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unmerged(18239)

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A BETA-preview Barbarossa After Action Report

A short Introduction

Barbarossa; the big one. At HOI2 divisional level this was already a tedious job altough a fun one; I honestly can’t count the times I have invaded Redsky land over the past years. Earlier this year I did a PBEM game of the TOAW mod Fire in the East. That one might very well be the most humongous game you can find. I loved it a lot as Hoi2 let me down on one point, sheer scale. With HOI3 it doesn’t anymore.

My rough guess of the number of divisions involved on the Soviet side is 300. We are talking about 1941 so, how many will there be in ’44 and ’45? A thousand? +? If that’s the case HOI3 will be fairly close in scale to FITE (about half the size). But, with the added advantage of having an AI, additional depth, worldwide war, unit building...well, much more. Most important probably....some AI aid if you need it on the corps and army level. I won’t use the later very much, except for some defence. This because I want to play this game like a supersized HOI2.

Right, some notes before I start. This will be a strictly Gameplay-AAR, something I didn’t do since...well 2005 or something ;). I don’t use sprites, as I like counters better. They give a little more info and make me feel like being a general-staff or Stavka general.
Another thing, no screeny requests. In this AAR I want to show you the game as it progresses so I don’t go over to Argentina to show the provinces.
One last thing: this AAR will end eventually. I play with a BETA preview version from April or May. At that time the game wasn’t quite finished nor was it optimized. And thus I will experience CTD’s, which can’t be avoided after a certain time. I don’t know how far into the game but I won’t be able to play on when it happens.​



Ok, let’s get this thing rolling, enjoy!
INDEX - the Barbarossa AAR

- Chapter one: Reorganisation
- Chapter two: Stavka’s orders, part I
- Chapter two: Stavka’s orders, part II
- Chapter four: Leningrad and Murmansk
- Chapter five: Fall back on the Stalin line
- Pleasing interlude: Defending the Motherland
- Chapter six: showing my teeth, The Odessa front, part I
- Chapter seven: a desperate fight
- Chapter eight: The vast Expanses of the USSR
- Chapter nine: The battle for Riga, Part I
- Chapter ten: STAVKA reporting
- Chapter eleven: Carnage on the Central Front, part I
- Chapter twelve: Carnage on the Central Front, part II
- Chapter thirteen: The Parechcha pocket
- Chapter fourteen: showing my teeth, The Odessa front part II
- Chapter fifteen: showing my teeth, The Odessa front part III
- Chapter sixteen: showing my teeth, The Odessa front part IV
- Chapter seventeen: The Battle of Riga, Part II​
- Chapter eighteen: Battle in the north
- Chapter nineteen: “Once more into the breach”, part I
- Chapter twenty: “Once more into the breach”, part II
- Chapter Thirteen: West of Moscow
- Chapter Fourteen: the miracle in the East
- Chapter Fifteen: shake hands!
- Chapter sixteen: Soviets counter at Dno​
- Chapter Seventeen: There come the Germans
- Chapter Eighteen: Wrapping it up, part I
- Chapter Nineteen: Wrapping it up, part II

The entire Finnish AAR compiled into one easy-to-read file (18mb). Thanks to Athalian!

The Gotterdamerung '44 AAR!
- Chapter one: OMG, where to start?
- Chapter two: frontlines
- Chapter three: The state of the army
- Chapter four: The worst front of all
- Chapter five: Italy, the backwater campaign
- Chapter six: Italy, the backwater campaign, part II


 
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unmerged(18239)

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Chapter one: Reorganisation



When the game is loaded I first go into the diplo screen. I am at war with the Axis, three of which are bordering me. Apparently I have a truce with the Finnish, I didn’t expect this actually, had the impression they were in it from the start. Even so I won’t leave the Finnish border unguarded as they are bound to come in later on. Several divisions of mine are stationed on their side of the border.
The Japanese are part of the Axis but not willing to fight me as of yet.
Then I have no friends at the moment, except for those who are with me because I treat them badly. But the won’t be of any use at all.


First things first. I need to get my government and laws organised, make sure I improve my army by researching some new techs and most important of all; build some new divisions to replace the inevitable losses of the Blitzkrieg.
Two ministers are fired and two new ones appointed in their place, 20% more supplies and a higher organisation regain rate are the benefits of this change.
Four changes in law are made as well. I want my industry to focus on supply and more IC to build stuff. Anything to keep the war-economy rolling.

The army is reorganised as well. I don’t want to wait 20% longer, we want the troops trained and in the field as quickly as possible. Next to that I want a lot of them. So the 1-year draft period is extended to three.


Choosing in which field to spend my tech points wasn’t hard at all. I will focus on soft and hard defence. As I only have 75% of the necessary officers and I will build a lot new units straight away I will have to focus primarily on educating as much new officers as possible however. This will limit the points I can spend on my techs.


I order my spies to focus on disrupting German production, anything to slow them down during the initial stages of the invasion. At my side of the border we will focus on counter-espionage.


Then we have production. Already I have decided to focus on the quantity of troops. I will take this a step further by recruiting a dozen cheap and quick units to fill the gaps with. Half of them being garrisons with which to anchor my new defensive line once I have fallen back further to the east. For example: a ring of garrisons around Kiev. The second part will consist of militia units. I know they aren’t strong and won’t be able to withstand a German division but when it comes to the numbers I might still win with them. Next to these twelve quick divisions 15 regular infantry division are being build. Half of them will consist of three brigades of infantry; the other half will have an added brigade of artillery for some more punch.
With these new units I will hopefully be able to stop the German onslaught.


 
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guardian21

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Great Idea, thanks a lot! Subscribed :)


EDIT: Oh, first post after reading the hwole thread and in such a "hot topic" ? What happened to the forums guys :p
 

Federkiel

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Great preview! Keeping me hot on actually laying a hand on the game.

Hah, i see th AK-47 in the research screen. Makes me hope we will see an expansion in the timeline one day! ;)
 

louis.s

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awesome,
i'll be following your AAR, interesting to see the sovjet defence.
 

hendriks

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Yes, you might expect (I hope! :) ) that Finland will be drawn into the conflict a few days after the German invasion, actually, the USSR did preliminary airattacks, that drew Finland in quicker, but they were decided to join in anyway.

There are USSR troops on the Finnish side of the border in June 1941???? That's wrong, maybe they stayed there after the winter war and don't know how to come back? We had that in HOI2 as well, WW is settled by event still for sure, any USSR units would sometimes stay in Finland and be slaughtered once war broke out. Maybe you have still military access, which should have been removed about a year ago, but you are starting the Barbarossa scenario, so it should be set ok...

I hope the law changes and minister changes you made are being made by the AI as well, Russia should be very uptimized for war once it breaks out, not have the added problems of bad ministers/laws. Should be easy to make events for that, just pick whatever a human would pick, keeping in mind long run resources a bit etc.

Will you really direct ALL frontline troops yourself??? You'll be pauzing a lot then :)
 
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Baneslave

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Will you really direct ALL frontline troops yourself??? You'll be pauzing a lot then :)
Actually, no:

My rough guess of the number of divisions involved on the Soviet side is 300. We are talking about 1941 so, how many will there be in ’44 and ’45? A thousand? +? If that’s the case HOI3 will be fairly close in scale to FITE (about half the size). But, with the added advantage of having an AI, additional depth, worldwide war, unit building...well, much more. Most important probably....some AI aid if you need it on the corps and army level. I won’t use the later very much, except for some defence. This because I want to play this game like a supersized HOI2.
 
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Earl Uhtred

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Oooh this will be fun.

Not wanting to pick nits but it seems odd that Bessarabia is considered Soviet-occupied while the Finnish borderlands are annexed.

Ah well, press copy.
 

Thomas Kenobi

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Great thread! Subscribed as well.
 

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74 is a little much... the Germans only had 16 panzer divisions in 1941. That being said, I bet STAVKA is the theater in which ALL soviet units are assigned. This means that those 74 brigades have to cover the entire Soviet Union not just the German border. If the AI is requesting tanks not just based on enemy strength but also on the amount of land needed to defend then 74 might make a lot of sense as that's a huge area.
 

hendriks

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Stavka is requesting 74... armoured brigades?
That's what I'm afraid of, these will take far too long to build and have minimal defence impact, I'm afraid what Stavka wants is what the AI will build...It should request masses of cheap infantry!
 

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@SM: It would be interesting to see the brigade composition of your divisions. :)
 

unmerged(18239)

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Hanko is my guess. Soviets had a base there after the Winterwar.
Yes, it is Hanko. A bit big though.

@SM: It would be interesting to see the brigade composition of your divisions. :)
The new ones? I described them didn't I?

The excisting ones? I will see to that later on, chapter three or four.