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Vistula to Berlin, tyronec (Sov) vs Smokindave

 
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Vistula to Berlin, tyronec (Sov) vs Smokindave - 7/29/2021 12:00:07 PM   
tyronec


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Latest patch, AAR is running one turn behind.

T01.
The race to Berlin. VP are irrelevant in this scenario if the Soviets take Berlin - so that is the target. Surround it and that cuts off supplies so the primary aim is to get there asap. Supply is key so clearing the critical rail lines is as important as pocketing Axis units.
Am generally only attacking to take terrain, the idea is to make a few deep penetrations which will force Axis to pull back or risk being pocketed. So rather than attack along the whole front am only attacking in a few places and have lots of spare units with full CPP that can follow up on the early turns and be ready with high CVs for attacks on T2/3.
The alternative approach is to attack everywhere and trash Axis with combat and follow ups. If you can attack an infantry unit two or three times at good odds it will often shatter or take huge losses on the subsequent attacks in this scenario. Which approach is better am not sure.

Courland. Irrelevant, so just a few screening forces left. Have sent the best units back to the Reserve ready to come back on T3 to around Brest-Litovsk, which is the furthest Western bit of USSR.

East Prussia. Also unimportant, a lot of work to clear it just to get use of the rail lines. So just a few attacks to rout some weak units but otherwise most of the troops are heading south for the main battle.

North (area around Warsaw). Main push here, no attempt to make any pockets - just charge West as fast as possible and hopefully screen my flanks properly. I messed up and had a stack of 3 units on the first hex of captured rail so no repairs this turn. Lots of effort to make a couple of channels through the German front line with minimum combat delay.

Centre. Made a pocket South of Warsaw but otherwise pushing forwards as fast as possible.

South. The Soviets are relatively weak in the South and I have the Budapest garrison to deal with which is blocking the double rail line. Make a weak penetration of a few hexes and gather forces ready to attack Budapest on T2/3. Will see what Axis do, they could mount a counter attack or may pull back, difficult decision for them.

Losses are moderate, really casualties don’t matter too much.




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Start of T02 - 7/29/2021 12:06:45 PM   
tyronec


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After recon (which didn't reveal anything at all).

Not much happening in Courland, Axis pulling back a little in E. Prussia.

North. The main pocket has held.
Axis have pocketed a couple of lead Tank brigades, not surprising as they were not screened properly but the main spearhead is OK.

South. A counter attack to cut off the lead 3 Tank Corps. Hopefully I can protect against this sort of thing more in the future.

In general Axis look to be pulling back and leaving a lot of weak screening units. The aim for this turn is to keep pushing West as far as possible. Not worth pocketing broken down infantry divisions, will either try and trash them with a couple of attacks or ignore if they are not on my main line of advance.






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Post #: 2
T02 - 7/31/2021 8:22:57 AM   
tyronec


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T02.
Courland and East Prussia inactive.

North. Get up to Poznan which is well defended, should have some infantry corps ready for the assault next turn. Pocket a couple of Panzer units.

Centre. Eliminate the pocket from last turn and make another small one, just sacrificial regiments so no much. Pushing on past Katowice, there is the threat of a pocket so expect Axis will withdraw.

South. Reduce Budapest down to a level 1 fort, hopefully can take it next turn. Otherwise not much, pocket a German division and fill up the spearhead from last turn.

So far all going OK but in a couple of turns will be running into the forest East of Berlin and the heavy slog begins, plus am expecting the weather to turn soon. Soviet supplies are good for now but will also begin to run short soon and cannot really support the VVS going further West. Lost another 1200 aircraft this turn but really it doesn’t matter - the limiting factors are supplies and airfields.




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Start of T03 - 7/31/2021 8:33:21 AM   
tyronec


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Have sent the Recon home, the Soviets have so many units they can scout out German positions well enough during the turn and the Recon didn't spot anything last turn in the bad weather.

Bit of a VVS reorganisation. Don't have enough supplies to send the Tacs forwards so they get assigned to E Prussia and Budapest where supplies are OK. In the middle of the map just send some Fighters forwards to keep the Luftwaffe at bay.

Situation at the start of T03.
Two of the little pockets have held though the Panzers have managed to break out thanks to a good attack.
Plan for this turn. Am not going to be able to take Poznan, it is too well garrisoned and my infantry can't reach it. Will push past and maybe pocket it.
Try and take Budapest.
Otherwise continue to charge forwards at full speed and clear the rail lines. Mud is going to hit soon so time to consolidate then.




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T03 - 7/31/2021 7:08:18 PM   
tyronec


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T03.
Courland passive as ever.

E.Prussia. Continue to make a few attacks but is of no revelance.

North. Pocket Poznan which is well defended. Hope the pocket will hold and have the infantry up for next turn.

Centre. Pocket Breslau. Not sure if there will be enough troops there to assault next turn, maybe if I use the tanks too.

South. Budapest falls to a very odd attack. Have seen wins before at less than 2:1 but unusual against a strong city fort.
Am too short of troops here to do much but pocket a few random Hungarian units left behind. Am really just tying down a few Axis units here, not likely to capture anything important but they can’t afford to abandon the whole of the South of the map too early.




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Start of T04 - 7/31/2021 7:18:13 PM   
tyronec


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Axis try to break the Poznan pocket and win a couple of combats but are unable to break through the double line.
All the other pockets have held.

Mud strikes across the map, blitzkrieg is over.
There is an area of snow over the Sudeten Mountains and am close enough to take advantage of that and drive towards Dresden.
Don't think I can take either of the fortress cities, Dresden has a CV of around 800 and Poznan near 300. So time to rest the Tank Corps and advance where possible with the infantry. Plus lots of rail repair.




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RE: Start of T04 - 7/31/2021 8:33:06 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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How many turns is this? (sorry I don't play scenarios)

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RE: Start of T04 - 8/1/2021 6:21:58 AM   
tyronec


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This counts as a Campaign, not a scenario. So only VPs matter, not losses.
20 turns long, I think for a Major victory Soviets need to take Berlin by T12, Minor by T20. Am not sure though, might not have this right. Last time I played the Soviets won on T15 but think the Victory screen was wrong.

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RE: Start of T04 - 8/1/2021 5:22:29 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tyronec

This counts as a Campaign, not a scenario. So only VPs matter, not losses.
20 turns long, I think for a Major victory Soviets need to take Berlin by T12, Minor by T20. Am not sure though, might not have this right. Last time I played the Soviets won on T15 but think the Victory screen was wrong.


Thank you.

This scenario looks brutal for the Germans.

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Post #: 9
RE: Start of T04 - 8/1/2021 5:42:58 PM   
tyronec


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It is a bit like the first few turns of Barbarossa in reverse...

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RE: Start of T04 - 8/1/2021 5:46:35 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tyronec

It is a bit like the first few turns of Barbarossa in reverse...


Germans don't look like they can give up ground like Soviets can though :( Plus the Soviet Behemoth is truly monstrous looking...

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Post #: 11
T04 - 8/1/2021 5:55:59 PM   
tyronec


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T04.
East Prussia. Is mud free so making some progress towards cutting it off by taking Elbing, but they will have sea supply and is irrelevant to Berlin. Have moved up a couple of Tank/Mech Corps to work around the coast, just to ensure Axis have a few units tied down here.

North. Pull all my Tank units out of the front line to rest. Might have a go at assaulting Poznan in the mud next turn as have lots of artillery and infantry corps in place.

Centre. Just one attack, generally sliding the mobile units South to follow up on the offensive there if there is a mud free area next turn. Don’t think I can take Breslau for a while yet so will swing the main offensive to the south of it.

South. Good advance through the snow hexes, Axis were thin on the ground - difficult for them to know where the weather is going to permit an advance. Pocket a few units and a bit of a breakout West of Budapest, but that is a long way from Berlin and hardly important.

Supplies are holding out OK though MPs were down quite a bit this turn. Have one super depot set up so will see if that is worth it.




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Post #: 12
Start of T05 - 8/1/2021 6:12:42 PM   
tyronec


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Have been lucky with the weather and light snow across the map. Will try to assault both city forts and if Poznan in particular falls that will open up the direct route to Berlin.

The super depot was not productive. Got 29k from it while the previous turn I got about 20k from the three depots in the same area on the same rail line. As a comparison I also got 17k to Budapest and 11k to a nearby depot, so that is 28k in total without using an FBD.
In future will only use a super depot if the advance is stalled and there is not much else for the FBD to do.

Tank Corps are on around 30 MPs or a bit over, so well down on the 40-50 for turns 2-3.
Will see what progress can be made this turn, for the major victory will have to isolate Berlin by around T09 which looks a big ask.




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Post #: 13
RE: Start of T04 - 8/1/2021 11:48:00 PM   
fighterf4u

 

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The Vistula-Oder Offensive was pretty much a reverse Barbarossa historically. By this point most of the German reserve had been spent in the Ardennes and the rest sent to relieve Budapest so the Soviets once breaking through the forward lines in central Poland just kept going until they reached the Oder.

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RE: Start of T04 - 8/2/2021 12:22:19 AM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fighterf4u

The Vistula-Oder Offensive was pretty much a reverse Barbarossa historically. By this point most of the German reserve had been spent in the Ardennes and the rest sent to relieve Budapest so the Soviets once breaking through the forward lines in central Poland just kept going until they reached the Oder.


This just looks worse than 41 :(

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RE: Start of T04 - 8/3/2021 8:52:20 AM   
tyronec


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quote:

This just looks worse than 41

It is indeed hopeless for Axis, however they only have to hold out for 12 turns to stop the Soviet major victory.
Probably holding out for 20 turns to stop the Soviet minor victory is not possible against a competent opponent.

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Post #: 16
T05 - 8/3/2021 8:53:32 AM   
tyronec


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T05.

East Prussia is being reduced but the Soviets fail to make much progress around the coast West of Danzig which is of more importance.

North. Poznan falls to the first attack, the displayed defensive CV was clearly over estimated. Get forwards a couple of hexes but lost the critical battle against a defensive 3-stack.

Center. Breslau also surprisingly falls to the first attack, total overkill ! Make good progress with a couple of left hooks around the to the south and find some empty terrain to advance through. The terrain to the south of Berlin is more open than that to the East so this is important progress.

South. Really doesn’t matter any more, the rail line through Budapest is now linked up to the centre and heading towards Berlin.

Air war. A bit of a bloodbath this turn, all Axis GS being intercepted by Soviet fighters. Am not shifting the VVS bombers forwards as don’t want them to draw supplies from the land army and the newly captured terrain is a supply desert.





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Start of T06 - 8/3/2021 9:01:24 AM   
tyronec


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More light snow - am being lucky with the weather.

Germans have pulled back a hex from the direct thrust towards Berlin, I would have left a unit there just for the combat delay.
They broke the pocket around Prague with a couple of attacks. The Soviet tank brigades are pretty rubbish in defence if they have moved a good distance - have seen that in StB too. I don't know where those two mech divisions came from, they were not visible during my last move.

Continue the push to Berlin while the weather holds, expect Dresden will be well defended but may me able to work around it.




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RE: Start of T06 - 8/3/2021 10:13:41 AM   
erikbengtsson


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There are on map tank brigades? Even in big, grand campaign like, scenarios like Stalingrad to Berlin?

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RE: Start of T06 - 8/3/2021 10:43:08 AM   
tyronec


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quote:

There are on map tank brigades? Even in big, grand campaign like, scenarios like Stalingrad to Berlin?

You start with on map Tank Corps, Mech Corps and some free Mech Brigades that are multi-purpose.
I sometimes break down the Corps into 3 Brigades to cover more hexes; in this case had surrounded Prague using 5 Tank Brigades and an artillery unit.

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T06 - 8/6/2021 10:26:29 PM   
tyronec


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T06.

Advance three hexes towards Berlin from the East, heavy going and losing some battles. Can only get so far in a turn because although the Soviets have lots of units available to attack with once they have to cross a couple of hexes of newly captured terrain they don’t have the MPs to attack with.

From the South things are going better and have some open terrain to advance through. If the weather is still clear next turn will probably be able to cut across to the Allies in the West and split Germany into two.

Supplies very poor this turn, think the super depot last turn has some residual damage.



Dave resigned at this point.

I think this is a good Campaign, you get to play with the full map/army for both sides and still it is a short game. There is severe time pressure on the Soviets to get to Berlin in short order.
Am not sure I understand how the victory conditions are applied though it does look as if they could do with some fine tuning to give a bit more variation to the possible results and match the balance of the forces available to both sides.

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< Message edited by tyronec -- 8/6/2021 10:31:02 PM >

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RE: T06 - 8/7/2021 1:02:26 AM   
AlbertN

 

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I cannot see how Axis can hold out for 10+ turns in this scenario.

Think Victory conditions needs some heavy review as they're now unless weather can be a massive swing turning the map luck based.

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RE: T06 - 8/7/2021 1:10:10 AM   
carlkay58

 

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In the playtest period this scenario got quite a bit of play and was well balanced. I think it is a learning curve for the Axis that explains this result. It is not an easy situation for the Axis but the Soviets have problems too that can be exploited by a good Axis player.

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RE: T06 - 8/7/2021 2:09:26 AM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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Glad I only play the BIG campaigns :)

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RE: T06 - 8/7/2021 5:27:44 AM   
tyronec


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quote:

I cannot see how Axis can hold out for 10+ turns in this scenario.

Think Victory conditions needs some heavy review as they're now unless weather can be a massive swing turning the map luck based.


Clearly I have had good luck with the weather this game and things are going well for me, but even with that I would not be at all certain of taking Berlin by T12 if over the next few turns there is some heavy mud as expected.
My feeling is there should be more results possible over the whole period of the game rather than the first test on T12 and the next/last one on T20, though I may be misunderstanding this.

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RE: T06 - 8/7/2021 11:24:56 AM   
smokindave34


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My disappointment with this scenario is that for the axis player the outcome has more to do with the weather than any other factor, Tyronec's handling of the logistics was excellent but on my side my only option seemed to be to throw everything in front of Berlin and pray for mud. There was a chance I could hold out for a few more turns but the next turn looked to be "snow" again and Tyronec would have been at the gates of Berlin. At that point its just a turn of two for the Guards Rifle Corps (and rocket/arty) to smash into the Fuhrer bunker.

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The End - 8/7/2021 12:22:23 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: smokindave34

My disappointment with this scenario is that for the axis player the outcome has more to do with the weather than any other factor, Tyronec's handling of the logistics was excellent but on my side my only option seemed to be to throw everything in front of Berlin and pray for mud. There was a chance I could hold out for a few more turns but the next turn looked to be "snow" again and Tyronec would have been at the gates of Berlin. At that point its just a turn of two for the Guards Rifle Corps (and rocket/arty) to smash into the Fuhrer bunker.


I agree with you Smokindave34, even though I have never played the scenario and only read what was written here. I believe I will stay away from this one because of the weather being such a very high factor on who wins.

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RE: The End - 8/7/2021 1:16:33 PM   
erikbengtsson


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Weather seems to play a big role in several games. Summer light mud in 41, or an unusually long blizzard period during the 41/42 winter comes to mind from other AAR:s, creating headaches for the affected player (Germany :)). Also quite historical, weather was important.

Isn't its extra importance in this scenario simply a consequence of it being short?

< Message edited by erikbengtsson -- 8/7/2021 1:17:19 PM >

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RE: The End - 8/7/2021 2:09:53 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: erikbengtsson

Weather seems to play a big role in several games. Summer light mud in 41, or an unusually long blizzard period during the 41/42 winter comes to mind from other AAR:s, creating headaches for the affected player (Germany :)). Also quite historical, weather was important.

Isn't its extra importance in this scenario simply a consequence of it being short?


I would be curious to see the historical weather for all these turns played. I personally don't know the different turns weather but would be interesting to see.


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RE: The End - 8/7/2021 6:34:57 PM   
Joel Billings


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Keep in mind that mud in good road country is not the same as mud in Russia. However, exactly when a big thaw happens in the spring is a big deal. I don't know how you get around that unless you add in a fixed weather option, which I discussed elsewhere. It's doable, but a huge job to come up with the "fixed weather" data (locations and sizes of all weather fronts for every turn).

As for victory checks, well you can add auto win checks more frequently, but that just gives the Soviets more chances to win early. The system isn't set up for different levels of victory through the auto checks.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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