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Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier

 
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Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/1/2013 10:09:46 PM   
Bonners


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28th June - off and waltzing

I was trying to think of a way to get some Strauss into the title, but Blue Don is about the best I could come up with. Anyway, Olivier had obviously got tired of kicking me all around the frozen snowy Steppe, as after two games of Uranus we decided to have a pop at Case Blue itself. And by the way, if you decide to retreat the 6th Army from Stalingrad, be very careful how you go about it, our last game got very messy indeed and I ended up with a pocket that also included two of my relieving panzer divisions

Havent done an AAR for a little while, but as there arent that many going on at the moment I thought I'd do another one.

Anyway, Case Blue. We decided on a couple of house rules. Firstly, no using the northern edge of the board for encirclements and secondly, the Germans are not going to advance much beyond Voronezh in the north, only going for any specific minor objectives or to give the rail line a bit of protection. No hard and fast rule, just a bit of a gentleman's agreement. Basically we both want to fight Case Blue and be butting heads in the Caucasus and Stalingrad...stupidity is historic Similarly for Russian planes on the ground, we didnt make a specific house rule for this, I just didnt refresh my memory as to where the Soviet airfields were and just launched my air attacks where I thought they would be. Of course I forgot entirely and only managed to get one set of Russian fighters on the ground.

Before I started my turn I had a look round to see what general were available for replacements. Out of the three excellent generals that can turn up early on only Rauss was in the pool. He has taken over at 17th Army so he can build up his freedom card which is one of my favourites. Ruoff has gone off to take over one of the 4th Panzer Army corps instead. I know the obvious choice is Paulus, but I umm and arred and couldnt quite bring myself to do it.

I had a good long think about some of the mistakes I've made with my panzers in previous games and decided that in the first turn my main objective was speed. I didnt play one attacking card, but just about every unit that managed a breakthrough had a speed card played on them. I also made the concious decision to attack, attack and attack again, especially in the north. You dont often get the opportunity to have your units fresh and full artillery stacked up, so I wanted to breakthrough in as many places as possible and give Olivier lots to think about. I know some players (i.e. those with a little bit of sense in their heads) like to do more precision attacks, but the first turn to me is about killing Russians and then using the speed cards to disrupt their communications.

From 2nd Army down to 4th Panzer Army this went very well and I was able to actually end up encircling a lot of the Russian defenders, not tight pockets, but certainly enough to make the defenders think.

40th panzer corps in 6th Army didnt do quite as well. I guess I'm pleased that my play has improved, but I'm still prone to making errors. Nothing catastrophic, just that Olivier will get his troops out here when some of them could have ended up encircled.

The vague plan for 1st Panzer Army at the moment is to get the panzer corps pushing north to help out 6th Army, the other reason being that there is good clear terrain to attack in there. My thoughts on this is that Olivier is too good a player to leave with much in the way of opportunity around Voroshilovgrad, so I'm hoping to unhinge his whole southern defensive lines all the way back to Rostov by attacking downwards from the north. Obviously this is wildly optimistic and the plan will probably not survive the first couple of turns.

As for 17th Army, I'm not set in stone what to do yet. The vague plan is to not go for Rostov head on at all, I just think it is too tough to take against a decent Russian opponent. The bulk of 17th Army will head to the first railway line to the north of Rostov and start to push down that way, hopefully helped by the 1st Army panzers threatening the communications by advancing back down from their northern positions. My plan is to bring the Italians in as a screening force directly in front of Rostov.

I wont be reporting on what happens at Sevastapol. Basically it will fall in a few turns, no doubt after Olivier has withdrawn most of his forces, and then I'll work out a better use for 11th Army. If anything out of the ordinary happens I'll report on it, but until then just assume the usual pattern of assaults is happening.

Now all of this takes time and I am determined to not get rushed into any attacks. I'm quite happy taking heavy losses to my panzer units, but only if it equates to territory and high Soviet losses. My plan for this game is to not waste my prestige playing the more time cards, they are just too expensive. I am going to replicate the tactics I used in Uranus. Forget about prestige and use the ambition cards as a last resort every time I am nearing dismissal. I want to try and keep my forces intact. Whether this works or not remains to be seen; so I could be going down in a big ball of gooey mess quite soon

Anyway, here is the map at the end of the first German turn:





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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/1/2013 10:43:54 PM   
Bonners


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30th June

Starting in the north 4th Panzer dont actually do a lot of attacking this turn, it is mainly a case of the panzer divisions moving on as fast as possible. However, in the north they would appear to be about to run into a little bit of trouble. No conservative hiding behind the Don for Olivier, he is coming out to defend Voronezh head on and my lead units run into the first tank corps of 5th Tank Army...ouch! This is going to be a bit of a mash up. I launch air attacks on the nearest units in the hope of slowing them down a bit; but I suspect that Olivier will have a Stavka help card to play, so I could be in a bit of trouble here in the short term. In the long term though I think this must work to my advantage. My divebomber units are all fresh and I could inflict some significant losses. One major coup is getting over the Oskol river without a fight, recon has not picked up any units so I think there is a fair chance that Gross Deutschland's bridgehead is secure. In the context of me wanting to move south this is going to work in my favour.

Still no major breakthrough on 6th Army's sector, but things are developing with the outflanking positions to the north, so things may look better in a turn or two.

With 1st panzer army heading north things are a little bit slow, but that is mainly because I didnt launch much in the way of attacks as I wanted to make sure I have the panzers of III corps in position to attack next turn. Again they will be heading for the clear ground.

On 17th Army's front things start to move slowly. I am quite happy to make small gains, but still have no intention of attacking the rough ground and Rostov frontally with panzers. I may put the panzer corps of 17th Army into reserve once the route to Rostov is clear. Meanwhile the Italians are now starting to move up to take over the positions in front of Rostov in a few turns.




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< Message edited by Bonners -- 2/1/2013 10:44:15 PM >

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/3/2013 1:15:06 PM   
Bonners


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2nd July - 5th Tank Army attack

As expected, despite my air strikes, Olivier launches units of 5th tank army into the fray. Despite two of my panzer units being pushed back I am quite happy with this, the more of his units I can destroy this side of the Don the easier it will be to take Voronezh. Although I am tempted to take them head on, I decide to consolidate, bring my units up in force and get ready to take on the Red Army tanks the next turn. In the meantime every spare unit of the Luftwaffe takes to the air and any Russian unit that looks like it contains a truck or a tank is subjected to air attack. The Luftwaffe losses are very minimal and the total tally for the turn is 60 Russian tanks to 15 German, most of the Russian losses coming from the Luftwaffe. If 5th tank stick around next turn I am hoping for a tank shooting festival.

Meanwhile Gross Deutschland expand their bridgehead and are joined by 24th panzer. They will soon be joined by the panzer units from 6th army on the east side of the river. This is the area that I am hopeful may catch Olivier out. Once across the river I am determined to strike south with all these units keeping to the clear tank country.

Further south the two panzer corps of 1st Panzer army are also making their way north. Again, it will be left to the infantry units to weaken the Soviet forces holding the river, I'm not going to waste the panzer units going straight across the river. Once they have flanked the river from the north they will again be heading south. Opposite Rostov LVII corps has gone as far as it can unless I want to take Rostov head on. I am still convinced that this is not the right move and they will be moving north as soon as the Italians arrive. The infantry units will be used to help slog through the mountains with the mechanized divisions kept in reserve looking for any opportunities.

I still have no idea if the strategy will work, but I am keeping the ambition cards in had and am going to be sticking to my idea of using them as a cheaper way to avoid dismissal compared to the more time cards. As part of this strategy I have resigned myself to several turns of having little or no prestige points. I am hoping it wont matter in the long run as my prestige should build back up as soon as I take my objectives which will allow me to replenish my tank forces.






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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/4/2013 11:13:47 AM   
Isokron

 

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Seems like you have learned a lot since we played this scenario Bonners :). Maybe you should try a bit harder to attack artillery units where he keep them in the front? Killing those will weaken any future counterattacks he can do.

And I still think its a bit too slow to try to outflank Voroshilovgrad from the north, but I guess we will see.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/4/2013 11:58:13 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Isokron

Seems like you have learned a lot since we played this scenario Bonners :). Maybe you should try a bit harder to attack artillery units where he keep them in the front? Killing those will weaken any future counterattacks he can do.

And I still think its a bit too slow to try to outflank Voroshilovgrad from the north, but I guess we will see.


When I play defensive games as Soviets I love the artillery units. I quite often use them to break up German attacks. Similarly as Axis, like you say, if I see an artillery unit on the front lines then I will be aiming for it with anything to spare.

I think you could be right, but my reasoning for doing it is two fold. I've yet to master attacking against good entrenched terrain, but I am getting a better idea of how to master the panzer attacks in the clear. The second part of this, is that although I will lose prestige, I am hoping that the reduced losses in my tank forces will outweigh these losses in possible replacements using prestige. I do still intend attacking on the direct route to Voroshilovgrad though, but only with infantry. My plan is to keep knocking the defenders, but not take hexes. Hopefully this will lead to Olivier withdrawing eventually.

I am still hopeful that by playing the ambition cards I can keep in the game long enough to not have to take the objectives on time, I still reckon they may work out cheaper than the more time cards, although it is a bit of gamble.

And yes I think my game play has improved, I am learning slowly but still making quite a few mistakes. But I am getting more things right and hopefully recognising my mistakes earlier and have more time to put them right.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/4/2013 11:42:52 PM   
Bonners


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4th July - Dive bomb alley

In the north I continue to hold the line against 5th tank army. Their attacks are now getting quite severe and if I advance it will just be a massacre of my units. Therefore I only do a couple of little spoiling attacks without advancing. Meanwhile every Luftwaffe pilot who has a vague idea of the inner workings of a Stuka is thrown into the air. The result...carnage amongst the Soviet tanks and mechanized units. Again Olivier has won the ground war in the north, but I dont intend to take him on and am happy to let the Luftwaffe inflict the losses on his units.

The units of IIL corps continue on their push south virtually unhindered. A couple of Russian tank brigades launch local counter attacks but are contemptuously swept aside. We have almost reached the next river line and I am hopeful that I can take another bridge head on the run. The first units of the 6th army from XXXX corps also cross the Oskol this turn and several of Olivier's units are now at risk of encirclement, but will he see the danger? Further south the strong infantry corps (LI corps) also take an unopposed crossing of the Oskol. The start lines for III corps are rapidly moving further north. There are definitely a lot of possibilities in this area. If I'm very lucky I could be getting quite a substantial pocket.

Further south I continue to make slow but steady progress towards Voroshilovgrad. I am now committed to my original plan of sending all of 1st panzer army's panzers north. I have to keep up the infantry pressure though, but will Olivier realise the danger and sniff out the trap?

A quick note on Sevastapol, it will probably fall next turn and I can then begin to think about where to deploy 11th army.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/4/2013 11:59:07 PM   
Bonners


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6th July - billiards, pocket billiards

Remarkably Olivier is still fighting it out with 5th tank army. My infantry are now arriving in force though, so his attacks are going to become much more difficult. Surprisingly Olivier does not deploy the red air force in support of his tanks. I have to admit I am surprised by this. I think I am on my own amongst Soviet players in this, but I dont like to give the Germans a clear run in the air war. This has been proved in the last few turns when my Stukas have had free reign over the Soviet tank units. He is only let off this turn as most of the divebombers need a turn to replenish and restore their readiness. Anyway, if the Soviet tanks are still on the west side of the Don next turn I think they'll be in trouble. I took heavy tank losses in the north this turn, but I played a replacement card and was more than pleased to receive 45 shiny new PIVgs.

On that note, my tank force has fallen, but is still above 1500 tanks, more importantly I still have my starting numbers in all aircraft types. The context this has to be put in is that I dont know how many planes Olivier has. We play the game with FOW on statistics on. Yes it makes writing an AAR a little more difficult, but overall I think it adds a little more mystery to the game. According to the stats I have Olivier has lost over 500 tanks now. I'm very pleased with these numbers.

On to the centre. Things are going very well here. The southern push continues and Gross Deutschland push on and manage to get a bridgehead over the next river (not too sure of the name, might just be a tributary of the Don?). With a speed card played on 294th infantry division, the remaining Soviet units on the Oskol are now trapped. But I ma hopefully not finished there. The two panzer corps from 1st panzer army are now gathered to strike north and hopefully meet up with the panzers driving south. I doubt Olivier will let me pocket any more troops, but just the mere threat of it will hopefully let me turn his lines and strike south from the easy ground on the eastern side of the nasty mountains and the like. Time is obviously going to be a factor, but I'm now more convinced that this strategy might work.

Obviously everything further south is fairly pedestrian by comparison. Again I just pick at one or two hexes a turn driving slowly towards Voroshilovgrad from two directions. I have decided to leave the two panzer divisions of 17th army on the line. They are not actually participating in any attacks, but hopefully the threat of them doing so will keep Olivier wary.

...and Sevastapol falls. Nothing more of interest to report in the Crimea, from next turn I will start railing 11th army to the front.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/5/2013 8:31:26 PM   
Bonners


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8th July - mud, glorious, gloping*, glooping* mud

A very brief update for this turn as I am presented with mud. I havent uploaded a map as there is no real movement. I take a couple of more hexes on the way to Voroshilovgrad and clear up the remnants of the pockets on the Oskol, but apart from that it is more a case of moving up some infantry units and getting ready for the next assaults.

I also play a train card this turn to facilitate the moving up to the front of 11th army. One corps is detached and sent up to join 2nd army along with a couple of the artillery units. I will be assaulting across the river in front of Voronezh with infantry, so a couple of extra units should be useful. This front is quiet this turn, I do one attack on a couple of exposed tank units, but apart from that build my strength up for the following turns. I fly no air attacks this turn apart from a couple of supply missions. These have an unexpected bonus, as for the first time in a few days my aircraft are intercepted by Russian fighters. I wonder if Olivier is bringing them into the battle? If so it is a good time for me as all my fighter units are near to full strength and at full readiness after their turn of rest. Will have to see if the Russian aircraft are still there next turn.

*I may have made these words up, but they seem appropriate for mud.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/6/2013 10:31:23 PM   
Bonners


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10th July, breakthrough towards the Don

Well as expected, when I started to launch my fighters this turn, they were met by a horde of their Soviet counterparts. Overall this went in my favour as 45 Soviet fighters were shot down. The only bad news was that I lost 15 divebombers to some Soviet fighters that sneaked past my fighter cover.

This turn Olivier is still fighting hard on the approaches to Voronezh with 5th tank army units still very much in evidence. I will definitely not meet my OKH target for taking Voronezh, but I think it is more than worth it with the amount of Soviet units I'll be able to grind down on the approach. With a bit of luck I may even have an easier task of getting across the river. This turn Kastornoye falls which is the last major defensive hub this side of the Don, I half suspect that Olivier may have had a hold order here from Stavka. Further north 2nd army are gathered in strength with the infantry well rested after the mud turn. I play a speed card on one of the infantry divisions to increase the attacks on the defenders. Just to the south the remaining panzer units not used in the taking of Kastornoye go Russian tank hunting. Again, I am not really looking to gain ground, just to destroy as many units as possible on the west side of the Don.

Meanwhile to the south of the Voronezh front XXXX and IIL panzer corps play speed cards and advance as far as possible. I am not looking to fight anything if possible with these units, more a case of trying to make Olivier think twice about his defensive lines. My vague plan is for XXXX to push across the Don at Svoboda and hopefully flank Voronezh from the south. IIL corps will continue their push southwards though.

The two panzer corps of 1st panzer are now ready to turn back south. With the help of infantry units from LI corps they clear the last town before the clear terrain. There is some tough fighting for III corps this turn, but that is to be expected as I suspect Olivier is starting to have an idea of where I am going. As they start to push south 25th tank corps is revealed waiting to counterattack. Again it is the Luftwaffe to the rescue and these Soviet units are severely cut up even before they reach the battlefield. I will be intrigued to see what Olivier does next though. Will he counter attack or will he start to withdraw? I am hoping that this southern movement makes him start ot withdraw 9th army away from their strong defensive positions. If he doesnt then it is going to take me a while longer to clear them out, but I could end up with a pocket. My objective for next turn is to try and get some units across the River Aidar before the Soviet lines solidifies.

As stated on previous turns, I still intend pushing along the rail lines towards Voroshiovgrad. With the help of a freedom card from Raus and a couple of speed cards on the supporting infantry I do a lot better than I expected this turn with quite a few hexes falling. the original plan was to stay put, but with the freedom card also giving small defensive bonuses and seemingly not much in the way of Soviet reserves, I take a bit of a risk and decide to push on into Olivier's lines. Hopefully I do not open my next turn and find all these units thrown back. I think that Olivier has a bit of a dilemma here as well though.

Overall I am really pleased with this turn. Although I have taken some heavy tank losses I think they were justified as the Soviet losses were higher and there is plenty for Olivier to think about in several places where I have started flanking manoeuvres.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/7/2013 2:00:36 PM   
Bonners


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12th July - we'll meet again

It is with absolutely no regrets that this turn I bid an unfond farewell to 5th tank army. Olivier admits to me in his comments that the recent battles have been hurting him just as badly. I am now able to move my infantry up and they can start to get into their launch positions for the offensive across the Don to take Voronezh. I dont see any easy or quick way to do this, so it will be a long, slow and patient slog across the Don and I aim to launch the attack from South and north to hopefully keep Olivier on his toes. I knew all along that I would not take Voronezh within the timescale and have factored this into my plans. At some point I will be using the ambition cards to keep going. I will be keeping the armour in reserve but most of it will be moving south to continue the main campaign.

Further south, although there is no major fighting, I am really pleased as Olivier withdraws his forces enabling me to move my armoured units across the next major river obstacle without a fight. The southern movement will now be going on in force. $th panzer with help from 6th army will be heading for Millerowo. 1st panzer army are now ready to turn south again in full force, they have by passed all the nasty terrain and they will be running south in parallel with 4th panzer and outflanking the good defensive terrain around Voroshiovgrad. The same applies to these attacks as Voronezh, more ambition cards will be needed to keep me in the game.

On the direct route to Voroshilovgrad e are back to very slow progress, it is now going to be a case of alternating the axis of advance across the two rail lines and giving units every other turn to rest and recover readiness. Again, I am still sticking to the plan, there is no rush, it is all about keeping the pressure on until the panzers work their way south. I am not bothered if Olivier retreats his forces or not, all that matters is that I take the defensive ground cheaply.

In other news, whilst watching the history of Olivier's turn I think he has now come to the realisation that I am not attacking Rostov head on. One little tank brigade darts forward to find out where my troops were, I hope he wasnt too shocked to find a line of Italians. I'm wondered if Olivier will think about having a pop at them? I'm keeping a watchful eye as providing I am prepared it will let me get at a few of his Rostov defenders outof their entrenchments.

Finally I play another saved up tank card. It is all a matter of choice how cards are played and I know most players prefer to concentrate on infantry, but in the early game I like to keep my panzer units up to scratch. I couldnt believe it when OKH release another 55 PIVgs and 10 Marders. I'm not quite sure what I've done to deserve these riches but I am definitely not complaining





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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/7/2013 10:32:16 PM   
Bonners


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14th July - let's all take a breather

This has been a fairly quiet turn, most of the movement has been my units moving up to their start lines for the next part of the offensive. In front of Voronezh I begin to sort out which troops will be taking part in the offensive over the Don. One panzer corps from 4th panzer army will remain, but it will mainly be the three infantry corps of the reinforced 2nd army with support from the Hungarians taking on the direct approach. To the south I also start moving the infantry corps up for the southern approach to Voronezh. All of 5th tank army are now back across the Don, but I manage to take out a few more infantry units before they are able to retreat. Looking at Olivier's Don defences there doesnt seem to be that much in the way of infantry. If 5th tank are on the frontlines it may help my assault.

XXXX and IIL corps continue their movement south, however there may be an opportunity to take a couple of bridgeheads over the Don, which although a bit far south may help with the overall outflanking strategy for Voronezh.

!st panzer do not attack this turn, but continue after the retreating Russians. Again they have managed to outflank another river defence and have clear terrain all the way Millerowo. However, Millerowo itself looks quite tricky as there are already signs of entrenchments and more mountain hexes around it. LI corps from 6th army will be driving south as well to assist. I will also be sending 11th army in this direction to help with any tough defensive lines. Ist panzer and both the panzer corps have cards to play next turn, depending on whether Olivier stands and fights.

Around Voroshilovgrad I only make one attack this turn as most units move up and regain readiness for another major assault next turn.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 12:37:01 AM   
Bonners


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16th July - the ghost turn

Nothing, no really, absolutely nothing. Was a clear turn, but Olivier had retreated a couple of hexes away from 1st panzer so didnt want to waste my cards and strike power trying to catch him up. I move up and launch absolutely no attacks. I finally reach the Don around Voronezh, but again I launch no attacks and build up stockpiles for an offensive next turn.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 1:06:43 AM   
Bonners


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18th July - offensives launched north and centre

So, after resting up on the last run, units are now in position to begin the assault on the Don around Voronezh, it will be a three pronged assault. North of the Don it is mainly a 2nd army affair, but there are still two corps of 4th panzer army in support if they are needed. The corps taken from 11th army is not yet active, but is moving up and will start to partake in attacks next turn. I use no cards in this part of the front as I dont intend to take ground. Three river assaults are launched to throw the Soviets back and all three are successful. The units stay in place and dont advance. Depending on Olivier's actions the next turn will either be more of the same, or if he doesnt move back I will be launching an assault to take the northernmost bridge and then cross the river to the north on a four hex front which will hopefully not be thrown back. Immediately south of Voronezh I will be attacking again but not crossing as I dont think I can take a decent enough bridgehead.

The Hungarians at the moment are jsut holding the line. To their south the two infantry corps are now moving into position to take the southern crossing. Again spoiling attacks will take place next turn whilst the engineers get themselves to repair the bridges when the crossing takes place. If all goes well then I will launch the panzers across the river.

The final prong of the Voronezh assault is the most risky. The strong XXXX panzer corps has crossed the Don further south. Their position is quite precarious and could suffer from Soviet counter attacks. Depending on Olivier's actions I may end up withdrawing them next turn as I dont think the losses will be worth it if Olivier counter attacks in force; one turn of losses I can take, but then they will withdraw having done their job of drawing troops away from the main Voronezh assault. I have to admit I am slightly dreading opening my next turn in case Olivier has nay nasty surprises lined up for them.

IIL corps having fished along the Don looking for a weak spot were just too late to take a crossing on the run. There is no point them taking a crossing by force as the losses dont justify it, therefore the yare sent south again to help out 1st panzer army with their assault towards Millerowo.

This assault had to go in at full force this turn. The situation was not totally ideal as Olivier had withdrawn again, but a couple of the panzer divisions were in contact and with a speed card played on the SS division combined with an attack card played by 1st panzer on the whole of III corps I thought the risk was justified. I also used a speed card on one of LI corps infantry divisions, just so they could come up and support the attack with enough APs.

I have to admit the attack went better than expected. The two infantry corps along with their supporting Romanian corps made good progress against the infantry and another speed card on XI corps meant they were able to join the attack as well. On this sector the main priority was again to keep the Russians pinned down. The main assault was against the Russian 38th army with their defence centred on Chetkowo. All three armoured divisions went smashing through the Russian lines making at least two attacks, Chetkowo was encircled and will be picked off by the following infantry next turn. XIV corps panzers didnt really participate in the attacks, so they are fresh to continue the assault next turn.

By the amount of units Olivier has pushed up I think he realises the threat to Millerowo and he may also be starting to get an inkling of what my plan has been from the start, to keep sweeping south all the way to the rail lines outside Rostov. Next turn 1st panzer will have another turn of pushing hard unless Olivier pushes up significant reserves to this area. My feeling is that the only place they can come from is around Voroshilovgrad and if that is the case it will only help 17th army increase the pace of their slog through the mountains.

Meanwhile back at 1st panzer, air reconnaissance shows up the amount of mechanized and armoured units that Olivier has rushed to the area. A lot of these are in the open and the rested Luftwaffe need no second invitation. Just about my whole divebomber force concentrates on this area and in total 115 Russian tanks meet their doom this turn. If Olivier does plan some surprises for me I'm hopeful that this will slow him down a bit.

The only other thing to report on is 17th army and the Italians. They are all very well thank you for asking, although they make little in the way of attacks. They make a couple of token artillery bombardments to keep Olivier interested, but the next turn I will hopefully push on a couple more hexes as Raus plays another freedom card on LVII corps.




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Post #: 13
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 10:37:11 AM   
Isokron

 

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Well seems like I was wrong about it not being a fast enough way to go. What date do you need to take Millerowo by ?

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Post #: 14
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 11:40:34 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Isokron

Well seems like I was wrong about it not being a fast enough way to go. What date do you need to take Millerowo by ?


Good timing as I'm about to upload a turn for Olivier for 20th July. See below for the list of current objectives. Belovodsk I've just taken which will put my current prestige up to 13. By my calculations I reckon I stand a good chance of taking Millerowo in time (next update to follow shortly), but I wont take any of the others. Therefore I'll be on 21-22= -1 prestige once all the objectives come in. So one or two uses of the ambition card should easily keep me in the game. To the best of my recollection I should then get another stab at taking Voronezh and Rostov and if I do that will start to build my prestige back up. I'll have about 4 or 5 turns with little or no prestige but I think that is more than compensated by taking less losses overall. All my troop types are still just about at starting strengths and I also have 5 Romanian divisions waiting to enter the frap as soon as a couple of Romanian generals turn up in the force pool (I've already created two Romanian armies and an extra corps).


EDIT: Sorry, just checked, Belovodsk will put prestige up to 14, so I'll only go down to zero prestige and have to play the ambition card once for a cost of 5 pp.




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Post #: 15
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 12:09:45 PM   
Bonners


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20th July - Voronezh front

The assaults to the north of Voronezh last turn have worked and I am able to cross in force to the north of Voronezh. The first heavy artillery units also cross the river. It is a bit of gamble as if the next turn is a mud turn I'll be struggling for supply until the bridge is fixed. I also decide to move the remaining armour over the river. It wont be used in frontal assaults, but may be useful if there is any gaps to exploit.

Meanwhile the infantry corps to the south start to move up in bloody river crossings. My losses are heavier down here, but I am still happy that the major losses are going to the Soviets.

To their immediate east I continue with XXXX corps assault northwards over the river. There are no counter attacks this turn and they get sufficient supply from the JU52s although several are intercepted by Soviet fighters that my fighters had failed to clear. Whilst they are still doing a decent job tying down strong Soviet forces away from Voronezh I will continue with the assault. If things go well the infantry could take control of the bridges to let them get supply anyway, it just depends whether Olivier is able to blow the remaining bridges.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/9/2013 12:19:38 PM   
Bonners


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20th July - Millerowo front

I've split the update into two this turn to concentrate on the main two areas I am attacking. On the direct route to Millerowo there are no attacks this turn as Olivier retreats his forces. The infantry clear up the encircled troops and will move up in support next turn. IIL corps is now also in contact and they will probably be working their way down the east side of the river to threaten Millerowo from that direction.

Olivier has put some nasty fortifications in place as well. I think the two panzer corps of 1st panzer army will end up slipping to the west of these and then the infantry of LI corps will be given the lovely task of attacking Millerowo head on.

I think that the Russian troops defending the Voroshilovgrad area against 17th army are now directly threatened by this advance in their rear from the north. 17th army launch another round of attacks with Raus playing another freedom card (he is really useful as he gets 3 points per turn). Although the battles are bloody and I am in danger of counter attacks I think the risk is worth it as Olivier himself is in a fairly precarious situation here. In fact it could work to my advantage if I manage to get his troops out their trenches and counter attacking.

I think the next couple of turns are going to be crucial to my plans, it is going to be costly for me if I dont get Millerowo in time. The Luftwaffe could also do with a turn or two of rest as the bombers have been flying constant missions. The only way I've been able to do this is the fact my fighters have been sweeping the Red Air force from the skies, but even they are beginning to look like they need a rest. Also, next turn I could really do with having a bit more recon around Millerowo before I launch my assault.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 11:55:11 AM   
Bismarck2761

 

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PLEASE KEEP IT COMING!

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Post #: 18
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 11:56:24 AM   
Bonners


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22nd July - Olivier joins the offensive party

The lesson of this turn would be dont get too cocky. I think Olivier has started to realise where the main threats are and his lines start to solidify. North of Voronezh he is still looking quite weak though and the infantry start to take all the hexes between the two rivers. Meanwhile panzers move across the river in force. Depending on how well the infantry assaults go the armour may be used to assault Voronezh from behind....this is the plan in an ideal world.

When I open my turn it would appear that Olivier has been rather busy. To the south of Voronezh it was a bit of an open flank so Olivier exploits this and rushes units through with the main intention of interdicting my supply lines. I immediately move a Hungarian corps south to counter the threat along with 29th motorized. 113th infantry division play a speed card, break through the Soviet lines and march on to trap the Soviet units that broke through, it is a precarious pocket though.

Further south Olivier also thrust forward and sends units probing to try and cut the rail lines again. The usefulness of the 6th army emergency troops card from von Paulus comes into its own as the main rail line is now covered by a mixture of cooks and typists. They should be enough to turn Olivier's forces back. 71st infantry moves back north to cover the gap for now and the Romanian VI corps will be covering that flank in a couple of turns.

Around Millerowo I decide not to launch my assault this turn. Olivier has seen this front as the most dangerous and has been rushing units to it at full speed, there are also several tank units around to aid his counter attacks. Unfortunately the Luftwaffe is beginning to suffer and I am not able to launch the number of divebomber attacks that I want on his tank units. I also need to start moving the divebomber units up to further forward airfields as soon as they are cleared from damage. Numbers wise I am okay, but decide to play a replacement card for divebombers anyway so I can keep the momentum of attacks up once I get them all back to full readiness. Again OKH are obviously pleased with my efforts as I am given 55 shiny new Stukas.

My main plan next turn will be to try and take the rail hexes to the west of Millerowo, as will be seen below, this will mean that the Soviet units around Voroshilovgrad will not have a single rail line any more.

The reason for that is the attack by 17th Army. 13th panzer division are given a speed card and this opens up more clear hexes for attack. The rail lines are now breached in full and several Soviet units are now in danger of encirclement.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 12:22:34 PM   
Bonners


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24th July - war madness takes hold

This turn we both start to go more than a little bit crazy. Although I think this game could go a long way, the early game will be won around Millerowo and the battles to encircle the Soviet troops around Voroshilovgrad.

Up north directly around Voronezh I am pleased with the way the assaults are going. It would appear that XXXX corps have done their job as to the north of Voronezh there are not many Soviet reserves. Although not quite ready to assault the second river with the panzers a couple of attacks are made to clear the defenders away from the river. Directly north of Voronezh the first fortified hex is taken and I am confident enough to take the hex and hold. I may launch the first direct attack on Voronezh next turn as all the divisions have plenty of points saved up to play attack or speed cards.

To the south of Voronezh XXXX corps takes a fearful battering, but they are also grinding down the Soviet mechanized units and hold against all attacks. They are definitely doing their job as to the immediate west of them the two infantry corps continue to grind down the Soviet defenders. I am confident that the bridgehead across the Don here will now hold.

With the Soviet breakthrough units, Olivier sacrifices some of them to cut off my rail supply. The Hungarian corps moves south and starts to deal with them. They are an annoyance but with the fighters still able to clear the skies of most Soviet fighters, my JU52s are still able to deliver supply to the bulk of the units. If I have a mud turn offensive operations in this area will have to be halted though.

To breakthrough to his own lines Olivier also severely mauls a regiment of 113th infantry, 294th division moves up to help cover the gap.

Around Millerowo and around Voroshilovgrad, Olivier goes into full on offensive mode, he has picked the right turn to do it as most of the Luftwaffe is in desperate need of rest and I cant take full advantage. 60th motorized division takes a fearful battering and is pushed back from in front of Millerowo. There are attacks all along the line but every other unit manages to hold.

The first artillery units from 11th army make their presence felt this turn as I decide to see if I can turn Olivier's attacks to my advantage. The fortification hexes to the west of Millerowo become a whirling maelstrom of armoured death. Several Soviet infantry and armoured units are virtually wiped off the map, but my lead panzers also take a battering with losses now beginning to mount up and readiness falling. Importantly we take the fortification hexes though and the Soviet units to the west of the Donets are now cut off in all but name. I make the first attack on Millerowo but as expected it doesnt fall; next turn the infantry units from LI corps will there in force along with several more artillery units from 11th army, so I'm hoping for further gains.

I also fully expect a counter attack from the Soviet tank corps sitting in wait, again the lack of divebombers really told this turn as I wasn't able to do much in the way of disruptive air attacks. So it could be that my panzers are in for more losses next turn as Olivier counter attacks to retake the fortification hexes. It is worth it though as his previous actions have shown he is desperate to try and keep the rail lines open.

This is shown by the desperate attacks on IL and LVII corps defending the rail lines to the south of Voroshilovgrad, although I manage to hold against all attacks they are in full force and more of my panzer divisions are ground down, the losses to the attacking Soviet units are terrifying though. I still dont think I am in a strong enough position to counter yet, so I dig in and send more infantry units to hold the hexes on the rail line I have.

...and finally, Voroshilovgrad itself finally falls, which is a relief mainly as I wont have to type Voroshilovgrad in the AAR again Olivier has already started to withdraw by the looks of it as only one militia units holds it.




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Post #: 20
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 1:34:04 PM   
Bonners


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26th July....and relax!

Time for a bit of a breather I think. My attacks are minimal this turn as I decide to rest the Luftwaffe in full and give the infantry time to catch up with the armour.

To the north of Voronezh I take every hex across the river but do not yet advance. I'm waiting for the engineers to be ready to repair at least one of the bridges.

I also finally withdraw the XXXX corps from the east side of the Don. Their losses were mounting and I couldnt see them actually doing any good any more. Olivier continues to launch spoiling attacks on the west side of the Don and I think they'll be more useful helping out there.

I launch an attack on Millerowo which doesnt succeed, although the defenders are ground down. Apart from that I just follow up and rest all my panzers so they can begin to launch the next part of the offensive.

Olivier finally starts to retreat to the east side of the Donets. I think I should cut a couple of units off, but apart from that I think most will get away. I am not sure if the offensive will re-launch next turn or the turn after.

I've just done a quick overview of the whole front for this turn, just to show where we are up to.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 5:37:59 PM   
Bonners


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July 28th - new tenants at Millerowo and Voronezh

Although the Luftwaffe is not totally rested it is time to re-launch the offensive before the Soviet lines have too much time to settle.

After last turn the Soviets did not occupy the hexes on the river line north of Voronezh so I move the 2nd army over in full force, also playing a defensive card from army HQ on LV corps just in case the Soviets intend to counter attack. I also move the panzer units over the Don as they will now be heading south, clearing the west side of the Don on the way and then helping with the offensive into the Caucasus.

...and finally, tow turns too late I managed to take Voronezh. I could've launched the assault last turn, but I wasnt sure if I would get another order from OKH to take it and grab some prestige. The two infantry corps continue their advance north as I want to totally clear the east bank of the Don as my shoulder to rest my lines on.

Around Millerowo my first objective is to take Millerowo itself. LI corps launches the assault with powerful artillery support from 11th army artillery and take the town with relatively few losses in the end.

To the west of Millerowo the two panzer corps of 1st panzer army are now rested and are able to launch their attack south along the rail lines. The Soviet defenders here are not quite as strong as I thought, has Olivier been withdrawing his tank corps? The panzer units blast through the lines and using a speed card from each corps HQ are able to fully exploit the breakthrough along the road and rail lines. With the divebomer units having moved forward the Luftwaffe also gets in on the act with the level bombers blasting a path through for the tanks and the divebombers launching attacks on any tank or mechanized units they can find. All in all I am quite happy that the assault will succeed and join back up with 17th army.

17th army now having cleared the west side of the Donets push east following the line of the river. There are no assaults this turn as the units move forward to take up positions ready to attack north and south along the rail lines next turn. The main thrust will be south towards Rostov, but they will also be pushing north to link back up with 1st panzer army.

My losses have been mounting and overall losses are now around 91k compared to the Russians 312k, Olivier has really been putting up a fight these last few turns and the losses in infantry, tanks and fighters reflect that. I am hopeful that I will now be able to push back on though and launch the next phase of the attack. The next aim is Rostov. I aim to follow the rail lines to outflank it but also cross the river further east. To that end the JU52 units are now relocating south to support the units that will have to cross the river. The Italians are moving up to directly face Rostov now and will shortly be joined by the newly activated Romanian army.




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Post #: 22
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 7:47:46 PM   
Bonners


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July 30th - both armies grind to a halt

It is definitely time for both armies to start looking at where the next action will happen. The only attacking movement this turn is towards Rostov by 17th army and although I gain a couple of hexes this turn really does feel like the calm before the storm.

Around Millerowo I make a couple more attacks aiming south from 1st panzer but the Russians get some unexpected holds, I immediately suspend all major operations and start to bring the infantry back up and replenish supplies. I also need to re-organise the armies slightly and work out just who is going where.

Around Voronezh The Soviets start to withdraw on mass. I will not be following them with any vigour as I am quite happy with the lines I have. Although not a precise house rule me and Olivier have a gentleman's agreement to not keep on attacking in the north. If I was to go that way in reality I would no doubt be hit from reinforcements defending Moscow. Anyway, 2nd army has been reinforced to three corps with plenty of artillery and one motorized division in reserve. I am more than happy that they can hold the northern lines and start to move the 6th army and 4th panzer army units south

I am thinking of assigning LI corps permanently to 1st panzer army as they are in the right place to support them. Although 6th army will be smaller this is more than covered by 11th army now being in a position to strike directly eastwards. I am thinking that 4th panzer will now start working their way down the Don, I am not too sure how aggressive I want to be and where I want to get bridgeheads on the east bank. I am in two minds as to whether to fight my way south on the east bank or to move rapidly south on the west bank and advance in force through the bend, seizing eastern bridgeheads nearer Stalingrad. I think with the supply situation the west bank approach will be faster, it also gives me the advantage of being able to rail units into position as well.

With 11th army advancing on the south of the don bend and 17th and 1st panzer heading for Rostov, I may even have the beginnings of a plan. This is the first time I've made it this far, so it was a bit unexpected planning for an actual assault on the Caucasus

I now have 8 prestige left with the taking of Millerowo, but with Rostov and Azov deadlines soon to be missed I will be playing the ambition card soon to make sure I dont get dismissed.

Anyway, overview map this turn with proposed advances for the next phase of the offensive marked in blue.




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Post #: 23
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/10/2013 9:31:27 PM   
Bonners


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August 1st - both side collapse into an exhausted muddy heap

...and that is that for the day. No map update this turn as it is a mud turn. I continue to move 6th army and 4th panzer army units south, but apart from that there is no real movement. I dont make any attacks and give the Luftwaffe another full turn to recover its effectiveness. Finally I have Stuka units at full strength and they should all be up to about 100% readiness next turn. This turn also gives me a chance to get infantry back onto all the front lines and the offensives in the south are ready to go again next turn.

Having started today on July 22nd the respective generals cut the land lines, take the batteries out the radios and refuse all communication with Stavka and OKH, both Olivier and myself are totally gamed out for the day.

In the last radio communication I get from OKH they inform me that as I am particularly wonderful and I played a lovely card, they are sending me a further 65 PIVgs and another 10 Marders!!! Just in time to join the refreshed and ready panzer divisions next turn

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Post #: 24
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/11/2013 8:51:01 PM   
Bonners


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August 3rd - back to the Don bend

If anybody has read my Uranus AAR against Olivier they will understand that it is with a certain amount of trepidation that I venture back into the Don bend - the last time I was there it was covered in snow and generally full of every kind of Soviet mechanized and tank corps you could imagine.

Anyway, OKH say that Stalingrad is an objective so onwards we go. At the moment there is no real fighting on this sector. The Romanian IV corps moves east to take the line and the IIL and XXXX panzer corps start feeling their way forward looking for any obvious gaps in the lines.

Further north the rail lines are now fully operational and 6th army and 4th panzer army units continue their march south. 6th Army continues to supply a steady stream of Ersatz units to beef up the defensive line on the Don, which is useful as Zeitler has taken over from Halder at OKH; Halder was raving on about a million fresh Soviet troops by winter and thousands more Soviet tanks. The man was obviously delusional and best replaced even if we will miss his emergency troops.

11th army is almost ready to enter the fray, but they are not quite in position and some troops have not quite recovered their full readiness. By next turn they will all be ready with full stocks of artillery and plenty of fresh troops and cards for the generals to play to breakthrough the Soviet line.

1st panzer army push on though, still with LI corps in support (although still officially attached to 6th army). It is slow going across the mountains with not many clear hexes for the armour to exploit. Although Olivier's troops defend tenaciously and hold a couple of hexes I am pleased overall with the start of the advance.

The main successes this turn are with 17th army. Again the usefulness of having rested troops, action cards and lots of air power shows itself. Two infantry corps use speed cards on two of their divisions this turn. A mass aerial and artillery bombardment reduces Kamensk and its defenders to rubble. The infantry divisions take it virtually off the march and continue pushing on routing a couple of Soviet units on the way. As a bonus the fortified hex to the south of Kamensk is surrounded and can be taken later.

LVII corps pushes south with the infantry divisions pushing along the rail line. The SS and panzer division meanwhile turn east and start probing for a crossing over the Don. I very much doubt that Olivier has left anything unguarded, but I have to have nosey around to make sure. If there are any hexes with weakness I will try and assault next turn. The most important part of the assault though will be the JU52s who will have to supply the assaulting troops if they cross the river.

On the may update I am no longer including the Voronezh sector in the north, unless anything interesting happens. I am confident that I have left strong enough troops to defend it, but am determined to make the southern offensive work.

As this is really now the second part of the game, a quick run down on some of the overall losses so far:
EDIT: Hope it makes sense, my carefully formatted table would appear to have lost all its spacing.
Soviet Axis
All - 338k 97k
Fighters 280 190
Guns 4335 432 (Oooo, 10:1!)
Hvy tanks 305 0
Med tanks 595 625
Lt tanks 395 130
Motorized 7700 1729

I have taken heavy tank losses, but overall still have 1485 medium tanks, so the panzers can still act as spearheads and the Soviet losses are far higher. My total troop numbers stand at 761k. I dont know Olivier's as we play with FOW on, which also means that the Soviet losses may not be totally accurate.




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Post #: 25
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/11/2013 9:48:53 PM   
Bonners


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August 5th - the Don bend races

...so the race is on. So much for my assaults by 11th army, the Soviets start to fall back out of the Don bend. I launch only a couple of minor attacks this turn to tidy up the lines, but in the main I just move forward again waiting to hopefully attack next turn depending on where Olivier retreats to.

17th army also continue their move up to the Don to the east of Rostov. As expected Olivier has not left me any weak spots so it will be a case of waiting for the infantry to take the river by force. the infantry elements also move south along the rail line. Again no assaults are made, but the first attacks will go in next turn. I expect a couple of bloody turns, but am then very hopeful that I will be able to outflank Rostov from the east and force Olivier to withdraw without ever having to fight for the place.

This turn I play my first ambition card and get a minor objective right on my front lines. Azov and Rostov were my objectives for this turn and my prestige had fallen to zero with the only objective left to take being Stalingrad by 8th September. I guess once Rostov falls then I will start to get the Caucasus objectives, which is why I'm convinced it is best to be across the Don in force before Rostov is taken. The reason for this being that I'll no doubt be given some tough timescales to try and take the objectives by and any advantage I can get on the start lines is most welcome.

Just an over view map this turn to show where the offensives are going to be launched from.




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Post #: 26
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/12/2013 7:50:23 PM   
Bonners


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7th August - still all quiet

Not a lot happening this turn, although my divisions are now beginning the attack on the lower Don around Rostov.

Well my first ambition card worked well, not only did I get the immediate uplift of 1 prestige I also got an objective on the frontlines, Bogutschar which the Romanians were able to take, so my prestige will be back up to two next turn.

Nothing really to report from 6th army, 11th army and 4th panzer army, they all continue to advance up the Don bend. I try a little attack with IIL corps on the last Russian units, just to see how much they are struggling, but I make no gains and lose a couple of tanks; I think I'll just keep following for now, eventually I'll begin to overtake them and be there in force hopefully.

There are further Soviet retreats in front of 1st panzer army, after my little experiment further north I dont try and take the river line on the run, but bring all my forces forward so the minor river will be assaulted by infantry next turn. There are some possibilities here as once the minor river is breached there is clear terrain beyond. My plan at the moment is for 1st panzer to head south. But I will be having a final think about that before I do as the rail line towards Stalingrad also looks tempting.

17th panzer meanwhile makes its first tentative steps on the rail line to Rostov. As expected it is messy and there is a bloody hold at Nowocherkask. I do take the hex to its immediate west though and move the infantry division and the Italian motorized division in to take it so there can be a stronger attack on Nowocherkask next turn. Defensive cards are played on both divisions in case of a Soviet counter attack.

SS Wiking and the Czech division make their first assault across the Don to the east, they dont follow up though; their task is to weaken the defences whilst I wait for the infantry to catch up and take the river in force. All the JU52s are now in the right area to supply over the river when breached. I have four JU52s in total.

A final point on this turn was the blooming great shock I got when the Soviet airforce appeared. I launched my usual air attacks by my fighters to clear the skies and was more than a little horrified when two of my near full strength and fully readied fighter units get pounced by three Soviet fighter units and lose 25 aircraft to no Soviet loses....eeeek!!! I will be having revenge at some point.

At the moment I am trying to taunt Olivier into holding the line. My latest tactic is to complain about the Russian troops singing their retreat songs sounding like wailing banshees...so far he has not fallen for it




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Post #: 27
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/12/2013 10:00:24 PM   
Bonners


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17th Army - the Lower Don

A quick update on the rest of the front where the advance continues unopposed. I am at the stage now where I am thinking of resting troops due to the continued full scale marches every turn. The only thing keeping me going is the thought that Olivier's troops are probably suffering more than mine in their retreat.

I am slightly surprised that Olivier gives up another river line without a fight in front of 1st panzer army, their roads are really beginning to open up. I guess it was the right thing to do as any delay would have incurred Soviet losses at a scale that was too high I guess. There are still two bridges down so supply is suffering at the moment, therefore the JU52s go up in force to replenish 1st panzer army.

Meanwhile the real action is contained in a tiny pocket on the Don around Rostov. Firstly my fighter pilots gain a measure of revenge for their losses last turn, as this turn it is large numbers of Soviet pilots that are shot down in flames... Luftwaffe honour is restored!

SS Wiking and the Czech division continue their battering of the Don defences, meanwhile more 17th army infantry divisions are joining them, so a forced crossing will be made next turn, or possibly the one after that depending on the state of the infantry next turn.

Olivier is obviously fully aware of the threat to Rostov from the rail lines and 125th infantry along with their supporting Italians are counter-attacked in full force by several Soviet units. Despite heavy losses on both sides, with the help of the defensive cards played they hold on to give me the important three sided attack on Nowocherkask. With the help of an attack card played by Raus of 17th army the offensive succeeds and Nowocherkask falls. I can feel the door to the Caucasus opening just a little touch for the first time.

But Olivier's attacks and subsequent retreat has given me an opportunity and the Luftwaffe scrambles every available bomber and dive bomber to take on the Soviet forces. The Soviet retreating forces take the greatest battering, but all along the line of the lower Don every Soviet tank unit is also targeted. I should be able to get most of the dive bombers up again for one more turn before they need a rest, so I am hopeful that I may break the river line next turn and leave Olivier's mobile forces in too poor a state to mount a substantial counter-attack.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/13/2013 8:14:59 PM   
Bonners


Posts: 470
Joined: 8/24/2012
From: Stockport, UK
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11th August - Bring me Sunshine

From comments from Olivier, it would appear that the Soviet forces would be quite happy to see a little bit of mud. My response is that the Germans have a special sunshine song from Morecambe and Wise which will ensure plenty more sunny turns

Anyway, these Soviet taunts of Olivier seem to be getting further away as I cant catch up to the Russians. There is no attacks this turn apart from around Rostov and it is just a case of continuing the advance through the Don bend probing for any weaknesses. Supply becomes a bit of an issue for 1st Panzer Army this turn, mainly due to the two blown bridges. The JU52s work over time to get the bulk of supply to the troops.

17th army take a couple more hexes in the swamp lands to the east of Rostov, but it is slow going. At least from next turn the infantry is all in place and the attacks can continue. Olivier obviously intends to fight hard for the lower Don as I have counted elements of at least three tank corps ready to counter attack my crossings.

I launch more air assaults and although I have some success it is noticeable that the dive bombers really struggle on their second turn of use. Because of that I hold a few dive bomber units back to get up to full readiness next turn.

Talking of the air war, Olivier has done a good job of re-building the Soviet air power. My fighter numbers are dropping rapidly and my fighters are quite often intercepted by two to three Soviet air groups leading to roughly equal losses again this turn. I need the cover for my bombers, so another air card will have to be played next turn.

As there has been no real movement I have just loaded up an over view map showing the very rough boundary lines for my armies.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/13/2013 10:00:37 PM   
Bonners


Posts: 470
Joined: 8/24/2012
From: Stockport, UK
Status: offline
13th August - remember 5th tank army?

Ah yes, my fond old friends from Voronezh days. I was just thinking how nice it would be to meet them again when Olivier pulls them out the hat.

On the north side of the Don bend I open my turn to see that all elements of XXXX corps have been thrown back with heavy casualties. Olivier has been rebuilding his forces and elements of 5th tank army and 46th army counter attack in force, there are three tank corps and one motorized division along with other supporting units. Firstly there is a mass air battle and Olivier launches his bombers under the protective umbrella of his fighters. Fortunately for me my fighters are still doing a decent enough job and his fighters take some casualties and his bomber forces mostly end up shot down in flames.

But Olivier still drives his attack home with full force. 3rd panzer takes the first blow and is driven back in some disarray. Then Olivier follows up the attack and almost takes out both 3rd panzer and 29th motorized. They are both shells by the end of the attack and clinging on by their fingernails. Not content with this an independent tank brigade also drives back XXXX HQ.

Unfortunately there is not too much I can do about it as the heavens finally open and I am presented with a mud turn. I can do no more than retreat XXXX corps so that fresher units can come up to support them. The only consolation I have is that Olivier seems to be making a stand and with most of 11th army and 4th panzer army now caught up I may be able to give his units a bloody nose in return next turn.

Further south 1st panzer army begin to make their way to the lower Don, again I am looking for something very unlikely - an easy crossing. Difficult to say so far, but it looks like Olivier has all major crossing points very well protected, so it is going to have to be another bloody crossing for 1st panzer.




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