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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Saper)

 
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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/17/2013 6:52:03 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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OOB, Losses and Production.

So far I have harvested 44 Guards Infantry Divisions, 4 Guards Cavalry Corps and 4 Guards Tank units (3 brigades and 1 division). I'm hoping a few more will convert to Guards over the next few turns. In particular I'm hoping for a few more Guards tank brigades. I wanted to be able to form 5 Guards Tank Corps in April along with 5 to 7 non-guards ones. But I doubt I'll have enough Guards tank brigades for that now.

I'm also still struggling to get my Armament total up.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 2:53:10 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Vey little action the last several turns so I haven't bothered posting. All 4 February turns were Snow in the Central Soviet Zone (less than a 0.6% chance of that if my math is right); but Saper did not attack me there or much anywhere else. He did, however, stop me from taking Orel. We have now completed T38 (the 1st March 42 turn) and, surprisingly, the weather was Blizzard in all 4 Zones.

I have made the tentative decison to try and hold my present positions along most of the Front. It will be interesting to see if Saper launches a Spring offensive. On the one hand he has not given any indication he intends to do so, on the other hand I recall that in his game against Kamil he even attacked in the mud.

Below is the situation in the far North. Again no sign of the Finns even though I have performed aerial reconnaissance of the area from time to time. Saper has not made any effort to repair the Northermost railroad so I do not expect an attack from that area.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:00:39 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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The Kalinin Area. I can't be strong everywhere, so I have chosen to be weak in the area north of Kalinin. Saper could be hiding an entire panzer army in those forests and I probably wouldn't know it no matter how much air recon I do. If he is he could perhaps blast through everything I've got there in one turn. I haven't forgotten what he did to me around the Valdai Hills on Turn 10. But I think I'll have to take my chances. The only question I have to decide is should I pull back and shorten my front line a bit even if it means abandoning the level 2 fortifications.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:06:38 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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The Moscow Area. As you can see my lines here are 3 to 5 hexes deep with a lot of level 2 Forts. Almost all units in the lines behind the front are in Reserve mode. This won't stop him of course, but I'm hoping he won't be able to bull his way through it in just one turn.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:09:22 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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The Orel to Kursk Area. At last report (ie a few turns ago) Saper had several mobile units in the areas circled in red. Worrisome as I am relatively weak from Kursk South. Since I can't defend in depth here I have decided to form 3 lines each spaced 1 hex apart. If he attacks here hopefully this will at least limit the damage.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:15:25 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Kharkov Area. More of the same here. If he attacks here in the Spring my plan is to try and delay him long enough for the Rivers around Voronezh to thaw.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:20:40 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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The South. If Saper wants to launch an offensive into the Caucuses he is going to have a fight on his hands. Interestingly he bombed the port (forget the name) at the mouth of the minor river 4 hexes West of Rostov. I assume his intent is so that he can trap my units in the South without port supply. Or is it just a ruse to make me think that is what he is going to do?




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/21/2013 3:43:44 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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OOB, Losses and Production. As you may have noticed, for most of the Front our armies are not even in contact with one another so there have been only minimal attrition losses for both of us. Since there is also almost no fighting taking place this means that both our armies are starting to grow. This is fine with me. I currently have 379 Rifle divisions (of which 46 are Guards), 63 Rifle brigades, and 13 Cavalry Corps (of which 6 are Guards). I also did mangage to harvest 14 Guards tank brigades with another 2 or 3 that may convert before April. So I plan on creating 8 Guards Tank Corps and 4 regular tank coprs come April. Do you all think this will be enough. I know FlaviusX doesn't like it (and I do respect his opinion) but I also plan to create 5 to 10 Guards Infantry Corps in June and July if I have sufficent APs.

My biggest production concerns continue to be Armaments, Manpower (about 89,000 per turn), T34's (I'm now producing 35 per turn which is increasing by +3 per turn) and IL2's (only 10 per turn). Many of my tanks brigades, including the Guards, are using Valentines and Lees rather than T34s as their medium tank. I have set the TOE of all tank brigades that I do not intend to convert to Corps to 50%. As much as possible I will try and limit my tank losses. While most of my infantry are close to maximum TOE in terms of infantry squads, their machine gun, AT and mortar TOEs are much lower.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/23/2013 6:49:50 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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I'm not ashamed to say that I could use some advice.

We are now into Mid-March and it is becoming clearer that Saper does not intend to launch a Spring Offensive. If he does wait until clear weather to attack he should have approx. 40 panzer/motorized divisions (does anyone know the exact number?) all sitting at or close to 50MPs. Knowing Saper he will probably screen most of the front with dug-in regiments while he concentrates his elite infantry divisions and his mobile forces in one or two focused assault forces. The problem is that I don't know exactly where his main assaults will take place. If I'm lucky I might be able to get a good idea a turn or even two before the blow falls, but I can't count on it. It is likely that a turn or two before summer he will move his infantry up to convert all the hexes adjacent to my frontline units to his control. So when the weather clears his infantry will be in reach of at least the first couple lines of my defence.

My plan to counter this was to have, in some places of my front, 4 lines of level 2 forts one behind the other and, in other places along my front, 3 lines of level 2 forts with one intervening hex between each line. All but the last line of defence would be occupied by a single rifle division with, an unmodified CV, of about 3. Each hex in the last line of defence would be occupied by 2 of my best units. Of course, all units in the rear line hexes would be set to Reserve. As Saper attacks me the infantry in my first couple lines should retreat back (assuming they don't rout of course) into the rear hexes thus strengthening them.

That is the plan anyway. The question is: Will this work? Or will Saper's massed force just crash through all 4 (or 3) lines in one go. You can get an idea of what I'm planning, and what I'm worried about, from the screenshot below. If my plan won't work than what are my alternatives? As I see it I can:

1. Retreat back several hexes a turn or two before Summer. But if I'm going to do this I better start fortifying this new line now. And won't this just delay the inevitable for a turn or two; or

2. Forify my rear lines to fort level 3. As you can see I have already built a few fortifed zones to get started on this, but now I'm having second thoughts. Fortified Zones are expensive in terms of APs and since I don't know where Saper is going to attack I would have to build lots of them. In any event, if my rear lines at fort level 2 won't hold him, will level 3 forts do the trick? Or would I just be building Maginot Line East? or,

3. Just go with the original plan. At least once Saper has committed his mobile forces to a particular area I'll be able to strip units from other sections of the Front. And I should have a lot of units and men by Summer. Maybe losing 30 or more divisions at one go would not be too catastrophic. or;

4. ???? Any suggestions anyone?




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< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 1/23/2013 6:53:06 AM >

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/23/2013 9:51:52 AM   
gingerbread


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I don't know of any high viscosity line of defence or what pattern of placement that is better than any other - I doubt it exist though I'd be glad to be proved wrong. Though I do think that it's better to strive towards a more dynamic defence instead of optimizing a static one. Static ones can be Pac Man attacked. But do garrison city/urban.

Consider creating a strategic reserve of up to 40 ID even before you know where the sword will fall, some already good divisions and some that can benefit from training (=Refit) in the rear. All placed on rail and if you are done with factory evacs, up to 10 of the good can be waiting in rail mode.

Recon like crazy! This entails heavy normal recon as well as recon in force by doing night bombing of interesting/suspicious units/stacks using a single LB unit (DB-3 is perfect) to get a full read of what units are in the hex. Keep track of the elite mot (you know sapper by now) and also track the rail repair efforts.

You will need more ID to replace losses so keep building brigades. Don't count on the Tank Corps to be able to do anything except move.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/23/2013 11:57:12 AM   
Blubel

 

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I completely agree with gingerbread.
Moreover, get all your Guards Cav units into strategic reserve. Alos, get as many Guards divisions into strategic reserve as possible. And don't use them in the first two lines of defence, as can be seen in your screanshot of Moscow. They have no use there.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/24/2013 3:54:32 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Thanks for the advice Gingerbread and Blubel. I was planning on having a Strategic Reserve consisting of my 4 Shock Armies and one regular Army. Two of the Shock Armies will have 4 Guards Tank Corps each and one Guards Rifle. The other two will have 4 Cavalry Corps and 1 Guards Rifle. The Regular Army will have 9 Guards Rifle. So in total I will have a Reserve of 8 Guards Tank Corps, 8 Cavalry Corps and 13 Guards Rifle Divisions. Of course, come July I may combine some or all of the Guards Rifle Divisons (along with some rifle Brigades) into Guards Rifle Corps.

I was not planning on using anywhere near the 40 Infantry divisions that Gingerbread suggested in my Reserve. To do so would require me to strip several areas very thin. If I can figure out (using gingerbread's night bombing suggestion) where the blow is going to fall this will not be a problem. Otherwise I'm not so sure.

My concern is that if Saper creates a big enough hole even a large Reserve will not be able to plug it. So what I'm hoping to do is to come up with something that will limit the size of the hole(s) that he can make. But this may not be possible.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/24/2013 10:42:39 AM   
gingerbread


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The reserve you had planned is severely lacking in units that can be used to form a new line and expect to be lost. Most players would have problems with committing 10+ Guards Rifle to that job. That's why there should be more of the plain average (with some variations as per my previous post) rifle in the reserve and, since it is far easier to commit these knowing that they could all be lost if there are more in the pipe, why you should keep up building brigades.

The crème de la crème of the '42 Soviets is not that creamy, and can not be counted on to achieve anything except their own destruction if committed vs. the German ditto. What the Tank & Cav can do is keep the Axis player honest in the sense that single unsupported German mech can be brought down (possibly even made to surrender if the Guards Rifle can successfully be moved to screen a rescue for a turn, but that is of course dependant on a lot of things beyond the Soviet players control) and that indirectly limits the pace of the Axis advance.

Check this AAR as a suggestion on where to hold and where to yield ground - since holding Moscow (or rather holding the Oka river) goes without saying, the heavy defence of the Don near and some distance east of Rostov with the intention to hold against everything except a major Axis campaign (in effect a Case Blue) is what you could improve and prepare. Each F.R. costs a Rifle Brigade (4 AP to build and 1 to disband), but if you have diggers to commit, it could be a good investment to have level 3 along the south bank (also valid for the north bank of the Oka). Do guard the back door (Kerch) and have some guys in the cities to the east where you want to stop the Axis '42 campaign advance should saper choose to drive due east. It can look a bit like a large scale Cannae, but the Soviets will not be strong enough to close the sac.

The area between Oka and Don defensive lines could and should be thinned both to man these lines and to create the reserve.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 1:03:19 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:


ORIGINAL: gingerbread

The reserve you had planned is severely lacking in units that can be used to form a new line and expect to be lost. Most players would have problems with committing 10+ Guards Rifle to that job. That's why there should be more of the plain average (with some variations as per my previous post) rifle in the reserve and, since it is far easier to commit these knowing that they could all be lost if there are more in the pipe, why you should keep up building brigades.


Good Point Gingerbread. I will increase the number of non-guard rifle divisions in my Strategic Reserve and decrease the number of Guard Rifle Divisions. But again my plan is to try and limit the size of the hole that Saper can create and therefore the number of units I will need to plug it. I will be relying not only a Strategic Reserve but also local Reserves at various locations close to the Front. Close enough to respond to any threat in their immediate area but, hopefully, not so close as to get trapped themselves. Whether this plan will work or not reamins to be seen. Like I say I really don't know how explosive Saper's intial assault will be or if my defense in depth (if 40 to 60 miles deep can be considered defense in depth) will actually work to limit the size of any breakthroughs or encirclments. Guess I'm going to find out. I am continuing to build Rifle Brigades, an average of about 3 or 4 a turn.

quote:


The crème de la crème of the '42 Soviets is not that creamy, and can not be counted on to achieve anything except their own destruction if committed vs. the German ditto. What the Tank & Cav can do is keep the Axis player honest in the sense that single unsupported German mech can be brought down (possibly even made to surrender if the Guards Rifle can successfully be moved to screen a rescue for a turn, but that is of course dependant on a lot of things beyond the Soviet players control) and that indirectly limits the pace of the Axis advance.


Agreed. It was never my intention to use the Tank Corps or Cavalry Corps in the first line of defence (or even the 2nd for that matter). But I do want most of them in my Strategic Reserve (with some in my local Reserves) so I can rush them to where the action is the hottest and use them in hit and run raids.

quote:


Check this AAR as a suggestion on where to hold and where to yield ground - since holding Moscow (or rather holding the Oka river) goes without saying, the heavy defence of the Don near and some distance east of Rostov with the intention to hold against everything except a major Axis campaign (in effect a Case Blue) is what you could improve and prepare. Each F.R. costs a Rifle Brigade (4 AP to build and 1 to disband), but if you have diggers to commit, it could be a good investment to have level 3 along the south bank (also valid for the north bank of the Oka). Do guard the back door (Kerch) and have some guys in the cities to the east where you want to stop the Axis '42 campaign advance should saper choose to drive due east. It can look a bit like a large scale Cannae, but the Soviets will not be strong enough to close the sac.

The area between Oka and Don defensive lines could and should be thinned both to man these lines and to create the reserve.


I should probably follow all of your advice gingerbread (you've been right on the money so far) but I intend to fight even between the Oka and the Don; well at least for a little while. However the Oka is already fortified to level 2 or 3 between Kaluga and Ryazan. The Don is fortified in the Rostov area, but not so much further East.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 1:07:13 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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T42 No Action. For a change of pace I thought I would display the map with the units removed so it is easier to see the extent of my fortifications.

Here is the Area from Moscow North




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 1:08:43 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Moscow to Orel




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 1:10:21 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Orel to Kharkov




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 1:11:36 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Kharkov to Rostov




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 2:25:45 PM   
Pelton

 

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I would station 3 of the 4 reserve armys near Moscow.

Hold the lines north to south.

GHC is building up their reserves for summer, which is a mistake. They should be hitting SHC whenever they can to thin out the fort belts.

Be ready to give ground from Tula to Rostov.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 3:08:55 PM   
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Staggering your fort line a hex apart Voronzeh to Voroshilovgrad seems dangerous in that this line can be breeched entirely in one turn, with hasties only needed to break that line. This could lead to the entire isolation of the southern defense. But goodness gracious, what a fort network !!! And turns to go.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 11:48:20 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

I would station 3 of the 4 reserve armys near Moscow.

Hold the lines north to south.

GHC is building up their reserves for summer, which is a mistake. They should be hitting SHC whenever they can to thin out the fort belts.

Be ready to give ground from Tula to Rostov.


I don't think Saper has any intention of thinning my fort belt, at least not in April. T43 was clear weather in the South Soviet Zone but he did nothing, even though the Mius River was still frozen. We'll have to wait to see if a clear weather turn in May gets a different response. My guess is that it won't; well not unless 2 adjacent zones both have clear weather. I think Saper's plan is to hammer me hard when he has clear weather everywhere in an attempt to isolate a number of units all at once. In the meantime he wants me to stay where I am, nice and close to his infantry and his supply. He is afraid that if he attacks me to thin my fort line I'll spook and run all the way back to the Don and he won't be able to get the big kill. The question is: am I an idiot to oblige him?

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/27/2013 11:58:23 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Oops, ignore this

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 1/27/2013 11:59:32 PM >

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/28/2013 12:00:03 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: HITMAN202

Staggering your fort line a hex apart Voronzeh to Voroshilovgrad seems dangerous in that this line can be breeched entirely in one turn, with hasties only needed to break that line. This could lead to the entire isolation of the southern defense. But goodness gracious, what a fort network !!! And turns to go.


Well from a few hexes South of an imaginary line drawn Voronezh to Kursk my first line is behind a river (assuming it is unfrozen before he attacks) and after that my 3rd line is behind a river. I don't think he will be hasty attacking either of those lines. But your point is well taken, this area is the weakest link in my defences, particularly that straight line from Kursk to Voronezh where there are no rivers. However it also the least valuable terrain I have at the moment, so therefore the most weakly defended (well except for the far North against the Finns). Indeed if I followed Gingerbread's advice I think he would have me abandon this part of the line entirely.


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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/28/2013 12:55:44 AM   
gingerbread


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Abandon, no - trade for time, yes.

In fact, you have been tasked to perform one of the more difficult military operations: a fighting retreat while preserving as much of the forces available as possible. Same as you did in '41, except that the Axis supply situation will be better. Fun, eh?

The Recon by force suggestion were as you might have read met with a hailstorm of objections, so it's understandable if you have refrained from doing it, but the normal recon should still be doable, are you finding anything?

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 1/28/2013 3:31:12 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

Abandon, no - trade for time, yes.

In fact, you have been tasked to perform one of the more difficult military operations: a fighting retreat while preserving as much of the forces available as possible. Same as you did in '41, except that the Axis supply situation will be better. Fun, eh?

The Recon by force suggestion were as you might have read met with a hailstorm of objections, so it's understandable if you have refrained from doing it, but the normal recon should still be doable, are you finding anything?


I would like to trade that particular geography for time; and wouldn't even be too upset if Saper trapped 10 or so divisions in that area. But if he traps 20+ divisions, which is my fear, than I may regret not retreating all the way back to the Don.

I read those posts about your suggestion as well. I haven't yet decided if I will do it. On the one hand I don't think Saper will care in the least. He is very clear that he doesn't believe in house rules and has not hesitated from doing things that other people (not necessarily me) might call cheese. But I'm not yet certain how I feel about it. Also how effective is it really? I haven't tried bombing at night, but I do know that day bombing will very seldom give you any information about the units you are bombing. I would have thought that night bombing would be even less helpful in that regard. How many times on average will I have to bomb the same hex to get any info about it's occupants.

As for regular air recon, it indicates that Saper is building up his forces between Orel and Stalino. In particular lots of units are concentrating around Orel, Kursk and Stalino. North of Orel very few units are being revealed by air recon. But is this because he doesn't have very many units there, or because the rougher terrain is hiding them from view, especially in mud?

I should add that, at the moment, I haven't felt any need to do too much recon (including the night bombing) because I don't believe Saper will be attacking me any time soon. We have only just completed the 2nd turn of April (which has 5 turns) and I want to conserve my recon aircraft for intensive recon on the last turn of April and then throughout May and June.

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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 2/1/2013 9:58:18 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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T46 (Last turn of March 42)

I did a lot of air recon this turn and even a little bit of night bombing. It cost me 35 Recon aircraft and several bombers; so I hope it was worth it.

Below is the situation in the North. According to the recon Saper has virtually nothing here, but I don't totally believe that.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 2/1/2013 10:00:06 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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The Moscow Area. Still not a lot showing, or is there a panzer army or two hiding in the trees?






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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 2/1/2013 10:03:56 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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A lot of units, including panzers in the Bryansk/Orel/Kursk Area. And I believe there are probably more hiding in the wooded area circled in red.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 2/1/2013 10:06:33 PM   
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There are clusters of panzers and infantry East of Kharkov and North of Stalino as well.




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RE: Defending Mother Russia Saper vs Harrybanana (No Sa... - 2/1/2013 10:13:35 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Joined: 11/27/2004
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T47

Saper takes advantage of the clear weather in the Central and South Soviet Zones to attack me in the South. He breached my first two lines of defence East of Kharkov. The attacking forces there included 10 panzer/motorized units; so now I just need to figure out where the other 30 or so are. The bulge he created forced me to retreat other units south of his breakthrough. But I gamble that the weather will stay bad in the North Soviet Zone and generally hold my positions North of his breakthrough. As you can see he has a sizeable force East of Kursk, so this gamble could prove costly.





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< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 2/1/2013 10:18:53 PM >

(in reply to Harrybanana)
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