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Thread: Death will stand grieving in that field of war - A Red Drang Campaign PBEM

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    I am an horrible player at RUS, and reading your 4 AAR I understand why : I play it like ROP or WIA, and try to manoeuver a lot when I should try to build a consistent frontline.

    What is your assessment of the usefulness of the air force in RUS, and in DNO in particular ? I could lose all my air force and not give a d...
    Actually Drang is the exception. In other RUS scenarios troops are too few for continuous frontlines. It's thus smarter too concentrate your troops in a single region. But I like how the Drang scenario plays. It really feels like WW I. It is possible to lock down huge stretches of territory with continuous interlocking corps. As a consequence, every attack is a crazy risk unless you have thought it through very well.

    As for the airforce, it is useful for reconnaissance. But the slow movement speed (one can't haul an airfiled around easily) makes it unsuited for anything but stale fronts which kind of beats the purpose. Air combat and bombardment are still a mystery to me. So far, the most successful tactic proved to mass a lot of planes into a stack and hope the enemy has planes nearby. My bombardments usually get intercepted and deal little damage at all. PhilThib himselves admits that the airmodule needs a serious overhaul. Still it already provides some fun.

  2. #62
    Second Lieutenant JackTheRipper21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Actually, I lost the fight in the air ... badly. When it was over several of my squadrons had no planes left, just the ground personnel.
    Look on the brightside in Soviet Russia you know have more infantry units!

    Anyway these last couple of rounds are showing Germany still has plenty of soldiers and energy left expend and despite some hefty defeats can still Marshall powerful forces.

  3. #63
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    again impressive and gripping stuff. That was a neat set of moves by you both in the north, guess one source of hope is if the Germans have to concentrate so much they can only attack in piecemeal sectors (or to take an analogy this is more 1942 than 1941) ... so keeping to that analogy they can drive in a dangerous salient but may need to balance between guarding their flanks and keeping a powerful spearhead?

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by JackTheRipper21 View Post
    Look on the brightside in Soviet Russia you know have more infantry units!

    Anyway these last couple of rounds are showing Germany still has plenty of soldiers and energy left expend and despite some hefty defeats can still Marshall powerful forces.
    I agree, Germany has suffered setbacks but not decisive ones. They still hold the initiative.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    again impressive and gripping stuff. That was a neat set of moves by you both in the north, guess one source of hope is if the Germans have to concentrate so much they can only attack in piecemeal sectors (or to take an analogy this is more 1942 than 1941) ... so keeping to that analogy they can drive in a dangerous salient but may need to balance between guarding their flanks and keeping a powerful spearhead?
    Excellent comparrison, it really captures the essence of the situation. Your remark about protecting the flanks while preserving the strength of the spearhead is dead-on. It's pretty much what is going to happen next.

  5. #65
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Hm. Minsk looks rather threatened with the 6100 pw Germans sitting in Polotsk, especially as your combined power in the region appears to be much lower than that. But from loki's and your comments, I guess all that force can't be brought to bear to wrench open the Stalin Line from the north. The spearhead must be blunted to protect the flanks.

    I admire the way that offensive was staged. Nice to know that it was a bit of luck that kept you from (potentially) total disaster. It's a reminder that wars never go according to plan and that luck (and misfortune) plays far more of a role than anyone would like.
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  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    I admire the way that offensive was staged. Nice to know that it was a bit of luck that kept you from (potentially) total disaster. It's a reminder that wars never go according to plan and that luck (and misfortune) plays far more of a role than anyone would like.
    I got indeed lucky. Highlandcharge had brilliantly prepared a nasty surprise for me.
    But I like to think that I also helped my luck by doing diligent scouting work. If not limited be the very shallow pool of Red cavalry, you would see even more Red cavalry in my screenshots. It often became a tough choice prioritizing my most urgent scouting needs.

  7. #67




    Recap: The Germans have broken through at Polotsk along the Latvian border.


    Egorov's defeat spurred the Soviets into immediate action. One of Russia's most talented young generals was sent to the take over the critical sector: Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov. In the future, this man would rise high but this was his first major field command.* Egorov himself stayed in charge of the Baltic front but operational decisions were now in Zhukov's more capable hands.** The new commander ordered Egorov's defeated men to dig in and hold their position at all costs. But the Germans didn't try another frontal attack. Apparently the high casualties in the battle of Polotsk had discouraged them. Instead Zukauskas marched north into densely wooded territory in an attempt to outflank Zhukov's position.*** The march through the snow-covered woods was excrutiatingly slow, though. This gave Zhukov time to react. In his opinion Zukauskas' most likely goal was to interrupt the railway line between Vitebsk and Velikiye Luki that lead on to Petrograd. Hence, the Red Army made use of its interior lines and control of the railways to shift troops north with the utmost speed.
    Zhukov ordered corps from several sectors to assemble at Nevel [5 in the screenshot] where he assumed command himself. In the meantime Egorov rushed west and took over the defense of Zhukov's old position [1 and 2].


    1: Kniaginsky - 2184 pw
    2: Egorov - 0 pw; headed west to assume command over Kniaginsky's stack.
    3: Zhukov -1598 pw; ordered east to plug the hole the German flanking maneuver has created.
    4: Petrov - 448 pw; ordered south to join Zhukov.
    5: Assembly point for Zhukov and Petrov.
    6: Liubimov - 1087 pw; headed west to join Kniaginsky and Egorov.

    Zhukov had guessed the German intentions correctly, on December 24th 1921. 46.000 Germans appeared out of the woods and attacked Nevel. But Zhukov was already waiting for them with 92.000 Communists who had even had the time to prepare light trenches. Von Hoinigen-Huene obviously wasn't aware just how badly he was outnumbered and ordered his men to attack. The assault was spearheaded by Schröder's Marinekorps, an elite formation specifically trained for amphibious landings and river crossings. These brave men refused to be stopped by the horrific Soviet artillery bombardment and pressed on. But in the end all their bravery was in vain. After he had lost one third of his army, von Hoiningen-Huene finally aborted the attack. For the German marines it was already too late. Except for two pioneer regiments the entire corps had been wiped out.**** Other units suffered just as badly: the 16. Stossbrigade was no more and the 33. Infanterie-Division had lost more than half of its men. Total German casualties accumulated to 15.000 men as opposed to 9.000 men on the Soviet side.



    Nevertheless, the offensive might have succeeded if Zukauskas and Hoiningen-Huene hadn't divided their forces. Zukauskas had headed north - probably in an attempt to outflank the Ostrov Line, this left Hoinigen-Huene far too weak to break through Zhulov's position.***** As a result he suffered a costly defeat and Zukauskas got bogged down as well. The German offensive that had been executed so brilliantly in its early stages had now lost all momentum.



    In the meantime, the war had heated up further north. On December 15th, Finland and Rumania had joined Germany's war of aggression. German propaganda had started to call it a "Crusade against Bolshevism". Someone should have told them that the Crusades eventually failed miserably.
    Unsurprisingly, the front with Finland remained quiet. Without German reinforcements the Finnish army wasn't strong enough to dislodge Kirov's army from Petrograd.



    Along the Estonian border, the situation looked even more favourable for the Soviets. Since the war with the Baltic countries had started, Narva had been left weakly defended by the Estonian army. Shorin, the Soviet commander in the sector, had waited for weeks always expecting to see German reinforcements arrive. But now that strong German formation were bogged down in the woods south of Lake Peipus, he finally dared to attack himself. On January 11th, his 46.000 men crossed the Narva in the middle of the harshest cold any of them could remember. But at least this meant that the river was frozen and constituted less of an obstacle. Laidoner's Balts were badly outnumbered (almost 4:1) and outgunned; they faced modern Red tanks and several elite regiments. Nevertheless, the Balts defended their ground stubbornly. Eventually they were overwhelmed but the Soviets paid dearly: 2700 Communists died as opposed to less than 1.000 Balts.



    Once again it had been proven that an entrenched position could be taken if the numbers were stacked heavily against the defenders. But as with the German attack on Polotsk high Soviet casualties made this a Phyrric victory.
    Fearing reinforcements from the South - the Germans had to be alarmed at this breakthrough - Shorin retreated back to Marienburg the next week.

    By February 1922, the entire front from Petrograd, via Vitebsk and Minsk, all the way to Kiev and Ekaterinoslav was trapped in stalemate. The Germans had lost half the Ukraine while all they could show for nine months of deadly battles was the small city of Polotsk. Their Crusade against Bolshevism was quickly turning into an embarrassment.******


    Next update: The Germans try a new strategy


    --------------------------------------------------
    * In reality, it took Zhukov until 1923 before he even rose to command his own regiment.
    ** Zhukov has 5-0-4 stats and some really nice special abilities (cavalryman, beloved by the army, offensive terrain analyst).
    *** In my humble opinion, Highlandcharge made two mistakes:
    1. It probably would have been smarter to wait until the weather got better and the flanking maneuver could be achieved in a single turn. His two turn move lost Highlandcharge the element of surprise. Even during winter a one turn flanking maneuver is possible if one employs the right troops (cavalry and motorized infantry are available to the Germans; moreover he could have abused the tank bug).
    2. If one commits this many troops in an attempt to break through with brute force, one should also assign the best leaders available. Hindenburg himself, Hutier and Falkenhayn should have commanded this sector, not Balodis and Zukauskas (they aren't bad, just average (4-2-2 and 4-1-1)).
    **** This was a waste. Germany can't build new marines making these units irreplacable. In my opinion, the marine brigades shouldn't be kept in a single unit but rather be divided throughout the German army so that as many stacks as possible can profit from the boni they provide.
    ***** Loki100, this is exactly what you fortold: The Germans had to provide a guard for their rear and flanks. Thus one third of their army stayed under Balodis command at Polotsk. Even worse, they dissipated their forces by pursuing multiple targets at once. It left them too weak to achieve any of them.
    ****** Late January 1922:
    • German NM: 72 - Red NM: 144
    • German VP: 291 (+36 per turn) - Red VP: 1795 (+52 per turn)
    • Total German combat pw was at 121% of the Red; they had lost most of their initial numerical advantage.
    • German casualties: 247.289 - Red Casualties: 105.260 - Green, Southern White and Anarchists: combined casualties of over 70.000

  8. #68
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    hah, the power of foresight ...

    it does look as if you've stalemated the front north of the Pripyet, to the extent that here and there you can risk your own offensives, it depends but in a way I'd be tempted to leave that bulge they now have between your Vitebsk positions and those at Pskov, it seems to stretch their front rather usefully and perhaps you could find a weak spot.

    so are we back to German-Austrian offensives in the Ukraine were at least they are not floundering in the bogs and marshes of Bielorussia?

  9. #69
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Good job blunting the German breakthrough - stalemate seems to resume. How soon until the winter starts to lift in the South and things start heating up there again? And in the meantime, what are your plans? I guess I'll have to wait until you write about it.
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  10. #70
    Field Marshal NikkTheTrick's Avatar
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    Germans seem to be lacking in artillery quite badly. Only 58 guns for over 46000 soldiers?! That must be costing them a lot.

    Is there a way to rectify this shortage for Germans.
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  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    it does look as if you've stalemated the front north of the Pripyet, to the extent that here and there you can risk your own offensives, it depends but in a way I'd be tempted to leave that bulge they now have between your Vitebsk positions and those at Pskov, it seems to stretch their front rather usefully and perhaps you could find a weak spot.

    so are we back to German-Austrian offensives in the Ukraine were at least they are not floundering in the bogs and marshes of Bielorussia?
    Indeed, I had no intention of pushing the Germans out of the swamps/woods between Vitbesk and Pskov. Those German troops were hard to supply and far removed from railway lines which would have allowed them to make trouble somewhere else.

    No, Highlandcharge's next attempt was more original than that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Good job blunting the German breakthrough - stalemate seems to resume. How soon until the winter starts to lift in the South and things start heating up there again? And in the meantime, what are your plans? I guess I'll have to wait until you write about it.
    My plan in this game was to create an iron curtain. My dream: a line of mutually supporting corps from the Baltic to the Black Sea!
    With a big lead in victory points (that kept growing), I had no need to make risky attacks (I would have, if the balance of power had shifted further in my favour). But as long as the Germans still outnumbered me, it was sensible to continue to play defense and try to bleed the Germans dry.

    Not the most exciting strategy, I know. But the Drang scenario is supposed to simulate WW I like trench warfare, not a war of movement as in WW II.
    Besides, not every game is won in daring attacks, sometimes you have to switch on the meat grinder and make some bloody mince meat.


    Quote Originally Posted by NikkTheTrick View Post
    Germans seem to be lacking in artillery quite badly. Only 58 guns for over 46000 soldiers?! That must be costing them a lot.

    Is there a way to rectify this shortage for Germans.
    A keen observation. Artillery is the big weakness of the German army in this scenario. At its start the ratio between artillery and infantry elements is 1:7 at best (in the Red Army its more like 1:3). However this can easily be rectified. The Germans swim in money and war supplies but are short on conscripts. Artillery is thus the perfect built for them. It costs very little consripts (1 per element). Highlandcharge could and should have spammed artillery during the 8 turns of peace before war broke out.
    But I have to admit, I didn't notice this flaw in the German military at first, either. But after the 4th or 5th battle where smaller Soviet forces, outnumbered their German foe in cannons that changed. I believe Highlandcharge noticed as well but it took him some time to rectify his earlier mistake.

  12. #72




    Since von Koenig's suicidal cavalry charge on October 19th 1921, the Southern front had been rather quiet. The Soviet war machine hadn't stayed idle, though. While half a million men on each side were stuck in the trenches of the Dniepr Line, smaller Soviet armies had cleared the Eastern Ukraine of Anarchists and Greens. Sievers and Zhloba had mercilessly hunted down reactionary forces and won several smaller battles.



    On January 4th 1922, Svechnikov defeated the last surviving Anarchists at Alexandrovsk.



    In the meantime, Kojnilov had invaded the Krim after conquering Southern White fortifications protecting the Strait of Kertch. On January 15th, he laid siege to Sevastopol, the last city that remained in Southern White hands.

    In Berlin, the German generals were increasingly frustrated, every attempt to break the Soviet lines had failed. It was the German admiralty that proposed a new plan to overcome the stalemate. Since the start of the war, the German fleet had been ruling the seas uncontested. The small Soviet navy was hiding in the harbour of Petrograd behind a tight minefield. As a consequence, there hadn't been any naval battles. German dreadnoughts had passed the time with intense shore bombardments in the Gulf of Finland. But the damage had been minor and Soviet coastal batteries had responded in kind.*
    But now the hour of the navy had come. Admiral von Hipper boasted that the fleet was able to land 50.000 men anywhere in the White, the Baltic or the Black Sea. Under the cover of heavy shore bombardment, German infantry could then establish a beachhead behind the major frontlines that would open a new front.

    Choosing a target wasn't easy. In order to supply the army, the Germans needed to take a harbour as quickly as possible.** However, the harbours in the North had been heavily fortified by the Soviets.*** Kronstadt and Petrograd were protected by a belt of seamines and the same was true for the harbours in the Don delta (Rostov and Azov). This left a small number of locations in the South: Feodosia and Kertch on the Krim, Berdjiansk and Mariupol (held by Green forces) at the Sea of Azov and Novorossiysk on the shores of the Black Sea.



    Strangely, the Germans chose Novorossiyk as their objective although it was the only landing point that had a considerable garrison.**** On January 23rd 1922, the core of the German Kriegsmarine arrived outside the Black Sea harbour. It immediately opened a murderous shore bombardment while von Machensen's army entered landing crafts. However, the Soviets had had months to prepare their positions; even the mighty German dreadnoughts weren't able to do much damage.*****
    When von Machensen's men reached the beaches in the first morning light of January 24th, they thus faced an almost unharmed foe. They received heavy punishment before they could even fire back.****** Von Böckmann's XV. Reservekorps spearheaded the landing but it didn't conquer more than a few yards of beach before it got pinned down by Russian machine guns. At 8 o'clock, von Böckmann's situation was becoming desperate: one third of his men had been killed and the rest was stuck on the beach with little protection from the Soviet artillery that was mercilessly pounding them.



    Von Mackensen was slow to react, it was already 12 o'clock when he ordered the elite Marine Brigade to expand the narrow foothold in a desperate charge. The attack quickly turned into a fiasco. Hardly out of cover, the marines were gunned down by the well entrenched Russians. Within minutes, two thirds of the Marine Brigade were dead. The assault had to be aborted without any gains.



    Two hours later, von Mackensen sacrificed another elite formation in a futile attempt to get his men off the beach. Without their trucks, the 3. Motorisierte-Brigade was relegated to ordinary infantry. Out of their element, the men had to be forced out of cover. They fared hardly better than the marines before them. Half the brigade died without gaining much ground.



    In the afternoon, the Germans had finally landed the first tank unit. The 37. Panzer-Batallion was immediately thrown into combat. The German tanks were a nasty surprise for the 14.000 Soviets defending Novorossiyk. Comrade Smirnov personnally led a counter-charge to stop the enemy. The attack succeeded but Smirnov was killed by a German rifle bullet.



    When the sun finally fell upon the bloody scene, the German position remained precarious. Of von Mackensen's 45.000 men only 31.000 remained. The survivors were stuck on a dangerously small stripe of beach with little cover.******* Although Smirnov's death was a hard blow, his staunch defense had saved the day. He was immediately replaced by Comrade Sablin, a men who had gained some combat experience in the battles along the Dniepr front.



    Now it was time to strike back; the Soviets had enough troops in the South to throw the Germans back into the sea. Kalnin's corps received orders to leave Ekaterinodar immediately to reinforce Novorossiyk. He left 6.000 men behind to guard the strategic city against Green rebels and took 14.000 with him. But more importantly, Voroshilov who had been held in reserve at Grozny with almost 50.000 in case the Caucasian nations should decide to enter the war, loaded 39.000 men on trains and rushed west. Soon the stranded Germans would have to face a superior foe.



    Germany had created its very own Gallipoli and the Soviets weren't prepared to let their prey board ships and sail away in peace ...


    -----------------------------------------------------------
    * Not a strategy I would recommend, Highlandcharge's navy suffered more hits than my fortress garrisions. But more importantly, he unlocked a lot of units for me. In particular, the Kronstadt garrison whose elite sailors came in very handy. Very soon he abandonned these attempts and kept his navy away from Soviet shores.
    ** In AGE games, only harbours can receive supplies via the sea. But landing next to a harbour and taking it the next turn without the amphibious landing penalty might have been the better strategy.
    *** There are options to fortify Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. I had put the fort garrisons outside the forts so that they would oppose a landing and further strengthened them with additonal units so that each city was defended by a stack worth ~500 pw.
    **** I believe Highlandcharge knew that there was a Red corps (1 infantry division, 3 armoured trains) defending Novorossiyk it hadn't moved since the start of the war and German ships had been prowling around the Black Sea for some time - but perhaps he overlooked it. Most certainly he underestimated its strength.
    ***** Shore bombardment is ridiculously ineffective in RUS. From what I could see Hipper had 2 carriers, 24 battleships (6 units with 4 elements each), 8 battlecruisers, 30 light cruisers and 40 destroyers. This stack must have had between 3.000 and 5.000 pw; yet it took more hits than it dealt: 57 hits suffered against 20 hits inflicted upon Smirnov's men.
    ****** Soviet units opened fire at range 7, Germans at range 4.
    ******* The battle lasted a full 6 rounds, Smirnov was apparently killed in the very last. To my great joy, Red military control over Novorossiyk remained at 100 %. This meant that the next turn the Germans would either have to attack again or try to retreat to their ships.

  13. #73
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    ouch, or great news, depending on how you see it. The lack of viable naval targets does seem to badly limit the effectiveness of that sort of gambit

  14. #74



    When German spies reported a massive Red Reserve Army approaching from the Caucasus, General von Mackensen was panicked; his battered army could impossibly withstand a large-scale counter-offensive. He sent desperate pleas for reinforcements to the German High Command. But the answer was an utter disappointment: The Central Powers had hardly any reinforcements left. Besides, they weren't able to ship them across the Black Sea in time to save von Mackensen's force.

    Even worse, unrest was boiling in Germany. Only 3 years after the carnage of WW I, the Anti-Bolshevik Crusade had never been popular amongst the German people. The two biggest parties in the Reichstag, the Social-Democrats and the catholic-conservative Zentrum had been in firm opposition from the very start. Lacking the support of both, the people and the parliament, it had taken all political capital the king and the army could muster to push Germany into this war. But the Kaiser's adventure hadn't gone well at all. The horrible defeats at Baranvichy and along the Dniepr had exhausted Germany's shallow manpower reserves. When the winter offensive on the Baltic border was stopped by Zhukov and von Mackensen suffered horrible losses during his landing at Novorossiyk, the Kaiser lost all remaining political support. Von Hindenburg publicly announced that an offensive war could no longer be sustained; it was time to end the carnage. Backed by parliament and military, ouvertures for a ceasefire were made to the Soviets.

    Under different circumstances the young Soviet state might have refused and continued the war. With German politics in an uproar, the world revolution might have been achievable. But the Soviet state was facing difficult times itself. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin had finally died. The power struggle between Stalin and Trotzky, that had been silently raging since Lenin had fallen sick, was headed into its final stage. Just as the Kaiser needed peace if he was to have any chance to hold onto his throne, Stalin couldn't afford to remove Trotzky from his command over the military while the country was still at war. The Soviets played the peace-game masterfully. They exploited Germany's desperation for a peace treaty to the fullest. Although borders remained unchanged, Germany had to release the Baltic states, the Ukraine, Rumania and the Caucasus from its sphere of influence. Poland finally gained its independance and Austria-Hungary imploded in civil strife that led to the abdication of the last Habsburg emperor and the dissolution of the dual-monarchy.

    A few months later, political unrest in Germany reached new heights after the Kaiser had been forced to abdicate and the young Weimar Republic was struggling for its survival against left and right extremists while dealing with a rampant inflation caused by the horrendous costs of the war. Stalin, now firmly in power, exploited Germany's weakness to invade the Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were quickly subdued and incoorporated in the newly founded Union of Soviet Republics. Only weeks later, Ukrainian Nationalists lynched two of the countries' leading Communists. The Red Army immediately invaded the Ukraine to restore order - handily strong formations had already been waiting along the border - evil voices claimed the whole affair had been orchestrated by the GRU. Within days a Communist regime was established in the Ukraine that dutifully asked to join the Soviet Union.

    In Germany, the lost war and the economic crisis it had caused haunted the new republic for years to come. Increasingly right wing parties gained popularity. They blamed Germany's defeat on Jewish treachery and invented the tale of a Jewish world conspiracy that had stabbed the brave German military in the back.

    After a few years of economic recovery and political rapprochement with the democratic states in the West, a new crisis hit the world in 1929 when the US stock market crashed. 4 years later National-Socialists rose to power in Germany. Within another 6 years, they lit the world on fire once more ...


    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Author's notes:


    I apologize for this rather abrupt ending. Multiplayer games sometimes come to a premature end when one side thinks it can't win anymore. Just look at the few HoI multiplayer AARs, most of them end in 1941.

    My defensive campaign had successfully eroded Germany's numerical advantage and I am almost certain its manpower reserves were exhausted as well. Although I had followed a defensive strategy, I had actually conquered more territory than my opponent (the Soviets had taken the Eastern half of the Ukraine while Germany had gained nothing except the city of Polotsk).

    Highlandcharge is a most garcious opponent, if you have read The swans head north, you know that he is willing to stick a game out until the bitter end. But unless I made some major mistakes this game was no longer winnable for him. The lead in victory points (1.520 points difference) and NM (83 points) was already huge. Still, I would have loved to continue a bit longer; if only to get a chance to take the offensive myself.



    But, not all was well in Soviet land, either. My supply situation was starting to get strained. With so many troops on the frontlines, the supply system couldn't cope properly. I had to rail supply trains back and forth between Moscow and the front to keep my troops fully stocked. This strained my railway capacities to the breaking point (Soviet Russia is limited to little more than 500 points in this game, German capacities can raise to three times that number). Obviously, this would have restricted my capability to stage offensive operations of my own.

    Most likely this game would have gotten rather boring. Both sides were now evenly matched in their combat strength and most of the front was well defended by long lines of interlocking corps. The few gaps usually were in rough territory where surprise was hard to achieve.
    In such a situation, the natural reflex of players, especially of two defensive-minded like Highlandcharge and myself, is not to attack. We both had learned the hard way that battles get prohibitively expensive if one attacks level 6 entrenchments.

    Last but not least, thank you Highlandcharge! It was a pleasure having you as an opponent.

    However this is not the end of this thread but merely the first Act of this saga. The second Act will be a report focused purely on gameplay from a German perspective. My goal: highlight strategies that allow a German player to unhinge Soviet defenses. Hopefully, I will be able to deliver ...


    Next update: Act II: Making the Bear dance

  15. #75
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well thanks to you both, I can see the logic to ending here with a peace while the German army is on Soviet soil, and agree, I think you've put together a masterclass in mulit-layered defense tactics with the AGEOD system.

    It makes me wish they'd try to build a Great Patriotic War game, not sure the game engine could cope with the additional speed etc of manouvre, but you can see how the epic set piece battles of 41-45 could emerge in this game system more than in HOI3.

    and more to come

  16. #76
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    Quite an abrupt end, yes, but perfectly understandable. Also, from a 'story' point of view, it does make sense: the German amphibious assault can be seen as the equivalent of the last-gap German Western Front offensives in late 1918 - once the Germans failed to win those battles, Hindenburg and his cronies suggested the country sue for peace (and shamefully hid behind 'the politicians' as the reason for the resulting peace). Here, I see the same thing: one last offensive to break the stalemate fails, and therefore the war is known to be unwinnable.

    What a bloodbath in Novorossiysk, by the way. It's kind of like the disastrous WWII Allied raid on Dieppe - except that that was a relatively small raid and the Allies were able to learn the lessons, while here the Germans staked everything on an all-out invasion and failed miserably.

    Thanks for writing this up and thanks to Highlandcharge for being your opponent! I look forward to the next Act!
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  17. #77
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    Bravo! Kudos to Highandcharge as well for taking on such a talented opponent as yourself.

    I can't wait for act two.
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  18. #78






    After playing the Drang scenario in two PBEMs which both ended badly for the Germans, I was starting to doubt my initial assessment of this scenario: Were the Germans really the stronger side? Was it really that hard to overcome Soviet defenses? While I had tried to thwart my opponents attempts to break through my lines, I had constantly thought about what I would do in their shoes (something anyone playing strategy games does - or at least should do). It had provided me with some ideas, I was eager to test. Fortunately, my friend Durk agreed to take on the Soviets in this match.

    Unlike the first part of this AAR, the second one will be told from a pure gameplay perspective. I will focus on military and economic strategies. My main intention in adding this part is to show that the stalemate you have witnessed in the first act, isn't a necessary - and not even a likely outcome. If a few strategic lessons from the two world wars are applied to this scenario, it is possible to prevent the Soviets from ever establishing extended defensive lines of interlocking corps.

    However, this won't be a perfect game. Both, Durk and myself, were new to the side we were playing. We made some mistakes - in a scenario as huge as the Drang campaign that is always unavoidable.

    Let the bloodshed begin ...

  19. #79
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    sounds a brilliant idea ... having gone back to the relative size of RoP after WiA, I suddenly remember how easy it is to overlook a small force or an isolated corner of the map in that (unless being very organised ... hint to self: PBEM RoP drunk is not a good idea, even if the goal is role-playing ), so I can only imagine how easy it is to overlook something in the massiveness of the DNO scenario

    also be interesting to see your attempt at injecting mobility into a modern era game works out, given the debate on the AGEOD forum about how feasible a WW2 game is with their game engine

  20. #80
    Most interesting!

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