Failure of the Will - GR (allies), loki (axis) (Full Version)

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loki100 -> Failure of the Will - GR (allies), loki (axis) (3/17/2020 8:57:46 PM)

T2 – 10 July 1943

So, first observation, there are 2 missing British TF.

Bomber Command hit the Ruhr and Emden and Wilhelmshaven.

8 AAF's B-17s mostly hit the U-Boats around Hamburg.

Really surprised to see the B-24s at Danzig.

2 Tactical Air put most of its effort into airfield bombing.

Spent a long time sorting out the air OOB, in part by role and in part by geography.

In the Reich have 3 clusters of fighters, 2 mixed NF/F. As the US gain better ranged escorts I'll re-organise into 2 but at the moment this defends 3 key sectors.

Have gathered all the naval air assets into a single command (Italian and German) and all combat ready Italian planes are in a single command apart from those in Sardinia.

Having done all that, I set up the grand total of 2 AD. I see no gain to letting air units get damage till I am more clear about allied intentions. The exception is an attempt to disrupt allied control over the British landing at Noto and to give XIV Pzr some GS. Even the bulk of the Italian airforce may be of more use in the coming turns.

Didn't achieve much but reduced their control from #2 to #1 so the relevant hexes are neutral. Going by the combat report, I sunk one allied cargo ship.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/9775/0MMIeJ.jpg[/image]

Am setting up to do a few things. Most obviously to avoid being cut off in Sicily. Second is to defend one of Corsica or Sardinia with some commitment. Third I have a 'budget', I'm prepared to lose 2-3 of my elite units in Italy to create hard to reduce problems to delay the allies. I have another budget for France but we'll come to that later.

For the garrison forces, for a few turns I'll set them all to supply #4. That'll both give them some spare cv if the allies hit the rail net and perhaps yield a few spare VP.

So, situation in Sicily – think we can describe this as fairly predictable.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/8435/jPmXxo.jpg[/image]




loki100 -> T3 - Brittania waives the rules? (3/18/2020 8:18:23 AM)

T3 – 17 July 1943

I think we can describe these landings as 'bold'. The western bit is going to be very vulnerable as I have some interdiction just off the ports. But lets see.

As an aside you can see the interdiction left by the TF as it moved into position.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/4229/UlS2mg.jpg[/image]

In the air seems as if 8 AAF went for the U-Boats and fuel around Hamburg. Seemed to be largely out of escort range so fairly heavy losses. Having said that, the U-boat score is at 0 so a worthwhile trade off.

Some of my units tangled with FC around Enschede, need to do a bit of an adjustment in this respect.

Bomber Command still trying to find its range, seems that 2 Tactical Air is still going after airbases.

Overall losses, that includes 152 B-17/26 and 45 Lancaster/Halifaxes (enough to suggest a hit on their morale)

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/3403/REPPqW.jpg[/image]

Naval air missions paid off, leaving the western beachhead isolated. I can't touch the eastern one (and its not really the bit that concerns me).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/8697/GMmhd2.jpg[/image]

Other bit that has paid off is committing a lot of my manpower to garrison duty (by placing the HQ on #4 supply). 4 elite divisions are on the way or just arriving. Little bit worried what the paras are planning but they'll struggle to be effective around the landings and I've some stuff further north – just in case.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/7813/nyDICn.jpg[/image]

Here's why I can grab stuff and not shed VP. I'll reduce the supply priority radically over the next few turns but in an emergency there is a bit more to withdraw.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4959/EEB7vq.jpg[/image]

I do need some stuff in Bologna to be ready for the Italian surrender.




John B. -> RE: T3 - Brittania waives the rules? (3/18/2020 11:19:04 PM)

That is a gutsy invasion by the British. Let's see if they pay for their impudence. :) Great to see a new AAR start up again so soon.




loki100 -> RE: T3 - Brittania waives the rules? (3/19/2020 9:19:00 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

That is a gutsy invasion by the British. Let's see if they pay for their impudence. :) Great to see a new AAR start up again so soon.


yes when I got the turn I reminded him of the secret code from the old British sitcom 'yes minister', a bold decision will lose you votes, a brave decision will lose you the next election. I knew he had 2 TFs spare and assumed he'd keep them together not split them.

unfortunately we may both have time on our hands. I'm self-employed and both of my businesses have pretty much collapsed in the last week. Fortunately, its time that can be spent on WiTW [;)]




loki100 -> T4 - Forza Italia (3/19/2020 9:21:03 AM)

T4 – 24 July 1943

Ground war, fairly predictable in Sicily, lost one of the mountain hexes but still can exit via Messina/Reggio Calabria if I need to.

Looks like the division that was landed on the west side has advanced into the mountains and been replaced by a Paratrooop division.

Judging by the interdiction pattern looks like the allies have replaced the TF off their western landing.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/2024/zK2aQd.jpg[/image]

Heavily escorted 8 AAF raid near Hamburg but my only losses were the Me-410s (I've redeployed these to somewhere safer). BC mostly attacks the Ruhr, Tactical Air carries on bombing airfields.

My pilot losses are higher than ideal due to the amount of over-sea combat, fortunately the Italians are making a full commitment.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/6278/GJ5oc9.jpg[/image]

Given the situation in Calabria set up AD to both contest the landing or to enable at least one of my elite units in Sicily to escape. The other can find a suitable spot and fight.

Despite a large commitment, failed to cut off supply but have an open escape route. Think its time to go.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/5540/HxtvWQ.jpg[/image]

Hermann's boys led the glorious retreat, lost a lot of tanks but it should be able to repair before its next mission.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/4821/r8CRi7.jpg[/image]

Rest of XIV Pzr pulls back, Italian units bypass them going south as they seek to liberate the lost territories. Luftwaffe re-organises for the next phase.





loki100 -> T5 - back to bombing the fish (3/19/2020 8:55:59 PM)

T5 – 31 July 1943

In a way situation in the south much as expected. But that TF sat off Messina is so tempting. Last turn I pulled most of the Luftwaffe north to avoid too much combat till I want to commit them. But seriously damaging a TF is so tempting, since I now am fully aware how sinkable they are.

I'm sure its protected by allied fighters but ...

Elsewhere in Italy the allies start the railyard bombing campaign.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/3919/zQ0M0r.jpg[/image]

In Germany, BC visited Berlin, well in a very loosely defined way. They did knock out 1% point of my Stug production. Over the Ruhr they seemed to hit resource production rather than industry directly.

8AAF did some damage to my tank production at Hannover and badly hit the Stug production at Braunshweig.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/9225/elGZsb.jpg[/image]

So lets have a first view of the VP chart. Bombing pts worryingly high. [see edit at foot].

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/5922/DDft00.jpg[/image]

Its not as if I am even running things around 100% where a ToE shift or loss of some elements will make a difference.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/2548/uEdz3H.jpg[/image]

So move the Luftwaffe back into position. L2 has 419 planes assigned just to the TF, having decided to do this I may as well explore if I can get 15 Pzr Gr out, so I commit other assets to reduce the naval scores.

Not surprisingly, the allied fighters were very active but I managed radically shift the nature of naval interdiction.

No idea what damage I did to the TF as nothing useful appears in the losses chart (transport and cargo ships are the same as the turn start figures).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/8827/LduAEU.jpg[/image]

In the end, decided to leave the PzrGr. There is enough flak in Messina to make it a challenge to take and I was going to use it as a delay force somewhere.

So start setting up the next round of defensive lines in Italy – and preparing for the inevitable surrender in August.

[edit] Managed to misread this chart (get used to looking at it from the allies perspective), so in effect I've gained 2 VP for over-stocking my garrison forces.




John B. -> RE: T5 - back to bombing the fish (3/19/2020 9:21:46 PM)

So it looks as if he trapped the 29th and did some damage to HG. I guess that we'll see if that makes a difference in the long run in Italy. But, it was an unexpected move! Like you my business is way down so I appreciate the updates as it is something to look forward to while stuck at home. :) Very basic question, do allied aircraft losses count for lost VP?




loki100 -> RE: T5 - back to bombing the fish (3/19/2020 9:49:59 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

So it looks as if he trapped the 29th and did some damage to HG. I guess that we'll see if that makes a difference in the long run in Italy. But, it was an unexpected move! Like you my business is way down so I appreciate the updates as it is something to look forward to while stuck at home. :) Very basic question, do allied aircraft losses count for lost VP?


He ended up destroying the PzGr division, I was prepared to lose it but would have rather had done so at a place of my choice. HG repaired in a turn.

think everyone who is self-employed is in the same state

No allied pilot losses are free in terms of VP, so that does tend to encourage a very casual approach to losses as long as you take out the desired targets.




loki100 -> T6 - heading north (3/20/2020 9:04:19 AM)

T6 – 7 August 1943

No surprise but the Italians have decided to change sides. Lot of Allied recon around Bari-Brindisi which might indicate their intentions.

Bomber Command concentrate on Dusseldorf and Essen, do significant damage but take heavy losses.

Tactical Air hit Bremen but take heavy losses, 8 AAF attacks U-Boats at Bremen and Hamburg. Especially over Hamburg they took heavy losses so not sure they will return next week.

VP chart. Just worked out my mistake, a -ve re partisan VP is of course in my favour, so crudely all those units are offsetting the bombing (well not really).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/5916/wPH4RZ.jpg[/image]

Messina fell – costing me the PzrGr.

Turned Corsica into a fortress, only free port (Calvi) is covered by naval interdiction.

Other than that, its a case of dig and wait.

No deployment maps till the Allies are back in contact ...




GloriousRuse -> RE: T6 - heading north (3/20/2020 10:40:17 PM)

An Allied Interlude: The End of The Beginning

In my (humble?) opinion, there are only really three variants on Sicily. An all in approach to Husky, an early run on the outer islands, or an early entry to Italy. They each set up some interesting follow ons, but I chose an early Italy because of two things. First, it accelerates the Italian surrender, which usually ends the German supply network south of the Bifana. Second, it offered me a chance to count Loki’s guns before the next major move.

As for the air war, there are only two: do you start body blows early (on whatever target you think may weaken the Germans) and thereby get a head start on lowering production and stopping plant expansion, or appease your political masters with targets that will only marginally slow down the Wehrmacht (bomb for VPs)? Since I had no indicators the plants were expanding and don’t have the long range fighter strength to duke it out over S. Germany - many of the big tank, truck, and key air factories are here - with the LW yet, I decided that a few extra weeks of hardware production were an acceptable trade for increased operational freedom on the ground. VPs it was.

The Enemy


There were two things I knew about the enemy, and one I did not. This drove a lot my decision making.

First, bombers. After last campaign and replaying some of the early landing files, I have a healthy respect for the full might of the German bomber force. I also know that while you cannot actually destroy the force until later, the natural math means they only have a couple good fights in them before they plateau at a reduced capacity. A fully committed pristine bomber force can make any landing prohibitively expensive, getting worse as the Allies make their way north. Additionally, they cause the most direct damage when they catch a second wave coming in to the beaches – which they inevitably will on any crucial landing. I wanted them to commit hard and early while the stakes were low, fighting over sea areas that I wasn’t moving troops through.

Second, the three elite units on Sicily. The 15th PZG, PzG Schmalz, and HG Panzer are each formations that can mount indefinite defenses if they make it back to the mountains. I wanted at least one of them dead. Preferably two, but at minimum one (Loki, in turn, confessed he was willing to spend one and planned on doing so – maybe I underbid?). Even though they can be rebuilt, re-built units never have quite the sting to them; probably because of their base morale.

The unknown was just what Loki was going to bring to the table. The Germans start emptying the cupboards immediately to send stuff south. You just never know how much, or if they have sneaky tricks like the 4/4 thing that means they’re bringing more down than you thought. I wanted a plan that would have him show his cards without actually getting mowed down to find out. The more units he committed, the better – and if that caused panzers to burn out tracks on movement, a pleasant bonus. Plus, if you watch the formation names, you can guess what they’ve left on the outer islands. When 90th PG and 16th Sturm didn't show up, I had a strong suspicion I'd be seeing them off-mainland.

The Plan

After measuring some range rings and wargaming the movement requirements, I decided that I could present a real threat to Loki’s withdrawing forces without actually being at risk myself. More importantly, I could do it in an area where clouds of fighters would be capable of ranging after bounding the Africa squadrons forward. Hence the two pronged approach. It satisfied both the need to look very scary while leaving a bunch of unoccupied sea-space open to a battle of annihilation in the air.

Of course, the line between “threat” and “bait” can be thin – I was positive that I could create a land bridge immediately post landing on account of the zones of control and giant mountain blocking German mechanized movement, but was in no way sure that even relying on a single penetrating line I could keep the sea open. Still, I figured if anything would make the Germans pile in, it would be a British division that both posed real issues and looked vulnerable. And since they had no second wave coming by sea, that would be the perfect place to take the shine off the bomber fleet early.

With the door shut, a new TF would be sent to blockade Messina to sink any pesky escapes. You may notice that didn't happen.

The air war would be simple: hit the U-boats early, hit the Ruhr, and hit the Hamburg area and keep the VPs rolling. Just in case I maybe, you know, miscalculated that land bridge bit.

The Outcome

Be careful what you wish for…

The good news was that, yes, I got an air battle with the bombers and a dead PzG division out of it. I have no illusion that the bombers are gone, but every fight reduces their maximum capacity just an irreplaceable bit. Better to have a few hundred in the kill column when things really get going. I'm generally of the opinion that while the LW bombers will always be something you have to think about, even into '45, they rapidly decline to a mid-grade threat after a few hundred losses. The spend the rest of the war hovering around that point, being depleted and rebuilt to their baseline each time.

I got to see just what Loki was bringing to the table. It’s a lot – the difference in experience here really tells in the number of the divisions he could safely send south by the second week.

I also got the nice Italian surrender. Hopefully this will make the upcoming battles near the Crati line and the drive to the Bifana easier.

What I failed to account for was just how much damage properly loaded bombers can do to the TFs. Nothing sank, but when the western beach-head TF went to over 50 in one week, the TF scheduled to blockade Messina had to be sent in their place to keep the port open (less important) and provide the all essential naval gunfire (without which XIV panzer would simply punch through to Regio). So HG sailed away through the path that was supposed to be guarded.

In other marginal news, my positioning is essentially Sicily +. There is a natural line in front of me at Crati. What remains to be seen is if that matters or if collapsing German rails take me to the Bifana on the cheap or if I’ll pay a blood price for forcing the line. Hint: Loki has packed panzers and FJs on the line, so it's trending towards the latter...

The strategic air war went over without any great surprises. A modest VP reward, but not the soul crushing 15 VP a turn some players are up to by now.

All in all, a toehold in Italy, happily climbing forward in VPs with aggressive action still a viable option, so I’ll mark this down as a satisfactory variant.

Lessons

TFs can get hammered. Really. In just one turn. Plan accordingly.

The Schwerpunkt remains the key tactical concept, even with - maybe particularly with - the Allies. Making this gambit work meant going all in; no diverting airpower to secondary nice to haves, not even patrolling the eastern beaches after Loki showed his hand. Blowing a hole for the land bridge with the entire tactical airforce and keeping the lanes open with a single minded focus from everything else is what kept it from disaster.







John B. -> RE: T6 - heading north (3/20/2020 11:31:55 PM)

A very bold move and you did net an entire PG division plus some damage on the HG.




GloriousRuse -> RE: T6 - heading north (3/20/2020 11:52:32 PM)

Thank you! I’m always afraid I’m lecturing on the obvious in my Interludes, but hopefully they help describe my side a bit.




loki100 -> RE: T6 - heading north (3/21/2020 8:40:45 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: GloriousRuse

Thank you! I’m always afraid I’m lecturing on the obvious in my Interludes, but hopefully they help describe my side a bit.


I think its really useful for all readers. There are two issues with writing the German pov AAR. One is that often you are not doing anything interesting, particularly at this stage with the in-built lulls that are part of the early Italian campaign. The other is often what you are doing is longer term and you don't want to reveal too much.

Now especially early on, everyone knows roughly what is out there and can guess that if its not in a certain place its in a diffferent certain place (think that sentence just about parses).

So credit for a low commitment approach to bouncing me out of Sicily and taking out a PzrGr division - yes it was sort of added to the 'going to die' side of my ledger, but I would have preferred to choose where that happened. I didn't think he'd risk isolated landings on both sides (I wouldn't). Reward, well at least 2 *TF are licking their wounds and as I found, they take some time to recover and remain more vulnerable even for 4+ months later.




loki100 -> T8 - hunting the sanglier (3/21/2020 8:43:34 AM)

T7 – 14 August 1943

No land action, anywhere. Sardinia is fully occupied, Corsica I hold all the key ports. Really a case of waiting for the local Italian units to disband.

In Italy, allied bombing is focussed on railyards.

In Germany 8 AAF bombs Kiel to reduce the U-Boats. One thing that GR is doing (well) is keeping his recon focussed on some key locations. He's not committing much to this so I presume that helps him manage the inevitable fatigue (which I find is the thing that limits my recon effort). 8AAF also hit Kassel, I presume for the Tiger production.

BC hit the Ruhr and Aachen, took relatively high losses.

Air losses, you will note how well the Luftwaffe did.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/9080/d9nPb1.jpg[/image]

Well not by intent. I've been playing variants of the WiTx games for a long time and still can't get the air doctrine chart right. Had the bright idea of setting the % for AS to 150% (ie the routine would add 50% more planes than it felt it needed) on the grounds that fewer but bigger interceptions were the best solution.

Seems my fighters interpreted this as 'nah, not getting out of bed for less than a 1,000 allied bombers'.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/3176/76KujV.jpg[/image]

Anyway, still mostly holding the Luftwaffe back in Italy but started to run some recon over Sardinia, lets see what turns up. Other than that, defensive NP around Corsica.

No surprise to find a cluster of bombers and fighters around Cagliari.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/1035/uvQbZm.jpg[/image]

On Corsica started an offensive to regain the island – especially the airbases were paratroops might decide to land.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/1656/vxqMcJ.jpg[/image]

Other than that, 10 Army arrives to start creating a sensible OOB in Italy, lots of digging going on and a mobile force holds the Basilicata/Calabria border. I don't actually expect any fighting here and will pull out once a second wave of Allied forces land.


[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/710/1iQ8WZ.jpg[/image]

Can't say the VP chart makes happy reading.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/3036/IQ3c3I.jpg[/image]




loki100 -> T8 - the demise of Canada (3/22/2020 10:47:24 AM)

T8 – 21 August 1943

Not much ground action apart from the arrival of some British forces (judging by counter colour) in Corsica.

Quick glance at the losses suggests they arrived at Calvi with minimal cost under a lot of interdiction. But I can flip that back to isolated – if I think is worth the commitment.

The good thing was that I mostly won the air battles. Over Italy, focus on my railyards and a lot more recon around Bari.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/9103/QbEawW.jpg[/image]

Reich, 8 AAF attacked to the Hamburg region hitting U-boats and fuel – and winning the air engagements.

Also launched a rain on Schweinfurt

BC concentrated on flattening Essen.

Overall Allied strategy seems to be to simply flatten a single hex per turn. Overwhelms any attempt at repairs – and it is paying off in terms of VP. Small advantage to me is that by a narrow concentration my auto-repair admin pt expenditure is a bit less (as the same factory keeps on repairing – I am, of course, rather clutching at straws here).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/929/Ui2PtB.jpg[/image]

Set up a sustained recon effort over Corsica and Sardinia, commit L:3 to a naval interdiction off Calvi but not the bulk of my bombers. Still letting most formations in Italy rest.

Allies hold open the sea lane off Calvi but any attempt to reinforce will be costly – as will resupply for what is already ashore. Destroy another of the Italian units.

No sign of a further aircraft build up on Sardinia.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/7348/feSEW4.jpg[/image]

And, finally, a bit of ground action in Italy as an over-inquisitive Canadian formation is advised to pull back. Also a useful insight into how the allies are setting up their GS allocation.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/6360/yMztEW.jpg[/image]





loki100 -> T9 - the struggle for Corsica (3/22/2020 4:19:36 PM)

T9 – 28 August 1943

Not much happened in the land war. Rural Corsica falls to the allies but I still hold the 3 ports. A lot more Allied units reach my line in Basilicata (so I suspect that stops any more fun for me).

Air war around Corsica carries on, some of the interdiction clearly produced by a TF sailing around. I'll put enough effort in to reopen the connection to the two ports and interdict Calvi.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/6774/9h2u3B.jpg[/image]

Over the Reich, 8 AAF carries on around Hamburg, mostly fuel. I'm not going to risk my fighters to the west of the city so the only defence is AA. Also risked a long range attack on Leipzig, the local farmers report that their fields have been plowed in advance of the autumn sowing season.

BC went for the Ruhr but this time my night fighters inflicted heavy losses on the bombers.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/379/D2giPo.jpg[/image]

Despite that, VP chart continues to make grim reading

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/4795/SEPaJk.jpg[/image]

Removed the isolation for my Corsican ports and kept up the pressure on Calvi.

Other than that, nothing moved.




loki100 -> T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 9:34:43 AM)

T10 – 4 September 1943

Corsica – driven out of Ajaccio so the Sturm Brigade is doomed (retreated to an adjacent hex). Porto Vecchio not isolated, suspect that Bastia is too vulnerable so may just abandon. Don't want to lose too much and I doubt I can hang on for more than a couple more weeks.

8 AAF went for tank production at Plauen, U-Boats at Bremerhaven, Luebeck and Hamburg. At least I managed one decent interception – that should remove the B-26s from the bombing lists for a couple of turns.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/7968/yq52yY.jpg[/image]

BC concentrated on Dusseldorf as a single hex raid.

I really do not like looking at the VP chart.

At least I managed to judge the September ToE and garrison needs, few will need attention in the next few months but basically its ok.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4314/v5Wy7A.jpg[/image]

For the moment, pulled most of my NP commitment, and also reset the fighters in Italy to rest. My logic here is the allies need to commit every turn, so they pick up attrition losses and so on.

Continue a few opportunistic attacks on the Basilicata border, all helps to keep the Allies cautious (or not).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/400/Hhdpdz.jpg[/image]

Other than that, its all a matter of waiting.

Despite having Taranto garrisoned, partisans are making a mess of my rail net in the south, at some stage I need to pull back XIV Pzr but under no real pressure in the short term.

Ground losses so far

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/4662/Ej59CQ.jpg[/image]




John B. -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 1:11:10 PM)

Perhaps I"m missing something, but the Allies seem oddly passive in Italy.




loki100 -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 2:10:08 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

Perhaps I"m missing something, but the Allies seem oddly passive in Italy.


I think he's doing a good job getting what he wants with minimal force, if he can largely force me to retreat to the Naples line without too much effort then that is a job well done. His losses overall are very low and no sign of that changing soon.

If I opted for a fairly brutalist model (prob testing too much WiTE2), this is an exercise in focus on what you really want - he's doing the same with his bombing strategy.




GloriousRuse -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 5:02:38 PM)

My thoughts are that there are times when the you are fighting for nothing, which is bad practice for the Allies. Italy until you get to the top of the toe and the heel is one of them. The Germans are going to cede the ground when you invade unless they don't mind sacrificing units early, and you aren't going to make your invasions prep any faster. You sure aren't going to fight your way north through 100 miles of mountains before your mainland invasions are ready, so why kill your troops for it? You might get a chance to drop a hammer on a key German formation, but moving one of those out of the hills is an extensive and pre-planned operation - and unless you have the ability to keep pressure on, the Germans will just rotate those in to refit behind a narrow front defense.




John B. -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 5:32:54 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: GloriousRuse

My thoughts are that there are times when the you are fighting for nothing, which is bad practice for the Allies. Italy until you get to the top of the toe and the heel is one of them. The Germans are going to cede the ground when you invade unless they don't mind sacrificing units early, and you aren't going to make your invasions prep any faster. You sure aren't going to fight your way north through 100 miles of mountains before your mainland invasions are ready, so why kill your troops for it? You might get a chance to drop a hammer on a key German formation, but moving one of those out of the hills is an extensive and pre-planned operation - and unless you have the ability to keep pressure on, the Germans will just rotate those in to refit behind a narrow front defense.

I'm certainly not intending any criticism as I don't have the faintest idea of how to play the game. :) I'm just noting that in early September the allies invaded at Salerno and other than the toe (which I think was a very good move) there has been nothing going on in the mainland.




GloriousRuse -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 5:46:08 PM)

No offense taken! It’s more of an explanation of why. As for timing, as an oddity of the German POV AAR is that you’re really only seeing the first half of a turn. So when T11 posts, you’ll see what the allies did on T10 and so forth.

And as for not knowing how to play - don’t worry, we’re in the same boat.





John B. -> RE: T10 - being a bit too optimistic (3/23/2020 6:03:05 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: GloriousRuse

No offense taken! It’s more of an explanation of why. As for timing, as an oddity of the German POV AAR is that you’re really only seeing the first half of a turn. So when T11 posts, you’ll see what the allies did on T10 and so forth.

And as for not knowing how to play - don’t worry, we’re in the same boat.



Waiting on pins and needles!




loki100 -> T11 - what actually happened (3/23/2020 9:27:32 PM)

T11 – 11 September 1943

Things finally happen in S Italy. Since there is not too much interdiction, should be able to manage a retreat without extra losses. That also reduces the risk of another naval landing for some turns.

Allies isolate Porto Vecchio but suffer a lot of losses trying to bomb the defenders after I left a fighter formation there with a 0-hex AS mission.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/1116/hWjGjr.jpg[/image]

Reich, 8 AAF hits Hamburg again (primarily the U-Boats).

BC attacks Wilhelmshaven (U-Boats) and Dusseldorf (where it took fairly heavy losses). It also ran 21 recon missions over Cologne, I mean there is recon and there is stalking ...

Looking at their losses, surprised to see the Stirling I is still allowed out. Clearly most of 8 AAF was having the week off.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/6056/11MJRr.jpg[/image]

VP chart remains depressing reading.

Interesting to compare that to our last game. I had 3 more city VP (guess reflecting earlier captures in Sicily and the islands), GR has +11 bombing VP (his disciplined focus on single targets and mostly sticking to VP and the western parts of Germany is paying off), US losses are +3, CW losses are -22 (I do tend to overuse the CW formations in the early game), U-Boats are -10 (again GR is sticking to the stopping them repair, I tend to take the chance of some repairs and then return to knock them out again).

Bright spot for me is I am +11 on the partisan score – but of course that is less units actually in Italy (I assume).

So overall GR is +31 compared to the earlier game. Rather worrying given the likely dynamics up to mid-1944.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/2259/oZGmc3.jpg[/image]

Anyway, back to the action. After a bit of thinking, decide there is no point engaging with the new landings, so committed L:2 off Corsica, even managed to catch a few Allied planes where I heavily outnumbered them.

Removed 2 of the PzrGr regiments. I really don't like the consequences of leaving a hex next to a port unoccupied so that units retreat in that direction. Since this is clearly what is planned see no point losing the entire division.

At least in the south, the front has moved. Depends how much armour the allies have but that screen should be able to retreat over the next couple of turns.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/4603/yYC6Q1.jpg[/image]

Just a general observation, can't complain as I make use of it too, but its become far too easy to ensure an Italian surrender right at the start of August. Seems to only need 2-3 allied divisions on the mainland and there is no way can the German player match that.




John B. -> RE: T11 - what actually happened (3/24/2020 2:27:44 AM)

I think its pretty historical that Italy was gone by the point that this game starts. The Duce was deposed soon afterwards and everyone in charge in Rome (not being fanatic nutcases like Hitler) was desperate to get out of the war and see what they could save. One condition set by Italy for the armistice was an invasion of the mainland by at least a few divisions of allied forces and that seems to be the tipping point here.




loki100 -> RE: T11 - what actually happened (3/24/2020 8:44:27 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

I think its pretty historical that Italy was gone by the point that this game starts. The Duce was deposed soon afterwards and everyone in charge in Rome (not being fanatic nutcases like Hitler) was desperate to get out of the war and see what they could save. One condition set by Italy for the armistice was an invasion of the mainland by at least a few divisions of allied forces and that seems to be the tipping point here.


I agree, but its too easy (as I say I do it so its a general comment) to generate a small landing on the mainland by T3. That in turn guarentees an Italian bail out at the start of August.

Its not going to happen, given the game design cycle, but I think it'd be better to have a more nuanced model. Something like in August, all Italian ground formations shed morale - in effect they might briefly fight but it'll be a rout, in September add in the surrender rules.

The politics behind the real surrender were complex and one reason that Italy became a republic post war was the view that the King abandoned the army to its fate (especially in Yugoslavia/Greece where Italian troops were slaughtered both by the Germans and the partisans) as he didn't warn them he was going to surrender. If he had, it would have made it a lot easier for Italian formations to defect in an organised way and (again esp in Yugoslavia) be able to negotiate with Tito's forces with something to offer (all those heavy weapons etc).




loki100 -> T12 - running up the hills (3/24/2020 8:47:50 AM)

T12 – 18 September 1943

Southern Italy, allies join their landings to the forces in Calabria. I have the mobility I need to keep out of range of their infantry.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/8373/ZxteY2.jpg[/image]

Seems a PzrGr regiment opted to run up a hillside that was left vacant rather than evacuate out of a functioning port. I'll be honest and say I find this rather gamey, it sometimes happens by accident or need but its profoundly unrealistic.

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/8499/PpinyC.jpg[/image]

8 AAF bombed fuel around Hamburg and ran an AS that caused me some losses. Main effort was fuel and tank production at Hannover. BC back to Essen (by day this time) and continue their stalking of Cologne – there must be something really interesting going on there. Strategic airforce raided Ploesti.

VP chart gets no better

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/9313/V455V1.jpg[/image]

In S Italy a quick count suggests 5 CW armoured divisions, 11 CW infantry divisions and 3 US infantry divisions. Clearly the rest of the US units are in the UK.

Anyway, happy to disengage, I want to strip the allied armour of its mobility and that means being nowhere near their depots (it will be some time before they acquire much rail capacity).

[image]https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/350/PgPuas.jpg[/image]




EddyBear81 -> RE: T12 - running up the hills (3/24/2020 9:29:04 AM)

Great read again. Congrats for the dedication you put into this.
And hats off to GR, who is nowhere near the "not so good player" he thinks he is. His approach is always thoughtful, and, at times, brillant.

That being said, why don't you garrison the ports such as Bari or Taranto ?
Playing the Allies, I always found it time and resource consuming to reduce these strongholds. And time is of the essence in 1943, as it is basically a race to Rome before the Germans (and winter) can lock down the Gustav Line + control any landing initiatives (ala Anzio).
And playing the Germans, the resource investment is not so high (couple of regiments + few Flak units)

Thanks a lot !




loki100 -> RE: T12 - running up the hills (3/24/2020 11:08:05 AM)

I can't afford to lose too much till some of the garrison requirements are reduced.

I've never really got to terms with the axis side in WiTW, but my guess is he's not going to expend too much effort on the Napoli line and will rely on his next set of landings. So my feeling is he can have the ports south of Naples and a few turns delay (& losses for me) is not really going to make much difference.

and yes, he is good at being very focussed on the key things. His bombing strategy is unusual but very effective (I think too many people just use the Q-Ball/LS model) and he's more prepared to rely on movement than combat to shift the German lines.




John B. -> RE: T12 - running up the hills (3/24/2020 5:30:23 PM)

Thanks for the response regarding Italy. I'm always a big fan of some element of randomness in games. It helps avoid developing perfect plans! And, the AAR is very interesting as always.




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