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The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier

 
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The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/20/2012 4:49:15 AM   
Keunert


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I decided to start an aar of my side of the game against Olivier. It is now end of august and Stalingrad has already fallen. Between east of the Volga and Rostov a huge gap is open and the Axis is storming south. Soviet troop level is around 400'000 while the Axis is at an impressive 760'000.

We lost about four armies in different pockets, inclusive their HQ and the last weeks had been nothing but blood sweat and tears. Still the last few days have fueled us with hope. The air war is constantly reducing axis air units while we our units stay about the same. and for the first day since the start of Case Blue we actually conduct succsessfull counterattacks.

South of Rostov we completely destroyed two Panzer regiments and one artillery bat, north of Stalingrad the Axis suffered badly after the 5th TA counterattacked. So there is hope that the Axis will somehow overstretch itself and we be able to stabilize our defense within the next month or two.
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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/21/2012 11:54:19 AM   
Keunert


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Here the map at the end of turn 31:




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/21/2012 12:00:11 PM   
Keunert


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Current situation:

Looks like Olivier plays historically and accepts the Don as the final line north of Stalingrad. We stripped our troops, set them on low supply and send the 5 TA and the 40 A to the area north west of Stalingrad. Both armies have recieved reinforcements and 5 TA is on replacement priority. Both armies are strong and are engaging the Krauts. This region is protected by heavy air support to minimize tank losses.

In Stalingrad a newly formed and completely inexperienced army is trying to guard the east bank of the Wolga.

South of Rostow we are moving back, railing units into positions further back.

Between Stalingrad and Rostow is a huge gap. We will think of brining there the weakest of the Rostow armies to protect the rail lines and counterattack the axis units.

< Message edited by Keunert -- 9/21/2012 12:10:41 PM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/21/2012 12:09:30 PM   
Keunert


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Olivier played very well. Even better than in his first try. He was able to keep losses low. Exposed stacks almost always recieved some card bonus that hurt my counterattacks really bad. But even though the losses are low with infantry his airforce and mobile forces are feeling attrition. I have not payed too many units with cards, but still i have to pay already 45 or more pp to play such a card. i can only imagine what Olivier has to pay for additional tanks and planes by now.

Most important is his all time low with divebomber: they hurt my mobile forces really bad. the last few turns those attacks were rather inefficient due to low numbers, interdiction and AA support.
Tanks are also low, even more so after the elimination of two tanks units this weeks due to counterattacks and i guess low supply on his part.

Worn out Panzer armies and less air support will hopefully hinder his offensive power quite a bit.






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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/21/2012 12:13:05 PM   
Keunert


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Infantry, medium and heavy tank assets:




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/21/2012 12:17:52 PM   
Keunert


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This time i have that many prestige points that i cashed them in for pp three times already. Holding Rostov was a good one and then i was just lucky with some of the objectives. Oil is in it's current implementation a no brainer so far. neither side had anything to worry. more important is my supply situation. according to Olivier he has no problem with them.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/22/2012 9:04:16 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 34

Two new issues in the reports screen: Stavka issued a no step back order. every city i lose from now on will lower my prestige. already lost my first prestige point. On a better note: reinforcements went up! and i need'em badly.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/22/2012 9:07:36 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 34

Around Stalingrad 40A recieves a new leader and 5 TA gets ready to hit the few hexes that aren't fortified (done by some jerk that doesn't want to get mentioned).






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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/22/2012 9:13:08 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 34

Former Rostow defender 51A is sent to defend the rail lines connecting Stavka with the caucasian oil fields.

47A and 24A will soon feel the power of german tanks. sitting off any railroads and being low on trucks some of them will most likely be surrounded within the next turns.

18A gets reinforcements and shells the Leibstandarte to lower their AP for next turn.

Overall i think the german forces recoverd supply wise and we will soon have another retreat here.




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< Message edited by Keunert -- 9/22/2012 9:14:50 PM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 4:42:32 PM   
Keunert


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TURN 35 & 36

Mud hit on turn 36 once more. Olivier had a lot of mud to fight with early in the campaign. but lately he enjoyed a great russian summer.

In turn 35 51A, defender of the Engels/Tiblisi railline spotted two mechanized units of 13th Panzer. We send our troops forward and managed to encircle them on turn 36. Both units were destroyed, killing 2500 Panzergrenadiere and lot's of tracked vehicles.

Don't laugh, but this has been our biggest success in a single turn in german unit hunting so far.




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< Message edited by Keunert -- 9/23/2012 9:34:20 PM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:06:56 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 37

Some statistics on the current situation and they do give me some hope.

After weeks of losing men and material we are currently in phase of refit. During the last three weeks our total level went up from 369K to 447k, almost 80'000 men more! And just 4 days ago our reinforcements went up, giving us hope that this trend will continue.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:13:32 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 37

Air units show the same picture. Soviet fighter numbers are constant since the beginning of Case Blue, while our divebombers slowly recover from the few and costly missions they have made. German fighter numbers went down by a third. the jumps in numbers clearly exceed german reinforcement capabilities and thus show Olivier spending pp to buy more units.

Most important is the loss of half of the Luftwaffe's divebombers. Those Stukas rained death on my tanks. i created quite a few aa units and nowadays every turn ends with tanks standing under cover of AA units and within range of fighter interception. Stukas numbers slightly climbed, hinting at another Olivier shopping tour. my guess is that he spent around 140pp for those two cards.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:16:52 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 37

Tank numbers hit the lowpoint early August but are climbing since then. I guess one third of them are with 5 TA. Just before the arrival of the 6 Pz, Olivier was down by 600 medium tanks. Now he has stabilized at 1200. Still a lot of offensive power on his side.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:22:20 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 38

The Axis is on the attack again. 18A earned some medals with results around 1/3 losses. I am slowly getting used to see this as a good result. The killing of 500 SS troops is most noteable.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:27:00 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 38

And finally a hold result with some more SS losses. But don't get too excited... those two results were just the best ones, there were a few attacks without any german losses at all. Olivier is quite a caring commander. His attacks are always well chosen, have lot's of artillery and air support and he always attacks with Landsers. I don't think i have seen axis minors fighting over a dozen times in the entire campaign.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/23/2012 9:33:31 PM   
Keunert


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Turn 38

North of Stalingrad 5TA enjoys the merits of my love: replacement priority, lot's of artillery and a lot of support from Front Command and Stavka. And we start to slowly rebuild the 5TA's tank corps. this is quite important: if i play a tank drive card i want to effect as many units as possible. a complete tank corps consists of 4 units: 1 mech inf, 3 tank brigades. currently there are three complete corps ready.

Two of them attacked this turn, sending three german inf reg back. after this attack with rather low losses the 5 TA units pull back behind the lines of the 40A infantry. this way they are out of range of german artillery and under the umbrella of the different AA units there.

Next turn the next attacks will follow up. We plan to put as much pressure here as possible. Maybe forcing Olivier to bring up more tanks here. Maybe we will tempt him to do a big tank battle here. That would hamper his attack in the south.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 7:39:31 AM   
rominet


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

Turn 37

Some statistics on the current situation and they do give me some hope.

After weeks of losing men and material we are currently in phase of refit. During the last three weeks our total level went up from 369K to 447k, almost 80'000 men more! And just 4 days ago our reinforcements went up, giving us hope that this trend will continue.





So, if i am not wrong, there are about 2 months left to reach the Uranus scenario start situation where the russians have about 900 K troops against 600 K for axis.
It seems to me impossible to reach such situation in this game and you have played well.

How many troops will you receive in next 2 months?


< Message edited by rominet -- 9/24/2012 7:40:28 AM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 7:51:55 AM   
Keunert


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I get about 5'500 men replacements every round and maybe another 3'000 in reinforcements. Two months are 30 turns, that will make for roughly 250'000 men. If, and that is a big 'if' the trend continues of those 250'000, 80'000 will be lost. so i could be at 610'000 men. but that is a very, very optimistic speculation.

Even if i don't reach the Uranus level i can see a slow shift of initiative. But that depends on the effect of the impending losses of soviet oilfields. If this immobilizes me completely i will lose the game fast. And i am not sure if i will be able to safe some of the oilfields. it looks like Olivier is concentrating his effort there. and i will put all reinforcements there too.

< Message edited by Keunert -- 9/24/2012 8:20:42 AM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 2:23:54 PM   
rominet


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

I get about 5'500 men replacements every round and maybe another 3'000 in reinforcements. Two months are 30 turns, that will make for roughly 250'000 men. If, and that is a big 'if' the trend continues of those 250'000, 80'000 will be lost. so i could be at 610'000 men. but that is a very, very optimistic speculation.

Even if i don't reach the Uranus level i can see a slow shift of initiative. But that depends on the effect of the impending losses of soviet oilfields. If this immobilizes me completely i will lose the game fast. And i am not sure if i will be able to safe some of the oilfields. it looks like Olivier is concentrating his effort there. and i will put all reinforcements there too.


Thanks.
This is for me the confirmation that there is a real trouble for russian replacements.
IMO, Russia should receive much more replacement, especially from september, where, from the Stavka point of wiew, it was clear that German offensive was really targetting south of Russia and that it was not a diversion of an offensive against Moscow.
An other point is the use of 11th German Army. It should have been removed from the map after the capture of Sevastopol.
This scenario needs to be more balanced.


< Message edited by rominet -- 9/24/2012 2:24:57 PM >

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 2:39:32 PM   
Keunert


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I still think this battle isn't over just yet. If i can avoid many more huge pockets and defend in the caucasian mountains, i think i will be on the initiative next spring.
but you also have to consider that both of us play this scenario for the first time at this stage. a better soviet player may had avoided to lose four entire armies and would be
in a much stronger position right now.

Olivier seems to play this game really well.

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 2:52:48 PM   
Iñaki Harrizabalagatar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rominet


An other point is the use of 11th German Army. It should have been removed from the map after the capture of Sevastopol.



Is the 11th army available for the German player for free or has the player to pay for it in PPs?

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 2:56:14 PM   
Keunert


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It is stationed on the Crimea and there is no event that makes it withdraw afaik. Better ask Olivier.

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 3:01:38 PM   
Bonners


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I've only played against the AI but have been reading both sides of this AAR with interest. I think that there should be some redress towards the Soviet player from about late August onwards.

If you look at the maps Olivier hasnt done that much better historically than reality and yet the Soviets are still struggling for numbers and certainly will not be able to get the build up they need, certainly not for any kind of Op Uranus. Is it still too early in the life of the game to start making changes though, i.e. will Russian defensive tactics start to improve as we all get used to the game?

From a personal perspective, and as somebody who does like to play as the Axis, I reckon that Soviet replacement levels need to be looked at. As mentioned above I reckon the replacement levels need to increase from late August onwards, I certainly wouldnt be doing it before that time as the balance could tilt too much towards the Soviet side. But I still think any changes need to be small at this stage, as I've alluded to and Keunert has mentioned above it could be that we are all still new to the game and there are other strategies.

Just to shove something else into the pot. Could it be that the initial Soviet objectives are a little too harsh and that is what is leading to the losses? Maybe a bit more leeway there to enable the Soviet player to have a bit more prestige?

Anyway, by the looks of these AARs it is still a fascinating game as it stands, so thanks for taking the time to put them up, I'm learning loads from this one and Olivier's from the Axis perspective.

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 3:39:34 PM   
Keunert


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The biggest contribution to losses, besides personal blunders, are AP penalties by Command & Control and AP reduction by airstrikes and shelling and mobility reduction because airstrikes are really hard on trucks.
While my center was fleeing from Olivier his constant attacks made my armies really slow and my decision to keep them together eventually doomed all of them. i guess sacrificing some units and leave them behind on
good defensive terrain may have reduced my losses quite a bit.

More soviet prestige will not do that much. i played several troop buying cards. once i got 2'500 infantry, another time 25 fighter planes and once i got 30 tanks. maybe it would be easier to make Soviet cards a little more effective.
like soviet replacements are higher than german ones.

BTW it can be that Soviet replacments will go up once more. i will try to find out about this tonight. But if i remember correctly the Axis will get higher replacements at some time too.

Best thing would be if more guys would start pbem the long campaign and do some aar's :) i would enjoy reading them.

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/24/2012 6:37:50 PM   
LiquidSky


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He also gets a large number of divisions as reinforcements. At least 40 Rifle divisions during Sept/Oct/Nov with a lot of brigades, a few Tank Corps, and a couple Mech Corps. All of which can 'pop' on in a city near a weakly defended (ie axis minor) part of the front, if he wanted to save the cards.

_____________________________

What's the sense of sending $2 million missiles to hit a $10 tent that's empty?

— President George W. Bush, Oval Office meeting, 13 September 2001.

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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/25/2012 8:19:11 AM   
Keunert


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Turn 39
5TA attacks!

Bolstered by a gamble card form South West Front HQ (plus 19% on entire army) plus a tank drive card on 23 TankCorps we choose to attack. The army is well rested and the artillery softens the axis defense. the four sided attack on the 62nd Inf does well and pushes them back with low losses.

The German units fall back on another well defended hex. having more artillery available we shell them too with little effect. Attacking this hex will be costly but there is also a chance to rout the already retreated units of the 62nd. So we attack once more with less success.

At the end of the day the Axis mourn the loss of 2'900 men and 80 guns, while we lost 80 tanks and 700 men. Not a great result but we hope the attrition will slowly worn down the Axis positions north west of Stalingrad.






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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/25/2012 8:20:24 AM   
Keunert


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Turn 39

To hold against a possible counterattack we bring up some infantry and 40A plays a hold card on them.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/25/2012 8:34:48 AM   
Keunert


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Turn 40
The Axis on counterattack!

Obviously we got a little overconfident with our attacks on the Axis. OKH started a huge counterattack this day that left our tank forces shattered. It will take weeks to replenish our units and we even have lost our stalemate in the north. The balance of power clearly shifted back to the Axis in this part of the front.

The Axis opened up with air strikes. Even though the last turns clearly showed them the strong presence of both soviet air cover and AA units. The first two strikes left a lot of Axis planes burning in the fields with low soviet air and tank losses.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/25/2012 8:39:09 AM   
Keunert


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Turn 40
The Axis on counterattack!

The second airstrike was even more bloody for the Luftwaffe. At the end of the day 95 axis planes went down with only 15 soviet fighters lost. Among the losses are 45 Stukas and 25 brand new Focke Wulf 190.




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RE: The Bear and the Wolf - Keunert vs. Olivier - 9/25/2012 8:40:52 AM   
Keunert


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Turn 40
The Axis on counterattack!

Next hundreds of guns open up fire and the follow up attacks crush our forces, killing hundreds of tanks!




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