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Downfall! (No Pelton)

 
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Downfall! (No Pelton) - 2/23/2013 11:56:57 PM   
smokindave34


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I thought I'd start an AAR documenting my virtual war with Comrade Pelton. I just finished my first campaign as the axis with Berlin falling in late March '45 to Von Beanie. I have two games continuing now as axis and this game with Pelton gives me the best shot to hold Berlin to the historical surrender date. There haven't been many late war Axis AAR's and I'm hoping to get some tips on how to survive the Red steamroller by posting this AAR. I'll probably update it monthly (in game time). First a brief summary of our war to date:

Summer '41
I think I had an average summer offensive with Leningrad falling in the north and 1st panzer group reaching Rostov in the south. Pelton threw a lot of forces into the defense of Moscow and although I reached the outskirts it was never really in any jeapordy of falling. I bagged a fair amount of Russians during the summer campaign with 2.8 million casualties and 1.5 millions Bolsheviks surrendering.

Blizzard
Since I was dug in deep along most of the front (level 3 forts) I decided to stand my ground during the first turn of the blizzard. That turned out to be a huge mistake and one in which I almost did not recover. Pelton's M.O. so far has been to run like hell when he doesn't have the initiative and stomp on the accelerator when he does have the initiative. He used cavalry divisions and tank brigades to ZOC lock my units and I ended up losing about 10 rifle divisions. A late blizzard push by the Reds almost surrounded the entire 4th army however I threw in my last panzer reserves and averted disaster.

Summer '42
Pelton has gone on and on in other posts about the need to farm morale however at the start of summer '42 he continually blocked my units with tank brigades and rifle brigades in an effort to slow me down. It allowed me to recover morale better than in any other game I have played as axis. I'm not sure if he recognized that mistake but he allowed the majority of my panzer units to gaine elite morale very quickly. My initial push in '42 was towards Moscow. Since the Moscow Smolensk-Minsk line is the direct route to Berlin I wanted to push him back in this area as much as I could. I gained about 100km but Pelton kept throwing in corps after corps and I stopped the offensive after heavy casualties on my part. In the south Pelton ran for the hills after a few pockets were formed by 3rd and 1st Panzer armies and he pulled back (way back) behind all the major river lines.

Winter '42
I'm not sure if a shot was fired in anger in this game during the entire winter. Pelton's army south of Moscow kept moving east as I advanced and I decided to stop when my lines became thin. I did capture Stalingrad however voluntarily yielded it back to Pelton because my lines were so thin on my flanks.

Since I spent almost the entire winter without a fight I used almost all my AP's to maintain the forts I had built up as I had been advancing. You'll see in the screen shots lots of fortified units. I've loaded up my Luftwaffe field corps with construction units and used them as diggers in important parts of the front. Once the Luftwaffe boys get a level 2 fort built I put down a fortified zone to maintain it.

It's now May '43 and the weather is starting to clear. I expect Pelton to start hammering my lines with Rifle corps backed up with artillery. I'll get a good sense of what he is up to after he plays his first clear weather turn with Red army 2.0.


< Message edited by smokindave34 -- 2/24/2013 12:37:53 AM >
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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:22:54 AM   
smokindave34


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Here is the current Axis OOB




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:24:51 AM   
smokindave34


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The condition of the panzer force at the start of the summer 1943 season




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:25:51 AM   
smokindave34


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I though Pelton might make a go at cracking the Finnish line put recon has not detected any buildup in this area (yet...)




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:27:47 AM   
smokindave34


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Army Group North

Pelton did make a small push just north of Novgorod prior to the mud hitting and he has a number of rifle and cavalry corps in the area. I moved the XXXXI panzer corps to the area to hold the line.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:30:49 AM   
smokindave34


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Army Group Center

It was a slow push east towards Moscow in the summer of '42 and I built a lot of fortified zones so that all those forts I built would not decay away. Pelton is going to have to slog through here if he takes the direct route to the Reichstag.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:33:20 AM   
smokindave34


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Pelton moved a large number of rifle corps and artillery units to this area just prior to the mud hitting. I have moved most of my panzer units to this area as I am expecting him to attack here now that the weather is clearing. I have high initiative leaders up the chain of command for the panzers so I'm hoping for a decent reserve commitment.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:35:50 AM   
smokindave34


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Finally Army group's A and B. Almost no action here for 6 months. Most units went to static and have digging fall back lines. I have a lot of ground to give here but once '44 comes the Red army can chew it up pretty fast. My plan is to fight for every Km through the summer of '43. We'll see how that works out....




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 1:54:04 AM   
Disgruntled Veteran


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That is a lot of forts!!! Do you keep them all at 100% TOE?

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 2:30:36 AM   
Ketza


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Good lord man the cement!

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 2:46:17 AM   
smokindave34


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50% TOE on all the forts.

The German army spent 6 months with nothing other to do than dig. I considered pushing further east but didn't want to thin out my lines more than I already had so I sat back and dug in. In my game with Sillyflower and Belgaphor they consistently put pressure on the Wehrmacht and caused me to lose a lot of manpower to attrition losses. Although Pelton was able to re-fit his army during the winter of '42 I think he would have been better off snugging up close to me and causing more attrtion losses. Also, I think he also should have started attacking as soon as he formed up rifle corps en masse in January '43. Start bleeding the German replacements as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see how quickly he can plow through the forts. Based on my previous game I think I can hold him off through the summer but believe he'll have me pushed back to the Dnepr by the end of the winter of '43. Even with this many forts the Red army will still be able to slice through my lines soon enough. Once the Landsers upgrade to 1944 TOE they are not much more than a speed bump (even in forts).


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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 7:47:16 AM   
Scook_99

 

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I would lean towards you winning this one, even with the offensive side being too up tempo. I will like to see what transpires here though. And out of curiosity, how many men do you have tied up in forts? Just curious on the breakdown of that outstanding 4 million man army. Oh, did you capture tank factories too? He seems to have a smaller than normal tank force for this time in the game.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 11:41:02 AM   
Michael T


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Is this a 260 alt?

If so time is on your side here. I like your chances.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:12:50 PM   
smokindave34


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Scook_99

And out of curiosity, how many men do you have tied up in forts? Just curious on the breakdown of that outstanding 4 million man army. Oh, did you capture tank factories too? He seems to have a smaller than normal tank force for this time in the game.



I didn't capture many tank factories. Pelton did a good job of getting the majority of his factories evacuated in front of my advance.

Pelton lost a LOT of tanks by throwing all his brigades at me to slow me down at the start of the summer '42 offensive. I captured many tank brigades and a few tank corps so I think that is the reason for his low numbers although in the last month his tank numbers have increased by 1000 so he must be building a lot of tank corps right now.

It's a server game so when I get the next turn I'll give you an idea of how many men are tied up in forts.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:15:48 PM   
smokindave34


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

Is this a 260 alt?

If so time is on your side here. I like your chances.


It is a 260 alt VC campaign. I think I have a decent chance of holding out until past May '45 but I also know the wheels come off pretty fast in '44.

The Wehrmacht is so strong right now (particularly the panzers) that if Pelton is aggressive in the summer of '43 I should be able to rough him up if he gets his rifle/tank corps exposed in open terrain.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 12:35:58 PM   
Marquo


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A good tactic is to break down some divisions and use them as pickets; why lose a hex and 2,000 men when it can be a hex and only 200 men?

< Message edited by Marquo -- 2/24/2013 12:36:41 PM >

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 3:23:29 PM   
Flaviusx


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I think you'll do better with reserves if you break down those mobile divisions into regiments. Higher chance of commitment. But you'll have to rearrange your C&C to do this, as command capacity requirements go up with breakdowns.



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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 4:30:54 PM   
sillyflower


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Did you spend APs on anything other than forts?

I don't see anything like this in our game or does Sean's recon just suck?

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 5:18:02 PM   
Belphegor


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If I flew recon over his lines my pilots would get shot down. If Stavka would provide better cameras you'd see more from where we take our photos

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 6:51:32 PM   
smokindave34


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower

I don't see anything like this in our game or does Sean's recon just suck?


That's a state secret.

Actually I've been using a lot of AP in our game re-organizing my C&C to try and counter your guards rifle corps/cavalry corps onslaught. Not nearly as many forts plus I don't have the manpower to fill them out since you've been grinding away each turn and I need my men to keep my infantry TOE at a decent level.

My game with you and Sean is one turn behind this one with Pelton. You have been very aggressive and Pelton has not (yet). Your style of play had put a much heavier strain on my army. Even though my OOB is still around 3.6 million in our game the Wehrmacht seems much much weaker.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 7:32:09 PM   
smokindave34


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Well a day after I started this AAR this game just got very interesting. Pelton is trying to take advantage of the alternate clear/mud turns and advanced deep into my lines in 3 areas.

Northeast of Smolensk
Pelton pushes 4 tank corps south and forces the surrender of three of my fortified units (the risk I take with building these things - I had planned to disband them as he moves west). I move two panzer corps in to respond. I want to stay aggressive and force him to think long and hard before he ventures this deep again. If he moves the three rifle corps south next turn I don't think I'll be able to cut all these units off however I will be able to rout his tank corps and that should minimze their impact the next clear turn.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 7:34:51 PM   
smokindave34


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In the center Pelton advanced to deep with the 9th and 14th tank corps and the II SS panzer corps responds by cutting them off. Tank corps alone in clear terrain are easy picking for my panzers at this stage in the war even in mud.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 7:39:37 PM   
smokindave34


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West of Tambov Pelton makes a huge push with 7 tank corps and one cavalry corps. Again I don't believe I'll have the strength here to close and hold a pocket during the next clear weather turn so my plan will be to use the 48th and 39th panzer corps (which includes the 30+ CV GD division) to rout his tank corps and minimize their use the next clear turn.

I'll consider trying to close a pocket but I don't think even my best panzers can hold out in clear terrain agains rifle corps backed up with artillery.

One thing I have not seen yet are any guards rifle or cavalry corps (just one guards mountain division). I'm not sure if that means Pelton doesn't have any or he is saving them for another surprise. He had a pretty good blizzard offensive so he's bound to have some guards units lurking around.






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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 9:17:47 PM   
M60A3TTS

 

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What turn # are you on? Do you see many guards units on his side?

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 9:28:53 PM   
smokindave34


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

What turn # are you on? Do you see many guards units on his side?


I forget the turn (server game) but it is late May 1943. I only see the one guards mountain division. I'm not sure what he is up to with his guards units (I'm not sure how many he has).


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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 11:40:10 PM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: smokindave34

My game with you and Sean is one turn behind this one with Pelton. You have been very aggressive and Pelton has not (yet). Your style of play had put a much heavier strain on my army. Even though my OOB is still around 3.6 million in our game the Wehrmacht seems much much weaker.



you had a much better summer offensive vs P and I suspect your morale is much better for it as you wrote. A lot of combat power lies in the artillery and a significant difference there will make a big difference in your fortunes

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/24/2013 11:41:46 PM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Belphegor

If I flew recon over his lines my pilots would get shot down. If Stavka would provide better cameras you'd see more from where we take our photos


Report to Gulag 1463B immediately.

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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/25/2013 11:48:09 PM   
smokindave34


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First week of June '43

A very good turn for the axis. In the north I'm able to push back Pelton's advance and isolate 3 Soviet tank corps. I don't expect he'll be able to free them next turn so this should be a pretty good bag of men/AFV. I lose 49AFV to Pelton's 283 here and that doesn't count the isolated units.




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/25/2013 11:52:59 PM   
smokindave34


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Near Tambov I determine I'm not strong enough to hold a pocket through next turn and decide to rout these stacks of tank corps instead. I rout a total of 8 tank corps, 1 cavalry corps, and 2 rifle corps. All told this turn I lose 10K men and 143 AFV to Pelton's 45K men and 1,000AFV.

I'm not sure what Pelton was thinking pushing all those corps so deep behind my lines. Maybe he underestimated how strong the Wehrmacht still is in June '43 (actually I'll never be stronger - it's downhill from here on) but he should know as well as anyone the capabilities of the axis. Maybe he became mesmerized by Red army 2.0?




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RE: Downfall (No Pelton) - 2/26/2013 12:07:53 AM   
sillyflower


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It did look daft but full marks for squishing him so effectively.

Not leaving retreat paths for your front units is not wise if they are in a vulnerable position as it causes unnecessary routs ( especially as such units become a more tempting target) and extra losses especially morale.

I am not tempted to do the same.

< Message edited by sillyflower -- 2/26/2013 12:12:21 AM >


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