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Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis)

 
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Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/30/2019 4:51:34 PM   
Telemecus


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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/30/2019 4:52:40 PM   
Telemecus


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This game is from 2017 and was played on V1.11.00 with mild blizzard and a +1 Soviet bonus. It was supposed to be part of a video AAR by the Soviet player which never happened, but for which I made lots of screenshots to help. As it was meant to be a demonstration game I have used them a lot since to show to others. So it made sense just to stitch them together and make them available to all. I have also substituted in my own video of an all time classic. The game did not get beyond turn 3, it was but a Brief Encounter.

Although I had practised opening turns many times and have optimised parts of them, every time I also experiment or tinker with new ideas. So I never do the "perfect" opening - and this is not one. For that I would recommend post 4 onwards here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4601253 as the best current version. However this is also meant to challenge whether that is the best opening in the sense that encircling the maximum number of units is not always the best thing to do.

In particular in this opening I was tinkering to
-deliberately leave pockets more open to be dealt with later
-instead I intentionally tried to push as many units in as great a mass as far east as possible with the aim of shock and awe and overwhelming defensive lines before they were formed, indeed the aim was to be more reckless than is advisable to see what would happen
-the normal southern "Lvov" opening or its variants were not used, instead I took the opening developed by Timmeh for the 8MP team game which did not work out there (see post 52 http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=2 ) and showed what it would look like successfully here
-air transferring airgroups beyond rail was replaced by more use of staging bases on turn 1
-Osinovets was bombed from turn 1
-Strategic bombing started on turn 1

This AAR will only highlight differences or alternatives and not comment comprehensively on turns, but I will endeavour to answer any questions. However I hope it might provoke debate or even second thoughts on some orthodoxies.

The Bigger Question I have long had is does the best opening for the beginning turns necessarily include what is the best opening for turn 1. By this I mean does the opening on turn 1 which isolates and pockets the most number of units necessarily mean you have isolated and pocketed the most you could have done by turn 3. Could being looser on turn 1 enable you to make bigger gains later. Or will holding back the units from the furthest they could advance mean you will be met by stronger lines of defence later. I tend to favour looser openings which I know is not a majority view here. So this is also meant to be a contribution to the pacman versus grand strategy debate. I do not claim this necessarily to be the better option - but I welcome any comments or thoughts this might provoke.




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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/30/2019 4:54:24 PM   
Telemecus


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Turn 1 End, Ground

Although air operations should be interlocked with ground operations, and on turn 1 more than any other, I will deal with the air war in a subsequent post.

These forums popularised the term "Panzer ball." So by analogy I am going to make the term "Infantry Ball." These are groups of infantry which do not take place in any combat. Usually they are the best infantry (it will include at least all the 90+ morale ones), led by the best commanders (Model, Lindemann, Heinrici, von Obstfelder etc) whose only job is to walk. And walk right behind the panzer spearheads. Walking on hexes which are under friendly controlled at the start of each turn and with 16 MPs or close to that that their commanders give them will mean they are able to remain 1 turn behind the panzer spearheads. Knowing that there is a group of infantry dedicated to following them and being able to rescue them the next turn if anything goes wrong actually means the Panzer spearheads can take more risks and be more daring in their exploits. From these forums AARs and interacting with others in team games I always felt too little attention was paid to the follow through. The Panzer units are of course the sexy units we think about a lot. But a little thought to what comes immediately behind them actually makes them more effective. Instead infantry follow up tends to be dissipated with frequent diversions to side battles instead of ruthlessly trying to get the maximum numbers as far east as fast as possible. The end result is actually that the motorised units have to themselves slow down.

In the opening of this game all of the infantry of I, II, X, V, VI, VIII, XXXXIII and XII and many others never encountered one battle but used all their movement points to advance as far as possible. The most northerly infantry ball marked on the map for example I would expect to be north of the Dvina next turn, north of Pskow on turn 3 and only entering battle on the Luga on turn 4. Although many of them start the game on the border, troops further to the rear are systematically brought up to take their place in the first battles. In particular this means using rail - if you have a lot of rail capacity left on turn 1 you are almost certainly losing out on opportunities. On turn 1 for example you should at least be railing up 86th infantry and SS Polizei of L corps and 106 and 110 infantry of XXXXII corps to be doing some of the first battles on the border, allowing units already there to use their movement points to attack units further to the rear and so on in echelon. Movements by rail have been marked by dotted lines on the map.



(Edit: Map edited to make corps of 9th army XX and not X as incorrectly stated before)

To further this "working from the back" tactic in the 4th army sector, IX in the rear is brought up to the front to do the first battles, which releases XIII corps to take Brest-Litovsk which releases XXXXIII and XII from the task and allows them to walk as far east as possible. The normal axis of advance of the 4th army is to skirt the northern edge of the Pripyat marshes - but this route has a starting position further west than others. So it makes sense to rail VII corps north to replace units in 9th army from their border battles so that they can then march further east from their more easterly starting point. Similarly 17th army tries to take over border battles from the 6th army and so on. The point is do not assume that the troops who start on the border are the ones you should choose for attacking their immediate neighbours.

I know some have preferences to surround rather than take Brest-Litovsk on turn 1, for 4th Panzer group to trap airborne units near the Dvina, or for 2nd Panzer Group to surround Kovel. But at least here those have been sacrificed to provide the greatest mass eastwards possible. 4th Panzer group ends the turn with six motorised divisions north of the Dvina (two transferred from 3rd Panzer Group), 1 just on the south bank of the Dvina and just Totenkopf further away having dealt with the ports of Courland. And the Brest-Litovsk defenders were not surrounded (they retreated into the marshes and will be captured later). This allowed 2 Panzer Groups units to get closer to Minsk and Kiev.

Also I still follow an old tradition of sending a motorised division into the centre of the marshes to take the rail junction at Luninets. I can see this has fallen out of fashion as it is seen as marooning a motorised division in a swamp. But it only crossed one swamp hex this turn. And next turn it only needs to cross two swamp hexes to its south before it is on a stretch of clear hexes again. And denying that central rail exit for Soviet unis in the marshes (the more southerly and northerly ones are easier to block) I still see in games as increasing the number of units lost there.

One other thing that I will point out is different is my treatment of 7th infantry division. This is one of your very top infantry divisions with very high morale. This could be surging into enemy territory needing only two movement points for every enemy hex it crosses into. And yet again and again I see it marooned on picket duty guarding the western edge of the Bialystock pocket - the very last job in the world you would assign to it. Quite frankly this drives me nuts! In this case I have railed it to Army Group North and reassigned it to I corps which will lead the final assault across the Neva to capture Leningrad. But pretty much anything else you would want to use it for would be better than pocket guard duty.

The Timmeh southern opening will be dealt with in detail in subsequent posts - the only thing to point out here is that no Axis troops have crossed the line that will unfreeze the troops on the Rumanian border. So we expect to see them in exactly the same place, unmoved, next turn.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/30/2019 9:02:34 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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quote:

encircling the maximum number of units is not always the best thing to do.

Blasphemy

I like the term infantry ball.

It is a good idea to rail the VII IC to Centre-North. I remember having enough jobs for the entire 4th army around Brest Litovsk, but apparently one can work there without the VII IC.

I think the Southern pocket can be broken at the Zolotya Lipa river with one unit from the inside and the the 15th Tank division from Stanislav. Throwing away 400 tanks and 1k trucks is a difficult decision though. A bait?

You will lose quite some units from the classical Lvov pocket to rail-outs and disbands. I think I counted the unit kill win/loss from the Lvov pocket and Bessarabia when we discussed this earlier, need to find it again. Edit: Haven't found it :-( I think you should air transfer a Security Divison to the Rumanian border to lock the rail

At the moment I am not sure if you can disband some of the units in the Kovel pocket, depending on if the condition is "more than three hexagons from enemy and able to reach friendly working rail with at least 2MP left" or "more than three hexagons from enemy and able to reach friendly working rail that is more than three hexagons away from enemy units with at least 2MP left". I think it is the first one and in this case you should be able to disband them. I think the white OKH infantry divison Northwest of Kovel sould be moved one hex East to prevent the disbanding there.

Looking forward to read the following turns. Single digit turn AARs seem to be a new fad :-)


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 5/30/2019 9:19:55 PM >


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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 1:42:15 AM   
56ajax


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Fantastic. Where are your railway repair units going?

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 9:23:25 AM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist I remember having enough jobs for the entire 4th army around Brest Litovsk, but apparently one can work there without the VII IC.

That was my experience when I started playing the game but over time I have been able to economise a lot on the use of 4th army. For one thing actually assigning SUs like artillery to 102RHG HQ on turn 1 means more of the early border work can be done by security divisions instead. Later you will see what happened to the airbase near 4th army in the Bialystock pocket - which also saved the use of many units.

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
I think the Southern pocket can be broken at the Zolotya Lipa river with one unit from the inside and the the 15th Tank division from Stanislav. Throwing away 400 tanks and 1k trucks is a difficult decision though. A bait?

Of course I would like to say it was a bait and everything that happened next was planned and intentional

Not just at the Zolotya Lipa but also could be by the Seret river. That section roughly west of Tarnopol can be broken without any unit having to move through one ZOC to another. I used to say well that is just something you have to accept as part of the opening - this one will break on turn 1 but will be closed for good on turn 2. However since then I think I have worked out a way with those units and their MPs that you could have at least made any break dependent on a unit going through from ZOC to ZOC (i.e. will not be broken just by walking/driving). Also some of those motorised units could have been moved less far east, allowing more units to secure that weak part of the perimeter - but that is what I call blasphemy!

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
You will lose quite some units from the classical Lvov pocket to rail-outs and disbands. I think I counted the unit kill win/loss from the Lvov pocket and Bessarabia when we discussed this earlier, need to find it again. Edit: Haven't found it :-(

This was a really good analysis and I think is needed to assess the pros and cons of this opening - I was going to ask you if you still had it! I will search my email archive and hopefully will dig it out.

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
I think you should air transfer a Security Divison to the Rumanian border to lock the rail

Or go back to version 1.04 before those nasty developers nerfed a great Soviet rail block by doing nothing!



quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
if you can disband some of the units in the Kovel pocket, depending on if the condition is "more than three hexagons from enemy and able to reach friendly working rail with at least 2MP left" or "more than three hexagons from enemy and able to reach friendly working rail that is more than three hexagons away from enemy units with at least 2MP left". I think it is the first one and in this case you should be able to disband them. I think the white OKH infantry divison Northwest of Kovel sould be moved one hex East to prevent the disbanding there.

I had two helds, I think by really unlucky die rolls. One was for Brest-Litovsk itself which took two attacks. But even more surprisingly was a held by an already retreated Soviet unit south of Kovel. And that just ate up the MPs I would have liked for more moves there. Knowing the exact disband condition then would have helped improve this opening for sure.

There will be a proper review of the south opening at the end of this AAR. But the thing I really noticed was how "cold" I was coming to this. That made it fun and interesting from doing the same old thing of course. But in the North and Centre I not only had scripted moves, I even had scripted contingencies of what to do if this or that battle did not go the way I expected. The "Lvov" opening now has generations of players incrementally improving it to the point we now even have "Super-Lvov." I could imagine if many used this opening, or some near relatives in early AARs on this forum, then this one would be perfected far beyond what is imaginable here and now. For reasons we will both return to this is unlikely to ever happen.

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
Single digit turn AARs seem to be a new fad :-)

As men keep having to explain the world over again and again - it is not the length that matters

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 11:28:07 AM   
Bear1888

 

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the infantry ball idea is great. this way the infantry units with lower moral which do all the fighting will catch up to the 90 moral units later in the game. so thats a great side effect.

will try to impliment that in my next game.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 3:52:26 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Where are your railway repair units going?

The rail repair routes I was planning to use at the start were the same ones used in the 8MP game seen in the picture below

see also post 135 here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=5 which includes a review of the choice

I do not believe in rail repair routes starting in the centre - far better to repair out from Rumania or in the Baltic Repair Zone which gives you a head start getting east. But in this game the area near Rumania will be frozen for two turns. Despite this it is still better to start the main rail route in the south there even though this means waiting for two turns. So that only left rail repair on turn 1 in the north.

Here are the FBDs at the end of turn 1 in the Brief Encounter game.




It is quite common to double up FBDs to speed up rail repair - here I decided to see if tripling up would make it even faster. So six continuous hexes were repaired on one main rail route, with an FBD already waiting on the seventh hex to repair rail next turn. What it has meant is that 4 FBDs together only repaired six hexes in total. In general I would rather repair more hexes on one rail eastwards even if it means fewer hexes are repaired in total. I think I took this principle too far here and would not recommend it.

FBD3 has actually been walked back towards the Reich again to be railed south next turn. As the forces in Rumania will be frozen for two turns there will be no rail repair there until turn 3. So it made sense to rail the FBDs north, even if they could only repair one hex, and only start to rail them south again next turn.

The alternative southern opening does have a major impact on rail repair as we saw in the 8MP game where the south was always behind on supply see above link for discussion of this in the 8MP game. This does have to be added to the pros and cons for this opening.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 4:00:50 PM   
Telemecus


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The railway guy is happy though.



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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 4:28:44 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bear1888
the infantry ball idea is great. this way the infantry units with lower moral which do all the fighting will catch up to the 90 moral units later in the game. so thats a great side effect.


It is a good extra point as you are optimising experience and morale gains for your units. Higher experience/morale units gain far less from wins (if any) than do lower experience/moral units. This will concentrate credit for wins on the latter group.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 4:44:22 PM   
Crackaces


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This is probably the best example for discussing the maximizing immediate gain (i.e. surrounding and isolating the maximum number of units turns 1-3) vs a very long term strategic approach to turns 1-3.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 4:51:37 PM   
joelmar


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These railroads repair roads really seem to be the best solution, but most certainly gamey, as for sure an invading force in real life would not leave such a huge gap without rails in the center. But still I clearly see in my present game that it can't be ignored, as I didn't double up the FBD's to Smolensk and I'm 6 hexes behind the 8MP on the road to Moscow. At least now I got a nice and not really useful rail line going along the northern edge of the marshes! Maybe it will give some advantage later on in the game to have it, but at the moment, nada.

Probably with railroad capacity (maybe in WitE 2, don't remember about it) this would be done more naturally.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 5:53:09 PM   
Bear1888

 

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You only need one drunken partisan unit accidentally blowing up your single railroad and your krauts will be out of schnitzel in the next turn. Very risky.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 6:11:37 PM   
joelmar


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quote:


Original: Bear1888

You only need one drunken partisan unit accidentally blowing up your single railroad and your krauts will be out of schnitzel in the next turn. Very risky.


I don't think Telemecus is very afraid of that! lol!

The idea is this:

1 rail line from Riga in direction of Velikye Luki and/or Pskov for North

1 rail line Daugavpils, Vitebsk, Smolensk for Center, with 2 FBD starting from when the rail gets out of the baltic rail repair zone and continue with 6 repaired hexes every turn (because of repair capacity of max 6 hex from a railhead).

Those 2 parallel rail lines are easy to join to create loops.

1 rail line from Rumania to Vinnitsa or Kotvsk/Novoukraika and/or through Odessa using the Ochakov exploit using the 2 remaining FBD's and the rumanian FBD.

And use as many construction units in higher HQ's to auto repair segments along the way, thereby slowly but surely creating a redundant network.

< Message edited by joelmar -- 5/31/2019 6:16:18 PM >


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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 5/31/2019 6:25:14 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: joelmar
At least now I got a nice and not really useful rail line going along the northern edge of the marshes! Maybe it will give some advantage later on in the game to have it, but at the moment, nada.

In 1942 it will be really useful. Given where the action will probably be it will mean arrivals take two weeks to be railed to the front rather than three. Or put it another way they get there sooner and for 33% less rail capacity. So just have to hang in there till 42 to feel the gain!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bear1888
You only need one drunken partisan unit accidentally blowing up your single railroad and your krauts will be out of schnitzel in the next turn. Very risky.



It is worth distinguishing what your main railway routes are that you want to accelerate east, and what are your loops you create to make sure they are not imperiled by one partisan strike. Your loops do not have to be made by FBDs.

Here is a picture of the rail repair in the centre on turn 18 in 8MP (post 240+ here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=8 ). There are already loops all the way to Smolensk. In two turns they will be looped down to Bryansk (102RHG is concentrating on that). Yes FBDs were used to create a double loop up near Leningrad. But auto construction is doing the rest.




Things to note in Brief Encounter (and also 8MP and 2by3+)
-At the start any corps HQ with less than two construction and any army with less than three construction was at first locked so that no construction units flowed down from army group and OKH level. When the army groups and OKH had enough construction "on map" so that they were below quota, then the corps and army HQs were unlocked below them. As a result no construction was assigned down, they were kept at army group and OKH level for rail repair. OKH and army group commands were placed to maximise the rail repair of their construction SUs. And when all of their construction SUs went on-map, we did use points to reassign construction in corps and armies into the higher levels knowing they would not flow down even though all was unlocked.
-construction SUs were also assigned to RHG commands which became pseudo-FBDs repairing rail in specific areas of importance (e.g. Bryansk loops above, bypass around Rumania, anti-partisan loops etc)
-similar arrangements were made with allied construction SUs including the ones in Rumanian High Command

Basically not only was the auto rail repair maxed out - we targeted it to make sure little loops covered the main lines from partisan attacks. Indeed by getting the main line east faster, auto rail repair could start creating loops from more easterly branch lines sooner. Joelmar also made the good point

quote:

ORIGINAL: joelmar
Those 2 parallel rail lines are easy to join to create loops.


Once you separate the issue of protecting your main lines of rail repair from where your main lines of repair should be you can then leave the main lines to concentrate on feeding the army and not worry about partisan attacks.

It should also be noted that one FBD from North is heading south to meet an FBD from south coming North. These will create one big loop - and will get to that area sooner than would an FBD which had spent its time repairing along the marshes.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 7:36:34 AM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bear1888

You only need one drunken partisan unit accidentally blowing up your single railroad and your krauts will be out of schnitzel in the next turn. Very risky.

True.




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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 2:47:25 PM   
Telemecus


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Turn 1 End, Air

Below is a map highlighting features of the turn 1 air campaign. Airbases are contoured in red. There are guides elsewhere on the air war on turn 1, here I will only be highlighting some ideas or differences in approach.




Firstly there was an extensive "Kabuki Dance" (see post 470 here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=16 for an example of what this is). The map indicates the broad movements of this for the airbases of the major air commands. In particular there are Rumanian Tac bombers and air fields in the middle of Transylvania which are not even in range of the border - often they are not moved and do nothing. Many of the German's shortest range level bomber at the start, the Do17Z-2, are in the middle of Poland and have to spend half their air miles just flying to the front if they are not first moved. And so on. Generally all air groups have been air transferred to airbases at the very end of repaired rail lines leaving them with almost all their air miles still to go. Air groups often move between air commands in this process - for example you will see some stukas air transferred to Rumania on the map below. There was also a Kabuki dance for German recon bases and recon air groups - but this was preceded by the vast majority of them being sent to National Reserve. You will always have more than you ever need and there is no point driving them around in airfields. Added to this complication I am also planning to do manual swaps of many airgroups starting next turn - and so I have to leave those in the air bases at the end of this turn that I want them to be in at the end of next turn. During the game if you use the Kabuki Dance extensively you will probably have a system to make it simple to do for you. But on turn 1 the problem is getting your airgroups and airbases into this system in the first place, while at the same time carrying out the biggest air base bombing campaign ever and for me also trying to manage air swaps for next turn. Even though I have some of this scripted in my head it still takes me days to do this. Far longer than it takes to do the ground combat moves. And in every game I will make one or two minor errors while doing this.

Secondly recon was used where possible to raise all enemy airbases to detection level 5. This included ones like 22DBAD (near Zaporozhye) which is not visible in the opening turn of the scenario - but which you know is there from scenario data. It also included airfields which I knew I was not going to bomb. But all airfields on detection level 5 will be on detection level 4 next turn and can easily have their detection levels raised again. It is much easier to raise detection levels once you already know where they are, much harder to find them when you do not. On turn 1 you know where they all are even when they are not visible.

Commonly I have seen players first do all of their the airbase bombing in one go, and then afterwards do the "ground war." This is sub-optimal. Sometimes the places where you want airbases ideally to be at for airbase bombing requires that you first conquer them with ground forces. And ground support is best provided by bombers who have already used their 33% air miles for airbase bombing. So instead the process I follow is an iterative one of alternating between air and ground war phases repeatedly.

My next step then is to make sure all my bombers are given settings to prevent them flying (switched to night missions here in v1.11.00 - but you could use air range=1 for airgroups to do the same thing in the latest versions of the game). But I would then switch on only the minimum number of the shortest range bombers to bomb the airfields closest to the front and bomb those air bases only until it made sense to do more of the ground war next. At that point any bomber groups with less than 33% miles used would be set to not fly, the rest would be left for ground support. Ground forces would do their thing until the next point were it made sense to do more airbase bombing. And so on by repetition.

When an airbase is overrun by ground forces, all of its damaged aircraft are destroyed. So the most efficient use of airbase bombing is to bomb an airbase immediately after its been routed (nearly all aircraft left on the airbase will be ready). My rule of thumb was to bomb an airbase until one third of its aircraft were damaged, then carry out the ground war to the point where the airbase gets routed by ground forces and repeat. In the north indeed 4th Panzer group overran one airbase half a dozen times - between each time the airbase was bombed again. This would mean up to two thirds of the aircraft on those airbases are not lost to air or ground kills by airgroups, but lost to being overrun by ground forces.

Other points to note are
- Shortest range bombers are used first. Tactical and dive bombers were first to be used. Everything west of the purple line indicating the limits of tac and dive bombers was only bombed by them. When the ground phases were all complete, the level bombers still had not been used. So, starting with the Do17Z-2s, they were used to bomb airfields beyond where the ground forces had got to and east of the tac & dive bomber limit line
- Soviet modern fighter types, recon, Il2s and very long range bombers were prioritised. This meant for example the airbases at Vitebsk and to its south at Orsha were never bombed. Instead the Do17Z-2s overflew them and instead bombed the very long range bombers around Smolensk.
- "Overkill" was avoided in the airbases bombed by the Ju88As and He111s. This meant when very few aircraft were left on an airbase it was not bombed or were bombed by very few. The aim was to maximise kills per airgroup by putting target rich airbases first. Indeed this should have been the principle for the tac and dive bombers too - except that they ran out of rich targets and were left with targeting the left over scraps. Indeed within the limits of where they could get to, only 4 Soviet aircraft are left. At this point I decided it was better to send two stuka groups to rotate through national reserve rather than keep them on the map to destroy these last four aircraft. And many stukas and Rumanian tactical bombers were left with very few miles flown in the north east of Rumania to try to maximise interdiction further to its north east. (The number of aircraft left on a Soviet airbase at the end of the turn is shown on the map within the tac/dive bomber range - I have mostly left these out beyond there)
- Empty staging bases were moved with advancing panzer columns, for example 2LW and 21LW shown in the map. However some aircraft were transferred to these bases at the end of their journey such as fighters for cover during the Soviet phase. One example I always comment on is 10SchLG2 which I air transfer from west of the Bialystcok pocket to 2LW airbase when it arrives north of the Dvina. I used to think the Schule in their name meant they were teaching air groups temporarily drafted in to combat for the invasion. German speakers have since corrected me that they are "training-demonstration" groups - although that still sounds pretty much the same thing to me! Whatever the case I have for long nicknamed this air group the "Old Men in the Biplanes." Yet they seem to be real killers on turn 1. 300 kills from just bombing all the airbases repeatedly that get routed to just north of the Dvina. In addition they use very little ammo - so are one of the fewer bomber groups that could be used on 2LW which starts the game with very little ammo in its stores.
- Black arrows indicate some of the onward missions possible from the staging bases. Some staging bases were moved at the end of the turn to be stacked with a combat unit so as not to be displaced during the Soviet turn, but may have been used as a staging base by airgroups during the Axis turn hexes away from where they ended up at.
- With the air miles not used for airbase bombing or ground support at the end I did bomb Osinovets and some industry. Osinovets only got a disappointing 4% damage which will be 1% after repair next turn. Since this game I have developed my thinking on what industry is worth targeting (see post 956 here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=32) so would not repeat what I did here. The MiG3 fighter factory in Moscow was just one hex out of range, but with a different path for the staging base facilitated by different moves by 3rd Panzer Group this could have been reached on turn 1.

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/1/2019 3:44:04 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 3:00:28 PM   
Telemecus


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Turn 1 End, Air: Tactical and Dive Bomber Groups

Below is the commanders report filtered for only dive bomber and tactical bomber groups at the end of the turn. 4,427 kills - and they should also be credited with the losses of aircraft they damaged which were then overrun by ground forces. Indeed by leaving not even damaged aircraft in the airbase inside the Bialystock pocket, the 4th army did not need to fight a way in to displace it.




Effectively dive bombers and tactical bombers use was maxed out this turn - only four Soviet aircraft were left inside their range. Indeed there were two stuka groups left spare that were sent to National reserve and others were still little used and placed to maximise interdiction during the Soviet turn.

My view is that the key thing to getting large air kills on turn 1 is about managing the stukas properly. Kabuki dance them to leave maximum miles for airbase, extend the area they cover as far east as possible, and do not use them in overkill in any one airbase mission. There is no two bomb per hex limit on turn 1, so better go low and bomb again than waste too many bombers in one go. If you leave more than two stukas airgroups close to each other I would question why.

The corollary to this is level bombers got far fewer kills than they would have otherwise as their targets are further away and because more discrimination was possible for them over which air group types to bomb.

Since v1.11.00 dive bombers and tactical bombers have been separated as classes of aircraft. And the Rumanian tactical bomber groups in particular have been made less effective. So these results could not be exactly replicated in current versions.

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/1/2019 5:07:21 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 3:05:23 PM   
Telemecus


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Turn 1 End, Air: Losses

Air losses for end of Axis turn, losses for Soviet logistics and action phases in turn 1 still have to be added on.




The numbers would have been bigger if priority had not been given to some types of aircraft over others. But here is another case where I think quality takes priority over quantity.

Note also that current versions of the game (v1.11.03) have more and more powerful flak than v1.11.00 - so you will get noticeably different results there nowadays.

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/1/2019 3:22:18 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 5:10:38 PM   
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Something flying was missed though



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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 7:26:55 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus

Something flying was missed though



Advanced ground-air communication increased the effectiveness of ground support missions.




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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 9:06:57 PM   
Telemecus


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Turn 1 End, Admin Points Spend

29 admin points spent on turn 1 - 1 point carried over to turn 2.


(Edit: original screenshot had an error which has since been corrected)

Note: Reassignments costing zero points are not listed here.

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/4/2019 9:32:15 AM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/1/2019 9:15:58 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch



Does n't Lauren Bacall know when three is a crowd?



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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/1/2019 9:16:36 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 5:31:43 AM   
56ajax


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quote:

Secondly recon was used where possible to raise all enemy airbases to detection level 5. This included ones like 22DBAD (near Zaporozhye) which is not visible in the opening turn of the scenario - but which you know is there from scenario data. It also included airfields which I knew I was not going to bomb. But all airfields on detection level 5 will be on detection level 4 next turn and can easily have their detection levels raised again.


Under the current version airfield detection decays from 5 to 3 next turn. (Other units can go from 5 to 0).

< Message edited by 56ajax -- 6/2/2019 6:14:58 AM >


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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 7:16:14 AM   
56ajax


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus

Turn 1 End, Admin Points Spend

29 admin points spent on turn 1 - 1 point carried over to turn 2.



Are you able to explain your rationale for these reassignments? For example why reassign 2 Inf divs to a Army rather than an under strength corp under that army? Assuming I am reading it correctly.

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 11:09:31 AM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Under the current version airfield detection decays from 5 to 3 next turn. (Other units can go from 5 to 0).


You are quite right. And it is not even a change since the version of this game - that is what it was on then.

When it comes to these air matters you are probably the only one who knows this! So I will have to credit yet another learning on the air war to you!

I suppose strictly speaking what I was doing every turn was topping up the detection levels of every airbase so that I knew it would never be invisible next turn, and getting it to five for those I would bomb or want to know about the airgroups on the airbase. And this doctrine would work in just the same way after the change.

Do you know when the change was made. Please do not say before 1.08 as that would mean almost the whole time I have been playing the game I have been playing the air war with the (slightly) wrong game mechanics in mind!

< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/2/2019 2:12:15 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 1:05:56 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Are you able to explain your rationale for these?


Happy to! Should say though I noticed some errors between that list I originally posted of reassignments and what was the end result. This was because of the unusual held results at Brest Litovsk and Kovel mentioned in post 6 which meant I had to rejig the plan around in that area - but for some reason forgot to update the spreadsheet. So I have edited post 22 with a corrected version of the reassigns. It should not change the gist of the question though.

Model to I corps: Eventually I will want Model to be commanding I corps when it leads the attack over the Neva to capture Leningrad. However there are two reasons to bring it forward to turn 1. Firstly I am prioritising a fast capture of Leningrad so that AGN has enough time to turn south and help to Moscow. For this I want I corps to be going into the battle for the first time on the Luga on turn 4, which means they need to be at Pskow on turn 3 and north of the Dvina on turn 2. Rather like catching connecting trains or flights, if one is missed the whole thing falls back. So I want I corps to be starting every turn with 16MPs, or as close to that as possible. Having Models initiative and admin ratings for the next three logistics phases will help to achieve that. Also as I will be appointing von Kluge to OKH this turn, I need to appoint Model first to avoid the AI (possibly) choosing to replace von Kluge at 4th army with Model.

von Kluge to OKH: In spite of von Kluge having many great ratings, they are basically wasted in the heavily overloaded 4th army. I will try to do all of the combats of 4th army first before making this change to take advantage of the little benefit he gives nevertheless. But for 4 admin points von Kluge will be giving his full 9 morale rating with no range or command capacity penalties over 936 units under OKH, rather than his other ratings severely penalised by range and command capacity penalties over 4th army. For reasons explained in post 562 here http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4250683&mpage=19 I would no longer do this on turn 1. von Kluge's high political does means his corps commanders can be changed for far fewer admin points. So if I was to do this again I would not move von Kluge until I had first replaced the corps commanders below him that I wanted to see replaced.

7th Infantry reassigned to I corps: See penultimate paragraph in post 3. Also this reduced the command capacity overload on 4th army and AGC.

255 and 267 Infantry reassigned out of XXIVPz of 2nd Panzer Group: I phrase it this way as the big issue is not where they are reassigned to but what they are reassigned out of. The picture below shows XXIVPz corps HQ at the start of turn 1 (v1.11.03 but I assume unchanged or changed little since v1.11.00)




Schweppenburg has great ratings - but you might as well subtract four away from them given the command capacity overload. Similarly Guderian, in spite of his abilities, might as well not be there given the command capacity overload of 7. Similarly Army Group Centre is very overloaded and OKH is too far away. Bottom line is all of the units in this corps HQ will not be passing any ratings checks (except morale) at any command level unless something changes. The infantry divisions will eventually have to be moved out of a Panzer corps eventually anyway. Doing it now means all of the command overload on XXIVPz corps is gone, you will also be helping the rest of 2nd Panzer Group and even everyone in Army Group Centre as well. This is why I prefer to make any combats with these two infantry divisions and then reassign them before using any other units of the 2nd Panzer Group during the turn.

As it happened in this game I assigned 255 to XVII in 6th army as that was the HQ which optimised its logistics. My original plan was to assign 255 and 267 to 6th army as that HQ would be optimum for its supply, and to keep options open for the next turn as to which corps I would then assign it to (for free). Because I had to rejig the plan I left 267 in OKH which is not optimal, but at least leaves options open as to where to assign it next turn - for now it is guarding pockets/rail lines so not critical.

With AGC and all its armies overloaded, generally infantry has to be reassigned to armies in AGN and AGS, such as 6th army which has spare capacity, if you are eventually going to see those command penalties disappear.

Gross Deutschland Regiment reassigned to 3rd Panzer Group: As infantry cannot quite close the Bialystock pocket I find it is better to use one motorised regiment rather than a whole division to finish the job. Having done that by turn 3 I usually find Gross Deutschland ends up in the 3rd Panzer Group area, so makes sense to reassign it to them for logistical reasons. 3rd Panzer Group has command capacity, and this reassign reduces the overload on 2nd Panzer Group. Also typically I put 900 Lehr in to a corps of 3rd Panzer Group, and if with the same corps as Gross Deuschland and three other divisions the whole command capacity is used. If the regiments are in different HQs, typically their HQs will have one point of command capacity left spare.

290 Infantry reassigned out of LVI Pz Corps: Infantry cannot keep up with the Panzer HQs in summer so will need to be reassigned anyway. Already on turn 1 the other units are on the Dvina and the HQ is playing no part in the supply of 290. However with the reassignment of two panzer divisions to LVIPz it would be one division overloaded in command capacity. So again to help the other motorised units in the same corps, the reassignment of this infantry division out is brought forward.

7 Panzer Division and 20 Panzer Division reassigned to LVIPz Corps: Both of these divisions have ended up north of the Dvina with other units of the 4th Panzer Group just near Daugavpils. The other units of XXXIX Pz corps are north of Minsk. If the HQ was to try to straddle that whole front they could at most supply three of its units, and the HQ would have to be placed in between them where it could be displaced. It would also have to be placed further from rails. On the other hand LVIPz Corps HQ has command space (once the infantry division is reassigned) and its HQ would be placed perfectly to supply 7 Panzer and 20 Panzer division anyway. I am planning to send these two division north towards Leningrad, so XXXIX Pz HQ trying to straddle these units would only get worse over time. Reassigning them now also means the command overload on AGC is reduced, AGN has space. In other games you will see a corps of 3rd Panzer Group is sent north. In this game instead I have done almost the same thing just by reassigning two Panzer divisions.

quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
For example why reassign 2 Inf divs to a Army rather than an under strength corp under that army?


Part of the explanation is that one was assigned to a corps - but did not update the previous spreadsheet screenshot I uploaded - oops!

But the question remains valid for the other infantry division and for what I had originally planned on. But I would say this is an intermediate step before I do assign them to a corps which I still intend to do so - and which I can in future turns for zero points. This is only temporary. For this turn keeping it in a higher HQ keeps my options open until I see next turn where the unit and corps HQs will be - rather than having to spend points reassign next turn if I get it wrong. It can make sense to keep a unit in an army command directly if the army HQ is also in supply range but closer to rails for logistical reasons. And so long as the army HQ is within 4 hexes of the unit (if I read Morvael correctly) then it will suffer no ratings penalties, and only a very slight reduction to the chance of ratings success by having one less level in its chain of ratings checks.

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/2/2019 2:49:06 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 1:52:14 PM   
Beria


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus




You can see there that well over half the kills were by only four Stuka air groups - one of which was only a stab. So potentially those Stukas could kills thousands more!!?? You could only do this if the Soviet air groups were less spread out, or you found even better spots for the Stukas bases in the centre of gravity of these Soviet airbases to economise further on the air miles flown per kill. But it does look like you not only had enough, but many more times than enough to destroy everything to the west of that tac & dive bomber range limit. In the current version you would have to bring more Stukas to replace the nerfed Rumanian bombers, and you only have two airbases down there which might not have enough fuel and ammo. I doubt if you could replicate those results in v1.11.03?

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Post #: 28
RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 3:31:16 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Beria
You can see there that well over half the kills were by only four Stuka air groups - one of which was only a stab. So potentially those Stukas could kills thousands more!!?? You could only do this if the Soviet air groups were less spread out, or you found even better spots for the Stukas bases in the centre of gravity of these Soviet airbases to economise further on the air miles flown per kill. But it does look like you not only had enough, but many more times than enough to destroy everything to the west of that tac & dive bomber range limit. In the current version you would have to bring more Stukas to replace the nerfed Rumanian bombers, and you only have two airbases down there which might not have enough fuel and ammo. I doubt if you could replicate those results in v1.11.03?

I can describe what would be my reaction to finding that Rumanian tac bombers had been nerfed, and by far more than German air groups had been. I would air transfer more Stuka groups down to Rumania to pick up the slack which Rumanian tac bombers have left. If there was not enough fuel and ammo on the Luftwaffe bases for them and the level bombers, then the level bombers would be air transferred north.

West of that tac and div bomber range line shown in purple in the map there were no more targets but spare bombers. East of it there are many remaining targets and no spare bombers. So if new targets were created by nerfing Rumanian bombers west of the line it would make sense for the spare capacity to take it. The level bombers on the other hand would have just as many other targets elsewhere further north and east of this line.

I have never started a game on v1.11.03 so guess others will have to make a judgement there. Whether tac & dive bombers would still collectively be potent enough to zap everything west of that line anymore would be a good question.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch
Advanced ground-air communication increased the effectiveness of ground support missions.

Duck Whistle - or Dog Whistle?

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< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/2/2019 3:32:54 PM >

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RE: Brief Encounter, Telemecus (Axis) - 6/2/2019 3:55:23 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telemecus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Beria
You can see there that well over half the kills were by only four Stuka air groups - one of which was only a stab. So potentially those Stukas could kills thousands more!!?? You could only do this if the Soviet air groups were less spread out, or you found even better spots for the Stukas bases in the centre of gravity of these Soviet airbases to economise further on the air miles flown per kill. But it does look like you not only had enough, but many more times than enough to destroy everything to the west of that tac & dive bomber range limit. In the current version you would have to bring more Stukas to replace the nerfed Rumanian bombers, and you only have two airbases down there which might not have enough fuel and ammo. I doubt if you could replicate those results in v1.11.03?

I can describe what would be my reaction to finding that Rumanian tac bombers had been nerfed, and by far more than German air groups had been. I would air transfer more Stuka groups down to Rumania to pick up the slack which Rumanian tac bombers have left. If there was not enough fuel and ammo on the Luftwaffe bases for them and the level bombers, then the level bombers would be air transferred north.

West of that tac and div bomber range line shown in purple in the map there were no more targets but spare bombers. East of it there are many remaining targets and no spare bombers. So if new targets were created by nerfing Rumanian bombers west of the line it would make sense for the spare capacity to take it. The level bombers on the other hand would have just as many other targets elsewhere further north and east of this line.

I have never started a game on v1.11.03 so guess others will have to make a judgement there. Whether tac & dive bombers would still collectively be potent enough to zap everything west of that line anymore would be a good question.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch
Advanced ground-air communication increased the effectiveness of ground support missions.

Duck Whistle - or Dog Whistle?






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