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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of defeat (hooooper vs Bomazz)

 
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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 3:01:47 PM   
hooooper

 

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Soviet responses.

Despite the fact that almost all of their elements are unready for combat, 7th and 55th armies are sent to hunt down the Finns.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 1/7/2013 3:02:44 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 3:05:07 PM   
hooooper

 

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Elsewhere it is a matter of strengthening the join between NW Front and the Moscow MD with Western Front's 60 Army




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 3:08:43 PM   
hooooper

 

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Despite the loss of blizzard bonuses, it is possible to open the mini-pocket before Orel.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 1/7/2013 3:09:51 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 3:14:37 PM   
hooooper

 

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It seems that Bomazz has not committed his reserves, so it looks as though there will be a bit of an anti-climactic end to the fighting. I'll post updates from time to time, but I'm not expecting great events until the summer. Back with more in a week or so. If anybody wants a closer look at anything, I have a lot of screen shots that I haven't posted.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 5:35:43 PM   
HITMAN202


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One Question . Why chase the Finns ??

One request. No Soviet AAR has really talked about the mechanics of constructing a deep fort belt with screen shots to show it's formation . It would be interesting to see what you specifically do (and don't do), SU's, HQ's, stacking, etc.... I would love to see screen shots (like the above one at Orel) to see your game plan. I think this may be one the most important skills for the Ruskies to have (and many don't.)

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 6:17:04 PM   
hooooper

 

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On the whole, the geometry of the front suggests that Kharkov will be important in the summer, either as the base for an attack south to the Sea of Azov, as in Terje's astonishing offensive in his game, or east to Stalingrad, or north to meet another pincer from the Tula area. I took the advice of another poster (apologies, I forget who it was) who suggested using the paratroop brigades to dig in on the river line. These were supplemented by FZs with attached sappers. (This help the zones to dig, and means that there are experienced sapper brigades around when you're creating your armoured corps in April.) Finally, each army lends two divisions to the back line. Towards the end of the blizzard, when the Red Army has a breathing space you can create a reserve army from each front, and two or three freshly raised ones to man the lines.

In the screen shot I've marked down three possible tries by the Germans in the summer. The lines, in yellow, are meant to defend against them, either by making pockets harder, or by giving the front armies something to fall back towards, as in the defence of Moscow. The east west yellow line at the bottom will be manned by Southern Front's 38th Army, released by the shortening lines at the front.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 7:29:34 PM   
HITMAN202


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I'm listening and learning.

I raised my question above about chasing the Finn's when I saw Bomazz's foray north of Moscow.

It seems that the space you regained in AGS creates a buffer zone that if your southern fort line traced Rostoz-Stalino-Kharkov, Bomazz's "red" and "blue" options would offer little in turns of isolating units. It would be a nightmare to plan such a huge withdrawal and to give up so much territory that Bomazz can use to his ad when he falls back to Berlin, but it's a change in the front line that you control and force him to face, probably unexpectantly, particularly if you can mask it's withdrawal. Bomazz's loss of many dependable Axis allies units during your blizzard offense will make it difficult to cover the front . This may make the tough decisions he has for his summer "O" even harder to make.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 8:05:06 PM   
Seminole


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The real threat axis from the 'Red Arrow' attack is towards Rostov, bypassing Stalino fortifications to the north instead of scrubbing west of them. Combined with a race for the Crimean neck a lot of troops could be trapped if you're not careful.
I'd put a fort in the port just west of Rostov now and start entrenching the swamps and south side of the river. Make him pay if he wants to get across the lower Don and unlock the new Army Group.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/7/2013 10:19:04 PM   
hooooper

 

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Hitman: the Finns are isolated, so I'm trying to get some at least to surrender, which would have a big effect on the strategic situation in the north, imo.
Seminole: Good advice, and I will probably take it. All the same, I don't think a drive like that would succeed, given the present balance of forces.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/22/2013 10:59:06 PM   
hooooper

 

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An update on this game. We have reached turn 47 with one more mud turn before the summer campaigning season. The Red Army has laid down a 50-70 mile carpet across the front, despite having only a little more than 6 million soldiers under arms. Intelligence reports two concentrations of German armour, well behind the front line, one vaguely north and the other vaguely south. The implication is an attack on a wide front. Natually, Soviet dispositions are top secret, but I will post screenshots once the German's have shown their hand .....

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/23/2013 12:28:01 PM   
Wuffer

 

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What happened to the Finns?

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/23/2013 4:31:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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Oh them ... I had half of the army isolated, but the 7th and 55th armies, which were to have rounded them up were almost entirely unready, so couldn't advance and fight. This meant that all Mr B had to do was give a little ground and wait for the relief army to turn up and force elements of my surrounding army - just a division and a brigade - to surrender. There's no justice. The front line is presently half way up the isthmus, and likely to stay there for a long while. At least I don't have to worry about the Finns breaking through and linking up with AGN in some kind of mega encirclement.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 3:50:55 PM   
hooooper

 

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Turn 51

This is the situation on the eve of the summer campaigning season, which is to say the eve of the German offensive. All the way through the blizzard, snow and mud Bomazz has held the line with a scratch force of German regiments and minor allies, while his strike force was tucked up under feather filled duvet in German towns. The Soviet army has grown to a healthy 6.5m, and is defending in an extended carpet, with reserve lines in place well to the rear. Owing in part to a failure to manage my reconnaissance aircraft correctly, I've been unable to locate the German armour with any confidence, so I am forced to defend all along the line.

In the north, the Finns are no longer a threat to the Red Army's northern flank.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 3:53:54 PM   
hooooper

 

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However, in the North-west we still have to take seriously the possibility of a drive north to isolate the Leningrad forces, so the hills behind the Volkhov front are fortified and the hinge of Vyshny Volochek is reinforced with two reserve armies.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 1/27/2013 3:54:40 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 3:56:44 PM   
hooooper

 

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Before Moscow the line is steady, with a number of static divisions and very strong rear defences. I'm not expecting an attack here.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 4:02:11 PM   
hooooper

 

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It's the southern section of the front that I'm most nervous about, particularly the stretch between Tula and Poltova. In the Orel-Kursk sector the rear river lines each have a recently raised army behind them. Although I wonder if it doesn't make more sense to put the troops on the western side the river, so as to prevent the Germans making use of the rivers to protect their pocket.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 4:05:16 PM   
hooooper

 

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The other likely sector for an attack is, as predicted by the commentators, Kharkov. There are three reserve armies in the rear of this sector, as well as most of the tank corps that I've so far formed.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 4:07:57 PM   
hooooper

 

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The southern section is probably the one where an offensive would be least dangerous, partly becaue Dnepropetrovsk,Zaporezhye and the Dneiper are natural breakwaters. This is where the line is thinnest.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/27/2013 4:12:13 PM   
hooooper

 

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Right, that's the situation before the attack. I've never been in quite this situation before, so I'm not sure quite what the chances are. There will certainly be a massive onslaught somewhere, but I'm counting on mobile reserve armies to stifle the German thrust, together with the firepower of my new infantry corps to provide some counterattacking potential. More soon.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 3:27:35 AM   
Scook_99

 

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If you can't find the tanks, I like to look at airbase masses. I think you have pinpointed the most likely axis of attacks on your fronts. With a carpet down and reserves, I think you have a great chance of stifling his assault. That southern section just sickens me, all the Hungarians holding a thin line in 1942, and very few Romanians in sight. If he keeps this up, you might have an early knockout blow. What is the size of the OOBs for the Axis?

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 3:59:58 AM   
Fishbed


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As someone said elsewhere, better not let your Guard units manning the first line. You know pretty well that nothing can stop a panzerball head on right now, and scattering your best guys forward is like offering them to the gods of Blitzkrieg. Either they will get swept away, or surrounded in no time. Id rather bring the guys back and organize relief armies...

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 1:36:35 PM   
hooooper

 

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Hmm, well I'm sure you're right, but at this point the main difference between a guard unit and a regular is that it's coloured red.

Anyhow, it's too late because the Germans have struck. A stunning blow, and quite unexpected (giving the lie to the often repeated view that it's impossible to achieve strategic surprise in this game). I had expected something of the sort from Bomazz, but I admit I wasn't expecting him to slice through 60 miles of prepared defences with with quite this apparent ease.

He has, of course used the northern riverline as a defence against a flank attack, advanced to Vorenezh to flip control and make it harder to reach the weakest part of the pocket's defence, and has staked out the Slovakians as a sacrifice to relieving efforts to the south. All in all a powerful first blow, and if it is successful Bomazz will have many options (although my money would be on a semi-historical drive to the south, aimed at the Caucusus.

What comfort can the Soviets draw from this attack? Well, firstly he has assaulted a straight stretch of line, which is the hardest operation to pull off, geometrically speaking. Secondly, he has used about 30 Panzer and motorised divisions in the attack. Presumably there is another couple of corp elsewhere performing defensive functions, but essentially that's it. So, I know where all the dangerous formations lie, and I don't have to fear another attack elsewhere and I can at last concentrate my mobile units (rail-mobile that is). Thirdly, the area is well supplied with intact rail lines. Fourthly, that river to the north of the attack provides a means of preventing the bulge from moving north, allowing greater concentration to the east and south. Fifthly, there may be other areas of the line where I can make a counter thrust. The Axis are weak to the south of Kharkov, but I can hardly advance there - Crimea Front may soon be bolting for the east. Konev's North Western front, however, has a favourable concentration of forces, as well as some armour in reserve. A push south is definitely indicated, although this does raise tricky issues of allocating resources, and infantry corp, between the defending and the attacking sectors.

Anyhow, here's the situation map:





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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 1:38:18 PM   
hooooper

 

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And the same map without all those black circles.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 1:39:55 PM   
morvael


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The circles are still there. Could you also post a screen with defensive CV(X=Y) visible for both sides in the critical sector?

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 1:45:10 PM   
hooooper

 

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Sorry, I the zoomed-out shot above is the best I have.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 2:37:00 PM   
morvael


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Too bad, I wanted to compare your defensive values to mine. I'm not a fan of thin but deep carpet of units as I figured out it's a waste of fortifications. In my game that attitude proved quite good, but me and my honorable opponent decided to play without any tricks offered by the engine (so no soak off attacks to deplete ammo and so on).

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 2:47:35 PM   
hooooper

 

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Why would the Germans use soak-off attacks? I think that's a vital tactic for the Soviets, though, and historically justified: wearing down attacks and doomed offensives to fix reserves in place were standard tactics around this time in the war. I don't like thin but deep carpets either, but if you don't know where the assault is coming they do a reasonable job of absorbing the first blow, after which you can concentrate and make the most of fortifications. But how did your defence work out?

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 2:58:30 PM   
morvael


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I meant such things like multiple hasty attacks with a single division, which until one of the recent patches were bound to deplete defender's ammo. We try not to abuse the engine, that's all.

You can check the Axis progress here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3188951

I made many mistakes in this game, as it was my first play as the Soviets ever and first PBEM ever. Many bad decisions involving plane upgrades, factory evacuations and spending AP on worthwile things. However, I play extremely defensively (that's just the way I like) and I try to conserve the strength of Red Army (I attack only where I have 2:1 or 3:1 advantage to build up morale the same way the Germans do), which of course conserves the strength of the German army as well, but luckily I don't see such extreme encirclements as in other games (which I was most afraid of).

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 3:07:50 PM   
vandev

 

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My friend, pull back now to the crimea and rostov. You cannot defend against the panzer ball spread out. Your whole southern line is vulnerable to being pinned against the sea of azov. Massive withdrawal in the far south, give it all up now even Stalino. Defend hard only at the major river's. Your army is a shell, do not trust it yet.

Vandev

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 3:31:24 PM   
hooooper

 

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Morvael, you're doing pretty well - better than I did in this game, so far. But you aren't quite at the Case Blue stage yet. As for the hasty attacks, I think that does mirror what the Soviets did in the winter war against Finland, when they would keep attacking with a division until it was destroyed, then bring up another. I think they were at least trying to save cadres by the Great Patriotic War.

Vandev, I see you've hit the big red button that starts the siren and makes the lights go on and off. I'm not sure I'm ready to do that yet - I think there are some defensive resources in my position that could be effective, and I want to make the Germans prove that they have the initiative rather than just giving it to them without a fight. If it all blows up in my face and I lose three fronts, please feel free to quote those words back to me!

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