Fascinating update - do hope your Tambov gambit pays off
Fascinating update - do hope your Tambov gambit pays off
Last edited by loki100; 18-12-2011 at 23:09.
Some really hard choices to make, it makes for a great read, though. I hope your move on Tambov works, it would maintain some offensive pressure and might disguise the seriousness of your supply problems.
I also hope you can successfully conclude the siege at Syzran: nearly 1,000 points of Red Army penned up, it would be a shame if they'd slip away solely due to the issue.
That Red Partisan force, is it spawned by an event, or is there an opportunity to build partisan units in someone else's territory (probably the former)?
@Stuyvesant: No event but rather the starting OOB are to blame for those partisans. The Red Army starts with two isolated partisan armies in Central Siberia and the Far East. The latter is long since gone mostly due to starvation. The slightly bigger Red cavalry force in Central Siberia was involved in a lot of inconclusive maneuvering. Now I finally have the ressources to deal with them.
Even worse the supply shortages will force me to pull away three entire divisions from the Northern front in turn 18.
A proper update will follow tomorrow.
I'm checking this thread 5 times a day for an update. I really like this.
Turn 18 - Late January 1920: "Let them eat caviar."
I have never paid this much attention to supply before. Every stack is checked in order to ascertain how long its supplies will last. My role has changed from strategist to quartermaster.
Northern front: Parsky has retreated back across the Kama, his supply situation seems to be almost worse than that of the Siberian troops.
Third Battle of Votinsk: Meanwhile Votinsk remains the favourite killing ground between Reds and Whites. This time Shorin attacked with two divisions. Strangely he left Mezheninov with another stack behind. Perhaps he was in control of battered troops? Janin stood his ground and the Red Army was repelled again. 4.700 White and 7.700 Red soldiers are left behind in the bloody snow. The Siberians gain 1 point of NM.
With Panov and Pepeliaev arriving from Sarapul, the Siberian Army now has 7 divisions at Votinsk. Supplies will only last for one more turn. Another massive retreat is necessary: The divisions at Votinsk are completely reorganized, troops with acceptable cohesion and few combat losses stay with Pepeliaev at Votinsk (three infantry divisions). Their supplies last for two more turns. Janin takes three battered divisions and heads for Omsk. He will not arrive there this turn, though. But he should be able to pick up just enough food at the small town of Ishim to sustain him for the rest of the way. The seventh division reinforces Gaida at Perm. Currently the city is the weak spot in my defense. Gaida has only one small division to defend the city. Luckily an attack is rather unlikely at the moment. Only Parsky could reach the city but his troops must be low on cohesion after their long adventure east of the Kama and their supplies seem exhausted.
I made a highly annoying discovery this turn: My airforce had been at the top of my evacuation list for some time now but I always lacked the railway capacities. Since it doesn't consume much supplies and its units always seemd well stocked, I let them stay. Then I checked their supply stocks. Airfields are supply dumbs! The average airfield carries around more than 100 points of general supplies yet uses only 4 per turn (in comparison, a fully stocked supply train can only transport 80 points of supplies). The annoying part is that airfields won't share these supplies with the units they are attached to. Otherwise they could serve as impromptu supply trains. But unfortunately they only steal supplies from the troops and then hoard them. Parasites!
Southern front: Otani took Tambov without much of a fight; Shaposhnikov retreated before a battle could ensue. Only a unit of Red guards was brave (or folish) enough to fight. They were swiftly dealt with. The supply depot at Tambov was a dissapointment, though: it contained only 24 units of supply while Otani's needs 105 units per turn. To make matters worse, he has only 78 points of supply left. This leaves Otani 3 points short, a few of his men will stay hungry this turn.
The current number of troops clearly isn't sustainable any longer. Consequently Smolin's big division (20.000 men strong) is sent back to Ufa. I put him on offensive posture in the hope of killing the Red cavalry that will probably try to blow up the Peanz-Tambov railway line next turn. Otani's remaining force numbers less than 17.000 men and only 618 pw. Hopefully it won't have to face any major counter-attacks. Meanwhile two supply trains heading to Tambov should secure Otani's supply for another turn - unless they get intercepted that is ...
At Penza Dutov is a little better off. He has enough supplies for two more turns. But just like Otani at Tambov, Dutov is incomfortably weak (600 pw).
The siege of Syzran may seem like luxery, Kappel needs a constant stream of supplies which I can hardly afford. Yet if I abandon the siege, I will not only loose control over the vital railroad from Samara to Penza but with Samoylo roaming freely I would also have to reinforce my defences at Penza, Samara and even Saratov. Consequently, it is cheaper to keep Kappel at Syzran. He has enough supplies for two more turns. And supplies for another two turns are already on their way.
Now that Akutin and four of the seven divisions at Syzran are gone, I could imagine Samoylo and Trotzky might try to break the siege: Trotzky has roughly 600 pw, together with Samolyo's 900 pw they match Kappel's force. I am not worried, though. Well entrenched and on defensive posture Kappel should be able to give them bloody noses.
A bit further south, Shukin's divison will leave the depot it has been guarding and retreat behind the Ural as well.
East of Saratov, Voitsekhovski has finnally caught Chapaev (in the battle report Tolstov is shown as commanding general, but it was Voitsekhovski and the Wild Division that did all the fighting). These men must have been starving already. Moreover, the long march through the steppe had reduced their cohesion almost to zero. As a result they were no match for the Siberian troops. Almost 80% of his surviving soldiers were butchered. The unlucky survivors retreated into the steppe where starvation will finish them off next turn.
Central Siberia: Semenov's hour has come, reinforced by troops from the West he is ready to take Barnaul. This attack will hardly change the prospects of the war but it might gain the Siberian cause a few points of NM and will reduce the need for garrisions in the future.
The force Semenov has under his command is complete overkill. But in Central Siberia supplies are plentiful. Consequently Semenov has received a steady stream of reinforcements. I would rather have them do something usefull than have a vacation.
The Great Retreat: Once the current orders are executed, the Great Retreat of the Siberian Army will hopefully be concluded. By the end of this turn only 12 divisions will remain on the frontline, 9 will have retreated behind the Ural and another 9 guard cities removed from the any direct threat (Ufa, Orenburg, Uralsk, Saratov, Samara, ...).
Meanwhile the Siberian supply network is constantly upgraded. This turn another 3 new depots will be built, a fourth gets an upgarde. During the last 6 turns the capacity of my supply depots has more than doubled: a few depots have been conquered (Saratov, Penza and Tambov), but more have been newly built or upgraded. In total 22 supply trains have been transformed into depots within this time. Finally a close net of depots stretches from Kurgan in the East to Tambov in the West and Votinsk in the North. The next step will be to extend the chain all the way back to Omsk and Central Siberia. On its own this won't solve the supply crisis, though. Supply production is still far from sufficient.
Plans for the future: I am itching. Marvellous plans are forming themselves in my head. If I ever get the supply crisis under control, it will be a joy to implement them.
The obvious strategy would be to make a push for Moscow. In this game the Siberians will follow a different plan, though. Instead of stabbing Communism in the heart, they will gut its belly.
Four big operations are designed. The intention is nothing less than the demise of the Bolshevik regime before Christmas 1920. The names of these operations have been designed by the psychological warfare department to taunt the Communists:
1. Operation Sickle
2. Operation Hammer
3. Operation Feint
4. Operation Sandwich
For now the map and details of these operations will be kept secret (my opponent is a gentleman, but I don't want to tempt him ). Feel free to speculate, though ...
Last edited by Bornego; 10-01-2012 at 22:33.
I really love the tension in this game ... and the supply situation (ok I'm a bit of a masochist but one thing I like in the AGE engine games is the supply constraint), you're so close to sweeping the board but at the same time the Reds have a superb chance to recover and stall you on the Volga again
Excellent! This really is one of the most interesting RUS AAR's I've read. I haven't ever come across so severe a supply shortage so this is a very new and intriguing problem for me.
How is your ally to the south doing? Denikin's demise could seriously jeopardize your war effort...
Ideology: Revolutionary Syndicalism
Issues: Socialism/Full Citizenship
Cash Reserves: $0
Militancy: 3 (+0.04)
Consciousness: 6 (+0.13)
1. Operation Sicle
A move executed simultaneously with Hammer. A pincer to the south possibly relieving some southern whites.
2. Operation Hammer
An operation pincering the north.
3. Operation Feint
An attack at the middle by eastern troops and a feint towards Moscow by northern and southern troops.
4. Operation Sandwich
As the enemy needs to distribute it's troops more evenly, you will encircle and destroy them.
@ Searry: Some good guesses. Others are further off.
The thing is, it is hard to make long-term plans in AGEOD games. One unexpected move by your opponent and all your plans go out the window. A good example is the pickle Kappel got himself into early in this game. Suddenly all my previous plans were irrelevant and I had to come up with ideas how to get his corps back to safety.
Durk, the Southern White player, seems still to be in some peril in the South but this far he has managed to fend off the Red attacks.
In the North he has brought Yudenich's Army into the game (there is an option that allows to spawn these troops). It should be less than 20.000 men but they are well equipped with tanks and armoured cars. Whether he can take Petrograd will depend on how much is left of the other White armies in the North (he starts with two small armies at Pskov and Murmansk).
If he should fail to take Petrograd within the next 12 turns, the Yudenich option will become a major problem: the Southern White will lose 1 point of NM per turn for their failure in the North.
I'm quite impressed with the massive realignment of troops you pulled off. Hopefully it won't weaken you to much versus the Reds.
This might be a foolish question that could quickly be answered by a look at the manual, but is it possible to increase supply production in existing structures, or can you only increase the total amount by conquering more cities?
There are three ways to increase the amount of available supplies:
1. conquer new cities.
2. increase loyalties towards your faction (at 0% loyalty the supply production is halfed; at 100% it is multiplied by 1.5). This is the most effective but also most time consuming way.
3. Build new depots/upgrade existing ones. The gain from this is comparatively small though (4 units of supply per turn per depot level).
The next update is already written but I won't post until the turn is processed. Unfortunately Durk is still waiting on orders from Ian, the Red player, with Christmas approaching our game is slowing down a bit.
Turn 19 - Early February 1920: Sisyphus was lucky bastard
The gods of Greek mythology lacked imagination. Pushing a rock up a mountain for eternity is nothing compared to managing Siberian supplies. Sisyphus was a lucky bastard!
All my messures haven't improved the supply situation one bit. I can't retreat much more troops without endangering my frontline. Building more depots hasn't increased neither supply production nor distribution in a noticable way and reforms only help long term. At least Sisyphus had some sense of achievement every time he approached the mountain top. Did I mention he was a lucky bastard?
Northern front: Welcome to trench warfare!
Fourth Battle of Votinsk: All over Russia Votinsk has become a synonym of senseless carnage. Shell-shocked young men stumble through frozen trenches. In their desperation they maim themselves hoping they might end up in a hospital rather than before a firing squad. It is said that even proud Communist mothers secretly pray to God begging that their sons won't be sent to Votinsk. Others rely on more worldly messures and bribe the clerks of the Red Army administration.
The latest Red attack seemed especially senseless. Perhaps you remember that there were seven Siberian divisions at Votinsk last turn. I would have never dared a frontal attack against such a force. But Ian might have guessed correctly that my supply situation would force a retreat?
Shorin was yet again repelled. The Red Army officers will have to write 12.600 letters to griving families. Siberian casualties were comparatively light: 3.300 men. + 3 NM for the Siberian cause.
I believe the Reds have a supply crisis in this sector, too. Since I destroyed the depot at Viatka early in this campaign, the Red forces in this area had to rely on two small depots to feed them. I have been amazed for some time how an army of more than 50.000 men can survive on this basis. Perhaps this is the reason for Ian's desperate attempts to break through the Siberian line at Votinsk?
Not that it helps the Siberians much. Supplies are at a new low along the Kama. Rations will only last for the current turn. I am sending supplies for two more turns from Omsk but it will take the supply trains two turns to reach Perm. Supply production from Perm and the close by depots isn't enough to feed the entire force. This is about to get ugly ...
Southern front: The supply situation is slightly better in the South. Most stacks have supplies for two turns. Red raiders are starting to target vital railroad lines, though. This could become troublesome.
West of Tambov, Shaposhnikov has received 11.000 men of reinforcements diverted from the front against my Southern allies. I know the exact number since an unlucky cavalry scout of mine ran into them. A few less soldiers to feed.
It's obvious that I have to expect a counterattack against Tambov. The loss of this city has cut the only railroad connection between Tzaritsyn and the Red heartland. Obviously the Bolsheviks will try hard to retake the city. I am sending the smaller one of Dutov's two divisions to reinforce Otani. This won't improve the supply situation, though.
The siege of Syzran hasn't made any progress. I didn't exactly expect breaches to pop up but it is a surprise that Samoylo still seems well supplied. Considering the size of his force his supply consumption should be over 100 units per turn. Three turns into the siege the situation inside the city should be getting desperate, shouldn't it?
Notice the Green stacks in the screenshot? These peasant armies haven't moved since turn 1. Instead they are slowly starving away. They have already lost most of their men. After next turn only a few supply trains will be left. In a way the passivity of the Green AI is understandable. It was constantly confronted with superior enemy forces. But there were also opportunities occasionally. For example after my first attack on Samara in 1919, the city was only defended by a few battered Red artillery regiments for two turns. It's hard to understand why the Greens didn't exploit this.
Central Siberia: The Reds managed to avoid combat at Barnaul but with the city lost, they have nowhere to turn. They now face a grim choice: starvation or a desperate charge in the slim hope of conquering a new source of food.
The state of the war: Communist NM has suffered from the series of counter-attacks at Votinsk. My supply troubles have given the Reds some breathing sapce, though. Ian makes good use of it and slowly but steadily reinforces the Siberian front while he continues to press my Southern allies hard. Luckily the Reds have lost far more NM on the Siberian front than they were able to gain in the South. At some point the Siberians will have to apply pressure against the Bolsheviks again or this could change. Ideally the Polish Army will provide that relief. But they still haven't declared war on the Bolsheviks.
The supply crisis: For the first time a considerable amount of Siberian soldiers starved last turn. In total my forces took 98 hits (~5.000 men) due to the lack of supplies. Most of the concerned units have already arrived at safety. But others are certain to share there fate all too soon. Luckily, Kolchak's personal stock of caviar and champagne is still full, the war can go on!
I am positioning some empty supply wagons between Omsk and Kurgan. In turn 20, this will enable me to build two more supply depots which will finally establish an uninterupted chain of depots between Omsk and the frontlines. At some point this supply crisis has to end, hasn't it?
In the meantime, I will keep counting potatoes and wheat corns until I can fill my soldiers' stomachs again. Little surprising another wave of desertions hit my army this turn, the men probably went behind the Red lines searching for food. How spoiled was Sisyphus in comparison: he had a demanding job and a full belly. What a lucky bastard!
Given how low the Soviet NM is, I'm surprised they are risking any attacks at all, if the mechanic works as it does in RoP I'd be sitting tight and letting it recover.
Its great to read an AAR where Supply availability has become the all consuming (bad pun I know) issue ...
The events that constantly balance NM are unique to RoP. In RUS the only way to gain NM is to win battles or conquer some of the big cities. Once NM drops to zero a faction surrenders.
I believe the Red players strategy make sense: If he can take the Southern Whites centers like Rostov or Ekaterinodar while winning a few more battles, Southern White NM would drop fast. Moreover, time is working against him: eventually I will solve the Siberian supply crisis and retake the offensive and Polish intervention could happen any turn now. The Reds have a small window of opportunity. Unless they use it to knock the Southern Whites out of the war, they are almost certainly doomed.
But I agree with you insofar as the attacks against my position at Votinsk make little sense to me, either. Personally, I would have opted for a flexible defense on the Siberian front rather than counter-attacks. But I tried to explain in my update that there could be reasons forcing Ian to attack (in particular supply).
I'm surprised how closely matched the Southern White and Red combat powers are. And Red morale seems awfully low. Still, until you can get your supply up and running, the Communists have relatively free reign to concentrate on the South. Well, here's hoping your supply situation improves soon, so that you can relieve Denikin and Co.
@ Stuyvesant: The Red Army has suffered a lot. Durk has managed to keep things almost even in the South while the Red Army has suffered a lot of bad defeats on the Siberian front. There is still a small chance for the Reds but if Durk and I don't make any big mistakes, we will win this match.
The combat power rating rarely gives an accurate picture: combat power depends on cohesion and command points. With the leader shortage that plagues the Reds in this scenario, the Red Army appears smaller than it actually is. Moreover my cohesion is currently very high (few marches, little combat) while Ian and Durk are constantly bashing each other up in the South.
Turn 20 - Late February 1920: An army of slackers
In the South some battles seem to have occurred. While casualties were light, Southern White NM is down by 6 points (I believe some of this is due to reforms, though). White forces are still laying siege to Kiev, Syzran and Novocherkassk. But no progress is being made. Even more disappointingly, Poland still hasn't intervened. What takes Pilsudski so long? The Bolsheviks are ripe for the taking!
Northern front: The Siberian forces in this sector are still too large. As I feared Pepeliaev's situation has gotten desperate. This turn he will loose a lot of men to starvation. Hopefully this will remain a one-time disaster: supplies for two more turns will arrive at Votinsk at day 5. Nevertheless yet another division is ordered back behind the Ural.
The once proud Siberian forces at the Kama have dwindled. Pepeliaev still has two strong divisions left. Well entrenched it should be enough to repel any attack on Votinsk. Gaida's force at Perm is a lot weaker. His two divisions are tiny. A Red flanking attack from Kazan via Sarapul will be a real danger once winter ends. For the moment the bad weather and the general weakness of the Red forces around Kazan should protect Perm. Moreover Pepeliaev should be able to support Gaida if Perm was to be attacked.
Southern front: Here the supply situation shows first signs of improvement. For once, not every single depot is completely emptied. While only a few have supplies left (and only tiny amounts), it still is a small sign of hope.
Red cavalry scouts are trying to isolate Tambov. The railway to Penza is constantly destroyed by a Red cavalry brigade; luckily it seems low on supplies.
The siege of Syzran still hasn't achieved anything. How the ... does that big Red forces inside the city stay supplied? Under siege Syzran shouldn't produce any supplies and the harbour is still frozen.
My inactivity is becoming dangerous to my Southern friends. Inspite of the desperate supply situation, the Siberians will have to apply more pressure on the Communists. In order to prepare for new offensive operations, some small changes are made. The first stage of Operation Sicle will commence come March ...
Central Siberia: The land of milk and honey - at least supply wise. With so many troops sitting idly in the rear, the Siberian Army has deployed a huge amount of forces against two starving Red cavalry brigades that have nowhere left to flee. Seven Siberian divisions guard the possible targets of Kravchenko's Partisan Army. Two more divisions are already on their way. I could order a direct attack, but why bother? Kravchenko's men will starve anyway.
Once the Reds are taken care of, a large part of these soldiers will go east to hunt Greens along the Chinese border.
Far East and Kazakhstan: I planned from the very start of this game to exploit these two areas mercilessly. Massive Green uprisings were the almost inevitablke side-effect of this plan. Indeed the Green flood just keeps coming; currently at a rate of three to four uprisings per turn. In retrospective, I could have afforded to keep loyalties stable. I used more requisitions and conscription than necessary. The current supply crisis is the consequence of this aggressive recruitment strategy.
Still the Green are limited to these two remote areas and I believe this won't change (everywhere else Pro-Siberian loyalties are far higher). As a counter-messure, I plan to deploy a considerable amount of forces to the Far East by spring. It will further spread out my forces and thus reduce the strain on Siberia's supply network. Besides, beating up Greens might gain me a few points of NM.
Supplies and troop deployment: with my latest retreats the balance of my army further shifts in favour of the rear echolon: Only 135.000 men are left on the frontlines while roughly 360.000 men are enjoying themselves in the comfort of the hinterland. What a waste of men!
If I could supply 100.000 more men at the front, the Red Army could be steamrolled. Since that seems unlikely, I will have to come up with alternative ideas: Theoretically it is possible to send transports from Vladivostok into the Black Sea. The journey takes almost 3 months, though. Still it would make it possible to establish a beachhead in the Ukraine to support the Southern White. Unfortunately there are no transports in the Siberian White unit pool (only the Red and Southern White can build ocean-faring ships). Luckily there might be a simpler way to open a new front. I will have to wait for spring, though.
interesting update, at least it seems as if in terms of supply you've stabilised the front - can you start to rotate some of the well rested rear area forces to replace those on the front? It might be unsubtle but it could set up a very Soviet style offensive in echelon?
Good as always!
I bought RoP from steam as it was on sale and after reading the manual, playing the tutorials, i've started a game, and this really seems to be better than any other war games i've played. Gonna buy RUS when i get bored with RoP. Wasn't there a wiki for this game?
Last edited by Searry; 29-12-2011 at 05:13.