat from friendly different units, does the ZOC penaly apply when unit X starts to move (no longer in ZOC)?

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 2:44:35 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

I never really paid attention: are the MPs calculated and set at the beginning of the player's move; i.e. if a unit X starts in a ZOC, but the enemy unit exerting the zoc is displaced by combat from friendly different units, does the ZOC penaly apply when unit X starts to move (no longer in ZOC)?


The ZOC cost does not apply if no ZOC is exercised on the hex when the move is made.
This is why it is best if you can open a 3 hex wide hole in the line with your infantry and let the motor/cav units apply their MP to moving over terrain instead of ZOC friction costs.
This has bitten me a time or two when I figured I had a decent 'sponge' of units, and the Germans had one more motor unit than I figured on that moves through a cut cleared by everyone else.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 5:52:47 PM   
Flaviusx


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Janh, Soviet losses are disproportionately high in 41, whether attacking or defending, whether they win or lose. German losses are correspondingly low. Well dug in stacks in urban terrain with reserves thrown in might inflict 1500 losses on the Axis attacker -- that's about as good as it gets in 41. It's very frustrating. The German can maintain 5-1 or greater loss ratios through the year. Grinding can actually pay off in 41 to a certain extent as a result, although pocketing is still better. Low morale units will produce higher losses, but even solid units with 45+ morale won't do amazingly well. That's just the way it is in 41. The Red Army is a paper tiger. It's part of the reason any kind of front wide forward defense is suicide. You need the most adverse terrain and highest unit densities to overcome this and fight straight up.



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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 8:38:26 PM   
Michael T


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All things considered IMO the game favours the Soviets. Mud in 1941 exacerbates the imbalance. Pelton will wind up crushed even with 17 clear in 1941. A game where mud hits Germany hard in 1941 is not worth playing, no challenge at all for the Soviets.

The 1941 campaign sets up the game, for both sides. A bunch of good or bad rolls gives one side or the other too much advantage on this weather table. I would be open to random weather from 1942 on.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 9:20:21 PM   
Flaviusx


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I think it's a bit over the top to conclude that Pelton is crushed. The game isn't going to end in 1941, unless he totally mismanages the blizzard. The game will merely go into 1942 and then we shall see if you can reach Berlin in time to beat the clock. I want to see you actually play a game out in full Michael, and get out this fixation with 1941. There's a whole game beyond this.



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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 9:49:58 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
All things considered IMO the game favours the Soviets. Mud in 1941 exacerbates the imbalance. Pelton will wind up crushed even with 17 clear in 1941. A game where mud hits Germany hard in 1941 is not worth playing, no challenge at all for the Soviets.

The 1941 campaign sets up the game, for both sides. A bunch of good or bad rolls gives one side or the other too much advantage on this weather table. I would be open to random weather from 1942 on.


I disagree, right now it seems rather balanced at the big picture. Lvov is made up to a lesser degree by a similarly artificially "bottling up" of the Finns at the map border, both of which honestly is not credible to this degree. Lvov is bigger damage, though.

Random weather, while more realistic, is a bit crude in its flavors, lacking intermediate stages, but in the end it has the same probability to harm the Soviet offensive in the last 2 years as much as it can hurt the Axis offensives of the first two. And it can even hurt the defender's preps, no matter who that is. It looks pretty much even on a per turn basis. Just once you take into account that this conflict was a very one-sided one, it surely is no more than logic that any bad luck a German player has during his offensives (to reduced the Red Army's potential to strike back later) hurts more than any bad luck on the side with plentiful resources. It is a bit like with the CV in WitP-AE, loosing those 6 IJN CV during the first year or two means disaster, but so does a poor 41 summer offensive. I guess that thoroughly makes sense, after all this is not meant to be chess.

How Pelton does in the next 100 turns is up to be seen. So far I think he has set up himself for a rough treat, though, with his focus on this Lake Illmen right hook. He's used it too often, and I think it is something that only is economical when unexpected. The terrain there favors the Soviets, and if it comes even predictable... Hmmh, that would be like repeating Lee's tripple splitting and Jackson's flank march at Chancellorsville over and over again...
Still, Pelton is all but beaten, and you certainly know the power of German units and their ability to recover after winter well. I'd still bet on Pelton preventing you from reaching Berlin before March 45, unless he commits any major furbars..


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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 9:58:41 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
Janh, Soviet losses are disproportionately high in 41, whether attacking or defending, whether they win or lose. German losses are correspondingly low. Well dug in stacks in urban terrain with reserves thrown in might inflict 1500 losses on the Axis attacker -- that's about as good as it gets in 41. It's very frustrating. The German can maintain 5-1 or greater loss ratios through the year. Grinding can actually pay off in 41 to a certain extent as a result, although pocketing is still better. Low morale units will produce higher losses, but even solid units with 45+ morale won't do amazingly well. That's just the way it is in 41. The Red Army is a paper tiger. It's part of the reason any kind of front wide forward defense is suicide. You need the most adverse terrain and highest unit densities to overcome this and fight straight up.


I guess that is so. Even when using only deliberate attacks (as much as this is possible with the high MP costs that poor morale units face) at some 3:1 men or tank ratio, little to nothing is achieved. If I'd inflict some 200-500 casualties for ten times that on my own, I would still consider this rate advantageous to attrit the Germans. But I find it hard get even a 1:10 ratio. After that my MPs are all used up and with some luck I can retreat a few units again. But I essentially set them up for pocketing with that. The gains of a forward fighting strategy with heavy counterattacking as the Soviet did back in time seem to be negligible in this game.
Perhaps the engine is not so good for very disparate battles, maybe the Soviet morale is simply too small -- no matter, that would be just a modelling thing, i.e. no matter which of both. Yet still I think there should be no results that plot some 4k casualties against basically none, or even exactly none. I should probably repeat the same combats a couple of times with and without FoW, maybe I am fooled by that?

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 10:06:13 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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I was under the impression that this right hook thing was a thing of the past (many patches ago, heck, when the game was fresh and new)

Lots of powerful Hitlerite bandits south of this Ilmen thing... And lots of forests, rough hexes...

Moscow aka the [stripped] center anyone?

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 10:13:38 PM   
Michael T


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I did not say Pelton 'is' crushed. I said 'will be' crushed. And to further clarify it won't be thru his mismanagement, simply becasue of the imbalance of the game. And of course not in 1941. Most likely at some point in 1944 I will be in Berlin unless he concedes, which is the same thing really.

Flavius you predicted a win for Pelton with non randon weather. You had better start thinking of some excuse becasue he will be toast by 44.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 10:25:09 PM   
janh

 

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Let him be toasty, if that shall be so! I really want to see the end of this. If you'd be in Berlin before December 44, I guess we'd be back at eying the logistics model.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 11:12:23 PM   
Flaviusx


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You responded perfectly to his right hook and are the first person to do so. That doesn't make the game "unbalanced." It means that Pelton has become predictable and eventually somebody was going to get his number here. I myself predicted from the outset he would do just this as it has served him well up to this point. This lack of strategic surprise basically has stymied him.

Now he needs to mix it up in future games and do something new. Needs to threaten the center more imo, just to keep the Soviet guessing. If he throws everything at one narrow sector of the front, the one that happens to have the worst terrain in the map, and the Soviet player anticipates this and matches the commitment, well, that's where you wind up at in this game.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 11:32:17 PM   
M60A3TTS

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

You responded perfectly to his right hook and are the first person to do so. That doesn't make the game "unbalanced." It means that Pelton has become predictable and eventually somebody was going to get his number here. I myself predicted from the outset he would do just this as it has served him well up to this point. This lack of strategic surprise basically has stymied him.

Now he needs to mix it up in future games and do something new. Needs to threaten the center more imo, just to keep the Soviet guessing. If he throws everything at one narrow sector of the front, the one that happens to have the worst terrain in the map, and the Soviet player anticipates this and matches the commitment, well, that's where you wind up at in this game.


I would say Pelton is quite consistent in his play, which I'm not sure is the same thing as being predictable. Maybe. He did the factory raiding thing against you and I, then discarded the practice once he realized it just didn't work.

This is the first time we've seen a Soviet player pour this much into Leningrad. If Pelton doesn't do anything more than keep throwing more men into a northern meatgrinder, it's possible he can really whittle himself down in a bad way. On the other hand, if he swings to a drive on Moscow, could be a very interesting scenario.

The Germans take Moscow while the Soviets hold Leningrad? That would be a first.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 11:35:54 PM   
Michael T


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Well I have considered that, holding Leningrad and lossing Moscow. I prefer to keep Leningrad. But Pelton may yet succeed in his Leningrad drive. He still has 8 more clear turns. If I hold one or the other I am still very happy. Lossing both would be dissapointing but not a game killer.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/5/2012 11:53:56 PM   
Ketza


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

All things considered IMO the game favours the Soviets. Mud in 1941 exacerbates the imbalance. Pelton will wind up crushed even with 17 clear in 1941. A game where mud hits Germany hard in 1941 is not worth playing, no challenge at all for the Soviets.

The 1941 campaign sets up the game, for both sides. A bunch of good or bad rolls gives one side or the other too much advantage on this weather table. I would be open to random weather from 1942 on.


I would agree that the game favors the Soviets. Axis players playing loose fast and deep in the mud season can have very bad days.






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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/6/2012 12:02:49 AM   
Flaviusx


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I consider it highly unlikely that Moscow can fall while Leningrad holds. Indeed, this has never happened in any game that I've played or seen. But I do think both targets need to be realistically threatened. AGC is so weak right now that it's very easy to pile everything up north and stall the Axis. The Red Army even in 1941 is big enough to achieve the necessary force densities provided the front is narrow enough, and especially given the terrain. It's when you stretch the front beyond a certain point and multiple targets are threatened that problems arise.

Pelton made this work in all the other games because people simply didn't expect the right hook and were caught off guard. Michael here anticipated this effort, identified the panzer concentration as early as turn 3, and threw the kitchen sink up north and has continued to reinforce it since. Absolutely the correct response.

As for factory raiding...again I figured out how to shut that down because when I took up the game against him, I'd seen what he'd done in many other games. I knew exactly what to expect and came up with the response to this, but I didn't do it in a vacuum. I profited from the experience and losses of others.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 9/6/2012 12:05:09 AM >


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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/6/2012 2:31:43 AM   
A game


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


If you think the blizzard is still too strong -- I'm doubting this, but let's go with it -- then random weather can toss in a few snow turns and reign in the Soviet counteroffensive.




Except that currently: "There will be no snow or mud during December 1941 and January 1942 (only Blizzard)." This seems very strange when the option for "random" weather is chosen but the soviets are allowed two months of free uninterrupted Blizzard. But the Axis can have their summer 41 campaign completely crippled by a bad mud turn... Are people even aware of this?

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/6/2012 7:00:41 AM   
Flaviusx


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Depends on the weather zone. As I recall, Soviet North is the only one guaranteed blizzard during these two months. That being said, most of the action will be in that zone.

Snow in February in Soviet North is very troublesome, btw.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 4:09:08 AM   
Scook_99

 

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Please read more carefully, In every summer, only one mud turn is allowed per zone during that time, and one snow turn per zone every winter. It's even. If skill level isn't there, the German needs the 17 clear turns to push out far enough to make a game. If the German is good, random weather is much better to play.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 6:36:57 AM   
hfarrish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Depends on the weather zone. As I recall, Soviet North is the only one guaranteed blizzard during these two months. That being said, most of the action will be in that zone.

Snow in February in Soviet North is very troublesome, btw.


The rulebook is pretty clear and in my current Pelton game there was no snow in any zone during Jan / Feb. I actually agree this is somewhat flawed...the Soviets should have a chance of unfavorable weather in their turn to shine.

I still think random weather gets a bad rap b/c (a) since most games end by '42, the German feels the impact most and (b) its impact on the Soviet during this period is underappreciated - not that it doesn't hurt the German more but there are negative impacts on the Soviet player from the uncertainty that mitigate it to some degree...for example in "mud" periods you can't just sit in your lines not worrying about anything, there is always the chance of a clear/snow turn that forces you to be vigilant or even carefully retreat. I know I've given up a lot of ground in my Pelton game that I would not have given up had I known the weather forecast...

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 7:16:41 AM   
Michael T


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Well each to their own on the weather front. As I have said previously, I use non random no matter what side I play. I can't possibly see how a Russian could lose if he gets several mud turns in the summer of 1941. I like more of a challenge. Non random is even for both sides. Random can favour one side over the other quite heavily. Thats the problem with it as I see it.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 7:18:22 AM   
Michael T


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Getting back to the game at hand, I have an update ready to go once I get Pelton's next move.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 7:36:23 AM   
hfarrish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

Well each to their own on the weather front. As I have said previously, I use non random no matter what side I play. I can't possibly see how a Russian could lose if he gets several mud turns in the summer of 1941. I like more of a challenge. Non random is even for both sides. Random can favour one side over the other quite heavily. Thats the problem with it as I see it.


Not to drag out the distraction, but I agree with you at least on one point - I am definitely in the camp that weather is far too heavy handed and needs more nuanced gradations...I guess just we would differ on whether that makes random weather a non-starter. I still feel like a game feels far more like "real" war in terms of not knowing exactly what date you are going to do every little thing than with non-random, but reasonable people can disagree on the point.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/8/2012 7:44:32 AM   
Michael T


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If random was fixed up I would prefer it. I use random weather in pretty much every other wargame I play. I hope in WITE 2.0 they make a better weather table and weather process.

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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/10/2012 1:08:45 AM   
Michael T


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End Soviet T10

AGN: The Axis assault towards Leningrad continues unabated. Four main lines of attack (see arrows on map) made 1 or 2 hex penetrations.

AGC: A Panzer group fuelled up via HQBU surges ahead to the south of Vyzama (see arrows), deflecting away from the direct line toward Moscow but rather towards Tula.
I have lost track of the Pz Corp detached from AGS . I suspect they may be HQBU where shown on the map, just behind the first penetration, ready to continue on next turn. But not certain about this. A worry as to where they are.

AGS: A strong thrust to the south of Kharkov as shown the map. But they over-extend and Soviet attacks throw back the 25th Mot Division and rout it.

Opening T11 I find no disasters, phew. 25th Mot is still broken :)

Pelton is driving hard along the Baltic coast with most of the AGN Mech units. Combat around Lake Ilmen is mostly Inf v Inf.




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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/10/2012 1:09:37 AM   
Michael T


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Close up of Leningrad area.




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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/16/2012 1:54:34 AM   
Michael T


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End Soviet T12

AGN. The bloodbath for Leningrad continues. The Axis grind out 1 or 2 hexes where shown on the map. Pelton shifts one Pz Corp from the Leningrad assault to just north of Velkie Luki.

AGC. The AGC Panzer blob keeps moving forward between the Oka and Tula. LAH strays too far forward and is surrounded and routed.

AGS. The Panzers pull back and HQBU ( I assume, where the circles are shown) except for a Pz Corp just to the south of Stalino. This prompts a 3 to 4 hex withdrawal to remove the German infantry factor from the coming attack.

This turn I denuded the line from Tula to Kharkov and withdrew from the German Infantry advance.

I have just opened T13. No disasters.




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RE: Razing the Reich (No Pelton) - 9/16/2012 11:07:22 AM   
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You have some armor in rough hexes, like at the Valdai Hills; doesn't that penalize their CV?

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