AAR Rommel Master of Battle German

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AAR Rommel Master of Battle German

Postby Talos » Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am

Strategic Assessment
There are a number of towns worth varying amounts of VP’s to the German cause, and an even larger number to the Russian cause. The most important of these in my opinion are as follows in no particular order:

Kalatsch*
Kalatsch Station
Marinowka
Sowetski
Karmenski*
Peskovatka*
Golubinskaya*
Nizhna Cjirskaya
Morozovsk

*It should be noted that if the Russians take and hold Karmenski, Peskovatka, Golubinskaya or Kalatsch the 1st Guards Mech Corps will be released. If Kalatsch plus any of the other two places are taken and held for a turn then the 1st and 2nd Mech Corps will be released along with all the support units.

German units are worth more in VP terms than their Russian counter parts, in addition Russian units have more timed replacements available, but normally take longer to cycle through. Also the German arty is superior in terms of range to their Russian counter parts in general.

Until the end of game becomes near, troops need to be kept in supply, any surrounded troops will be destroyed very easily as they run out of supply.

German forces are likely to need both Kalatsch and Kalatsch Station to stay in German hands for most of the game, otherwise the game is likely to be lost. The supply dump in Kalatsch Station is vital, do not allow any Russian troops to get next to it, if they do the supply base will be destroyed.

Initially the forces of the 4th Pz Armee and 6th Armee lack enough units to get a good defence in place across all the places they need to on the map. 6th Army has the job of defending along the river to the east of Kalatsch to the edge of the map with units of the XIV Pz Korps and using the units of XI Korps to defend the river line to the north, with Peskovatka being a major place to Garrison, other units should head to along the river to try and form some kind of line between Peskovatka and Kalatsch along the river. 4th Pz Armee has the job of holding the line along the river in the south to Guard Nizhna Chirskaya, stopping the Russian 5th Guards Armee from cutting Kalatsch off from supply and further reinforcements from the west and also safeguarding its own supply lines.

In addition keeping German units alive is a must, as well as being flexible in defence and throwing in local counter attacks where possible. All being well near the end of the game, a German player may be able to go onto a more general offensive once all reinforcements have arrived and losses not being to severe. In addition where possible try and push out the German line to gain more space to manoeuvre and stop Russian units being able to dig in. Also use your strong points and mines wisely to help in your strategic defence of critical areas.

Though this is a meeting engagement, German forces will be by and large be on the defensive and Russian units on the offensive. Use your recon units wisely and if the chance permits get rid of the Russian recon units.

German Turn 1

This is the only turn were you have totally un-hampered movement restrictions, make use of it.

4th Pz Armee
(XLVIII Pz Korps) 11th Pz Div is sent east towards Kalatsch to guard the western approach to the city, all support units and the Army HQ are also sent east using extended movement. 22Pz Div Recon is sent east with a armour replacement to wards the bridge east of the Nizhna Chirskaya to guards this crossing point.

4th Pz Armee
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2/619 Sec Bn at Loki Station moves 1 hex east before retreating to wards the bridge east of Nizhna Chirskaya. This one movement east will stop the STG front recon capturing Loki Station on turn 1.

6th Armee
(XIV Pz Korps) 16th and 24th Pz Div are sent west towards Kalatsch., 100 Jg Div is used to expand out the front line south of Marinowka and Karpovka. Arty is sent east to get to Kalatsch, while the Army HQ is based north of Marinowka all of these forces use extended movement. (Originally I used to send this towards Kalatsch, but since concluded after a number of games it is better off based near Marinowka).

XIV Pz Korps End Positions
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(XI Korps) 44th and 376th I Div’s and other units are sent towards Pestovatka using extended movement.

XI Korps End Positions
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Units based at Kalatsch. 1/619 Sec Bn is used to expand the front line south of the Bridge at Sowetski. The 6th Armee HQ is used to expand the front line west of Kalatsch. The 2/NSKK Bn is sent towards Golubinskaya as a Temporary Guard.

Kalatsch Force End Positions
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The lone air interdiction is used to at hex 33,15 to slow the forces of the 5th Tank Army, if not then one of the Guards Rifle Divisions will use truck movement and get to the border of the German defences at Katsckalinlsi on turn 1.
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Postby SS Hauptsturmfuhrer » Sat May 02, 2009 10:19 pm

There is a lot of movement on this map. The area must be big. Is it night time in the photos? I hope the Germans win.
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Postby Talos » Sun May 03, 2009 11:35 pm

German Turn 2

4th Pz Armee

11th Pz Division continues to head east despite Russian interdiction. The Armour Regiment of the 22nd Pz Div heads towards Prajov to start extending the front line here, while the Recon unit gets to Nizhna Chirskaya. Security troops blow the bridge across the river to help slow the Russian advance, and other troops build a strong point and lay a minefield.
Turn 2 End 4th Pz Armee
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Further north along the expected the main line of advance by the 5th Guards Army interdiction by the Luftwaffe at hex (37,26) is put in place and a minefield at hex (37,31).

Kalatsch and surrounds
The 2nd NSKK Bn entrenches in Golubinskaya after pushing out the front line a bit while south of Sowetski the security Bn also pushes out the front line and then retreat to blow the bridge. This unit is reinforced by the 24th Pz Div while the 16th Pz Div heads further west to Kalatsch and to stop the 5th Guards Army.

6th Armee
The 100th Jager and the 29th Motorised Div’s push out the frontier and dig in where appropriate within supporting range of each other and the recon of the 29th notes the approach of a Russian Mech Corps. Support units continue to head towards Kalatsch.
Turn 2 End XIV Pz Korps
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Turn 2 End Marinowka
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XI Korps continue to push towards Pestovatka at its best possible speed despite partisans causing problems, the fusilier regiment of the 44th Div manages to avoid the partisans and closes in on Golubinskaya.
Turn 2 End XI Korps
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Postby Talos » Sun May 03, 2009 11:36 pm

SS Hauptsturmfuhrer wrote:There is a lot of movement on this map. The area must be big. Is it night time in the photos? I hope the Germans win.


No just the way i happened to take a screen shot of the map for that turn.
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Postby Talos » Sun May 03, 2009 11:37 pm

And turn 3

4th Pz Armee
11th Pz Division continues east despite the bad weather and lead elements are in sight of Kalatsch. 23 Pz Division arrives from the south and will head north towards Kalatsch. The recon of the 22nd digs in at the bridge east of Nizhna Chirskaya, the armour regiment reaches Prajov while all remaining forces head east towards Kalatsch. The plan is to initially hold Nizhna Chirskaya with just the recon of the 22 Pz Division until further reinforcements arrive later and use the 11th, 23rd and 16th Pz will try and hold 5th Tank Army north west of Kalatsch.
Turn 3 End 4th Pz Armee
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6th Armee

24th Pz Division will hold the Sowestki surrounds and will be reinforced by the 100 jager, while the 29th Motorised while screen against 4th Mech Corps and support units will hold the line further east. The partisan interdiction in the north has slowed down the arrival of XI Korps apart from the fusilier of the 44th Div, which I will try and put in a place where it can be seen by Noakesy’s forces to try and give the impression that the rest of the Division is close by and so plan for a more deliberate assault across the river. As if its an early assault the 16th Pz Div will have to head north, which means the 11th and 23rd will not be strong enough to slow the advance of the 5th Tank Army as much as I might wish.
Turn 3 End 6th Armee
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Postby Talos » Tue May 05, 2009 12:00 am

German Turn 4
It Seems Noakesy has become subtle. While using the recon units north of Kalatsch, the only Tank Corps that was spotted was the 4th, this leaves the 1st and the 26th unaccounted for. Further north it looks Noakesy is aiming to cross the Don to attack Golubinskaya, as Guards Rifle Divisions and other units have been spotted. No units are spotted north of Parjov, but am expecting this in the near future.

4th Pz Armee
Three cavalry KG’s head along the route towards the Kalatsch, while the remaining cavalry KG heads towards Nizhna Chirskaya to relieve the recon unit of the 22 Pz Div. The remaining units of the 22nd Pz Div expand the front line out, the NSKK Bn is directed to wards Parjov while the support units are directed towards Kalatsch for the moment. 11th Pz Div expands the front line and reconnoitres Soviet troop movements, which is now supported by 23 Pz Div.
End Turn 4 4th Pz Armee
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6th Armee
X1 Korps approaches Golubinskaya, hopefully before Soviet forces launch a full scale assault across the river with help of elements of the 16th Pz Div further south. Further south the 24th Pz and 100 Jager Div block the movement of Soviet forces trying to ford the river, further east the 29th Motorised Div holds off the 4th Mech Corp and support units guard the route to the edge of the map. The object if possible will be to try and move the 29th Mot towards Kalatsch and replace it with other 6th Armee units as they appear over the next few turns. In the north the fusilier Bn of the 384th Div is sent to recapture Osinovska, mostly to act as a diversion for Soviet forces.
End Turn 4 6th Armee
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To a large extent at the moment I am waiting for Noakesy to commit his forces in a sector before I can counter, though the majority of my forces are moving to what i perceive as the main axis of attacks.

Things start to get more interesting on turn 5.
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Postby SS Hauptsturmfuhrer » Tue May 05, 2009 12:53 pm

So you're using Sun Tsu tactics all elasticy and deceptive. There's almost been no combat so far though right? This map is quite unusual being so big with no solid front lines formed up anywhere. I wonder if Noesky is also holding back to see what you do before committing cause he knows well that you are a fox. I'm going to keep reading this battle report. The photos are ample and help a lot, though I'm confused about how the map pieces refer to each other cause I haven't done this battle but I'll try and figure it out as your story continues.
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Postby Abwehr » Tue May 05, 2009 7:42 pm

I see some of your units are not next to the major rivers, but in the more defendable terrain next to it. That could make it easier for the Soviets to cross as they can get Zone of Control over areas on "your" side of the river and can thus dig in after crossing or place a detachment.

For the people who don't own BiI, here's the full map as taken from the in-game map overview (turn 1, no movement yet):

Image

It should be easier to identify where the action is going on now.

As to why the initial pictures show a darker background: that's because Talos has a unit selected.
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Postby Talos » Tue May 05, 2009 9:12 pm

Abwehr wrote:I see some of your units are not next to the major rivers, but in the more defendable terrain next to it. That could make it easier for the Soviets to cross as they can get Zone of Control over areas on "your" side of the river and can thus dig in after crossing or place a detachment.


Thats partly where they could reach in a given turn and partly down to personal experience of where to place units and my style of play, though there is no perfect placement.

Should add this is by far my favorite scenario, one i play quite regularly and have only ever lost one game in it from either side (as the Germans by 25 points).

Will try and post turn 5 tonight as long as football permits.
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Postby stevel40831 » Wed May 06, 2009 3:42 am

SS Hauptsturmfuhrer wrote:.... This map is quite unusual being so big with no solid front lines formed up anywhere...


Of all the SSG scenarios that I've ever played, this one always gave me sweaty palms... because of the map size and maneuver options that are available to both sides, you never know where the heck the enemy is. You always have the feeling that you're about to be pounced upon unexpectedly where you are the weakest... you really have to use recon effectively and poke & prod your opponent to keep him guessing as to where you are... or where your NOT!!

Steve

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

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Postby Talos » Wed May 06, 2009 6:45 am

Well after watching Man U get through to the champions legal final again, back to RMOB.

German Turn 5
4th Pz Armee

The cavalry KG’s and other elements of the 4th Pz Armee start to push out the boundaries of the German front line to create some more depth. Nothing much happens on the Nizhna Chirskaya front as German troops await any Soviet probe with confidence. Next turn a cavalry KG should relive the recon of the 22nd Pz Div and allow it to join up with the rest of the division further north.
Turn 5 End Nizhna Chirskaya
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East of Kalatsch Soviet forces launch an attack on the armoured regiment of the 16th Pz Div causing heavy casualties (3 step loses). A counter attack by German forces kills off a recon Bn, but nothing much else happens a the German forces settle into defensive dispositions, apart from the fact that another Tank Corps is spotted (26th) which just leaves the 1st unaccounted for.
Turn 5 End Kalatsch
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Turn 5 End Prajov
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6th Army
On the Sowetski front I got a bit over confident and am in a bit of trouble as the Pz Reg of the 24th Pz Div is unable to retreat more than 1 hex. Trying to get a bit more room to manoeuvre I launch an attack on a Soviet Tank Bn trying to get a retreat result, but it does not happen. I may end up having to abandon a unit or two here depending on what happens. Else where the 100th Jager retreats, though it may not be enough to stop Soviet units trying to push through the lines, between it and the 24th Pz. Luckily I have diverted the 376th from X1 Korps to head south and this should be enough to bolster the lines, also the Soviet troops to the west of Sowetski are weak so there is not to much chance of units being surrounded at the moment.
Turn 5 End Sowetski
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North of Kalatsch the 44th Division gets into the line just in time to stop a concentrated push by Soviet forces for Golubinskaya, and elements of the 16th Pz Div block further south.
Turn 5 End Golubinskaya
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The fusilier of the 384th makes it into Osinovska, but Soviet units are spotted closing in on their position, they are not expected to survive the night, the rest of the 384th sets up defensive dispositions about Peskovatka. The straggling 76th Division heads south to try and link up with the 384th, but maybe used to cover Vertjstschi depending on Soviet troop movements.
Turn 5 End Vertjstschi
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Turn 5 End Osinovaska
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Finally about Marinowaka the 29th Mot and support units set-up defensive positions to halt the drive of the 4th Mech and two Rifle divisions. It is hoped that the reinforcements due to arrive over the next couple of turns will allow the 29th to be disengaged and sent west towards Kalatsch, as long as Soviet forces are not to strong.
Turn 5 End Marinowaka
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Turn 5 Kills
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Postby SS Hauptsturmfuhrer » Wed May 06, 2009 1:16 pm

It's funny you both have the exact same Russian recon unit destroyed west of Kalatsch. I guess that must be a standard opening move. It looks like the German side must be harder to play cause you are struggling to stop the Russians from spreading out all over the map and you have to weigh the benefits of losing some units in glorious delaying actions.
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Postby Abwehr » Wed May 06, 2009 5:03 pm

Talos: out of curiosity, do you always spread out your forces based on the assumption that the enemy will do the same?

In this scenario, my preferred tactic is to mass Soviet armour at a point and attack, usually not around Kalatsch, as the Soviets tend to get stuck at the major river in any case.

If I would, say, attack Prajov in this specific case with most of the forces in the northern part of the map, I would blow straight through without you being able to do anything about it, or without you being able to spot exactly where my units are as I'd be driving through friendly terrain mostly.

In essence, a defense spread out like yours is a gamble that basically requires an opponent to roll along with you. Of course, a concentrated defense/attack is also a gamble, which is what makes this scenario so unique.
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Postby Talos » Wed May 06, 2009 5:41 pm

Abwehr wrote:Talos: out of curiosity, do you always spread out your forces based on the assumption that the enemy will do the same?

In this scenario, my preferred tactic is to mass Soviet armour at a point and attack, usually not around Kalatsch, as the Soviets tend to get stuck at the major river in any case.

If I would, say, attack Prajov in this specific case with most of the forces in the northern part of the map, I would blow straight through without you being able to do anything about it, or without you being able to spot exactly where my units are as I'd be driving through friendly terrain mostly.

In essence, a defense spread out like yours is a gamble that basically requires an opponent to roll along with you. Of course, a concentrated defense/attack is also a gamble, which is what makes this scenario so unique.


The majority of the time yes. I should add the only game i lost was when basically what you described happened, and i could not quite recover, but it was possible to reposition to a large extent. In this case Prajov is hard to get to with large numbers of forces in a concentrated form, and its fairly easy to spot if this is happening, what is not possible is to see any follow up forces arriving which would be more of an issue. But this is a gamble the Soviets take if the Germans do reposition, if it does happen then they are caught away from the main supply, road network and on top of the German reinforcements and away from the main VP hexes. In the end if you can not take Kalatsch you are very likely to lose.

Generally why i spread forces out is to try and see were the Soviets poke the hardest to try and work out the main Axis of attack and then start consentrating.

Also on the above point if you do not see the majority of the 5th Tank Army forces coming down the road, then you know the Soviets are trying something less direct, which was why i was concerned about where their Tank Corps had gotten to.
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Postby Talos » Wed May 06, 2009 5:45 pm

SS Hauptsturmfuhrer wrote:It's funny you both have the exact same Russian recon unit destroyed west of Kalatsch. I guess that must be a standard opening move. It looks like the German side must be harder to play cause you are struggling to stop the Russians from spreading out all over the map and you have to weigh the benefits of losing some units in glorious delaying actions.


Recon units can get used quite hard in this game, you need them to spy out the enemy forces, but they are also useful for deep raids and surrounding enemy units. When you use them for what mission is a judgement call.

Correct, not until later in the game do the Germans have enough units to do this and as long as they also do not have to many combat loses.
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