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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier

 
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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/22/2013 5:34:12 PM   
Bonners


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18th September - Soviet counter moves

I guess I should've expected Olivier to take the opportunity to attack. When it came it was far worse that I expected and a panzer division and a motorized division are virtually wiped off the map. I am presuming he must've used the care card from Zhukov to breach the gap between my forces and still have enough APs to attack in force, maybe that combined with an attack card if he has a decent general in that area.

Anyway, a picture tells a thousand words, bye bye panzers....




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/22/2013 5:47:11 PM   
Bonners


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20th September - back to halt.

On this turn Olivier had managed to withdraw his tank corps back out of harms way and all I am left with is two measly infantry brigades to attack back with. I hastily send them back to where the ycame, but do not advance as I start to reorganise my forces north of Stalingrad to prepare for more heavy fighting against the Soviet armoured concentrations building up.

In Stalingrad itself I take one more hex just to the south of the city - another fortification, but that is about it.

In 17th army's sector there is only one attack made and that is to the east of Krasnodar, it is not successful though, too much reliance placed on minor allies. Apart from that the whole sector goes quiet as both me and Olivier gradually build up to the next attack.

I dont waste my divebombers or level bombers this turn as there is little in the way of targets so the majority of them get a rest and refit turn.

Just an overview of the whole front this turn as there has been no major movement.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/22/2013 10:00:40 PM   
Bonners


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20th September - more Soviet offensive moves against Stalingrad

This turn I was faced with more Soviet attacks to the north of Stalingrad. This time it is massed infantry along with their supporting tanks and artillery who dig a huge chunk into the German lines with another two German regiments burnt out.

Next to it I've also shown a detail of the map of the Stalingrad area just to show the strong Soviet mobile forces that are beginning to gather to the north. It is just about decision time for the Axis as to whether to call a halt to the offensive.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/22/2013 10:44:29 PM   
Bonners


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22nd September - Stalingrad - decision time on the Volga

Crazy, crazy couple of turns and it was about to get a whole lot bloodier. But, there is reasoning behind the madness on several levels. Firstly, every Russian tank I take out now is one less I have to face come the winter, this is quite important as if I can keep German troops defending all along the line then I have a chance of holding on.

Secondly though, and far more important, is the crisis I am suffering in prestige. I currently have two prestige and my most important objectives are Stalingrad by 10th October for 10 prestige and Krasnodar by 28th September for 8 prestige. Okay, worse case scenario, I dont take either of them. With them spread apart that means that I have to play the more time or ambition cards at least twice to survive. To be honest (and until it happens I wont know) I dont think it will be possible. My current situation is that I have to pay 25pps for the ambition card and 33 for the more time card. I should be able to afford one of them once, but depending on which it is (i.e. if I play the more time card if I know I will take the objectives) then that could be it. So that would mean it would be game over by 18th October.

So, do I want to perhaps survive on the off chance that I might be able to afford the cards, or do I go down fighting trying desperately to take my objectives? I think the only solution is to fight on and hope that somewhere in the carnage the last German standing will raise the flag over Stalingrad.

I have to say the prestige and cards, especially with the dismissal rule on are what makes this game a great historical simulation. I know there are certain points that arent quite historical and yes the OOB should have this or that unit withdrawn or added sooner, but the most important point is that with the high command rules in play it really does give the correct feel of the campaign. There is no way I would want to fight the bloody battles I am if I wasnt under any kind of high command pressure, but with that pressure I have to keep on the attack at whatever the cost.

....and on that note.....

...carnage.... utter, utter carnage!

To the north of Stalingrad with Olivier's counter attacks last turn I actually have a sniff of his armoured units as some of them are near enough to hopefully cause some damage. On the previous turn I transferred all my fighters and divebombers from the Kuban back into the Stalingrad region. So it is time to take the Soviets on in the air again. It has to be said that the results of the fighter battles were definitely in Olivier's favour again. I managed to launch an attack on one of his fighter bases this turn which made the overall losses in my favour, but still no where near enough to turn the tide.

What this does mean is that I am able to have a clear run at Olivier's mechanized and tank corps to the north. It is not often I will get this kind of chance. my normal rule is to only use the divebombers with readiness in the 90s, but I wont be getting freedom in the skies for a long time again. So every single bomber of any description attacks this turn whatever their readiness for it. Overall losses are too difficult to keep track of now but I am definitely pleased with the amount of damage I cause his mobile troops.

Next it is the turn of LI corps to launch another assault. I am 50/50 on this one but decide to try and keep the pressure on for one last turn. Unfortunately the assault fails and they probably wont be able to attack again for at least another two turns.

11th army has more success though and a push his made by 50th division out of Pitomik airfield which takes them up to the edge of Stalingrad - they are aided in this by an attack card played by Manstein. It is going to be very close as divisions are gradually getting burnt out, but one more hex will allow me to start the assault on Stalingrad itself. If only LI corps had managed to take their hex I could be looking at beginning the assault in two more turns. I still think my chances of taking it are remote, but I am definitely in with a chance.

...and so onto the whirling maelstrom of death that is the steppe north of Stalingrad. I am not here to gain any ground or any wide sweeping gestures, all I am trying to do is to keep the Soviet mobile forces concentrated away from my infantry so they can concentrate on the street fighting.

I take a couple more hexes and the Soviet losses are awful, but then I try and take on the mobile divisions and I come to a bloody halt as my forces are torn apart by the massed ranks of Russian anti tank guns and T34s. I am quite pleased with the amount of losses caused though.

I am also bringing up two divisions from 1st panzer army. They are going to stay on the rail lines in reserve and will only commit to the attack if needed.

Looking through I do still have some fairly fresh divisions, so I am not quite done yet. The attack will continue.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/22/2013 11:01:53 PM   
Bonners


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22nd September - Krasnodar

After the carnage of Stalingrad Krasnodar doesnt seem quite so hard. Yet it is still a long road to take it over hard ground. This turn I take two more hexes and move within a turn or two of assaulting the town...it is definitely going to go down to the wire as to whether I take it or not.

Apart from that it is a fairly quiet turn in this area as I cautiously move up to follow the retreating Soviet units, knowing that they are more than capable of biting back.

Finally a note on casualties. I'll try and give a rough idea, but this is one aspect of the game I would change. Once you get to this stage of the game it is very difficult to read the statistics charts, it would be great if they were made zoom-able in some way

Anyway, losses continue to mount horrifically on both sides and most of those casualties seem to be in one small area. As far as I can tell overall Soviet casualties now stand at roughly 580k and total Axis casualties at 218k. Total tank losses are 1485 for the Axis and approx. 2550. Fighter losses for the Axis are now 550 and Soviet losses are up to 725.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 12:17:06 PM   
Bonners


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22nd September - Stalingrad, Soviet counter attacks

Olivier is obviously fighting to the last to the north of Stalingrad trying to bring more time to the defenders. This turn there are three main attacks. In my bridgehead to the north of the Don, as expected Olivier launches his strong forces onto the attack. 3rd Panzer division of XXXX corps is driven violently back before it is pursued by Soviet tank forces and just manages to hold its ground. I have fairly fresh divisions in this area though, so intend to fight back.

Again Olivier's mechanized and tank corps try and push me back north of Stalingrad, but this time it is a bloody hold for the Germans. My troops are ground down again, but I am happy to see that the Soviet losses are higher. Now to see what I can do about it.....




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 12:30:42 PM   
Bonners


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24th September - Stalingrad a taster of things to come

It was bloody.....




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 1:02:01 PM   
Bonners


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24th September - Stalingrad - forcing the Soviets back to the Volga

Although my losses have been very high, I am beginning to wonder what Olivier's winter offensive force looks like. So far I have been in action with four tank corps and one mechanized corps in the Stalingrad area, there is another tank corps pushing on in the south flank (overview of the Caucasus to follow), and there are at least two tank corps on the offensive around Armavir. If I can hold my nerve and keep him in check now then I may be in a better position to hold out in the winter.

....and I am causing damage.

My turn around Stalingrad opens with another turn of the air offensive. I think Olivier made my mistake last turn of being slightly over confident and not expecting an assault by my fighters. I expect him to be ready for me this turn but I know I need another turn at least of my bombers grinding down his armour. It is very messy again in the air and my fighters are not able to clear the skies of Soviet fighters. Knowing the losses will be steep I still feel it is worth while making another all out effort on the Soviet mobile force though. Overall I would say it is about honours even, I have hopefully blunted Olivier's offensive capability some more, but about 50% of my bomber attacks are intercepted by Soviet fighters.

I had already made the decision that apart from on the bridgehead north of the Don I would not be taking on the Soviet tanks head on, but would continue to clear the strip of land in front of Stalingrad, I want the defenders to feel the Volga on their backs.

In the bridgehead Olivier has pushed on a little too far I feel and I am able to gather the two panzer divisions and motorized division of XXXX corps to counter attack in force. The lead Soviet tanks are forced back and I continue the attack on the rest of the Soviet tanks. Although I dont take the hex I feel it was mainly due to a lack of movement as the Soviet losses were far higher than mine.

Moving swiftly south, LI corps swap out one of the assaulting divisions and launch another attack on the hex immediately south of Stalingrad. Again they fail, but I am kind of pleased as I feel the attrition is definitely working in my favour. The main reason for failure is the depletion of artillery stocks, so they will be taking a turn to replenish supplies (maybe two turns) before going back on the attack.

Next up is the offensive to clear the last western approaches to Stalingrad. I play a speed card on 22nd infantry division and the relatively fresh 24th panzer division and they seep along causing carnage to the Soviet infantry caught out in the open. Three hexes are taken pushing north. Finally with the use of the speed cards I make one more attack against elements of 1st mechanized corps. The attack doesnt succeed, but a couple of the retreating Soviet infantry regiments are wiped off the map and I cause enough damage to make me think it was worthwhile pushing on.

Finally I bring up more fresh reinforcements from 1st panzer army. 60th motorized and 22nd panzer division move into place to deal with any further Soviet counter attacks.

In conclusion, taken in conjunction with Olivier's counter attacks, I can see the barest glimmer of light that I will actually take Stalingrad, it all depends on how much longer Olivier is prepared to commit his armour. If he goes back on the attack I think his losses will be horrific next turn, but I will have to use the bombers for a third successive turn which means the Luftwaffe will be severely depleted as well.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 1:14:35 PM   
Bonners


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24th September - Caucasus overview

Away from Stalingrad the front really has stagnated and I am now becoming more pessimistic that Krasnodar will not be taken in time.

I make one frontal attack, again using minor allies which fails again. Another German infantry division is being brought in to help take the city. To the east and west I do ford the Kuban but make no attacks as I am proceeding cautiously. I am hopefully that with my increased air activity in the Stalingrad region I will be able to use air supply for these units.

Further east Olivier attacks around Armavir with at least two tank corps. I am not too worried at this stage, but an attack back by German infantry fails to throw them back. I have sufficient reserves in this area to cover though.

Finally another Soviet tank corps moves up directly south of Stalingrad where infantry from 1st panzer army are covering. I'm not strong enough here to deal with it, so the infantry move back and Leibstandarte moves down to cover any possible Russian attack.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 3:23:47 PM   
Bonners


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26th September - all sides stop

There is a distinct lack of activity from Olivier this turn as his tank corps obviously need a rest as much as my infantry and mobile divisions. When I get to my turn there are no tank units in sight to attack as they are hiding behind a wall of infantry. Although it is tempting to attack again I take the opportunity to take a breather and reorganise my units, replenish supplies and regain readiness. there arent even any attack on the Stalingrad hexes this turn as I decide to give all those troops a chance to rest too - particularly the artillery units.

There is some movement in the Caucasus; on the western flank Olivier is starting to withdraw his forces from Krasnodar but even though I get a three sided attack I am unable to take the town. I ma confident it will fall next turn though. Further east a couple of Olivier's tank corps make a mess of a couple more infantry regiments though. I am still not too worried as I have a fresh panzer division in the area and decide to withdraw slightly from Armavir this turn to see if Olivier would like to stretch his arm a bit more.

With it being a quiet turn this is probably a good time to reflect on casualties overall. The last few turns have not been kind to either side. Here were the figures on 14th September:

Overall Axis troops - 740k
Total tanks - 1460
Fighters 220
Dive bombers 210
Level bombers 600

Total losses 180k
Tank losses 1200
Fighter losses 450
Divebomber losses 290
Level bomber 410

Soviet total losses 520k
Tank losses 2050
Fighter losses 600
Dive bomber 120
Level bomber 110

Now, after 12 days of tough fighting, what do these figure look like now:

Overall Axis troops - 707k - down 33k
Total tanks - 1160 - down 300
Fighters 190 - down 30
Dive bombers 175 - down 35
Level bombers 595 - down 15

Total losses 239k - 59k in 12 days!!!!!
Tank losses 1645 - 425 in 12 days
Fighter losses 570 120 in 12 days
Divebomber losses 340 - 50 in 12 days
Level bomber 505 - 95 in 12 days

Now Soviet losses in the last 12 days, bearing in mind FOW is on for statistics

Soviet total losses 620k - 100k in 12 days
Tank losses 2735 - 685 in 12 days
Fighter losses 735 - 135 in 12 days
Dive bomber 160 - 40 in 12 days
Level bomber 135 - 25 in 12 days

What that tells me is that to keep the Soviet tank losses high I need to suffer losses myself from the Soviet fighters as it is my bombers that cause the most damage. Whichever way you look at it, it has been pretty horrific attrition for both sides.





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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 4:04:14 PM   
Bismarck2761

 

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Keep it coming!!!!!

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 4:09:21 PM   
Bonners


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28th September - destruction of the Luftwaffe

I open my turn to find that Olivier has been very busy with the red air force this turn and the Luftwaffe basically ceases to be as a going concern. Olivier launches every single plane he can get his hands on and launches wave after wave of attack on the German airfields surrounding Stalingrad. The Luftwaffe pilots are caught napping and airfield after airfield is attacked with rows of planes lined up for dispersal. The Soviet losses are negligible and as an offensive force the Luftwaffe is no more and probably wont be for a good while yet. Even as a defensive force it will be a good while before I am able to use the fighters effectively.

In total I shoot down 85 Soviet planes, mainly fighters, but 170 Luftwaffe fighters, bombers and supply planes are destroyed. the losses are catastrophic, there is no other word for it. All my remaining units are withdrawn to the west to at least make the job more difficult if Olivier tries to follow up his attacks.

I decide to take the turn to further rest most units in Stalingrad whilst I build a plan of attack based on no aircraft, it is going to be slow going.

In the Caucasus although there is really no fighting I continue to advance and the best new of the turn is that Olivier has evacuated Krasnodar. This is good in that it immediately frees up the German troops for better tasks and more importantly I have just managed to take the place and grab the prestige points. This means that I dont have to waste any more pps on ambition or more time cards for a while -at least until the deadline passes for Stalingrad anyway.

Apart from that the front is still mainly quiet apart from some minor sparing.

No map update this turn as apart from Krasnodar the front basically looks the same.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 7:29:32 PM   
Isokron

 

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If you still plan to try for stalingrad you should push a regiment or two over the volga in the south so you get a four sided attack on the southernmost hex, then try to get the same setup in the north which should finally lead to a four sided attack on the central city hex.

Krasnodar you should just surround rather than trying to force a frontal assault.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 7:29:42 PM   
Bonners


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30th September - Stalingrad

This turn I move forward to a new defensive line north of Stalingrad, playing defence cards on all the troops I can. I reckon there is a 50/50 chance that Olivier will go back on the counter attack. Well if he does I am ready as my panzer divisions are now rested behind the frontlines ready to take on any Russian units that stick their necks out too far.

In Stalingrad Manstein plays a freedom card on one of the subordinate corps and strikes out to take the next hex north of Stalingrad. It is another bloody failed assault though. One Russian unit managed to hold on. Casualty wise it is in my favour, but I need these hexes now. It is a similar story in the south where LI corps goes back on the attack, another bloody hold, although only just this turn. Depending on the state of forces next turn, I may have to wait another turn before launching the next attacks.

On that point, with the taking of Krasnodar I no longer have to hoard quite so many pps, so I use some up on an infantry card and get 7600 infantry from OKH. I put all the assaulting divisions around Stalingrad onto priority so hopefully they should replenish a bit next turn.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/23/2013 7:42:00 PM   
Bonners


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30th September - 17th army

In this sector I cant quite decide who is in the ascendancy as we both seem to be sparing with each other and getting the upper hand in various parts of the front.

Around Armavir it is definitely the Soviets with the upper hand and they push my infantry back again. However, I have now concentrated stronger forces here and intend going back on the attack next turn.

Olivier continues his retreat from Krasnodar though and although 16th motorized manages to push some Soviet units back I am not going to win the race to the mountain passes. I'll keep on pushing though to see what happens.

To the west Wiking continues to push into the Taman, almost reaching the port, I have reinforced them with the motorized brigade and various Romanian units. I have no idea what is going to happen in this region, but intend to keep pushing until I come up against a brick wall of Russian infantry, which I suspect wont be long.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/25/2013 11:55:04 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Isokron

If you still plan to try for stalingrad you should push a regiment or two over the volga in the south so you get a four sided attack on the southernmost hex, then try to get the same setup in the north which should finally lead to a four sided attack on the central city hex.

Krasnodar you should just surround rather than trying to force a frontal assault.


Just seen this. I managed what you suggested around Krasnodar and caused Olivier to withdraw.

As for Stalingrad....hmmmmm....

TO be honest I keep thinking about going across the Volga, but I have a couple of worries which keep stopping me. I dont think I'm strong enough in the north, but it could be an idea in the south. The main issue I have is that I need to get supply to the units across the river and once Olivier sees them coming he'll be ready for them and able to have a turkey shoot against my JU52s - if I dont get enough supply then they wont have enough APs to attack across the river. It is a risky idea, but it could be the risk will pay off?

Any ideas on how I actually achieve it? Shove one regiment over the river. Providing no counter attacks they should be able to attack from the next turn. But if Olivier counter attacks then they will be lost as I presume I'll not be able to retreat them back over the Volga.


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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/25/2013 7:20:03 PM   
Bonners


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2nd October - first Stalingrad hex falls

When I open the turn I am greeted by mud, we are well and truly into the Soviet Autumn now. As things were coming to a halt anyway I suspend offensive operations for the turn apart from in Stalingrad itself.

Olivier has been busy with his airforce again. As mine are fighting purely defensively the advantage again swings in my favour. Olivier is after the artillery groups surrounding Stalingrad, but my only losses appear to have been trucks and a lot of Soviet bombers being shot down.. I tried to add up the actual numbers of German flak guns in the area but after about the third attempt I gave up, suffice to say there are lots of them and they appear to be doing their job.

I decide to attack to the north and south of Stalingrad again, both are risky but I am hopeful that at least one of the hexes will fall. LI corps go on the attack first and they have recently been reinforced by all the divisional artillery from 2nd army. It proves enough and I get the first Volga hex next to the Stalingrad objective itself, I am hopeful that the mud and general lack of readiness in Olivier's infantry means the hex holds.

With that hex taken I suspend the attack in the north and give the artillery another turn to replenish stockpiles.

...and that is it for the turn. There has been no movement in the Caucasus and with the precarious level of supply until I get the bridges and rail net up and running I dont move forward much either. The main activity is the Ju52s taking advantage of the rain to supply the forward units.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/26/2013 8:54:47 AM   
jonny211

 

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Keep it up Bonners, I'd like to see Stalingrad fall for the first time.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/26/2013 9:19:24 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jonny211

Keep it up Bonners, I'd like to see Stalingrad fall for the first time.



Cheers Jon, the trouble is with the Luftwaffe virtually inactive I dont know what reserves Olivier has in the area. I'll have to wait for tonight to see what troops he has put in Stalingrad before I make a decision on whether a three sided attack is worthwhile or whether I have to take the hexes to the north first to get a four sided attack.

One advantage the Germans have is the use of 11th army, which obviously they didnt have in the real campaign. As far as I can tell some of the infantry divisions were distributed to other armies on the southern front, but all the heavy artillery was transferred north for the proposed attack on Leningrad. It has been really helpful especially as the Luftwaffe is far less effective with the Russian airforce having control of the skies. What I have also done is temporarily transferred all the artillery units down form 2nd army so I can keep a rolling barrage going turn after turn.

It is going to be a close run thing, but I am hopeful I am strong enough to hold Olivier off to the north long enough to take it.

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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/26/2013 6:54:09 PM   
Bonners


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4th October - Stalingrad - edging closer

Oh how I wish I still had some of them lovely planes to be helping out. I just cant take the chance at the moment. I reckon I have one more turn of attacking left in my bombers and I need to pick it very carefully.

This turn I decide to sacrifice some units north of Stalingrad. Olivier has built up 3 tank corps, a mechanized corps, two motorized divisions and lots of artillery and Katusyas. If I leave them be they will fall on my infantry who I need to attack Stalingrad itself. So I take the decision to push on and try and disrupt Olivier's offensive preparations. I'm not too sure what I've achieved as without the Luftwaffe I cant do the real damage to the Soviet tanks. I suspect that I'm in for a bloody awakening next turn when Olivier launches his tanks. To that end I have moved up 3rd panzer and 29th motorized from XXXX corps to just behind the lines. I'm hoping that if Olivier does attack he will go a hex too far and I may be able to cause some damage to his offensive units. Whatever happens it is going to get messy again though.

In Stalingrad itself, 11th Army continue their assault on the northern part of the city and take another hex. In the south I thought for ages about LI corps and eventually decided it was worth attacking. Although I didnt take the hex I did break a couple more Soviet regiments. Again a decision will be made next turn as to whether I attack again or have another replenishment turn.

Directly to the South of Stalingrad I have gathered the 1st panzer army tanks to push the Russians back. Again, I probably wont be advancing far, but I just want to push any offensive forces of Olivier's back the way they came. the attack in the south is far more successful and I manage to just about wipe out one of Olivier's tank corps. Whatever happens it has given me some breathing space in the south as Olivier doesnt really have any offensive forces here now.




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/26/2013 7:04:23 PM   
Bonners


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4th October - Caucasus

Again there is no real movement in the Caucasus as Olivier's lines start to solidify again. I knew he wouldnt, but I had a vague hope he may leave me a mountain pass open, unfortunately it was not to be and I will have to take each hex deliberately and slowly. In the western mountains I dont attack this turn but start to move my forces forward to get ready to relaunch the assault form next turn. The main thing happening on this sector is the engineers getting the bridges fixed around Krasnodar, so supply should start to flow from next turn.

On that point I noticed that OKH had rather a surplus of Romanian engineers. I have therefore made a couple of engineer units to sit on the bridges in case the Russians try and interdict my supply with a bridge bombing campaign. Now if somebody can tell me what to do with the Italian aircraft and Wehrmacht 75mm anti tank guns I'd be grateful!

Further east, now my forces have gathered I start to attack towards Armavir. I move into the suburbs and I think my forces should be strong enough to now trying to flank Olivier in this region.




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(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 81
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/26/2013 9:05:01 PM   
Bonners


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6th October - Stalingrad holds

I am beginning to think I wont take Stalingrad and if so things are beginning to look a little bit dicey.

Two bits of bad news this turn. Firstly I lose 7 prestige by not being able to take the two minor objectives in the Caucasus - I'm about to lose another one as well.

Secondly, as expected Olivier counter attacks, but his forces are getting far stronger than I thought. Another infantry and panzer regiment are completely wrecked and I have no choice but to suspend all offensive operations north of Stalingrad, the Soviets are now far stronger than me in this region, especially as I have no air cover left.

I make one more attempt at Stalingrad itself and the hex north. Both attacks fail miserably and the balance of losses is now running in the Soviet's favour. Next turn I wont be attacking and intend to rest all troops in the Stalingrad area. I wanted to see if one more push would do it but I was not even close.

Now, as I said things are getting dicey. The reason being that I am going to play an infantry replacement card for the troops around Stalingrad (either next turn or the turn after). But, I only have those two turns to take Stalingrad. So if I dont I will be down to zero prestige and probably unable to afford a card to get me back above zero. I think the gamble is worth it though as if I take Stalingrad I will immediately get an uplift of 10 prestige.

To the south of Stalingrad 1st panzer army continue their attack with speed cards played on the two attacking panzer divisions. They both breakthrough again and cause some more havoc to the Soviet defenders. I may even end up encircling a few troops, but if I do that will be the extent of the attack. From next turn they will be pulling back as their job is done and there are no further objectives in that direction.

Apart from that it is all quiet again in the Caucasus with only minor gains made. The German infantry south of Krasnodar try and push on, but dont manage to break the Soviet line and there are a couple of holds - this despite 17th army playing a freedom card. There is more success though for the Romanians pushing through the mountain pass to the west and they have almost broken through. I dont have enough recon though to know what is hiding next in line as I fully expect Olivier to have reserves in the area.

Around Armavir I go on the attack and push Olivier's forces back either side of the town, but I am not strong enough to actually push on and take the hexes, especially as I discover that Olivier has another two tank corps in the area.




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(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 82
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 9:06:08 AM   
Vic


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Excellent AAR Bonners!

As i mentioned earlier these sort of AARs are excellent input for making further fine-tunings to the grand campaign.

I feel like things are quite balanced as they currently stand, but one thing that still might require some small changes or at least a scenario variant to play with more realistic settings is oil use. Could you maybe post an oil reserves statistic for me?

Ohh.. and some small advice: are you placing your flak units on your airfields to help defend your aircraft there against any enemy airfield strikes?

best,
Vic

< Message edited by Vic -- 2/27/2013 9:07:27 AM >


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(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 83
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 9:48:02 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic

Excellent AAR Bonners!

As i mentioned earlier these sort of AARs are excellent input for making further fine-tunings to the grand campaign.

I feel like things are quite balanced as they currently stand, but one thing that still might require some small changes or at least a scenario variant to play with more realistic settings is oil use. Could you maybe post an oil reserves statistic for me?

Ohh.. and some small advice: are you placing your flak units on your airfields to help defend your aircraft there against any enemy airfield strikes?

best,
Vic


Cheers Vic, will post up the oil reserves when I get home. I havent had a problem with oil though, the main problem advancing through the Caucasus is lack of supply, especially in mud turns where there is no rail network.

Ahh, flak units on airfields. That is a good idea, probably a bit late now having no Luftwaffe left, but will enable me to put a couple of fighters units back nearer the frontlines. I also have a load of flak units sitting idle in OKH, so could've built some more Excuse me while I go and bang my head against a brick wall for not thinking of that sooner!

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 84
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 12:11:30 PM   
Isokron

 

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That mountain pass you are going down has no road so there will be no supply going through there. If you push on any longer you will probably not have enough readiness to even be able to back out again. Sorry Oliver if this sabotage a deliberate trap you had set for Bonners :)

(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 85
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 12:44:37 PM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Isokron

That mountain pass you are going down has no road so there will be no supply going through there. If you push on any longer you will probably not have enough readiness to even be able to back out again. Sorry Oliver if this sabotage a deliberate trap you had set for Bonners :)


I've been using the Ju52s to get supply to them. All I have to do is get out the other side which should enable my forces further west to breakthrough, I hope!

(in reply to Isokron)
Post #: 86
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 3:43:29 PM   
Vic


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Joined: 5/17/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bonners


quote:

ORIGINAL: Isokron

That mountain pass you are going down has no road so there will be no supply going through there. If you push on any longer you will probably not have enough readiness to even be able to back out again. Sorry Oliver if this sabotage a deliberate trap you had set for Bonners :)


I've been using the Ju52s to get supply to them. All I have to do is get out the other side which should enable my forces further west to breakthrough, I hope!


lol. but novorossisk is a harbour. you might need to do a sevastopol/kerch approach here using artillery and air cover on the sealanes supplying it.


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(in reply to Bonners)
Post #: 87
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 6:36:48 PM   
Bonners


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8th October -initiative passing to the Soviets

The stark truth is that the Soviets are now the force that can attack at will. All across the front Olivier is able to use his tank corps to attack with impunity and then retreat them behind his attacking infantry before I can get back at them. This is where having no bomber force is really hurting I cant get behind the lines to do any damage and they are staying relatively fresh.

No map update this turn as there has been no real movement. North of Stalingrad Olivier pummels my panzers and pushed them back, I move forward again and take the attack back to him, but dont really manage to do enough damage to be of worth.

Also this turn two more attacks are launched against Stalingrad, again both fail.

In the Caucasus there is no real movement, but Olivier repeats his trick against my panzer divisions around Armavir, pushing me back and then hiding his tanks behind the front lines as my counter attacks are wasted on his infantry.

Next turn is crunch time as it is the deadline for the fall of Stalingrad. If I dont take it then I have a choice of cards to play. Either the ambition card (25pp) or the more time card (33pp), both of which I can afford as I currently have 33pp which I wanted to use to get some infantry replacements.

If I was guaranteed not to have Stalingrad as an objective again then I would definitely play the ambition card, but after the original deadline for Stalingrad passed I immediately got it as a more expensive objective (10 prestige as opposed to 8). If that is going to happen then I guess I'm going to have to play the more time card and keep pushing on. The trouble is with that it only gives me two more turns to take it which is still not definite.

I certainly have a bit of dilemma and if I dont get it right the game could finish very early with a dismissal for me. The other factor to consider is that I probably only have about two more attacks left in my troops. I have just moved up my last fresh infantry units and darent take any more from elsewhere.

I also think that Olivier will be getting ready for a general offensive far sooner than the actual Uranus as his forces are getting very powerful in the Caucasus and around Stalingrad. I only hope that he has stripped the rest of his front.

Basically I really want to be going onto the defensive very soon, but could really do with Stalingrad to anchor the line and also due to the prestige dilemma as presented above.

Whatever happens, I think it is fair to say that the initiative has irrevocably passed to Olivier's Soviet forces and the sooner I can start preparing defensive lines the better.

As I said, no real movement so no map update, instead I've presented a few statistics showing the state of my forces.




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< Message edited by Bonners -- 2/27/2013 7:19:19 PM >

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Post #: 88
RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 9:01:21 PM   
Bonners


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10th October - Case Blue has failed

...and so this is the end of the great German offensive in the East for 1942. I make a couple of half hearted attacks in the Caucasus but dont really achieve anything. What is worse is that around Armavir Olivier has gone onto the offensive and his tank corps cause havoc to another one of my panzer divisions. His forces are getting too strong in this area and I decide to start falling back.

At Stalingrad I make one last attack against the city with no real expectation of success. Again it is a blood failure and with the OKH deadline for taking the city now having passed it is time to suspend offensive operations.

I really needed Stalingrad to act as a buffer for my prestige as it currently stands at five. The reality now is that I wont be able to play another replacement card this game, I am reliant on what OKH gives me each turn. The reason for this is that the only way for me to continue the game is to continue playing the ambition card. I will have to play it for the first time in the next couple of turns as my prestige goes to zero for failing to take Stalingrad, that will cost me 25pps. After that it will just go up and up. If you look at my objectives on the insert on the map, you will see that I have regular objectives coming up that will make me have to play the ambition card again each time to survive. Of course the ambition card also creates its own problems, as my strategic position is at 10, each time I play it I will get another objective that I will not be able to take. There will come a point where I just cant afford it and at that point I will be dismissed.

Anyway, that is the reality I have to live with now. So, bearing all that in mind, what do I do next to prepare for defence?

The first thing is to make a decision about Stalingrad. It is possible for me to assault it again and if I do get it as another objective next turn I will save up and then re-launch the attack. The reason for this is that it is the only objective I am near to and have a chance of grabbing some prestige and staving off dismissal. The other reason is, that it will help me solidify my defence line.

To the north of Stalingrad I am seriously thinking of gradually pulling back out of my northern Don bridgehead, the Soviet forces are just getting too strong to hold on, it will shorten my line and give me the possibility of using the Don for defence.

Next up is 1st panzer army area. I still have some strong panzer divisions in this area, and depending on how things go in the Stalingrad area, if I dont go for Stalingrad again I will withdraw some infantry to this area to enable the panzers to go into reserve.

As mentioned, in the Caucasus I have already begun to pull back around Armavir and depending on how strong Olivier's offensive is, I may pull all the way back to the Kuban line and defend from behind the river.

Of course the worse thing about the whole defensive strategy is the lack of air cover. I have 150 fighters including some Italians. They cannot make a dent in the overwhelming Russian numbers as things stand. So I withdraw all fighter units completely to the west and take them off intercept. They will be completely rested now until the main Soviet offensive starts. Then I will only use them on selected parts of the front to try and halt some of the Soviet air attacks.

So all in all it is a pretty dire situation, especially the lack of air cover and no prestige to play with.

However.....


...there are some bright sparks on the horizon. I still have 685k troops and I also have a greater number of tanks that the actual start of Uranus. Add in the fact that I'm fairly certain I'm not about to get surrounded - even if Olivier does well in the north he has no troops for a southern pincer - then those troops numbers should actually start to go up once the German reinforcements start hitting in November and December.

The other thing is that whilst having a strategic position of 10 is annoying, it does mean that I have quite a lot of withdrawing to do before I get anywhere near the dreaded no step back order.

So all in all, the game is not totally lost - I still currently have the victory points for a minor victory - and I think I have a chance of holding on.

I have lost the offensive game, but a new and very different game is about to start.

Bring on Uranus Mark II




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RE: Case Blue Don Waltz - Bonners (axis) vs Olivier - 2/27/2013 9:32:40 PM   
Bonners


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12 October - I wonder what lovely new objective OKH will give me?

Stalingrad of course....for the third time!

Anyway, no map to show this turn as I have launched no attacks as I carry on re-organising my defensive lines so the map hasnt changed from last turn. The only difference is that I pull all my troops back one hex to the north of Stalingrad to shorten the line.

As expected my prestige is now at zero so I will have to play the ambition card within the next three turns to avoid dismissal.

Whilst we are on the subject of prestige Olivier has informed me that his prestige will soon be at.............................................................




75!!

EEK!!! He was complaining that he is finding the cards a little bit expensive right now

Of course, the trouble is Olivier has a strategic position of one, therefore he keeps getting hold objectives and with my offensive grinding to a halt he will keep on getting the hold objectives as well.

All in all I am pleased that I have been given Stalingrad again, at least if I do take it I will be able to put a very small dent in his prestige

< Message edited by Bonners -- 2/27/2013 9:33:08 PM >

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