+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 11 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 220

Thread: Once Upon a Time ... the Revolution - A Red Grand Campaign PBEM

  1. #81
    Interlude: Morale, Casualties and Victory Points until early 1919



    I have largely ommitted the big picture up to this point. RUS campaigns are decided by NM. The goal is to crush your opponents NM completely. If it reaches zero he has lost.

    Early in 1919, this game was a very even match. I had managed to keep Red NM stable around 90 points after an initial drop. This is pretty decent since NM is continuously drained by options and special operations (each cheka special operation costs 1 point, mobilization options and money printing cost 2 points).



    There are only two ways to gain NM in RUS: win battles or conquer objective cities. The White players had gained a lot the latter way. The Red Army on the other hand had steadily retreated. Thus I had to rely on winning battles if I wanted to stabilize my NM.

    The bump in Southern White NM in January 1919, is due to the German retreat. It's a weird side-effect of the Baltic becoming independant. The game considers the Balts as a sub-faction of the Southern White. When the German hand them over the objective cities in their territory, the Southern White gain NM. If I am not mistaken the Reds get a few points of NM that way as well (when they get Minsk back).

    Siberian NM was very high initially because they conquered a lot of objectives during the first couple of turns (cities in Siberia and Central Asia as well as Perm and Ekaterinburg). But since then it had dropped steadily. All those small battles I won and the series of futile attacks at Aralsk were beginning to have a serious impact on Siberian morale.



    In February 1919, casualties were pretty even as well: the Red Army had lost 66.000 men, casualties for both White factions combined were at 63.000 soldiers. I was rather content with this. One has to bear in mind that the Reds pile up high casualties during the first couple of turns when the Whites beat up their locked armies and slaughter isolated garrisons. After this inevitable awful start, I had done rather well.

    Victory points were a head to head race between the Siberians and Reds. But I have yet to see a RUS game that is decided by VP.

  2. #82
    Chapter 10 - The Hills Run Red: Siberian front, January - May 1919



    I can’t listen to music very often, it affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things,
    and pat the little heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty.
    These days, one can’t pat anyone on the head, they might bite your hand off.
    Hence, you have to beat people's little heads, beat mercilessly.
    -
    Lenin




    While the White generals Makhin and Khanzhin were on their disastrous flanking march towards Nizhny Novgorod (see previous chapter). The rest of the Siberian front hadn't been quiet.


    The Battle of Kazan: In the North, Vatzetis' 2nd Red Army had been locked in stalemate with a Siberian army under Semenov and Janin. Both forces were of almost equal strength and both were heavily entrenched. In consequence, neither side had dared to attack, yet. But Grigory Semenov wasn't a man patient enough to sit around waiting.[1] On February 6th, he ordered a frontal assault against Vatzetis' positions.





    The attack was spearheaded by two formations: The Izhevsk Brigade, an elite Komuch formation, and Zinevich's 1st Siberian division. The target of concentrated Red fire, both units suffered horribly. The Komuch brigade was almost entirely annihilated during the initial charge. But Zinevich's men managed to break into the Red positions. Their success wouldn't last however. Egorov threw the entire 7th corps into a brutal counterattack, the 1st Siberian Division fought bravely but finally had to yield. When Zinovich led the battered division back to the Siberian positions, two thirds of his men were missing.
    Semenov's attack had been a colossal waste of human lifes: 9.200 Siberians had been killed, one third of his entire army. Red casualties were comparatively light: 3.900 men.[2]


    But the Red Army was no longer content to wait for the Siberians to attack. Trotzky had long since planned to strike back. 1919 would see Red offensives on all fronts. The first one was a relatively minor affair:

    Operation Iron Broom: Kolchak had concentrated his troops on the northern half of the Siberian front while the southern sector between Syzran and Saratov was only guarded by a handful of divisions. This weak spot offered an excellent opportunity for the rapidly expanding Red Army to blood some of their raw recruits. A large number of them had been assembled at Tambov. They were to form the 5th Red Army. It was to be commanded by Dimitri Zhloba who had gained his second star late in 1918.[3] He was joined by two very capable lieutenants: Timoshenko and Chapaev.



    With his 63.000 men Zhloba conquered Penza on January 1st 1919. The city was to serve as his base of operations in the months to come. Zhloba never stayed in one place very long.[4] In February he threatened the flank of Grichin-Almazov's main Siberian army. But the time was not yet ripe to take on this strong foe. Instead Zhloba received orders from Trotzky to harrass the relatively weak Siberian forces further south. For the following two months the area between Penza and Saratov became the hunting ground of the 5th Red Army. Operation Iron Broom had started in earnest.

    orange oval: Zhloba's hunting grounds
    1: Battle of Penza (January 1st, 1919): a minor affair, 1 Siberian regiment was annihilated
    2: Battle of Kazan (February 6th, 1919)
    3: Battles of Cherkasskoye (March 17th and April 2nd, 1919)
    4: Battles of Saratov (April 21st and May 1st, 1919)
    5: Battle of Simbirsk (May 5th, 1919)

    Early in march 1919, Zhloba retook Saratov without a fight. It was on the railway voyage back to Penza that his men struck the first serious blow.[5] Half-way to their destination, Onchokov's division was spotted on the side of the railroad heading in the opposite directon. The Red soldiers disembarked and attacked the badly outnumbered Siberians viciously. The First Battle of Cherkasskoye was an easy victory. The Siberians were forced to flee into the countryside while the 5th Red Army continued its voyage north. Red casualties remained insignificant but Onchokov's force was rather battered after losing a third of its 13.000 men.



    Zhloba didn't intend to stay at Panza, rather he headed back south immediately. This time he would cross the Volga and take Pokrovsk (the city just opposite of Saratov). The town didn't matter much but Bakich's small Komuch force defending it constituted tasty prey. However it turned out that victory could be had even closer to Penza:
    Red flags were proudly flying on the locomotives when the 5th Army passed through Cherkasskoye again. It was a pleasant surprise when their old foe was spotted again just outside the town. What followed wasn't much of a battle: Onchokov's men were in a sorry state and didn't offer much resistance anymore. Almost 4.000 of them died, 3 regiments were entirely annihilated. The survivors ran for their lifes.[6]



    Zhloba took Pokrovsk 9 days later but unlike Onchokov, Bakich managed to avoid combat. Somehow he had the glorious idea to outflank Zhloba during his retreat and head to Saratov.[7] For the Red Army this presented an excellent opportunity, though. Trotzky had brought two small corps south that weren't needed in the hunt for Khanzhin any longer. These 27.000 men now boarded trains in order to retake Saratov and administer a thorough beating to Bakich. Both objectives were achieved and Bakich's force was almost completely wiped out in the process. Of the 7.000 men the Komuch general had had under his command on the morning of April 21st only 800 were left when the sun set.[8]



    Trotzky then headed north where a much bigger operation was about to start. But he left Parsky behind to keep Saratov in Red hands for good. Parsky's men wouldn't have to spend their days sitting idly around since a dear friend of the Red Army had just retreated into the area: Onchokov was back!



    As usual he was greeted with bullets and cannon balls. Parsky proved to be more tidy than his comrades and cleaned up thoroughly. 15 White regiments were annihilated and Parsky was able to report back to Moscow that no White soldier had survived.


    Operation Cauldron: Zhloba and Trotzky returning north was the opening move for Operation Cauldron. It's objective was highly ambitious: the encirclement of the main Siberian field army. Commanded by Grichin-Almazov this force had been locked in stalemate with Frunze's 1st Red Army at Simbirsk for months. Recently, the Siberians had received Akutin's entire corps as reinforcements. After the destruction of the Red river fleet, it was no longer needed to guard the eastern bank of the Volga since White gunboats were now blocking all river-crossings.[9]



    Grichin-Almazov appeared to be preparing for an attack of his own. Otherwise this concentration of troops in one spot would have made little sense.[10] For the Red Army this represented an excellent opportunity: focused on offensive action, the Siberians had neglected to protect their rear. The vital depot and railway hub Syzran was virtually undefended. If it could be taken, Grichin-Almazov's supply lines would be interrupted. The job fell to Zhloba's 5th Red Army. It entered the region without resistance on May 8th and laid siege to the city.[11]


    The Battle of Simbirsk: But Grichin-Almazov hadn't been passive. His plan hadn't been another flanking maneuver as expected by the Red leadership but rather a frontal attack in full force. On May 5th, 60.000 Siberians and 61.000 Red soldiers engaged in battle at Simbirsk.



    Grichin-Almazov had divided his army into three corps: the biggest under Galkin's command contained almost half of his army, approximately 30.000 men. Akutin was in charge of another 18.000 soldiers while Grichin-Almazov kept the remaining 12.000 men with his headquarters as reserve.



    When the order to attack was given on the morning of May 5th, Akutin had his men charge the Siberian lines without hesitation. However Galkin doubted the attack could succeed and held his corps back. Akutin's men were thus on their own. The ensuing battle was highly chaotic since Akutin's corps was organized along the lines of a street mob rather than a military formation.[12] The Siberian general had only a single division commander, the very capable Voitsekhovski, the rest of his regiments were left to fend on their own. Voitsekhovski and Akutin were unable to stop the fiasco. Their men were butchered by Red artillery and machine guns before ever reaching enemy trenches. The few men who did were slaughtered in Red countercharges.



    The one man not aware of the catastrophy was Grichin-Almazov, furiously he charged into Galkin's command post to make his insubordinate general attack. But it was already too late. Galkin informed him with a smugly apologetic grin that Akutin's corps didn't exist anymore and that there was little point in pressing this futile attack. Grichin-Almazov had little choice but to grudingly heed this advice. For the rest of the war, he and Galkin would blame each other for the fiasco of Simbirsk: Grichin-Almazov his subordinate for not joining the attack, Galkin his superior for ordering it in the first place.
    The battle of Simbirsk was the biggest Red victory to date. An entire Siberian corps had been wiped out; 17.400 enemy soldiers lay dead on the battlefield. The 1st Red Army had lost no more than 1.900 men and captured two regiments worth of artillery from the enemy.

    Grichin-Almazov's army was weakened but its two remaining corps were still intact. The next step would be a race: could the Red forces close the pocket? Or would their battered foe slip through one of the remaining holes?


    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    [1] Grigory Semenov (or Semyonov) never waged war this far west. In fact, his theater of operations was the Transbaikal region where he carved out a petty fiefdom for himself with the help of the Czech Legion and later the Japanese. This warlord struggled on after Kolchak's defeat and death for a year and a half until he was finally forced to flee Russia in September 1921. After a stay in the US, he eventually ended up in Japanese/Manchurian employ where he served the former emperor Puyi. Shortly after WW II, he was captured by the Reds and hanged in 1946.
    [2] In retrospective, this was an attack that couldn't succeed. But one of the great things about AGE games, is that it is not always easy to judge in advance how strong an enemy is and how a battle is going to turn out. If reconnaissance is good, you will see how strong each of the units within a stack is but this doesn't include the changes that the stack commander or command penalties may provide. If reconnaissance is bad, it gets even more difficult. Durk would have seen something like this:
    Regular**
    Regular*
    Regular
    Supply
    Some deciphering:
    • Regular** is a division with a two star general in command, it could contain only a few elements or it could be a monster with 30 elements of infantry, artillery and cavalry and an insane combat power.
    • Regular* is a division with a one star in command
    • Regular is a single infantry unit composed of conscripts, line or elite elements. This can be everything from a single infantry regiment to a big Red brigade composed of 8 elements and containing artillery.
    • A leader not commanding a division would be displayed as Leader* (the number of stars represents his rank).
    [3] With 3-1-0 stats Zhloba is actually above average for a Red commander. Even if his dispersed mover ability is a bit of an annoyance. But a Red player can't be choosy when it comes to his commanders. Sidenote: Zhloba was executed during Stalin's purges in 1938.
    [4] I moved this stack around by railway almost constantly. It served as a powerful broom that cleaned the southern part of the Siberian front of Durk's forces within a few months.
    [5] Saratov's depot had been destroyed which made it a bad base anyway. But more importantly there was always Grichin-Almazov's Army which could have tried to take Penza in Zhloba's absence. Holding Saratov was therefore of minor importance and consequently the city changed hands several times during the next few turns.
    [6] Durk obviously hadn't enough time to get his defeated stack back to safety. Two days isn't enough to escape from a region on foot - especially not if cohesion is already horribly low after a prior defeat - but that was all the time it took to get Zhloba's stack back north by railway.
    [7] The AGE engine and its retreat mechanics ... Logic would dictate that an enemy retreats away from his foe not through enemy lines.
    [8] I had to use Trotzky to strike because Zhloba was inactive.
    This whole campaign may seem like a major blunder on Durk's part. But there wasn't much he could have done differently. He had a lot of bad luck with his stacks retreating in the wrong direction. Control of the railways gave my troops superior speed which allowed me to administer second blows before Durk had a chance to get his troops out of danger. Durk made two mistakes though: He used relatively small forces too aggressively (I guess the amount of soldiers I threw into this sector surprised him) and Bakich's column was badly composed (a Komuch general commanding a stack made up of Siberian troops results in high combat and movement penalties). This could have been easily prevented by adding a Siberian general.
    [9] Somehow I never manage to bombard enemy fleets. It's probably because I suck at naval combat. It's my weakness in all computer games.
    [10] My guess at the time was that Durk would try another flanking maneuver, either to save the remnants of Khanzhin's force or to position himself between Kazan and Simbirsk.
    [11] As usual for a Red commander, he was inactive. Getting your generals to attack is an artform when playing the Reds.
    [12] The way Durk organized his army was not very efficient. I am not sure whether he was lacking division commanders? But attacking with unorganized regiments is asking for punishment (they will be wiped out quickly once one of the Red monster divisions targets its fire upon them).
    This also forced him to use multiple corps - single units will eat up your command points very quickly. He had some bad luck as well. All his corps commanders had a 4 point strategic rating. Decent commanders like these tend to engage promptly (the exception are hq stack's since the game tries to use them as reserves).
    Ultimately, this inefficient organization was also one reason why Durk's army was weaker in power although being equal in numbers (and even superior in quality, his army consisted almost entirely of regular soldiers while mine was a conscript force). Unorganized units don't profit from the boni division commanders could have provided. Of course Frunze's superior stats played a role as well.

  3. #83
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7,561
    nice explanation, it certainly makes RUS different to the other AGEOD games with NM as the goal (& prime means of winning), in WiA it scarcely moves and in RoP you have that wierd balancing thing so all it is, really, is usually another small combat bonus for the Prussians

    edit - you slipped in a monster update even as I typed. In the light of the NM game, it makes sense to run a campaign like your opening moves, in effect just snack on small forces for the NM (I did something similar in my last WiA with Narwhal, since I suspected it was going to VPs, I just hunted down as many of his 1 battalion garrisons as I could snag).

    It certainly comes over that RUS really does reward care about divisional structure rather than just simply watching the CP limit
    Last edited by loki100; 08-05-2012 at 21:55.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  4. #84
    You missed the main course, loki100. After keeping my readers waiting for more than a weak, I wanted to provide more than a tiny update.

  5. #85
    Ruler of Somewhere else Thandros's Avatar
    Cities in MotionCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourEU3 CompleteDivine Wind
    For the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneMarch of the Eagles
    Rome GoldSemper FiSengokuSword of the StarsSword of the Stars II
    Supreme Ruler: Cold WarVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessMount & Blade: Warband
    Mount & Blade: With Fire and SwordPride of NationsRise of PrussiaEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    In a Secret Underground Bunker 50km beneath the Earth's surface
    Posts
    637
    That was Brutal the Siberians have to be hurting after those beating you gave them.

  6. #86
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
    200k clubAchtung PanzerHoI AnthologyCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Deus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine WindFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron III
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineLeviathan: WarshipsMagicka
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeSemper FiThe Showdown Effect
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: Warband
    Warlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsCK2: Holy Knight500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    5,704
    Granted, your update covered four months (eight turns?), but it does feel like a constant rain of punishing blows on the Siberians. The speed with which you move around is breath-taking and the way you keep wrecking Siberian armies is awe-inspiring. A costly, very bloody, sequence for Durk and his White Siberians.
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

  7. #87
    Good analysis loki100.
    In the big picture small defeats can hurt a lot. Up to this point major battles had been rare. But I had won about two dozen minor engagements that each gained me 1 or 2 points of NM. Put together that is a lot!
    As long as the Reds weren't strong enough to stage an all-out defensive, the best way to improve my position was to exploit my opponents mistakes and try to wipe out some of their smaller forces. In fact, it was only because of this strategy that I gained a sufficient advantage to take bolder actions.

    Good division and corps organization can be the difference between victory and defeat. One should always strife to create big divisions. Chances to avoid the loss of elements are much better this way (it takes a lot less time to patch a hurt element up with replacements than to build a new unit!). Moreover, in big divisions special abilities of generals and elite units have the greatest impact (why waste a tank by leaving it outside a division when it could bolster more than 20 elements of infantry with its infantry support ability inside a big division?)

    If you compare the battle of Simbirsk with the one at Tzarytsin in the next update, you will see how big a difference these things can make.


    Thandros, it will get a lot worse for the Siberians. That last attack at Simbirsk coincided with me taking the offensive on almost the entire front ...


    Stuyvesant, I like to wage a war of movement if possible. It will give you a lot more opportunities than simply staying put. In fact mobility applies to defense just as much as it does to offense. Against the AI, a static defense is no problem since it doesn't remember what you did the last turn and the one before. It only evaluates the current turn. A human opponent on the other hand, remembers that a certain stack has been sitting in the same place for several turns and will correctly assume that you have no intention of moving it. This will allow him to stage flanking maneuvers, shift the balance of his forces to another front, ...

  8. #88
    Chapter 11 - Taste for Killing: Southern front, April - May 1919



    Pacifism, the preaching of peace in the abstract, is one of the means of duping the working class.
    -
    Lenin




    Recap: In the Ukraine, Makhno is waging a partisan war. There have been several clashes with Shkuro's division. Further north White raiders under Mamontov and Wrangel are retaliating. On 12 April 1919, they have taken Kursk.


    The loss of Kursk was a shame that the Red Army couldn't let go unanswered. Blucher - newly promoted - took most of the garrison of Voronezh in order to reconquer the vital railway hub. But Wrangel was too talented a general to be caught by surprise and managed to pull his troops out at the last minute. After 8 days of White occupation Kursk was back under Red control.



    Further south, Makhno launched another raid. He left Kharkov on 15 April and struck de Bode's Azov division at Melitpol 6 days later. The Volunteers were caught off guard. Thus the fight quickly turned into slaughter. 3 infantry and 2 artillery regiments perished. Only the 2nd Osset Cavalry Regiment and an elite infantry regiment were able to save themselves.



    However Makhno's laurels were overshadowed by Kamenev's victory in the battle of Valuyki on the same day. Kamenev had set a trap for Bogaevsky: using the railway under Red control he quickly moved his entire army to Valuyki. When Bogaevsky's men crossed the Donets they found entrenched Red troops where they had expected to meet no resistance.*



    What should have been the opening move for a White offensive against Kharkov, turned into a bloodbath. White soldiers were shot to pieces while they tried to reach the Northern bank of the Donets. Not a single one of them reached the target. Bogaevsky's Don Cossack Army suffered horribly. One third of its men died, 7.100 soldiers in total. Red casualties were little more than one tenth of that number (Kamanev reported 820 fallen to Moscow - which was a nice change since for once he didn't have to lie about these numbers).



    In May, Blucher joined Makhno in the Donbas in an effort to secure the region for the Red forces. In the meantime, Makhno struck north from Donetsk and adminstered another beating to Shkuro - this had become a cherished tradition of the Anarchist warband. During the battle, one of Shkuro's elite White Wolves regiments was destroyed. After the killing was done, Makhno headed back to Kharkov to give his men a few days of rest.



    Meanwhile, Blucher had struck south. His objective was to crush Cherbachev's force that defended Perekop, the gateway to the Krim Peninsula. It was somewhat unsettling that Cherbachev's strength was unknown; but having 54.000 men under his command, Blucher didn't worry too much. As it turned out that his men outnumbered the enemy by 6:1. This should have been another easy victory, but the Volunteers had chosen their terrain well. They had errected excellent trenches in the middle of some marsh land. Blucher's army was never able to bring its full force to bear. As a result 9.000 brave White soldiers fought Blucher's entire army to a stalemate. They killed 2.100 Soviets while only losing 1.300 men themselves. This may have very well been the most astonishing victory of the war.**



    But the real butchery happened further east. Outside Tzaritsyn, Denikin and his alcoholic, yet talented subordinate Mai-Maeivski were finally tired of sitting around and tried to take the city.*** Mai-Maeivski had 63.000 men under his command, they were organized in 6 divisions which were commanded by the most talented generals in the Volunteer Army. Wrangel, Kutepov and Drozdovsky were awe inspiring foes indeed. The army was well trained, there weren't any conscripts or militia in this force, only veteran soldiers. Their equipment was the best the Whites could provide; each division contained a tank or an armoured car detachment, tachankas gave mobile machine gun support and artillery was in plentiful supply. Supporting Mai-Maeivski's corps was a reserve under Denikin which was estimated to contain another 10.000 men.



    But Stalin's Southern Front was a formidable force as well. With 94.000 men, it was even more numerous.**** But this advantage was lost due to the inferior quality of Stalin's men: only 16% of them were regular soldiers, 57% were conscripts, the rest militia (a fancy word for an untrained street mob). They didn't have tanks or armoured cars but the Red Army made up for this thanks to 4 armored trains. And while the Red commanders were no match for Wrangel's genius, Tukhachevsky and Voroshilov were by no means incompetent - especially while defending.
    All things considered, both armies were evenly matched. Had this been a knightly field battle in the Medieval Ages where armies charged at each other at full gallop, either side may have won. But those times were long gone (if they ever existed at all). In these modern days, the Red Army didn't think it cowardly to hide inside the trenches they had dug and improved over the last half year. Neither was it considered shamefully to use the huge assortment of artillery at their disposal to blast their enemy into bloody pieces.



    The Volunteers suffered accordingly, but these brave soldiers were too well led to simply shatter and flee. Instead they pressed on until the lucky survivors reached the Red trenches. Supported by their tanks and armoured cars, the White soldiers dealt out bloody retribution. The Red conscripts were no match for them in close combat. Every White soldier who died during this phase of the battle, took two Red ones with him. But it simply wasn't enough, the White formations were already so weakened that they couldn't slaughter all those Red conscripts that were thrown at them wave after wave. In the end, Mai-Maeivski had no choice but to order his exhausted men to retreat. 5 of his 6 battered divisions did so in good order but the smallest one was no more. Bisherakhov's men all lay dead in the steppe around Tzaritsyn.



    Casualty rates were ghastly on both sides: Stalin had lost every ninth man, 12.500 soldiers in total. Mai-Maeivski's corps was in much worse shape, though: 40% of his soldiers had fallen. 26.000 Volunteers and Cossacks were dead.*****


    Next update: A bullet for the general:
    In Southern Russia, April and May of 1919 had been glorious months for the Red Army.****** Finally, it had gotten the chance to revenge the humiliations it had suffered early in the war. But the luck wasn't going to hold ...


    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Ian is usually very good at avoiding my traps. But in this case, he marched right into it.
    ** Blucher's stack was superior in fighting power by almost 4:1 (1101 pw for Blucher's army against 296 pw for Cherbachev's stack). Usually anything above 3:1 is enough to dislocate even heavily entrenched enemies. But in this case several factors helped Cherbachev's column hold their ground: the lousy terrain hindered the attackers and high entrenchment levels helped as well. But just as importantly Ian had some heavy guns. They functioned as emplaced artillery and gave his units an additional combat bonus. Attacks against heavy artillery are always extremely costly in RUS.
    *** If one waits long enough, an opponent may get impatient or he might simply start to presume that he actually has the superior force. Not very sportsmenlike, I know .
    This really was a stalemate. Attacks from either side were unlikely to succeed. Ian had tried to starve Stalin's Southern Front by cutting off his supply lines. And for a while supply got critical indeed but I managed to overcome these troubles by sacrificing some of my surviving river transports in order to expand the depot to level 3.
    **** The battle report lists another 9.000 men; but they remained inside Tzaritsyn and thus never took part in the battle. They formed two infantry divisions which were not yet fully trained. Likewise Denikin's army hq stack didn't march to the sound of guns (the battle was too short for that). It's thus not even listed in the battle-report.
    ***** The usual RUS butchery. In RoP it takes several combat rounds to achieve such carnage, not in RUS, though; one round of combat was enough.
    But even though defeated, this battle also showcases how well Ian played this game. The power rating of his stack was truely impressive. It took me almost double the men to get a force of similar fighting power! This wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't organized his units with an incredible attention to detail. His attack was conducted by a single stack thus avoiding the risk of some units not engaging. It contained no single units. Instead every last men was part of one of his 6 divisions. Moreover, they were big enough to take some punishment without losing elements. In consequence, Ian was able to replace his losses very quickly. The only elements lost, were those in his smallest division that promptly got annihilated.
    ****** The icing on the cake was that Ian failed to take Kiev in May 1919. He had underestimated Oskillo's Ukrainians and Nither's corps was beaten back. I believe fear of Makhno and Blucher had made him dispatch parts of the French forces east in order to secure his flank. Obviously, this was only a temporary setback. In July 1919, Kiev fell and the Ukrainians ceased to be a vital faction in the civil war.

  9. #89
    Ruler of Somewhere else Thandros's Avatar
    Cities in MotionCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourEU3 CompleteDivine Wind
    For the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneMarch of the Eagles
    Rome GoldSemper FiSengokuSword of the StarsSword of the Stars II
    Supreme Ruler: Cold WarVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessMount & Blade: Warband
    Mount & Blade: With Fire and SwordPride of NationsRise of PrussiaEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    In a Secret Underground Bunker 50km beneath the Earth's surface
    Posts
    637
    That was just as bloody and Poor Ukrainians you never see them do well. It would be nice for a Change to see them succeed for once and maintain Independence.

  10. #90
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7,561
    Is Makhno under your direct command? I presume yes, from the way you have the battle reports and describe the operations in the central Ukraine. Guess the second question is - does he turn on you at any stage?

    Tsaritsyn sure shows the killing power of artillery in this time period, the imbalance between the fire and assault phases is remarkable

    At a purely play level, I find patience one of the hardest lessons with the AGEOD games, you know its often best to sit and wait, but the urge to probe and twiddle is pretty hard to resist
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  11. #91
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
    200k clubAchtung PanzerHoI AnthologyCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Deus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine WindFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron III
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineLeviathan: WarshipsMagicka
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeSemper FiThe Showdown Effect
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: Warband
    Warlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsCK2: Holy Knight500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    5,704
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Is Makhno under your direct command? I presume yes, from the way you have the battle reports and describe the operations in the central Ukraine. Guess the second question is - does he turn on you at any stage?
    Given the way Makhno is marching/railing up and down the Ukraine, I can't imagine that's the AI at work, so I expect Bornego has control over him. As far as your second question goes... I wonder if the title of the next update has anything to do with that.

    Overall, the situation in the last update seems to be strongly favorable for the Reds. Is that a correct observation - are you gaining the upper hand - or is the contest still far more undecided?
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Thandros View Post
    Poor Ukrainians you never see them do well. It would be nice for a Change to see them succeed for once and maintain Independence.
    They are dead meat from the moment the French land. The French attacking Ukrainians is a bit unrealistic, though. In reality they engaged in diplomatic negotiations rather than combat. Their goal was to broker an understanding between Ukrainians and Whites.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Is Makhno under your direct command? I presume yes, from the way you have the battle reports and describe the operations in the central Ukraine. Guess the second question is - does he turn on you at any stage?

    Tsaritsyn sure shows the killing power of artillery in this time period, the imbalance between the fire and assault phases is remarkable

    At a purely play level, I find patience one of the hardest lessons with the AGEOD games, you know its often best to sit and wait, but the urge to probe and twiddle is pretty hard to resist
    Ian triggered an alliance between Anarchists and Red when he took Melitopol in January 1919 (see chapter 8). Since then they have been under my direct control. They constitute a formidable flying column.

    The problem with RUS are the high combat stats of units. In WiA and RoP even elite infantry has offensive/defensive fire stats < 10. In RUS on the other hand even conscripts have a lot more firepower. Some elite infantry units have more than 20 defensive fire. 20 points defensive fire translates into an 80% chance of inflicting a hit. With a RoF of 2, such a unit has a 64% chance of inflciting 2 hits in a single combat round and is very likely to hit at least once. It's no wonder battles in RUS are so bloody and rarely last long. Hit probabilities are just insanely high! Narwhal wrote an excellent beginner's corner for WiA about this topic (but being his co-author, I don't need to remind you about it ).

    The lesson that it is often better to sit and wait rather than move around is something I had to learn the hard way as well. It is essential to RoP and WiA. It applies less to RUS and ACW where railroads make movement unharmful to cohesion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    I wonder if the title of the next update has anything to do with that.
    You will have to wait a day or two for that answer. I should probably call it "Bullets for the generals" but that would destroy the reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Overall, the situation in the last update seems to be strongly favorable for the Reds. Is that a correct observation - are you gaining the upper hand - or is the contest still far more undecided?
    Yes, I am gaining the upper hand. Durk is in for some very nasty times. Ian not so much. I am not sure if it will last though. We are now in August 1919 in this game and a new twist has just happened ...

  13. #93
    Chapter 12 - A Bullet for the General: Southern front, June 1919



    Do not think that I seek forms of revolutionary justice; we are not now in need of justice.
    It is war now - face to face, a fight to the finish. Life or death!
    -
    Lenin




    In spite of recent Red victories, the struggle for the South was still balanced. But the initiative had shifted to the Red Army. And its leaders had come up with a very ambitious plan. Its first major offensive in the South would be aimed at the very heart of the White territory: Rostov. The city was not only the biggest White center but it also was host to one of their two artillery factories as well as the nerve center of their railroad system. Moreover, it was highly unlikely that the Whites would expect an attack so far behind the main frontlines.

    The offensive would be staged in two parts: First Makhno would clear the railway station of Makeievka from Shkuro's division. This would secure the railway from Kharkov to Rostov for two thirds of the way. Therefore, Blucher, who would carry out the actually attack against Rostov, would have to march only the last part of the voyage which should limit cohesion losses.

    1: Battle of Shakhty, 1st June: failed Red attempt to secure the railway between Tzaritsyn and Novocherkassk. The entire Red force (one armored train and a unit of partisans on horseback) gets destroyed.
    2: Battle of Lyssytchansk, 4 June.
    3: Battle of Makeievka, 5 June.
    4: Battle of Pavlograd, 5 June: Blucher destroyes a unit of Cossack militia on his way back to Kharkov.
    5: Battle of Alexandrovsk, 18 June: inconclusive skirmish between 2 White regiments under Korvin-Krukovski and an anarchist partisan unit.
    6: Battle of Enakievo, 23 June.
    7: Battle of Rostov, 29-30 June.



    Makhno's last ride: Makhno, who had developped into the most gifted general in the Red Army,[1] carried out his orders with his usual ruthlessness. First his Anarchists crushed two regiments of White cavalry at Lyssytchansk on 4 June 1919.



    Then they continued their voyage south to Makeievka where they fell upon Shkuro's small warband. The Whites were outnumbered 9:1 and stood no chance. Makhno's men took no prisoners. All 2.361 White soldiers were killed. However this victory wouldn't be followed by cheers and festivities but by a funeral. One of the last bullets fired in the Battle of Makeievka had hit the hero of the Anarchist movement in the stomach. The field butchers (sorry, doctors) were unable to stop the bleeding, let alone repair the damage. Nestor Makhno died a miserable, painful death. From now on Grigoriev would have to lead the Anarchist warband.




    Blucher's last charge: While Grigoriev led the grieving Anarchists back to Kharkov, Blucher set out to attack Rostov. His men boarded trains at Kharkov on 15 June. 5 days later they arrived at the railway station of Makeievka. From here on out the Red army would march on foot. Blucher had chosen this overland route with great care. It led through territory that held little strategic importance for either side. The Red general hoped this would help him avoid enemy contact until reaching Rostov. Just as importantly, this way the attack against Rostov wouldn't involve a river crossing.



    But unfortunately the Don Cossack leader Bogaevsky had different plans. It seemed he wanted to retake Makeievka from Grigoriev.[2] He never got that far, though. His force collided with Blucher at Enakiev on 23 June. Bogaevsky's small army had stumbled into a deadly fight. The Don Cossacks were badly organized, outgunned and outnumbered. More than half of their soldiers perished, 6.700 in total. 4 White regiments were completely annihilated. Red casualties were light: 2.300 men.



    A lesser general might have abandonned the attack on Rostov after this interruption but Blucher pressed on.[3] He reached his target 6 days later and didn't waste any time before attacking. The White forces in the city were caught by surprise. Deep in their hinterland, they had felt so safe that they had neglected to establish a unified command. Thus two seperate formations were entrusted with defending the outskirts of the city: Ivanov's 10th Division and the 13th White Detachment which consisted of the 20th and the 21st Infantry Brigade but lacked a commanding general.
    Inside the city were a few units that hadn't yet been fully trained as well as Drozdovsky's Division which had arrived from Tzaritsyn only days earlier - this was a rather unpleasant surprise.[4] Apparently it had been dispatched from the front to recover from the heavy losses it had suffered in the lost battle two weeks earlier. Therefore only two thirds of the 23.600 White soldiers in and around Rostov actually engaged in the Battle of Rostov while the rest remained inside the city as spectators.



    Blucher's men hit their enemy hard. Their initial focus were the two White infantry brigades. Ivanov took his sweet time before the joined the fight. Engaged in an intense poker game - he had just lost his trousers and needed to win them back before heading into combat - he ignored the increasingly desperate calls for help for half a day.[5]
    All these things considered Blucher's army should have overwhelmed the White conscripts. But they were struggling with troubles of their own: the terrain was a challenge in itself; Rostov was surrounded by swamps and the attack only proceeded very slowly. Moreover, the Whites had dug some decent trenches which they stubbornly defended.



    Blucher, increasingly set up with the slow progress, left the saftey of his headquarters and led the vanguard of the 22nd Corps in person. When the next attack started, he was the first man to charge forward. He was also the first one to get hit. Multiple bullets riddled the corps of the Red general. He didn't even have the time to utter a last word before his death.
    Skachko, Blucher's second in command took over, but he was no Blucher. From now on the attacks lacked coordination. Moreover, the men were shocked by the death of their commander and lost much of their fighting spirit. But Skachko was too stubborn to give up and ordered attack after attack until nightfall finally put an end to the fighting.



    The carnage had been considerable 4.192 White and 2.829 Red soldiers had died. The three Red Army corps were still in decent shape. Only the 22nd Corps had suffered significant losses while the 3rd and 9th Corps were completely intact. All the soldiers were tired after the long march and two days of fighting, though. Nevertheless, Skachko was confident that his men could take the city the next day. And he had some reason to be optimistic: the two White infantry brigades that had borne the brunt of the fighting were barely hanging on. The 21st Brigade had lost more than half its men and the 20th Brigade one third.

    The next morning, it was Piatakov's 9th Corps that spearheaded the attack. Its target was the 20th White Infantry Brigade. The Soviets attacked the entire morning wave after wave. Soon the Red soldiers had run out of ammunition. But Piatakov still ordered new charges. Casualties in both formations were horrible. But the 9th Corps contained 25.000 men whereas the battered White Brigade had barely 3.000 soldiers left in its ranks. Nevertheless, they held their ground. When the Reds finally gave up at noon, all that was left of the White brigade was a handful of artillerymen.



    The second day of the Battle of Rostov had cost 3.249 Red and 3.187 White lives. All four infantry regiments of the 20th Brigade had been annihilated. Overall the Red Army had inflicted more damage than it suffered. But it had failed utterly on a strategical level. It hadn't managed to defeat the White units defending the outskirts of the city. Even worse the White units inside the city hadn't been involved in the fighting and were still fresh.



    Now 55.000 Red soldier were stranded in a region completely under enemy control.[6] Blucher's death only aggravated the situation since his former army now lacked a commanding general.[7] But probably the worst part about this awful situation was that several fresh enemy forces were ideally positionned to strike back. With the railways under White control, more Volunteers would be upon the exhausted Red soldiers long before they got a chance to retreat. The future looked dark. It would take a miracle to safe this army ...


    Grigoriev's murder: However Blucher's death wasn't the last tragic loss the Red Army was about to suffer in June 1919. Only a day after Blucher the last surviving Anarchist commander, Grigoriev,[8] was shot under mysterious circumstances. The handful of witness all swore they had seen Nestor Makhno storm into the room, accuse Grigoriev of collaboration with the White enemy and then shoot him in the heart.[9] Dherzhinsky was put in charge of a commission tasked to investigate the murder. While it didn't find Makhno's ghost, it was able to convince dozens of prominent Anarchist leaders to admit to the crime. Strangely they all had been critics of the Bolsheviks ...



    Within a month the Red Army had lost three of its best generals. Two of them two-star generals; the third a one-star. The Anarchists had no leaders anymore and would have to operate as an unorganized mob in the future.


    ------------------------------------------------------------
    [1] At this point he had 6-5-6 stats (he had gained a lot of experience during all those raids).
    [2] Not that Grigoriev would stay there. But perhaps that was exactly what Ian counted on?
    [3] In some cases, a marching stack will abandon its movement orders when it stumbles into a battle along the way. I have no idea on what it depends whether this happens or not.
    [4] Being inside the city it wouldn't engage as long as the combat raged outside the city. But it would make taking the city after (or rather if) the troops outside were defeated, a very tough task.
    [5] It's almost unbelievable but Ivanov didn't engage until the fourth combat round (a battle can have up to 6 rounds).
    [6] The Red failure to defeat the White defenders had prevented me from gaining any military control in the region.
    [7] All three corps commanders were one-star generals. With 0% military control in the region, I couldn't bring in an army commander by instant redeployment, either. My retreat would thus be slowed down by a hefty 30% penalty to movement and combat. Even worse cohesion was horribly low. Blucher's fast moving, hard-hitting force had been transformed into an army of snails.
    [8]Nikifor Grigoriev, an Ukrainian by birth, was one of the biggest turncoats in the Russian Civil War. He started out supporting the right-wing coup d'état led by Hetman Skoropadsky in April 1918. For the rest of the year he fought as a commander of Ukrainian forces against the Russians. Early in 1919, he switched sides and fought for the Ukrainian Soviets. In February 1919, Makhno's troops and his, both became part of Red Army formations. After he had plundered Odessa relations with the Bolsheviks started to cool down. In May 1919, Grigoriev deserted the Red Army after being ordered to lead his troops into Romania. Two months later, the heavily pressed Grigoriev fled into Makhno's territory and offered him a new alliance fighting Reds and Whites alike. It held only for three weeks until it became apparent that Grigoriev had been contemplating switching his allegances to Denikin's Volunteers. He didn't survive that last act of treachery.
    [9] This was a bug. Grigoriev dies because of an event. Unfortunately this event doesn't check if Makhno is still alive to pull the trigger. I reported it and lodilefty has already fixed this in the latest RUS patch.


    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:

    The attack on Rostov was a bit reckless in retrospective. Obviously, it was a risky operation but so are most moves that can reap great gains. I believe the attack could have succeeded if not for three unexpected events:
    1. The Battle at Enakievo. While this was a nice victory, it also delayed Blucher by a day and cost his stack cohesion as well as ammunition. This may have been the cohesion that was lacking to break the forces at Rostov. And Piatakov's corps most likely wouldn't have run out of ammunition, either. I had one supply wagon with Blucher's army after all.
    2. Blucher's death early in the battle (he died in the 3rd of 6 combat rounds during the first day). It instantly cost his former army a lot of combat power since it had to fight with a 30% command penalty as well as without the power boost his excellent stats had provided for the rest of the battle.
    3. Drozdovsky's Division arriving at Rostov only days before Blucher. Even if I had defeated the White troops outside the city, I would have failed to take the city with an additional division inside.

  14. #94
    Colonel General_Hoth's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyDarkest HourEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesFor The GloryHearts of Iron III
    March of the EaglesVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessPride of Nations
    Europa Universalis IVEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Québec Libre
    Posts
    990
    RIP Makhno! In your honor!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CqIMMn2Gd8
    Nationalité: Québécois
    Religion: catholique
    Réserves monétaires:0 (étudiant)
    Risque de révolte: 49.4%
    Préoccupation: L'indépendance du Québec
    HOI2 type de gouvernement: Social Démocrate
    EU3 gouvernement: Empire Révolutionnaire
    Idéologie: Gauche nationaliste
    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...ar-double-AAR: my first AAR. a french and indian war game vs Narwal

  15. #95
    Saving that army will be an interesting read. Too bad you lost your good generals, the Reds don't have a lot of those.

  16. #96
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7,561
    brilliant gamble, but it had to work out exactly and ... but the loss of Blucher (being more used to his woeful performance in the Great Patriotic War, one forgets that he had been a brilliant cavalry commander) & Makhno not only wrecked the campaign but may have unhinged your entire southern front ... this promises to be, for us, the readers, rather interesting
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  17. #97
    New update tomorrow. Most of the work is already done.

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Hoth View Post
    Makhno and his Anarchists are one of my favourite forces in RUS. If used well, they can achieve incredible feats. But somehow I always manage to kill Makhno.


    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    Saving that army will be an interesting read. Too bad you lost your good generals, the Reds don't have a lot of those.
    I had four generals with a strategic rating of 4 or higher on the Southern front (this is crucial since such a general will be active more often than not; this is essential for taking the offensive). Now only Tukhachevsky is left (and he is a one star with very low seniority). Essentially, I just lost the capability to mount offensives on the Southern front.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    brilliant gamble, but it had to work out exactly and ... but the loss of Blucher (being more used to his woeful performance in the Great Patriotic War, one forgets that he had been a brilliant cavalry commander) & Makhno not only wrecked the campaign but may have unhinged your entire southern front ... this promises to be, for us, the readers, rather interesting
    Failure is never brilliant. I gambled too high.
    As usual you have a good feeling for what is going to happen next. But I don't want to give things away. Just this much, the most dangerous situation in AGE games, is right after an attack failed and a beaten army has a long retreat through enemy lines ahead of it.

  18. #98
    Interlude II: Strategy for 1919




    I have been rather coy concerning my overall strategy for this game (yes I had one ) and I have completely neglected one of the three main theaters until this point: the Northern front. This second interlude will try to remedy both. It will provide some answers concerning strategy and serve as an introduction to the next chapter which will focus entirely on the Northern front.

    Grand Campaign games tend to follow a certain course: During the summer and autumn of 1918, all the Reds can do is take the beating while trying to preserve as much of their army and territory as possible. The winter of 1918/1919 will then slow White offensives down and buy the Reds some time. Meanwhile Red recruitment efforts will start to bear fruits. By spring of 1919, the Reds should have enough troops to cover all fronts properly and even gain an advantage on one or possibly two. A window to strike back opens up.
    This window can close very fast, though. If either the Southern or the Siberian front collapses, the Reds are in big trouble. More importantly, there is always the threat of foreign intervention. Starting in the spring of 1919, the "recognize independance option" becomes available to the Southern White player. It allows him to get Finnish, Baltic and Caucasian allies but at a high cost to his NM.* A second intervention can hit the Reds in 1920 if the Poles join the war.** In 1919, the Reds have to operate fast and decisively. They must inflict so much damage to the White armies that the wheel can't be turned back even with foreign help.



    This makes the choice where to focus in 1919 probably the most important one in the game. While it is possible to strengthen all fronts, it's impossible to find enough troops to establish a clear numerical advantage everywhere. Moreover, the Reds simply don't have enough good leaders. A sustained attack is very hard to stage with generals that have strategic ratings of 2 or 3 points. They will be inactive more often than not and only rarely be active at the same time. In other words, only a handful of Red generals is talented enough to be of use in a coordinated offensive on a broad front.


    Here are the main considerations I used when choosing a schwerpunkt:
    1. The Whites are nowhere weaker than in the North.
    2. The North is the one front where the enemy can be completely wiped off the map which would free up a lot of troops for other fronts.
    3. But at the same time, the North is also the front that represents the least danger. If need be, it can be held with a fairly limited amount of troops.
    4. The Northern front needs some additional reserves to counter a possible foreign intervention.
    5. It's not entirely beneficial to beat up the Southern Whites (and this includes their northern allies) since low White NM will trigger foreign intervention (Poles, Balts, Caucasian). On the other hand such a risk doesn't exist with the Siberians which makes it sensible to attack them first.
    6. The playing-styles of my opponents:
      • Ian loves to wage a guerilla war and excels at it. He uses a lot of small stacks that constantly harrass enemy railroads and supply lines (swarm tactics). But in doing so, his main armies get weakened which makes it hard to push an offensive by brute force. At the same time, his delaying tactics make it very hard to force his main armies into battle. Moreover infrastructure tends to be in shatters on his front; quick movement thus gets difficult. On the other hand, his own offensives tend to be a lot of feints with few serious blows.
      • Durk is the most aggressive opponent I have ever had. Weakening the front against him is pure stupidty. If he perceives even the feintest smell of weakness, he will strike. The way Durk plays AGEOD games always reminds me of J.B. Hood. Unless you are very well prepared, you are in serious troubles when he comes charging (think Gaine's Mill). On the other hand, his aggressiveness is also his Achilles' heel. Sometimes he attacks even though he lacks the numbers to achieve victory (think Franklin).

    In consequence, I prioritized as follows:

    The best generals as well as a huge amount of troops would go to the Siberian front (by spring I outnumbered the Siberians by 2:1). The goal was to beat the Siberians so thoroughly during 1919 that they would be out of the game before 1920. If the Siberians survived that long, I had at least to make sure that their NM was so abmyssal that the Polish troops would be inefficient as well.***



    The Southern front would take the second place in my attention. It would receive enough troops to keep the balance and some decent defensive commanders (Stalin and Kamenev) as well as two good offensive ones (Makhno and Blucher) which should enable some limited offensives (I know, the attack on Rostov was going a bit overboard ). Here lies the true tragedy of me losing Blucher and Makhno within a month. It stripped the Southern front of the only two generals on whom I could rely to be active and thus robbed me of the capability to take the offensive there.

    The Northern Front would be a wildcart. It's the smallest front in terms of enemy forces. Therefore it takes relatively few troops to gain a decisive numerical advantage. During the spring of 1919, I heavily reinforced the front (in the end, my forces outnumbered the enemy 3:1). What I couldn't spare were decent commanders, though. My only 3 star general on that front was also my worst one: Antonov-Ovseenko (stats 3-0-0). In fact, this man is so bad that he reduces his subordinates offensive and defensive ratings by 1 point each. The only two star would be the equally talentless Makhin (stats 2-0-0). These two military savants performed as expected: usually they were both inactive. A waiting game had begun. I needed to get lucky only once. One active commander and one attack with full force and this front could be closed. Or so I hoped ...


    Next update: Face to Face, Northern front, November 1918 - May 1919.
    Sovnarkom sends "The Bayonet" into battle...


    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    * In this game we curtailed it by a house rule. The Southern White player is only allowed to use the recognize independance option if his NM is below 90 points. Moreover, the Finns aren't allowed to join the war at all. On the other hand, we modded the option in order to reduce its cost from 40 points of NM to 10.
    ** This only happens if Southern White NM is < 90; it can't happen before January 1920.
    *** Polish forces come under the direct control of the Siberian player after they intervene. This also means that they share Siberian NM, ressources and the Siberian railway pool (this can put it under a serious strain).

  19. #99
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
    200k clubAchtung PanzerHoI AnthologyCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Deus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine WindFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron III
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineLeviathan: WarshipsMagicka
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeSemper FiThe Showdown Effect
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: Warband
    Warlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsCK2: Holy Knight500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    5,704
    I applaud your daring assault on Rostov. Had it worked, it would have been a brilliant victory. Now that it failed, it will provide a compelling read (will you or won't you be able to extract at least part of the late Blucher's army?).

    From your own and loki's comments, it seems that the loss of three generals (only one of which was unavoidable) is going to hurt you even more than the possible destruction of Blucher's army. I look forward to seeing how you'll adjust in the South - and what it all will mean for the bigger picture.

    A bold gamble that failed badly. While it must be unpleasant for you personally, it certainly will provide quite the spectacle for us readers.
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

  20. #100
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7,561
    nice overview of the big judgements you face and who/what to send where. It does bring the deaths of Blucher and Makhno rather into perspective ... as you say you now have a front that will have real problems in any attempt to commence an offensive
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 11 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts