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Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East

 
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Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/30/2019 11:17:04 PM   
Chocolino


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The Point of this AAR is to show how a complete beginner approaches the Barbarossa scenario. Given this preamble it should be clear that what you see here should not be taken as a role model on how to approach the scenario. Still - I could imagine that another beginner may find it helpful to see a whole game evolve (including all dumb mistakes...).

I will try to go into much detail during the first few impulses and then ease off as we go. I hope to learn from this myself since writing a summary will make you think more about what you do (hopefully...maybe...). And perhaps somebody will occasionally make a helpful suggestion .....
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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/30/2019 11:21:32 PM   
Chocolino


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Optional Rules: Novice Set (true to the spirit of a beginner AAR - so no Divisions, AA units, ART units or 2D10 table etc)

Will play both sides - which sometimes requires a bit of schizophrenia




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 5/30/2019 11:22:52 PM >

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/30/2019 11:47:44 PM   
Courtenay


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Welcome to the game!

One piece of advice: Do not use the quick start set up. The Russian set up in it is abominable.

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/30/2019 11:58:43 PM   
Chocolino


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Thanks for taking a look at this.

I did not use the quick start - but not sure if my self-made setup is any better.....we will see.

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 12:16:01 AM   
Chocolino


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MWiF comes with a saved game that you can restore and which includes the full setup. As Courtenay just pointed out in the post above it does not enjoy a good reputation (for the Russians). I did my own setup but for all I know it may be worse ....

Also, since "unit scrapping" is not part of the Novice rule set, you will see older, outdated units in the setup pool. But in my case, after choosing the newer units first it appears that certain quotas were fulfilled so that the most obsolete units did not make it on the board and presumably went back into the force pool so that I can enjoy building them later...

This is the map (northern part) after setup. I placed the Luftwaffe as close to the front as possible. Since I expect the Germans to move forward they should not become exposed by a future withdrawal. There are usually 2 land units underneath the planes but I am not sure how to switch the view to make the land units come up top.

I have put a convoy into the Baltic to transport resources from Sweden. There is no escort which I regret in hindsight.

The Russians have mostly a single line but because of setup requirements (e.g. 10 units are required within 2 hexes of the Romanian border) and because I have garrisoned Leningrad there were not enough Russians to complete the line at the Lithuanian coast.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 12:33:29 AM   
Chocolino


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The Russians have to setup first and this allows the German to focus on a few points without the Russian being able to react immediately. As a result the Russians are spread more or less evenly while the Germans have placed most of their stronger units north and center in this particular setup.

Furthermore, the Russians have willingly abandoned the hard fought Bessarabia in order to defend behind the Dniester. The Russians have placed some of their armor in this region. While the armor is actually in the front line the Russian expect no very strong attack there so that it can be withdrawn when needed - almost as a mobile reserve.

This is the southern half of the setup.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 12:44:09 AM   
Chocolino


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Weather is fine in all regions (I believe this is guaranteed for the first impulse of this scenario). But there is a chance for bad weather in the future.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 12:58:01 AM   
Chocolino


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Next the Russians have the chance to call out their reserves - and I see no reason not to do that. However, all units arrive disorganized in Russian cities - which means they cannot do anything for the rest of the turn unless you manage to re-organize them (which is not easy or likely to happen - more on this later). Some units are assigned to specific home cities (Militia) and the Russians used the remainder of the reserve to start a second line from Pskov to Gomel from where they can advance next turn if necessary.

After this the Germans have the chance to politically align either Finland or Hungary. (You can align the other one a turn later - so the decision is not too hard). It appears Finland won't be able to do much until the German arrive on the scene so we pick Hungary for now.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 1:00:52 AM   
Chocolino


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The new German allies fill the gap in the line.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 1:18:26 AM   
Chocolino


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Now the setup is over and the main part with alternating impulses starts. Germany chooses of course a land action.

Germany is also the proud owner of a valuable Offensive Chit. The chit can be used for a variety of benefits and to know when to use it and for what benefit requires probably much more experience than I can possibly have.

If Germany used the chit now it would gain some significant one-time boost in its upcoming offensive. Given that we are at the brink of Barbarossa and need to break through that sounds attractive. But it can also be used to organize HQs (to name just one alternative use). HQs become disorganized when they organize regular units but can do so only a very times depending on their bracketed stat. Having disorganized HQs can get you in all kinds of trouble I found out.

So perhaps better wait for now .... (sounds very indecisive even to me ...)





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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 1:29:34 AM   
Courtenay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chocolino

MWiF comes with a saved game that you can restore and which includes the full setup. As Courtenay just pointed out in the post above it does not enjoy a good reputation (for the Russians). I did my own setup but for all I know it may be worse ....



Yours wasn't worse. You didn't allow a first turn overrun.

However, it isn't good. You didn't use your zones of control. You don't have to have a continuous line if the enemy is not adjacent to you; he has to stop when he moves next to your units. Thus you can have two units per hex with a vacant hex in between, which makes the job much harder for the opponent, particularly when you put the defending units in good defensive terrain, and leave the clear terrain in between vacant. As it is, the Germans will attack on either side of your best units, leaving many of them trapped by German zones of control.

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 1:42:49 AM   
Chocolino


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Understand - that sounds like very good advise and will come in handy in future games. Thank you!

Actually in the following battles (that I will report on shortly) the Russian line turned out to be not too robust....

< Message edited by Chocolino -- 5/31/2019 1:43:10 AM >

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 1:56:41 AM   
Chocolino


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No Port strikes or Naval Air action.

Because of choosing a land action the Germans have only 4 air actions for the impulse. Also planes can do only one action per turn and then become disorganized. So the air actions have to count.

Hence the Luftwaffe strikes just two hexes that they have identified as weak points for land attack. The goal is to disorganize the enemy which provides significant help in upcoming land battles. The Germans keep the FTRs back and don't escort since I believe the German FTRs are close enough to intercept if the Russians intervene with their fighters. (The northern hex is out of range for the Russian fighter I believe).




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:11:18 AM   
Chocolino


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Curiously I did not see a chance to let the Russians intercept. I expected the fighter LaGG-3 NE of Brest to be able to. First I thought I clicked too fast but then on second thought I remembered that this is part of the "surprise" effect in impulse 1 after a DoW. Good for the Germans.....and it will have a disastrous outcome for the Russian fighter in the near future since his grounding means he cannot re-base away from the front.

The historical Russian leadership at this time of the war was not universally admired but they can be glad that they did not have me instead....

As a result, the German fighters stayed at home, too and the Stukas did their thing - and very well they did it. Both attacks succeeded.





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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 5/31/2019 2:19:04 AM >

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:13:04 AM   
Chocolino


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The second ground strike ....




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:28:16 AM   
Chocolino


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Rail Move: 2 units move from Berlin to Warsaw and Koenigsberg.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:30:20 AM   
Chocolino


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During land move, the Germans infiltrate the northern Russian flank and close in to the disorganized 6 mot near Brest.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:35:30 AM   
Courtenay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chocolino

Rail Move: 2 units move from Berlin to Warsaw and Koenigsberg.



This was a mistake. Rail moving disorganizes a unit, so these two units will not move farther this turn. The two units rail moved about eight hexes each, or what they could walk in two or three impulses. The turn should last that long, so these units would have been better off walking.

(I hope you don't mind my commenting on your game. I am trying to be educational. I absolutely do not want to drive you from the game!)


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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:39:02 AM   
Chocolino


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Land Combat: The Germans realized that they also had a good probability attack in the south and declared 3 attacks. They had the choice of CRT for all 3 combats and choose the Blitz table for each.

Here is the first.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:43:36 AM   
Chocolino


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This resulted in an overrun which sealed the fate of the unlucky LaGG-3 Russian fighter which was destroyed under the tracks of an onrushing German Panzer.

Fighters are precious. This should not have happened with a bit more careful setup. The Russians are getting a bad deal here form the start. But perhaps a good example of how not to play ....




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 5/31/2019 2:45:11 AM >

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 2:54:24 AM   
Chocolino


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quote:

(I hope you don't mind my commenting on your game. I am trying to be educational. I absolutely do not want to drive you from the game!)


That are the comments I hoped to get when writing this. Thanks for taking the time to do it. Please keep it coming - it is much appreciated.

quote:

This was a mistake. Rail moving disorganizes a unit, so these two units will not move farther this turn. The two units rail moved about eight hexes each, or what they could walk in two or three impulses. The turn should last that long, so these units would have been better off walking.


Makes absolute sense and I do grin a bit sheepishly here since I apparently could not count that by myself.....

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 3:05:23 AM   
Chocolino


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Second Land combat (actually the first as you can see from the list of remaining combats in the upper left of the screen)

This was the initially unplanned and opportunistic one in the south which was successful for the Germans, too.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 3:06:50 AM   
Chocolino


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Last land combat outcome:




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 3:18:04 AM   
Chocolino


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Finally the Germans re-based forward from Germany proper 2 of their aircraft with their remaining 2 air actions. Re-basing aircraft - as one of a very few exceptions - does not disorganize the units. In this it is different to the rail move. After Courtenay's helpful comment I realize that the latter move is only a good idea if the distance is sufficiently far so that it cannot be walked in the remaining time of a turn. So I guess it makes increasingly more sense to rail move towards the end of the turn.

This is the end of the first German impulse. I will stop here for today and continue tomorrow. I also think that it should be ok to reduce the level of detail for the next impulse a bit.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:01:02 PM   
Chocolino


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Turn 1 / 2. Impulse

I have played this whole impulse already yesterday before posting the first entry and hence any good advice I have received so far will only affect impulse 3 and on. So you will still see me rail move units.

Russians take a Land Action.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:04:57 PM   
Chocolino


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The Russians plan no attacks and only rearrange their units. They rail in a unit from Kiev to Lvov to beef up defenses. I did this prior to Coutenay's comments re rail move. But I think in this case it is not as bad as the unit railed into Lvov is intended to stay there and defend the city in any case.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 5/31/2019 9:07:18 PM >

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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:10:07 PM   
Chocolino


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The Russians are quite anxious about the northern front and try to move spare units there. 2 armored corps move from the Ukraine to Gomel and Brest. One Infantry corps moves to the Baltic coast to defend the access to Riga.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:11:46 PM   
Chocolino


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The Russians have only 3 air actions and use them to pull back their air force in order to avoid further overruns.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:14:05 PM   
Chocolino


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Turn 1 / Impulse 3:

The weather turns bad in the arctic zone which is bad news for the Germans.




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RE: Solitaire Barbarossa - A Beginner Stumbles East - 5/31/2019 9:23:06 PM   
Chocolino


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The Germans align Finland and set up its forces. One lone infantry is at the border to Karelia, the rest close to Leningrad.




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