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Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914

 
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Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/21/2019 3:58:11 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Second WWI battle of the eastern front for me. Once again no supplies anywhere. The Austro-Germans are trying to exploit their earlier victory by smashing the II Russian Army at Lodz with their 9th Army. My goal is to hold tight on the city and wait for reinforcements of the I Army to stabilize the front and maybe stage a counterattack.



TURN ONE
My first decision is to retreat toward Lodz and avoid an encirclement. It won't be easy, because Germans are all over the map, but I hope I've clicked the right option for the reinforcements (central) so I can reinforce the area in time.

In the southwest I try to destroy some enemy cavalry by smashing it on the edge of the map; the Novikov Cavalry Group here is pretty strong and I will try to make it count.


TURN TWO
The Germans attack in the north, pushing my lines away and inflicting serious casualities. What seems an entire army corps is approaching Lodz from NE, but my reinforcements of the IV Korps are on the way and garrison the city before their arrival. I Korps is moving toward the city too, from the south.

Novikov Cavalry Group keeps attacking enemy Hauer Cavalry Group, trying to score a decisive victory. Gillen Cavalry Group encircles and destroy a single weak cavalry unit that was scouting south.


TURN 3
The enemy onslaught pummels my northern front and pushes hard against Lodz's defenders. Reinforcements are on the way, but situation isn't good at all. In addition to the northern offensive that threatens to cut off and destroy the XXIII and II Siberian Korps, there is another enemy offensive near Koluszki that seems to threaten another big flanking attempt. The only good news here is that XXII Korps has arrived just behind the flanking troops, in the east.

German troops also entered the NE corner of the map. AH cavalry units seen at Widawa, in the SW.

In my turn, aside from trying to un-entangle my messy lines up north and save my almost encircled Korps by holding Alexandrow, is the total encirclement of many cavalry units in the west, where Novikov Cavalry group manages to destroy his opposition in a bold yet succesfull move.



< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 6/21/2019 6:31:24 PM >
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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 9:12:09 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 4
Strong German forces around Ludomiercz forces part of the I Siberian Korps to deploy troops behind the river, hoping the enemy takes the bait and stops moving toward the western flank of Lodz. The city is facing encirclement by virtue of a cavalry offensive SW of the city itself. Four regiments of the I Siberian Korps is arriving from the south to stop the move, but it may be too late.

The northern line has folded back better than I anticipated, saving a good portion of my regiments and retreating toward Lodz. Some local counterattack inflicted losses on the enemy. V Korps is still marching north.

The XXII Korps is moving behind the enemy's left flank, that is trying to storm Lodz from the east. I see a LOT of enemy HQ units. Engaging and destroying them would be a good thing for both morale and tactical reasons.

Novikov Group completes the destruction of the enemy forces around Sieradz, included a valuable supply unit, and I'm now considering its options. There is a sizeable enemy force around Widawa, that must be confronted unless I want them to roam freely in my backfield. But I also want to annoy the enemy, so a single cavalry unit will be sent north to contest some victory hex.

In the NE corner, german forces are now facing numerous defenders.




TURN 5
Two turns in a row so I can pull off a lot of moves that I really wanted to pull off. First of all, I have finally saved what was left of the starting northern front, pulling them back toward Lodz. The XXI Korps has set up a counteroffensive against enemy's left flank, but a strong concentration of enemy infantry regiments may force me to abort the idea.

Western flank of Lodz is still in danger: any attempt to beat back enemy units threatening it has failed.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 9:14:45 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 6
Lodz is still under siege, but I managed to pull off the remains of the II Siberian Korps from the northern front and back toward Lodz. I order several small counterattacks against weak enemy units to relieve some pressure. A successful one at Karpin pushes back Austrian cavalry, while an ambitious encirclement SW of Alexandrow fails to force the surrender of three minor German units.

Enemy offensive against Pabianice is still worrying, but my forces are threatening to cut off their backfield at Lutomiersk. The situation west of Lodz is very fluid right now.

In the east, my advance has been halted due to strong enemy forces south of Brzeziny.

In the far north, around Eowicz, I manage to surround a German regiment and hit it hard, forcing its surrender. The rest of the enemy presence in the area is facing a big encirclement now that troops of the II and Turkestan Korps have taken Bielawi and positioned themselves in the rear of the troops that were pushing against Eowicz. Isolated cavalry and infantry elements are roaming in the enemy backfield, taking Ozorkov and threatening Piltek and Parzenczev.


TURN 7
V Korps has finally arrived south of Lodz, stabilizing (for now) the front of Karpin, helping cover Lodz's SE flank, and giving hope to the defenders of Pabianice. Other elements of the Korps are helping the Novikov Group around Zdulska Vola, where they are facing the Austrian cavalry.

In the north, two enemy HQ units are under attack, but they stand their ground and inflict massive losses on II and Turkestan Korps before retreating in good order. The enemy is pocketed in a small portion of land, now, but is numerous and well-armed. Won't be easy to force their surrender; for now I will just bombard them.

SW of Alexandrow, I finally eliminate the enemy surrounded troops, and the offensive against Lutomiersk is successfull: the Cossacks occupy the town and enemy troops have been pushed back. Now, enemy units around Konstantiniow and Pabianice are cut off from their supply lines as well as from their comrades.

V Siberian Korps' offensive south of Kolaciniek fails: while inflicting many casualities to the enemy, my troops fail to dislodge them from their position. Doesn't help that several regiments of the XXIII Korps couldn't partecipate because the entire Korp is under reorganization.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 11:34:14 AM   
Zovs


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Question, since both of these scenarios have no supplies doesn’t that mean both scenarios are broken?

Or was it like this in TOAW III?

Can’t be as designed.

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 1:31:02 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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As rhinobones said here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4648702

the "no supply" is probably due to a faulty porting of this scenario from TOAW3 to TOAW4. The scenario is "broken", but functional since both parties have no supplies. It hurts the player more, because he is more likely to get encirclements and thus put enemy units out of supplies. Since those units have no supplies to be cut off from, encircling units is less useful than usual.

So, they still "work", just not really as intended.

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 2:13:55 PM   
Zovs


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Maybe these would be good candidates for fixing for version TOAW IV. Some of the old designers have moved on to other things.

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 4:49:06 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Theoretically, just moving the supply points out of the "closed off" hexes would work.

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 6/23/2019 4:51:14 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 8
The enemy forces has grown tired of our small units wandering in their backfield, so several regiments have been pulled out of the Lodz front to chase and destroy russian stragglers behind their lines. The enemy efforts have been successfull, but this means Lodz won't be attacked from the north for a while.

Enemy troops tried to retake Ludomiercz, but while they managed to push back Russian units from the town, they failed to occupy the town. Several enemy attacks weakens my lines everywhere, but nowhere the enemy manages to make a breakthrough.

When my turn starts, I try to exploit the weakening of the enemy lines north of Lodz with three local counterattacks that smash tgrough the weak German units left behind. These victories allow me to divert some regiments to the south, orchestrating a 5-rgt-strong counteroffensive against the Austrian cavalry that threatened Pabianice from the north and held Konstantiniow, driving them off and inflicting grievous losses. The counteroffensive seems to have secured the area, for now.

My lines at Lutomiersk are still kinda weak, but I manage to destroy a minor Austrian unit that wedged herself too close to the artillery of the I Siberian Corps.

In the east, V Siberian Corps surrounds a German Inf Rgt, but fails to destroy it. German forces east of Lodz are still strong, but my lines are kinda solid so I don't expect an enemy breakthrough anytime soon.

V Corps' attack at Zdulska Wola fails due to determined resistance of a single Austrian Cavalry Brigade...

In the NE, the enemy seems to try a strategic retreat from Eowicz, tightly packed in a single hex. I try to bombard them, but their own artillery's counterbattery is fierce.




TURN 9
The Germans start again attacking north of Lodz, inflicting swift defeats to my weak first line. I will have to reinforce the lines at Alexandrow. The German Korps isolated in the NE try to break through the encirclement, but are pushed back in their pocket. Part of the II Corps is then moved toward Piltek to support the weak units that are still roaming in the enemy backfield and are now moving toward Eoczyka.

In the east, the V Siberian Corps starts a strong counteroffensive after forcing the surrender of the enemy encircled Inf Rgt, linking up with XII Corps and threatening a total collapse of the German lines in the area.

Around Pabianice, I and I Siberian Corps stage a similar counteroffensive that destroys several enemy units and finally end the threat to the town, and consequently to the SW flank of Lodz. The enemy runs away in disorder, with several units evaporating altogather.

Units of the V Corps finally succeed in pushing back the Austrian cavalry unit that separated them from the Novikov Cav Group, but the enemy forces around Zdulska Wola are still too strong to be defeated. Reinforcements are on the way under command of Colonel Tumanov and his Cavalry Group.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/1/2019 7:32:19 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 10
The eastern front is broken! The V Siberian, XXII and elements of the XXIII Corps have smashed through the German lines and keep advancing west. V Corps has also started pushing against the southern elements of the German forces stationed east of Lodz and forced them back. This could be the decisive move of the battle.

In the south, a regiment from the I Corps and another of the I Siberian Corps are chasing the remnants of the German troops that attacked Pabianice. The rest of the Corps have surrounded the enemy infantry SE of Lutomiersk and before the end of the turn force a mass surrender that exposes the flank of the German forces near the town. This whole front seems to be risking a collapse, too.

In the west, Tumanov Group has helped my forces around Zdulska Wola surround the austro-germans there.

In the NE, the Germans are still surrounded near Eowicz.








TURN 11

The (German) Empire strikes back! Seeing the existential danger of my counteroffesives, the Germans throw all their reserves on my lines, pushing me back in several battles. Most of Turn 9 and 10 gains are reverted, and losses are heavy, but the Germans has suffered greatly too, and in some places their lines have become thin, because they pulled out troops to mount their counterattacks.

Exploiting those weak points, I manage to close a large pocket of enemy troops east of Lodz, but I don't think I'll be able to make them surrender anytime soon, since they are realy strong. Still, it's a valuable result, and several enemy units have been destroyed or severely weakened during the offensive.

In the west, a determined German offensive has wedged several Inf Rgt between my lines at Alexandrow and the Lutomiersk front. This can be extremely dangerous since the defenses at Lodz are concentrated norht and east, so if the enemy manages to exploit this gap can march right into the city unopposed. Several Inf Rgts are then ordered to close the gap, which they do albeit at significant cost. Our lines around Alexandrow are forced to fold and reorganize. Situation is very serious.

Even worse, strong German reinforcements has shown up in the south, so even the Zdulska Wola pocket now is at risk: I'm moving a couple Inf Rgt and a Cavalry brigade, that have just eliminated the last remnants of the enemy attack on Pabianice, to try a decisive assault against the pocket and force a surrender.

In the north, the Germans are trying to eliminate once for all my troops roaming in their backfield, but now part of my VI Corps has arrived to help them.



(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/1/2019 9:28:08 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 12
Unexpectedly, the battle ends with a Russian victory. Maybe having pocketed so many German units and taken a fair amount of towns in their backfield pushed my score so up that the game reched a Sudden Death threshold.

Oh, well.

After all, the situation was quite good: what could amount to 2-3 Corps-sized formations are currently encircled and under bombardments, and the Germans had little hope to take Lodz or even less tip the scales destroying the same amount of Russian units. While the enemy reinforcements arriving from the south could have reverted the situation at Zdulska Wola, it's unlikely they could achieve much more.

With the German withdrawal, however, the trapped enemy troops will have no choice but to surrender, making this battle even more disastrous for them than the actual result of the scenario. This despite the Russian having suffered more losses in the actual battle, as you can see.

I'm satisfied with the strategy I pulled off: I was able to save most of the northern units from the initial German offensive and put up a solid defense around Alexandrow and Lodz, denying the enemy the possibility to surround the city or take it by force.

The choice of asking to reinforce the eastern flank was decisive: the V Siberian Corps was the deciding factor: once he reached the enemy's left flank near Brzeziny, it was able to smash it and force it to fold against Lodz' eastern defenses. At that point, a coordinated offensive from three sides made the big encirclement possible, even at great cost.

The latter German offensives north and west of Lodz were very dangerous and make me believe that the decision to let small units loose in the enemy backfield was decisive: many enemy units were lured away from the real battlefield and making impossible any gain in the western and northern front. That allowed me to dispatch several regiments to relieve the pressure against Pabianice, and then eliminate the threat altogather.

Another mistake of the enemy was the attack on the NE corner, which (as per scenario rules) activated more Russian troops. I was able to use those reinforcements along with the VI Corps to surround an entire German Korps, and even send reinforcements elsewhere.

Finally, an important factor was the early victory of my cavalry in the SW corner: eliminating the opposing force in the first turns allowed my cavalry to force the enemy to send more troops in the area, drawing them away from the southern flank of Lodz, and also allowed light troops to ride and take some town further north.








< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 7/1/2019 9:41:35 PM >

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/1/2019 10:32:01 PM   
Zovs


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I wonder if the scenarios will play out better if the supply is fixed?

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/2/2019 5:52:30 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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For sure. First of all, encirclements would be more effective.

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/4/2019 12:32:16 AM   
rhinobones

 

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Zovs/Stucco

I wrote to the original author of the Forgotten Battles scenarios requesting permission to adjust the scenarios for TOAW IV play. Unfortunately, the address provided in the scenario briefing is no longer active.
I have made a few changes to the Lodz scenario to resolve the supply concern.

Would appreciate that you take a look at the revised scenario and provide suggestions. When done I will provide the scenario to Larry for general posting.

There are also the scenarios of Cracow and Komarow which may need adjustments.

If interested, send a private email with an address.

Regards, RhinoBones


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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/4/2019 12:52:14 AM   
Zovs


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Will do so but out till next week.

Sounds good

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RE: Forgotten Battles - Lodz 1914 - 7/4/2019 5:51:49 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Sounds good.

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