Axis Turn 4 Part G
Here is the final view around Odessa. Rumanian units are slowly trudging forward across the steppes, but still have a ways to go even to reach Odessa.
All that used up my second evening working on this turn. My hours per turn seems to be settling down to about 10-12 now, which usually works out to three or four evenings. Things should speed up a bit more as I get back in the groove of steady game play. Ideally Iíd like to be able to complete a turn in two evenings, but RealLife isnít going to let that happen every time no matter how much my efficiency improves.
Risks and errors: (self-assessment of Turn 4)
Risk - most of my air units are very near the front lines, and somewhat vulnerable if Soviets concentrate good planes and contest air control in one zone. Iíve been adding flak units to LW HQs, and will probably add more next turn. Iím also husbanding fighters as much as I can. One simple adjustment Iíve started doing this turn and last is to do ground support missions without fighter support once I know Soviet fighters arenít responding. Since my recon units are in very good shape (and I have a dozen more sitting in NR) Iíll be expanding my recon flights starting next turn.
Error - Minsk garrisoned, but only to 70%. It needs another security regiment. I could have left behind a combat regiment, but decided Iíd rather keep pushing forward.
Risk - One infantry at 26 hexes and supply-isolated near Smolensk. That was deliberate, as it is a good defensive hex and I donít want Soviets to reclaim it. That div has nearly full supply and ammo so I donít think it will hurt too much.
Notes for next turn:
- Separate recon and transport planes so transport airbase can be kept within 5MP of railhead.
- transfer 2 Inf from 4th Army in AGC to 3rd Panzer Group, also one unit from 2nd PzG to 3rd PzG. Since 4th Army has too many corps HQ, maybe - transfer one? That would cost me a HQBU, but then Iíd have all of both AGN and AGC free of CP penalties.
- Run more recon: goals will be to tire out more Soviet fighters, and get a better idea of defense lines being set up for key cities.
- Transfer more SU down from OKH.
- For Rumania, put one each ftr/tac/bmb into Reserve so thereís something there for emergencies.
- For Germany, take a look at withdrawing air units and turn off replacements/upgrades if appropriate. Add that to my Turn1 to-do list for future games, too. [heh - it was already there, I just forgot. Doh!]
- Check Rumanian Rail Command: did adding more SUs up RRC total? If so, add that to setup/org notes for the future.
- Check Finn HQ commanders now that most are unlocked.
- Check German HQ commanders to make sure no Colonel Klinkís got promoted.
- If we actually get to MLR defensive lines, save a few units and set some reserves to help schwerpunkts.
Goals and strategy:
No changes in main goals - destroy units; drive on Leningrad, Moscow, and Donbass. Strategy-wise, Iím trying to estimate and plan two turns ahead for where my mobile units go, and what they might be able to pocket. Infantry is still catching up to the front line, since Soviet forces have been steadily withdrawing, so pocket opportunities have been limited. Next turn, Iím eyeing west of Kiev and east of Pskov for possible pockets. AGC armor probably wonít have any pocket opportunities on T5, so itíll concentrate for a big pocket of Smolensk on T6.
Leningrad is the first big target, and four armies have that firmly in their sights. The reinforcement 2nd Armee is still moving forward, and is still two turns away from reaching the front I think. Hopefully having a full extra army in AGN (currently 8 divisions and growing) will be a nasty surprise for the Soviets, and will help power the advance through the northern Russian forests.
GamerDad has been husbanding strength by pulling back, and has 3-unit stacks in some areas. When he stops to fight things will get tough very quickly. Iím going to need to make small but solid pockets to blow through each line and keep up the casualty count. The flip side of his withdrawal strategy is that my OOB is in great shape. Since I have ToeM turned down a little (95%) on the low-morale INF units, my overall German OOB was only about 32k under my 3350k TOE total - thatís less than 1% from max. Infantry units average maybe 97%, panzers around 92%. Thatís much better than when I play against myself. The caveat is that bloodbaths will be coming shortly when I hit major defensive lines.
My speed of advance is very satisfactory. If I can maintain an average advance speed of 2+ hexes/turn, I should be in good shape to take Leningrad and threaten Moscow. On turn 4, Iím past Pskov, adjacent to VeliLuki, have a bridgehead over the upper Dnepr, and Iím 60% of the way to the lower Dnepr and Kiev. Supply chain leashes are a major factor but things are about as good as they could be.
Railhead advancement is going well. My rail plan isnít as optimized as the three FBD teamwork out of AGN that is shown in the Matrix forums, but mine is better suited to a broad advance. EvKís optimized scheme would have the advantage of avoiding the MP/hex count supply issue around Minsk, so I may want to reconsider using that in future games. In AGS, I have the German FBD pushing towards Cherkassy, while Rum.Rail heads to Odessa. So far this looks quite a bit better than my previous scheme. Since rail conversion is considerably ahead of historical rates (thanks, all you wargamer mini-max fiends!) the new supply limits and v12.02 bug arenít a big deal in the overall scheme of things. IMHO supply needed some tweaking to check the German advance rate after players figured out ways to optimize rail conversion.
I need to adjust my air unit assignment scheme. Up til now Iíve kept recon and transport combined in a single air base, since the total number of units was just right to spread things out evenly. Iím going to switch that. From next turn onwards, recons will be transferred to the ftr/tac/bmr air bases (usually 3 per FliegerKorps), one airbase will be just for transports and back in the rear within range of the railhead, and one airbase will be kept empty to use as a forward staging base This is just one example of how Iím learning new things and increasing my skill level each and every turn.
We are still a couple months, real-time, away from bad weather turns. One thing I can do now, for this and all future games, is make a list of good garrison cities and towns for the blizzard turns. I can mark up a map as well to make them easier to find. Hmm! Might be able to do some of that in my spare time at work since I have command report exports and a map stored in the cloud. Iíve done enough games against myself so mud turns wonít be a big problem; I know how to organize HQs and units to minimize supply penalties and not be overextended. Blizzard, however, will be more of a challenge as Iíve only done a couple games through the whole winter. Thereís lots of good advice in the forums I can use (garrisoning panzers and some high-morale infantry, pullbacks, defend with regiments etc.) but those are things Iíve read about but never fully implemented.
25 hexes to Moscow, 15 to Osinovets. Vehicle pool 176k (52k needed). Rail 180k total (152k needed) 162k available after rail moves.
Total losses at end of Axis Turn 4: Axis 50035 men, 596 gun, 454 afv, 33 spac. Soviet 1014460 men, 15642 gun, 6929 afv, 2054 spac
Net loss of about 2300 vehicles this turn: 2600 lost, 300 captured.
Air losses: Axis 45 (this turn), 168 Total. Soviet 344 (this turn), 5488 Total. Fighters the only type where losses came close to new prod.
Destroyed units: 18 this turn, mostly SU and forts. 1 rifle, 2 mtn division, 1 NKVD regiment, 5 fortified regions were the on-map losses.
OOB shows Germany at 3.35M manpower, Soviet at 3.47M. Thatís about a 300k Soviet increase since last turn.