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A tale of three cities (hooooper vs Bomazz)

 
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A tale of three cities (hooooper vs Bomazz) - 10/28/2012 4:16:23 PM   
hooooper

 

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This is an AAR examining the fate of Leningrad, Moscow and Tula at the climax of Barbarossa. We join the action on turn 13; the Axis have fought a skillful and effective campaign and the prizes are just a few centimetres further on the planning maps. The Soviet leadership has deep misgivings about whether the Red Army can put enough bodies in the way of the Germans, who have formed strong concentrations of armour and infantry on the approaches to the three cities.

First, Leningrad.






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< Message edited by hooooper -- 12/18/2012 5:54:15 PM >
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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 5:06:46 PM   
hooooper

 

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The drive to the Baltic has succeeded and the first attempt to kick down the back door has failed with heavy losses on both sides. The troops of NW and Leningrad fronts that were holding the Luga have made an orderly withdrawal to the Volkhov - the open door defence - but the door has been taken off its hinges (ie Novgorod), as the Soviets scramble to fend off German divisions that have forced a passage to the south of Lake Ilman.

Meanwhile, an ambiguous offensive has been launched between Leningrad and Moscow, north of Kalinin and apparently heading for Vyshny Volochek. My opponent always seems to have a good reason for his moves, so what's this all about? Is it aimed at Moscow or Leningrad? Or does he just want to take VV? Or will they turn north west and try to pocket the two armies holding the Valdai hills? Somehow we will have to come up with an all-purpose plan to meet all of these possibilities. Yeah, right.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 5:14:31 PM   
hooooper

 

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Although the situation in the North is serious, it is at least familiar, and if Leningrad is loss but the bulk of the forces defending it survive then nothing is ruined, especially if the pink panzers can be kept away from Moscow. And speaking of Moscow, here's the situation there. Or there's the situation here.






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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 5:23:23 PM   
hooooper

 

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Two extremely powerful thrusts have squeezed the divisions from the Reserve and Moscow fronts like Silly Putty, and although the glacis east of Vyazma has held, there is nothing but low value, low morale units between the Germans and the west edge of Moscow. A frontal offensive would be unsubtle, but it would also be hard to stop.

Further south, this is the situation before Tula.





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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 5:32:17 PM   
hooooper

 

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This pocket formed last turn and I briefly opened it. No hope remains for the two armies of the Western Front encircled, and there is nothing between the Germans and the Urals for about 100 miles. My only consolation is that the Germans may be distracted by the number of tempting opportunities facing them.

This is what's happening in the south.






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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:06:36 PM   
hooooper

 

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Stavka is less worried about this situation than the crises further north, for the reason that there's just the one pincer and there doesn't appear to be any worries of it meeting up with another one, and at some point I may be able to stop it with pressure on the flanks.

Further south its a fight between the Russians and the Rumanians. I've committed the units that were digging in at the Crimea in an effort to convince my opponent that this is a serious threat, but without any success. In fact, my exploiting cavalry has been cut off.






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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:15:56 PM   
hooooper

 

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Soviet responses

The first move is to reinforce the air defences of the city by flying more fighters into the three PVO airbases by the Lagoda port. Last turn these were fairly effective ....




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:34:28 PM   
hooooper

 

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An attack is made over the Volkhov, which makes some progress, but the main work is rotating high fatigue divisions out of the back door, replacing them with fresh forces, and merging an infantry brigage to bring the defence value back up to 22, which is about the minimum needed to give a reasonable chance of holding the hex. General Bagramyan, the battling Armenian, is put in charge of 23rd Army.

Down at Vyshny Volachek, all I have managed to do it strengthen the southern face of the penetration and weakened the north in the hope of squirting the panzers into a harmless NW direction. Generally, they're a long way from home and I don't believe they can pocket the Valdai, or at least not next go.





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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:40:23 PM   
hooooper

 

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Down at Moscow, I should mention the heroism of the 126th division, which held off five attacks at massive odds, and prevented the pocket from being closed. The survivors will be showered with medals.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:54:31 PM   
hooooper

 

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This is the best defence I was able to come up with: as you can see it's a fan design that contests every hex, but not at any great strength. I imagine my opponent will try to grind through using hasty attacks from three stacked divisions; ideally I'd like make the defensive values high enough to force an overcommitment to the attack, with the hope that fatigue will slow them down. The Reserve Front, which will be doing most of the fighting, is commanded by Rossokovsky, so I hope he's in form.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 6:59:14 PM   
hooooper

 

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In front of Tula, the rail network has magicked up a last-ditch defence, and much to my surprise, it proved possible to make a path to the encircled troops. The situation is looking rather better now.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 7:28:54 PM   
hooooper

 

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In the south we have thickened our defences in an attempt to persuade the pincer to head north. This is because there's nothing much there, and also because that should ensure that the Donbas, which is the pride of my position, remains undamaged.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 7:40:35 PM   
hooooper

 

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Finally, here is the big picture:






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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 8:36:57 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Be careful of him attacking Moscow from the flanks - The Kalinin from the north and Kaluga from the south - your carpet might slow a frontal attack, but you look vulnerable to the flanks. Also, put combat units in all Moscow hexes just in case he does break through. You might consider some forts in Moscow and build up an inner perimeter to prevent a panzer thrust from impacting industry. If its early September, he has the time to reposition and assualt before mud, and then also attack in the snow if he wants to risk it.


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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:08:09 PM   
hooooper

 

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That's a big worry. I'm betting that too much infantry has been committed to the central axis, to try to close the pocket. The weaker wing is in the south, and he'll definitely make progress there, but I can't see any mech divisions, apart from the ones on the wrong side of the river, so I don't think there's a risk of him completely outflanking Moscow to the south. In the north, the line on the Volga reservoir is too strong to brush aside, and the going is too bad for mech to "turn the corner". I thought about manning the line of the canal, but in the end I thought the greater danger was a simple push in the centre, so I put the last of my reserves there.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:09:36 PM   
Pelton

 

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Wow Moscow looks to be in big trouble unless you got troops somewheres. Your CV is in the tank, why did you not build the standard 4 to 5 layers of forts in front of Moscow?

Most guys now just hand the south to GHC and rail 20 divisions north of Tula and send all new units to same area.

If this is a .13+ game you be first SHC to lose Moscow. heheh not a good thing.

But this is the Bomazz dude who like MT is 10-0 GHC 10-0 SHC

So I guess its not that bad of a thing.



< Message edited by Pelton -- 10/28/2012 11:29:28 PM >


_____________________________

GHC
22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


General Cheesefinder of WitW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmyypGyfng&list=PLrY4H4gWWBircAjo

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:30:13 PM   
Pelton

 

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Hes also not doing anything as far as exploiting the supply system, hes just straight up beating your butt.

_____________________________

GHC
22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


General Cheesefinder of WitW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmyypGyfng&list=PLrY4H4gWWBircAjo

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:32:41 PM   
hooooper

 

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As for the the state of Moscow, I imagine you'd be a pretty good judge, but I'm maybe a little less pessimistic. You have to succeed with two pincers to get your arms around the city and I think the northern wing has the armour but not the terrain and the southern wing has the terrain but not the armour. This might be wishful thinking.

As for losing Moscow, I won't be delighted, but I won't be completely inconsolable. If I were to lose it but keep everything to the east of Dnepropetrovk, I'd say that was a reasonable trade in terms of manpower centres. I forgot to mention in the AAR, but everything's been stripped out of three of the four industrial hexes apart from MIG factories and heavy industry, so I'll keep the aviation industry.

Generally I have no doubt that the Axis have the initiative, but it's going to have to hurry up.

I don't know anything about B, but I'm prepared to believe what you say - he's a most stimulating player. So far I've managed to avoid really big encirclements, apart from the south in the first few turns, but I've been giving ground at a much faster rate than usual. Incidentally, have you ever read Corelli Barnett's book "The Desert Generals"? It's about the men who ran the British campaign in north Africa - it's very vivid description of what it was like to fight against Rommel.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:34:35 PM   
hooooper

 

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How do you mean "exploiting the supply system" - and how can you tell?

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/28/2012 11:49:28 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooooper

As for the the state of Moscow, I imagine you'd be a pretty good judge, but I'm maybe a little less pessimistic. You have to succeed with two pincers to get your arms around the city and I think the northern wing has the armour but not the terrain and the southern wing has the terrain but not the armour. This might be wishful thinking.

As for losing Moscow, I won't be delighted, but I won't be completely inconsolable. If I were to lose it but keep everything to the east of Dnepropetrovk, I'd say that was a reasonable trade in terms of manpower centres. I forgot to mention in the AAR, but everything's been stripped out of three of the four industrial hexes apart from MIG factories and heavy industry, so I'll keep the aviation industry.

Generally I have no doubt that the Axis have the initiative, but it's going to have to hurry up.

I don't know anything about B, but I'm prepared to believe what you say - he's a most stimulating player. So far I've managed to avoid really big encirclements, apart from the south in the first few turns, but I've been giving ground at a much faster rate than usual. Incidentally, have you ever read Corelli Barnett's book "The Desert Generals"? It's about the men who ran the British campaign in north Africa - it's very vivid description of what it was like to fight against Rommel.


Very good point about the manpower centers. If you have enough blizzard exp I am guessing you will be able to retake it, now holding it during 42 will be interesting.

Your a very good SHC player yourself so if hes pushing you hes very good.

Looks like game will be desided in 42 basicly. Whats your OOB look like?

It will be interesting to see what he does during blizzard. He might be 10-0 +, but has he had to fase a strong exp SHC Blizzard O?

As we have seen its not out of the question for the SHC to win the game during blizzard by pocketing 20+ divisions and crushing german infantry morale.

< Message edited by Pelton -- 10/28/2012 11:51:13 PM >


_____________________________

GHC
22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


General Cheesefinder of WitW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmyypGyfng&list=PLrY4H4gWWBircAjo

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 12:00:58 AM   
hooooper

 

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The OOB, that was another thing I forgot to mention. In terms of manpower the Red Army has been hovering around the 4.1 mark for most of the game, but it's risen to 4.2 now. He (if B is a he) has been around 3.4. The Axis have more artillery and tanks as well. Interestingly he's managed to keep the Red Army from growing just through winning lots of battles, rather than through encirclement and surrender. Losses have been at least 4:1 all the way through.

In my experience, Soviet numbers are the best quick and inaccurate indicator of how you're doing in 41: under 4 you're in danger of hitting the tipping point where you're not strong enough to keep from losing men faster than you can replace them; more than 4.5 and divisions are piling up faster than you can process them into armies. I'm pretty much on the watershed ...


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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 7:37:14 PM   
hooooper

 

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Turn 14

The defences of Leningrad have held, despite another six-division assault on the back door.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 7:48:55 PM   
hooooper

 

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There was no attempt to bomb the port this go, and no serious attempt to attack the line between the Baltic and the Msta. The only development to be concerned about is a short incursion by a single panzer division, which ought to be containable if I put some infantry behind the Msta. I'm beginning to think the fate of Leningrad depends entirely on keeping the back door closed and putting enough fighters and AA regiments in position to prevent the Germans from closing the port.

North of Moscow, strong mechanised forces (intelligence estimates about nine divisions) have pushed NW, away from the Moscow axis and towards Vyshny Volochek.






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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 7:51:43 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooooper

The OOB, that was another thing I forgot to mention. In terms of manpower the Red Army has been hovering around the 4.1 mark for most of the game, but it's risen to 4.2 now. He (if B is a he) has been around 3.4. The Axis have more artillery and tanks as well. Interestingly he's managed to keep the Red Army from growing just through winning lots of battles, rather than through encirclement and surrender. Losses have been at least 4:1 all the way through.

In my experience, Soviet numbers are the best quick and inaccurate indicator of how you're doing in 41: under 4 you're in danger of hitting the tipping point where you're not strong enough to keep from losing men faster than you can replace them; more than 4.5 and divisions are piling up faster than you can process them into armies. I'm pretty much on the watershed ...




As it is so hard now to pocket units vs most SHC players, more and more GHC players are grinding it out to keep game close.
Its seems to atleast keep you in the game.
Its not easy getting the right mix of SU/leaders in the right units in the right areas.

Over-all wite is much more balanced then in the past.

Hes drop your fort on the back door hex?

Did he do the standard 4 to 6 regiment attacks on that hex, bomb 3x, then do the main assault or just the one main assault? Leader Model and 4 best infantry divisoins in his Corp, then 2 more good ones.

That hex falls 50%+ of the time if you do the attack like that + have 3 panzer divisions on reserve. Might take 2 or 3 turns, but never more then 3. I ran a test, 20 assaults and the average was 50%. Only 1 time did it take a 4th.

He could also simply bomb the crap out of the port, but the soaking attacks then big assault is more then enough.

< Message edited by Pelton -- 10/29/2012 7:56:15 PM >


_____________________________

GHC
22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


General Cheesefinder of WitW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmyypGyfng&list=PLrY4H4gWWBircAjo

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 7:57:48 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooooper

I'm beginning to think the fate of Leningrad depends entirely on keeping the back door closed and putting enough fighters and AA regiments in position to prevent the Germans from closing the port.



You might be right he is not assaulting it the right way.

Stop the right hook and you might just hold it.

_____________________________

GHC
22 - 4 - 8

15 games ended in 41 (15-0-0)
7 games ended in 42 (5-0-2)
8 games ended in 43 (2-3-3)
4 games ended in 44 (0-1-3)


General Cheesefinder of WitW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmyypGyfng&list=PLrY4H4gWWBircAjo

(in reply to hooooper)
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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 8:00:56 PM   
hooooper

 

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I continue to be puzzled by this move, which is occupying most of the striking force of the northern group of German forces. I'm puzzled because it is taking these tanks away from Moscow, which means that the southern group of panzers don't have their complementary forces, so what are they going to do next? I could choose to believe that the thrust towards Moscow has been parried, at least until after the rasputitsa, but that seems a bit too good to be true. The only objective to compete with Moscow would be some kind of mega-encirclement behind the Valdai and heading north towards Finland, as Idaho did to Scar. This is a possibility, but I think I can hold it with reserves freed from the defence of Moscow (also in the previous game, Scar decided not to garrison the Finnish border, which made his opponent's job a lot easier).

Here is the situation south of Moscow:




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 8:06:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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As predicted, there has been a big push, but it hasn't resulted in a truly dangerous breakthrough, just a little bending of the line. Much the same is true of struggle before Tula:





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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 8:16:45 PM   
hooooper

 

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Those Western Front armies in the pocket are 10th and 13th, which is a bit of a problem as 13th is commanded by Rodin Malinovsky, and I certainly don't want to lost him. I should have put him in charge of another army, thereby flying him out, but that thought only occurs to me as I type these words. Between the Tula attack and the push south of Moscow, a long thin salient has formed, most of which is ZOC-locked.

South of Tula, we have the long quiet section of the front:




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 8:20:22 PM   
hooooper

 

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Note the lack of German reconnaissance activity, and the lack of armour. From Tula south it is an infantry and cavalry war, in which the Soviets are drifting eastward as slowly as possible. In the deep south my offensive continues, but is easily contained. The cavalry raiding force is not going to be saved.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 10/29/2012 8:27:13 PM   
hooooper

 

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So, this is going to be a turn of masterly inaction. On the Leningrad sector, we simply rotate divisions. Despite what this screenshot shows, the backdoor was bumped up to 20 with a little further juggling. More fighters are flown to the airbases north of the city.


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