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Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border

 
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Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 12:41:09 PM   
MikeJ19


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I'm going to try out the Road to Moscow series. I have rarely, if ever, played any scenarios involving the German invasion or Russia. This is going to be fun.

Thanks to Rob Kunz for sending me the updated version of the scenario.






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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 12:42:27 PM   
MikeJ19


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For the most part the terrain is wide open with small towns/villages. There are some forest and light woods. There are few roads and rails – these are important for supply purposes. There are a good number of airports – which will help as I move East. The Pripyat marshes help protect my Southern flank – although, there are some key victory locations in the middle of them along the road/rail net.

To the east there are two main rivers. The Berezina and Dnepr. They both run North to South. Seizing the crossing sites over them will be very important for the success of our attack.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 12:57:43 PM   
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An overview of the Soviet Red Army




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 7:48:35 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is a look at the forces at my disposal. A lot less Panzer divisions then I would like, but I will make do!




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 11:09:44 PM   
John B.


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Following this one!

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/11/2020 11:53:15 PM   
MikeJ19


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John,

Thanks! This looks like a lot of fun, and a good challenge.



Another, but different look at the map. Trying to understand how it will effect my planning




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 12:27:01 AM   
MikeJ19


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Initial thoughts

This is a bit of a race. I have a long way to go and a short period of time.

I need to bypass and then destroy the initial defenders – and may have to do this frequently. The clearing of the Soviet units that I bypass is very important to ensure that my supply lines are clear. It will also free up troops for battle at a later point. Obviously, it also removes enemy units from the battle.

Roads, railways and bridges are going to be important to seize intact – both for speed reasons and for supply. Need to keep engineers engaged on my main approaches supporting this.

Need to remember to move my air force units forward as the battle moves East.

Manoeuvre warfare tenets:

Disrupt – I want to take out the Soviet artillery, HQs and air force early. This will make it harder for them to build a coherent and powerful defence.

Prempt – Speed in this case may be used to exploit gaps and make any Soviet defence lines irrelevant before they are in place.

Dislocate – I want to flank, encircle and cut off Soviet defences rather than conduct frontal attacks. I need to balance this with time. Taking too long to encircle will cause problems with getting East quickly.

Time Line

Here is a proposed time line for my attack




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 3:18:01 PM   
MikeJ19


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A look at the first option




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 5:24:20 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is the second, more cautious, option




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 7:12:42 PM   
tcarusil

 

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I will be curious to see how you fare. I have played this scenario several times and have found it difficult to get rail supply to the front and hard to make major breakthroughs. Seems as soon as I get pass one Russian road block another immediately blocks my progress. Good luck

TomC

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 8:54:59 PM   
MikeJ19


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Tom,

Thanks, that is my concern at the moment. Trying to maintain enough forward momentum to get to the objectives is going to be difficult.



Here is a look at my third option




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 11:37:22 PM   
larryfulkerson


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I helped playtest this beauty. I'll be watching this one. Good hunting.

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/12/2020 11:48:10 PM   
MikeJ19


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Larry,

Great to hear from you. I hope you are doing well.

All the best,

Mike

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/14/2020 12:26:22 AM   
MikeJ19


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Option Comparison

In comparing the options against the current known deployment, I think that all options work, so they are all feasible.

Option 1 is the most bold. I’m trying to push both Pz Groups into the Soviet rear areas and hope that the other two Armies can clean up the bypassed mess.

Option 2 is a more cautious approach – taking one step at a time idea. At the same time, it get the two Pz Groups poised to push East.

Options 3 is a very straightforward push. Each Army is given a lane and pushes Eastward. It is the least aggressive option.

If I want to preempt, option 1 is likely the best option, it gives the Soviets a lot of different things to try and block at the same time.

If I want to disrupt, option 1 and 2 are both very strong. I’m bypassing and destroying forces quickly and from many directions.

If I want to dislocate, option 1 and 2 are, again, strong. Bypassing resistance and hitting into the rear areas results in Soviet power being in the wrong place.

Options 1 and 2 are both riskier. If the bypassed Soviet forces are not cleared up, they will cause havoc with my supply situation.

I think of myself as aggressive, but usually my fighting style is more patient and builds off finding gaps and weaknesses in the enemy approach. I exploit these situations. This approach is best suited for Option 3.

I will think about this overnight...




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/14/2020 10:59:54 PM   
MikeJ19


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Now to look at the initial moves for each of the Armies.

I wish it was easier to identify who is in which Army... Oh well.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/14/2020 11:18:43 PM   
MikeJ19


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A look at the North.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/14/2020 11:48:16 PM   
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As a young person, I remember reading Guderian's book Panzer Leader. Very neat to see that he is now commanding one of my Armies!




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/15/2020 1:53:36 PM   
MikeJ19


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My guns opened fire at 0400 as the planes flew overhead in the first wave of airfield attacks. The poor Soviet defenders were caught off guard in many places and my panzers pushed through the border crossings as they drove East.






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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/15/2020 10:06:55 PM   
John B.


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watching with interest!

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/16/2020 11:30:54 PM   
MikeJ19


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John,

Thanks, it is nice to know that someone is watching... I'm enjoying your AAR!

Here is a look at the situation on the morning of 23 June.






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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/16/2020 11:32:58 PM   
MikeJ19


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Soviets

It seems that there is a big opening in front of 3 Pz Group. There are few Soviet divisions working in this area.

However, I had poor results against forts on the first turn and there are two of them blocking my way across the river.

Friendly

3 Pz did really well on the first day. Now I need to get at least one crossing to work over the river – so frontal attacks are the plan today. A successful crossing and the Soviets will be in trouble and I will be able to capture VARENA on time.

I need to move some bridging units up, in case I do not get across the river!

9 Army also had a good first day. Getting the bridges at GRONDO was excellent. Now I want to widen the hole and head SE towards VOLKOVYSK, just off the map.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/16/2020 11:33:49 PM   
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Soviets

The Soviets still have a lot of forces and firepower in this area. There are holes in the line, but lots of areas where I need to destroy or fix the Soviet forces.

Brest is one place that is going to need work to capture. Worse luck, the Soviet units there are still getting supplies.

Some of the divisions in the NE corner moved towards the front, so they may get involved later today or tomorrow.

Friendly

2 Pz group is too spread out and has to deal with BREST as well. However, they have also gotten some units free to push NE. I want to keep them moving that direction.

I would like to have lead elements in PRUZHANY tonight. I also want to take KOBRIN. That should cut the supply to the Soviet troops in BREST.

4 Army will continue to push on a NE path, trying to destroy the Soviet divisions in its way.

I took a better look at the railways and will be moving my rail repair units back from the North to work on the rail line in the blue rectangle. The rail lines in the North go nowhere, so this is the line that is important for 3 Pz. As Brest is cleared, the rail repair units will also work along the ling towards PRUZHANY.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/17/2020 12:18:26 AM   
MikeJ19


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That was a good. I got in four rounds and could have had a fifth.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/17/2020 12:37:19 PM   
MikeJ19


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As I wake up to the latest Int reports, here is the situation just before dawn on 24 June.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/17/2020 5:49:29 PM   
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I have always found supply to be an issue. Just can't seem to get enough rail repaired to keep the front supplied. You are making good progress, but the ruskies will not melt away.

TomC

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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/18/2020 8:04:45 PM   
MikeJ19


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Tom,

Thanks for the post. I agree, keeping my units supplied is a big worry. I'm hoping to get the rail up and running fast - but my experience with rail repair is that it always takes a long time...


As I get ready to hand the turn over the Soviets, things are looking good.

I am across in the North and there is very few known Soviet units in the way.

In the centre, I’m close to linking up. Most of the Soviet units West of VOLKOVYSK will be short of supplies or unsupplied, which will make it easier to mop them up.

In the South, I now have two prongs. The first is the panzers heading to SLONIM and beyond.

Farther South, the second prong is heading into the marsh towards PINSK.

Once again, it will be interesting to see how the Soviets react. I would like be trying to pull back and create one line. I doubt that they will do that. I suspect that they are going to focus on the battle near SLONIM.






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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/18/2020 10:48:39 PM   
MikeJ19


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Morning on the 25th.

Soviet response

They did very little, launching three weak attacks. I did not even see much movement of their units.


German thoughts

In the North, there is no real resistance in sight. 3 Pz is going to keep on pushing east – they can not get to MOLDECNO today, but soon. I am concerned about over extended supply issues as the panzers close on their first phase objectives. I went back and looked at my notes – see next post. In the end, I think I will be fine for a bit.

In the centre the two Armies (4 and 9) are almost linked up. Already, most of the Soviet units West of VOLKOVYSK should be overextended.

In the South, 2 Pz is going to bypass the Soviet forces SW of SLONIM and then turn to the East towards SLUCK.

Right now, I’m thinking that I will ignore MINSK. The Soviets have a lot of forces there and maybe I can come back to it, after capturing the bridgeheads over the Berezina river.

Farther South, 4 Army has sent a Corps East into the marshes towards PINSK.

The air battle is going well – very well, I have not seen any Soviet planes for a couple of days.

My rail repair is coming along very slowly.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/18/2020 10:50:07 PM   
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Here is a look at the overextended supply process. Bottom line, is unless these units get really low on proficiency, I should be fine.




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/19/2020 3:00:50 PM   
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Soviet response

They did very little, launching a few weak attacks. A few units also showed up in the North near VILNIUS, this is a threat to my supply line.


German thoughts

In the North, the concern is the arrival of Soviet forces near VILNIUS. Otherwise, I will push to MOLDECNO today.

In the centre the two Armies (4 and 9) have linked up. Lots of Soviet units have been caught.

In the South, 2 Pz is going to bypass the Soviet forces SW of SLONIM and then turn to the East towards SLUCK. This is going slowly, but I should be able to outflank, and push east.

Farther South, 4 Army should be able to get to the outskirts of PINSK.

The air battle is going well – very well, I started moving planes forward.

My rail repair is coming along very slowly.

Overall, I’m surprised by how slow some of my units are – 6 movement points does not get you very far!!




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RE: Road to Moscow - Crossing the Border - 5/19/2020 10:47:40 PM   
MikeJ19


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Another day dawns... A look at the Northern part of the battle.




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