From: Seattle, WA
This is a short Eastern Front 41-45 AAR of my ongoing game with Mike ('SMK' on the forum). This game is being played with v1, which I posted last December. (The current update v2, is here). I am playing the Axis, Mike the Red Army. We started about four months ago and with the game now at turn 104, two full years into the campaign, I thought that it was a good time to assess the scenario realism and share a few notes. Mike is a very competent TOAW player, and he plays the Russians with a certain panache (i.e very aggressively) and the game feels balanced with some fun e-mail bantering. The plan is to post short updates for every season. The gif animation shows screen grabs at the end of every Axis turn (so it only shows a fraction of the Red Army troops). SMK, feel free to comment and add some Soviet propag..er perspective.
Turns 1-10 I opened Barbarossa with the classical disposition of the Panzer Groups, one attached to Army Group North, with the goal of reaching Leningrad, two assigned to AGC, with Moscow as the ultimate target and one assigned to AGS, headed for the Dnepr and hopefully beyond. The opening turn the Lufwaffe is mainly used to bomb enemy airfields (but be careful to send your bombers beyond the range of fighter cover). Hundreds of russian planes are shot down or destroyed on the ground! Border troops from the Baltic and Western Military district are destroyed or encircled and the Panzer Korps and divisions advance deep into enemy territory. However I quickly realize that playing the Axis side is hard, the Axis player has to take full advantage of all available combat rounds to keep the historical pace, also, one has to be extremely careful to push the panzers hard, but not so hard that their supply level gets too low. The Infantry Korps are powerful, but the replacements are nowhere near able to replace combat losses, so one cannot be too reckless. In the following turns, the advance of AGC is rapid, with several armies pocketed and destroied (taking advantage of the Axis low ZOC penalties), but AGN is stopped at Pskov. SMK diverts very few forces South, while fighting several meeting engagement West of Kiev with his Mech Corps. His tank losses
are epic, but the Corps put up a fight and a few survive.
In the south Kiev and Odessa are encircled, but will not fall until the rain season. Odessa and the South Ukrainia are very expensive to take, costing several thousand squads. The Rumanian Corps suffer staggering losses. (Note: in v2 Kiev is not a supply point anymore, Odessa still is, but the fortification values in these areas and then West of Leningrad have been decreased a bit).
By Turn 16 AGC is in Smolensk (on schedule) , I divert PzG4 from AGN to AGC, to increase the pressure in the direction of Moscow, virtually ending the chances of reaching Leningrad, but it was just not happening. PG2 moves South and encircles the South West Front, SMK is playing by the book or he is underestimating the mobility of my tanks. This is great fun! Pz Group 2 nets three armies worth of Red Army troops, but I stop it from moving further East, too far from the rail lines, I suspect Mike does not have strong forces East of Kursk, as he concentrated everything around Moscow, but the scenario gives a very low level of intelligence to both players (decreasing for the Axis, increasing, if slowly for the Red Army) and I do not feel like leaving PG2 low on gas with fully exposed flanks. This might have been a lost opportunity to take Moscow from the South, with insight. Instead I rest my AGN and AGC troops for a couple turns, waiting for the rail lines to catch up. One can actually see that in the movie, as the Axis advances in leaps and bounds. The Red Army counterattacks continously, especially around Vyzma and the 'land bridge'.
Turns 17-24 Fall 41. After the Fall rains I send three Panzer Group with the objective of taking Moscow, with a southern hook via Tula, as the direct access is barred by the entire Western Front and most of Stavka reserves. On turn 23, spearheaded by PzG 2 (Guderian!), my units are just two hexes from the Russian capital! This is as close as they will ever get to the Kremlin. With historical insight I pushed my forces hard, but did not run them to the ground and the infantry started digging, in preparation of the blizzard. I feel the scenario worked as planned so far. The Wehrmacht suffered great losses and advance is overall a bit behind historical, but the Red Army fought forward the whole time, with several counterattacks in the Smolensk region (this is encouraged by penalties if certain Russian cities are captured ahead of schedule). Odessa is still under siege, and the Crimea proved impossible to reach. The number of German squads dropped significantly, from 35k at the start of operations on June 22nd, to 28k in January.
< Message edited by governato -- 8/16/2013 3:46:58 AM >