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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... - 1/28/2013 3:35:06 PM   
morvael


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I guess it's almost after Case Blue stage - we are now at Oct 1st 1942 turn, so there is not much time that is left for the Germans to conduct their summer offensive.

edit: the theme of the summer offensive was that the Germans would capture 4-8 hexes per turn and then I give up another 2-6 hexes to straighen my line and don't let troops be cut off. Meanwhile I would do between 1 and 4 attacks on Germans not in the cover (CV 4-10) improving the morale of my troops where possible. The only downside are high retreat losses and routs due to the fact that the hexes in the back are each full of units, so the units have to retreat additional hexes and take extra casualites, but they usually rally on my turn. Better than than encirclements. I have also developed a procedure that I follow each turn, which allows me to take care of the units in worst shape plus a lot of excel sheets where I keep track of combat units, support units and air units (which allows me to have everything averaged across the front not to offer any weak spot).

< Message edited by morvael -- 1/28/2013 3:44:46 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 4:51:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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Sorry, I didn't read the file properly. So you look as though you've choked off the German offensive without too much trouble.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 4:57:24 PM   
morvael


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Much fear and sweat but less blood than in other games. I still wonder it's because of what I did or because of what my opponent didn't. I'm too much a newbie to find out.

edit: back to the point, I wanted to know your average defensive CV per hex, so I could compare it with mine.

< Message edited by morvael -- 1/28/2013 4:58:29 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 5:28:41 PM   
hooooper

 

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The variation is too great to make the average useful. But I've moved so here's what happened:




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 5:34:43 PM   
hooooper

 

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I formed two infantry corps to provide the necessary firepower to move a 10-10 Pz and reopen the pocket. To protect these important troops I moved SW Front's forces south to man that river line, and moved Bryansk Front back to prevent any swing to the north. Reserve armies were railed in to hold the rear lines, and Transcaucusus Front moved north east to cover the southern axis - which, however, remains worryingly weak. This is my quick and dirty analysis of what's going on, and where any counter strokes will probably fall.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 1/28/2013 5:36:16 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 5:39:06 PM   
hooooper

 

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Meanwhile, a start is made to our NW counter-offensive. A rather slow start in comparison with the German offensive.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 1/28/2013 5:42:06 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/28/2013 8:38:18 PM   
morvael


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Wow, so much 1=1 rifle divisions. During 1941 and until spring 1942 I had no better idea for my units than to keep them all on refit. This plus constant rotation helped to improve unit quality, I think. Now I'm more selective with refit and use units in Reserve mode as well. I think I see less than 15 1=1s per turn.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 1/31/2013 3:59:35 AM   
Scook_99

 

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Considering your still playing defense at this time, I think your offensive in the north is off to an auspicious start! Nice re-supply move, backed with wall to wall shag carpeting.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 12:29:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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He had a defence based on regiments and a panzer corps in reserve. I think it's the 52nd. One of the few moments of excitement in the spring lull was when I had two tank corps surrounded by the panzers, but managed to kill Manstein with an air raid - the first time I've ever bagged a "name" general with bombers. So it's not really going to go anywhere unless I commit a lot more forces. Which is not out of the question.

Anyhow, Turn 53, to my surprise, was a mud turn, so a chance to improve my defences around the bulge.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/1/2013 12:30:23 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:06:11 PM   
hooooper

 

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I can see three likely moves for my opponent in this situation, depending on what he wants to do about the two rivers in the battlefield: the Olym to the north and the Oskol to the south. The southern solution would consist of closing the pocket and making a start on a drive to the Azov.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:10:02 PM   
hooooper

 

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An eastern solution would be to close the pocket and push up to Vorenezh.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/1/2013 1:12:13 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:19:45 PM   
hooooper

 

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Or, the northern solution: an assault of the heavily defended Olym line by the northern panzers, and a drive north-east by the southern divisions.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:31:10 PM   
hooooper

 

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In terms of pros and cons, the southern solution would be step closer to the big strategic prize: the large number of Red Army division south west of Kkarkov, but would limit future operations to the south, west of the Oskol. And can the pocket be held without the southern forces? A single line of motorised division, even with three stacks, could be breached, in which case the possibility of a counter encirclement of the northern divisions is in the air.

And eastern advance would make the pocket secure, but what next? It will be difficult to get across the Vorenezh, or to get room to manoeuvre for a drive north or south.

The northern solution has the advantage of fighting for the key feature of the whole battlefield, the river Olym. It might also allow the encirclement of the most powerful divisions on the map, the two infantry corps of Chernyakhovsky's 62nd army. Incidentally, it was Ivan Chernyakhovsky who fought from Vorenzh to Kursk in 43, in charge of 60th army that time. His presence at this vital section of the battlefield can only be regarded as a good omen.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:37:05 PM   
hooooper

 

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This is the south




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/1/2013 1:38:36 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/1/2013 1:40:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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And the north west ... preparations are made to storm Kalinin.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/1/2013 1:47:42 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:26:31 PM   
hooooper

 

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Turn 54

As you can see, my opponent has opted for the northern solution. This has locked up something like 25 division equivalents in a pocket that is three hexes deep, and which is held by all but four or so of the Axis' panzer and motorised divisions. He has also broken across the Olym, and isolated the two Vorenezh Front infantry corps that opened the pocket last go.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/4/2013 2:51:30 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:30:58 PM   
hooooper

 

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The Soviet response is simply to aim to free the two corps, and to counter attack the panzers with the aim of degrading their combat values.




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< Message edited by hooooper -- 2/4/2013 2:31:50 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:38:32 PM   
hooooper

 

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This is done, and a new defence is set up. Despite the loss of the divisions, which is serious but not life threatening, I'm fairly happy with the way the Red Army has stood up to the German onslaught. If we can get into a slugging match between Voronezh and Kursk, my ability to rail on additional reinforcements should allow me to hold the line and reduce the effectiveness of the panzerwaffe, which is my main objective at the moment. To prepare for the second phase of the offensive, Western and Kalinin Front troops are railed in and placed in reserve.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:42:39 PM   
hooooper

 

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Meanwhile, as every chess player knows, the response to an attack in the centre is a counter attack on the flanks. In the north west, the reserve panzer corp goes into the line, so the focus of the attack shift to the Valdai hills. Some progress is made in the Vyshny Volochek sector as well




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:45:21 PM   
hooooper

 

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More attacks are made in the south west, led by the newly formed first guards army.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:50:13 PM   
hooooper

 

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So, the big picture in tne north west is:




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:55:22 PM   
hooooper

 

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In the second week of pocket battles, the German's attacking force was all but irresistable ...




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 2:57:35 PM   
hooooper

 

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However, with enough wearing down attacks and endless reserves to throw in, it is possible to wear down the panzers quite quickly, as illustrated here by 3rd Shock.




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 3:01:17 PM   
hooooper

 

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So, there you have it - a massive two-week long battle, in which the Germans have won the tactical copntest, but have not yet won the strategic. What will my opponent do next? I hope he tries for another pocket in the bulge, now that the panzers have lost their momentum, but we shall see.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/4/2013 10:06:17 PM   
Scook_99

 

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This looks almost 1943-ish, except a mistake will still cost you big. Me, I would just grind whatever is in front of me to the Don River, and then dig in. Nothing too fancy, and less risk for less reward. The northwest is a trickle at the moment, but has the makings of an avalanche unless dealt with soon. I think you are right, strategically south east is the best direction to push for Germany. Northwards just leads to Russians, and more Russians, and more Russians, and........(repeat to infinity).


Edit: I keep checking out the maps to think what I would do, and I don't think I have enough manpower as Axis to make it happen. I would create a fortified line from Lake Ilmen south through the Valdai and on the Dnepr, make you attack the tip of the bulge, even though losing men buying time. The middle is just way too deep to slog through your lines, and south of Kharkov is a debacle. Trying to move you east of the the D&Z zone, and beyond all hope, as far back as the Mius River. I don't know is that is all possible and keep up a major offensive. The Romanian losses are already coming back to bite him in the butt, and it looks like you'll be adding the Hungarians to that rack this summer.

Budapest in 1943, anyone?

< Message edited by Scook_99 -- 2/4/2013 10:17:41 PM >

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/5/2013 4:15:14 PM   
hooooper

 

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Hi Skook, thanks for you comments. I'm a little bit further along in the game than I'm posting, for intelligence reasons, and I think your analysis of the respective strengths is about right. Despite my heavy losses in the Battle of Kursk 42, I do have enough left in the Red Army to prevent another one-turn breakthrough and pocket, and to stage a fairly effective counterattack on the second turn (using Vatutin's Western Front as a reaction force). Or at least stalemate the panzers. I don't think an advance to the Don is likely, although I could be wrong. The initiative is still with the Germans, but it's getting quite close.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/6/2013 11:00:44 AM   
hooooper

 

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Turn 55

The battle of Kursk has died down. The Germans have eliminated their pocket, wiping out more than two armies and have called an operational pause. Interestingly, half of the panzer force that took part in the battle stays in the front line, and half retreats a hundred miles or so to the west.

This is the relatively inactive section of the front:




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/6/2013 11:05:37 AM   
hooooper

 

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The Kharkov-Dnepropetrovks sector




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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/6/2013 11:12:08 AM   
hooooper

 

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What is the significance of the splitting of the panzer force into two groups, with a another five divisions keeping an eye on the north west? Obviously I'm hoping that they will be sucked into a tactical counterattack role, and thereby become a defensive force. If the German are to gain a military victory, it can only be done by employing the panzers in a strategic, offensive role.

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RE: A tale of three cities: Soviets on the brink of def... - 2/6/2013 11:26:33 AM   
Fishbed


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I suppose he could try a two-pronged attack on Moscow. It is so close that it would be a waste not to try take it, especially if he realizes it is so lightly defended against a strong push (as the bulk of your carpet strategy is way south).

I could also come up with a plan against your southern front and go for a giant pocket, but that would require way more than half the panzers he involved in Kursk I guess...

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