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

  1. #121
    New update tomorrow


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    can the Siberians reorganise after this, if not, given the wider game mechanics I presume you'll concentrate on them and leave the Southern Whites to their later fate (so you can handle any intervention with ease)
    Yes, my strategy for 1919 was indeed to beat the Siberians into surrender (0 NM). But Durk is extremely tenacious. He had an aggressive answer to my attacks. Moreover, Red offensives tends to run out of steam quickly in RUS: cohesion drops and Red leaders have this unpleasant habit of becoming inactive. Finally, Durk and Ian know each other well and did an excellent job coordinating their moves. Thus Ian staged his own offensive to relieve pressure from Durk.


    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Congratulations old boy it's recognition time for you with this week's Weekly-AAR-Showcase

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archam View Post
    I just discovered this AAR, it's really good ! I will definitely follow it. I tried the demo of this game a while ago but it was too exotic for a HOI player like me, it looks really interesting though, I wish I knew how to play it .
    A good starting point to get into the AGEOD system is Wars in America. It's a lot less complex than the other AGEOD games. Also it's very well polished and offers an incredible richness of scenarios.
    If you get the hang of WiA, RUS or Rise of Prussia will be a lot less intimidating. I can only recommend loki100 and Narwhal's amazing Wars in Amerixa: A how to AAR. It explains the game mechanics much better than the games' tutorial.

  2. #122
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    I thought I had already commented - must not have had time after I read the last update (there's only so much you can do in a 30-minute lunch break).

    Anyway, good job proving me wrong about that river blockade. And not just a little bit wrong, no, you have to go and prove me utterly wrong.

    You're across the Volga in strength, looks like you have a great opportunity to deal crushing damage to the Siberians (but I did read your comment about your opponents coordinating and your armies having a tendency to stall - so I realize the opportunity might not be fully taken advantage of).
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  3. #123
    Stuyvesant: Your comments are always a pleasure. The longer I write AARs, the more I appreciate the people who take the time to comment.
    As for the Siberians. Operation Red Flood has a small amount of steam left in it. But eventually the front will become stale again.
    --------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 16 - Death Rides A Horse: Southern front, July - August 1919




    The more the proletariat presses the bourgeoisie, the more furiously they will resist.
    We know what vengeance was wreaked on the workers in France in 1848.
    And when people charge us with harshness we wonder how they can forget the rudiments of Marxism.
    -
    Lenin




    Recap: On the Southern front, the situation is dire. With Makhno and Grigoriev dead, the Anarchist are now a leaderless mob. Blucher's surprise attack against Rostov has failed costing the commanding general his life. Now Skachko is in control of a battered army stranded deep in enemy territory.


    Skachko was left with a royal mess. His army was utterly exhausted, supply stocks were low - they would last for no more than a month. In Rostov, Ivanov and Drozdovsky had superior forces and were just waiting to crush the Communists. Skachko knew, it was time to run for their lifes.



    However they would need the assistance of friendly forces keeping their line of retreat open. This task fell to the most expandable force available: the Anarchists. Leaderless as they were, there was nobody left to protest. The whole mob was loaded onto trains and rushed south. On 6 July 1919, the Anarchists reached Donetsk and set up defensive positions.
    In the meantime, Skachko retreated from Rostov in northward direction.[1] Then he turned west and marched for Donetsk where he arrived on 10 July.[2]

    1: Bogatyrev, 230 pw
    2: Ivanov, 380 pw
    3: Denisov, leaves Bogaevsky's army and heads for Donetsk with almost 18.000 men (482 pw).
    4: Battles of Donetsk, 7 and 8 July 1919

    But before Skachko could reach his destination, Donetsk came under attack from White forces. Their vanguard - consisting of an infantry brigade and a cavalry regiment - walked right into an ambush. 4 entire infantry regiments perished on 7 July. A total of 4.200 Volunteers were slaughtered by Anarchists taking bloody revenge for Makhno's death.



    The next day, the main White force arrived. Denisov had been dispatched from Bogaevsky's Don Cossack Army. His force consisted of Pokrovsky's 1st Division and a number of independant regiments. Denisov had rushed to Rostov by train only to discover that Skachko had already escaped. Unwilling to give up so easily, he continued his voyage towards Donetsk in order to intercept the Communists.[3] However he found the city heavily defended by a well-equipped if unorganized mob of Anarchists.[4]


    The opening phase of the battle was an artillery duel: the Anarchists had six batteries of horse artillery each containing 8 small caliber cannons. Denisov had one battery less but one of his contained fearsome 152 mm guns. Luckily, Makhno had taught his men well: the Anarchist artillerymen oudid their opponents thoroughly and inflicted three times as many casualties.



    In the second phase of the battle, Pokrovsky's 1st Division moved into close combat, it crushed an Anarchist cavalry regiment and inflicted heavy damage to a second one. But the other Anarchist regiments didn't stand idly by, instead a series of devastating charges was launched into Pokrovsky's flanks while the the remaining Anarchists held off Denisov's other units. When the Cossack leader finally retreated, he left 4.600 dead White soldiers behind. The Anarchists had fared better, only 1.700 of their own had fallen. But the damage had been concentrated on very few units. As a consequence, two entire regiments had been annihilated.[5]

    Unfortunately, Denisov's corps hadn't been the only Volunteer force sent to cut off Skachko's retreat. Sidorin had left Ekaterinoslav in an attempt to take control of the railway line leaving Kharkov in southward direction. Moreover Cherbachev had ventured north and was now ideally placed to interrupt the vital railway line in a second place.

    Inspite of Anarchist bravery, the situation had deteriorated. Now both forces, Skachko's Communists and the Anarchists warband, were threatened with encirclement. The new evacuation plan would start with a race: The Soviet forces boarded trains and headed for Pavlograd. Here the Anarchists would resume their role as human shields for the more valuable Communist infantry. Skachko would then continue north and start a flanking march leading around Sidorin's position.



    As expected, Cherbachev tried to take Pavlograd. Strangely he left the smaller one of his two divisions behind and took only Babiev's 16th Division with him. Both sides arrived in the region on the same day (18 July 1919) and battle ensued immediately. However, Skachko couldn't be bothered to help his Anarchist allies. He had his 65.000 Communists continue their voyage while the Anarchists fought for the both of them.[6] But as it turned out the Anarchists had gotten quite adapt at killing Whites. Half of Babiev's division perished, 4.300 men in total. Anarchist casualties were only one fourth of that number. But once again the unlucky regiment that had bore the worst of the attack got wiped out.



    The next day, Skachko's men had to fight for themselves for the first time since Rostov. Sidorin had ventured south, probably in order to rendez-vous with Cherbachev. Now his men clashed with Skachko's army. On paper the Communists outnumbered their enemy 5:1, but their troops were of lesser quality, low on ammunition and even lower on cohesion. Therefore both sides were almost equal in fighting power. The difference was that the Communist had occupied good defensive ground while the Volunteers had to charge over an open field. Sidorin's corps contained two divisions: Wrangel's 2nd Division, a tiny cavalry force, and Lukomsky's much more powerful 11th Division. Fortunately for the Volunteers, Sidorin's spies had discovered a weakness: Piatakov's 9th Corps was still out of ammunition from the onslaught at Rostov. The Cossack general therefore ordered both his divisions to concentrate their attacks on this corps. If it could be crushed the rest of Skachko's army might disintegrate as well. Skachko couldn't prevent the Whites from attacking Piatakov's corps but he sure wasn't going to let it fend on its own. Thus the 3rd and 22nd Corps provided heavy covering fire while Piatakov's men fought for their lifes with riflebuts and bayonets.



    The battle turned into a major Red victory. When it was over, not a single rifle bullet or artillery shell was left in Skachko's entire army but they had made their ammunition count. Lukomsky's 11th Division had lost more than 7.200 men, whereas Piatakov's corps escaped with only 2.200 casualties. The other units didn't suffer any substantial casualties. Sidroin had to retreat while Skachko was able to continue his march. At his destination he was joined by an fully stocked Anarchist supply train. It wasn't enough to prevent starvation but at least the fresh supplies would lessen the effects.[7] Just as importantly, Skachko's men would have a few rounds to fire if they should have to fight once more on the remaining way to safety.



    Initially the plan had been to outflank Sidorin's force on a north-western route. But now the plan was changed. Sidorin's men had failed to take complete control of the railway lines.[8] Berzin thus boarded trains in Kharkov. This time it were Communists that would act as shield for Skachko's army. It took Berzin only a day to reach Merefa. Sidorin's battered corps hastily retreated. And Skachko's hungry men marched to Kharkov unharmed. The Anarchists could have intercepted Sidorin's retreating corps but they had received orders to remain on defense.[9]



    In the meantime, fresh counter-revolutionary forces were pouring into the Donbas; Berthelot brought a French corps from Kiev - the city had finally fallen to the French in July - and Denisov conquered Makeievka on 9 August after destroying a Red partisan unit.

    Skachko's men had escaped to safety but a new White offensive was already in the making. The unsung heros of this episode were the Anarchists: they had sacrificed themselves again and again to ensure Skachko's escape. Their supplies had sustained the Communists, their horsemen had paid the bloody price. Soviet historybooks would apporpriately honour them ... in a tiny footnote.


    Next update: Back to generals Slack and Slouch.


    --------------------------------------------------
    [1] I got lucky here since the retreat had already started at the end of the prior turn. Thus it only took one day to reach the region north of Rostov. This probably saved my stack since it got out of Rostov before White reinforcements could reach the region. Ivanov must have stayed on defense. Not entirely surprising since his units had suffered quite a lot as well.
    [2] A retreat to Donetsk seemed like the best idea. The Anarchists would serve as human shields behind which Skachko's battered men could hide. The next turn I intended to rail both forces back to Kharkov.
    [3] Ian guessed my evacuation plans very well. He correctly assumed that I would try to get Skachko to the railway line. I presume Denisov had orders to continue to Makeievka if he hadn't run into the Anarchists at Donetsk.
    [4] Anarchist units all cost 0 command points, thus the stack didn't suffer from a command penalty. Nevertheless it was anything but ideal to head into battle with a stack composed of single regiments. The risk of losing elements is extremely high under those circumstances. But there was nothing I could do about it since both Anarchist generals had been killed.
    [5] This was unfortunately forseeable. The battle engine pits the units within each stack against each other. Thus a single element unit can draw the concentrated fire of an entire division. If that happens, it will most likely get wiped out. This battle is a good example why one should always strife to form divisions. The bigger the better! Only artillery, supply trains, engineers and political commissars work well outside divisions because the battle engine deals damage to these units last.
    [6] The battle report suggests that Skachko's men took part in this battle but that is incorrect, they never engaged (battle reports list all units present in a region regardless of whether they fired a single shot). This battle was only a contest between 17.000 Anarchists and 7.500 Volunteers.
    [7] Skachko's army nevertheless suffered a few hundred hits from starvation the next turn. An average infantry unit has 50 men per hit. On that basis, I would estimate that more than 10.000 men were lost to starvation. In other words, this campaign ended in a draw casualty wise. But on a strategic level it was a major success: Blucher's former army lived to fight another day and the Southern White had lost a total of 7 points of NM in these battles. On the downside, the Donbas that had been contested territory for a long time was now firmly in White hands.
    [8] Luckily for me, his stack had been in passive posture after its defeat and thus couldn't gain more military control. The Reds still had 57% which meant I was able to use the railways.
    [9] Bad call on my part, I should have given orders to attack. But with a lot of fairly strong enemy stacks close by, I didn't want to risk too much.

  4. #124
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    its good to see the Anarchists contributing so much to the final victory of Soviet power - really tense stuff, the sort of turns in an AGEOD game where you press the turn processing button with some trepidation
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  5. #125
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    It's odd to hear you calling this a draw given the daring attack and even more daring getaway, but looking at the wider picture you're right. That said, once the attack on Rostov failed it was a case of salvaging whatever you could, and from that standpoint the operation was a success. From a reader's point of view it certainly keeps things interesting.
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  6. #126
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    They really, really, really need to do one of these games for the Warlord period in China. Though that would have to involve a bit more diplomacy and lower casualties. (The mechanics would be rigged so that armies would retreat instead of fight in most battles. )
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  7. #127
    Yeah, I was hoping the new AJE game was China. But at least it's pre-gunpowder, so maybe they're heading in that direction.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Cleburne View Post
    Yeah, I was hoping the new AJE game was China. But at least it's pre-gunpowder, so maybe they're heading in that direction.
    I was referring to the period of China right after Yuan Shikai died, where you had armies fighting with semimodern weaponry using outdated tactics and vying for influence. The best part is you would still have armored trains and white russians in this game as many Siberian officers later got hired by various Chinese factions.
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  9. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    really tense stuff, the sort of turns in an AGEOD game where you press the turn processing button with some trepidation
    In my case, it's more like opening an e-mail from Durk the next day. But yes these were intense turns. During the summer of 1919 this game heated up. We had big battles almost every turn as both sides tried to decide the game in their favour with new offensives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    It's odd to hear you calling this a draw given the daring attack and even more daring getaway, but looking at the wider picture you're right. That said, once the attack on Rostov failed it was a case of salvaging whatever you could, and from that standpoint the operation was a success. From a reader's point of view it certainly keeps things interesting.
    The nice thing about this match is that each success came with a drawback. The following chapter will be no exception.


    Porkman and Pat Cleburne: I would have loved a game about China as well. Whether it be about the time of warlords in the 1920ies or about 19th century China (Opium Wars, Taiping Rebellion). But these topics are just too obscure for a campany who has most of its customers in Europe and America. From an economic perspective AJE holds a lot more promise.
    My guess is, AJE has good chance to be a success not only with the old AGEOD fans but with the Paradox crowd as well. With the less complex military system of WiA, but without the complexity of PoN economic system, it should be alot more accessible. Moreover the smaller scope should reduce turn processing times to the neat level of ACW or WiA.
    But this is more of a discussion for the "next game thread" on the AGEOD forum.

  10. #130
    Chapter 17 - A Time for Killing: Northern front, June - August 1919





    An enemy should be destroyed or bought - and never made a martyr.
    -
    Machiavelli




    Recap: Soviet leadership on the Northern front has been a disaster thus far. Antonov-Ovseenko and Makhin are in command of strong armies that outnumber enemy forces in the sector by more than 2:1, yet they have proven themselves incapable of forcing their foe into battle.


    By June 1919, Trotzky had enough of generals Slack and Slouch wasting time and ressources in inept maneuvers. Something had to be changed. He didn't want to remove Antonov-Ovseenko - a political ally - from his command, instead he send him an aggressive lieutenant: Semyon Budyenny. Budyenny, a peasant son, had been a highly decorated NCO in WW I. Radicalized in the tzarist cavalry, he had joined the Red Army.
    Now Trotzky put him in charge of a newly created corps on its way to reinforce Antonov-Ovseenko's Northern front.[1] His orders were simple: advocate attack regardless of the situation. Or as Trotzky put it: "Comrade Budyenny, you only need to know one word: charge! You have but one task: attack, attack, attack!" This orders were very much to Budyenny's liking. Evil tongues claimed that he didn't know how to design trenches anyway.



    What was much less to his liking was the discovery he made next. His men were on foot. Budyenny had been transferred to the infantry. He was so ashamed that he seriously considered cutting his moustache. How could Trotzky do this to him? Command of a single cavalry regiment was preferable to that of a whole infantry corps in his mind. In vain he pleaded to have the orders rescinded.

    Budyenny spend the month of June getting on the nerves of his superior. Prior to his arrival Slack and Slouch had thoroughly enjoyed their war councils. But now their endless debates about applied marxism in army leadership were regularly interrupted by Budyenny roaring: "Attack!" "I don't care about Marxist theory, let me charge!" or "Give me some horses and I will wipe out those counter-revolutionaries!"



    By the end of the month, Antonov-Ovseenko's nerves had suffered severely. Just to placate Budyenny he dispatched Avtonomov's 16th Corps north with orders to retake Vologda. The task was achieved on 8 July 1919. It had been just in time since Shaplin with a joint force of British and White troops had been dangerously close to reinforcing the city. Admittedly, this weakened Antonov-Ovseenko's main force, but it also secured Moscow's northern flank.

    Budyenny's frustration steadily grew as nothing ever happened. But all that should change in July 1919. Late in June, Miller had started a march towards Petrograd. His army consisted of only 13.307 men. But two thirds were Birtish veterans, the rest well trained White soldiers. Moreover, his men were extremely well equipped with artillery. As a result this relatively small force had more fighting power than an average Red corps with double the number of men.



    Miller's offensive gave Makhin, a.k.a. "Slack", the first original idea he had during the entire war. With the railways still under Red control, he was able to set a trap for Miller just east of Tsarskoye Selo.
    The plan worked beautifully. Thanks to the Bolshevik railway workers, Makhin's army arrived at Tosno two days before Miller.[2] His men even had the time to dig some light trenches. When the Anglo-White army reached the town on 3 July, it came under heavy Red fire. Not yet aware that he was facing 47.000 Communists, Miller ordered an assault. The decision proved fatal. Concentrated enemy artillery and rifle fire tore his men to shreds. Most never even came close to the enemy trenches.



    When Miller realized his mistake and sounded the retreat it was already too late. Two thirds of his soldiers were dead (8.274 men). Marushevsky's 8th Division had been entirely wiped out. A fate shared by 4 British regiments. Makhin's army suffered less than 10% casualties, 4.048 men in total.



    Slack's triumph woke Antonov-Ovseenko up as well. Finally, he heeded Budyenny's advice and ordered an attack. In fact it was a rather ambitious plan: Slouch rushed his men south, marched into Neff's rear and then attacked Pskov, the supply center of the North-Western White forces. The city was only guarded by Rodzianko's weak corps.



    Budyenny was delighted and spearheaded the charge - even if it had to be done on foot. Unfortunately, the Whites started to retreat as soon as they came under Red artillery fire. The battle was disappointingly short, nevertheless it cost 3.000 counter-revolutionaries their lifes. Red casualties were light - a mere 900 men. After Rodzianko's retreat, a small White garrison of freshly raised conscripts and militia was all that remained inside the city.



    This gave Antonov-Ovseenko a welcome opportunity to get rid of the pesky Budyenny. He left him behind to conquer Pskov while he took his other two corps back north in order to guard Petrograd from Neff. Budyenny was quite happy with this arrangement. He didn't lose any time and had his men storm the city. The White infantry was slaughtered, while their supply trains were pressed into the Red Army. More importantly, this most heroic battle was used as an excuse to promote Budyenny to army command.[3]



    Further north, Avtonomov was about to gain a second star as well. Outside Vologda, Shaplin had assembled a small White force. Its composition was typical for the White armies in the North. It was very short on infantry but had an ample supply of costly war materials: 3 artillery batteries and a tank battalion were supporting 3 infantry regiments. Shaplin must have gotten impatient - or did he underestimate Avtonomov's strength?[4]



    Whatever the reason, he ordered his 4.000 men to take Vologda. In order to avoid an attack across the river, he marched in an arc and attacked the city from the Northwest. The attack was a fiasco. Shaplin's men came under heavy fire. Neither British tanks nor artillery could save them. Shaplin's force was entirely destroyed. Even better the Red army managed to capture 4 cannon and the entire baggage train.



    But even after this series of crushing defeats, Miller didn't give up. He believed, he had spotted an opportunity. With Antonov-Ovseenko still at Pskov, Novgorod had been left weakly defended.The White general ordered his remaining men to take the city. Unfortunately for him, the Communists were well aware of that weak spot and Makhin as well as Rzhevsky were already on their way to reinforce the city.



    However this time Miller arrived first. On 8 August his men swept away the small garrison, killing 1.900 Communists while suffering hardly any casualties. The Red flags were torn down and Miller celebrated a victory parade in the city.



    White celebrations were cut short, though. On 9 August Makhin arrived with 43.000 men and immediately attacked Miller's army. Losses were even on both sides, roughly 2.400 men each. But unlike Makhin's army, Miller's depleted force couldn't stomach such an amount of casualties any longer. His surviving 5.600 men hastily fled north. The White occupation of Novgorod had lasted only a single day.



    Now Antonov-Ovseenko ordered a general attack on the entire Northern front. The remaining enemy forces needed to be crushed as quickly as possible. This untypical urgency in Antonov-Ovseenko's orders didn't stem from confidence, though. The defeats in the North had finally beaten some sense into the Southern White. With the Siberians on the verge of collapse and their own fortunes declining, they were desperate enough to make some sacrifices: On 15 August they had recognized the independance of the countries that had declared their secession from Russia during the revolutionary troubles. With a new understanding forged betweeen anti-communist forces in Russia and their communist-hating neighbours, Sovnarkom expected declarations of war from the Baltic states any day now.[5]

    According to Antonov-Ovseenko's orders, Makhin pursued Miller with the utmost speed. But when he finally managed to catch up with the battered White army, Miller managed to retreat at the last moment. Antonov-Ovseenko was equally unsuccessful in an attack against Neff. When he reached Luga, the White corps had already left in order to retake Pskov.



    Budyenny had received orders to head south towards Vitebsk. Pskov was left to the Whites.[6] On his way south, Budyenny managed to corner a small White force under Gueorg and administered a heavy beating. Two White armored trains were destroyed and an infantry regiment perished. As so often with these pesky Whites they fought rather well and inflicted almost as many casualties as they suffered.



    On August 30, the dreaded bad news reached the Soviet capital: the Baltic states had declared war ...


    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    [1] This increased Red forces on the Northern front to 6 strong corps. At this point Red superiority on this front was probably 3:1.
    [2] This wasn't my first attempt to set a trap for Ian on the Northern front, but until this battle he had always skillfully avoided them or his units managed to retreat at the last moment. This time his luck didn't hold.
    Ian made a second mistake, he hadn't concentrated his force properly. Zvegintsev with an additional division and two armored trains stayed behind. But Ian isn't to blame for that. Lacking a railway connection, he couldn't get the armored trains to Miller's army.
    [3] I had hoped that Budyenny might gain a promotion with an easy victory if I put him in charge. That is why I split Antonov-Ovseenko's army. Commanding generals tend to gain senority faster than their subordinates. The trick worked and I finally had a good two star general in the North.
    [4] There may be a third explanation: Ian and Durk coordinate their moves very well. In June, I had encircled Grichin-Almazov's entire army on the Siberian front. In early July, Operation Red Flood had been launched. The Volga had been crossed and Uralsk and Samara were conquered by Red forces. I believe Ian's increased aggression in July was an attempt to relieve pressure from Durk. It backfired badly, though.
    [5] We had a house rule concerning these options and did some modding as well:
    1. Southern White NM has to be < 90 points before the recognize independance option can be taken. This makes sense since even the more sane leader amongst the Southern White would never even have considered recognizing the secession of these countries unless they were losing the war (in reality even that wasn't enough).
    2. Recognize independance option was modded to cost only 10 points of NM rather than 40. The reason behind this was simple: if the Southern White are already in trouble, they can't afford to lose 40 points of NM.
    3. Taking the recognize independance option makes three new options available: these bring the Finns, Balts and Caucasians into the war. We excluded the option to have Finnland declare war. This had balance as well as historic reasons: A combined army of Finns and Balts is virtually unstoppable. Even the best Red player won't find enough troops. Petrograd becomes undefendable and Moscow's fall will follow quickly. Historically, Finns and Soviets reached an understanding in 1919, thus Finnland never entered the war.
    [6] This may seem strange but I had my reasons. But for the moment, I will cloak them in silence. We aren't that far ahead in this game and this particular plan hasn't played out yet.

  11. #131
    Ruler of Somewhere else Thandros's Avatar
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    I See that sending Budyenny up there helped a lot. The Baltic states can't be that bad. Most of the White forces in the North are battered so the Baltic Intervention can't harm them too much can it.

  12. #132
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well for a front that saw a lot of words and marching & little fighting, that was a spectacular explosion into life. Again from a perspective more of the Great Patriotic War, its odd to see Budenny as being useful (ok single minded but still useful). Pity about those dead Scots though ... should have joined the Glasgow Soviet instead

    I'm not sure I share Thandros' optimism about the Baltic intervention, but at least you've cleared your rear so it going to be mostly a single front war?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  13. #133
    Well at least the timing seems good for you. You gave a good beating to the White Force in the North just before the declaration of war, that should limit the White's capacity to help them.
    Are the Baltic States under AI control or the southern whites plays them as well once they join the war ?

    By the way I followed your advice to play Wars in America and checked Loki's AAR (I had the free copy Paradoxe distributed a while ago) and I actualy understand the engine a lot better now ! I'm still a little confused about some things but it certainly helped

  14. #134
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    [6] This may seem strange but I had my reasons. But for the moment, I will cloak them in silence. We aren't that far ahead in this game and this particular plan hasn't played out yet.
    I sense... A trap?

    Nice extraction from the Ukraine, I must say I'm most impressed. And I'm sure Lenin himself would've approved of the use of the Anarchists: not only did they kill a bunch of Whites and protect the valuable Communist forces, they also lost a large number of men themselves - and every dead Anarchist now is one that the Soviets won't have to worry about later on, after the Inevitable Victory Of The Proletariat.

    You cleaned up nicely in the North, as well. Did you realize the Baltics were getting close to being openly hostile? Or was it just good luck on your part that you managed to clear the lines a bit just before the Baltic states became your Enemy du Jour?
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  15. #135
    New update tomorrow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thandros View Post
    I See that sending Budyenny up there helped a lot. The Baltic states can't be that bad. Most of the White forces in the North are battered so the Baltic Intervention can't harm them too much can it.
    Actually Budyenny only helped during the last few battles. Basically, I had simply continued to play the game the way I had done all along. I maneuvered around, tried to set traps and hoped for Ontonov-Ovseenko or Makhin to become active. But where I had been unlucky for a dozen turns, now the fortunes changed. Ian walked into traps and my commanders actually attacked.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    I'm not sure I share Thandros' optimism about the Baltic intervention, but at least you've cleared your rear so it going to be mostly a single front war?
    You both have a point concerning the Balts:
    1. They are a lot more dangerous than the Northern Whites. They can field ~7 divisions, worth approximately 2.000 pw in total. That is almost double the fighting power of the Pskov army and Miller's army combined.
    2. In consequence, my superiority in the North will almost evaporate (especially since I let about 500 pw of White troops escape), bringing the total enemy forces in the area to about 2.500 pw.
    3. On the other hand, I had some time to prepare. Thus my armies in the North were still slightly stronger.
    4. Moreover, I could remain on the defensive. My main goal remained crushing the Siberians. The Balts only needed to be contained.
    5. All that could change dramatically however if I am too slow and fail to beat the Siberians before 1920. At that point the Poles will intervene and they come with a much bigger army (close to 4.000 pw).

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Again from a perspective more of the Great Patriotic War, its odd to see Budenny as being useful (ok single minded but still useful).
    It is pretty hard to imagine that the man who - until the eve of WW II - was convinced cavalry would always beat tanks, actually was a talented commander in the Civil War.


    Quote Originally Posted by Archam View Post
    Are the Baltic States under AI control or the southern whites plays them as well once they join the war ?

    By the way I followed your advice to play Wars in America and checked Loki's AAR (I had the free copy Paradoxe distributed a while ago) and I actualy understand the engine a lot better now ! I'm still a little confused about some things but it certainly helped
    Balts are under direct player control. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about them. Not that the AI is horrible, but it's a hell of a lot easier to beat than a human.

    Glad WiA is helping you. It's a really good game. When I learnt that Paradox was giving it away, I thought they had gone crazy. But by now, I am starting to believe this was a smart decision. WiA is the most accessible AGEOD game. Unlike some of their other games it hasn't a learning curce so steep that it scares players off. One might call it AGEOD's beginner's drug.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Nice extraction from the Ukraine, I must say I'm most impressed. And I'm sure Lenin himself would've approved of the use of the Anarchists: not only did they kill a bunch of Whites and protect the valuable Communist forces, they also lost a large number of men themselves - and every dead Anarchist now is one that the Soviets won't have to worry about later on, after the Inevitable Victory Of The Proletariat.

    You cleaned up nicely in the North, as well. Did you realize the Baltics were getting close to being openly hostile? Or was it just good luck on your part that you managed to clear the lines a bit just before the Baltic states became your Enemy du Jour?
    With Makhno and Grigoriev dead, the Anarchist forces were no longer useful in major attacks. Therefore I had no scruples sacrificing them. And yes, this cynical treatment of the Anrachists felt very historical. It wasn't painless for me, though. The Anarchists are an extremely powerful weapon in RUS. If used well one can pull of incredible stunts with them. It was sad to see them reduced to an unorganized mob. But somehow, I have a weird talent for killing Makhno; he rarely survives my games.

    The timing in the North was part luck, part planning. Obviously I wanted to close that front much earlier but inactive commanders, Ian's skill and a bit of bad luck prevented that. When the defeats in the South made Southern White NM drop, I knew I had to hurry. In the end I destroyed about two thirds of the White forces in the North before the Balts ended my offensives. Not too bad.

  16. #136
    Interlude III: Three Months that Changed the War




    In RUS all sides tend to bleed NM over time. Options (partial mobilization, printing money) cost NM, so do special operations that raise loyalties (reforms/cheka). On the other hand, there are no events in RUS that raise NM. Every point has to be earned on the battlefield or by conquering objective cities.

    In late April 1919, all three parties had been relatively close together: Southern White had 108 NM, Reds 91 NM and the Siberians were at 77 points. But the next three months changed the picture radically; a Siberian offensive against Simbirsk failed while the Reds simultaneously launched Operation Cauldron that resulted in the encirclement of Grichin-Almazov's entire army. Several unsuccessful attempts to break out of the pocket further ate away at Siberian NM. Operation Red Flood administered another devastating blow. 2 Siberian objective cities were conquered while Kolchak's army continued to lose battles. By late July 1919, Siberian NM was down to 26 points. Kolchak's forces were on the verge of collapse.



    The Southern White hadn't fared much better. In May their attempt to take Tzaritsyn had failed. Soon thereafter Blucher launched his attack against Rostov. Despite the successful defence of the city and Blucher's death, this offensive had cost the Southern White a lot of NM; so did the successful evacuation of the surviving Red forces. The defeats in the North further increased White troubles. Especially Miller's loss at Tosno had been costly (-7 NM). As a result, Southern White NM was down to 75 points by late July 1919. In the meantime, Soviet morale had steadily risen until it had reached 138 points.

    The casualty rates were just as devastating. In February 1919, casualties had still been equal on both sides (66.016 Red casualties against 63.660 casualties for both White factions combined). Now it looked a lot worse for the White armies. Their combined casualties had risen to 285.021, while the Red Army had “only” lost 148.871 men. For every Red soldier two Whites had died on the field of battle.



    Three months had been enough to turn the balance of the war. The White factions were in a desperate situation. The Southern White at least had options, their army was in good shape, fresh Baltic reinforcements would stabilize the Northern front and in the South the French would assist in a new offensive against Kharkov. The Siberians on the other hand, would have to struggle to stabilize the front. On the plus side, they could fall back on good defensive positions. In the North the Kama River could be blocked by White river fleets. Further South, Ufa was a vital choke-point that was very hard to outflank. And behind these positions, the Ural offered an even better defensive line. It was virtually impossible to outflank and could be defended with a small amount of troops. Reducing Siberian NM to zero points (which equals automatic defeat in RUS) might prove harder than anticipated.


    Next update: Operation Red Flood continues and Operation Cauldron reaches its conclusion.

  17. #137
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice interlude, but it does really show up how successful you've been with your recent operations, esp 'Cauldron', & finally nailing down the north. Presume its in your interests to merely toy with the southern Whites till you are in a position to send the Red Army across the Vistula too?
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  18. #138
    Ruler of Somewhere else Thandros's Avatar
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    Well that paints a nasty picture for the Whites. Red Victory seems Inevitable but it isn't over yet. The Southern Whites could yet secure the Ukraine and then be able to counter attack. It's also looking like Evacuating Zinoviev will not be necessary as he'll be leading a new Offensive to drive the White's out of Central Asia once reinforcements arrive. You haven't evacuated him yet have you.

  19. #139
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    I don't see the Whites winning. Even if you had the same level of NM as them, every turn that passes, the balance tips in favor of the Red. With your NM and killratio advantage, I don't see them having any revival. The Poles, maybe ?
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  20. #140
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    It is indeed hard to see a White victory at this stage, especially considering how beaten the Siberians are. Sure, if you were to leave them alone, they could lick their wounds and rebuild their armies, but without a huge gain in NM, it's hard to see them ever being effective again - or am I underestimating the power of elite infantry versus your more humdrum Communist conscripts?

    Of course, there's always the 800-pound gorilla in the room (or should that be the 4,000 PW gorilla?): the Poles. I assume you're not able yet to resist them, so some more housecleaning is in order before the Poles can be allowed to enter the war. Remind me: it's Southern White NM that determines whether the Poles can intervene, right?
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