Turn 45 29-April-1942 Centre
There have been 3 commanders for the centre. Stelteck, Crackaces, and beender. Crackaces returns to the centre this turn.
The strategic plan for the center since the start of the winter has been "not a step back." At least the Germans will have to be pushed back and the Center will not voluntarily give up hexes. The reason for adopting this strategy is rooted in three strategic principles unique to this particular game.
1. The Soviets start their winter offense with about 5.1M manpower in TO&E. The AAR's show much promise for manpower 6M and over, and debatable promise for manpower of 5M and under. More so, this is a harsh first winter but no +1 attacks. That means the Soviets have to concentrate more CV into locations they want to advance, and cannot rely on +1 to move German units. I believe very simply that the Soviets do not have enough manpower to conduct a threating blizzard offense.
2. Given #1 above, the Soviets will have to rely heavily on cavalry units. They have limited replacement. Matching up mountain units with the right support units will extract a heavy toll for any ground gained.
3. The Soviet air force is very weak. This will not affect the winter per se, but ground saved during the winter will quickly be advantageous to the Luftwaffe come first clear turns. There are multiple targets that if a staging base were placed in the right spot - the Soviets would be in a severe disadvantage.
The cost of this strategy is blood and treasure. The Soviets will grow in numbers and the disadvantage shown in guns to men ratios will eventually correct. The winter is particularly harsh to AFV's as damaged AFV's often become destroyed during the logistics phase. However, this particular situation demonstrates the benefits of a German Blizzard offense that outweighs the potential risks.
The strategy played out as Telemecus and beender previously posted for the center. The Soviet offense was met with counterattacks. The cost was high but the Germans held precious ground for the Spring 1942 offense. More so, the Luftwaffe is in range of multiple lucrative targets as the blizzard and mud will end soon.
Below are the plans suggested by Centre. Staff at OKH did ask what the difference was between some of them, but Centre assured us they were as different as night and day!
The picture below shows the decided effort. The armor will come out to play later. A series of attacks starting at the Oka southwards produces routs as well as moving Soviets rearwards. Two such battles are shown. One in the North is a rout (actually the one above is a rout too). The big battle in the center is a simple retreat 2.01:1 odds with equal losses on both sides.
The picture above also shows a healthy reserve. Deploying armor in a blizzard has a cost in damaged and destroyed AFV's. Enough armor is deployed to achieve a measured response to the Soviet position but not so much we take unnecessary AFV losses. The reserve is in position to react to the anticipated Soviet moves. Rather than retreat - we are moving forward in the blizzard.
< Message edited by Telemecus -- 9/18/2018 3:44:48 PM >