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Once Upon a Time (somewhere) in the West - 1/21/2015 10:43:23 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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Introduction

This AAR is based on a vs AI 1943 Campaign game. Settings are the standard 'challenging'. The focus will be on planning and interpretation rather than the detail of actual moves, as I think that is of most value.

This is my third start. First I abandoned about T10 when it was clear that I'd totally botched the planning and phasing aspect of the game. Second I gave up in early 1944, it was going well enough but wanted to restart with the latest patch. In addition have played most of the scenarios (but only from the Allied side so far).

I've a fair bit of experience with WiTE (again mostly from the Soviet side) so start this with a grasp of the basics of the land war. In particular how to create formations designed for a particular purpose so as the game develops I'll explore that in some detail. However, as is obvious, there are real differences even in the land war. Some are in the rules but the best are indirect. My first play of Husky I started trying to clear German strong points as if I was using the Red Army. Well not only did the attacks fail but I lost the game due the resulting casualties.

My current PBEM opponent in WiTE summed up the difference between the two games very well. WiTE is an operational game where you need to do some long term planning. WiTW (at least for the allies) is a strategic game with an operational aspect where you implement those plans.

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Table of Contents - 1/21/2015 10:43:52 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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Messing About in Boats Turn 1
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Turn 2
Leave it to Ullyses Turns 3-4
The Wild Wood Turns 5-6
If you go down to the woods ...Turns 7-8
Oh, pooooh, boating (said Toad) Turns 9-10
Toad hits the open road Turn 11
Dulce Dolmum Turns 12-13
The Silent Silver Community Turns 14-15
Breakout towards Salerno, fall of Sardinia Turns 16-17
The broken tumultuous water Turns 18-19
Roma, Città Chiusa Turns 20-21
Rome falls Turns 22-24
Slow progress in Italy Turns 25-27
Snow in N Europe, liberating Pontius Pilate in Italy Turns 28-30
Goodnight Vienna ... and other bombing raids Turns 31-34
Having a rest and bombing things Turns 35-39
Getting ready to invade Turns 40-46
Safely ashore Turns 47-48
The fromage hits the fondue Turns 49-50
Into the Bocage Turns 51-52
Liberating Paris Turns 53-54
Entering Belgium, bombing Germany Turns 55-56
Bomber Command gets a headache, Cherbourg falls Turns 57-58
The Germans counterattack, Cannes becomes Brazilian, the Death Star reaches Le Havre Turns 59-60
Supply problems, the advance of the Death Star and the liberation of the CalanquesTurns 61-62
Brussels is liberated, my Paratroops are sent to Northern Ireland Turns 63-64
Most of France is free Turns 65-66
Liberation of Maastricht, Calais is attacked by a huge death star Turns 67-68
More Coastal Ports are captured Turns 69-70
The start of the 'Antwerp campaign' Turns 71-72
3 Army tries to break out Turns 73-74
The fall of Antwerp Turns 75-76
Briefly entering Germany Turns 77-78
Returning to Germany, failing in Flanders, capture Brest Turns 79-80
Reaching the Rhine Turns 81-82
Watching the Rhine Turns 83-84
Crossing the Rhine Turns 85-86
Rotterdam is liberated Turns 87-88
Mud Turns 89-91
Liberation of Amsterdam Turns 92-93
Utrecht, Bitburg and Livorno captured Turns 94-95
Arnhem liberated, Krefeld captured Turns 96-97
Wuppertal and Kassel captured, US 3 Army breaks the German lines in the north Turns 98-99
The Ruhr is encircled Turns 100-101
Reducing the Ruhr, occupying Hannover, nowhere near Berlin Turns 102-103
Only 60 miles from Berlin Turns 104-105
Game ends with a major allied defeat Turn 106

< Message edited by loki100 -- 5/18/2015 10:15:09 PM >


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Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 10:48:51 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943

Air Planning: Northern Europe

I find it very useful to spend a lot of time before making a move setting up the allied airforces in the UK as you will need them later on, but its ok to be less effective in the first few turns. They start, to use a good Scots word, in a guddle. Its worth having a look at Carlkay vs Pelton for one revision, but I've tried something different from my experience so far.

So what I do is:

Fighter Command:

strip out most of the NF formations, these go to Bomber Command, but keep 3-4 just in case;
Strip out the FB formations, I put these into the Tactical Air (this just helps me envisage what I am doing when setting air directives)
a lot of tedious rebasing, move all the short range fighters down to SE England (you'll find them all over the map)

Tactical Command

as above boost with more FB formations
review the FB squadrons, you'll find some trained as bombers not in the best aircraft for that role:

I also convert about 8 FB squadrons from fighter to bomber roles (easy to absorb the 8 turn loss of the unit at this stage). You'll find some that start the scenario in a bomber role but still trained as fighters, I also like to convert to Typhoons/Mosquitos as quickly as I can.



My longer term goal here is to have 3 rough groups of planes. Short ranged and optimised for interdiction, long range and optimised for interdiction and optimised to hit supply nets. At the moment my feeling is the first two roles are better done using rocket armed aircraft (drawing on WiTE experience).

Bomber Command

Move most of the newly assigned NF formations to the South East or East Anglia (I find this gives good cover apart from for Berlin)

I keep the Stirlings in Bomber Command (unlike Carlkay) but I'll use them to bomb ports and rail junctions in France (night at first but day once I have a degree of air control)

In terms of targets, I'm going for manpower primarily and some attention to HI. I think that hitting HI is useful as it is the basis for all industrial production.

Coastal Command

Move the shorter range planes down to the South Coast, note that some units in the UK actually belong with the Med theatre so you may as well transfer those.

US 8th

Main thing here is to move their escorts into East Anglia, next turn I'll convert to longer range planes

US 9th

At this stage I'll allocate a few short range fighters, purely for air superiority

Orders

I ended up setting up a pattern of attacks in Normandy/Picardy as:



Given the number of aircraft transfers, T1 won't be very impressive, but this starts to set the pattern.

RAF Bomber Command is split into 3 bombing groups, Cologne gets a direct attack due to its high manpower value. Targets are Manpower with some attention to HI. As you can see, I'm setting up air superiority over the Netherlands and using part of the Tactical AirForce to hit airfields.



Finally US 8th Airforce is going U-Boats but also Fuel and HI. For the first set of raids I'm avoiding the high flak at Hamburg (there are enough other targets) and accept that these will lack escorts (which won't really be available to T3).



Air Planning: Southern Europe

Since bombs on the ground matters more in the first turn here, I do much less organising. The only real changes are that a sizeable block of short range planes for Coastal Command start in Algeria. I designate one base in Tunisia and move them up so they can contribute from T2.

The directives are fairly obvious. Tac air and superiority goes to Sicily, set up naval patrols around the 2 main invasion sites. Another group of naval air is in action off Sardinia and the Strategic Bombers start their campaign of destroying ports and rail yards.



This shows the Sicily part of the operation in more detail:



Air Execution: Northern Europe

So what happened? On first sight, pretty disastrous, 850 planes lost and 1170 damaged.



WiTW provides you with a wealth of data that allows you to evaluate the air war. Even if you play relatively hands off, you really need to make use of this.

For a start you can spot if a given mission did not take place. Here the US 9th airforce didn't as it believed it had too few aircraft, something I can adjust in T2. Equally its clear (and was predictable) that the US 8th airforce over Bremerhaven had a very time of it.

You can open out the details of each mission to see what happened. This shows the impact of the Stirlings in France, which was ok, so for the moment I'll carry on bombing by night.



Bomber Command did a better job at Cologne.



If we look at 8 Airforce in more detail, for all those losses, they did do a lot of damage



Now we can go to the battle site, either via the map or the command report, and look at more detail.



Here's the worst raid (for US losses), so the lack of escorts was fatal. Till they are ready, what I may try to do is raise the altitude (at a loss of efficiency) and see if that improves things.

Working between the commander's report and on-map battlesites will tell you a lot. Where did they suffer their heaviest losses? Where are their fighters intercepting your bombers?

Air Execution: Southern Europe



None of those really stands out. Looking at the details, and on-map, I'm happy enough with the strategic airwar. Critically I have taken control of the air over the invasion sites;



Men Messing about in Boats: Southern Europe

I'm going to adapt something I tried before and make a relatively weak invasion of Sicily. I'm going to weaken it by re-assigning XXX Corps to just above the toe of Italy. If this works I may trap a number of German units in the south and I've found this to be less well defended than around Salerno. It will be supported by two waves of airborne, one for the invasion turn and one the turn after to cut the rail on across the Crati. This also avoids the risk of losing British paras in Sicily, something that seems to happen about 50% of the time.



The other invasion is planned for western Sardinia, again land and paras will be used.



At a command level, what I will do is to use the US 7 Army to control the invasions of Sardinia and Corsica and a later invasion near Rome. The British 8 Army and US 5 Army are landing in Sicily but I'll also use 5 Army to control any invasions in S Italy. This helps in allocating Support Units and also keeping command lines as simple as possible. Unlike in WiTE, there is no real excuse in WiTW for accepting combat command malus due to confusion at the Corps/Army level.

I'm moving 4 Infantry Divisions from the UK to the Med. They will help provide follow up forces for the secondary invasions as well as the core of the later planned landings.

And here we go



Future updates won't be so long, but it seems worthwhile to explore what I am trying do as much as present the actual outcomes.

And since I do like pictures, heres one to be going on with. Since I suspect I won't win, here is the likely end of game position:





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RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 11:27:14 AM   
JocMeister

 

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Fantastic AAR Loki! Very informative!

Concerning the Sterlings: Don´t you think you are better off hitting manpower in Germany with them? You get VPs for that which you don´t get from rail/ports in France. Very good idea to convert some FBs to bombers early on. Never thought of that. Now that I´m in 44 I would have loved some more Typhoons!

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RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 12:10:39 PM   
Q-Ball


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Nice job, I learned a few things!

Probably too late, but you don't want to go straight in at Oristano. The reason is that landing will not produce a temporary port. It would be better to land just to the north; that would create the temp airfield and port, and still allow instant repair.

The risk with that is that the Germans will grab Oristano and lock you out, but it's risky for them to keep units on Sardinia very long

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RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 1:47:19 PM   
comte


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Good stuff as always I am really enjoying your AARS Loki. I have been reading your adventures as the Russians in WITE.

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But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

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RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 3:41:42 PM   
barkman44

 

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One thing I do with 8th is target hamburg with everything I have.
Then on the next turn target 3 cities with three separate strikes of 200+ bombers and set all 3 outbound routes to the same hex's.
When they get close to the coast send them to their target's.
I could be wrong but my a2a losses seem less,maybe the enemy air controllers get confused.

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RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/21/2015 3:49:29 PM   
Helpless


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Daylight city raids at 21K altitude can be very costly.

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Post #: 8
RE: Turn 1: 3 – 9 July 1943 - 1/22/2015 11:04:35 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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Feedback

One general comment, I had actually played T2 before the first post was ready, so its not a case of ignoring the comments, more that I had already made even more mistakes. Compared to WiTE, once you have things organised as you want, I do find that WiTW is relatively quick to play, especially the ground phase.

quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister

Fantastic AAR Loki! Very informative!

Concerning the Sterlings: Don´t you think you are better off hitting manpower in Germany with them? You get VPs for that which you don´t get from rail/ports in France. Very good idea to convert some FBs to bombers early on. Never thought of that. Now that I´m in 44 I would have loved some more Typhoons!



glad its useful

Having played to the early 44 I ended up realising you don't need that many conventional fighters bt do have a lack of FB who can operate as bombers. My instinct is that most UK/US FB can look after themselves in air combat so there is less need to escort them.

Stirlings I took the basic idea from Carlkay (he adds them to Tac Air). I found that without them, the heavier bombers still gained enough VP for it to be no real problem. My logic is I often find myself short of AD for the Tac Air so best leave then in Bomber Command. It also gives me a ready tool for my ports and trains bombing strategy.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Nice job, I learned a few things!

Probably too late, but you don't want to go straight in at Oristano. The reason is that landing will not produce a temporary port. It would be better to land just to the north; that would create the temp airfield and port, and still allow instant repair.

The risk with that is that the Germans will grab Oristano and lock you out, but it's risky for them to keep units on Sardinia very long


I should have remembered that, so I shifted the target for T3. No great loss as I didn't want to make that landing till I was sure I had control over southern Italy.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aces8

Good stuff as always I am really enjoying your AARS Loki. I have been reading your adventures as the Russians in WITE.


At first I was really unsure that WiTW could be a fun game, in truth its a work of genius. If it lacks the scale of the Great Patriotic War it doesn't lack for really interesting interactions between game systems and the way you have to plan so far ahead

quote:

ORIGINAL: barkorn45

One thing I do with 8th is target hamburg with everything I have.
Then on the next turn target 3 cities with three separate strikes of 200+ bombers and set all 3 outbound routes to the same hex's.
When they get close to the coast send them to their target's.
I could be wrong but my a2a losses seem less,maybe the enemy air controllers get confused.


My feeling so far is that managing 8 Air is much more tricky than Bomber Command. If you stick to night bombing, have reasonable escorts and swap targets over time that seems to take care of itself.

But 8 Air, its clear you can have monumental disasters. I'm certainly swapping targets and trying out putting them all onto the same target.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

Daylight city raids at 21K altitude can be very costly.


Yep, I think I've just provided plenty of empirical evidence.

At the moment I think I am in the dangerous (to myself) stage of the air war. I still rely on the default computer settings when I'm not sure if there is any merit to changing things, but I'm also playing around at the micro level for some operations. The results are sometimes less than impressive but think you do learn a lot doing it this way.

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Turn 2: 10 – 16 July 1943 - 1/22/2015 11:13:52 AM   
loki100


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Turn 2: 10-16 July 1943

As expected, the landings in Sicily went in without too many losses but the Germans had managed to build up quite impressive levels of interdiction.



I'll shift the Malta air group to air superiority over the sea in an attempt to maintain control.

Other bits of housekeeping. I always do air admin first (more a habit from WiTE where its best to do this before any air interaction can occur). I'm setting air groups with morale <60 or fatigue of 15+ to rest. Not surprisingly after its bruising over Bremerhaven, a sizeable chunk of the US 8th Air Force needs a break. Taking losses, both actual and as damaged aircraft, will lead to falls in air morale. Low morale feeds into very poor performance, so there is no point pushing such units, unless it is completely essential.



VP and the related charts are always worth scanning. Check out any trends or variations but for the first turn this seems fairly normal.



Checking over the other fields, I note my supply stores are down. No need to panic, this maybe simply due to all those aircraft relocations and supply catching up, but something to keep an eye on.



Air Planning: Europe

Mostly I'm going to leave the northern European part of the air orders as they were. But need to pay attention either where it went wrong (8 Air) or nothing happened (9 Air).

First good news, moving their escorts means there is now some protection. With that in mind, I shift one group to include Bremen, the other (with less planes) carries on hitting Kiel.



I also adjust the air superiority boxes. Its a really good idea to look at the combat reports to see where German interceptors are active and swap your own missions around to try and catch them.



While doing this, I double checked why 9 Airforce was not joining in.



Uhuh, told it to operate too far away from its only unit, so I adjusted that to include the region off Dover where German fighters have been active.

Air Planning: Med

One thing I find incredibly useful is to check who can't be used and why. This was reviewing the tactical air group. I'm not interested in those without a * (at least they are involved somewhere). Not much I can do now, but once airbases fall on Sicily, I'll move a number of the shorter range planes to the island.



The other change was to give some strategic bombers a mission to bomb ports and rail yards around Brundisium. The others carry on hitting Messina and around Naples.

Results

Overall my total losses were down to 555 (972 damaged).



US 8 Air Force was hit hard again, although it did do a reasonable amount of damage. Also its escorts inflicted losses on the German fighters. The problem is not so much over the targets as German interdiction on the route in/out.



As mentioned above, I find this screen invaluable for planning.



Specifically, at the moment the point where the German fighters are doing their interception is out of the reach of most allied fighters ... so its informative, but I can't do anything about it.

Bomber Command is making steady progress, 1-2% damage per raid and inflicting some ongoing damage on the Channel Ports.

Fighter Command's air superiority missions are doing a fairly decent job at causing attrition to the Luftwaffe. I lost 40 planes and shot down 24 … think that is a trade off in my long term favour.

In the Med, generally more successful.



I'll cancel the Ground Support mission for next turn, this just seems to be a way to lock up planes that really are better used on the Ground attack mission, the exception is if you know for sure there will be heavy fighting.

Strategic Bombing Logic

I'm finding managing the strategic airwar one of the most interesting parts of WiTW. What could have been an exercise in tedium has become a real challenge (I suspect for both sides as with the Germans you have to guess where the attacks will come and how to set up your defences). So here's my logic:

Follow the VP … these are an attempt to model parts of the game that are missing such as the Battle of the Atlantic and the impact of the V1/2 on morale. As the Allies you can't afford a massive VP deficit. The focus on manpower is dictated by VP and efficiency, as well as a neat way to make you do something that has been a subject of considerable contention.

Hit the economy … This is why I put HI on the list. Its the cornerstone of all production (supply, ammo, replacement elements, specialist planes and vehicles). Also Fuel and Oil. The payback is slow but by mid-1944 you need the German reaction to be slowed.

Hit ports … here its worth bearing in mind that naval interdiction as such lasts a week, a damaged port harms German interdiction over the longer term

Hit Rail Yards … similar, interdiction is for the week, wrecking the basis for the German rail net gives long term benefits. First they have less rail capacity, that means they are forced to start operating in separate fronts rather than able to transfer units easily.

Secondly, in a huge improvement over WiTE, if you want to unload units from trains it is so much quicker to do this at a working rail yard than in a field. In this sense a lack of functioning rail yards can add 1-2 turns to a long range redeployment of an armoured/motorised formation.

So if you reduce the rail yards in Italy to rubble, the Germans will be much less able to respond as well as hitting supply flows.

Onto the land

As mentioned, I'm going to send about 6 divisions and 2 corps from the UK to the Med. That will give me enough to take Sardinia and allow early build up for the landings near to Rome.

On Sicily, the Axis are falling back. I've managed to trap one Italian division and take Catania. Have also moved a number of fighter squadrons to the airbases around Note and Siracusa.



I've taken 2 of the amphib forces back to N Africa, the other 2 will do to channel in reinforcements and I'll end up using one of them to cross over at Messina.

Nothing surprising so far.

So time for the promised image. I will start putting in pictures of Shermans et al, but first an insight into why the Red Army will win the race to Berlin. Yep, trained cats, not something you see every day (and never in my household)



but, just to keep to the proper focus, here is an image of British Tanks, queuing politely:



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RE: Turn 2: 10 – 16 July 1943 - 1/22/2015 6:19:27 PM   
KWG


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Those Red Cats will face the Führer's FURRY!!!






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< Message edited by KWG -- 1/22/2015 7:22:15 PM >

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RE: Turn 2: 10 – 16 July 1943 - 1/23/2015 6:17:00 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KWG



I'd just settle for simple obedience off ours ...

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Turns 3-4: 17 July – 30 July 1943 - 1/23/2015 6:19:50 PM   
loki100


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Turns 3-4: 17 July – 30 July 1943

I'm going to conflate these turns as both were about small iterations in operational planning rather than anything major.

Air War: Northern Europe

On T3 I made two changes to previous tactics.

First I combined all of US 8 Airforce into a single set of raids on Hamburg. I raised the altitude to limit losses and left the lower level planes to rest.

Second, I sent one of my three groups of strategic bombers in Bomber Command to hit Berlin. I like to vary targets with Bomber Command, keeping one group active over the Ruhr but moving the others around.

The outcome was pretty good, only 328 planes lost and 8 Air only lost 42. The advantage of this is it reduces the number of squadrons having to be rested for poor morale and meant that on T4 I had around 90% of the units to deploy.

On T4 I decided to split 8 Air Force into two groups and stick to high altitude bombing in Germany with the B-17s while the lower altitude B-24/26s went for ports and rail yards in France. This worked out well with very limited losses (they were both escorted and flying in an area of RAF fighter superiority missions).



Not least I decided it was time to risk bombing much deeper, starting with Stettin.

That didn't work out too well. Probably too high to actually hit specific factories so need to think about the actual tactics again.



Bomber Command carried on swapping targets. One group hit the Ruhr, the others moved onto new targets this week.

The other change was a deliberate shift by part of Tactical Air. I'd spotted an airbase at Arnhem stuffed with nasty German fighters so swapped the group that had been raiding in the Netherlands to hit just the one target with the goal of the airbase.



I was pretty pleased with that.

Total losses were 328 shot down (again) and 669 damaged.

The other pleasing thing was I have stopped German fighters from trying to catch my bombers over the channel, in fact they seem to have abandoned northern France.




Air War: Southern Europe

This saw less changes. The naval air are keeping control around Sicily and Sardinia and starting to prepare for the second wave of invasions. Tactical Air is mainly active around Messina, and air superiority is covering for both these targets. Strategic Air is going for ports and railyards from Brindisi to north of Rome.

Outcomes

Well by T4 this shows total losses:



A trade off of 1.5:1 in planes and 2:1 in pilots seems pretty good (I'm used to the VVS losing at a ratio of 5/6:1).

VP remains steady. 4 per turn from the strategic bombing, -3 per turn from U-boats, a total of -46 at this stage is better than I've managed so far.



Supply stores for the allies are fine but the Germans are showing signs of some emerging problems



On the land

Not much to say. First clash since the landings saw the US 2nd Armoured capture Sciacce. Have landed a couple more divisions (from those moved out of the UK) and its pretty clear the Germans are preparing to defend Messina and Reggio Calabria.



This suits me as I'll clear out the west of the Sicily and then land at the top of the toe.

Third landing is planned around Civitavecchia. This is designed to put ashore 5 divisions immediately and a 6/7 more as a second wave.



If it works, it should lead to the Germans giving me Rome before the autumn rains which will be an acceptable return for 1943 in Italy.

And here's a picture, British troops learning to garden in the dark ... or in reality the far more serious business of mine clearance.





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Post #: 13
T5-6: 31 July – 13 August - 1/27/2015 8:42:05 PM   
loki100


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T5-6: 31 July – 13 August

Again, I'll conflate two turns, this roughly fits how I am playing the game and avoids too much detail.

For T5 my main actions were a lot of fussing about the load outs for the bombers. The Stirlings that have been hitting France I swapped from the usual British bomber emphasis on incendiaries to heavier bombs. Equally I changed a lot of the coastal command air to mines. Some of this is trying to guess at what works best.

Overall I was pretty happy with US 8 Air, it did some serious damage to the U-Boats and suffered few losses



In addition, sending the lighter bombers to hit the ports and rail net of France seemed to pay off



Tracking axis fighters, made me plan to move one air superiority box to the Thames region and to decide to investigate if I should swap fighter command over to using drop boxes for the extra range.



For T6, the VP situation remains fairly static. I'm gaining 4 per turn for city bombing and losing 3 per turn for U-Boats (latter is a bit frustrating as I have managed to bomb most factories).



Anyway, as above decided to see if I could improve fighter cover, especially over the eastern Netherlands by adding drop tanks to most fighters.



All in all this paid off as I had none out of range and set up more aggressive missions

For the strategic bombers, 8 Air is still hitting the U-Boat yards and Bomber Command is touring around Germany. I decided to risk letting BC bomb France at daytime as I have a lot of fighters active.

On Sicily, I set aside two of the newly captured airbases for the Strategic Air Force. From here, they can start to bomb Ploesti.



The rest of the Med missions are predictable. Trying to isolate Palermo, indication all up Calabria and strategic bombing of ports and rail yards



The bombing of France was far more devastating by day, and with minimal losses



But that was a rare bit of good news. Overall I lost 546 planes, Bomber Command (at night) had a disaster over Bremen (clearly well protected) and 2 Tactical Command took a lot of losses. Studying the pattern I need to gather the level bombers into their own raids and attack at higher altitude (or transfer them to Bomber Command).

8 US Air took a pounding at Danzig and Poznan so I need to suspend attempts to hit the more distant targets for now. Good thing is they left a trail of damage behind them.



My new tactics with Fighter Command seemed to pay off. At the least German planes were being challenged over the Netherlands.



Finally, on Sicily, the Axis have fallen back to the main ports with relatively limited losses. What I will do is to finish off Palermo and Trapani before making invasions of Sardinia and south of Naples. This will free up at least one more corps as a second wave and give me time to establish air superiority using the new Sicilian bases.



Oh and here we see Scottish troops conquering parts of Sicily …



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Post #: 14
Turns 7-8 (14 August – 27 August 1943) - 1/29/2015 8:59:47 PM   
loki100


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Turns 7-8 (14 August – 27 August 1943) ... outwitted by the AI

Again I'll conflate turns and stick to the main issues, mostly about attempts to ensure the best use out of the Allied airforce.

I also find its about this stage of the game that my mindset shifts from 'take it carefully, I have lots of time' to 'winter is almost on us'. Or more strictly that I need to start thinking about how to move the transports back to the UK.

After T6, I've hit most of the U-Boat factories (VP loss is down to 1 a turn) so decided to ensure that the Strategic bombers stayed with fighter protection.



Of note, I've allocated the B-25s from 8 Airforce to hitting railway yards in France – particularly at Paris.

In the south, I launched the first raid on Ploesti using some of the B-17s moved to Sicily in T6. Other than that swapped from bombing around Brindisi to hitting ports in Sardinia to prepare for that invasion.

I also spotted a lot of German fighters at Reggio Calabria so committed a small group of the B-24/25 to bomb the air base. Tactical air is concentrating on interdiction and rail attacks and taking fairly heavy losses.



Net outcome was 338 planes lost, no missions were particularly obviously leading to high losses (apart from Tac Air at Messina). Had one of the few times when Bomber Command actually managed to do some damage.



On the ground I quickly managed to take Palermo and Trapani, next turn I'll move those 2 corps back to the transports at Gela so they can support the next wave of amphibious landings.

With the west of the island secure, the British XIII Corps attacked Messina (decided this would allow Tac Air to rest as I'll need them pretty soon).

Since there are some discussions as to whether the combat engine works, thought it might be useful to show this in detail. The British divisions all had fatigue of around 25, experience at 66 and morale at 65 before attacking. So reasonably rested, reasonably competent.

As you can see, I won the battle with some ease – not least the Italians had a lot of disrupted units from pre-battle air interdiction



I can't stress enough how important disruption is, it effectively means that element does not fight in that turn and can also lead to high fatigue as the unit recovers from disruption in later turns.

If we look at who actually fought, the Italians performed as I'd expect. Well dug in, favourable terrain, they handed out a lot of damage. Their main problem was a lack of long range elements, so they took even more disruption/damage in the early stages of the battle to add to their problems with my air attacks.



Of the British elements, again I can't see anything unusual. The longer range guns did their job by inflicting disruptions, the infantry did the serious damage. The tanks were a bit useless but then this is urban terrain and level #3 forts where they have a significant malus.

Anyway by the end of the turn, Sicily is mine.

With this resolved, I decide to start the invasion of Sardinia so those landings will happen on T8.

In terms of VP, much as expected. As above, I am now only losing 1 per turn due to U-Boats but my overall bombing effort may have dipped due to my obsession with French railways (have only gained 3 VP this turn and last).



With Sicily in my hands, I want to create a choke point on the Crati. At worst this will delay any German response to my landings at Scalea, at best it may give me a decent pocket.



Only problem is that after its battering at Messina, most of Tac Air is resting this turn.

Reflecting lower levels of activity in the Med, my overall air losses were down to 222. No real points of interest in the pattern of raids.

That is until I started scanning the interdiction patterns.



Now I think that is clever by the AI, its in effect prevented any move from N Africa to Italy, so my relative control of the coastal waters at Scalea is completely negated. Need to switch both air superiority and naval air to contest that.

Sardinia went fairly well. Took some air bases that the Germans were using (suspect this is linked to their naval air actions above) and I'll commit another corps next turn. Goal is to make some progress and be in a position to take advantage of any Italian surrender.



While I am stuck on Sicily, the Red Army is practising road directions to Berlin



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Post #: 15
T9-10: 28 August – 10 September 1943 - 1/31/2015 4:59:48 PM   
loki100


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T9-10: 28 August – 10 September 1943

I added the new (beta) patch between T9 and 10 so I'll quickly discuss if the new night fighter values have made much difference.

On T9 around Sicily, my air actions are all building up for the planned invasion of Scalea. This may be a little far south but has the merit of being in range of shorter range aircraft based in Eastern or Northern Sicily. It should also dislodge the Germans from Reggio Calabria and start to set up an Italian surrender.



In Northern Europe, I've pulled back the US airforce from long range attacks and am operating within escort range. They are also going over the North Sea to avoid those fighter concentrations in the Netherlands.



Again, am using the lighter bombers for both Bomber Command and 8 Airforce in France or Belgium as part of my port and rail yard bombing campaign.

Overall losses were low at 216.

Fighter Command lost 23 (so it seems that the swap to drop tanks has had no serious impact), Bomber Command 42 (21 of which were lost in bombing in NE France and Belgium by day)



US 8 Air lost 15 (so better route choice and more escorts seemed to pay off).

Off Sicily, I've taken back control of the seas between Sicily and Sardinia.



I'll launch the invasion of the mainland on T10 as that will allow the units that took Palermo and Trapani another turn to recover. In Sardinia. British units reach the outskirts of Cagliari but don't attack this turn.

By T10, the VP score is settling down to +4 for bombing and and -2 for U-boats. I've shifted some raids of 8 Air from U-boats to manpower which may explain the variations in that respect (last time I had +3 for manpower. -1 for U-boats), but overall I think a net gain of +2 per turn between the two lines is good enough.

Since this is the new patch, in Northern Europe I was a little bit more cautious with the bombing pattern.



Probably need to be even more careful though as losses were up to 312. Bomber Command was the main source and suffered badly over the Ruhr (where I lost 72 planes)



8 Air was much as before, losing 25 planes, which was mostly down to a direct attack on the U-boat factories at Hannover



In Italy, a combination of Tac Air on land and Coastal Command has given me decent interdiction levels at Scalea. The Sicily-Sardinia gap remains under my control, so well worth the substantial diversion of effort.



On Sardinia, I decide to see if I can clear Cagliari quickly (2 fresh divisions landed this turn but won't be in position to help for at least one more turn). If it worked, this would have ended axis air interdiction off Sicily. Well it was close, but not enough. No tactical air to soften up the enemy, and tanks cope badly with level 3 forts. But with the fort down to level 1, I should be able to take the city next turn.



In terms of the details, no real surprises. Well dug in and well supported by artillery, the defenders inflicted a lot of disruption on my attacking units. In response, my artillery was much less effective and as at Messina the Shermans were not much use. Again, for some reason, the Stuarts performed better.



So with the seas secure and some degree of air control over the landing zone, its time to attack mainland Italy. The lead divisions are well prepared (I swapped targets on T1) and I have two corps of back up formations (plus more to come in next turn). It looks like there are 3 German and 1 Italian division on the Crati and I think there is a German PzGr division at Reggio Calabria (plus some Italian formations).



Just have to hope that landing well within the range of air support and after bombing the Italian rail system since the start of the game (see if Mussolini can make the trains run on time now), that this allows me to clear Southern Italy.

This time the image is at least relevant to the topic under discussion:

Hurricane with full ground attack equipment:



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Post #: 16
T11 11-17 September 1943 - 2/3/2015 7:47:28 AM   
loki100


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T11 11-17 September 1943

Since my rate of progress has slowed a bit (and have just started my first PBEM), this is a one turn update. However, a fairly eventful turn featuring Italy's surrender and my revised approach to strategic bombing.

In the med, almost all my air activity is set up to assist my landings at Scalea.



The only other missions are continuing naval patrols and air support off Western Sicily. Was glad I did this as during the air resolution phase, the Germans made a serious attempt to re-assert their control in that region.

Italian bombing campaign carries on hitting ports and railyards.

In northern Europe, the tactical campaign in France carried on as before (and this includes strategic bombing of rails and ports), but made some adjustments to the strategic war.

First I re-organised both 8 Air and Bomber Command into two sub-groups. Each included a recon element and the actual bombers. I also narrowed down my target ranges to 1-2 hexes.



The results seemed to really pay off. Overall I only lost 265 planes with no major disasters. Fighter Command is trading off losses with the luftwaffe over the Netherlands (I lost 20 and shot down 13), but the main difference was with Bomber Command.



Not a good time to live in Muenster, Now that has low levels of flak but relatively high manpower (which is why I choose it), but the last 2 raids after sustained recon were devastating. I also managed to do quite a bit of damage to the defending German fighters.

However, its not guaranteed. Results at Koblenz (same approach) were more predictable.



US 8 Air contributed, hit most of the German fuel production in Schleswig (which I guess partly answers that question?)



On reviewing the combat pattern, it was clear the German fighters have shifted to chase my bombers over the North Sea. Need to think again about routes.



VP shows a +3 for the bombing effort (4 for bombing, 1 lost for U-Boats), and overall is going fine for this stage – as much reflecting my lack of serious losses in the ground fighting.



With Italy surrendered, I quickly move a spare division into Ajaccio to secure the port. I'll clear Sardinia first and then redeploy those units to Corsica. On Sardinia, I clear Cagliari and try to catch as many German units as I can.

Recon indicated there is a still a German PG Division in Reggio Calabria which may be good news as it could end up in a pocket but for the moment it prevents any offensive off the island.

Landing at Scalea was reinforced and cut the link between Reggio Calabria and the north as well as occupying good defensive terrain around the landing area. I expect to be bottled up here till the next invasion dislodges the Germans again.

So that is yet another revision to my approach to strategic bombing and first evidence is good. Single hex (or very small) bombing blocks, and link a dedicated recon mission with each bombing group.

Oh, and here is a picture. Proof that the landing site at Scalea has been properly secured:



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Post #: 17
RE: T11 11-17 September 1943 - 2/3/2015 9:17:38 AM   
marion61

 

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If your having low bombing results, check your recon levels in the hex for the start of the air phase. Your going to be intercepted over the North Sea. Use Ftr Cmd and 2nd RAF Tac to find his planes and then send in ground strikes to push them back. Flying further out will become prohibitive as your fighter escorts can't travel as far.

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Post #: 18
RE: T11 11-17 September 1943 - 2/3/2015 10:09:37 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: meklore61

If your having low bombing results, check your recon levels in the hex for the start of the air phase. Your going to be intercepted over the North Sea. Use Ftr Cmd and 2nd RAF Tac to find his planes and then send in ground strikes to push them back. Flying further out will become prohibitive as your fighter escorts can't travel as far.


I've been refining my recon strategy over the last couple of turms. One of those things where WiTE experience can catch you out as there its a case of point and see. But as in the next post, really starting to pay off.

As is using some of fighter command over the Netherlands looking for trouble with the Germans

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Post #: 19
Turns 12-13: 18 September – 2 October 1943 - 2/3/2015 10:13:09 PM   
loki100


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Turns 12-13: 18 September – 2 October 1943

Back to conflating turns as I had a bit more time to play.

Last turn I earned 5 VP for city bombing (so that very successful raid paid off) and lost 2 for U-Boats.

On T12 in Northern Europe I manually upgraded a lot of the B17-F so just ran one mission with 8 Air. But as you can see all my strategic bombing into Germany is now single hex and involves a designated recon mission.



In general it paid off. Overall losses were up a little from T11 to 320 but there were no stand out disasters. The heaviest losses were actually in fighter command (53) but for those I shot down 26 German fighters. 8 Airforce lost 45 bombers on the Lubeck raids. In the Med I am taking very few air losses – I fear the AI is reading Pelton's AARs as it seems to be saving its airforce for later.

The new approach for Bomber Command paid off again.



Its not just that relatively successful raids produce VP, they also build experience and in turn that leads to more effective bombing. The raid on Bielefeld was mostly done with Lancasters, Saarbrucken was a bit of mix of types.

Elements of Bomber Command and 8 Airforce carry on flattening the French rail system and ports.

Key to my improved performance was working out how to use air recon properly. In WiTE its much more simple, but this shows my coverage in France which is becoming very informative.



When I checked at the start of T13, I was down to +4 for city bombing but -1 for U-boats. So still a steady +3 per turn.



The Med bombing campaign is still mostly centred on protecting 5 Army in Italy. Elements of 7 Army are making steady progress in Sardinia and Corsica.



In northern Europe I switch strategic targets around but keep to the same operational approach.

Overall losses were down to 228

Bomber Command this time hit Kleeve (sorry Anne) and Saarbrucken (here I think adjusting the payload helped as does 2 weeks of sustained recon).



On the mainland, things are getting a bit of a problem. I am becoming very stretched, especially as there is a para division at Crotone and a Pzr+PzGr divisions in Reggio Calabria. I'm going to bomb both groups heavily but I need to secure my rear before pushing north (or risking the bulk of 7 Army landing near Rome). If I need to, I'll take elements of 8 Army by sea to the mainland and then they can support clearing those ports.



Once I clear Sardinia, I can do one of three things. The original plan was to act as a reserve for the Rome landings, but I can send some to Corsica to clear that or perhaps to help out 5 Army. Starting to become aware that the clock is ticking on the Italian campaign with bad weather on the way and I need those transports in the UK.



So after that cup of tea in the last post, a slightly more dramatic image this time:



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Post #: 20
Turns 14-15 2 October – 15 October 1943 - 2/5/2015 7:09:02 AM   
loki100


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Turns 14-15 2 October – 15 October 1943

I'll conflate these turns as T14 saw little action and T15 was pretty much a continuation of earlier decisions and strategies.

Turn 14 saw extremely bad weather all over Northern Europe leading to a complete suspension of the air campaign. As a result the only air action was in the South where my losses were only 61 and the bulk of these were suffered by Tactical Air as I directly bombed those German units at Reggio Calabria,

By the end of the week, elements of 5 Army were making some progress towards the Basento and in turn threatening to dislodge the German defences west of Scalea.



The consequence of no strategic bombing was a drop in the gain of VP.



Still the weather had improved by T15 so I was sure that 8 Airforce and Bomber Command would deliver a decent haul of VP this turn.

Well for whatever reason they put on a show of stunning ineptness. Each mission is single hex, supported by recon and this was as good as it got.



Still at least total losses were only 316 and fighter command carries on inflicting impressive rates of attrition.

In Italy, 5 Army continues to press along the coast. Crotone is penned in by Paratroopers and the port is destroyed so the Germans can't escape. They can wait till I have finished off Reggio Calabria.



The command of both the US V Corps and the British units on Sicily have been passed to 8 Army. I can now use the ferries so start deploying British units to the mainland. The Germans are still very powerful but last week they had a defensive cv of 110. Incessent bombing and, I suspect, very poor supply, is steadily eroding their capacity to fight.



Sardinia is almost cleared, will probably take 2 more weeks to complete the task.

The invasion north of Rome is ready, many potential invasion groups are up to 70 in readiness (I know there are Panzer divisions in the area) and each will land 2 divisions plus follow on formations. Its a case of timing, I need to project some sea interdiction (I can already commit Spitfires over the planned landing zones) and ideally I want 5 and 8 Armies to be ready to exploit any gains towards Naples.

But autumn is progressing and I also want both the transports and a number of combat formations returned to the UK.

Picture is slightly more dramatic this time, actually of Canadian armour in action in Sicily.





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Post #: 21
Turns 16_17 16 – 29 October 1943 - 2/7/2015 11:15:36 PM   
loki100


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Usual 2 turn report.

In the air, in northern Europe, I'm doing 3 things.

Strategic bombing using 8 Air (still basically U-Boats and HI) and Bomber Command (Manpower and HI). Add in fuel when I can but both are doing 2 large attacks twice per week.

I'm also using Strat bombers by day (both 8 Air and BC) to hit railyards and ports in France. Finally element is Tactical Air, logistics and interdiction. I'm actually cutting this back and putting more and more squadrons to rest in preparation for 1944 (why lose Typhoons now?). Finally I've left Coastal Command just to do automatic missions, again see no point to running up losses on naval interdiction.

So here is the target map for T16, each turn some variation of actual targets.



In the Med, for T16, Strat bombing was hitting rail yards and ports, regular attack on Ploesti. Tac Air was supporting 5 Army in Italy, some interdiction on Sardinia and taking fairly heavy losses bombing the German forces at Reggio Calabria. For T17 the only significant change was more recon and interdiction around Rome.

Again here is the T16 target map.



On T16 losses were down to 251, I think the AI has not really conserved its airforce. Bomber Command remains hit and miss (literally). Some turns/raids are deadly, others report little damage. Lost 322 on T17, worst was for Tac Air braving the flak at Reggio Calabria but I really want to weaken those German units.

On the ground, three main fronts. At Reggio Calabria I'm waiting for supply and constant interdiction to weaken the Germans. By T16, they were down to 64 cv (defensive). By T17, they were down to 54 so I decided to risk an attack. Well that was grim. May need to take into November before I can risk it again.



In the same turn, I decided to try and make progress at reducing the Crotone forces. I really want to clear out my rear so I can fully exploit any German withdrawal when I land at Rome. Well that led to another disaster



In the meantime 5 Army was making limited progress. On T16 pushed a little along the Gulf of Taranto



However, on T17, I managed to stretch the German lines and break out along the coast. Wouldn't risk this against a human player but it should bring the front to Salerno if I'm lucky.



Finally on T16, took the last port on Sardinia and on T17 destroyed the last German units. Most of the units will now be deployed to Corsica but some sent to support the planned Rome landings.

By T17, net gain from the strategic air war remains at +3 (it seems I can't avoid some degree of trade off between bombing VP and loss for U-Boats).



Finally, here's why fatigue matters. Pushed this armoured unit too hard in clearing Sardinia. It was showing 16cv a few turns back. Needs to rest now.



Anyway with so much dramatic fighting, felt a suitable image was needed;



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Post #: 22
Turns 18-19 (30 October – 12 November 1943) - 2/9/2015 7:45:49 PM   
loki100


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Turns 18-19 (30 October – 12 November 1943)

Relatively short report this turn. All my air was grounded in northern Europe for both turns and in most of the Med for T19. That meant I lost 132 and 32 planes on those turns respectively.

On T18, my Med air activity was mostly around preparing for the Rome landings, I am becoming increasingly worried about making those landings and being able to redeploy to the UK for the main invasion in 1944.



On T19, the only area where the weather was not too bad was in the south of Italy. The German forces at Reggio Calabria have steadily weakened, so I decided to gamble on another attack.



Ouch again, but one bit of good news was that their cv collapsed to 14. I'd guess that they are out of supply and very low on ammunition. So while in general, its not a good idea to repeat a failed attack, this time I did so.



VP situation remains ok, even after two turns of little bombing.



Given the bad weather, and how late into 1943 this now is, I need to attack at Rome next turn (if at all possible).

Oh and to celebrate destroying all those Tiger Tanks, and to show that they do have a secondary use (as an umbrella), here is a picture of rainy Italy



< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/9/2015 8:47:58 PM >


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Turns 20-21: 13-26 November 1943 - 2/10/2015 7:54:04 PM   
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Turns 20-21: 13-26 November 1943

Again I'll put the turns together, but this time a lot more action. Before starting T20 I was wondering if the AI had over-committed earlier in the game, well I was in for real shock. This is the second time its not just managed a competent response but really taken me by surprise.

Almost the first thing I did was to check the weather



So not only can we have an air war we can visit Rome. I still think I am behind, but hopefully can get the French invasions set up by mid-Jan 44 at the latest.

In northern Europe, I experimented with ignoring the U-Boats and sending 8 Air into SW Germany. There are a lot of high value (lots of HI and big rail yards) down there, not much flak and it allows you to escape the fighters [1]



In Italy almost everything is hitting the invasion area. Lots of recon, lighter bombers from 15 Air are going for airfields, tac air for interdiction. The only variation was to risk a long range unescorted strike at Linz.

Losses matched the intensity with 411 lost and 174 German planes shot down. Bomber Command were still clearly in the pub after their two week break as they hit nothing. 8 Air more than made up, levelling Frankfurt and Stutgart. 15 Air did little damage at Linz so I'll leave that till I have bases in southern Italy.



In south Italy made more progress around Salerno as I start to disrupt the German defensive lines. But the main issue is at Rome. This shows my invasion (effectively 3 corps) force.



So far I have lost 73 troop ships (25 this turn) and 418 cargo ships (32 this turn).

Anyway, the invasion starts as a partial disaster. A German PzGr division holds off my northern landing. This costs me a lot of VP (I think I made a huge mistake using the French as the assault troops), eliminating all my small gains since the start.



The AI clearly didn't like me messing about off its territory. That is a serious commitment given it has been relatively quiet for a few turns.



Anyway in the air, for Italy its everything to support the landings, apart from a few attacks on railyards. I feel I am committed and need to try and secure Lazio before winter really sets in.



In N Europe, much the same as last turn, Overall losses were down a bit to 333. Bomber Command seemed to have sobered up a bit and did at least hit something. Kassel and Stuttgart again was the recipient of 8 Air's model of air warfare



In southern Italy, the German front has broken, I'm trying for a few pockets but some of my units need to be back in the UK fairly soon.



The landing zone sees some bitter fighting. Lots of German reserve re-actions hold some attacks



But I manage to win enough to create a bit of depth, even though a lot of 7 Army (especially my command units are still sailing around rather vulnerable)



Oh and for a picture, here is the great Anna Magnani expressing her opinion of all those German reserve activations [2]



[1] I've pulled this stunt in my PBEM too, think it creates a nice dilemma for the Axis player.
[2] From, of course, the founding film of the Italian realist cinema, Roma, Città Aperta



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Post #: 24
Turns 22-24: 27 November – 17 December 1943 - 2/14/2015 5:02:05 PM   
loki100


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Turns 22-24: 27 November – 17 December 1943

I'm going to start to reduce the scale of these updates, at least till I land in France. Both operationally and strategically its more a case of working through some predictable iterations (also I've somehow managed to lose the T22 screenshots).

On T22, the AI gave me Rome, so by the end of T44 I'd managed to push a bit to the north of city, and start pulling units back to the UK.



At sea the AI has been pretty clever, in that it only tries to interdict one turn in two. So it is very tempting to reduce my interdiction effort. In practice I have almost all of Tac Air and the Coastal Command protecting the landings (as I don't fear a massive land based counterstroke). I think here the difference in vs the (good) AI and PBEM is clear.



Elsewhere in Italy, most German units south of Naples have escaped but I have trapped a few and starting on the slow process of eliminating them.

I've lost 91 troop ships and 493 cargo ships.

VP, I'm slowly recovering from the losses when I landed. Hopefully the regular flow of Vps now I hold Rome and Naples will help.



Weather in northern Europe is poor, but I decided to try an 8 Air raid on Berlin as a test (up to now I've grounded them in the worst conditions). It seemed that the poor weather limited axis air interdiction but the bombs flattened a large part of the city's industry



Might try that in PBEM as a gamble but if it went wrong, it'd go very wrong.

Overall, I guess my goal now is to see what happens vs AI if you follow a reasonably historical time frame and approach.

And despite the liberation of Rome, Anna is still not all that happy:




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Post #: 25
Turns 25-27: 18 December 1943 – 6 January 194 - 2/17/2015 11:31:38 AM   
loki100


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Turns 25-27: 18 December 1943 – 6 January 1944

For a while I'll carry on conflating blocks of turns, more or less reflecting how I'm playing the game.

There is nothing surprising going on at the moment. I'm sending the equivalent of 2 corps back to the UK (Infantry so as to set up the invasion). In Italy, I'm bombing all those fortified ports using a combination of strategic air and tactical air. The intention is to use interdiction and ground strikes to steadily weaken the Germans.

Around Rome, I'm happy to hold the current lines. I need to connect that sector with S Italy but I'll take opportunistic chances to make gains if they occur.

Weather in northern Europe is bad for most turns so air losses fairly low (T25-383; T26 – 519; T27 – 108).

Bomber Command remains very hit and miss over the effect on manpower. On T26 I was too ambitious with 8 Air and went for Magdeburg. I did some damage but at considerable cost.



I'm making rail yards a regular part of the bombing priority now for all raids.

Overall (this is from T27), the air war is shifting in my favour. Given a 1-1 loss ratio, especially in air combat, I think the AI is more aggressive than a player would be about using up the Luftwaffe.



By T27,the VP situation takes a small dip as the V1/V2 become a target.



I respond by allocating a lot of strategic air to taking out the launch sites in France, doing a reasonable amount of damage (despite the weather).



Italy sees a small German counterattack at Civitavecchia



But this meant they had weakened the centre of their line so responded by using the fresh NZ division to try and break up their current front.



Elsewhere Bastia fell. It had been bombed for 5 weeks and the German garrison was less strong than it appeared due to the ongoing air interdiction.



So despite all this, is Anna happy?



Not yet it seems.


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Post #: 26
RE: Turns 25-27: 18 December 1943 – 6 January 194 - 2/17/2015 3:06:24 PM   
jwolf

 

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Nice style to give the "human element" with Anna. So what will make her smile: Italy's surrender? Or not until all the Germans are driven out?

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Post #: 27
RE: Turns 25-27: 18 December 1943 – 6 January 194 - 2/17/2015 4:02:03 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Nice style to give the "human element" with Anna. So what will make her smile: Italy's surrender? Or not until all the Germans are driven out?


There are some photos of her in a cheery mood, so I'll save those for a suitable moment.

But her usual (those minded to criticism would say only) role was that of a working class Roman mother having to deal with varying numbers of totally feckless men, so she does spend a lot of time channelling her inner fishwife. She was revered in Rome for effectively portraying a slightly (or substantially) over the top rendition of real life in the city in the 40s and 50s.

She was lucky that neo-realism put a lot of emphasis on very dramatic acting, which did suit her. A case of actress and cinema style coming together. She wasn't originally even the star of her first couple of films. Roma Citta Aperta was actually made in 1944-5 just after the liberation and she doesn't even survive to the end. The later films, she is more central.

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(in reply to jwolf)
Post #: 28
Turns 28-30: 8 January – 28 January 1944 - 2/18/2015 9:14:02 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7420
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline
Turns 28-30: 8 January – 28 January 1944

Again a relatively short update as the weather in northern Europe was snow/blizzard so very little happened. I've an 8 division invasion of the Contentin peninsular in preparation and have removed a lot of tactical air from the Med to the UK. Most of this is resting and/or training, and the only air action is strategic bombing of the V1 launch sites.

Bomber Command at night is doing little damage over Germany and I'm using 8 Air to hit the V1 sites. One good thing about this is they are easier to reach than the U-Boats so can reduce them to near zero.

The result is the only daylight bombing in Germany is from 15 Air. Hitting places like Graz is relatively easy from south Italy and by the end of the month should have some air units ready to take off from near Rome so can reach into southern Germany proper.

Air losses reflect the relative lack of action (108, 87

In Italy itself, the weather was mostly clear. Using the airforce to help clear out the various ports. Combination of sea interdiction and direct bombing helps to weaken the defenders. Also hitting the supply lines of the German forces north of Rome.

While I am taking my time and carefully setting up each attack, the final outcome really does reflect the impact of multi-turn interdiction. Note how much the AI's defensive CV drops when I actually attack.

This approach gave me Salerno, and later Bari



Only Brindisi to go.

On Corsica, took Calvi, leaving Porto Vecchio as their only stronghold.



Although I had decided to keep on the defensive north of Rome, it appeared the Germans had worse supply problems than I did. A small offensive towards Lake Bolsena drove them back and yielded a small pocket.



By the end of T30, my repaired rail lines reached Rome.



So by the end of January, this is the situation and this time I intend to remain on the defensive. 5 Army on the west coast has 2 corps. 8 Army on the east another 2. In addition 8 Army has control of the 2 corps clearing out the ports. These are mostly armour and I'll remove at least one corps plus more infantry to the UK in February. That will leave the equivalent of 5 corps in Italy, one in Corsica and a few non-allocated divisions. I'm not currently preparing for any more invasions in the Med as I want to save shipping for the invasion of France.



VP situation is slowly improving as the City VP score adds up.



So with Aquilea captured, time for a new style of picture (though Anna may have more to say later). Pontius Pilate is meant to be buried nearby, so I can now claim to have liberated his grave - well actually he is meant to be in the lake … this lake:



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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 29
Turns 31-35: 29 January – 3 March 1944 - 2/23/2015 6:47:58 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7420
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline
Turns 31-35: 29 January – 3 March 1944

Since pretty much nothing happened in these turns I'll conflate all four into one report. For the first two turns the weather in N Europe was so bad that little air action took place. In Italy, I was concentrating on clearing out the remaining German held ports and redeploying units back to the UK.

Air losses reflected this with only 78 lost on T31, 122 on T32 and 137 on T33.

Main change was to start sending 15 Air into Austria and South Germany, starting with a raid on Vienna



On the ground, Brindisi fell on T31. Porto Vecchio proved to be tougher, holding off my attacks on T32 and T33 before finally falling on T34.



T33 saw much more air action as the weather improved.

Bomber Command did their usual poor performance after a few weeks off, but 8 Air flattened much of the industry at Essen and 15 Air moved onto Linz.



T34 saw more luck for Bomber Command at Hannover (I have a non-scientific theory that they are more effective if you hit the same target on sequential weeks), Stuttgart was visited by 8 Air and Munich by 15 Air (even if it was heavily contested).



VP gain has slowed a bit due to lack of bombing but all the V1 sites in France are now heavily damaged.



I have a fairly conventional 8 Division invasion planned in Normandy and this will be ready by May. I have 2 taskforces still in the Med so could organise an invasion in S France but I'll leave that till later in the summer. I'll set up a second N Europe invasion using the two new taskforces and the units removed from the Med. This will be aimed at the Netherlands but whether I carry it out is dependent on the AI's response to the first landings.

On the ground in Italy, I've halted offensive operations for now. I'm letting the supply situation improve and its a lot easier to start the summer attacks on the plains of N Lazio/S Tuscany rather than with the Germans behind a river or dug into the Appenines.

In the meantime, Anna seems to be indicating she is a wee bit impatient ...



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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 30
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