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Barbarossa AAR - 10/25/2016 8:25:02 AM   
HvS


Posts: 142
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Dear Audience,


this is the first post of the new Barbarossa AAR. It contains an outlook on what is going to happen and some strategic thoughts.





Bill Runacre has crafted a new masterpiece. As I played it for the first time, I found it quite challenging. But this was a couple of weeks ago, and Bill has done a few changes since then, so I am looking forward to perform a bit better this time.
Also I need to mention that this campaign might give the first impression that it not more than a new version of the old “Storm over Europe”-Campaign which came with Strategic Command Breaktrough!, but quite a few things have changed.
The campaign is very historically accurate, and lots of new Decision Events allow more flexibility.
Old issues like the Finnish War Entry or the Staging for Operation Overlord have been solved, and the AI does a very good job, esp. in the Atlantic.





The first important novelty is the new UI, and it brings three major changes.

The first change allows to switch the sides, even during the game. I just need to go back to the corresponding menu, click “Allies” instead of “Axis”, and I have changed the sides.
The second new feature allows me to let the AI control a Major Country of my side while I control the other. So I can play Germany and let the AI control Italy. Or even vice versa.
I have tried it, but I have noticed the campaign is difficult enough, so I need all available help I can get.

What really amazes me: I can switch the AI on and off as I want. An unbelievably great feature. How often have I thought “would it be possible to win if I play the other side?”
Now I can give it a try. But during this AAR, this feature will remain disabled.

The third change brings a new difficulty setting. When I play against the AI, usually I choose the Expert Level, but don’t give any extra experience to the AI.
The new UI lets me choose my Difficulty Level, and it also allows me to change Spotting, Experience and MPP Production manually.
So I go for Spotting +2 which will make the Naval Warfare very difficult for me. Also the AI gets 20% more MPPs.

I think this will be challenging enough.





Everything is in place for Unternehmen Barbarossa. I have played the campaign already, and the major actions will be in the Atlantic, in North Africa and of course in Russia.
I have already realized in my matches against Hubert’s brilliant AI that trying to take Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov until the end of 1941 will lead to the same result as in history: fail three out of three times.
So I need another Strategy. We all know that the German OKW tried to achieve everything and failed. The campaign works in the same way, so I need to set priorities.

Please keep in mind that the above image is just a part of the map. The complete map is approx. five times bigger.

With the Afrikakorps already in Libya, I can either sacrifice North Africa and let the British control the Med, or I can try to achieve what Rommel did not. The UK will get a lot of fresh troops in 1942, so I need to decide the Battle of Egypt until the end of 1941. So this is my first decision: North Africa has priority. I will not send additional troops down there, but all units will receive upgrades and refreshments with priority, even before my troops in Russia. A quick victory down there is a catastrophe for the UK, and it would enable me to conquer the Levant and maybe Iraq. I have not decided to what to do about Turkey, but once I feel confident to defeat the UK in Egypt, I will consider to bring her in via diplomacy. When the rail link to Europe is established, there are a lot of MPPs to earn.

My second decision is not to conduct a convoy warfare in 1941. The Kriegsmarine is not very strong.. the Bismarck is already sunk, and the Graf Zeppelin has not been finished. So I just have one Battleship and five Cruisers, and almost all of them are on under strength... this is not enough to defeat the Royal Navy. I need to spare my limited forces and save it for some limited action. So the plan for the Kriegsmarine will be:

1941: repair all damaged units, bring all ships and subs that operate in the Atlantic back to Germany or Norway. Sink Russian ships and subs in the Baltic Sea so all units can take part in 1942’s actions.
1942: raid the convoys from the UK to Murmansk. Concentrate all available units around Narvik and try to sink a few destroyers. All surface vessels and the majority of the subs will march back to Germany in Fall.
1943: try to interfere the preparations for Operation Overlord. I expect the invasion to happen in Spring 1943, so I need to be prepared.

And of course there is Unternehmen Barbarossa. Basically my decision is too give priority to Leningrad and the Ukraine. This means Heeresgruppe Mitte will stop after the conquest of Smolensk and transfer a certain part of its offensive potential to other theaters.

The Soviet Union has 70 units on the map. As the OKW planned Unternehmen Barbarossa, they expected 200 Soviet divisions. By the end of 1941, more than 200 Soviet divisions had been destroyed, but the Red Army was still alive. Maybe the same will happen to me.





Generaloberst von Küchler will take the northern route via Riga, Tallinn and Narwa. Esp. Riga is difficult to conquer. Swampy terrain and the River Düna prevent an easy victory, and I need to make sure it does not take too long. Getting the city by the end of the second turn would be a major success.

Generalfeldmarschall von Leeb will take the southern route via Dünaburg, Pleskau and Luga. Just as in the northern route, there is one vital point: Dünaburg. Fortified, behind a river and surrounded by swamps, it is very difficult to conquer. The best approach is from the south and southeast.

I need to capture these vital points as soon as possible. Otherwise it will not be possible to reach Leningrad before the end of the year. I do not expect to capture the city in 1941, but I want to make sure this will happen in 1942. After the fall of Smolensk I will transfer most of the offensive units of Army Group Center to the north. Esp. Bombers, Tanks and Mechanized are neccessary to start the final assault on the city.

Leningrad is probably the most important target in Russia. Capturing it means a lot of advantages. Finland and Norway will produce more MPPs, and the Norwegian ports will be able to repair the Kriegsmarine to full strength which is very important for my plans in 1942. The experienced Finnish troops will be ordered to conquer Wolchow and Tichwin. If this is achieved by the end of 1942, I just need to garrison these two towns, and the northern front is dealt with. It does not make any sense to advance further to the east... there is nothing to conquer, and the terrain is horrible. So if I succeed in the north, I can tranfer almost all of my troops to other theaters.





Generalfeldmarschall von Bock will take the road to Smolensk. The City of Minsk it the key, just as Riga and Dünaburg in the north. The terrain around Minsk is normal, but there will be more defenders.
After Minsk has been captured, the majority of Army Group Center will head to Mogilev. Once the town is taken, Orsha and Witebsk will also fall quickly. I expect my forces to capture Smolensk in October.
A certain part of AGC will attack Babruysk, Gomel and Chernigov. It is important to establish a link to Army Group South. If partisans interrupt the rail connection in the Western Ukraine, there will be a second route, and it will be easier to maintain good supply.

Once Smolensk has been taken, I will start to transfer units to other theaters. Bombers and Fighters will move to the north and support the conquest of Leningrad. I have already made the experience that it needs a couple of bombers to force the Soviets out of key positions like the southern part of Leningrad. I have not yet decided what I will do with the Tank Groups and Mechanized. Most likely they will be transferred to the south, but where exactly depends on the situation. If I fail to take Luga by the end of 1941, they might also go to the north.
The remainder of Army Group Center will be the von Bock HQ, a couple of Armeekorps and garrisons. These units will take a defensive position in the east of Smolensk.

So why do I stop AGC after the capture of Smolensk? Relatively easy to answer. I am pretty sure I will not be able to capture Moscow anyway.. the distance is too far, and the resistance gets very stiff from November on. And I want to make sure I reach my objectives in the north and in the south, so I need to transfer units. There will be Soviet counterattacks on Smolensk, but I should be able to stop them.





The south is the most difficult area. A lot will depend on the weather, and if I have Rasputiza from September to November, I might end up at Kiev and Dnjepropetrovsk. In my first test game I did not even get Dnjpropetrovsk. But I had terrible weather, and maybe I get further this time. So let’s make a plan.

Generaloberst von Kleist will take the northern route via Kiew. Ideally he will be able to reach Kursk, but this depends a lot on the weather and where the AI will deploy the units it gets out of the production queue. Taking Kursk would be nice, but it will not break my spine if it does not work. The most important thing is not to expose my forces. The Red Army will get a lot of troops out of the queue and due to the Siberian Transfer, and I don’t want to give them the opportunity for a counterattack.

Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt will take the most difficult route via Lemberg to Dnjeproptrovsk and Rostow. The vital point is Uman... it needs to be taken quickly. Otherwise the attack on Dnjepropetrovsk will take too long, and the Soviets have too much time to prepare the defenses. This is why the 11. Armee will start to attack Uman from the south as soon as poassible. If von Rundstedt arrives from the northwest, it will help a lot if the town is not entrenched or maybe even taken. After Dnjepropetrovsk has fallen, I need to check the over all situation. Kharkov and Rostov would be lovely, but I doubt I can reach both.

Generaloberst von Schobert and General Dumitrescu will lead the attack on Odessa. Once the city is taken, the 11. Armee will head to the east and take Nikolajew and Kherson. Dumitrescu will try to enter the Krim before year’s end, and it is not vital if he reaches this objective. On the Krim there are just dust roads, so the Romanians will be almost immobile once the Rasputiza starts. In other words: they will not get very far anyway, and Dnjepropetrovsk has priority. So if Dumitrescu ends up just south of Kherson by the end of 1941, it is not a catastrophe.

I expect two major cauldrons: one in the very southwest and one in the south of Kiev. My troops need to ignore these cauldrons and leave them for the Hungarian troops. The western cauldron can be avoided by intercepting the rail connection to Stanislawow in the first turn. It might occur that the eastern cauldron is still existing by the end of 1941. The German units simply lack the time to destroy the encircled Soviet units. If I start doing this, I will not reach the eastern Ukraine.

This is why I will leave the Hungarian troops in reserve. If there is a cauldron to clear, they will do it.

On the eastern edge of the above map there are four important cities: Kursk, Kharkov, Stalino and Rostow. I will not be able to capture all four, but one or two would be nice. Kursk and Kharkow provide supply 6, so a HQ in these cities can provide supply 10, and this will help a lot after the winter.


RESEARCH, PRODUCTION AND DIPLOMACY

Many technologies have already been researched as the campaigns starts, so I just need to continue. Of course I will research Advanced Tanks, Advanced Air, Ground Attack Aircraft and Industry. Anti Aircraft might be valuable in the West, but I need to wait how many MPPs I have left.
Definitely I will try to produce additional Mechanized and Tank units. And if can spare a few MPPs, I will also try to produce Heavy Tank units in the beginning of 1942. Unfortunately this is the time where my troops need to recover from the Russian Winter, so I need to set priorities.

In terms of Diplomacy, the only interesting thing is Turkey. If the the DAK is successful in Egypt, it will make sense to invest the necessary MPPs. Conquering Sevastopol will also help to bring in Turkey.

But this has been enough talking.. let us start the action!


< Message edited by Daniele -- 10/26/2016 8:53:33 AM >


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Crossing The Border - 10/25/2016 9:00:37 AM   
HvS


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Turn 1

22. Juni 1941

The time has come to cross the border and march into Russia. Carolus Rex of Sweden and Napoleon have failed, and I hope to perform better than I did in the test matches.





Finland will join until my next turn.
All Soviet units suffer from the shock effect and will be easy prey in the first turn.





The primary target of U-37 is to keep the Marat away from my destroyer. The Soviet Battleship cannot pass the position of U-37. Just the Soviet sub can get through, but my destroyer can deal with it.
As I played the first test match, the Marat almost sunk Z-10. I don't want to have this again.





Here are my plans for Army Group North. Failing on one of these will mean a major delay on the way to Leningrad.





Due to the shock effect, my troops are victorious.
I hope the other theaters are as successful as this one.





In the Center, conquering Baranowitz in the first turn is quite important.





Also a full success.





The Western Ukraine will be relatively easy. I have three Tank Groups and a Mechanized Corps, so I think I should be able to crush the Soviet units completely.





I get further than I expected. The superior mobility of the German Tank helps a lot.





If I am successful in conquering Kischinew, I will try to attack Uman already.





The dice were on my side again... a complete success.

I upgrade the Romanian units to Infantry Weapons 2. This will be very important in the later stages of the war.


Summary of the first days of Unternehmen Barbarossa: 20 Soviet units destroyed.
Just 50 left.. if they were not able to produce new ones.





North Africa looks a bit scary. Most of my units are under strength, and esp. the tanks are in a dangerous position. The British Tanks are not visible, and in combination with Tactical Bombers and the ATGs they can easily destroy my tanks. This is something I need to avoid... so I pull the tanks out of the front line. Also I will try to attack the British ATGs to lower the vulnerability of my tanks.





I am successful, but the price is high. My bombers will need a longer break, and it will cost my quite a few MPPs.


< Message edited by HvS -- 10/25/2016 9:47:49 AM >


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RE: Crossing The Border - 10/25/2016 10:51:50 AM   
apec

 

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Hi HvS,

thank you for the excellent AAR and the detailed explanation of the strategic plan for Barbarossa. I will follow this closely to get the feeling of how SC3 plays vs the previous version.

I noticed that in the first turn of Barbarossa your units did not suffer a single step loss, is this an exceptionally lucky turn or the soviet 1st turn shock makes this possible?

Thank you again,
cheers


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RE: Crossing The Border - 10/25/2016 12:04:10 PM   
HvS


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Hi Apec!

I am not quite sure... most likely there are not just two reasons. Due to the shock effect, almost all attacks had a forecast of zero for my side. But normally, every fourth attack should bring a loss of one strength point anyway.

I don't know exactly how the shock effect works, but I would say I was extraordinary lucky. There is a garrison around Siedlice that lost a step, and but normally there should have been more losses.

Also I need to mention that I saved and reloaded a couple of times.. usually after finishing each Army Group. And it happened a couple of times that I did some wrong clicks or had some strange dice rolls (1:1 instead of 0:2), and it was necessary to reload. Not achieving my targets int the first turn due to some strange dice results gives a wrong impression. This is the first turn of a very long AAR, and it should be a perfect fit.

But I got it all back in North Africa where my bombers suffered tremendously.


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Quick Measures - 10/25/2016 12:29:26 PM   
HvS


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Turn 2 (AI)

29. Juni 1941





Currently, I have one sub in the Atlantic. The AI has noticed this and will go hunting, and I will move it to the Norwegian Sea in my next turn.
I need to concentrate the Kriegsmarine.





Brave Russians.





Finland is in the war, but right now it is more a burden than an Ally. I will need to refresh their troops first, and some are not even fully supplied.
Apart from that, the fighters are in a dangerous position.

My idea to establish a blockade in the Gulf of Finland was right. Fortunately, U-37 did not dive.





Surprise, surprise. The AI operate a huge amount of units to the front. We will see a nice recreation of the Battle of Brody.
There are positive and negative aspects. I will be able to destroy quite a few Soviet units early in the war, but this will take time and cause losses.





In North Africa, the Empires strikes back.

I have two choices in my next turn: I can destroy the British tanks, but this would delay the capture of Tobruk by two or three turns. Also there is a certain risk that I loose the German corps in the east of Bardia.. it would need to fight against four British units for a couple of turns.
The more conservative approach is to refresh my units (esp. the bombers) and prepare an attack on Tobruk in Turn 5.

I haven't yet decided what I will do in Turn 3.





The Royal Air Force shows its presence.
Attacks on Le Havre will happen quite often, and I will not report them every turn.


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RE: Quick Measures - 10/25/2016 8:17:12 PM   
Titan

 

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Is there a Limit to the amount of units one can operate across the Map?
Reading your AAR these planned moves in trying to get an element of surprise by out manoeuvring your opponent seem lost if he can what appears be to teleporting a huge army from around the map and then block you. How can one ever conduct a pincer move and try and trap a slow moving army when a player can operate units here and there as he please. I’m a player of commander Europe at war and they have something similar as in if you strategically Move (Operate) units around there readiness drops plus it can start to cost a huge amount of income.....Does this have penalties of some sort. I’m looking forward to this but I want to experience a war of Manoeuvre etc and not one where armies are magically sent like fire brigades from one end of the map to another.

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RE: Quick Measures - 10/25/2016 9:35:25 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Titan

Is there a Limit to the amount of units one can operate across the Map?
Reading your AAR these planned moves in trying to get an element of surprise by out manoeuvring your opponent seem lost if he can what appears be to teleporting a huge army from around the map and then block you. How can one ever conduct a pincer move and try and trap a slow moving army when a player can operate units here and there as he please. I’m a player of commander Europe at war and they have something similar as in if you strategically Move (Operate) units around there readiness drops plus it can start to cost a huge amount of income.....Does this have penalties of some sort. I’m looking forward to this but I want to experience a war of Manoeuvre etc and not one where armies are magically sent like fire brigades from one end of the map to another.



Hi Titan

Yes, units being operated will lose some of their morale and readiness, rendering them less effective in combat for a few turns, and it costs Military Production Points (MPPs) to move them.

So anyone moving lots of units around in this way will suffer a significant economic cost for doing so.

Bill

< Message edited by Bill Runacre -- 10/25/2016 9:37:43 PM >


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RE: Quick Measures - 10/25/2016 9:39:21 PM   
Titan

 

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Thanks Bill, that sounds great

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RE: Quick Measures - 10/26/2016 1:32:02 AM   
James Taylor

 

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Also remember Titan that you can effectively inhibit operational movement by strategic bombing of connective railway hubs. By bombing the supply level to less than 5 you can isolate the battlefield and keep enemy units from escaping or reinforcing through operational movement

< Message edited by James Taylor -- 10/26/2016 1:34:07 AM >


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The Battle of Proskurow - 10/26/2016 2:32:38 PM   
HvS


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Turn 3

6. Juli 1941





It will takes a couple of turns until the Finnish Army is fully operational.





Unfortunately my forces cannot enter Riga, so the AI will operate a unit into the city.
Dünaburg will also fall next turn.





Minsk will also fall next turn.





The Battle of Proskurow has started. The remaining Soviet units will receive their supply from Winnitsa, and if I can capture Uman, Winnitsa will be cut off.
So I will be able to destroy all encircled units on Low Supply in the next turn.





Uman falls, and the fate of the Soviet units around Winnitsa is sealed.

The destruction of the enemy fighters was not planned. As I sent my Medium Bomber to Uman, the Soviet fighters tried to intercept, and Luftflotte IV escorted my bombers. I noticed the enemy fighter lost 4 strength points from my escorting fighters, and as they attacked my bombers they lost another 3. So I sent Luftflotte IV to attack them => fighter gone.





I have chosen the conservative way.
No attack on the British tanks during this turn, my forces need to get back in shape.





There will be a lot of bomber attacks on Le Havre in the next years, so they should have the best available equipment.





I need to be around 800 MPPs per turn by the end of the year.


< Message edited by HvS -- 10/26/2016 2:53:11 PM >


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Gnat Bites - 10/26/2016 3:14:43 PM   
HvS


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Turn 4 (AI)

13. Juli 1941





Fortunately, the Red Army is not active in the north. This makes me think about an early attack on Wyborg.





The British have gathered a Tank Group, two Armies and three Corps to destroy my poor Armeekorps.
It seems being conservative was the right idea.





This was quite expensive. Due to the lack of a German HQ in Western Europe, Morale and Readiness are not as high as they should be. The British had less losses, so this was a good action by the AI.


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Milestones - 10/27/2016 7:36:17 AM   
HvS


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Turn 5

20. Juli 1941


My forces did capture a lot of cities, towns, resources and even a fortress during this turn.
The III. Armeekorps is three hexes away from Dnjepropetrowsk, so I am slightly ahead of my own schedule.





I can imagine it is not easy to be a soldier of the Red Army these days.





I decide not to send an Italian Expeditionary Force. Italy has a very limited amount of MPPs, and I have different plans for them.





It looks like I just stumbled into Soviet preparations for attack. It was easy to destroy the garrison in Wyborg, but it will be more difficult to destroy a corps. There are two more Finnish corps in the rear, and I need to wait until these have arrived. So I will try to conquer Priozersk and occupy the Mannerheim Line in the next turn.

U-37 has lost 30% of its strength and needs to be refreshed. U-81 is taking its place, and it is equipped with Advanced Subs 2 which is a big advantage. Up to now, there are no raiding activities of Soviet subs, so my plan has worked.





Army Group North is making a big step ahead. The XXXXI. Tank Groups has taken Parnu and is closing in on Tallinn. Riga and Dünaburg have been captured, and there is a big hole in the Soviet defense lines.
I have also transferred the 1. Armee from Brest to Dünaburg. This is necessary, because von Leeb needs to advance to Ostrov and attack Polotsk simultaneously, so he needs every unit he can get. I consider to transfer a Tank Group from Army Group Center to the north to make sure von Leeb can reach Luga before the end of the year.





Everything is on schedule in the center. Babruisk is under attack by the Panzergrenadierkorps Großdeutschland, and I expect the town to be conquered in the next turn. Some forces will head to the north and attack Polotsk, but the majority will head to the east to Smolensk.





The Battle of Proskurow is beaten, and the remaining Soviet forces will be destroyed soon. Kiew is the next target.





Von Schobert is closing in on Dnjepropetrowsk. Uman is not occupied, and if a Soviet unit moves into the town, it does not hurt me. There are quite a few German units around Winnitsa, and they will deal with it.
Every unit I can destroy during this summer is a unit less in Autumn. The most important target for me is to be Dnjepropetrowsk as early as can be, and this seems to work.

Up to now I have destroyed 42 Soviet units. They started with 70, and not they have 65 units left. It seems the Red Army is very difficult to decimate.





Two very important things happened in one turn. Rommel has occupied Tobruk, and the British Tanks have been destroyed. It will take months until replacement arrive from England, and now I can start to think about an offensive. But I need to decimate their infantry first.


< Message edited by HvS -- 10/27/2016 3:28:59 PM >


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Regroupings - 10/27/2016 8:36:42 AM   
HvS


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Turn 6 (AI)

27. Juli 1941





The Red Army removes a couple of units from the front line. Please compare with Turn 6.. five enemy units have been removed from the vicinity of Kirowograd. An attack via Krementschug to Poltawa would cut Tscherkassy and Belaja Tserkow off from the Soviet railway net.

Uman is taken back by the Red Army. Of course this is not nice, but it is a death trap for the Soviet unit.





Even without their tanks, the British attack. The Italian tanks suffer, but they hold the line.
I consider to attack the British left wing.


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RE: Regroupings - 10/27/2016 1:47:08 PM   
Josh

 

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Thank you very much for writing this AAR Michael. Much appreciated. Loved to play SC1 back in the day and looking forward to play this as well.

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RE: Regroupings - 10/28/2016 6:40:27 AM   
HvS


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Hi Josh!

You're welcome... writing AARs is always a pleasure to me.


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The Conquest of Kiew - 10/28/2016 8:11:07 AM   
HvS


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Turn 7

3. August 1941


This turn went exceptionally good. I am ahead of my own schedule in the center and in the northern Ukraine.
My only problem is supply, and it will take time until this gets better.





Although it is a nice aspect to have a sub in the Black Sea, I decide to keep it in Germany. I will need it for my plans in 1942.
At the moment there is not even a single sub interrupting the convoy to Murmansk, and this is what I need to concentrate on.





I made a very good progress in the north, but I still need to upgrade some Finnish units. It does not make much sense to attack the Soviet fortifications until all of my units are at maximum tech level... the AI will simply refresh them, and my losses will be too high. I need to have the chance to destroy the enemy, and it might need German bombers to de-entrench the fortification.





Tallinn is taken by the XXXXI. Tank Group, and I need to align my plans. Originally von Kuchler was supposed to march via Tallinn, but given the actual situation this will take to long. So he will take the way via Tartu. I think I might be able to reach the outskirts of Leningrad by October.





With a bit of luck I was able conquer both Polotsk and Ostrov. This was really quick, and the main reason is that I sent one Tank Group from AGC to the north. I think it was the right decision, because otherwise the AI would have simply refreshed the defenders of Polotsk.

Next stop: Pleskau.





I will stick to my original plan: first Mogilew, second Orscha. Maybe I can conquer Smolensk in the end of September.

Also I was able to occupy Gomel without a fight. This is the drawback of the aggressive AI behavior during the first turns (Battle of Proskurow). Certain parts of AGS are still far behind the frontline (which is good for the AI), but I have destroyed so many units that the AI does not have units to occupy every town. The vital points (like Dnjepropetrowsk) are still well protected, but Gomel was not. Occupying the town without a siege or even a fight means less destruction, and as soon as Minsk is back to supply 5 in Turn 9, I can operate units to Gomel.

If nothing goes wrong (partisan activity), I will send the Hungarians (1 HQ, 2 Armeen, 1 Armeekorps) and my Fallschirmjäger to Gomel in Turn 9. Together with the Panzergrenadierkorps Großdeutschland, they will start an attack on Brjansk. If I control Smolensk, Brjansk and Kursk by the end of the year, I will have to short front line which is easy to defend.





I have concentrated all of my tanks in the northern Ukraine, and I need to redirect some of them to the south. Dnjepropetrwosk will be more difficult to conquer.





This went perfectly. I was able to destroy a Soviet HQ in Krementschug and occupy Poltawa. The Soviet units still have a land connection, but this will not help them at all. Their supply is very low, and so they don't have many Actions Points. Von Rundstedt and his troops will destroy the encircled units quickly.

But I need more tanks in the south. I will transfer a Tank Group via Poltawa in the next turn.

I destroyed another 12 units this turn, 54 in total. But the over all strength of the Red Army is still at 53 units.





This is the first time that I have numerical superiority, and I will start an attack. The British forces are not yet defeated, but I am confident I can push them back to El Alamein.

If I would have MPPs left, I would start to buy Diplomacy chits and invest in Turkey.


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Post #: 16
Blood in the Sand - 10/28/2016 8:51:32 AM   
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Turn 8 (AI)


10. August 1941





This will make it even harder to conquer Dnjepropetrowsk. Every attacking ground unit will receive a load of rockets, and this will cause losses and lowered attack strength.





I need to neutralize the WDF Army sooner or later. My losses are too high.


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Post #: 17
Unternehmen Cerberus - 10/28/2016 5:28:49 PM   
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Turn 9

17. August 1941


I will try copy Unternehmen Cerberus and send all of my surface vessels and subs from France to Germany.





My fighters have cleared up the channel, and I will give it a try.





A full success. In the next turn I will start to send the Kriegsmarine into the Norwegian Sea.





An attack on the Soviet fortification would be possible next turn.





Looks like I will be in Leningrad earlier than I expected.





I am also quite happy about my performance in the center. Maybe two more turns to Smolensk.

Note: I wanted to transfer the Hungarians and my Paras to Gomel, but I made a mistake. Minsk had Supply 4 in Turn 7, and it has Supply 5 in Turn 9. But in Turn 8 it had Supply 4, and therefore Babruysk and Gomel have been set to Supply 3. In Turn 9, both have Supply 4. So I need to wait until Turn 11.





My attack on Konotop was a full success. I destroyed an enemy fighter and a damaged HQ, another fighter is severely damaged.

As mentioned in the previous turn, I ordered two Tank Groups to the south. This will be necessary to advance into the eastern Ukraine.





My forces are wide spread, and I need to consolidate my gains. The Red Army is still alive, and I don't want to see a successful counterattack.





Up to know I am ahead schedule. Of course the good weather helped a lot.
A total of 64 Soviet units have been destroyed so far.





Times are getting rough for the British.


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Post #: 18
Allied Answers - 10/28/2016 5:51:54 PM   
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Turn 10 (AI)

24. August 1941





My troops suffer losses, and I cannot refresh them due to low supply.
But this will change in a few turns.





My fighters suffer 40% losses. Hopefully I get Advanced Aircraft 2 quickly.


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Post #: 19
Obvious Attrition - 10/29/2016 11:42:47 AM   
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Turn 11

31. August 1941


My supply lines are overstretched. I have a Tank Group and a Panzergrenadierkorps at Konotop, and if I order them to Kursk, they will be 8 hexes away from their HQ. This means Supply Zero, and this would be deadly.

In general I notice lowered readiness and morale, so I need to slow down. The Red Army is still out there, and I don't want to be caught on surprise.






I need to live with the situation in Persia.. no way to avoid it.





All surface vessels except my destroyer Z-10 are cruising to the Norwegian Sea. One Battleship, two Battle cruisers and three Heavy Cruisers, accompanied by four subs. Another four subs will follow sooner or later.

The plan is to interrupt the British convoys to Murmansk and sink a few Allied destroyers. This will be very important when I want to fend off an Allied D-Day.





The Finnish Verdun, Act I.

High losses on both sides. The Soviet corps will refresh to full strength. Hopefully I can destroy it next turn, or this will be quite a long story.





Quite a success by AGN, but my troops need a break.





The same applies to AGC, but they need to conquer Smolensk before they get the chance to rest.





I want to control Brjansk and Kursk by the end of the year, and I need strong units.
A break is necessary, and the HQs need to follow their troops.





The conquest of Dnjepropetrowsk it quite important. But I have the same problem: my HQs are too far away from their troops. At least I have established a more or less stable front line.

Up to now I have destroyed a total of 70 Soviet units, exactly the amount they had at the start. But the Red Army still has 43 units on the map. Amazing.





The WDF Army is destroyed, and the last major threat is removed. Now I need to hurry and make my way to El Alamein before the British troops can rally.


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Post #: 20
All Quiet In The East - 10/29/2016 12:50:29 PM   
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Turn 12 (AI)

7. September 1941


Not much to report. The AI brings all damaged units to full strength.





This naval attack of the Maxim Gorky is a bit of a problem. I can move my sub back to the former position, but this would mean the Maxim Gorky can attack U-81 with Prepared Attack-bonus. Also I can attack the Light Cruiser, but this will mean casualties on both sides.

In the north of Leningrad, the Soviet corps is back to full strength. Not good.


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Post #: 21
The Conquest of Smolensk - 10/30/2016 9:59:44 AM   
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Turn 13


14. September 1941


My supply problems improve as the HQs get closer to the front lines. I also notice the Russian defenses get stronger.
As long as I have good weather, my advance will continue.





From now on the Russians will notice the presence of the Kriegsmarine.
It will take a bit of time until the AI reacts, but it will send a certain part of the Royal Navy.





The Finnish Verdun, Act II:

The survival of the XIII Soviet corps is fore sure lucky, but I need to cope with it. In Turn 15 I need to refresh the Finnish troops.. their only army is down to strength 7 and will not inflict as much damage as I would need to destroy the XIII corps. So Turn 17 will be the next chance for an attack. I need the German bombers.. and good weather.





Yes, there are a lot of enemy units which survive at Strength 1 these days. So I need to destroy these units in the next turn.
At least I have taken Luga, and von Kuchler is in Narwa. Due to the nearby port, he will have Supply 10 in Turn 15, and this will help his units a lot.





The most important target of Army Group Center has been reached: Smolensk. Now I can start to divert units to other theaters.
The next things I will do: conquer Brjansk and establish a defensive line in the east of Smolensk. I will not go for Wjasma.





I am praying for good weather. As soon as the Rasputiza starts, my units will become immobile.





Good news from the south: I was able to hunt down the Schukow HQ. Originally it was located in the southeast of Zaporizhia, and after two attacks it retreated to Melitopol where I destroyed it.
This means I control 3 out of 4 mines in the Ukraine. Fully recovered they will yield 36 MPPs per turn.

I have destroyed a total of 75 Soviet units now, but the Red Army still have 55 units left.





My offensive in Egypt is very successful. I am already curious what expects me in El Alamein.





It will take a long time until I will have the first research breakthrough.





Almost 100 MPPs more than in June.


< Message edited by HvS -- 10/30/2016 10:09:56 AM >


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Post #: 22
Russian Reinforcements - 10/30/2016 10:09:02 AM   
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Turn 14 (AI)

21. September 1941





British SAS commandos raid my supply lines in Libya and cause havoc.





The Finnish Verdun will continue.


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Post #: 23
General Mud - 10/31/2016 6:21:12 PM   
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Turn 15

2. Oktober 1941


The match against the AI has reached a point where it gets quite historically accurate.
The northern half of Russia is is covered by mud, and this saves Leningrad and Kursk. Almost the same happens in Egypt where the DAK needs to halt due to bad supply and sandstorms.





90 MPPs sunk.. a promising start. Let us see how long the AI needs to strike.





Three additional subs have arrived. If the AI sends just a small fleet, I might be able to sink it.





The Finnish Verdun, Act III:

Due to bad supply I was not able to bring the Isthmus Army back to full strength. This might be crucial in Turn 17 when I start the next attack. I hope it will not fail again.

In the south of the city, mud keeps me away from Schlüsselburg. It would have been nice to cut Leningrad off from the railway net, but General Mud did not let me.





Army Group Center conquers Brjansk, but this seems to be the end of the story. Most of my units can move a hex or two. Rasputiza.





Kursk is also saved by mud. But I feel confident to conquer the city next turn.





Von Rundstedt if far away from the front lines. Maybe I cannot conduct an attack on Rostow due to this.





But there is a positive aspect: the DAK and its Italian comrades are back at full strength. Some units have received Anti Aircraft tech.


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Post #: 24
The Battle of the Norwegian Sea - 10/31/2016 6:56:11 PM   
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Turn 16 (AI)

13. Oktober 1941


I feel quite amazed by the AI this turn. It did set up a very good defense of Leningrad, and it had the perfect answer in Egypt. Also the Kriegsmarine was attacked in the Norwegian Sea and suffered moderate losses.





Apart from the units you can see in this screenshot, the AI did bring a lot more heavy units. During the AI turn I have seen a CV and a couple of BBs, altogether more than 10 surface vessels. They come out of nowhere, attack and disappear again. Dynamic movement and a good AI can be quite challenging.

To repair my damaged units, I need to send then back to Germany. Not good.
What a pity I wasn't able to cut off Leningrad.





The defense of Leningrad is set up very well. The poor Finns will have rockets raining upon them, and Schlüsselburg is also protected. I need to ask Hubert if this is scripted, it looks almost perfect.

I decide to take Nowgorod first.. Leningrad will be a longer issue.





The Royal Air Force strikes, and it did a very good job. I need to refresh my fighter and cannot do proper recon.
This will delay my attack even further.


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Post #: 25
RE: The Battle of the Norwegian Sea - 10/31/2016 7:22:44 PM   
dan456

 

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I have noticed that one of the video plays waited to capture Odesa. with the rail line going thru the city that slows down you supply.

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Post #: 26
RE: The Battle of the Norwegian Sea - 10/31/2016 7:35:43 PM   
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Hi Michael,

Just wanted to quickly say thanks again, publicly at least here, for such a wonderful looking AAR

To answer your question regarding Leningrad, there is likely a combination of general behavior as well as a specific scripts at play here for the 1941 campaign when started at the higher difficulty levels. The general behavior, and provided the AI has enough units on hand to help out in a defensive situation, is for the AI to collapse around a city defensively for any defenders that are in range. But Leningrad also has specific GUARD scripts that tell it to place units in and around Leningrad and specifically in the Fortified hexes which is triggered under the right conditions, i.e. X enemy units within Y range and so on.

The combination of these two behaviors will typically provide a decent defense in a key location like Leningrad but again it all depends on if it has enough units left on hand... my guess is that this current turn saw some of the destroyed units returning to the fray and luckily enough for it, just in time.

The AI also has a script to provide it with Artillery at Leningrad at the highest difficulty levels and for the Anti-Air, the AI also attempts to recognize areas that are threatened by enemy air units and will either attempt to balance out that type of "weakness" with friendly AA or Fighter reorganization and replacement. This can be tricky for the AI to get just right in all areas, and especially for the USSR as it is quite a large area for the AI to handle, but nice to see it got it right this time... I am surprised it sent over an Armoured Train as well, but again this will sometimes happen as it attempts to fill in those defensive positions with whatever available units it has on hand and at this point its defenses are likely stretched thin across the entire map as you seem to be crushing it quite well as you march towards Moscow

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RE: The Battle of the Norwegian Sea - 10/31/2016 9:32:34 PM   
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Hi Dan!

I am not quite sure if I get your point. The sooner the Axis can capture Odessa, the earlier the supply will regenerate. The supply that is generated in Odessa before it is conquered does not help the Axis, so I cannot imagine any situation were a delayed conquest of an enemy resource would bring an advantage.


Hi Hubert!

Thanks for the enlightenment. In comparison to earlier versions, the AI has improved a lot. It will never be as good an experienced human player, but during the Beta test it gave me quite a few challenges.
And Moscow will be safe in 1941.. the Rasputiza has started, and I will not be able to conduct any major offensives any more. At some parts of the front line I am behind the historical schedule, but my losses are lower than in RL. I am very curious about 1942.


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Post #: 28
From Mud To Rasputiza - 11/1/2016 9:48:31 AM   
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Turn 17

24. Oktober 1941


Rasputiza has started, and if I get one turn with good weather until the end of the year, I can be happy.






93 MPPs is better than nothing.





Two minor British ships are gone, but I would not call this a victory. 50% of my surface vessels are damaged, and I cannot repair them tho full strength without sending them back to Germany. This would take five turns, and they might get caught on the way back, so I decided to leave them in the Norwegian Sea until I have conquered Leningrad. This will take time, but sending them back to Germany will also take ages.





The Finnish Verdun, Act IV:

Soviet rockets and bad weather hurt the Finnish morale. I know the Schlüsselburg hex in the southeast of Leningrad is more important, but sooner or later conquering the fortification hex is getting a bit personal.
At least the attack on Nowgorod went well, and I am confident to take the town next turn.





Readiness and morale are quite low, and I need to give my troops a rest before the Soviet Winter. I will leave the 9. Armee and three Armeekorps (VI., IX. and XXI.) in the east Smolensk.
Dug in behind the Dnepr, this should be enough to fend off a Soviet attack.

The tanks have already moved to the south, and the planes will be diverted to another theater as soon as my troops have conquered Velikiye Luki.





I hope I can capture Orel before the end of the year. This would make the whole front line much easier to defend as the Soviets would be further away from the next resources (Kaluga, Tula).
If I cannot take Orel, the Soviets would be able to get supply from there, and the town would a thorn in my front line.





Supply is a big problem these days. Von Rundstedt can march one hex per turn, and it will take him quite long to reach the front lines.
Conducting an attack is not possible. I need one more turn of good weather.

On the Krim peninsula, the Romanians can barely move. Nothing to report.





The Italians could have attacked the British army, but the forecast was bad. The Ariete Tank Group has tech level zero, and the Italian corps is not as strong as a British army. And the British artillery would have provided defensive fire.
I need to wait until next turn.





I start to invest in Diplomacy.
I want to have Turkey on my side sooner or later.





Proskurow and Winnitsa are hit by partisan activities.

At the end of the turn, I get Advanced Aircraft Level 2. Fine.


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Post #: 29
A British Counterattack - 11/1/2016 10:09:57 AM   
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Turn 18 (AI)

4. November 1941





I need to find a way to interrupt the railway to Leningrad, or this battle will go on forever.
The Finns might not like it, but I have to use the good weather and concentrate my bombers on the Schlüsselburg hex.





Surprise, surprise. I thought the British were happy just to sit in their fortifications, but they attack me.
The longer they do this, the later I will get to Alexamdria.


< Message edited by HvS -- 11/1/2016 10:11:17 AM >


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