Turn 6 results - Late July 1919: The turn of the tide?
By far the best turn yet; the NM gain is huge, as are the Red casualties. Was this the turn of the tide?
The Battle of Perm: My plan worked like a charm. The Red Army attacked Perm from two sides. But Gaida and Pepeliaev crossed the Kama on trains and arrived in time to join the slaughter. Even worse the Red army was unable to synchronize its attacks.
Blucher's division a monstrosity with 615 pw attacked first. It had to cross the Kama and was punished severly. The attack was aborted after one round.
The next day Ordzhonikizde attacked from the East, he fared even worse than Blucher: almost twenty elements were annihilated. Two of his four divisions (named divisions but actually brigades with five elements each) are gone.
Alltogether 2.921 White soldiers perished opposed to 26.398 Bolsheviks. + 11 NM for the Siberian White cause.
Kappel was blocked from crossing the Volga yet again. He stumbled upon a Red cavalry brigade, though. The result was death for the proletarians on horseback and + 2 NM for Kolchak's men.
The Second Battle of Tashkent: This time Verzhbitsky prevailed. Tashkent has fallen. 984 White soldiers died as opposed to 1.968 Red ones.
While the White soldiers were victorious on all fronts. The tiny White navy fared badly. The fleet at Perm lost 3 of its 8 gunboats in a repulsed sortie. Further south, Captain Norris had 2 of his 4 gunboats sunk. Many of the surviving vessels have more holes than solid planks. The White navy - never much of a threat to begin with - is now effectively out of this war.
Still this was an incredible turn: Kolchak's armies have lost a total of 4.323 soldiers but inflicted 31.742 casualties upon the Red army. In my experience one is safely on the path to victory with a casualty ratio of 1:2. In this turn I achieved a ratio of almost 1:6!
Ouch. For the Reds. Not having those attacks coordinated meant crushing defeats in detail. You really made the Reds pay for attacking Perm. Bravo! Now, let's see if you can turn this defensive victory to your advantage and make some offensive gains.
Turn 7 - Early August 1919: A new plan for Kappel's escape
Northern front: At the end of this turn all my units are assembled at Perm. An effect of Gaida marching to the sound of guns.
Ian will have to evacuate Ordzhonikizde; his stack is low on supply and badly beaten. There are three possible routes: to the Southwest across the Kama, to the Southeast where Birsk is still in Red hands or to the Northwest in order to join Shorin. With a very low cohesion (one of his infantry was at 0 cohesion at the end of the battle of Perm) it is doubtful whether Ian can achieve any of these escapes within one turn. Especially the long march to Birsk seems more likely to end with Ordzhonikizde' troops starving rather than success.
Pepeliaev is ordered to march south thus intercepting one of the two remaining routes of escape. I put him on offensive posture because I don't want any units to slip through with evasive orders. This means Gaida will have to be on offensive orders as well in order for my two commanders to effectively support each other.
In Ian's shoes, I would use the Northern route, though. If he sends a supply train across the Kama to meet Ordzhonikizde, he might even keep him supplied. Intercepting this route would leave one of my corps off the railway tracks and my Southern flank vulnerable to a Red offensive. Therefore, I won't interfere.
Center and South: The slaughter at Samara had Ian too intimidated to retake the city immediately. Dutov has regained some cohesion but not enough for my taste. For now he will stay put. My main concern is Kappel anyway ...
Plan Rabbit: Kappel's third attempt at crossing the Volga failed, too. But at least he got away before Samoylo's corps could catch up with him. Kappel's troops are still well supplied but a series of forced marches and the battle last turn have decreased their cohesion. It is time to rethink my strategy. Ian is annoyingly adept at switching his fleets around to deny me any crossings. If I want to slip through, I have to be fast. The trick is to be in position for a crossing at the beginning of the next turn and utilize a railway line to achieve it in a single day. It's the same method I used on the Northern front to get Gaida back across the Kama.
Syzran and Saratov are out of the question as jumping platforms. I need at least 25% military control on both sides of the river at the end of turn 7 to rail Kappel's corps across the river on day 1 of turn 8. The only place within reach that fits these requirements is Simbirsk. I had a cavalry scout pass the city last turn. There is only a small garrision inside the city. Kappel isn't ordered to assault it anyway. On the opposite river bank, Ungern-Sternberg's Wild division and a few cavalry scouts will raise Siberian military control above 25%.
The main risk is that Kappel gets intercepted on his march north. Nothing I can do to prevent this. The two Red stacks around Saratov won't be fast enough, though. The stack west of Syzran could be but I would guess this stack will either stay put or reoccupy Samara.
Khanzhin is back at Uralsk. The Red forces opposing him outnumber him heavily. I will reinforce him from Orenburg. Luckily I just stumbled upon a very helpful bug: It seems a tank regiment within an infantry division speeds the whole thing up considerably: Such a division takes exactly 5 days to get from Orenburg to Uralsk while the marching time is 27 days with a normal division (it's currently muddy). Someone just invented fully motorized divisions two decades early.
Central Asia: I am securing my new conquests while trying to wipe out the surviving Red forces. Soon I will be able to send reinforcements north.
that victory at Perm was awesome, but you still have to find a way to breach the Volga
Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...
I like the amount of thought that goes into each turn. It really is a careful, deliberate kind of game.
Her's hoping that Kappel gets away while Ordzho does not!
Nice work at Perm! Good luck getting Kappel across the Volga.
Curiouser and curiouser...
Outstanding AAR ! And I like the efforts you put in the screenshoots - they are really clear.
A few questions :
- How come the Japanese actually met some Red cavalry ? I never played the shortest campaign, but I thought they were locked.
- How do you plan to reliably cross that North - South river (can't remember its name) ? Sure you might trick for one group by train, but then ? Once the White fleet is sent to the bottom, just making the Red fleet "patrol" by small groups (1 unit strong) of ships is enough to hamper any crossing
- What happened to the Southern Whites ? It does not even look like they are facing the bulk of the Red forces.
Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington
I truely appreciate the growing number of readers. Thank you all!
Welcome Alice and thank you for you kind words. Am I correct to assume you are Segdwick from the AGEOD forum?
Loki100 and Stuyvesant, your steady flow of comments and encouragement are a big motivation. Thank you!
Five locked Japanese stacks protect cities along the Eastern part of the Siberian railway. Instead of leaving them inside the cities, I put them outside; the weaker ones on defensive the stronger ones on offensive posture. The Red Army begins the Short Campaign with two strong partisan groups: one South of Krasnoyarsk (half way between the Ural and the Pacific), the other one in the Far East. That second group tried to enter Bikin (which must have made them switch to offensive posture if they weren't already) and collided with a locked Japanese division. During that combat the Japanese got unlocked which was what I have hoped for all along.
You have put your finger onto my biggest worry. The Volga and Kama rivers are a natural line of defense for the Red Army. From Astrakhan to Perm the entire frontline is protected by these two waterways.
The Siberian river fleet is heavily outnumbered from the very start of this scenario. The Red Navy starts with 8 fluvial destroyers, 4 tropedo boats and 28 gunboats on the Volga/Kama river system. Against this the Siberian White can pin 16 gunboats (4 of them British which means they can't be put in the same stack without a huge command penalty).
At this point in the campaign, I have 6 gunboats left (two of them British which I will lose next turn when my Western allies abandon the Siberian cause). Obviously naval combat is not my strong suit.
How will I be able to cross these rivers without a fleet?
1. Eventually I will have to rebuild mine. A very lengthy process which I a haven't started yet.
2. Beg my Southern White allies to send their Caspian fleet into the Volga. Unlike me they still have a few swimming gunboats.
3. Pray for Ian to make a mistake/get really lucky. I have a few ideas on how to improve my odds.
Doesn't sound very promising, right? If everything else fails, I will get Plan D out of the desk drawer (D stands for desperation in case you were wondering) ...
Actually the Southern White have even more Red troops harassing them than my Siberians. Unlike the Grand Campaign, all sides start the Short Campaign with huge armies. On the Siberian front alone 150.000 Red soldiers are facing 120.000 Siberian Whites in turn 1.
Last edited by Bornego; 30-11-2011 at 21:00.
Turn 8 - Late August 1919: The last days of Kappel's long march?
Northern front: Ordzhonikizde split the survivors of his stack up and tried to escape piecemail. A supply unit and a battered infantry division slipped through. Pepeliaev destroyed the other division and badly mauled a light infantry brigade.
Securely entrenched along the Kama Line, Pepeliaev and Gaida (some 630 pw each) will keep defensive positions for the time being. I expect operations on this front to die down.
Obviously, the Kama Line can be outflanked in the South or North. It will take the Red Army some time to reinforce their troops, though. Moreover the recent loss of most of Ordzhonikizde's corps in such an attempt should make Ian hesitate. Therefore, I can afford to send two divisions south to reinforce Ufa.
Center: Kappel has yet again evaded an attempt by Samoylo to intercept him and reached Simbirsk where he destroyed a political commisar and some red guards. Both river banks of the Volga are secured and Kappel can cross the Volga by railway within a single day. Hopefully the last days of Kappel's long march have finally come. I am rather proud of this achievement. For two months Kappel has been isolated behind enemy lines. In this time he has destroyed two small enemy stacks and consistently escaped the persuing Red forces with bold and unexpected moves. In the 1930ies a Chinese Communist will try to copy Kappel's exploits.
Kappel's 17.000 heros won't have much time to rest, though. They will immediately participated in a new offensive against Samara.
In an opening move Voitsekhovski's 32.000 men will flank the Red force at Samara and block the railway line leading to Syzran thus cutting Samara off from reinforcements. Kappel is ordered to march to Buguruslan which will serve as a forward base for the main attack. Dutov stays at Ufa with 10.000 men where he will be reinforced by two divisions from the Kama Line (13.000 men) as well as two newly recruited divisions heading west from Omsk (40.000 men).
Alltogether more than 100.000 White soldiers will participate in the Siberian Autumn Offensive. Kappel's corps which will soon be joined by most of the new reinforcments is destined to lead the main assault on Samara.
Southern Front: Khanzhin has been successfully reinforced at Uralsk. The Red Army doesn't seem very interested in the city. At this point it is too well defended anyway.
Central Asia: Verzhbitsky is still fighting the survivors of the Red forces in Turkestan. He has killed 2.000 Red soldiers and gained the Siberian cause another point of NM last turn. The clean-up will continue next turn. Unfortunately my British allies have deserted me. This will significantly impair my ability to send reinforcements north since I still have to garrision Samarkand and Tashkent against a strong Green army.
A strategic dilemma: Kappel's long march has made it abundantly clear: If Klochak's armies are to win this war, they have to find ways to cross the Volga-Kama river system. Guarded by strong Red fleets it is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Even if a Siberian army can get across that doesn't mean it can get back. With the retreat blocked and cut off from reinforcements, it will be in risk of destruction. My enemy on the other hand can cross where and when he wants. This will keep a considerable part of my army pinned down on garrision duties. I have a few ideas though ...
State of the war: Durk took Voronesh a few turns back but now his heartland is threatened: it seems a Red Army is heading towards Rostov.
The balance of war has shifted in favour of the White counter-revolutionaries during the last few turns. We have suffered 135.000 casualties against 162.000 Red ones.
Basically this is still a stalemate, though.
Ian has been doing a fantastic job. While the factions in the Short Campaign are evenly matched, the challenge in handling them is very different. Playing the Reds is a lot more demanding than playing a White faction; it is also considerably harder than in the Grand Campaign: The fronts are multitude, the armies are huge and the leaders are lousy and usually inactive which means the player has to plan ahead even further than usual.
By now it has also become clear that Ian's main focus is his Southern front. He is continously increasing the pressure on Durk. As a consequence, he seems to have assigned relatively few reinforcements to the Siberian front which goes a long way towards explaining my successes lately.
great update ... really appreciate the effort you're putting into setting out your planning and the options available
Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...
Well over 100,000 men? Sounds like a very large offensive. Here's hoping you'll be able to take Samara this time.
I'm also very impressed that you managed to rescue Kappel from his dire predicament.
I am Sedgwick, indeed - OneArmedMexican, I presume?
Good job with Kappel - I wondered if and when the Chinese comparison would come up
As for your naval predicament, there are two possibilities you didn't mention:
1: cross the river when it freezes, although winter offensives are dangerous and not very pleasant - but winter weather will shorten the range of engagement, which can be good or bad depending on who has more artillery.
2: Take control of a harbour near a chokepoint through which his ships must pass, and station a large force of long range artillery with orders to bombard passing fleets. If possible, station your meagre fleet in said harbour, then sortie them in relative safety once your opponent is aware of your land-based fire superiority on that part of the river.
Curiouser and curiouser...
what gave me away? Bornego is an anagram for Obregon, the one-armed Mexican general (I was reading a book about the Mexican revoltuion when I registered at the AGEOD forum).
Excellent ideas: you just spelled out my plan D (Plan Desperation). My best hope is indeed an offensive across the Volga once the river has frozen and the Red fleet is forced to retreat into the harbours. Usually I am hoping for a late winter in this game it can't come soon enough.
Thank you for suggesting bombarding the Red fleet with land based units. I hadn't thought of it. Do you know the exact conditions in RUS? What entrenchment level do I need? Does the posture matter? What kind of artillery is best suited (howitzers or rather regular artillery)?
Turn 9 - Early September 1919: All is quiet on the Siberian Front
Only two minor skirmishes occurred this turn. Kappel's long march is over. Plan Rabbit was a full success.
Meanwhile the Southern White seem increasingly on the defensive. For a long time Durk has held a position on the Western bank of the Volga as his main defense against the Red army in Tzaritsyn. This turn that position has been lost to the Red Army. Even more worrying, Novocherkassk, the center of Don Cossack loyalists is now under siege.
In the Ukraine French and Greek forces are making progress and have reached the outskirts of Kiev.
Northern front: As predicted the fighting stopped on this front. I am not really worried about a flanking attempt either. In the South, Zinoviev's stack consists mainly of armoured trains which can't leave the railway tracks. In the North Shorin still hasn't recovered from his last attack on Perm. Mezheninov's stack is the only real threat but he is lacking the supply trains needed to sustain him east of the Kama. If Ian starts to reorganize his stacks, I will have an early warning.
What really surprises me is Budyenny's presence in Zinoviev's stack. It seems a waste of an excellent commander. Outranked by Zinoviev and Parsky and without a division he won't gain senority.
Center: Kappel has safely arrived at Burguslan. Samoylo tried to intercept him once more but failed yet again.
It is time to get my troops in place for the next stage of my Autumn Offensive:
Kappel and Dutov are going use the Samara-Ufa railway until they reach Surgut just east of Samara. One turn later they will attack Samara with Voitsekhovski assisting.
I am wondering what Samoylo's next move will be. I doubt he will continue to chase Kappel; Dutov's army should make him cautious. Most likely he will either march north to Bugulma (possibly to launch another flanking attempt against the Kama Line) or reinforce Samara. Dutov's advance to Surgut is intercepting his most likely route to Samara, though. Since the region is completely under Siberian control, Samoylo would have to attack Dutov's superior forces. His alternative route leads through Green territory. He would have to beat a Green stack which would cost him some men and cohesion.
Meanwhile Voitsekhovski is blocking the Samara-Syzran railway at Troitsk. At least almost; for the moment the Bolsheviks still have 26% military control in Troitsk. Consequently, Grittis can still use the railway and even more importantly enter the region without switching to offensive posture. The trap is not yet closed.
The important question is whether Ian has figured out my plan. If he has, the smart move would be to abandon Samara and get his forces back behind the Volga. However, his intelligence on my main army at Ufa must be sketchy since he is lacking scouts there. If I get lucky, he hasn't yet realized just how many troops I have concentrated in this sector and will doom Grittis with inactivity.
At Ufa, Grivin is left behind with a smaller corps. He will be reinforced on September 15th by a newly recruited division arriving from the East. Similarly Voitsekhovski will receive a cavalry division headed north from Uralsk. There is a small risk that it could get intercepted if Grittis chose to abandon Samara and outflank Voitsekhovski to the South.
Southern front: Khanzhin stays at Uralsk. I have currently a requisition operation in the area and don't won't to risk its abortion. Moreover, I am recruiting some new troops in the city.
Central Asia: Verzhbitsky destroyed a seizable part of the surviving Red forces last turn. One supply train was captured and Ivanov wounded (+ 1 NM). All that is left of the Red forces are two cavalry regiments, two battered infantry regiments and one supply train. Verzhbitsky will take one cavalry division and try to round them up while heading North towards Orenburg. Samarkand and Tashkent will each remain protected by one infantry division.
Recruitment: With several conscription and requisition operations finished this turn. I am able to recruit a lot of new units (most importantly 12 new infantry brigades). While I have managed to keep loyalties stable in most of my empire, the Far East has dropped below the critical threshold of 60% loyalty. Soon the first Green rebels should rise. Hopefully they will unlock some Japanese units.
I'm impressed by your moves, but worried by the situation of the Southern Whites. Hopefully, your allies can hold out. At the very least, I hope enough Red forces continue to be occupied there, so that you can take Samara.
Seeing those Green forces around Samara, I wonder: are Green units similar in quality/quantity that they can be a threat to you (or the Communists), or are they more like speed bumps?
in that last map - it seems as if the Allies (or at least the French+Greeks) seem much more mobile than in earlier Rus patches?
Looks like the South is going to be key - if they hold on that will split the Red Army, if they fail then the war could stalemate along the Volga?
Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...
Beat those damn Bolshevicks!
Then beat back the interventionists...
The Green lack generals and the Green AI is horrible. In theory these stacks could make serious trouble. There are two or three stacks north of Samara each with almost 200 pw (with command penalty I suspect it to be 130 pw at best). Currently they are simply starving away.
The real danger with Green rebels is if your hinterland gets flooded by them (which can happen very quickly if you use too many special operations). In that case railroads get blocked and the supply network can break down. In my first PBEM with the Siberians that happened to me. Each turn 3-4 new Green stacks would spawn. Around turn 20, I had lost control over the Transiberian Railroad from Vladivostok to Omsk (the objective cities were still mine but everything else was Green territory).
Turn 10 - Late September 1919: The Komuch heads home
The early days of September 1919 were calm ones on the Siberian front. Durk, the Southern White player, apparently had a successful turn: "Lots of small victories, one major one. Rostov is safe, at least for now. I think Ian's boldness left him in a pickle." I was just as relieved as Durk; losing Rostov would have been a major setback for our cause.
Northern front: Remember how I wrote, I wasn't worried about flanking attempts against the Kama Line? Well now I am. The Red army has been restructured: while the center was weakened, Ian strengthened the flanks. He might even attempt to completely encircle Perm. Samoylo's corps has moved to Bugulma and could strike north in order to cut the railway connecting Pepeliaev with Ekaterinburg.
At the Northern end of the Kama Line, Mezheninov has now a first rate lieutenant in Budyenny. Ian must have realized that he was wasted in Zinoviev's corps. Mezheninov's corps has become an impressive fighting force: 6 infantry divisions supported by two supply trains. It could have up to 800 pw.
I think an attack might be off at least one more turn, though. Mezheninov's troops probably still need some replacements. Nevertheless, I decide to restructure my defense at the Kama. Pepeliaev and Gaida are both well entrenched and protected by the river. They can hold the line with weakened forces. One division is taken away from each of them in order to form a new corps under Panov at Kungur just East of Perm. The Kama line gains depth but loses frontline strength. Alltogether Panov's new corps will be 300 pw strong. It will provide protection against flaking attempts.
Center: To my surprise Ian hasn't reacted to the threat against Samara yet. He seemed to be more worried about the stack at Syzran and retreated it inside the city.
Now it is time to bring the Siberian Autumn Offensive to fruition: 115.000 White soldiers are ready to assault Samara. Kappel's corps will bear the brunt of the fighting. Voitsekhovski's corps will join in from the South later. Together they have close to 3.300 pw. The Red defenders of the city are badly outnumbered (442 pw).
I am fairly certain that Grittis will do one of two things: either retreat inside the city or use the remaining open railway line to hastily retreat. Voitsekhovski's corps will try to intercept such a flight-attempt before joining Kappel at Samara.
Spirits are high amongst the Siberian soldiers. While Grittis might still escape, the city of Samara is almost certain to fall. The prey is even fatter than expected: two new units have started to assemble inside the city. Locked until completion they are doomed.
Somewhat worrying is the strong corps Samoylo has assembled at Bugulma. It could strike virtually anywhere. It might try to reinfore Samara, attack Ufa or Buguruslan or even outflank the Kama Line. An attack against Ufa would be welcome, one against Buguruslan inconsequential, the Kama Line should be secure but Samoylo interferring at Samara might prove inconvenient. He would be too late to safe the city but he might descend upon weakened Siberian troops and force them into a costly battle.
Southern front and Central Asia: Verzhbitsky continues to be successful: on his march north he destroyed two Red cavalry regiments. This turn he will join Khanzhin at Uralsk. Operations in Central Asia have come to an end. There are two regiments of Red soldiers left, too few to achieve anything of importance. From now on my defense will be concentrated on the key cities while the country side will be bled dry. No more reforms in this area - just requisition and conscription. With the key cities all firmly in Siberian hands, the countryside and railway lines have lost their importance.