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Thread: Sedgwick (Southerns) & Highlandcharge (Siberians) vs. Cleburne (Reds)

  1. #1
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Sedgwick (Southerns) & Highlandcharge (Siberians) vs. Cleburne (Reds)

    RUS 1.04. I will be playing Southern Whites, Highlandcharge will be playing Siberian Whites, Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne will be playing Communists. Settings: Historical Attrition; Medium Battle Delay; Normal/Standard naval box handling and activation rules; Historical force limits and leader stats; one redeployment per turn. House rules: strategic redeployments should be able to trace a line of communication by rail, river or sea, however tenuous, to their new location.

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    Orders for Early June, 1918: I am focusing all my efforts on destroying Sorokin's Army of North Caucasus as quickly as possible. Drozdovsky's division will spearhead this initiative along with Denikin, Sidorin and Denisov, all assigned to Volunteer Army to prevent the Reds from fleeing to the south or east. Krasnov and Don Cossack Army will stay in Azov - I am hoping to tempt the enemy into an assault on the city - while 1st Cavalry Division will be standing by on his right flank to rapidly reinforce his position. Lady luck has bestowed on me perfect campaigning weather - not a rain cloud in sight - and I could probably occupy the entire Caucausus in one go if I wanted to, but I want to Keep It Simple, Stupid, so Kuban Cavalry will perform my only long distance raid for the first two weeks, and is expected to arrive in Astrakhan in 7 days.


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    Cossack volunteer militias are raised in Azov and Novocherkassk.


    Excerpted from my first abortive AAR attempt over at AGEOD's forums, for the benefit of new readers:

    Those of you who have read my CSA Narrative AAR already know I have an obsession for things naval, and a predeliction for encirclement and destruction. My strategy for this game will be in some ways similar to the one I employed against Yellowhammer in AACW: build up a powerful brown water navy, and use rivers as force multipliers to pocket and destroy enemy armies along strategic rail routes. The signal difference this time around is that I will be on the offense rather than the defense, and my opponent will enjoy the advantage of interior lines for the most part.

    I will be applying the concepts of Deep Battle doctrine: launch attacks on a wide front including feints to keep the enemy guessing; pierce the enemy's defensive lines with infantry and massed artillery; exploit the breakthrough with mobile forces, cutting them off from supply by targeting depots in the operational depth; then target their reserves in the strategic depth with a rapid offensive, while pocketing and destroying their front line forces through a process of strangulation. The idea is render the enemy psychologically incapable of mounting an effective operational defense by interrupting his decision-making process in a way that forces him to react to my advances piecemeal and be destroyed in detail.


    I may be shifting gears for this game, focusing primarily on force preservation, but alternating between concentrated attacks on a narrow front to achieve breakthroughs and encirclements, and wide-front offensives as necessary to exploit the gains of the former strategy and throw the enemy off-balance.
    Last edited by Alice; 12-11-2011 at 05:12.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  2. #2
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Sorokin is the Soviet leader South of your starting position ?

    In my current game (2 players White against ultra boosted AI), I failed to destroy his army early, and now it is an horrible needle in my boots.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
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  3. #3
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Yes, Sorokin leads the Army of North Caucausus in the soon-to-be Zernograd pocket. I hope to destroy his forces by the end of July - possibly even earlier if Pat falls for my Azov ruse, though I doubt he will.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  4. #4
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    The Strategic Plan for 1918. Circles show potential pockets. Northern Army and Allied expeditionary units will attempt to establish control of a railway connecting Archangelsk with Murmansk to keep Pat guessing whether my primary objective in this theatre is Petrograd or Moscow. In reality it is both, and neither, but if Denikin can make it as far as Lipetsk before winter, northern forces will launch a feint in the direction of Petrograd to distract operational reserves around the communists' capital.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  5. #5
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    good to see this starting ... interesting to see how much better 1.4 is than the earlier versions

    you might want to resize your images though, they really are a challenge to read

  6. #6
    If you click on them, they get larger.

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Another RUS AAR! I love seeing those, the setting is just so appealing. Here's hoping for a long and fruitful campaign.
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  8. #8
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, guys! I hope for a fruitful campaign, too... as for a lone one, if 1919 doesn't go well for the Whites, it will be long indeed

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    Drozdovsky's Division defeats Kalnin's Column at Tikhoretsk.


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    Orders for Late June, 1918: Sidorin's and Denikin's headquarters are in disarray after their manoeuvre de derrière, but the plan must proceed regardless of their inactivity, so Drozdovsky and Markov are put on an offensive footing in the unlikely event that Sorokin's surrounded army attempts a breakout to the south or east. Salsk, Azov, Bataisk and Maloorovsky are to be heavily reinforced, while a small detachment of cavalry will attempt to take Novorossiysk, which we believe to be undefended. The raid on Astrakhan was a failure, so Kuban Cavalry and 1st Cavalry Division will try to prevent Kalnin's Column from crossing the Manych River. Bishkelaurov was killed in the assault on Grozny, but his forces continue their march northward to sieze the railway. Fitskhelaurov continues his cautious advance on Tzaritsyn.
    Last edited by Alice; 15-11-2011 at 05:24.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  9. #9
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Sorokin's army slips away to Stefanidinodar. I had not anticipated this move; it seems the Communist Fleet in the Sea of Azov has enough transport capacity to extract most of the Red Army of North Caucausus from the Kuban region. Don Cossack Army will close the vacated Zernograd pocket, while Drozdovsky's Division will undertake a last ditch effort to intercept Sorokin on the beaches before he can board ships and sail to safety, but I am not optimistic about his chances for success. Kalnin ran into White reinforcements on the railway at Tikhoretsk, resulting in a bloody draw causing both sides to retreat. I am tempted to go after Kalnin's Column, but he's not worth the effort - instead, the Volunteer Army is ordered to assemble at Tikhiy, while Mamontov will attempt to sieze the railway north of same in preparation for an advance on Tzaritsyn. Erdeli's 1st Cavalry will try to reinforce Fitskhelaurov's position at Ilovlya; if he succeeds in his forced march, they should arrive in 5 days.

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    A brigade of conscript infantry is recruited in Azov. Conscript troops will be held in reserve; once the Caucausus is secured, Lukomsky will be in charge of training them.
    Last edited by Alice; 16-11-2011 at 23:58.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  10. #10
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    I think this looks pretty good... But then, I really don't know the game well enough to make any assumptions.
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  11. #11
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Thanks, Stuyvesant! Honestly, you'd be hard-pressed not to do well with the Whites in 1918 - I almost feel sorry for the Communists in the early stages. The trick is to viciously exploit those early gains so as to be perfectly positioned for an offensive in 1919, which is likely to be the decisive year in most campaigns. After that, the Bolsheviks will gain the upper hand for as long as they control the Russian heartland.

    I'll post the details later, but I got lucky and Drozdovsky caught up with Sorokin before he could board ships, destroying several regiments of Red Guards before being forced to withdraw. Overall I am very pleased with the result, and you'll see why shortly.

    I haven't made up my mind whether encirclement is a good opening strategy or not. Most players seem to be of the opinion that you should strike fast and hard at every Red formation you can reach from day one, and I think they may be right, but I've made my bed so I'll lie in it. The challenge is to balance the encirclement of armies with the taking of cities and other objectives, in a manner that facilitates both strategies. If I fail to destroy an army, it's no big deal because I've nonetheless induced operational paralysis in the encircled forces, but it's a double-edged sword because the encircling forces are equally sedentary for the duration, so I must take care not to sacrifice the initiative or lose momentum by obsessing over pockets.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  12. #12
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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Name:	BattleStefanidinodarEJul18.jpg
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    Drozdovsky barely catches Sorokin's Red Army of North Caucausus on the beaches at Stefanidinodar. The Bolsheviks fight like cornered rats and both sides suffer heavy losses, forcing Drozdovsky to withdraw. Drozdovsky is recommended for promotion - he will make an excellent corps commander for my operationally mobile forces.


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    The Strategic Situation in Late July, 1918. Shaplin's Column and Allied expeditionary forces led by Poole are ordered to sieze the railway south of Archangelsk.


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    Orders for Late July, 1918: Bogaevsky will try once again to destroy Sorokin's army before they can sail away to safety. Lukomsky is returning to Azov, leaving a small force to besiege Kalnin's Column at Stavropol. Don Cossack Army spent ten days in Zernograd, but Communist military control in that region remains at 100% (???). Denikin's Volunteer Army will try to encircle Stalin's 10th Army at Tzaritsyn, keeping a wary eye on Trotsky's forces at Balashov.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  13. #13
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Beating up on Stalin - always a noble goal.

    Do the Allied units handle the same as regular Russian units, or are there restrictions on their use? And do you have any idea how long you'll have them at your disposal? Is it a hard, dated event, or are there trigger conditions?

    Thanks for the AAR and thanks for the insights.
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  14. #14
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Allied units are handled a bit differently. I'm not actually sure how long I'll have them or the conditions for their comings and goings, I'll have to look into that. The main differences are that they require separate reinforcement chits for each nationality (French, British, US, Greek, etc.); their troops are prone to mutiny, temporarily fixing units in place from time to time (they want to go home after the Great War, not fight a new one so Russia can honour her debts to the Western Allies); and they cannot be combined in divisions with Russian or other units.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  15. #15
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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Name:	NorthEarlyAug18.jpg
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    This is why playing a human is so much more fun than playing the AI. I've been so focused on the south that I've been rather careless in the north - I advanced to hastily on that front, and I failed to garrison or even secure total military control in Archangelsk. Pat's no fool - he can read a map and assess intelligence - so now he's making me pay for my mistakes, and in one fell swoop up that railway, he's totally disrupted all my plans in the region without even a fight. I am sorely lacking any intelligence on his force composition, so for now, Shaplin will attempt to contain them, and Poole and his staff will be extracted by sea along with a detachment of US Marines, leaving most of the British expeditionary forces and their supplies in the care of Shaplin. Understandably, my western allies are unimpressed and demoralized - the planned US "Polar Bear" expedition into the region is likely to be cancelled


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    The Strategic Situation in Early August, 1918: I am considering leap-frogging Trotsky's relief column at Balashov in a feint encirclement; if Stalin tries to cut and run, I'll nab Tzaritsyn. But I'm not sure yet - destroying 10th Army is a tempting proposition, too, but so far I've focused on armies at the expense of cities, and it hasn't panned out as well as I'd hoped.


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    Orders for Early August, 1918: Lukomsky will move south and prepare to assault Ekaterindar with his recently mustered conscripts. Sidorin and Fitskhelaurov move up the railway to Kotovo. Volunteer Army and Denisov's Corps are to reinforce Mamontov's position in Ilovlya, while Don Cossack Army and Drozdovsky will take Denisov's place south of Tzaritsyn.

    Drozdovsky's Corps is a dream come true for manoeuvre warfare enthusiasts such as myself. Shkuro's division gives you an idea of its force composition: elite and light infantry; elite cavalry and cav-arty supported by armored cars; other than supplies and eventually a transmission company, all units' speed coefficients are 110 or above. Prokovsky's division is similar, but is composed mostly of Cossacks and the bulk of our elite infantry. Shkuro may be detached as necessary for an additional fast-moving force during operational manoeuvres. I hope to use them for strategic offensives (encirclement/manoeuvre de derriere) and have them fight on the tactical defensive.
    Last edited by Alice; 17-11-2011 at 19:43.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  16. #16
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Cannot find anything to say - but I like it.

    What are the news from Siberia ?
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  17. #17
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff! A bit of a reverse in the North - are you worried, or does it not matter much? Looks like a pretty secondary front regardless...
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  18. #18
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    have to concur - beating up Stalin is a bit like wailing on France in EU3 ... one should do early and often!

    great set of posts, be interesting to see how your strategy works out

  19. #19
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

    Stalin is certainly cruisin' for a bruisin'.

    Narwhal - The news from Siberia is that it's SNAFU EDIT: Sorry, I thought you were asking about my northern operations. I haven't been paying too much attention to matters in Siberia proper, but Highlandcharge recently took Saratov, and is gathering strength in the Volga region.

    Stuyvesant - I'm not really worried, but it's a bit disheartening. It's a secondary front in the early stages of the war, and the allied troops and leaders are often unreliable, but they can come in very handy when operating in conjunction with other White forces, and I was counting on 5,000 US troops to secure in Archangelsk starting in September, so I may have missed the boat there. He holds the initiative in this region for as long as he holds the depot in Archangelsk; my only consolation is that he may have walked right into a potential trap while I enjoy naval superiority in the Arctic, but the taiga won't be getting any warmer so my options are to attack (too risky until I know what I'm up against), build a new depot elsewhere (not worth it), or cut my losses and run. Not a very satisfying proposition - but on the positive side, it's the perfect opportunity to put those shiny ships to good use as coastal fire support if Shaplin sees some action.
    Last edited by Alice; 19-11-2011 at 07:33.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

  20. #20
    Hardcore Victorian Alice's Avatar
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    Strategic Map, Late August, 1918


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    Shaplin and our British allies will cross the Dvina and, depending on the strength of enemy forces in Archangelsk, attack or withdraw under cover of naval artillery. Transports are dispatched to the Dvina Flotilla to expedite their hasty retreat if necessary.


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    Orders for Late August, 1918: Most of my corps commanders are active for once, but Stalin's still too tough a nut to crack, so I've decided to cautiously expand the Tzaritsyn pocket and set up a defensive line behind the Medveditsa River. Drozdovsky will lead the left flank, and eventually swing around the enemy's right if Trotsky stays in Balashov. Cavalry patrols will screen for any standing forces on the railway north or at Voronezh in advance of any offensive operations.

    I'm working overtime in the Kuban, ordering Lukomsky and Wrangel to launch all-out assaults on Ekaterinodar and Armavir respectively, and redeploying Kutepov to take command of forces besieging Kalnin in Stavropol. I need to secure my base before November, so if anyone can do it, it's Wrangel and Kutepov. To that end, I am raising funds to recruit new units and recomplete the rail pool.
    Last edited by Alice; 20-11-2011 at 07:27.
    Curiouser and curiouser...

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