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#3185641 - 01/22/11 05:18 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign **** [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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That Soviet formation west of Krivoi Rog looks like it might be next.

Wondering, how long does it take to complete turns in this WitE campaign?


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#3185882 - 01/22/11 04:54 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: TankHunter]  
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Originally Posted By: TankHunter
That Soviet formation west of Krivoi Rog looks like it might be next.

Wondering, how long does it take to complete turns in this WitE campaign?


Those are soviet airfields, denoted by the rotor symbol.

#3186327 - 01/23/11 03:46 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Yep, what MadDog said, those units are airfields.
Unfortunately the Soviets pulled them back before I could pay them a little visit...

How much time you need for a turn really depends on the workload of the current turn and personal preference. In a turn during an ongoing operation you can probably finish everything within 20 minutes, while you can easily spend 2 hours on a 'planning turn', with checking individual units' strength and supply situation and checking out the map extensively. Some people love to micromanage everything, assigning single battalions to divisions and re-organizing their armies all the time, others let the AI do lots of that stuff. I'm somewhere in the middle.



Turn 9 & 10

Not too much action so I go over the last two turns together.

In the north it took some heavy fighting with considerable losses to break through the Red Army positions south of Lake Ilmen, but finally Panzergruppe 1 tore the frontline open and XXXXI Panzerkorps starts its race to the coast of Lake Ladoga. I have moved every motorized reserves towards that gap, let's hope I can move my divisions fast enough to keep that corridor open. To the North 1st Infantry Division has closed to within 10 miles of Leningrad! The divisions of I and XXIII corps have succesfully broken through the Narva line and now move into position for the siege. XXVI and XXXVIII corps are also making good progress against heavy restistance.



In the center I have built up my positions around Vyazma and have prepared the divisions of Panzergruppe 3 for the attack on Moscow, while to the south Panzergruppe 2 fights through the Soviet armies guarding the approaches to Kaluga. Supply situation, especially for Panzergruppe 2, is rather bad though, even though the Luftwaffe, from its forward airfields around Smolensk, drops large quantities of supplies on the leading divisions.




In Army Group South's sector 6th Army takes Kiev, while Leibstandarte SS division in heavy fighting thrusts north, linking up with the divisions of XLIII corps advancing south from Gomel, cutting off several Soviet divisions between Dnepr and Desna. XXXXVIII Panzerkorps pushes east towards Sumi and Belgorod, its 9th Panzerdivision overrunning several Red Army air fields in the process.



To the south III Panzerkorps advances rapidly on the eastern side of the Dnepr past Cherkassy, while XXIV Panzerkorps swings around Kirovograd from the west. Another pocket closes around some 14 Soviet division. As just reward III Panzerkorps commanding General, von Vietinghoff is promoted to colonel general.


Romanian 1st Armoured division
swings east of Nikolaev towards the Black Sea, cutting off that city and the four divisions defending it. 11th army will take it next turn.







Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/23/11 03:51 AM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3186382 - 01/23/11 05:46 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Wow, intriguing AAR. I enjoy reading this very much. Thanks for sharing.
How is the progress of your campaign vs what happened historically?

#3186681 - 01/23/11 05:14 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Thanks, Zero Niner.
cheers


I'm doing a bit better than historically so far. The main difference is that instead of diluting the Panzer strength of Army Group Centre north towards Leningrad and south towards Kiev I've kept Panzergruppen 2 and 3 intact in the Vyazma-Bryansk sector. Historically both Hoth and Guderian reported their forces ready for the attack on Moscow by mid-August, which pretty much was the exact situation in my game.


Turn 11, 28th August 1941

In the north the great advance by Panzergruppe 1 so far continues well. Minor Red Army counterattacks have been beaten back and the mobile reserves pour into the gap while the Luftwaffe flies numerous missions to supply the spearheads with fuel. 1st Panzerdivision is just 50 more miles away from its objective, the port of Sviritza! 9th and 18th armies continue their advance from the west and south, ever pushing the enemy back towards Leningrad with heavy losses to the Soviets.



In the centre the Battle for Moscow has begun! Again the infantry corps smash huge holes into the Red Army's lines, then the Panzer and motorized divisions start their rapid advance. From the Vyazma and Bryansk areas Panzergruppen 3 and 2 burst up to 150 miles into enemy territory. XXXIX Panzerkorps with 8th and 19th Panzerdivision reach the outskirts of Moscow north and south of the Soviet capital.



In Army Group South sector XXXXVIII Panzerkorps advances on Belgorod and Kharkov, III Panzerkorps pushes south-east towards Dnepropetrovsk



Down south Nikolaev falls to 11th Army's assault, and the Romanian Divisions of XI, V and the Mountain corps surround the powerful Soviet 11th Tank division west of Krivoi Rog. Forward elements of the advancing 11th Army have reached the mouth of the Dnepr, the road to the Crimea seems wide open.



"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3186725 - 01/23/11 06:35 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Am I blind or is Moscow defended rather weakly compared to Leningrad and Pskov?


- Edit:

What do you want to do about Leningrad anyways? Surround, compress and hope they won't counterattack?

Last edited by Heretic; 01/23/11 06:36 PM.
#3186743 - 01/23/11 07:08 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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The defences around Moscow are indeed rather week, but that's mainly due to me having destroyed pretty much all its defensive forces in earlier battles. I usually take the screenshots at the end of my turn, so you don't see the many Red Army units that didn't survive my attacks. So far I've destroyed more than 180 Soviet divisions, not counting all the independent regiments and brigades. The USSR rebuilds its forces in 1941 at a frightening pace, but even the Red Army needs time to recuperate from such losses.

The defences around Leningrad are quite formidable, my only chance of taking the city quickly with limited losses is by cutting those forces off, which my Panzer attack will hopefully do. Cut-off units in WitE suffer some serious penalties to morale and combat power, so even large, well dug-in armies will succumb to attack in a short time.


Turn 12



In the north I grind my way up to the coast, one more push and the giant pocket around Leningrad is sealed.



In the centre I cut off another another 24 Soviet divisions and continue to push around Moscow with my Panzerdivisions.



In the south I take Sumi, close in on Kharkov and surround 7 divisions near Poltava. 16th Panzerdivision swings around Zaporoshye.




Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/23/11 10:15 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3186932 - 01/23/11 10:18 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Originally Posted By: Para_Bellum
The defences around Leningrad are quite formidable, my only chance of taking the city quickly with limited losses is by cutting those forces off, which my Panzer attack will hopefully do. Cut-off units in WitE suffer some serious penalties to morale and combat power, so even large, well dug-in armies will succumb to attack in a short time.


There are fewer examples of successful breakouts of encirclements in military history than examples where they failed. Especially mechanized and armored forces will quickly succumb out of necessity if cut off from fuel supply. Ammunition consumption, though moderate by today's standards, was unprecedented in WW2, and certainly put another serious strain on the supply chain. In some respect modern armies are more vulnerable to encirclements than they used to be at times where you relied on pointy sticks and sharp blades primarily. But as long soon as your side runs out of fuel and ammo and the other side still has it, resistance (on a large scale) is futile.

Willpower and heroism is not enough to break a tank's armor, or to protect from its MG bullets.


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#3187380 - 01/24/11 02:07 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Yes, that's certainly correct. I've read lots of accounts of WW2 where being cut off from the supply even if only for a short time would result in a unit's ammo and fuel reserves depleting at an alarming rate.

BTW a very interesting read about the problems of such a breakout is "Korsun Pocket", by Zetterling and Frankson.


Turn 13, September 11th 1941


We've done it! With 1st Panzerdivision capturing the port city of Sviritza 80 divisions plus various brigades and regiments are cut off in the Leningrad sector. The fighting has been tough, especially breaking through the final Red Army line on the Syash and Pasha rivers. 1st Panzerdivision is down to 60 serviceable tanks, 6th PzDiv down to 85. If I can keep the Kessel closed I should be able to destroy the bulk of the trapped armies within a 2-3 weeks.



In the centre the pocket east of Vyazma has been reduced, next turn we'll clear it out. My Panzerdivisions are still fighting their way around Moscow, against heavy resistance. 12th Panzerdivision has fought off several Soviet tank divisions, but is now down to 40 serviceable tanks. My divisions are tired and casualties have been severe, but we will take Moscow!



2nd, 4th, and 17th armies push towards Orel and Kursk. XXIV Panzerkorps will support these attack from the north next turn.



In the south I've taken Zaporoshye and Dnepropetrovsk. Kharkov will fall soon.



11th army prepares to attack the Crimea.



In general, most of my infantry divisions are still in good shape, but the Panzerdivisions soon need some rest to refit. Manpower on the eastern front has actually increased, from ~3.3 mio men on June 22nd to 3.55 mio this week. My Panzer strength has dropped to ~ 2.200 serviceable tanks, down from 3.800 at the start of Barbarossa. A very welcome addition to my forces this week has been the arrival of XL Panzerkorps with 2nd and 5th Panzerdivision. They are currently on trains heading for the Pskov area where they will help in cutting off the Russian 'bulge' that stretches from Kalinin to Velikie Luki.



Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/24/11 02:09 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3187470 - 01/24/11 04:03 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Bravo. Excellent game and AAR.

These strategic/operational games are my favorite. Grew up playing them. First te board games and then as they transitioned onto the computer.

Thus my username.


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#3187485 - 01/24/11 04:22 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Para_bellum, again thanks for this. Can you tell me how the game works with encirclement? I admit I haven't read the entire manual (I'm waiting for the hard copy)... I have a hard time figuring out what the encircled troops supply status is. Since the turns are one week, and since at the beginning of the war it is absolute frenzied advance for the Germans, my problem is that I end up blowing by any encirclements and just end up killing/capturing or routing them with the follow on troops. I mean, it is lightning war like I've never seen!

Anyway, basically, I'm curious what you do (how long you wait, etc.) with encircled units (like when you get a pocket of 24 divisions, etc.!)

Thanks!!!


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#3187532 - 01/24/11 05:11 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: oldgrognard]  
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Originally Posted By: oldgrognard
Bravo. Excellent game and AAR.

These strategic/operational games are my favorite. Grew up playing them. First te board games and then as they transitioned onto the computer.

Thus my username.


What I find so fascinating is that you really face much of the same problems the historical commanders did. I'm currently re-reading Guderian's memoirs and sometimes it feels as if he's writing about my game.

Been hooked on these games since Jonny Reb 2 on the C64 back in the 80s.

http://www.gb64.com/oldsite/gameofweek/19/johnnyreb2/Johnny_Reb_II.gif

biggrin

Originally Posted By: Airdrop01
Para_bellum, again thanks for this. Can you tell me how the game works with encirclement? I admit I haven't read the entire manual (I'm waiting for the hard copy)... I have a hard time figuring out what the encircled troops supply status is. Since the turns are one week, and since at the beginning of the war it is absolute frenzied advance for the Germans, my problem is that I end up blowing by any encirclements and just end up killing/capturing or routing them with the follow on troops. I mean, it is lightning war like I've never seen!

Anyway, basically, I'm curious what you do (how long you wait, etc.) with encircled units (like when you get a pocket of 24 divisions, etc.!)

Thanks!!!


Cut-off enemy troops will suffer severe penalties to morale and combat power starting one turn after you have actually surrounded them. Also they might even start surrendering without a fight during your enemy's turn. Always check the pockets with the 'show battles' function at the start of your turn to see what or if units have surrendered.

Forming pockets is very important because only surrounded units surrender. If you rout enemy units then only a fraction of their troops are actually killed/captured, the majority is transferred back to the force pool, as they're supposed to simply have run away to the rear. Getting the enemy to surrender is what really hurts him.

Strong, multi-division stacks in fortified hexes may need more than one turn to force them to surrender, but an average division after one week of being cut off is basically dead.


Turn 14-16

I've merged these into one report because it was pretty much the same every turn.

In the north the Battle of Leningrad continues in full force, 100.000 German soldiers attacking the fortified city from the west. The Soviets resist stubbornly, but after three weeks of fighting the souther parts of Leningrad, the suburbs of Pushkin and Kolpino are in German hands. The Red Army has concentrated its remaining force on the defence of Leningrad harbour, which we will hopefully take next turn.




In the centre the Battle of Moscow rages on, all attempts at relieving the besieged city beaten back and the infantry of VI, VII and VIII corps fighting their way through the city. With 1/3 of the Soviet capital already in our hands, 130.000 men prepare for the final assault on the eastern and northern parts of the city.



Once Leningrad and Moscow are taken I intend to cut off the large Russian bulge that stretches out to Velikie Luki. In the north XL Panzerkorps is ready, but I will need to give the Panzerdivisions around Moscow some time to rest, resupply and refit before I commit them again. Problem is that with October coming we'll soon see the dreaded Rasputitsa the "time without roads" where the muddy weather brings all mobile operations to a complete stop. Oh, and the frantic race to lake Ladoga has caused quite some chaos among my corps and divisions. I need at least a turn or two two reorganize and restructure my corps and armies. At least logistics is getting better since the railheads are slowly catching up again.



In the southern part of the front I plan on reaching a line going from Voronezh to Rostov before winter. The river lines should help in fortifying my lines.

6th Army has taken Kursk and Kharkov and Belgorod will fall next turn.

9th Panzerdivision has reached Voroshilovgrad on the Don and the bulk of Panzergruppe 1 has cut around Stalino. Once we've cleared out that pocket I will stop major offensive operations in that area for the next couple of weeks.



On the Black sea coast 11th army, in heavy fighting broke through the fortified line guarding the Isthmus of Perekop! Romanian forces are taking part in these fierce battles with great courage and, besides directly supporting 11th army guard the northern flank east of the Dnepr.




Casualties until October 2nd, 1941

Axis: 343.000 men, 3541 guns, 2003 tanks, 895 aircraft
Soviet: 3.213.000 men, 37.370 guns, 15.371 tanks, 8736 aircraft






Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/25/11 02:44 AM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3188551 - 01/25/11 02:58 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Turn 17, October 9th 1941

In the north Leningrad is taken!

Not only will the loss of the city weaken the Soviets' ability to rebuild their army, the capture of Leningrad has also led to Finland agreeing to a more aggressive stance. Finnish units will now be able to operate south up to a line north of Novgorod, securing 100+ miles of front line and freeing a bunch of German divisions for other tasks.

Also the victory at Leningrad will now free the 10 divisions involved in the assault to bolster my lines.

Immediately after the end of the fighting in Leningrad I withdraw Panzergruppe 4 south of Novgorod for refitting. 1st Panzerdivision is down to 48 serviceable tanks.





In the centre Moscow falls!

After a month of heavy fighting the infantry of 4th and 9th armies finally clear out the last pockets of resistance. The Soviet capital is in our hands.

Having secured the city I start pulling back my Panzerdivisions for refitting around the railhead at Smolensk. I start with the weakest divisions, 12th, 17th and 19th Panzerdivisions which are down to 45, 74 and 62 tanks, with the number of serviceable tanks actually less than half these figures.

I barely can scratch together enough infantry divisions to relieve all my mobile formations around Moscow. There's a corps moving up from Orel, a reserve division coming from Smolensk, but I need at least another corps or two to really secure my positions here. The elimination of the 'Velikie Luki Bulge' would really solve many of my problems, but the meteorologists already warn of heavy rain the next days...



In the 400-mile stretch from Tula in the north to Voroshilovgrad in the south Army Group South pushes on towards the Don. The troops are weary but they know that soon they'll be resting in their winter quarters. The Red Army is withdrawing on a large scale in the whole sector, with the German divisions ever on their heels.



Further south Panzergruppe 1 continues its push on Rostov, with 16th Panzerdivision finally reaching the outskirts of the city! 16th, 9th and 11th Panzerdivisions with this move have cut off all Red Army units west of Rostov. I just hope the Soviets won't be able to evacuate most of those formations across the Azov Sea.



On the Crimea 11th army and the Romanian mountain corps advance south against heavy resistance towards the fortress of Sevastopol. I would like to clear out the Crimea before winter but the fortifications at Sevastopol really looks like a tough nut to crack.









Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/25/11 03:06 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3188587 - 01/25/11 03:32 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Meanwhile, in Berlin, a very, very drunk Führer mumbles "Told you I can do it, too." at a painting of Napoleon. biggrin


Congratulations on taking Moscow and Leningrad!
Let's see what the winter will be like.

#3189089 - 01/26/11 12:47 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Now, here's where the wargame ultimately fails - it doesn't take into consideration the political dimension. Would Stalin still be in power after the fall of Leningrad and Moscow? Hard to believe. And with Stalin dethroned, would there be another power struggle in the Soviet leadership, further deteriorating the war effort, maybe even seeking peace? Will there be resistance in the occupied territory? How many divisions will get tied down with this task?

These may be more questions to the historians, but clearly there are limits to what a game (even of this epic scope) can accomplish. But that shouldn't distract from the impressive accomplishments by our chief of staff [Para_Bellum[/i].




Given that Stalin will remain in power for all purposes of this simulation, I wonder if there's still a chance for a turn-around, or if the Soviets actually are knocked out effectively in this first round.


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#3189133 - 01/26/11 01:56 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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What are the victory conditions for the grand campaign?

#3189328 - 01/26/11 12:32 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted By: Ssnake
Now, here's where the wargame ultimately fails - it doesn't take into consideration the political dimension. Would Stalin still be in power after the fall of Leningrad and Moscow? Hard to believe. And with Stalin dethroned, would there be another power struggle in the Soviet leadership, further deteriorating the war effort, maybe even seeking peace? Will there be resistance in the occupied territory? How many divisions will get tied down with this task?


Doesn't Hearts Of Iron take this into account?

#3189394 - 01/26/11 02:45 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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HOI has a surrender event if you capture Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad and Archangel.


l'Audace, toujours l'audace

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Even if you have a crown and sit at a throne
In the end you will have nothing
Even if you are destined for great riches
In the end you will return to the dust
#3194010 - 01/31/11 11:22 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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just bought the game specifically for the grand campaigns. What difficulty are you playing on with your success? Im trying a different tactic. I'll see how it goes.

#3194071 - 01/31/11 01:33 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Let us know!


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