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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

frkhead

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Excellent AAR!! Looking foward to the next update

Meanwhile I'll reinstall HPP :D
 

Cybvep

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The North, The South and The Centre

The Northern Front





In May we made some gains in the North. After the fall of Leningrad the region became less important for us, but as the pockets in other fronts were being cleared, more and more troops were redeployed there in order to make use of the region's relatively good infrastructure and overwhelm the low number of Soviet troops. A breakthrough in the north could bring us closer to Moscow or at least threaten the Soviet flanks.






Despite the fact that the Northern Front is not our top priority, the Soviets are losing city after city and town after town. Our troops stationed in the region are exhausted, but we cannot give the Soviets even a moment of respite.

Soon we may be able to get control over regions on the Soviet-Finnish border. Finnish plans are not well known, but maybe they will get bold enough in order to declare war on the Bolsheviks. It would certainly make our job easier.

The Central Front





As predicted, pocket-clearing is taking some time. However, the Soviets are clearly getting weaker and the process is now faster. Our strategy has been working well so far. By isolating Soviet defenders in several smaller pockets we are quickly reducing the enemy's potential. The soldiers lost in the pockets need to be replaced by freshly recruited, inexperienced conscripts, which gives our troops a big advantage.







In a week we were able to create an another pocket near Daugavpils. The mobile part of our army is now numerous and advanced enough in order to operate in many fronts at once with good efficiency.

The performance of our medium tanks supported by mechanised infantry, artillery and aircraft is excellent, but light tanks are not doing so well. Their armour is relatively thin and they don't get so much infantry and artillery support. Moreover, because of their speed they are often the first to face fresh enemy divisions and engage the enemy in battles despite poor odds. Still, their mobility is useful.





Moscow remains our main target and we are reliably pushing forward. Soviet lines are now stretched and it's easy to find weak spots. Logistics, however, is a problem. Our modern army requires a constant flow of supplies and fuel in order to fight efficiently and infrastructure in the East is far from perfect. A popular joke among the local commanders says that Russian roads gives them more problems than Russian men.


The Southern Front







Massive general offensive is now taking place in Ukraine. It's no longer a quiet front. Troop concentration is heavy and massive infantry and tank clashes cause big casualties on both sides, although the Soviets are clearly on the losing end. Our encirclement attempt failed, but the enemy is now so exhausted that it may be possible to make significant gains on the Southern Front. A strike into the Soviet industrial heartland would really aid our war effort.





An opportunity presented itself near the Soviet-Hungarian border and it may be possible to create another pocket by coordinated German-Italian-Hungarian effort. Every division lost is a real blow to our enemy now. It may be the first time time during the Soviet-German conflict when the Soviet leadership is really struggling to find men to put on every front.

Economic Impact

Our industry is at its peak (409 IC), but more than half of our industrial potential is going into production of equipment for our reinforcements (this concerns both land units and aircraft), supplies for our men and replacements for obsolete technology. Casualties are high and combat intensity is now clearly the highest.


The war has reached its climax.

--------

Since I have only one exam to go, I now have more time for updates :) Enjoy, guys and gals.
 

TheBromgrev

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Wait, what? Cybvep updated his AAR? :D

Good job in the north. I find it's a lot easier to gain successes there than in Ukraine. Being able to use the Baltic to create pockets and perform amphibious invasions helps a lot. In Ukraine, creating pockets is much harder, since you can't use the terrain to your advantage.

Could you send me your battle info mod? I really like the casualty reports you added.
 

reis91

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Great read, reminds me of IanClatcher's 1944 Germany AAR.

Just installed HPP, looks like a good compromise between history and sandbox. Not overdone on the complexity (ie 3 types of CAG's, 3 types of TD, etc). The doctrine tree is ok, just a pity that there aren't great doctrine advances before the war, and is a bit too deterministic.

USA needs to be a bit tuned though, it's unreasonable that USA didn't declare war on Japan, or on Germany, so late in the war.
 

Cybvep

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Wait, what? Cybvep updated his AAR?:d
Yay! :D

Good job in the north. I find it's a lot easier to gain successes there than in Ukraine. Being able to use the Baltic to create pockets and perform amphibious invasions helps a lot. In Ukraine, creating pockets is much harder, since you can't use the terrain to your advantage.
Good infrastructure helps, too. The only problem is the fact that the region is heavily forested.

Great read, reminds me of IanClatcher's 1944 Germany AAR.
Cool... Link? :p

USA needs to be a bit tuned though, it's unreasonable that USA didn't declare war on Japan, or on Germany, so late in the war.
I admit that it should be more aggressive, especially in regards to Japan. However, since the UK didn't really fall in my mod (their homeland wasn't attacked), they have little excuse to attack me. Japan, however, is another matter, as the Pacific Ocean is practically considered to be US home waters :p I am not allied with them, though.

Could you send me your battle info mod? I really like the casualty reports you added.
Anyone can do it. Go to HOI3\localisation and open "unit_messages.csv". Find the LANDBATTLEOVER_LOG line and change its "description" into:
We $RESULT$ the $NAME$\n(our losses: §R$USLOSS$ / $USNUM$§W enemy losses: §G$THEIRLOST$ / $THEIRNUM$§W).
You can use "§R" for red and "§G" for green wherever you want. "§W" works like "[/X]", thus marking the end of colouring.
 

reis91

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To the Last Man

they have little excuse to attack me.

Apart from you controlling the totality of France, Netherlands and Belgium, including pacific holdings, Italy controlling N. Africa, Iraq, and the winner of the Eastern conflict controlling more industry than the rest of the world combined?
 

Cybvep

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Apart from you controlling the totality of France, Netherlands and Belgium, including pacific holdings, Italy controlling N. Africa, Iraq, and the winner of the Eastern conflict controlling more industry than the rest of the world combined?
Yes, but they would still have to convince the population that I'm the threat to the USA or at least to the Anglo-Saxons. Remember that they were very isolationist back then and that I'm not at war with the Allies anymore. I've been influencing USA for a long time, too, although after Lend Lease it's close to impossible in HPP to keep them out of the Allied camp. I don't know whether Slan did sth about the USA in the latest HPP version.

Still, I might manually make the USA DOW Japan, which now controls most of China. Moreover, I promise that when I attack England again, I will add the USA to the Allied camp manually (the USA will declare itself the defender of the last major bastion of democracy in Europe). Actually, the Kriegsmarine is quite eager to get into the action again :D.

So, should the USA attack Japan now? It will start their massive war machine and make things more interesting. After all, they should be concerned about the Pacific and Japan (which is a major naval power). They will get a reduction in neutrality (we will see whether they will join the Allies by themselves).
 

misterbean

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you do know what did in Germany RL, don't you?:D
seriously, though, I take it you plan to let them duke it out between themselves? just remember one thing: one of them might actually win...
 

Cybvep

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you do know what did in Germany RL, don't you?:D
seriously, though, I take it you plan to let them duke it out between themselves? just remember one thing: one of them might actually win...
I'm not allied to Japan ;)

But conflict with the USA will come sooner or later, because I intend to defeat the UK and gain total dominance over Europe and the Mediterranean. Then we will see what can be done with America(s) ;)
 

reis91

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you do know what did in Germany RL, don't you?:D
seriously, though, I take it you plan to let them duke it out between themselves? just remember one thing: one of them might actually win...

That would be the US, due to a bug which makes island nations put all the forces they can send on active fronts. On the other hand, Japan wouldn't be at war with Allies, so that might be a moot point.
 

misterbean

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That would be the US, due to a bug which makes island nations put all the forces they can send on active fronts. On the other hand, Japan wouldn't be at war with Allies, so that might be a moot point.

not if you include having to take all the Japanese and Chinese VPs as well as the US VPs. then again, if you're aiming to world peace...ehr...I meant conquest...that would be a good start.
 

Rensslaer

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Cybvep,

It's taken me a while to get through this, but I've just finished -- very entertaining, and I like your planning style!

Great work.

If I could offer some constructive criticism on tactics (which may be too late -- not sure how far ahead you've played), it would be in the area of pocket clearing. I haven't played Barbarossa since the beta, and so something important may have changed that changes how this must be done. But my opinion, expressed in detail in the Strategy Guide (the Guide itself I know, but maybe also expanded in the Strategy Guide Supplement or even the v1.3 Update) with illustrations, etc., was that taking time to clear pockets on the Eastern Front only tied down your units when they could be better employed exploiting the breakthrough against unprepared defensive lines. Because of the way unit supply works (and how, at that time at least, you needed to be in supply to attack -- or at least have your reserve supplies -- has this changed, anyone?), once you've isolated a pocket, those units can still cause a little trouble, but they're not likely to have the ability to break out of their pocket. Their only hope, for the most part, would be for their friends on the other side of the encirclement to break through and rescue them. That said, your forces may be better employed widening the encirclement -- pushing east, not turning inward -- so rescue becomes impossible, while at the same time pushing deeper into not-well-defended enemy territory.

Just my opinion, but I'm pretty sure this would still be a better tactic. Those trapped Soviet divisions will eventually die out on their own, and they become easier to kill every day they're left to wither. Devoting units to clear those pockets when the Soviet divisions are still fresh and have remaining supply means you're spending troops to kill them sooner, instead of waiting for them to get weaker before going in.

But I cannot fault you for wanting to settle things and not have those guys in your rear. Thanks for the great read!

Rensslaer
 

Slan

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Because of the way unit supply works (and how, at that time at least, you needed to be in supply to attack -- or at least have your reserve supplies -- has this changed, anyone?), once you've isolated a pocket, those units can still cause a little trouble, but they're not likely to have the ability to break out of their pocket.

That is the part where you are wrong. There are two reasons for that.
i) The sheer number of those forces. A lot of them were trapped in the pockets, and combined, they do posess a significant strength.
ii) IC within the pockets. Since I don't know when (maybe 1.3 or 1.4), supplies are not created in the capital, but distributed in all the domestic IC provinces. Including those cut off from the capital. Which means that units in pockets will still have fresh supplies, as long as they have some factories there.

Of course if there are too many units in the pocket compared to factories, then they will slowly starve to death. But they will still pose a threat.
 

Cybvep

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Rensslaer, thanks for the comment!

When referring to pocket clearing, you must place it within a given context. The situation in 1942 was not the same as in 1943. In 1942 my army was neither so big nor so modern as it currently is AND the Soviets had both air superiority and numerical superiority (land-wise). The result was that when my tanks made several breakthroughs, their ORG was very low. Therefore, I couldn't just keep pushing forward.

In 1943, however, I don't have to bother with the Allies (so I can use my planes on the Eastern Front) and my army is better (and bigger) now. Most of my SS Armoured divs (medium tanks + MEC/MOT + SPART/SPRART) and Mechanised/Motorised divs (MECH/MOT + TD + SPART/SPRART) are still relatively fresh after all that action, so I can achieve new breakthroughs and encirclements. I've also changed my tactics a bit. In 1942 I've had problems with holding the pockets, because my fast units were very spread out and surrounded by enemy troops. It caused several disturbances. Let me illustrate this.





This is a typical situation from 1942. Enemy units are encircled in a sizeable pocket and my foot infantry is "guarding" them from the left, while my mobile divs are holding the pocket on the right. The problem is, of course, the fact that the enemy can attack my Armoured and Mechanised/Motorised divs and I cannot do much about it. It is even worse when they attack in several provinces at once, because then my units are "engaged" and I cannot freely reinforce other units. I must "retreat" into a province which hold my units, BUT it's not possible if enemy units are still there (usually they are retreating, but it takes time for the infantry). Therefore, it was relatively easy for the enemy to win a battle in at least one province. Even if it didn't allow the enemy troops to escape, the encircled units could get fresh supplies.

Therefore, it was hard to hold the pockets and even harder to reinforce the units guarding them. However, you must keep in mind that I rarely used my Armoured/Motorised divs to clear the pockets - usually I left such tasks to the infantry. Still, in order to cut through the vast Soviet armies, I had to concentrate my mobile forces, which took time and was hard to do when a big pocket had to be held.

Of course, I could just wait until the AI units ran out of supplies while performing Logistical Strikes, but there are several problems with that. Firstly, I used Logistical Strikes in several cases ;). Secondly, the pockets were simply too big. This meant that unless they were reduced, I had to guard many provinces and stretch my lines. When the pocket was reduced to one or two province(s), it became a low threat and I didn't use big forces to "contain" it. Thirdly, even if I don't attack the enemy directly, I still have to use some units to guard the provinces around the pocket.

You must also keep in mind the fact that I gave the AI some bonuses. If you read the first post in this thread, you will see that the AI has decreased supply consumption (!), better supply throughput, vast MP/Officer/IC bonuses, ORG bonus, reinforcement bonus and ORG regain bonus (while I gave myself ORG regain PENALTY). All this means that my job is harder while AI's job is easier.

It was clear that I had to change my tactics. My situation at the end of 1942 wasn't that bright (the Soviets even managed to perform an offensive in southern Poland), but I used the winter of 1942/1943 well, I think. I upgraded my army, reinforced my troops, took care of the Allied threat, reorganised my forces (so that I could concentrate enough mobile divs in just one or two places) and increased the size of my army and airforce at the same time.

I wrote about it in the AAR, but I found that using foot infantry to the greater extent in the process of pocket creation AND creating several smaller pockets "inside" a big one worked well. The efficiency of this tactics is clearly visible in my last operations.

Lastly, I will repeat this again - force concentration is the key when fighting the numerically superior enemy. I think that in several cases in 1942 I was overly ambitious and tried to achieve too much at once. My mobile forces were not strong enough to perform so many breakthroughs and encirclements as I wanted them to perform ;) This caused them to lose ORG quicker and at a greater rate, which is hard to replenish in time (this is a general problem in HOI3, especially for the defender - the latest patch should help with that, though).
 

Rensslaer

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Ahh, yes! You're entirely right. I withdraw my suggestion. :)

When I was playing in the beta, the pockets I was creating were indeed smaller than those you created, and contained fewer units. There's also the supply change Slan mentions -- I think that was in v1.3 -- which changes things completely if the pockets are big enough to contain supply-producing IC. And the AI advantages, etc. It's been probably a year since I've played HOI 3, and then it was still with v1.2, so I'm just not used to the changes -- something which I hinted might make my perspective skewed, or entirely incorrect! I'll get used to these things, now that I'm playing HOI 3 again (I intend to follow up Kriegsgefahr with a combat AAR, though there's still potential for Kriegsgefahr to become one).

Carry on! :)

Rensslaer
 

Cybvep

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The Push

Blue Alert

With their war against the remaining Chinese cliques still going on, Japan and its Chinese puppet are busy on the Asian mainland. However, because of the fact that enemies of Japan had token navies, the waters of the Pacific Ocean have been relatively quiet so far. This is about to change.

During regular naval exercises one of the Japanese submarines accidentally sunk an American escort carrier on its road to Philippines. Many lives were lost and the Japanese government quickly sent an apology to the US government and vowed to pay reparations. However, American reaction was shocking.





On 21st of May 1943 the United States of America declared war on the Empire of Japan. In his address to the nation, President F. D. Roosevelt spoke of "despicable attack on the American sovereignty", "Japanese sabre-rattling" and "Asian threat which needs to be neutralised".

In the matter of several hours the press was full of shocking photos showing the terrible effects of the Japanese attack and crying wives and children of the sailors who were lost at sea. Meanwhile, the nation's industries were being mobilised for war.

Despite some local protests, both the USA and the Japanese Empire are now clearly readying its forces for war.

The news were shocking both to the German leadership and German population. There were rumours about Japanese-American tensions, but nobody suspected that a war could erupt so soon. The Kriegsmarine was put on high alert. Even though Germany is not at war with either Japan or the USA, Indonesia is in Germany's sphere of influence and the local government asks us for protection. The first packs of u-boots have just been sent to Batavia.

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

The Northern Front







The fighting in the North is still rather limited in scope, but troops are on their way. Currently we want to hold our positions and prepare for future moves in the region. A major operation is being planned as we speak.

-------

The Central Front





Our troops on the Central Front are taking part in a combined arms operation. The mobile part of the army has orders to encircle the bulk of the Soviet army near Smoleńsk while our foot infantry is advancing on a broad front. Our enemy is clearly shocked by the boldness of our attack.






We are progressing nicely. Our troops are superior and the Bolsheviks have no meaningful reserves to throw at us. Enemy soldiers have little room to manoeuvre, as they are being attacked from all sides. We estimate that after the inevitable success of this operation, the Soviet front-line on the Central Front will collapse. The road to Moscow will be open.

-------

The Southern Front






In the South a good chunk of the Soviet forces near Soviet-Romanian border has been encircled. Our bombers are pounding the enemy magazines and ammunition stores while the mixed Axis land force is dealing powerful blows to the enemy soldiers.







A breach in the enemy lines proved to be fatal. Most of enemy forces in the region have been swiftly encircled and destroyed. Potential reinforcements are tied by our divisions stationed near the Pripet Marshes and the Soviets have no more reserves in Ukraine.





A land grab in the South can now begin! If we manage to take the Soviet industrial heartland, it is unlikely that they will be able to rebuild their forces in time to face our push for Moscow. The future looks bright for the Reich.

-------

Operation Red Doom





The Soviets still have some forces in the North. Therefore, we must create another encirclement in order to secure our flanks for the final attack on the Soviet capital and reduce the Soviet potential to the minimum. We want to destroy the pocket quickly, so our line divisions will attack even before the pocket is created. The cost in lives will be higher that way, but after the Operation Red Doom is completed, the enemy will no longer be able to stop us.


-------

Italian attacks






Our Italian friends are continuing their push in Persia. Moreover, they started an attack on the remaining French holdings. Should they succeed, Axis dominance in the Mediterranean will be almost total. The British still control some territories in the region, but our grasp will reach them sooner or later.

The fate of the Old Continent will be decided in 1943.
 

misterbean

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congrats at taking Leningrad. always a highlight in my campaigns for some reason.
 

SSmith

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Yes, and and some good results in the south! One of the best outcomes in my AI-controlled Barbarossa was an encirclement against the Hungarian/Romanian borders that destroyed an estimated 500K Soviet troops. I thought that would win me the war - it didn't!

Nice storyline about the USA - let's hope they do some interesting things. :)
 

Cybvep

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Leningrad has been taken in one of the previous updates :D

About the Soviets - even though my updates are filled with propaganda, I'm confident about the results now, as it's only May and my progress is good. Also, the Soviets are bogged down in Persia, which makes my job a little easier. The AI doesn't know that it will lose ALL resources and supplies after Moscow is taken. It's a stupid rule, so I decided to give some resources and supplies to the Soviets after (or if) I take Moscow in order to give them a least a tiny fighting chance.

Maybe I'm overconfident, but I think that the war in the East will be over in 1943.

About the USA - well, now they have a chance to mobilise their industry to war. They have more than 550 IC WITHOUT AI modifiers.