From: Kinmel bay
28th June to 8th July
I had a few main strategies for the first couple of turns, none of which really worked:
1. At Sevastapol
The idea was to basically rock and roll up there with all my artillery, a couple of extra artillery units and take it in a couple of turns. I also decided to take a big risk with my fleets and try and contest the seas. On land, although things didnt go too well, with the airforce and fleets interdicting the sea supply I was able to get most units after about 3 turns IIRC. Isokron was able to ferry some units out though and it should be noted that some of his units had virtually full supply left at the time of taking. So overall my victory but I reckon Isokron will have been pleased with the amount of units he managed to get out. My experiment with the fleets didnt work too well...suffice to say I now no longer have any fleets left, which means that I'm having to leave quite a few units in the Crimea, some units covering the neck and further units covering all the coastal ports as I have nothing to stop him making any seaborne landings on my flanks. I also did a couple of stupid land attacks before sufficient artillery preparation and my infantry got quite chewed up. I have no other way of taking Rostov or landing opposite Kerch, so it is going to be a straight on struggle for Rostov with 11th Army in support.
2. The rest of the front. We can cover this quite easily with 2 words.....cock up.
Basically I suppose I've been making classic noob errors all along the front. On the first turn my idea was to chew him up with my infantry and then launch the Panzers at his weakened defences from the second turn. That went really well as he basically had retreated all his units back a couple of hexes. This left me in a quandary from my second turn and I ended up making lots of rushed attacks in the wrong places and ended up with exposed units which he took full advantage of. Since then he has always been retreating just ahead of my forces, never allowing me on top of him to make considered attacks across the front. I've had to take chances a couple of times to get in amongst him and nothing has paid off...I should've been more patient. My overall strategy of where to advance hasnt changed though. Either side of the cities and head for the clear ground. Providing the weather stays clear most turns my supply should keep up in the early stages of the game even though I'm not following the rail lines and roads. It is overall a bad situation for the Axis, but it is not yet catastrophic....
3. The Air War
I havent got the hang of this at all, any advice is certainly welcome. My airforce is basically played out, I've been indecisive, not knowing when to recon or go for airbases and feel like I'm already on the defensive. I completely lost sight of his airforce for a couple of turns until they turned up South and West of Rostov. basically it was a bit nasty, the only redeeming feature was that this is the first time he has played his airforce in the game in any force and overall losses were high for him as well, I even managed to bag a few on one of his airfields.
Again making the classic mistakes of not knowing when to give up. I've been basically fighting it out tooth and nail, as has he. You'll see more on this below, but Axis players of a sensitive disposition may want to look away.
And that was basically where I was up to. No breakthroughs, no encirclements and a clever Soviet opponent who has been very impressive in taking full advantage of any mistakes or weaknesses on my part. Despite him retreating every turn I cant but help the feeling I'm dancing to his tune