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Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier

 
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Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/17/2012 1:17:53 PM   
Bonners


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Well after my horrendous losses in my previous games it only seemed fitting that I should take on a tougher challenge, so I'm playing Uranus against Olivier.

At the start of the game we agreed that we would play it vaguely historical with the idea that the Germans should try and hold onto Stalingrad. We are also playing with the dismissal rule on and trying out the FOW settings.

In my mind what it means is that Hitler is insistent that Stalingrad is held, but the army group commanders are given a little more freedom that historically, in that I can withdraw forces and shorten fronts elsewhere to try and create a reserve to hold and relieve Stalingrad.

I am also doing this AAR a few turns behind so Olivier is welcome to read and comment. We are both new to this scenario so there will no doubt be some 'interesting' mistakes made!

With the dismissal rule on at some point I will be faced with the no step back rule, so there will be no large scale turning tail. I will also be looking to hit the Russian spearheads with air power and armour at every opportunity. With these things combined, this may turn out to be a very short AAR....but I intend to fight!

Anyway, this is what I was presented with on opening my first turn. Olivier fights fairly historically himself and his offensive falls in full force on the flanking Romanian formations. The only difference I noticed form the AI play for the first turn is that Olivier did not waste any attacks on German formations. The AI makes more attacks on the German formations in the Stalingrad area which helps to pin them down.






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/17/2012 1:44:26 PM   
Bonners


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My first turn was mainly spent withdrawing units from other fronts and starting to rail them into the Stalingrad area. I was tempted to start attacking with units in the Stalingrad area, but the armoured formations are fairly battered and lacking in transport, so it would have been attacks just launched with tanks.

One thing that I should have done on the first turn was reorganise the corp formations in the Caucasus. There is a lot of excess HQ capacity available there which I should've realised and transferred a couple of corp commands to take charge of the reinforcements rushing to the Stalingrad area.

Instead I set up a new corp HQ putting it on priority for reinforcement. I'm not too sure if I did the right thing, but I also put the units in Stalingrad onto 75% supply, apart from the armour and motorized units which I hope to use for something of use in future turns.

I do not counter attack the northern flank on the first turn, I want to reinforce 48th corp and make sure it can do some damage rather than get swallowed up in the first turn. The German units to the north of the Don turn tail heading for Kalach and the north side of the Don, do they not realise they are retreating Eastwards! I also make an attack on the one hex on my side of the Volga that the Soviets still control on my side of the Volga. Olivier questioned the wisdom of this, well it was a risk. But before starting the game I had a little play around on the first turn against the AI and I reckoned I had about a 60% chance of success. I reckon it was worth the risk as it would've really helped my defensive line in future turns if I had succeeded.

On Olivier's southern thrust I counter attack one unit that stuck its head out too far. Again I think it was worth it and this will continue to be my tactic. I cant passively let his spearheads attack, I have to always try and blunt them. The Soviet's manpower resources are unconquerable, but his tank and motorized resources are not infinite. My only chance is to keep on battling them. From the first turn it is noticeable that Olivier never wastes an attack, he is happy to try ad manoeuvre his best forces to the attack at all times rather than take the Germans on head on.

There is not much to report in the Caucasus at the moment. I will gradually be withdrawing. At my southern most point there are only two rail lines supplying me and only a few Cossack units and one motorized division defending the flank. As far as I can tell at this stage as long as I am careful these forces are not too much at risk. Although some forces have to be withdrawn I shall be leaving two to three panzer or motorized units in reserve which should be enough to stop any sneaky Soviet attacks.

North of Stalingrad my front is again defended by a mixture of Hungarian, Romanian and Italian units. Yes I realise that at some point in the game these units will also be shattered. But with the dismissal rule and no step back rule in place I cant just give up ground, so any withdrawals will be small scale and prepared until the next Soviet onslaught is launched.

One final word on this scenario. I do realise this AAR might end up being quite short if Olivier manages any more encirclements of German units, but we will continue to fight at the front rather than running. out of all the scenarios I've played this is the most dynamic and fun so far and can thoroughly recommend it from either side. You have the Soviets with overwhelming numbers, some quality spearhead units but still plenty of poor offensive quality infantry units. Then on the German side you have plenty of low quality minor allied units, but the German motorized and to a lesser extent infantry units can still pack a punch and keep the Soviet on their toes.

The air war has also been crazy so far and will update more on that in updates to come. So recommend this scenario to any player who wants a fast paced desperate scenario. If you are prepared to fight then keep the dismissal rule on. to my mind it really works for this scenario and if my tactics are really rubbish then it means it will be a short game!

Anyway, here is the Stalingrad situation at the end of the first turn:






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/17/2012 1:49:01 PM   
Bonners


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One thing I forgot to mention. The German player starts up with 100pps saved up. I ma not sitting around letting them wither away, I used most of them on the first turn. My priorities were fighters (and will continue to be) extra rail capacity and trucks. The trucks is a one off for now, but I want to make sure my motorized units remain motorized and trucks are a bit scarce.

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/17/2012 8:48:29 PM   
Bonners


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Turn 2 Stalingrad

Most of the fighting on this turn is around the Stalingrad area as Olivier concentrates on this offensive first, so this update will concentrate on this fighting.

On the first turn I moved a lot of my air units north from the Caucasus, some will be going back to protect my tanks in the south, but at this stage I need all resources possible available in the Stalingrad area.

Again Olivier concentrates his attacks on the main spearheads. Therefore I continue to gradually move the troops immediately around Stalingrad back over the Don. I am determined to keep hold of Kalach though as obviously when my master stroke counter offensive arrives I will need the bridge

Iron crosses were handed out in force this turn as engineer units and flak units in a hasty defence manage to slow up the southern pincer of the Soviet offensive. But I make a major mistake...kind of. Although not at full readiness I reckon I should have launched an attack with the armour at the south west edge of the forming pocket to try and keep the pincers apart. If not this turn, then I really should have done next turn, but my nerve failed. As in the real battle this was my only chance to try and break the thrusts apart and I really should have taken the opportunity. I have to admit I did kind of have an idea that I could do it later. As we shall see this was going to be very much not possible. At this stage I was also rearranging my air transports and moving them forward so they could complete at least two supply missions a turn.

As part of this plan the air offensive started. There is only one winner in the long term...the Russians. he starts the scenario with almost 1000 fighters IIRC to about 400 odd of mine. But, the Germans still have some quality aircraft and pilots. So until they are all gone I shall continue to launch attack after attack with every aircraft with a high degree of readiness. It is messy, it will get messier and the fallen aircraft litter the battlefield. We have FOW on, but at this stage I have lost 55 fighters to 120 Soviet fighters downed according to my figures. Once the air attacks have finished I launch the full power of the Luftwaffe onto the Soviet spearheads. At this time this is all I have to slow them down as my reinforcements from other parts of the front are still gathering. We continue to inflict damage on the spearhead units.

Again I am desperately trying to organise a new corps HQ and working out what I can spare in the Caucasus. The 27th panzer is the first meaningful division to arrive, but I leave him a few miles back form the battle field to try and regain readiness. The rest of my frontline on the Chir is made up of a mixture of cooks, typists and scattered Romanians - I am hoping to use them to slow the Soviet thrusts down using bureaucracy and gone off stew.

Map of the pocket area at the end of turn two:




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< Message edited by Bonners -- 11/17/2012 8:49:46 PM >

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/18/2012 10:56:14 AM   
Bonners


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Turn 3

Strangely enough this was quite a quiet turn. Although the air war continued to rage there was little in the way of attacks from either side as I concentrated on building up defensive lines and Olivier concentrated on preparing his spearheads for the next attack.

The other things to note were that at this stage I moved my air transports virtually up to the front lines, unfortunately I have hidden them in this screenshot which I didnt need to do as they have now moved back again. my idea was to enable them to run a minimum of two supply missions a turn. As I have built up four supply units I was hoping for a lot of supply for the pocketed troops.

...and that is the main thing to note, the pocket is now formed. If I played this in the future, even with a house rule to try and keep Stalingrad I would definitely have attacked south westwards with the mobile troops. As will be shown in future turns they were wasted in the pocket. Olivier is also building up a formidable force early on to eventually attack the pocket. Because of this his other offensive moves are not quite so strong at this stage, but it could be a good move as if he clears the pocket in December he could have a lot of extra troops free at an early stage of the battle.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/18/2012 11:20:43 AM   
olivier34

 

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After a few weeks without playing this great game, I had to do something... Why not give a try to the Uranus scenario. Bonners accepted the invitation !
I am playing the soviet for the first time.
The artillery concentation around Stalingrad is impressive. A lot of mobile units should be able to run fast behind the ennemy lines but the officers that are in command are for most of them not at the level of their opponents. I will see it when playing cards...I will get small bonus compare to what I wasuse to get when playing the german side.
A new and interesting thing for me is the weather. Snow on the map (not everywhere), rivers that will froze...We have decided to play with the normal supply rules (after 8 turns, I can tell that with the hardcore supply rules it will be much more difficult, something that we should try after this game).

I wanted a scenario that I could play in less an hour a turn but I discover that with the amount of units, you need more than an hour if you want to play very carefuly...I decide to froze two fronts. The Voronezh and the Transcaucasus front. (I won't even give a look except if Bonners launch an offensive there but I doubt it )
Turn1
I had play the opening turn once. This second time, I do better with the south pincer (stalingrad front 51,57,64 armys). I even get close to the 29th motorised division so I give a go and bomb them by air and realise that the lutfwaffe is reacting very well).
North pincer (south western front, 1st guard, 21 and 5tan armys) , I play in a hurry, not happy with the results...some rumanians will escape...
I launch an attack from two hexes with elements of the 24A (Don front) against the 76th german infantry (VIII corps) south of Lowinskaya. I know what will be the result but I want to threat Bonners in this area too. of course the german infantry hold the line...I decide that this line can't break this 50 kms front line between the Don and the Volga, part of the 24A army (mobile forces and arty) will turn and reinforce the 21A).
Turn2: Except a few small battles, I move, avoiding the fights when possible, launching tank brigades in the rear of the ennemy...A few units are abble to stop my spearheads. Snow gives a 60 entrenchment value. My forces with 40 APs that attack fail to push those retreating units...something that I learn.
Turn 3 (screenshot in the middle of my turn)
This turn I fear that Bonners will launch a powerful counter offensive. I am surprise to see that I may take Surowikino...maybe I will lose it during german counter offensive. I play some defensive cards (51A, 57A), moves AT units to support the infantry that could face a panzer attacks put tank or mechanised corps behind, ready to counter if necessary).

Oil : I save around 5K of oil every turn. This won't stop my offensives
Supply : Not an issue for those three turns. Weather has been clear. Will see when we get some heavy precipitation.





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< Message edited by olivier34 -- 11/18/2012 11:26:57 AM >

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/18/2012 9:27:35 PM   
Bonners


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Turn 4

Just a quick update for turn 4.

There were no attacks on the actual Stalingrad pocket, although the actual numbers of troops surrounding it dictate that a Soviet offensive will be starting far earlier than in the actual war.

I continue to get supply through to the pocket as at this stage in the campaign I have local air superiority over the Stalingrad front. This will not last for long so I am determined to make the most of it. The JU52 losses are very small at this stage so a large number continue to get through and supply the pocket.

As new units start to appear I commit to the first local counter-attacks along the line of the Chir. 48th Panzer corps scores some local success and one Soviet spearhead unit is cut off. To the East the remaining Romanians retreat to a more defensible line to try and await reinforcements. Various Kampf groups are now joining in the battle. They may not be spectacular but they do help to form a line and dug in they will give the Soviets something to think about.

I am still regretting my decision not to attack with the armoured units in the southern part of the pocket. After this turn they will no longer have the mobility to attack, this was the last chance. I am also starting to gather plenty of armour which could have been used in conjunction with the Stalingrad armoured units to break up the Soviet spearheads. This is a real opportunity missed. By themselves no two groups of my armour are strong enough to do anything.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/18/2012 9:37:59 PM   
Bonners


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28th November - the air war hots up

After the initial offensive the Soviets are taking some time to re-organise their forces, all the while the forces around Stalingrad are building up though, the assault will come soon.

With my armour now gathered I start to do more local counter-attacks against the Soviet spearheads. 22nd and 27th panzer are now at full readiness and they commit a local attack against one of the Soviet mech corps units. I am always pleased to see losses in these units as they are deadly in the attack. I do not make the mistake of trying to gain ground though, this is going to be a fluid defence.

Meanwhile my next panzer division turns up in the form of 23rd panzer. Again I leave them back from the frontline enabling them to gain readiness before going into battle. I also draw up every reserve of the Luftwaffe to try and take out the spearheads, again I have some success against one of the Soviet mech corps.

The Soviets are now turning up in force in the air though. Despite the best efforts of my fighter pilots I lose a couple more JU52s.

This is only turn five yet I have already lost 110 fighters, the elite of the Luftwaffe is being slowly bled in a battle of attrition it cannot win. The Soviet losses are staggering as by my figures he has already lost 220 fighters. Even at a ratio of two to one though these battles will work in the Soviet's favour.






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/19/2012 8:22:35 PM   
Bonners


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30th November

I am starting to build up my counter-attacking forces along the Chir and to the north the Kampfgruppes and building a line of sorts within the mountains. As I suspect that Olivier is not yet ready for the offensive in the north I still concentrate my forces to try and get ready for the relief of Stalingrad. The two panzer corps both now have decent amounts of armour railed in from the northern front and from the Caucasus. The only trouble is, as in the real battle they are having a hard enough time fighting off the Soviet units facing them, let alone launching an assault of their own. Will my offensive power be whittled away in local successes just trying to keep the lines open. The distance to Stalingrad is slowly growing and the Soviet forces on the inner and outer rings are still getting stronger.

The defenders of Stalingrad are doing a very good job as they are tying down a lot of Russian forces for now, but I am beginning to think that the relief offensive will not actually get started. There are only a couple of minor counter attacks this turn on the Chir line as my panzers are a precious resource, as long as they are still strong the Soviets have to think carefully about their attacks. 22nd panzer is now at full readiness, ideally it will be used in the relief offensive, but it could end up getting used in more local counter-attacks to stabilize the lines. Although I have withdrawn my lines slightly away from Stalingrad this is in the hope that I can catch the Russians in the open.

The map shows the end of the turn position around Stalingrad




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/19/2012 8:27:57 PM   
Bonners


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30th November -Red Army stats

Olivier also gave me an update this turn on his losses (I'll update mine in a future turn's update). They are remarkably small in men, but I have taken out quite a few tanks and aircraft:

22,000 overall losses
130 light tanks
195 medium tanks
85 heavy tanks
200 guns
225 fighters

Overall Soviet troops remaining.....................999,999

Although his losses are scarily light my strategy of hitting his tanks and fighters appears to be paying some dividends. But, although I have hit Olivier's frontline units he is carefully massing his troops for the next phase of the offensive which is about to wash over my troops.

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/19/2012 11:05:21 PM   
Bonners


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2nd December - the renewal of the Soviet Offensive

The Soviet troops have reorganised themselves from their initial offensive and fires now break out across the front. I am in a better position to deal with it as I now have several armoured units in place, fully stocked up and ready to relieve Stalingrad. As this update will show, this was not to be the case and although High Command insists 6th Army fights on the truth is that they are now there to hold up as many Russian troops as possible.

The supply situation in the pocket is now critical. Unfortunately we discovered a bug a couple of turns ago that the JU52s can fly unlimited supply missions. Obviously this worked to my advantage but when I realised what was happening the next turn all the JU52s had an AP value of zero which equalled no supply runs for Stalingrad. What this meant is that this turn not many of the troops had enough movement points to manoeuvre. Therefore although the Soviets have cut through in several places I cannot do anything to plug the gaps. The troops sit in their bunkers and await their grim fate.

my losses for this turn are very, very high, although the majority of those losses are in Stalingrad. German losses this turn only:

60 fighters
230 guns
5 light tanks
45 medium tanks
17,000 infantry

The screenshot shows the pocket at the end of the turn, those greyed out units have not moved, they are merely out of supply.

Meanwhile to the north the Soviets begin their offensive against the Romanians and Italians. Although they get a breakthrough I am fairly confident that I can hold for now. There is a Panzer division in reserve which should help to stabilise the line.

As mentioned above, at this stage I still had hopes that I would be able to mount an offensive to relieve the pocket. These hopes are dashed this turn by the resumption of the Soviet offensive on the Chir. The Soviets smash through the front lines and immediately surround the 294th infantry division. The 27th and 6th panzer divisions are also at risk of encirclement.

However, what the Soviets dont realise is that the fresh and rested 22nd panzer division is waiting just behind the lines in the ideal position to counter-attack. 294th division is order to stand and hold at all costs. Meanwhile the panzer divisions surge forward in the snow to take on the Soviet spearheads. Up above a ferocious air battle takes place and once the dust settles the remains of the Soviet spearheads are cut off. One final push from the panzers and the Soviet units are wiped out. Casualties inflicted on the Soviets for the turn are:

85 fighters
165 guns
10 heavy tanks
85 medium tanks
60 light tanks

This success has come at a high cost though. The tired and battered panzer crews realise that this victory on the Chir has come at the cost of any last hope of relieving the Stalingrad defenders, their fate is sealed.








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< Message edited by Bonners -- 11/19/2012 11:10:47 PM >

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/20/2012 8:31:44 PM   
Bonners


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4th December

Although not a lot happens this turn it is more about preparing for future turns. My reorganisations of the troops on the Chir is finally beginning to take affect. I now have three decent panzer generals in control of the reorganised 4th Panzer Army - Mackenson, Lemelsen and Raus. They are all now in position with growing staffs and card points ready to play. Lemelsen's Corps has some new tanks released from OKH, something called a Tiger, no idea if they'll be any use or not

Mackensen's Corps is covering the Southern flank just out of this screenshot, basically if there was any chance of relieving the Stalingrad defenders this is the route I would take. Unfortunately it is too late for this so they are forming part of a mobile defensive line. The characteristic of my defence is having mobile panzer units interspersed with Romanian divisions and Kampfgruppes. Although the losses on the Romanians are high, they generally absorb enough of the attack to allow my more mobile units time to counter-attack. Due to the fluid nature of the defence I generally am not able to play attack cards as I need to use the movement cards to try and hit and run.

This turn although I counter-attack again with 27th panzer, this is mainly to enable me to withdraw to a new defensive line.....Stalingrad is only just on the same screen now and the defenders no longer hear the roar of German guns but instead the Soviet artillery pounding them into submission. More importantly the Red Air Force seems to be more organised and there is a growing ring of AA fire for my JU52s to breakthrough. My transport losses are mounting, yet the heroic pilots still continue to make their deadly journey to try and supply the tattered remnants in Stalingrad. It is all to no avail though, the units left in the pocket do not have any manoeuvrability left and the Soviets launch some ferocious attacks that split the pockets in several smaller pockets. Pitomnik is now in severe danger of falling and once it is gone the supply situation will be really desperate. It is also noticeable that this turn the Soviet losses are dramatically falling whilst the defenders are taking huge losses.

Map of the situation at the end of the turn:






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 3:59:59 PM   
Keunert


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the hardest scenario against one of the most competent players i've met so far... you got to have balls like a bison Bonners!

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 4:49:19 PM   
olivier34

 

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Hi Keunert. I may have been competent when playing the germans in the first months of Case Blue (DC1 experience) but I can tell you that I am learning a lot playing the soviet in this scenario !
If Bonners is a bison, I am a "torero" (bull fighter) and I hope I get those balls in the end
I will do a report soon about the soviet situation.

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 8:32:05 PM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

the hardest scenario against one of the most competent players i've met so far... you got to have balls like a bison Bonners!


It really is lots of fun Keunert. You just feel like you are delaying the inevitable breakthrough as at some point you have to trust on your minor allies. It is almost like a guessing game trying to get the right reserves in place where you think the Soviets will attack. So far I have been lucky. But now the Stalingrad front is free to join the frontlines there are far more Soviet options.

I think if Olivier had played the scenario (and the Soviets come to that) before my lines would have been split asunder far earlier, as it is we have both made mistakes and I dont think either of us quite know what is going to happen next. All I can guarantee is that there are 1 million Soviet soldiers keen to find out

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 8:44:16 PM   
Bonners


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6th December

The Soviets begin to make some further nibbling attacks against my Soviet forces further North. Although they are not there in force yet, each little attack reduces the effectiveness of my lines. At some point more reserves will be needed to plug the inevitable Soviet breakthroughs.

Meanwhile the battle on the Chir reaches its end. Although tactically we gave the Russians a bloody nose, there is no choice but to retreat further and shorten the line. The forces needed to throw the Soviet offensive back here mean that the relief effort for Stalingrad never got beyond its start lines.

Further South of the Chir Mackensen's Corps which was also to take part in the relief operation is finally up to strength and surrounds and destroys a Soviet spearhead unit. Again, this was to be the Southern thrust of the relief operation. It is too little too late and the forces that should be driving to Stalingrad now have to contain the threat to the communications of Army Group A. If I cant keep the rail lines open the situation in the Caucasus will rapidly become a rout.

A few more JU52s make their way to Stalingrad. It is now a hopeless mission though. The Russians have split the pocket apart once more and taken Pitomnik. Of the supplies that get through half fall into Russian hands as the aircrews are unable to make out the correct drop zones to parachute the supplies in.

There are a few HQs left with points so cards are played on the remaining defenders to make one last effort to dig in and hold.

Overview of the main parts of the front, end of turn:




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 8:48:59 PM   
Bonners


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6th December - you dont live here

As a final update on 6th December we notice that some Russian ships appear to have got lost whilst transporting some Soviet units. Furthermore they seem to be mistaking the Taman Peninsula as Soviet territory. It seems only fair that we should offer them a welcome committee. Every bomber that can be moved is rushed from the Stalingrad front. I also realise how important it was to play the rail cards early on as two German mechanized units are rushed to defend the area as well. Now it is just a case of waiting to see if they land on the Taman, in the Crimea or whether there are more ambitious plans.

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 11:03:36 PM   
Bonners


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8th December

Another quiet turn on the frontlines whilst the final drama is played out in Stalingrad. As some of the defenders continue to hold the Luftwaffe makes a last desperate attempt at supplying the remnants. Despite their efforts only 20 tons of supply actually reach the defenders.

My front lines move back some more as all attempts at relief are abandoned. I use the turn to rest most of the airforce, the fighters especially need to re gather their strength.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 11:07:54 PM   
Bonners


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8th December - Taman invasion

Meanwhile the first Soviet troops land in the Taman. I hope the Romanian regiment is prepared as the rest of my units will take a couple of turns to gather fully. My main hope to stop the invasion is to use all the air power I can spare to interdict the Soviet seas supply lanes.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/21/2012 11:16:39 PM   
Bonners


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8th December - Caucasus

As in the real battles at the tail end of 1942, in relative terms most of the Soviet and German attention has been distracted by the major battles in the Don bend and Stalingrad. However I thought I would do a quick update to show what is happening.

Although not as strong as in the north, the Soviet forces are starting to build up so I start a slow withdrawal. My main aim here is to not get cut off and to continue a slow retreat all the way up to Rostov and the Taman Peninsula. The overall position is far better for the Germans here. The left flank is adequately covered with strong infantry divisions covering all the mountain passes. As I retreat I will roll up my units in the passes. The northern flank is not so well covered, but the auxiliary cavalry units do a good job of screening. I keep a couple of mobile units in reserve (unfortunately covered in a snow storm in the screenshot ) to go south or north as needed.

The two Corps commanders in the south are really useful in this regard. They both have the care for your troops card which does an excellent job of recovering readiness for the panzers after they have moved to cover a threat. As long as I am careful this is the one front where I have hopes that I will be able to withdraw at my pace rather than being dictated to by the Soviet offensive.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 8:26:08 AM   
jonny211

 

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Hi Bonners,

Keep the AAR's up, I like your writing style... if I were to attempt an AAR I feel that I'd sound like Alan Partridge or similar.

Jon

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 11:39:18 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jonny211

Hi Bonners,

Keep the AAR's up, I like your writing style... if I were to attempt an AAR I feel that I'd sound like Alan Partridge or similar.

Jon


Cheers Jon, appreciated, although I have to say I quite like the ideal of an AAR written in the style of Alan Partridge

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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 8:02:55 PM   
Bonners


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10th December - Taman invasion

Not much actually happens. Although I am not certain I begin to suspect that Olivier is suffering with supply problems here from my airforce. Although he has made two landings they launch an unsuccessful assault on the Romanian infantry and freshly arrived cavalry regiment. I suspect that next turn I will be able to throw the invasion back into the sea. The motorized and panzer units stay on the rail lines in case they are not needed, ready to do their fire-fighting duties elsewhere on the front.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 8:05:58 PM   
Bonners


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10th December - Stalingrad


...and yes, the last pockets of resistance still hold out. I play my last defensive cards, so it wont be long now until the end. I also note that mopping up operations are mainly being undertaken by infantry units. Most of the rest of the units are no doubt being railed to threaten other parts of the front.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 8:10:09 PM   
Bonners


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10th December - Italian Front

The first of many small breakthroughs happen on the northern front. The Soviets are feeling along committing reconnaissance in force to try and find the weak points. Again a desperate counter-attack by 11th panzer takes on 17th tank corps. More desperate battles in the snow mean the Soviet forces are flung back to their starting points. The message is clear, look for another weak point.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 8:28:03 PM   
Bonners


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10th December - offensive on the Don

The Russians breakthrough more weakened Romanians on the Don River front, the Germans are gathered in strength though and freedom is given from high command to launch a full out counter offensive - 4th Panzer Army goes on the attack!

There are two objectives, push back the Soviet breakthrough and annihilate 4th Mechanized Corps once and for all. The panzers charge into the attack across the snow covered Steppe trying once more to surround the spearheads and knock out 4th Mech. But these are hardier Russian troops well dug in and they retreat back before the mini pocket slams shut. All remaining units attack 4th Mech but again these elite Russian troops are not like the average infantry division and they hold their ground to stop any possibility of a German breakthrough.

Again German plans fall far short of their strategic objectives. However the losses the Soviets have sustained will hopefully blunt their southern attack for a while. Overall (remembering FOW is on) I inflict 18,000 Soviet casualties and 80 T34s and 15KV heavy tanks are left blazing on the battlefield.




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 10:30:33 PM   
Bonners


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12th December

Firstly the Soviet invasion of the Taman Peninsula. Olivier calls this off, he had an objective that he thought he would have a go at. Amphibious landings obviously need careful planning to make sure you have enough air support. I think we have both learnt from this and I intend to have a bit of an experiment to see how much air power is needed to stop the interdiction of supply, at least to the level that a small invasion is feasible. One unit is left for me to destroy but the rest of the Soviet forces disembark without being harried by the Germans. Although the invasion was a failure it was still worthwhile Olivier undertaking it When I first moved my airforce down to bomb his invasion force I was immediately intercepted by Soviet fighters. Not knowing how many fighters he had committed I immediately transferred the majority of my level bombers down to meet the invasion. I also railed in two decent divisions, which although they didnt end up fighting, they were lost for about four turns whilst they were using their railcards to potter up and down the map and regain readiness. All in all a tactical defeat for Olivier, but probably gained him a little more than he lost strategically as I have now been scrapping together more garrison troops for the coastal areas.

Just a quick update on Stalingrad. Although the defenders have been abandoned by OKH they still fight on. I had to include this screenshot as there will certainly be some medals handed out to these troops:






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/22/2012 10:45:11 PM   
Bonners


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12th December

Despite the best efforts of 4th Panzer Army last turn it would appear that there are more Soviet reserves available between the Don and the Chir. OKH had assured us that with the Soviet troops surrounding Stalingrad there would only be a thin crust of troops.

This is very much not the case and there is further bloody fighting this turn. Although Soviet fighter losses are high, enough damage is done to allow the Sturmoviks to break up my panzers. Again the Soviet bombers take high losses but the tank losses inflicted on me although relatively smaller are a precious resource that I need to keep intact.

Finally the Soviets attack with artillery in force as well, break through my lines and threaten the line all the way along. Although there are a couple of tempting targets I have a feeling that the Soviet forces desperately want to drag me into a battle of attrition and wear down my tanks. With a heavy heart we continue our journey westwards and again give up towns to the Soviets.

A quick update on casualties with the battle for Stalingrad itself nearly over.

At the end of my turn there were approximately 3,500 Germans left in Stalingrad. Now have a look at my overall casualties. I would say approximately 75% of these were suffered by the units actually in the Stalingrad pocket, certainly with regard to guns and tanks.

Total German casualties:

Overall - 195,000
Tanks (light and medium) - 425
Fighters - 250
Guns - 2230

Total Soviet casualties (figures from casualties inflicted by me - FOW on):

Overall - 88,000
Medium tanks (T34) - 440
Heavy tanks (KVs) - 135
Light tanks - 315
Fighters - 390
Guns - 785

So my overall strategy of targeting his fighters and tanks appears to be paying off. I'm also going to try and keep a count of motorized units lost. My basic aim in this game is to have Olivier following me on foot through the snow. It probably wont work, but it is nice to dream

Screenshot showing the Soviet counter-attack between the Don and Chir:






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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/23/2012 8:07:21 PM   
Bonners


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14th December

It is noticeable that the game seems to settling into a pace of its own, we seem to have a couple of frantic turns followed by a couple of turns of quiet. I think this is beginning to change though. As more Soviet forces are released from Stalingrad I keep having to remind myself that I am now facing 1 million Soviets on the front line. Although I create large Soviet losses on each attack I think Olivier is starting to get a real feel for managing the attacks. The subtlety is not in the actual attack with the Soviets, but with large forces it is keep on moving the point of the attack so my meagre reserves have to keep shifting from front to front. I may win a lot of tactical battles, but each one wears down my panzers. I have already noticed that one of my panzer divisions has to move at walking pace due to the lack of trucks. Again I play a truck card to keep them mobile, but I would rather be saving my cards for fighters and tanks. I have to keep up the hit and run attacks though, so it is a little bit of a vicious circle.

In reality I dont think we can be calling the battles around Stalingrad the Don Bend or Stalingrad any more, that is in the Furhrer's fantasy land; let us be realistic and say what they are, these are the battles for Rostov long term and keeping communications open to Army Group A on their withdrawal from the Caucasus. In the Caucasus there continues to be sparring but at the moment I am still managing to not fight a pitched battle. Heinrici's panzers again give the pursuing Soviets a little nudge, just to let them know that we still have teeth. Again the care card comes in handy to recover readiness and prepare for the next action.

North of the Rostov front Olivier reminds me that my attentions need to start shifting to all parts of the front. There is another breakthrough on the Italians and Romanians. Again I have to start rushing up troops to try and plug the gap. I retain a flimsy frontline and counter attack with the Luftwaffe which will hopefully slow him down. Due to a lack of reconnaissance I am not too sure if this is another probing thrust or the beginnings of his second offensive.

The Soviet breakthrough:




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RE: Fire fighting the Red Hordes - Uranus vs Olivier - 11/23/2012 8:10:15 PM   
Bonners


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14th December

Again the Soviet breakthrough means I have to make decisions on the Rostov front. As I am not sure which panzers I will need I make the decision to break contact and give Olivier a lot of free territory.

We are dancing to the tune of the Soviet Bear!




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