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RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941

 
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RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941 - 5/31/2015 7:26:29 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45

Yes but your still limited to 5% guards in 1941 correct? or has that been changed in a patch.

So the bigger your army is the more guards units you are allowed. 100 divisions = 5 guards, 200 = 10 and so forth.


The limit is just about rifle divisions, so in theory all your art SUs can be Gds and so on.

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RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941 - 5/31/2015 8:35:29 PM   
chaos45

 

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Does the limit also apply to cavalry divisions?

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RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941 - 5/31/2015 10:11:14 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45

Does the limit also apply to cavalry divisions?


No, I think the % cap only applies to rifle divisions, so in theory every other formation (mountain/tank/mech/cav/support units) could be Gds.

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Post #: 93
RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941 - 5/31/2015 10:26:15 PM   
chaos45

 

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good to know thanks

Never played through as the Soviets so learning as I go vs Pelton...just lots of counter based board game experience

< Message edited by chaos45 -- 5/31/2015 11:27:15 PM >

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Post #: 94
RE: Turn 24: 27 November – 3 December 1941 - 6/2/2015 6:10:32 AM   
morvael


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
No, I think the % cap only applies to rifle divisions, so in theory every other formation (mountain/tank/mech/cav/support units) could be Gds.


Other groups also have caps, but indeed cavalry (and airborne) does not.

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Post #: 95
Turn 26: 11-17 December 1941 - 6/3/2015 10:18:44 AM   
loki100


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Turn 26: 11-17 December 1941

The second week of the Soviet offensive saw an escalation of the fighting as more Soviet formations came into contact with the German defensive line. The Volkhov sector saw a repeat of the previous weeks costly and failed attacks as the Soviets tried to breach the Finnish defensive lines but elsewhere Soviet units started to make gains.

Stavka was quick to reward assault formations that distinguished themselves with Guards status being given to two more rifle divisions.



Velikie Luki – Smolensk

Kalinin Front renewed its offensive on this sector.

At the junction with NW Front, 31 Army hit the spread out 6 Infantry Corps but were halted by the intervention of the German 5 Corps just north of the small town of Surazh.



However, the main blow was landed by 20 and 32 Armies. These combined to shattered the defensive lines of 23 Infantry Corps and were able to threaten the rear of German units facing the Volkhov Front.





The liberation of Bryansk was one of Stavka's key goals. Western Front had disrupted the German defences to the north in the opening attacks but the German defence remained well dug in using the broken ground north of the Desna. A major attack by 1 Shock Army on this line was held but elements of Western Front were able to move through the breaches opened in the previous week maintaining the pressure on the Germans.

For the moment the German defence on this sector was too strong and Stavka brought up the main assault armies for Western and Bryansk Front in an attempt to overwhelm the Germans and turn the southern flank of their defensive line.

Sumy-Poltava

On this sector SW and S Fronts continued to inflict heavy losses on the Germans and their allies.

At Sumy, the opening attack by 12 Army was held but 6 Army made substantial gains to the north where the axis front was held by Hungarian formations. With its flank exposed, their 56 Infantry was then forced to fall back



The renewal of the offensive at Poltava was assisted by a massive partisan attack on the rail lines supplying the Germans.




(partisan sabotage near Poltava)

The opening attack was held but Soviet cavalry were able to force the Vorskla breaching the German centre. With the German line disrupted, 9 Army added to the pressure by crossing the river in force and created a solid bulge in the German lines stretched out on this sector.




(Soviet cavalry in action)



To the south, the front was mostly quiet apart from on the lower Dneipr where elements of Coastal Army inflicted heavy losses on the defending Romanians.



Stavka's pressure on Romania was maintained by continuing to bomb Ploesti.



Losses for both sides escalated. The Germans lost 32,000 men (4,000 killed) but very few tanks or planes as they had effectively abandoned their infantry to try and hold the Soviet offensive. Soviet losses were 44,000 men (14,000 killed), 150 tanks and 60 planes.





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Post #: 96
Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/12/2015 7:44:46 AM   
loki100


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Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941

By the third week of December, the Soviet offensive hit the German lines all along the front. On the Volkhov, pressure was applied to the Finnish defenders but again all the attacks failed with heavy losses. Elsewhere not only did the attacking armies score localised successes but Stavka started to switch the focus of individual armies. The prospect of forcing the Germans to either abandon their defensive positions or risk encirclement opened up.

Velikie Luki-Smolensk

At Velikie Luki, for the first time, the Germans struck back and launched a limited counterattack using 7 Panzer and some supporting infantry formations.



However, any relief for their battered formations was short lived. 11 Army to the north and 22 Army to the south of the town drove in their front lines gradually threatening a major encirclement.


(Soviet artillery in action near Smolensk)

In turn, Kalinin Front made substantial gains around Smolensk and threatened the rear of the German units grimly holding on around Bryansk. Unfortunately an attempt to use the armoured formations of 52 Army to exploit the victories by the infantry failed, leading to heavy tank losses.





Of little operational importance, but of great political significance, was 31 Army re-establishing a Soviet presence in Bielorussia for the first time since late August.

Bryansk

Western and Bryansk Fronts had finally brought up their mobile reserves and launched a series of attacks aimed at encircling Bryansk.

In a rare all cavalry action, 4 Army swept away the 6 SS Cavalry to the north of the city and pushed across the Desna.




(Soviet cavalry in action on the Desna)

13 Army then took advantage of the chaos and drove German infantry back from their positions screening Dubrovka. The only flaw in the development of the northern wing of the Bryansk offensive was that 1 Shock Army again failed to breach the German lines south of Spas-Demyansk.

To the south of Bryansk, the German lines were quickly broken. By 18 December Soviet formations from the Bryansk Front had come into contact with the Slovakian forces defending the gap between AGC and AGS to the south of Bryansk.

Even before the opening salvos of Soviet artillery, they were effectively isolated by a massive partisan offensive behind their lines.



Demoralised, the Slovakians were swept from their trenches by 21 Army and a 20 mile gap was torn in the sector held by their 55 Infantry Corps. Mobile units of 40 Army exploited the opportunity cutting deep into the German lines of supply and communications.



Sumy-Poltava

The German lines north of Sumy came under heavy pressure. With their northern flank threatened by Bryansk Front, the Germans faced both the threat of SW Front to their front and of encirclement by 40 Army. SW Front exploited the confusion. 6 and 26 Armies drove in Hungarian units around Sumy.

To the south, 12 Army over-ran elements of the German 29 Infantry Corps and S Front's 9 Army expanded the gap driven between the German units holding Sumy and those at Poltava.



Lower Dneipr

In the far south, Caucasus Front slowly moved its mobile units into contact with the Romanians holding the lower Dneipr. In turn, elements of Trans-Caucasus Front screened the strong German defences between Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporzhye.

Coastal Army continued its offensive against the Romanian units trying to hold the south back of the Dneipr, making some progress but in need of reinforcements if it was to succeed in its goal of relieving the siege of Odessa.



Further pressure was applied to the battered Romanians as Soviet bombers continued to bomb Ploesti with impunity.



OOB



Although the Soviets notionally had substantial numbers of tanks, most were obsolete. The flaw of relying on T-26s and BT-7s had been shown in the disastrous attack by 52 Army. Out of almost 9,000 tanks, only 1,900 were modern T-34s or KV-1s.



Losses on both sides steadily increased as the fighting became more general across the front. The Germans lost almost 37,000 men (5,000 killed) and 14 tanks, Soviet losses were 50,000 men (12,000 killed in action) and 230 tanks.

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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/13/2015 7:15:34 PM   
STEF78


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Very interesting gambit from the german player he let his Infs fight without the Pzd's

He will get a good Pz Army (3500 Pz available!) but it will surely be at the price of high Inf losses.

Do you have a spreadsheet of the losses?

And as always, your AAR can be read like a book. Superb work!

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Post #: 98
RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/13/2015 9:06:40 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: STEF78

Very interesting gambit from the german player he let his Infs fight without the Pzd's

He will get a good Pz Army (3500 Pz available!) but it will surely be at the price of high Inf losses.

Do you have a spreadsheet of the losses?

And as always, your AAR can be read like a book. Superb work!


aye it'll be interesting, he's clearly trading off damaged morale and heavy losses in the bulk of his army for a small elite force in 1942. Equally by defending this way I'm getting a lot of Gds so that is part of the gamble, if I end up producing a lot of Gds rifle corps in mid-42 that could offset his very fresh panzers.

we've just played out T30 and for the whole game he has 93,000 dead (25,000 since 4 December), 6,200 prisoners (3,600), 390,000 disabled (130,000). Depending on what he does in the next two turns I'm likely to trap 2-4 divisions or he needs to risk some of his reserves. But over this period he's only lost 70 tanks. He's also pulled the Luftwaffe away from combat.

so I'm expecting a huge battering in June with loads of fresh and well supported armoured and motorised formations. But it will have to against a small sector of the front (at least at first) and runs the risk of being blocked. I've never seen someone do this before so its all rather scary to be honest. I think I'd rather be facing his armour now and make next to no gains.

edit - also Odessa is an unknown factor. If I hold to June, flip to a rifle corps and bring in another corps and a HQ he has a real headache, its already tieing down about 12 Romanian divisions.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 6/13/2015 10:09:04 PM >


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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/14/2015 4:09:22 PM   
M60A3TTS


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One suggestion before summer. Get your fortifications around Moscow up to where you want them, then just before summer go to the production screen and turn down fort production level by units to 25 or 50%. It will cost 100-150 admin points but will save a lot of supplies that will go into forts you won't have as much use for. During the summer if forts by units are left at 100%, in some weeks it can consume more supplies than your entire armaments industry.

< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 6/14/2015 5:10:52 PM >

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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/14/2015 4:26:48 PM   
MattFL

 

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Great AAR! I think it's smart to protect the pz/mot divisions during blizzard. I know as Russian I go out of my way to attack them mercilessly at every opportunity. I'm not sure I've ever seen them pulled completely and totally out of the line though, so this should be interesting...

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Post #: 101
RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/14/2015 10:08:59 PM   
Peltonx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

quote:

ORIGINAL: STEF78

Very interesting gambit from the german player he let his Infs fight without the Pzd's

He will get a good Pz Army (3500 Pz available!) but it will surely be at the price of high Inf losses.

Do you have a spreadsheet of the losses?

And as always, your AAR can be read like a book. Superb work!


aye it'll be interesting, he's clearly trading off damaged morale and heavy losses in the bulk of his army for a small elite force in 1942. Equally by defending this way I'm getting a lot of Gds so that is part of the gamble, if I end up producing a lot of Gds rifle corps in mid-42 that could offset his very fresh panzers.

we've just played out T30 and for the whole game he has 93,000 dead (25,000 since 4 December), 6,200 prisoners (3,600), 390,000 disabled (130,000). Depending on what he does in the next two turns I'm likely to trap 2-4 divisions or he needs to risk some of his reserves. But over this period he's only lost 70 tanks. He's also pulled the Luftwaffe away from combat.

so I'm expecting a huge battering in June with loads of fresh and well supported armoured and motorised formations. But it will have to against a small sector of the front (at least at first) and runs the risk of being blocked. I've never seen someone do this before so its all rather scary to be honest. I think I'd rather be facing his armour now and make next to no gains.

edit - also Odessa is an unknown factor. If I hold to June, flip to a rifle corps and bring in another corps and a HQ he has a real headache, its already tieing down about 12 Romanian divisions.


The down side to the 3500 tanks, most of them are junk.

I never had an issue with 1200 tanks, infantry morale and ToE is what matters.

1000 guard units means little in 42, Corp sure you have to waste a bunch of AP around Moscow to hold it.

If GHC is not pocketing at least 100 divisions in 42 they are toast. that's a 1000 AP or 20 turns of nothing other then buying new divisions to say nothing of merging them.

IF SHC is not buying units like crazy in 42 they are done or GHC is toast. If they buy allot then looking at a draw in most cases.


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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/15/2015 12:39:40 PM   
Matnjord

 

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From my completely non informed point of view I can only cheer at seeing those map border move forward for once. But of course the prospect of a fully functional panzer force is a scary one, thought I can't help but think that if his infantry gets too battered he will face the same problem that the germans faced in 1943, too few infantry to allow any operational freedom. I also imagine that the average landser must hatting OKH right now.
And it's a nice change of pace from your previous AAR to see so many guard units

Good job on creating a forward Sevastopol, thought I assume that if he shifted a couple of German divisions (or Manstein, shudder...) he could take it easily?

EDIT: Is there no possibility that he is holding his panzer back for a big counter-stroke once your units advance too much? You know, give you a bit of the old backhanded blow?

< Message edited by Matnjord -- 6/15/2015 1:48:15 PM >

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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/15/2015 1:55:46 PM   
MattFL

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Is there no possibility that he is holding his panzer back for a big counter-stroke once your units advance too much? You know, give you a bit of the old backhanded blow?


Possibly, but only once January blizzard is over at earliest. Russian CV's are just too high and German too low for any meaningful counterstroke. Too costly for no real gain. Of course, once the blizzard ends a full fledged assault could come more quickly than would otherwise be the case....

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Post #: 104
RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/15/2015 6:16:15 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

One suggestion before summer. Get your fortifications around Moscow up to where you want them, then just before summer go to the production screen and turn down fort production level by units to 25 or 50%. It will cost 100-150 admin points but will save a lot of supplies that will go into forts you won't have as much use for. During the summer if forts by units are left at 100%, in some weeks it can consume more supplies than your entire armaments industry.


good advice, I also tend to run down aircraft production, even with this at 75% you can churn out all the Il2s and fighters that you need. I've a big question to resolve which is where to set up my lines, some are a natural consequence of where I was pushed back to but a single line is no good.

quote:

ORIGINAL: mattp

Great AAR! I think it's smart to protect the pz/mot divisions during blizzard. I know as Russian I go out of my way to attack them mercilessly at every opportunity. I'm not sure I've ever seen them pulled completely and totally out of the line though, so this should be interesting...


When we started we agreed that we could read each others AARs (which is one reason for the map style I use and that this sometimes lags a bit behind the game), so if Vigabrand wants to contribute he's more than welcome.

I don't think there is a normal approach to the problem of using the Pzrs in winter. From my (limited) experience and AARs I think a lot of German players seem to leave 25-30% as a mobile firebrigade (Pelton has argued above Pzr morale recovers relatively easily in April and May), another 25-30% in cities from which they can lash out and generally disrupt the Soviet offensive and the rest tucked away.

Its less obvious at the moment, but Vigabrand has done the second part of this allocation. I've found them in Velikie Luki, Vyazma and in the south, but not the first, so I guess he has the equivalent of maybe 2 corps holding key cities behind the current front lines.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
...

1000 guard units means little in 42, Corp sure you have to waste a bunch of AP around Moscow to hold it.

If GHC is not pocketing at least 100 divisions in 42 they are toast. that's a 1000 AP or 20 turns of nothing other then buying new divisions to say nothing of merging them.

IF SHC is not buying units like crazy in 42 they are done or GHC is toast. If they buy allot then looking at a draw in most cases.



I'll put my head on the line here and partially disagree with Pelton. I agree about the importance of reserves - my goal is to have a reserve army of around 100 divisions (in effect as 200 brigades for now), about half of them will be used to create the next batch of armies and assigned when the Front command level allows 5 armies and Voronezh Front activates. The other half are to replace expected losses.

But Gds are critical. I think because Pelton only plays from one side he is missing just how critical the NM of 40 is for the bulk of Soviet rifle divisions. Even with mass there is little you can hold and you really can't attack (a stack of 6-7cv is as good as it'll get). You can't compensate by mass corps formation as you need lots of units (you are fighting German MPs as much as their combat values) and its too expensive in terms of admin pts.

Gds are the balance here, they stay at least at 50NM, a stack can easily be over 10cv. If they are tucked far enough back so they can't be pocketed they can feast on over-extended armour or weakly sealed pockets.

Remember in 1942 with the Soviets, apart from at Moscow, you can run as you have no industry to protect. So the run of the mill rifle divisions are speed bumps and the Gds are your only effective force.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

From my completely non informed point of view I can only cheer at seeing those map border move forward for once. But of course the prospect of a fully functional panzer force is a scary one, thought I can't help but think that if his infantry gets too battered he will face the same problem that the germans faced in 1943, too few infantry to allow any operational freedom. I also imagine that the average landser must hatting OKH right now.
And it's a nice change of pace from your previous AAR to see so many guard units

Good job on creating a forward Sevastopol, thought I assume that if he shifted a couple of German divisions (or Manstein, shudder...) he could take it easily?

....



it was oddly fun against SigUp having such a claustrophobic set of battles, I think I could describe the sequence of hexes between the M-V Canal to the Larna in my sleep . But this is nice too, bit more of a sweep to the proceedings.

the new 1.08.03 rules for Gds help, you get '3' victories as the baseline if you use no +1 and mild winter. So its just possible to create GDs off 1 win and no defeat and 4 wins in 1941 is a reasonable threshold.

I think that Soviet propaganda is working overtime on this subject. Images of Panzer crews enjoying life in Berlin (with the wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, pet dogs etc of the landsers) are being dropped nightly from the U2s. Unfortunately the Soviet pilots are careless and drop a few bombs and hand grenades at the same time.

quote:

ORIGINAL: mattp


quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Is there no possibility that he is holding his panzer back for a big counter-stroke once your units advance too much? You know, give you a bit of the old backhanded blow?


Possibly, but only once January blizzard is over at earliest. Russian CV's are just too high and German too low for any meaningful counterstroke. Too costly for no real gain. Of course, once the blizzard ends a full fledged assault could come more quickly than would otherwise be the case....


big fear of mine. I have lots of the long range recon deployed and am taking heavy losses to keep an eye out for anything too suspicious. I'm holding back in a couple of places where the terrain could produce an easy pocket (esp in the S Dneipr region) till I have a decent reserve army to mean any pocket will be hard to seal. I think mattp is right, this won't happen till Feb and in March you have the constant problem of blizzard shifting to snow with all the problems that can bring.

As with my comment above, I need to think about where to place my first defensive line. Since I am really attacking for Gds and to damage German morale, I'm not tempted into over-extension (though of course its always nice to gain those last few conversions). I'll also use most of the Abn brigades that arrive in late 1941 as the basis for more Gds divisions so that eases the pressure for battlefield promotions.


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RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/15/2015 7:26:37 PM   
Peltonx


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Good points

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Post #: 106
RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/15/2015 7:38:33 PM   
M60A3TTS


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
...

1000 guard units means little in 42, Corp sure you have to waste a bunch of AP around Moscow to hold it.

If GHC is not pocketing at least 100 divisions in 42 they are toast. that's a 1000 AP or 20 turns of nothing other then buying new divisions to say nothing of merging them.

IF SHC is not buying units like crazy in 42 they are done or GHC is toast. If they buy allot then looking at a draw in most cases.



I'll put my head on the line here and partially disagree with Pelton. I agree about the importance of reserves - my goal is to have a reserve army of around 100 divisions (in effect as 200 brigades for now), about half of them will be used to create the next batch of armies and assigned when the Front command level allows 5 armies and Voronezh Front activates. The other half are to replace expected losses.

But Gds are critical. I think because Pelton only plays from one side he is missing just how critical the NM of 40 is for the bulk of Soviet rifle divisions. Even with mass there is little you can hold and you really can't attack (a stack of 6-7cv is as good as it'll get). You can't compensate by mass corps formation as you need lots of units (you are fighting German MPs as much as their combat values) and its too expensive in terms of admin pts.

Gds are the balance here, they stay at least at 50NM, a stack can easily be over 10cv. If they are tucked far enough back so they can't be pocketed they can feast on over-extended armour or weakly sealed pockets.

Remember in 1942 with the Soviets, apart from at Moscow, you can run as you have no industry to protect. So the run of the mill rifle divisions are speed bumps and the Gds are your only effective force.



+1. Also, guards rifle corps deliver about the biggest CV punch available to the Soviets in the game, more so than a standard rifle corps.

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Post #: 107
RE: Turn 27: 18-24 December 1941 - 6/17/2015 2:35:02 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

+1. Also, guards rifle corps deliver about the biggest CV punch available to the Soviets in the game, more so than a standard rifle corps.



aye those 18-24 cv late game Gds rifle corps are just so much fun to use


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Post #: 108
Turn 28: 25-31 December 1941 - 6/17/2015 2:40:16 PM   
loki100


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Turn 28: 25-31 December 1941

The last week of 1941 saw no let up on the battlefield. Battlefield promotions were showered on the Red Army to reward those formations that were leading the offensive.



In the north, Leningrad Front continued to pressure the Finnish formations on the Volkhov. Soviet losses were high as the Finns had the advantage of being able to massacre Soviet formations crossing the frozen river but slowly their defences began to weaken.



In the meantime, weak Soviet formations pushed north between Lakes Onega and Ladoga trying to make contact with the Finnish defensive lines.


Velikie Luki-Smolensk

At Velikie Luki, German tanks continued to contest the steady gains of 22 Army. However, again, the Soviets were able to turn their flank to the north, overrunning the ill-equipped Spanish units holding that sector.

Elements of 31 Army pressed to the outskirts of Vitebsk only to find the city strongly held by German motorised divisions.

At Smolensk, Kalinin Front unleashed a new set of attacks. 20 Army crossed the Dnepr and captured Rshawka while to its west, 24 Army stormed Uady. With these defeats the German 23 Infantry Corps fell back leaving the defenders of Smolensk with a narrow 10km wide line of supply, or retreat.




(Elements of 24 Army in action near Smolensk)

Bryansk

To the north, the mobile formations of Western Front broke the German lines at Krasny Kog. In turn this brought the rail line supplying their units in Bryansk under the range of Soviet artillery. The pressure on this sector steadily built up as finally Volkhov Front's 1 Shock Army broke through threatening to encircle German units that were just managing to hold off Western Front. In turn, that sector of the German front buckled when hit by 10 Army.

To the south of Bryansk, Malinovsky's 40 Army tore apart the Slovakian units trying to hold the hinge between AGS and AGC. In turn, the direct southern approach to Bryansk came under increasing pressure from 28 Army.


(40A advancing after breaking the German front)

The impact of 10 Armies spread across 3 Fronts meant that slowly the entire German position at Bryansk was under threat of a massive encirclement. In addition, they faced the threat of a larger disaster if Kalinin Front broke through at Smolensk.

Sumy-Poltava

In part due to the pressure being exerted by Bryansk Front to its north, Sumy itself had been abandoned by the Germans. However, retreating brought them no respite. 12 Army caught the rearguard of 29 Corps just south of the city while their weakened lines between the Sula and Seym rivers came under increasing pressure.

To the south, the German defences at Poltava increasingly became the basis for their entire defence. The city was strongly held and German mountain divisions provided a mobile support. Despite this, their position to the north deteriorated as 9 , 19 and 49 Armies crossed the Vorskla and threatened the rail junction at Reshe'ilovka and reached the east bank of the Psel.



Southern Ukraine

In the far south, elements of Caucasus Front continued to overwhelm the increasingly demoralised Romanian units trying to hold the west bank of the Dneipr. With the river frozen, they could do little as Bagramyan's cavalry forced them back, and they lost contact with the German formations to their north. Taking advantage of the confusion, infantry of the Coastal Army stormed across the frozen river with fixed bayonets. At this, what had been an increasingly panicky retreat became an open rout.





Overall both sides suffered heavy losses. The Germans lost 42,000 men (5,000 killed) but few tanks or planes. Soviet losses were 51,000 men (12,000 killed), 240 tanks and 50 planes.


OOB



Worth noting that I am coming to the end of returning rifle divisions. This will ease the pressure on my arms points and I'll start raising rifle brigades as the basis for the 1942 reserves and reinforcements.



At this stage I have 87,000 arms pts and a manpower pool of 125,000, so should be able to manage to equip fresh units and the upgrades in the period before June 1942.

My industrial base consists of 219 HI (9 damaged), 345 arms factories (14 damaged) and 140 trucks. I'm removing all the factories that were left along the Don and at Moscow and then will move the ones between the Don and the Volga. This will be disruptive but means I have considerable operational freedom in the summer of 1942.

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Post #: 109
Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/18/2015 10:34:59 PM   
loki100


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Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942

The start of the new year brought thunderous celebrations to the Soviet capital. Even as Stavka sent out orders for a new round of battlefield promotions news arrived first from Kalinin Front that Smolensk had been liberated and then from Bryansk Front that Bryansk had been abandoned.



On the battlefields, any artillery fire simply meant the grim business of the Soviet offensive continued. In part to cover their retreats the Germans struck back at Soviet spearheads, briefly isolating some units but across most of the front they were now falling back.

Velikie Luki-Vitebsk-Orsha

The fall of Smolensk led to new orders and directives as Kalinin Front was ordered to push west and Volkhov Front to cover its southern flank. As the Germans fell back from Bryansk, Soviet units were ordered to reach the Dneipr first and seal the fate of at least one German army.

Around Velikie Luki itself, the vicious fighting of recent weeks continued. 11 and 22 Armies slowly ground their way forward and in turn the German armoured units counterattacked. However, by 3 January, Soviet forces surrounded the town on 4 sides and the Germans were left with a narrow road for resupply.

Their situation worsened as 22 Army launched a series of hammer blows. By 6 January, the rail link was broken and their remaining units were threatened by encirclement. The plight was worsened by a massive partisan attack near Idritsa breaking their main line of communication to the west.




(KV-1 in action near Velikie Luki)

At Smolensk, Soviet forces followed up their recent victories and other elements of Kalinin Front maintained the pressure on the retreating Germans.



Bryansk

As at Smolensk, the liberation of the first objective brought no respite on the battlefield. 4 Army continued to slash into the German rear, threatening to cut the line of retreat for the units falling back on the Oka. Its flank was protected by 1 Shock Army as the Germans increasingly had to abandon their fortifications.


(elements of 4 Army advancing near Bryansk)

In turn 3 and 13 Armies drove their assault divisions forwards in heavy snow in an attempt to seal the fate of the Germans.

The Germans had no more luck to the south as Bryansk Front increasingly swung its formations to attack on a north-west axis. In turn as they cut into the German flank, a small pocket was formed.



Ukraine

In the north, South-Western Front took advantage of the chaos caused by Bryansk Front and continued to drive the axis forces back. At Poltava, elements of Southern Front continued to clash with strong German units with neither side able to make much progress as attack followed counter-attack.

On the lower Dneipr, the mobile formations of the Caucasus Front continued to overrun the increasingly demoralised Romanian formations. In turn, German units defending the southern flank of their positions in the Dneipr bend came under pressure as fresh Soviet formations entered the battle.





OOB



Thought it would be interesting to show how the various national OOBs have shifted since the main German offensive stopped in early October. I've clearly hammered the Romanians and the Slovakians (who have been one of the main victims of my attacks). The decline in Finnish numbers is partly a reflection of the losses I have inflicted on the Volkhov battles but mainly that they have had to demobilise some of their army.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes of course we were busy. The nightly reports for the Stavka conferences had been to be gathered and fresh orders transmitted to the front commands.

But somehow, I managed to find time to keep an eye on reports from 40 Army. Malinovsky's formation was full of mobile units so Vladimir was at real risk taking orders to the divisional commanders. Sometimes the roads were still held by German rearguards so he had to fly in a U2.

But the best news was about Sacha.

Finally we won some major victories on the Volkhov. 30 Army drove the Finns from Chudovo and that allowed a number of men who had been cut off in the October battles to escape and rejoin our units. To the north, 33 Army recaptured the port of Novaya Ladoga.



Suddenly I had hope for my mother and sister. Maybe the Finns would see sense and surrender and Leningrad might be liberated?

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Post #: 110
RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/19/2015 3:35:58 PM   
Doggie3


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Really enjoying this AAR, thanks for putting it together.

How far do you think you will advance during the winter offensive?

Cheers

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Post #: 111
RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/19/2015 8:50:08 PM   
Matnjord

 

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Always lovely to see the jerries taking a beating even if it's only temporary That Bryansk pocket looks promising, maybe your first captured German divisions?

How many Guard units do you have by now? And how many do you think you'll need to survive the summer German of 1942?


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Post #: 112
RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/19/2015 9:48:52 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Doggie3

Really enjoying this AAR, thanks for putting it together.

How far do you think you will advance during the winter offensive?

Cheers


glad its interesting.

I must confess that if terrain taken was my main interest I'd stop about here. I've mostly regained a useful line of rivers and strong points that would give me a first line of defense. Also, I'm pushing well ahead of my railheads so am losing more trucks on supply missions.

But, and this links to the next point, I'm after Gds as well. They will be immune to the summer morale collapse and should give me the means to hold Moscow.

So at least till mid-Feb I'll push after the Germans in the search for more wins and perhaps a pocket. If that forces Vigabrand to expose his Pzrs to winter attrition that is a bonus too

quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Always lovely to see the jerries taking a beating even if it's only temporary That Bryansk pocket looks promising, maybe your first captured German divisions?

How many Guard units do you have by now? And how many do you think you'll need to survive the summer German of 1942?



the next few turns escalate in terms of trying to seal a pocket, so it forces him to expose his mobile units to rescue units at risk (which is a good trade off for me). Equally a few times I opted to rout when I just might have managed to seal a pocket.

at this stage I had 13 Gds rifle divisions, I keep on adding 3-4 a turn (we are up to T32). I can create another 5-6 by flipping the airborne brigades, so it looks like a decent cadre of say 13-15 Gds rifle corps. I'd like to push this up to 20, at that stage, plus Gds cav corps, I have both a powerful shield and the basis of a counterattacking force.

but I've now stripped all the industry from the current frontline to the Volga/Caspian, so I can opt to retreat as I have no 'must holds' apart from Moscow.

in the back of my mind is that I have the winter 42/43 and 43/44 to use. If I can make sure that roughly 42/43 sees me regain the west bank of the Don and 43/44 the west bank of the Dneipr I should be into Germany by late 44/early 45. So while I'll try to avoid too many losses of key units, I also want to try and be in a position to force the first major river line when its all frozen. I think vs a good player, its near impossible to cross a well defended major river in the summer.




< Message edited by loki100 -- 6/19/2015 10:50:42 PM >


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RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/19/2015 10:32:19 PM   
Huw Jones

 

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Regarding GUARDS Rifle corps, I presume when you build them you put an ordinary non guards rifle brigade in the combined corp?

As a guards rifle brigade are few and far between in 42.

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RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/20/2015 4:43:08 AM   
Peltonx


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I also want to try and be in a position to force the first major river line when its all frozen. I think vs a good player, its near impossible to cross a well defended major river in the summer.

River lines as GHC is a very real non factor.

I never consider them I only consider hexes to Berlin/turns.

That's all that matters because Rifle Corps will cross any river ect ect after mid 43.

North of Oka Germany can stand fast until summer 44, but south you have to trade space for time, so ruuning south of Oka 42 is a very bad idea.

As Germany I love the 43/44 winter its my very best friend.


< Message edited by Pelton -- 6/20/2015 5:45:09 AM >


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RE: Turn 29: 1-6 January 1942 - 6/23/2015 3:03:02 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Huw Jones

Regarding GUARDS Rifle corps, I presume when you build them you put an ordinary non guards rifle brigade in the combined corp?

As a guards rifle brigade are few and far between in 42.


aye, my usual logic is to add a 50 morale line rifle brigade to the 2 Gds inf divisions for the corps. I think this is efficient as in crude manpower a corps is 2.5 divisions (in 1942) and if you've been careful all the combining elements will have decent experience levels - not much you can do about the stuff that is then added in due to the new OOB.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

I also want to try and be in a position to force the first major river line when its all frozen. I think vs a good player, its near impossible to cross a well defended major river in the summer.

River lines as GHC is a very real non factor.

I never consider them I only consider hexes to Berlin/turns.

That's all that matters because Rifle Corps will cross any river ect ect after mid 43.

North of Oka Germany can stand fast until summer 44, but south you have to trade space for time, so ruuning south of Oka 42 is a very bad idea.

As Germany I love the 43/44 winter its my very best friend.



Given the ways a game can vary, I'm coming to the view that the best planning for mid/late game (apart of course from doing well) is trying to visualise the map and options. So its not about the details or tactical management but about the broad options and where the terrain speeds/slows an offensive etc


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Turn 30: 7 – 13 January 1942 - 6/23/2015 3:05:39 PM   
loki100


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Turn 30: 7 – 13 January 1942

Velikie Luki-Vitebsk-Orsha

This week was marked by a steady German withdrawal and Soviet redeployments as the various Fronts took on their new orders. Most of the actual fighting was triggered by the Germans escaping encirclement or clashes between Soviet forces and German rearguards.

The steady pressure exerted by North Western Front since mid-November finally paid off when the Germans abandoned the city rather than be encircled.


(Elements of Kalinin Front moving east at Smolensk)

For the moment, Stavka ordered the front to push west and secure the northern flank of the Kalinin Front. In turn Kalinin Front made steady progress south of Vitebsk and supported the operations of Volkhov Front as it sought to cut the line of retreat of the Germans falling back from Bryansk.


Bryansk

As further north, actual fighting was limited as the Germans pulled back to escape encirclement and Soviet forces tried to cut their line of retreat.

The southern edge of the bulge saw more sustained combat. A German counter-attack had re-established communications to the units trapped around Novgorod-Seversky but relentless pressure by Malinovsky's 40 Army shattered the demoralised Slovakians and cut off the line of retreat of the Germans. However, a desperate defence by the German 368 Infantry Division was just enough to stop 21 Army widening the ring around the cut off Germans.




Northern Ukraine

This sector saw the same pattern as most of the front. The Germans fell back and most of the fighting was where the Soviets had the chance to cut their lines of retreat. The result was that isolated units were briefly cut off but the Red Army lacked the motorised forces necessary to properly encircle the retreating Germans.

The exception was around Poltava where the Germans tried to hold their current frontline. In doing so they allowed South Front to bring its full force to bear and 49 Army became embroiled in intense fighting with their mountain divisions. After several days of heavy fighting even these elite units buckled allowing the Soviets to threaten the supply lines of the Germans holding Poltava.




Southern Ukraine

Here, the German high command had pulled the battered Romanians back to Nikolaev but the consequence was that Caucasus Front swung its mobile units north and started to dismantle the line of German units holding the lower Dneipr bend. As Trans-Caucasus Front steadily built up on the east bank, Stavka issued orders for the liberation of Zaporozhye and Dnepropetrovsk.




(infantry of 44 Army in action near Zaporozhye)

Summary

The German decision to allow Army Group Centre to fall back transformed the Soviet offensive. The first five weeks had mostly been an attempt to outflank strong defensive lines and capture some key cities. By mid-January, Stavka started to think in terms of recapturing the east bank of the Dneipr to provide a defensive barrier for 1942.

Even more important, several powerful groups of German units were unable to break contact with the Soviets. In an attempt to cut off their retreat, Stavka re-organised the few mobile forces it had available and deployed them where they could avoid the German strong points.



Overall losses reflected the slight slackening of combat. The Axis lost 28,000 (5,500 dead) and the Soviets 44,000 men (13,000 dead).

< Message edited by loki100 -- 6/23/2015 4:08:00 PM >


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RE: Turn 30: 7 – 13 January 1942 - 6/23/2015 6:55:16 PM   
Matnjord

 

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A grand encirclement of Zaporozhye? Going as far as Gomel and Mogilev? That would be wonderful , but I'm afraid Stavka might be a bit too optimistic.

I don't know how your planned offensives will go, but at least the frontlines are going to end up far from Moscow.

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RE: Turn 30: 7 – 13 January 1942 - 6/23/2015 8:19:01 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

A grand encirclement of Zaporozhye? Going as far as Gomel and Mogilev? That would be wonderful , but I'm afraid Stavka might be a bit too optimistic.

I don't know how your planned offensives will go, but at least the frontlines are going to end up far from Moscow.


I've a few hard choices to make. In part I'm getting greedy, all this combat = Gds; Gds=survival in the summer of 1942. So in that sense hunting after the Germans is sensible in so far as it generates combat.

My biggest problem is I am now seriously outrunning my rail lines, so that is costing me trucks for supply and of course less trucks=less MP (for 42-44) and less MP = slow progress to Berlin. As long as I am totally reliant on the auto repair process there is very little I can do as at best they repair 1 hex a turn on a given line.

So at some stage the Gds breeding programme becomes too costly in terms of truck damage. At that stage I need to review where I am and think about where I'll place my initial front line for their summer offensive. The other good thing is these cities I've taken back are improving my manpower pools, so I can let some of the second line/rate rifle divisions start to fill out.

I also don't want to be too exposed by the time March arrives, be a pity to see all lovely Gds units disappear into a careless pocket.

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RE: Turn 30: 7 – 13 January 1942 - 6/23/2015 8:39:53 PM   
Peltonx


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General beat down so far. He is in deep poop.

I don't see him recovering from this.

Good skills on your part and great AAR

< Message edited by Pelton -- 6/23/2015 9:42:20 PM >


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