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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666(Soviets)

 
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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/14/2019 2:10:06 PM   
xhoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

@xhoel: So do I with yours
Regarding the morale, I in general agree. And most units are only a bit under their NM so 1-3 attacks suffice. The problem is that I do not have enough capacity to rail the units back, not enough trucks to march them, no one to replace them on the frontline and not enough time to delay other actions. So attacks often appear as the best choice to get the job done. This being said, I try to combine moralising with intrinsically useful attacks for pocket creation or to frontline improvement. Sometimes I also attack to get my units out of contact with enemies for quicker fort construction.


I will demand of every division commander to immediately report sudden morale drops in their units.

@all others: Good to hear you like the AAR so far :-)


Yeah I am aware of the limitations that you would have especially when dropped into such a scenario where everything is an absolute mess and there are crisis to be dealt with all over the front. In this case I would absolutely agree with you that conducting some attacks would be better than railing them to the rear. Glad to hear that you don't just attack for the sake of attacking :)

Would be nice to see a report on those morale drops :P

Cheers!


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/14/2019 9:20:16 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T2, 26.11.1942 alternative Stalingrad pocket
Before starting the Campaign, I experimented a bit with the Soviet opening. Below you can see what I came up with. Some failed attacks can force you to take other ways, but on the other hand, it was the first or second try, so you can surely optimise more. One can't keep the Axis from re-connecting the pocket in T2, but deny them a comfortable path to walk out. My opponent commented that he wanted to avoid split-ups in his opening in fear of counterattacks, but I think ZOCing is a better precaution. Maybe another player or a rematch can give a definite answer.



< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/15/2019 6:55:41 AM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/14/2019 9:31:30 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T3, 03.12.1942 before Axis operations
Partisans everywhere. Much of the railcap is used to hunt partisans, repair the rail and bring garrison forces to cities. The fair price for being not nice to the civilian population.

No catastrophes, the Soviets destroy a few fortifications. 6th army keeps its corridor, Blizzard hinders both Axis and Soviets. Mountain units are better in dealing with the winter conditions but they won’t share their tricks with the rest of the army, which has to pay at least 3MPs per hexagon.
Preparations for Operation Büffelsturm I&II are finished. The MP are lower than I would like them to be. The problem is that the supply need is calculated before replacements are added, so quickly growing units tend to be undersupplied. You can note the same with the Soviets in 1941.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/14/2019 9:41:26 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/14/2019 10:07:37 PM   
xhoel


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Good to see a new update!

A few questions regarding the game:
1) How long do you figure it will take until Demyansk is completely evacuated?
2) I see there are multiple units set to static mode, are there plans to reactivate them or are you aiming to save trucks due to the poor conditions of the motor pool?
3) Will the pocket of Oranienbaum be cleared or is that an operation that will be conducted at a later time?
4) Do you plan on holding on to the Rzhev salient?
5) Are you using the Transport wing of the LW to fly supplies to units that are low on either supply or fuel?

Cheers!

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Post #: 34
RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 6:09:36 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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1) The problem with Demyansk is that the escape route consists of ZOC to ZOC movements. And many units there are static. So progress is 1hex/turn, expect the operation to take 3 more turns. Fortunately the high fort levels secure the positions so a cut off is unlikely.
2) The static units will be reactivated as I need them for my operations. The motor pool and the available AP are both constraints here.
3) The Oranienbaum pocket will not be cleared immediately. The defensive CV are rather high and the forces to overcome them are needed elsewhere. I at first hoped the units there will decay but that did not happen as quickly as hoped for. When weather improves I maybe can march units there, attack and march them back into their position in one turn.
4) Yes. The fortifications there are valuable, you do not get a lvl 3 fort over night. If my planned counterattacks succeed, the salient will be much less exposed. And while it needs Axis forces to hold, it also binds Soviet forces. Frontline shortening effects both the attacker and defender, although the defender usually benefits more of the increased unit density. And I need to remain close to Moscow to at least keep the dream of Operation Typhoon 2 alive
5) Yes, I do. It is a bit of a two edged sword, because the transport aircraft are very heavy and contribute their share to the truck shortage. But I use them regularly to overload motorised units with fuel to guarantee that they can use their full MP potential. Sort of a HQ BU without AP cost. Unfortunately air drops can also betray the position of a force build up, so one needs to be careful not to reveal the next offensive.


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 6:53:25 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T3, 03.12.1942 after Axis operations
I continue to shuffle around forces to rebalance the Front. The North is constantly stripped. The problem is the limited railcap but there is a workaround. Disbanding units sends their manpower to pool and next turn any unit on the map can receive the replacements. So essentially you have sent the unit (or at least its CV) to another place.
Most units disbanded are low morale infantry divisions from the Demyansk area or from the North. With one megamen manpower deficit I am not afraid of running out of containers to fill my resources in anytime soon.

Operation Büffelsturm I&II in general is successful, but one very annoying hold means that the bigger of the two pockets is not well sealed and will probably leak units.

Not many spectacular things happening elsewhere. In the South a key rail line is identified.

.


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Post #: 36
RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 3:20:16 PM   
xhoel


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Thanks for the answers EvK, seems like we agree on many things in regards to how to best proceed in this situation. Btw I seem to recall that units on beachhead supply don't lose morale like isolated units do and their attrition is also way lower. Should probably run some tests to be sure about it but that's what I recall right now. Destroying those formations at a later time seems the right way to go.

Your pockets look good to me, the 10=10 Panzer Division in the second pocket is in a precarious position but other than tha it looks solid. How many men are in the pockets approximately?

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 4:15:01 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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You are welcome - 15 divs and 2 brigades are in the pockets, so approximately 140k men (Soviet units tend to be understrength). A nice haul. If they remain sealed...

I even considered leaving the Oranienbaum units unguarded but I do not want them to destroy my rails/fortifications or to become a troll force in the rear.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/15/2019 4:16:03 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 4:21:05 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T4, 10.12.1942 before Axis operations
Bad news, both Büffelsturm pockets broken. The Northern one falls to a lucky attack (I was surprised here), the opening of the Southern pocket was expected.

A few Soviet attacks along the front, and at Stalingrad the encircled Mech Corp is freed.
So none of the pockets stayed sealed, but at least the Soviets are reacting to Axis blows, instead of reverse.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/15/2019 4:22:48 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/15/2019 4:39:08 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T4, 10.12.1942 after Axis operations
Both pockets are resealed, albeit with very limited content inside.
Because destruction of Soviet units was only one goal beside frontline stabilization/flank security, moralising and conquest of a backup rail line, von Kluge can still sell the operation as a victory to high command.

The attacks on the Soviet Mech Corp are the only noteworthy events beside the regular frontline maintenance. The formation loses 2/3rd of its AFVs and probably most of the initial morale bonus the scenario designer gave it. I could have tried another encirclement, but I want to disengage the 6th army to a better position, therefore the routing out.

.

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/16/2019 1:11:29 AM   
joelmar


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Looks like the retreat is doing fine and you should have time to get most of the 6th army and Army group A units in security to the Donets line before blizzard.

The Soviets armies involved in Uranus are a fearsome lot from afar, but after a closer look they don't have that much CV.

What are the forcasts?

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/17/2019 7:42:38 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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The forecast is, when the Soviets remain somewhat passive I can hopefully pacman them to death. If they are aggressive and do attacks even if win chance is 1/3rd or when they expect good loss ratios even for a hold, the current position will quickly erode and dreams of counterattacks must be abandoned.
The Soviets also need to use their superiority in rail cap to their advantage. If they do it will be hard to contain all threats.


< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/17/2019 7:50:59 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/17/2019 7:56:06 PM   
xhoel


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Very unfortunate to see that both pockets were opened, especially surprising to see the one in the north not hold.

I haven't played this scenario properly although I did start it against the AI and dropped it after a bit. From what I noticed, the first few turns will be the difficult ones for you, seeing how you have to juggle units around, activate statics units, garrison cities, play wack a mole with partisans. bring TOEs up to strength and organize your C&C. Once that is done, things should go much more smoothly but ofc that doesn't mean that you are safe.

Do you have a realistic offensive goal for 1943 like the historical offensive at Kursk or will you be pursuing a strategy of counterattacking?

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/19/2019 3:24:44 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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I have not yet made specific plans for the time after the mud. I think there is simply too much that can happen until then to start planning now. But if I see the chance I will not shy away from a Kursk type attack. Taking calculated risks is fun. One thing however is sure, any attack needs to employ concealment techniques. The time where you actually want the Soviets to pile up in front of your Panzer ball so you can take out more with one strike are over. Now you have to find a weak spot and use surprise. And an attack will require concentration of most motorised forces in one place, and it takes nerves of steel or quick legs on the rest of the front then.





< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/19/2019 3:26:14 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/19/2019 3:37:11 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T5, 17.12.1942 before Axis operations
Very little happens. Pockets remain closed.

.

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/19/2019 3:58:59 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T5, 17.12.1942 after Axis operations
The clearing of the pocket nets only around 45k prisoners. Disappointing, but on the other hand it shows the depleted state of many Soviet formations.

The completion of Büffelsturm raises the question "what next". The Soviet break-in into the Orel frontline must be dealt with. Strong Soviet formations are close or can be quickly railed in, and the place seems like the logical point of attack for the Reds to me to roll up my fortification belt and to destroy the cohesion of the front. So I intentionally leave a gap to lure them in, while preparing two Pincers on the flanks for operation Walkürenritt (sorry for the spelling mistake on the map). Depending on the Soviet reaction they will try to forma pocket or stabilise the frontline.

The forces from Büffelsturm I are too far North to help with this operation, and I dispatch them to take the clear hexagons North of Velikie Lukie next turn to strengthen my position there. A Soviet break-in here would threaten the vital North-South rail lines and tie up a significant amount of forces due to the clear terrain behind the swamps. So having the swamps as a wall would be really nice.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/19/2019 4:01:11 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/19/2019 5:36:00 PM   
joelmar


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quote:


ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

The forecast is, when the Soviets remain somewhat passive I can hopefully pacman them to death.


Interesting thanks. Of course the Soviets railcap advantage and their front (almost) always being close to the railheads is IMO by far their biggest advantage, both in the game and in real life. I have read somewhere that one of the big thing of lend-lease was rail cars... and it was said in a somewhat dismissive manner... as if tanks were more important than rail cars to the soviets!

That said, when I asked about forecasts, I meant the weather forecasts... but I now have my answer since you posted the next turn!

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 10:04:45 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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We non-random weather so it is blizzard from 04.12.1942 to last february turn, then snow through march, then 4 turns of mud, then clear-mud-clear-mud a few times until summer comes.

Will make an AI vs. AI weather test run when the mud-clear-mud-clear phase comes.

At the moment the rail line situation for me is better than for the Soviets. But generally it is a plus for them, true.
And yes, trucks and locomotives and rail cars were very important for the Sovs. I guess most Soviet players would trade late war tank LL for late war truck LL in a hearbeat?

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 12:32:41 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T6, 24.12.1942 before Axis operations
Christmas for the Axis (not yet for the Orthodox-Russians), but fighting continues. The Soviets take Rshew and react to the planned Walkürenritt by shifting forces around.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 12:48:15 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 12:47:49 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T6, 24.12.1942 after Axis operations
Much action from North to South this time. Operation Nipple removal is completed at last. AGN&AGC take a number of swamp hexagons to solidify the position and to deny jump off points for the Soviets. The LVI PC with Großdeutschland conducts training manoeuvres near Kaluga with Soviet rifle units as sparring partners. Operation Walkürenritt promises to end the life of a few Soviet units, but the experiences from Büffelsturm I made me a bit cautious&pessimistic.

AGB tries to mess up Soviet fortifications. Due to low Soviet construction value repairing them will take an eternity.
Only moralising&frontline maintenance in the South. At first I planned a minor encirclement operation but I was on travel and had a power cut (forgot to plug in the laptop in time), so as compensation for inadvertent reloading the offensive was canceled and free intel of the Southern front given to the Soviets+no motorised forces must leave the area this turn. So rather scaled down operations there.



.

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 12:55:20 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T7, 31.12.1942 before Axis operations
The Soviets don't do very much. Shock-induced paralysis? But Walkürenritt wasn't that bad after all?

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 12:56:00 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 1:01:19 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T7, 31.12.1942 Soviet propaganda
The Soviets don't do very much. Except for... Dropping some propaganda leaflets over the frontline to intimidate the German Landser. German colleges of fine art have been advised to execute a counterattack.



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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 1:50:49 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T7, 31.12.1942 after Axis operations
After the liquadation of the Walkürenritt pocket and completion of the swamp clearing offensive, motorised forces need a new job. I plan two new ambitious attacks. The first one is Operation Unthinkable, an attack on Leningrad. Leningrad is well fortified from the start of this campaign, but the Soviets have, for several turns in a row, left the backdoor over the Neva unguarded. A sneaky attack of a single Infantry Corp followed by a PC could take Osinovets and cut off Leningrad and its defenders. The key are stealthy preparation and success in the first try, there won't be a second chance against alerted defenders. Due to the fortified nature of the frontline, elite motorised forces will be used instead of Panzer divisions. The offensive is sheduled to finish redeployment in T8 (the Axis forces bookmarked were placed such that they can be railed in within one turn).

The second attac is Operation Siegfried. An attack in light woods is favourable because it makes concealment of the preparations much easier and gives the forces holding the walls of the pockets extra defensive CV, while being not too favourable for the defenders either. Deployment is to be completed by T9 and the should start in T10.

.

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 2:05:13 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T8, 07.01.1943 before Axis operations
A new year begins. Will the War in the East finally end in this one? Time will tell.
In the area of AGN partisans blow up the key rail lines for the Unthinkable deployment. Finishing it within one turn is impossible so it is cancelled for now. Instead, Operation Siegfried will be scheduled one turn earlier now.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 2:06:14 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 2:21:57 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T8, 07.01.1943 after Axis operations
4 1/2 PC deploy for Operation Siegfried while AGN fixes the damaged rails. When I say it will launch in T9 I do so with hindsight, at this point I still planned with T10 and another PC. Therefore, I did not turn up MAX TOE for the infantry at the anticipated breakthrough points, a tactic I often use. Because the reinforcements will arrive only after the Soviet turn, it is an easy way to reinforce the point of attack without raising suspicion or using rail cap.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 2:22:24 PM >


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Post #: 55
RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 2:28:05 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T8, 07.01.1943 Axis propaganda
Below you can see the suggestion of the German fine art colleges for a propaganda leaflet. Its abstract style obviously is utterly useless for the intended purpose and the German military staff wonders if the Nazi's purge against Degenerate Art has either removed the best heads or not been thorough enough.
At least we know where the next replacement wave can be drawn from.

.

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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 2:39:39 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T9, 14.01.1943 before Axis operations
The Soviets suddenly awake and launch attacks across the front. Nothing catastrophal but they all require some reaction. The Partisans at orange instead of read now, so apparently they receive more supplies now, which immediately shows in an increased number of attacks. If all this wasn't enough already, Recon shows formerly unseen forces in the Siegfried area. Much of the optimism from the last weeks is gone.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 2:40:28 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 3:11:58 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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T9, 14.01.1943 after Axis operations
After heated debates in the German high command, Operation Siegfried is launched and promises to become a success, even if only one instead of the two planned pockets can be formed. As said before I wanted to wait for more reinforcements but was afraid that the Soviets would have swarmed the area with their own forces for an attack (I do not think they spotted my forces) next turn so decided to begin immediately with less forces. The air force had to be rushed to the theatre as well from the Orel area. I hesitated to attack with the Western pincer, but finally decided to do so. A second pocket seemed unlikely (although possible) but it makes a Soviet counterattack against the pocket wall much more difficult. A Soviet stack goes into troll mode and resists two strong attacks, even though it was highly fatigued from a failed Soviet attack the turn before.
Otherwhere I simply improve the frontline condition and try to repair the damage caused by the Soviet attacks.
At the end of the turn the optimism and confidence in the Wehrmach has come back.

Parallel to the fighting, I improved the HQ and unit position during the last turns to maximise supply and reduce attrition to the precious trucks. The influence of the vehicle modifier depends massively of the distance between the supply receiver (usually the HQ) and the railhead. When the receiver is placed on the rail, even severe vehicle shortages barely have little or even now effect. But as you move away from the rail head, the vehicle modifier converges exponentially from above to the ratio vehicles in pool/required vehicles. So by placing the HQs correctly, I can avoid most effects the vehicle modifier has on supply.
During the first turns I was too careless with HQ and unit placement, an embarassing mistake as I am usually very interested in this topic.

.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 3:21:15 PM >


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RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 3:14:12 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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With T9 the AAR caught up with the game, my opponent currently works on the Soviet T9. At the cost of some cliffhangers you will now get life reporting without hindsight from my side, which I think is more interesting than following a report from an all-knowing narrator.
Furthermore, retreating from the Caucasus and omitting the static situation at Kerch while reducing the area shown on the maps to the actual frontline hopefully improves the readability of this AAR. I know the images are a bit big but I really want to show MPs and CVs so the reader has a better picture of what are the options of each side and why something is done or not done.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 8/20/2019 3:23:13 PM >


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(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 59
RE: Stand fast or manoeuvre? StB EvK (Axis) vs. Elma666... - 8/20/2019 5:32:13 PM   
Telemecus


Posts: 3225
Joined: 3/20/2016
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quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
Below you can see the suggestion of the German fine art colleges for a propaganda leaflet...
At least we know where the next replacement wave can be drawn from.


You may want to add those from the philological colleges who came up with Operation Nipple Removal!

quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
I know the images are a bit big but I really want to show MPs and CVs so the reader has a better picture of what are the options of each side and why something is done or not done.


I think this is worthwhile and has not been done before. My take on it so far is that this is a "study" AAR rather than a casual read one. So readers will haev to make the extra effort here but the upside is a lot more understanding.

I have got used to using the Ctrl key with + and - for the first time with a browser to zoom in and out quickly - might be a useful tip for the reader. Also it helped to download the pictures to my hard disk and open them in a seperate image viewing programme while toggling back and forth between reading this in the browser. There may be some other suggestions too. As I said this one will take more work but is worth it.


< Message edited by Telemecus -- 8/20/2019 5:33:03 PM >

(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 60
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