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Thread: Who put the stranded Admiral in charge? - Siberian White Short Campaign PBEM

  1. #81
    You should really pressure the reds now to divert some men from south to the siberian front.

  2. #82
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    Good stuff. It really sounds like a lot will hinge on a few small events - will you be able to besiege Syzran, or will Samoylo break out and threaten your move on Penza? And what will happen on the western banks of the Kama? And can you make one last push before those precious supplies run out? Not to mention the nail-biting situation for the Southern Whites... It really makes for a great read.
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  3. #83
    Thank you for the steady flow of comments. It really keeps me motivated.

    Only a small update today. Tomorrow I will post a a big one though. A lot has happened ...

  4. #84
    RUS game mechanics - Chapter 4: Green rebellions


    "Be aware that when Loyalty towards the Green faction increases, local revolt can occur, with the creation of peasant rebels’ military units. These units may not be very strong but they will wreak havoc on your railroads and supply lines." This is what the game manual has to say on the topic of Green revolts. Obviously, this leaves a lot of important questions open:
    1) How much loyalty must the Green faction gain for peasants to raise?
    2) How many uprisings per turn?
    3) How many peasants per uprising?

    The second question is the easiest to answer: every single region is checked every turn. If Green loyalties are allowed to spread, the whole country can turn Green very quickly (unfortunately not in the way Al Gore might wish for). The player should never underestimate this risk! The only limit to this potential Green plague is set by the Green force pool (the maximum number of Green units that can be on the map at any time: 180 infantry regiments, 90 cavalry regiments, 200 militias, ...). If you want to call that a limit.

    Concerning the first question, a member of the developpers gave this answer: keep the loyalty to your own faction above 60% and you should be safe from Green revolts. In other words: Green loyalty can't be allowed to rise above 40% (which isn't quite the same since loyalties are usually split three ways). This rule of thumb works but the actual calculations are more complex:

    base revolt risk per turn = (50 + Green Loyalty)/100

    This base revolt risk is modified by a number of factors. Most importantly:
    - non-green units in a region lower the risk of revolts significantly (a regiment of infantry should be enough to lower the revolt risk almost to zero).
    - revolts are contagious, they are more likely if there is already a revolt close by
    - the bad relations between Greens and all other factions drastically increase the revolt risk.

    More details can be found in the Agewiki. The articles there were written for PoN but RUS uses the same code. Some of the global modifiers seem to be set differently in RUS, though.

    The answer to the final question is hidden in another game file: It seems a new revolt gets 60 hits worth of Green troops. Usually these units don't spawn in a single stack but are rather spread out over two or three regions.



    In the screenshot above you can see how quickly a Green plague can start. In turn 15 the Far East was completely free of Green rebels. Then three uprisings occurred at once. Greens are taking over cities and block vital railway lines. Luckily they also unlocked two Japanese divisions for me.
    While Green militias can be starved easily, the three partisan units that also spawned will probably haunt me until the end of this game. Partisans sustain themselves off the land, they are impervious to bad weather and their high evasion value makes it almost impossible to engage them in battle. Nasty buggers!


    Besides these random revolts there are also a couple of larger uprisings that reflect historic events. These uprisings will happen regardless of loyalties:

    - early in 1919: Green insurrection along the Volga (center is Stavropol, in the Short Campaign these Greens are on the map from the very start).
    - 1919: several Green uprisings in Central Asia
    - mid 1919: a Green rebellion in the Kuban
    - early in 1920: Green rebellion along the Black Sea
    - in the second half of 1920: a huge Green peasant army wil rise around Tambov. This is the biggest Green uprising in RUS.
    - 1921: the Kronstadt sailors will turn Anarchist
    Last edited by Bornego; 14-12-2011 at 21:00.

  5. #85
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    Very informative. As I'm taking my own first, faltering steps with RUS, I'm constantly scared witless by the Green Demon, without ever really properly understanding the beast. This really helps me to understand what's going on and what is likely to happen, so it should help reduce the 'out of the blue' revolts.
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  6. #86
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    again, really informative post on a key but rather opaque game mechanic ... & of course keeping your loyalty >60 while requisitioning supplies and manpower is easier said than done
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  7. #87
    Turn 15 results - Early December 1919: Bloody snow


    Christmas of 1919 is a sad time all over Russia. Thousands of families get news that their sons won't return from the battlefield. Amongst the Southern Whites spirits are dampened. Three major battles were lost at high costs. But at least another attempt to lift the siege of Novocherkassk was repulsed.
    While Denikin and Wrangel are witnessing the darkest hour of the Southern White movement, Admiral Kolchak is one of the few men in Russia who can't stop smiling: The Red Army has all but collapsed on the Siberian front. The road to Moscow is wide open. However the price has been high. But what does an admiral care about infantrymen?
    The short version of this turn: the Reds gave the Southern White a bad beating but got even worse from the Siberians.


    The First Battle of Votinsk: The fighting started in the North where Blucher failed to disengage. Lacking corps structure, neighbouring Red forces couldn't intervene. Unlike the battle report suggests, Gaida didn't join the fighting either since the battle was over too quickly. In fact the victory was entirely Pepeliaev's doing. 4.200 Siberian vs. 8.300 Red casualties, + 2 NM. It clearly paid off to leave Pepeliaev on defensive posture.




    The Battle of Sarapul: But Pepeliaev was not yet done with the Red Army; he continued his march south and attacked Zinoviev at Sarapul. Zinoviev had foolishly weakened his corps by sending Parsky across the Kama. The remaining Red forces paid the price for this mistake and were wiped out, an artilllery regiment was captured, + 4NM. The main price is still inside the city: 20 Red river ships, amongst them 4 feared fluvial destroyers and 4 gunboats (Pepeliaev switched to offensive posture when he entered Sarapul, unfortunately this doesn't enable an assault).



    I got lucky here: I knew that there was a high chance Pepeliaev would engage into combat with Blucher yet I still ordered him to attack another stack. Usually it is a very bad idea to throw the same stack into combat twice in one turn. Due to cohesion losses in the first battle the second often ends in defeat. If Zinoviev hadn't been weakened that could have happened to Pepeliaev as well.


    The Battle of Shemysheyka: Like on his march to Saratov, Kappel encountered resistance on the way to Penza. This time he didn't let a few Red conscripts stop him however. An entire Red cavalry brigade was annihilated at little cost. 3.200 less proletarians on horseback, +1 NM.




    The Battle of Penza: Then Kappel descended upon Avksentevski at Penza. 27.000 Red clashed with 77.600 Siberian veterans. Combat was long and bloody; even after most of their comrades had fallen the Red soldiers wouldn't give up.





    Only the last 1.200 survivors finally surrendered and agreed to join the Siberian army in exchange for their lifes (two artillery regiments and an airfield were captured). The big Siberian divisions took some damage but not a single regiment was lost. Avksentevski's corps on the other hand was completely annihilated. The streets of Penza are coverd in blood, 12.100 Siberians and 26.400 Bolsheviks have lost their lifes. The Siberian cause gains 9 NM.


    Operations Snowstorm and Eastwind have taken thier toll: 21.600 White and 45.800 Red soldiers won't live to see the new year. The Siberian cause gains a total of 16 NM points. It is rumoured that Lenin is already drawing up plans to secretly escape from the country. From the Red perspective panic may be justified: The Red Army has only two substantial field armies left on the entire Siberian front: in the very North, Shorin still has a powerful corps which is now further reinforced by Blucher's battered survivors. The other surviving corps is under siege in Syzran. This should be the time to plan a march on Moscow but unfortunately, the Siberians have worries of their own ...

  8. #88
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    that was dramatic, you were well rewarded for gambling on multiple attacks by Pepeliaev
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  9. #89
    Turn 16 - Late December 1919: The cripple and the lame


    I should be extatic after my latest victories and plan the Siberian march on Moscow, instead I am preparing retreats. The Red Army is crippled but the Siberians are paralyzed by lack of supplies. Major parts of the their forces will have to retreat as far back as Omsk (the place next to the front where significant amounts of supplies are to be had). The army isn't starving yet but with supply trains mostly empty and the stocks drained all the way back to the Siberian capital, the current amount of frontline troops is no longer sustainable. Unless something is done now, starvation will strike within the next few turns.
    I have never had a supply crisis on this scale before in RUS. In the Grand Campaign my strategy to recruit as aggressivly as possible works well; supplies usually get scarce once the army approaches Moscow but it never became as desperate as in this game. This is my first time playing the Siberians in the Short Campaign, I was aware of possible supply issues but I clearly underestimated their extend: the Siberian supply network is a lot worse than in the Grand Campaign while armies are significantly bigger. It should have been obvious that I would run into trouble.
    Usually this is the fate of foreigners invading Russia, now the Russian armies face General Winters merciless choice themselves: Either they will have to retreat ungloriously or perish from cold and hunger.


    Northern front: Obviously Pepeliaev is ordered to assault Sarapul. The Kama is still frozen and the Red fleet cannot be allowed to escape. In order to protect him from a Red counter-attack, Gaida reoccupies Votinsk by railway. With two divisions and some armoured trains he has 700 pw under his command. This should suffice to fend off Shorin. I doubt he is able to muster more than 1.000 pw.




    Southern front: With Penza taken, it is now time to finish Samoylo off who is currently besieged inside Syzran. Sieges always come with an uncomfortable dilemma: defensive posture can allow a besieged stack to slip through while offensive posture comes with the risk of defeat (Durk loves to make sorties with inactive commanders; this prevents the besieged from switching to offensive posture upon leaving the city, thus allowing them to wage a defensive battle). Time isn't my friend, either: the supply situation is desperate. Moreover Syzran could be evacuated by ship. Luckily Ian retreated his fleet from Syzran to Kazan last turn. An assault on the other hand would be extremely risky, Samoylo had several turns to entrench, he should be at level 4. The current supply shortages make it highly doubtful whether I can assemble the forces necessary for a successful assault. For now I opt to strengthen Dutov while starting to send troops East. Hopefully I am not reacting too slow.



    It really is a shame, it would be so easy to take Tambov right now. Even Kazan could be conquered within two turns with one swift sweap north, instead the Siberian war machine grinds to a sudden halt.
    Voitsekhovski is ordered to intercept Chapaev's starving men. One cavalry brigade slipped already through last turn. It would be a wasted opportunity if Chapaev's remaining soldiers wre allowed to escape as well.


    The Far East: Finally the Green uprisings I had been hoping for came and dutifully unlocked two more Japanese stacks in two minor skirmishes (2.000 dead Green rebels, no Japanese casualties). The irony is that I don't need the Japanese troops anymore. My army has already grown too big. Two Japanese units are very useful, tough: General Otani is better than any of my other three star commanders (4-3-3), he will instantly redeploy to the main frontlines and relieve the less capable Tolstov (4-1-1). A Japanese military hospital is a welcome addition as well.



    The plan for the Far East is simple: the shortest railway line to Central Siberia - ironically it leads through Chinese territory - is already well garrisioned. It will be kept open at all cost. The parallel line through Russian territory will be abandonned to the Green rebels. There is no point in defending both railway lines. Besides, all these railways are needed for is the occasional transfer of new supply trains (paid for by the Western powers).


    Recruitment strategy: The war has changed; the Red Army is no longer my main concern. Supplies or rather the lack thereof have taken its place. I really don't need more troops (except for supply trains). This means requisitions and conscriptions have lost some of their importance as well. However, a certain amount of exploitation is still needed to raise replacements. Instead reforms become ever more vital: the most effective way to increase supply production is to increase loyalties. It's time to build a peasant paradise (at least in the territories closest to the frontlines, i.e. west of the Ural).




    Rumors from the West: The new Polish government is watching the war in Russia with increasing anxiety. The latest Red victories over Southern White forces have them alarmed: What will happen to the still fragile Polish state if the Bolsheviks should claim victory over Denukin's Volunteer Army? Several Polish generals suggest an intervention in the Russian Civil War. They sense a unique opportunity to forge a Greater Poland...
    Last edited by Bornego; 16-12-2011 at 20:01.

  10. #90
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    That's a series of massive blows. It feels like you just ripped the Red front apart, basically free to choose where to strike next - but that is of course ignoring your reference to Siberian 'worries' - it's time for those Green revolts, isn't it? Not to mention that the Southern Whites seem to be barely hanging in there. I imagine the temptation for the Red player must be to finish off the Southerns now, so that he can free up the troops from there to (try to) stop the Siberians in a little bit.

    EDIT - Crossposted. So it's the supply situation. How quickly I forget. A shame that lack of supplies is forcing you to retreat, but even without the territorial gains, you've done a great deal of damage to the Red armies in the last few offensives.
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  11. #91
    @ Stuyvesant: The Greens will stay a local problem limited to the Far East (and probably soon Khazakstan as well). The real worry are supplies. I like to believe, I am pretty good at managing supply in AGEOD games. But in this game, I really botched it! By recruiting too many new troops I dug myself a very deep hole. Currently I have three or four full supply trains left west of the Ural (out of a total of over 20). The empty ones no longer get refilled since the depots are empty as well. Disbanding units isn't an option either since it costs VP and even NM. Once a whole supply network is in crisis mode it is very hard to come back. I am not sure if I will manage that feat ...

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  12. #92
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
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    The Southern Whites are not going to understand why you stopped...

    Perhaps you can disguise your retreat a little? You need the Soviets to commit some forces in your direction instead of towards Denikin. Alas, that may not be possible.

    How is the northern front doing?
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  13. #93
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    this just gets better - in effect your 'over recruitment' has allowed you to smash the Red Army on the Volga line, but you've overloaded your supplies in consequence. Can you pack 2/3 divisions off to Vladivostock or down to Central Asia so at least they are out the way?

    Of course it does sound as if the Poles are planning to finish off the Bolsheviks for you?
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  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    this just gets better - in effect your 'over recruitment' has allowed you to smash the Red Army on the Volga line, but you've overloaded your supplies in consequence. Can you pack 2/3 divisions off to Vladivostock or down to Central Asia so at least they are out the way?

    Of course it does sound as if the Poles are planning to finish off the Bolsheviks for you?
    2 or 3 divisions won't change much, the necessary steps will be more radical. But your assessment is dead on, essentially the plan is to ship troops back to central Siberia. I doubt I will ship any troops all the way back to Vladivostok, though. It takes roughly 5 turns by railway. Too much of a strain on my railway capacities.

    The Polish may intervene any time in 1920. If they do, I will get control over them. This really cool feature will be the subject of my next chapter on game mechanics ...


    Quote Originally Posted by TheExecuter View Post
    The Southern Whites are not going to understand why you stopped...

    Perhaps you can disguise your retreat a little? You need the Soviets to commit some forces in your direction instead of towards Denikin. Alas, that may not be possible.

    How is the northern front doing?
    The northern front is just as bad as the southern front supply wise. Perm's stockpile is permanently exhausted, I have no full supply trains left.

    Good suggestion. I won't retreat all my troops. Luckily a smaller army will suffice now that the Reds are severely weakened. The Siberians will still pose a threat, even if offensive actions will probably have to cease. Without well stocked supply trains it is impossible to stage prolonged attacks. Durk, the White player, has been warned, he feels confident that he can hold on.
    Besides, I don't think Ian has yet realized just how desperate my situation has gotten. The intelligence on enemy supply is notoriously inaccurate in AGEOD games. Of course he will put the pieces together very quickly once increasing numbers of my troops disappear behind the Ural.

  15. #95
    RUS game mechanics - Chapter 5: White Eagle on the horizon - Polish intervention


    A few months ago the SEPRUS team introduced a game-changing new event into the two big campaigns: the possibility of a Polish intervention. I believe few players have seen this happen in a game yet, therefore it may deserve some explanations.

    Conditions: Unlike the interventions by Finland, the Baltic and Caucasian states (these options aren't available in the Short Campaign anyway), if and when a Polish intervention happens, can't be influenced by the player. The event has two conditions:

    1. Polish intervention can't happen before January 1920.

    2. Polish intervention will only happen if Southern White NM drops to 90 points or lower.
    - Southern White NM between 70 and 90: 10% chance each turn that the Polish intervene
    - Southern White NM between 50 and 70: 20% chance of Polish intervention each turn
    - Southern White NM lower than 50: 50% chance of Polish intervention each turn

    It may take a few turns before the Polish declare war on the Bolsheviks but if Southern White NM is low enough, it will eventually happen. Personally, I think 90 NM is a bit high. However the major flaw of this event is that it doesn't take the Siberian White NM into account. The Polish intervene even if the Siberian Whites have all but crushed the Reds.



    Once the Polish declare war, the Polish territories get unlocked and a huge number of their troops spawns. They will be controlled by the Siberian White player (I am already looking forward to this in our game ). Giving control over the Polish troops to the Siberian player rather than the Southern Whites is another smart design choice since it accurately reflects the animosity between Polish and Southern Whites during the civil war.

    Polish intervention doesn't come without a price though: The Siberians will lose 60 EP and 59 points of NM. Obviously, it is a major blow to Russian imperialism if their former subjects have to safe them from the Communists.

    Edit: now that I have gotten the Polish in this game (turn 22), I have to correct myself: NM is only subtracted from Poland's NM, they start with a seperate NM count from the Siberians. Siberian NM remains unchanged. Poland starts with 25 NM. Ridiculously low.
    The 60 EP penalty doesn't work as supposed, either. It was supposed to balance the EP gained by controlling Warsaw (+60 EP once the region gets unlocked). Unfortunately that mechanic is bugged: first the game subtracts 60 EP from the Siberians EP reserve. Since the game doesn't recognize negative EPs, the Siberians will most likely end up with 0 EPs. After that the gain from Warsaw is added which left me at +60 EP at the end of the turn.

    Effects:
    - Polish territories get unlocked
    - more than 4000 pw worth of Polish troops spawn (some of them are locked as garrisions, though).
    - all Ukrainian units are disbanded (the Ukrainians cease to be an independant factions, instead some Ukrainian units are part of the Polish army).
    - all Red units at Vilinius and Minsk are moved to Mogilev
    - Brusilov assumes field command in the Red Army.



    Limitations: Polish troops are only fully operational in Poland, the Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus. Outside of these areas they are essentially worthless since a cohesion penalty will reduce their figthing power to zero. Thus the Polish troops can't really take Moscow but they can take over Belorussia and the Ukraine thus freeing Southern White troops.
    Additional limitations derive from bugs:
    1. Although the Polish have two three star generals, it is impossible to give either of them army command (if I am not mistaken, there is a limit to how many army hq a subfaction can have. Apparently that limit is set to zero for the Polish).
    2. There isn't a single depot in all of Poland. Polish intervention comes with its built-in supply crisis.
    Reinforcements: There are some reinforcements that can spawn to strengthen the Polish army:
    - A stack of Polish units will spawn in the summer of 1920 (40% chance each turn starting in May 1920).
    - If Kiev is taken by the Polish, Petliura's Ukraine Nationalist Army joins the Polish (in May 1920 at the earliest). A bit strange seeing how Polish and Ukrainians bitterly fought over their common border.
    - If Ekaterinoslav is taken by Polish troops, 2 Ukrainian division spawn (not before May 1920).
    - If Kharkov falls to Polish troops, 1 Ukrainian division joins the Polish (again not before May 1920).

    Polish defeat: If Warsaw falls to the Communists, Poland immediately capitulates. It's surviving forces will be disbanded. Instead Polish Communists will join the Red Army (a garrision at Warsaw and 2 infantry divisions).

    Ceasefire: In March 1921, the Polish will conclude a ceasefire agreement with the Bolsheviks if Red forces still hold Kiev and Minsk. In that event, the entire Polish army is removed from the map and Polish territories get locked again.


    ------------------------------
    The screenshots in this update are from my first Short Campaign PBEM. They are taken from the Red players perspective (my part in that game). The Polish intervened in February 1920. Suddenly huge Polish stacks were entering Russia. Luckily the White force were already in bad shape at that point. We stopped that game once the Polish offensive had been forced to a halt. By then it had become apparent that even the Polish couldn't save the crumbling White forces.
    Last edited by Bornego; 03-01-2012 at 22:07.

  16. #96
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Thank you for the two VERY interesting points. I never knew exactly how the Green worked.

    I don't like too much the new "Polish" system, I prefer when they were an independant faction. Oh, well...

    Nice battle up there. It is the very first time I see a general supply issue in RUS, and even in an AGEOD games. In general, supply issues are local, except in a few cases where they are regional, but here they are completely global due to the railroad system. Interesting - I always thought supply was not a factor in RUS, but I was wrong.

    Would it be possible that you would post the strategical map each turn. Nothing looks like more like the Eastern Russian steppes than more Eastern Russian steppes. And maybe put like like indicator 1, 2, 3, 4 on the strategical map, linking them to the "operational" screenshoot. I am lost sometimes - and I own the game
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  17. #97
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    another great update on the game mechanics - it does seem a wee bittie flawed though by not taking account of the Siberians ... but then the whole mechanic is keyed to dynamics in the Ukraine so I guess it does make some sense
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  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    It is the very first time I see a general supply issue in RUS, and even in an AGEOD games. In general, supply issues are local, except in a few cases where they are regional, but here they are completely global due to the railroad system. Interesting - I always thought supply was not a factor in RUS, but I was wrong.
    The global scale of my current supply crisis is a first for me, too. It's not entirely unique though: In Rise of Prussia things can get hairy for the Russians. And playing the 1864 scenario in American Civil War with the CSA is a lot worse than what I am currently experiencing. Usually hunger kills the rebels faster than the Union in that scenario.

    In RUS supplies can be a problem on the Siberian front. Everywhere else on the map supplies are plentiful. In the Grand Campaign it is perfectly managable though; even with massive recruitment the Siberian strength remains lower while the supply network is better to begin with.
    This is my first time playing the Siberians in the Short Campaign, I recruited a bit too aggressive and underestimated the strain this would put on my supply network. But mistakes are part of the fun. I wouldn't want to read an AAR without setbacks or tension.
    Overall my strategy wasn't that bad. Recruit like a madman until numeric superiority is achieved then crush the Reds. My winter offensive was started knowing that the supply situation would become critical. But its stunning success justifies the risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    Would it be possible that you would post the strategical map each turn. Nothing looks like more like the Eastern Russian steppes than more Eastern Russian steppes. And maybe put like like indicator 1, 2, 3, 4 on the strategical map, linking them to the "operational" screenshoot. I am lost sometimes - and I own the game
    Good suggestion. The Siberian front suffers from an unfortunate lack of distinguishing landmarks. The strategic map on the other hand isn't exactly clear either (there are no city names and the distinction between stack seizes leaves a lot to be desired). But luckily I can improve these things manually. As of the next update, I will add strategic maps with explanations and references to my other screenshots.

  19. #99
    Turn 17 - Early January 1920: The Great Retreat


    The supply situation is growing more and more desperate on the Siberian front. I expect the first units to exhaust their meager supplies this turn. Starvation is around the corner. Empty supply trains are retreated or hurriedly transformed into new depots. Troops are railed behind the Ural on a massive scale. Offensive operations cease almost entirely.




    Northern front: The fighting didn't cease along the Kama. Pepeliaev assaulted Sarapul. Trapped by the ice, 20 Red river ships were blown up before they could fall into White hands (from my experience only fleets consisting entirely of transports can be caputred). Then a wave of Red counter-attacks hit:

    Second Battle of Votinsk: Budyenny tried to retake the Western Kama bank with 24.000 men but was repulsed by Gaida. The battle was surprisingly costly for the Siberians because Janin's small corps from Perm took over the fighting in the second round. If a corps and an army hq are on the field at the same time, the corps moves into combat first. In this particular case, Gaida entirely disengaged during the second half of the battle. While casualty rates had been 2:1 in favour of the Siberians while Gaida's powerful stack did the fighting now the ratio became reversed. Luckily Budyenny retreated before a third combat round. This was clearly my mistake. I should have left Gaida at Perm and sent Janin to Votinsk instead. I didn't because I wanted to profit from Gaida's better stats. This mistake will be swiftly rectified: Gaida and Janin will switch commands.



    Second Battle of Sarapul: Next Ordzhonikizde attacked Pepeliaev at Sarapul. This might have been a desperate if belated attempt to save the Red fleet locked in the harbour. Or perhaps Ian thought he might take advantage of my troops being on assault posture? In any case, the Red forces were inadequate for the task and suffered badly: 6.200 Red conscripts died in vain. With 1.200 men Siberian casualties are relatively light. Kolchak is content (+ 2 NM).



    Pepeliaev is now inactive, luckily Panov accompanies him and can take over his command (it really pays off to have multiple two stars in a stack). The supply situation is increasingly desperate: two more turns, then Panov's men will starve. It is time to retreat. If Parsky hadn't blown up the railway connection east, I would simply mount the trains and retreat my entire forces back east of the Kama. Unfortunately that is out of the question. It's a shame with some more supplies I could starve Parsky. Instead Panov will lead his troops north and join forces with Gaida (or rather Janin as of next turn) at Votinsk.



    This is not without risks: Budyenny was only in command of a part of Shorin's troops. The total number is probably around 50.000 men. My 20.000 at Voltinsk will be hard-pressed to fight off an all-out attack. Hopefully they can hold the line until help arrives.
    Moreover, Parsky might attack Perm. I am lacking intelligence on his strength but believe that he only has a small division. But the defenders at Perm were badly mauled in the latest Battle of Votinsk. This could be another hard fight. Level 4 entrenchment should help win it though.


    Southern front: Here the supply situation is worst: Otani's army at Penza has supplies for only one more turn. Most of the other stacks can hold out for two.

    Obviously supplying Otani is my main concerns. It is already too late to sent him back across the Ural. The next major supply stack is at Omsk; even by railway the journey would take two turns whereas Otani's men need fresh supplies by the end of this turn or they will begin to starve. These are some of my most experienced soldiers. They have conquered Samara, Saratov and Penza. One of the divisions even accompanied Kappel on his long march. They are the crème of the Siberian Army. Losing them is not an option.
    Instead Otani will ask the Bolsheviks for some supplies. They wouldn't refuse hospitality to a bunch of hungry Siberians with a lot of guns, would they? The only Red supply depot within reach is Tambov, the railway line there has been secured by Siberian cavalry. A few Red reinforcements have arrived at the city last turn but they still number less than 200 pw. Otani will leave his smallest division behind to guard Penza. The other three are ordered to assault Tambov with a total of 950 pw. This attack must succeed or Otani's men are doomed. But unless the Red Army can send at least another 200 pw worth of troops to reinforce the city, I am fairly confident that Tambov will fall. Whether Otani's men will find a well stocked depot is an entirely different question though ...



    Samoylo is still trapped inside Syzran with 900 pw worth of troops. Basically there are two possible options: assault the city or besiege it.
    Assaulting a city with well entrenched defenders is usually extremely costly. Unless the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the attackers, the assault is likely to fail (3:1 may not be sufficient, I usually try to have at least 4:1 odds). Currently the Siberian forces outside the city number 110.000 men (~ 2.400 pw). Not quite enough. I could concentrate more forces at Syzran but this would take time and further strain my supply network. Therefore it is not really an option.



    A long siege isn't appealing, either. The current siege force is too big for my limited supplies. If I reduce it to a bare minimum however, I may be able to sustain the siege. Consequently Dutov's force is divided in three parts: Dutov himself takes one division to Penza. Akutin retreats with 4 divisions behind the Ural (50.000 men less on the frontline should bring some relief). Kappel keeps 3 divisions and my only full supply train and continues the siege. Under his excellent command his force has still 1.300 pw. He has supplies for three more turns and two more supply trains are already on their way. This might just work.
    Syzran is a level 2 city with a level 1 depot and a harbour. But as long as the city is under siege, it won't produce any new supplies. Neither will the harbour since the Volga is frozen again. Therefore Samoylo should run out of supplies in a few turns. He will face a choice between risking a sortie or surrender (once a besieged force has no more supply points in their supply trains, there is a chance it will capitulate).


    Central Siberia: In the heart of Siberia, the Red Army starts with a powerful partisan army: 3 cavalry brigades (each with 5 elements), two partisans, some militias and a few supply trains. After some inconclusive maneuvering aimed at interrupting the Transsiberian Railway during the summer, Kravchenko has bunkered down at Barnaul where he has build a supply depot to sustain his troops.
    This is the same strategy, I tried in our first game when I was controlling the Reds. The plan was rather imperfect, though. Supply production at Barnaul was only sufficient to sustain two of my three cavalry brigades. The third starved during the winter. Either Ian didn't realize this or he lacked better ideas. Anyways, his troops seem to be exactly in the same predicament.



    With troops from the Western front returning east, there may be an opportunity here: Semenov will receive some reinforcements. His forces will assemble at Novonikolaievsk, the White city closest to Barnaul. Next turn he should be able to start offensive actions against Kravchenko.
    In the meantime general Suzuki will retake Achinsk with his Japanese division.


    Solving the supply crisis: In the hinterland, I am trying to spread out my divisions. For example, Sukhin is sending one of his two divisions back to Orenburg. Also, I am building 2 new depots and am upgrading two existing ones. In my Western provinces a series of reforms is initiated to raise loyalties (and thus supply prodcution). Supply trains are shifted around to hurry more food to the frontlines (since this costs me railway capacities, it isn't as effective as I would wish). Therefore, railway capacities will be increased and 8 new supply trains are raised.
    Hopefully, the Siberian Army can somwhow hold on until spring brings some relief. It would be a small miracle if I could get it through the winter without major losses to starvation.


    News from the Southern Whites: The pressure on the Southern Whites continues to be high but for now Durk holds on. Here is his estimate of the situation: "Ian is presenting a strong challenge on my front, but he is not in a position to defeat me. His and my forces are intermingled something ridiculous, it looks like a checker board where it is his unit, my unit, his unit, my unit. Winter may determine who is the biggest loser on the Southern White fronts, but I have adequate forces in safe places. Ian did make a spectacular surprise move to take the Northwest army base (Pskov). I lost some units under construction and the depot, but have an alternative base which is well supplied."

  20. #100
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    From having the map, I have a much better view of the situation ! Thank you ! I know it takes time

    And understanding also why your Japanese General will have troubles reaching "safe" lines...

    If you take Tambov, you will be in position to directly support the Southern White, and cut the supplies for all the Reds engaged in the South. That would be outstanding.

    It seems, though, that on the Northern Siberian front, the front is not really "broken" yet, and you can still be defeated there.
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