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Tannenberg 14 - 3/20/2019 8:33:43 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
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Hey all, yesterday night i finished my take on Tannenberg 14 with the Russians, and... did anyone manage to win it and how?

German troops are able to just smash through your troops and fragment them with ease unless you sit on 100% fortifications. They also seem to have almost as much troops, and the ability to travel freely and fast through rich supply lanes to hit you everywhere at once.

My first take was to move Samsonov to the North, and by turn 3 the Germans attacked me before i even reached the lakes, with Rennenkampf's army still on the reinforcement list. Obviously, the Germans were faster than anticipated, so i decided to have another go.

This time i entrenched Samsonov in the south, behind rivers and within fire support range from my forts. Meanwhile, i tried to put up an entrenched MLR just west of the lakes and the NE corner of the map, behind which i would try to move southward most of Rennenkampf's army.

By turn 3 the Germans stormed Rennenkampf's lines and i wasn't able to contain them. Only with multiple stacking units and 100% entrenchment and several Tactical Reserve units i was able to repel some attacks. I tried to outflank the advancing Germans with Cavalry and maybe take out HQs and artillery, to no avail. Meanwhile, Samsonov was under attack, though my heavily entrenched lines behind the river held with no problems. Recon attempts with his cavalry saw several units moving south so i couldn't try anything funny.

After turns of grueling battle, with Rennenkampf's troops being slowly pushed through the lakes and his reinforcements needed just to plug the holes in the line, i tried to push north with half of Samsonov's army. The cavarly saw no units in the German backfield, so i thought the Germans had concentrated their forces against Rennenkampf.

Bad idea. I was able to destroy a couple German units, but as soon as i reached the town with the objective just behind the border, Germans swarmed me from every direction. I had no entrenchment, so every field battle saw even German Irregulars and cavalry just push aside and fragment my infantry with ease. I was barely able to pull back and avoid a total encirlement.

Meanwhile, the Germans smashed Rennenkampf's army to piecies.

In the end, i suffered a defeat, although i suffered less casualities than the Germans. But if the scenario didn't end at turn 14 the Germans would have been able to completely destroy me, because there was no way for me to win or even draw any open battle. Their troop quality was just too much, and my supplies were horrible even close to my supply sources while Germans enjoyed better supplies on their forward echelons than i have 4 hexes from my sources.

So, are there Russian commanders that can suggest me some strategy?

I'll post screenshots this evening to explain myself better.

< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 3/20/2019 8:36:33 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/20/2019 5:52:46 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 38319
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: StuccoFresco
Hey all, yesterday night i finished my take on Tannenberg 14 with the Russians, and... did anyone manage to win it and how?

German troops are able to just smash through your troops and fragment them with ease unless you sit on 100% fortifications. They also seem to have almost as much troops, and the ability to travel freely and fast through rich supply lanes to hit you everywhere at once.

My first take was to move Samsonov to the North, and by turn 3 the Germans attacked me before i even reached the lakes, with Rennenkampf's army still on the reinforcement list. Obviously, the Germans were faster than anticipated, so i decided to have another go.

This time i entrenched Samsonov in the south, behind rivers and within fire support range from my forts. Meanwhile, i tried to put up an entrenched MLR just west of the lakes and the NE corner of the map, behind which i would try to move southward most of Rennenkampf's army.

By turn 3 the Germans stormed Rennenkampf's lines and i wasn't able to contain them. Only with multiple stacking units and 100% entrenchment and several Tactical Reserve units i was able to repel some attacks. I tried to outflank the advancing Germans with Cavalry and maybe take out HQs and artillery, to no avail. Meanwhile, Samsonov was under attack, though my heavily entrenched lines behind the river held with no problems. Recon attempts with his cavalry saw several units moving south so i couldn't try anything funny.

After turns of grueling battle, with Rennenkampf's troops being slowly pushed through the lakes and his reinforcements needed just to plug the holes in the line, i tried to push north with half of Samsonov's army. The cavarly saw no units in the German backfield, so i thought the Germans had concentrated their forces against Rennenkampf.

Bad idea. I was able to destroy a couple German units, but as soon as i reached the town with the objective just behind the border, Germans swarmed me from every direction. I had no entrenchment, so every field battle saw even German Irregulars and cavalry just push aside and fragment my infantry with ease. I was barely able to pull back and avoid a total encirlement.

Meanwhile, the Germans smashed Rennenkampf's army to piecies.

In the end, i suffered a defeat, although i suffered less casualities than the Germans. But if the scenario didn't end at turn 14 the Germans would have been able to completely destroy me, because there was no way for me to win or even draw any open battle. Their troop quality was just too much, and my supplies were horrible even close to my supply sources while Germans enjoyed better supplies on their forward echelons than i have 4 hexes from my sources.

So, are there Russian commanders that can suggest me some strategy?

I'll post screenshots this evening to explain myself better.


I played Tannenberg so long ago that I don't remember the situation but from your description I understand that it's WWI and the Germans are attacking the Soviets?
Sounds like the Soviets need to build a solid MLR ( main line of resistance ) and put some infantry on the second row of your front lines in 'T' mode to help hold the line. And especially important is putting some arty behind the front line troops to help stiffen the front lines a little. You're going to need stacks of units to deal with the Germans. Their proficiency is higher than yours and a single Soviet unit by itself isn't strong enough to stand up by itself against the German units. I'll have to play it again....see how I do.


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(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 2
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/20/2019 9:29:13 PM   
rhinobones

 

Posts: 918
Joined: 2/17/2002
Status: online
Stucco

Suggest you play a game from the German side and see where the Russians might block your moves. Apply lessons learned to the next game as the Russians.

Larry

There were no Soviets until after the revolution in 1917. Otherwise, you’re spot on with the recommendations.

Regards, RhinoBones


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RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/20/2019 10:17:42 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
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I tried to build up my lines, but Germans were able to just smash through unless i sat on 100% fortifications. Rennenkampf's army never stood a chance. Maybe i should have packed my troops tighter.

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RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/21/2019 7:08:50 AM   
Cfant

 

Posts: 416
Joined: 12/12/2010
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The scenario is not balanced. I always used it to teach new players how to play TOAW (giving feedback). Against absolutly new players I mostly "won" with the Russians, but playing a somehow experienced opponent it will be a draw at best.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 5
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/21/2019 8:15:23 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
Well that explains it. I'd be happy to settle for a draw, though i inflicted more losses than what i suffered.

(in reply to Cfant)
Post #: 6
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/21/2019 6:15:12 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
Here are the pics and a more detailed AAR.

Given that Rennenkampf's I Army will arrive in echelons, and that moving the whole II Army of Samsonov through half the map, along few roads and through the Masurian Lakes would be arduous, i decide my strategy for the two armies:

- I Army will build a screen to protect the roads going south with the starting troops. All coming reinforcements will be then sent South to link up with Samsonov or at least concentrate safely south of the Masurian Lakes.

- II Army will make a strong MLR behind rivers and weather the German offensive until I Army joins the fray.

- Both armies will then look for local counterattack opportunities or, if the Germans manage to wear themselves down against my trenches, a general counteroffensive. Objectives are to be ignored until a good portion of the German forces will be worn down.

Given the initial briefing, that states the Germans are reorganizing against an earlier defeat against Rennenkampf and that the German commander is a cautious one, it seems i'd be able to enjoy a couple turns of tranquillity. Hindenburg&Ludendorff will take command at Turn 3, and historically they attacked Samsonov first. My recon cavalry also spots nothing in front of the I Army, while some German stacks is concentrating north of Samsonov. My strategy seems then sensible both from historical perspective and the information at hand in-game.

My supplies are awful: a few hexes away from my 20-supplies sources, levels fall under 10.

Unfortunately, all hell breaks loose as soon as the German turn starts. Scores of German troops storms Rennenkampf's lines at the Masurian Lakes and further north, advancing fast and deep. For a couple turns i'm forced to send I Army's reinforcements in the fray to avoid a collapse that would split my forces in two.

Meanwhile, a couple German stacks park themselves in front of the II Army. I don't fear a breakthrough there: i'm deeply entrenched and behind a river, and i can also concentrate my artillery against the enemy, inflicting murderous casualities. But my cavalry routinely finds more German units just NW of Samsonov's army, so I just can't send help to Rennenkampf.

By turn 3 i'm forced to use the joint force that were defending the crucial crossroad at Osowiec to help Rennenkampf. I manage to even achieve a little encirclement, but German assaults are decimating my units and slowly pushing me eastward.




(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 7
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/22/2019 5:46:57 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
After 9 turns, the I Army is in tatters: Suvalki is about to fall, half my units are dead or decimated, and the Germans keep pushing.

I decide to "concede" the I Army and strike with the II Army, since my cavalry recon has done several scouting missions and it seems the Germans don't have much in front of Samsonov anymore. I think they have sent everything north, so I can make a counteroffensive.

The II Army jumps from the trenches and the initial offensive is met with apparently thunderous success: several German units are encircled at the river, and half of the II Army concentrates around Willenburg. The few German units around are quickly scattered, and it seems I can score a victory after all.

Wrong. Very wrong. German units out of nowhere descends on the Second Army from the north, and smash my units with ease. Another offensive from Lautenburg threatens to isolate half of the II Army, and a German unit rushes forward through my lines and lodges itself right in the middle of my rear troops.






(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 8
RE: Tannenberg 14 - 3/22/2019 5:49:34 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
The sheer speed and violence of the offensive leaves me no choice but to fall back, and I even encircle an Irregular division, but to my dismay i keep losing every single engagement. The encircled unit manages to repel a couple all-out attacks, and in the end even breaks the encirclement routing a Russian Regular unit!

Willenburg is lost to cavalry attacks despite heavy fortifications, and with German troops moving in force in SE direction, it's very likely half of the Second Army would be destroyed just south of Willenburg.

Keep in mind that during this onslaught, the Germans didn't need to take troops away from the offensive that was cutting Rennenkampf's Army to bits. The German units there kept fighting and driving the remnants of the I Army eastward.

Luckily, the scenario ends, sparing me the sight of having both my armies destroyed.

In the final report I see i inflicted significantly more casualities than those suffered, but only because the scenario ended before the Germans could mop up survivors. Given the speed of the German aggression, the high number of units, and the seemingly massive quality advantage, i seriously doubt this scenario can be really won for the Russians.

My strategy failed because it couldn't be pulled off in any way: the Germans attacked everywhere at Turn 1 and with enough force to prevent both armies to send help to the other. The only forces I was able to actually divert from their initial positions were the ones at Osiwiec.

I have to say I was nevertheless quite impressed by AI's offensive that cut off and threatened to destroy half of my army south of Willenburg. That was a bold, yet well thought and finely executed move.





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