Kharkov AAR 1 Final Talos Soviets

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Kharkov AAR 1 Final Talos Soviets

Postby Talos » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:09 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 1

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

The 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have the job of trying to take out the 294 ID on the 1st turn and remove the main strong points in preparation for the advance onto Kharkov. All being well this should include the 3 Infantry Regiments, and the Pzjager Bn. If that goes well it then may be possible to take on the Recon and Engineering Bn as well.

Well not an ideal start for the northern group of armies, as the artillery has not been properly sighted and the less said about the Red air force the better as one air strike hits our own troops. Despite this, two units of the 294 ID are killed off with low odds attacks and some follow up artillery strikes. To the north the 21st Army picks off some strong points and to the south the 38th Army does the same, but is potentially a bit exposed, though it may work to my advantage in keeping the Pz divisions occupied in the north rather than against 6th Army.
Turn 1 End Positions North
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Turn 1 Kills North
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Chuguyev Pocket
The South Western front attached forces 343 and 277 ID's plus the 304 and 199 ID's of the 38th Army will be used to start reducing the Chuguyev pocket. It also leaves the two SW front ID's to maintain a central reserve status.

The above forces start the reduction of the strong points guarding the Chuguyev pocket without to many casualties.
Turn 1 End SW Front and 38th Army Chuguyev Pocket
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army

The 6th Army has two initial objectives after breaking though the German line, engage the 108 Hungarian Lt Div and forcing it to surrender so it does not reappear. The second objective (as long as combat residue allows) is to gain control of the alert hexes (22, 29 and 20,32) for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps so they can be released for battle on turn 2. Providing the proceeding has gone according to plan the secondary objective for the attached armor brigades is to engage the 62nd Artillery Reg and Reconnaissance Bn (19,34).

An ideal start for the 6th Army as all objectives for the 1st turn are achieved, though it takes a bit of luck against the 62nd Arty and recon Bn. In addition i move the 6th Army HQ forward to the strong points (its a question of moving now or later in the game and with the bonus for the first 4 turns and the amount of combat residue it means the 6th Army troops will not get out of the support range for turn 2. The same happens for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps as units and HQ's are moved towards the front line. At the end of the turn 6th Army arty units are moved under strong points with a strong unit entrenched above them.
Turn 1 End 6th Army
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Army Group Bobkin, 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
Initial focus for AG Bobkin is to break though the German line and engage the 454 Security Div and 8th Korps Flak Bn, removing them all and making the 454 Sec Div surrender so it does not reappear. As long as the there is minimal combat residue then follow on forces of the attached Cavalry Corps will try and destroy the following units, 113 Pioneer and 1/8 Arko in hex 15,37 (Kegichevka).

AG Bobkin forces meet the initial objective of forcing the 454 Security Division to surrender and capturing the flak Bn, but combat residue means they do not advance as far as i would like and stop short of Kegichevka.
Turn 1 End Ag Bobkin and Cavalry Corps
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Turn 1 Kills Center
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Turn 1 8th Korps
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies

The 9th Army objectives on turn 1 are to gain control of the bridge at 49, 48 and rebuild it, remove strong points as before and at 48,47 and 47, 48 (plus others) so opening a route for the mech units of the 9th Army having a chance to escape with priority being the Armour units (so saving VP's).

The 9th Army reaches all of its objectives and the minimal combat residue means that forces get to hexes I would not expect to.
Turn 1 End 9th Army
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The 57th Army objectives for turn 1 are to (until the German AO's change) take out enemy strong points where possible.

All proceeds according to plan as a number of strong points are destroyed.

I also take the chance to move the Southern front HQ at this point as well out of potential future range of German troops.

Interdiction is used to protect the advance of the 6th Army and slow the retreat of any German forces or to put any new forces into this sector.

All in all probable an average turn in the number of German units destroyed and probable an average advance. But the advance of the 6th Army is doing well and in my opinion more than balances out the lack of progress in the northern group of Armies.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:50 am

I will do my best to keep this AAR up to the hi standards Talos has set.

Opening turn for the Soviets was pretty much standard, with the addition of the "Mario Move" as some like to call the taking of the hexes near the bridge in the lower RH corner of the map. The Soviet player then repairs the bridge and does his best to scurry his motorized units across before the Germans can mount a counter attack to stop him. The key hex to making this work is hex 48/48. If I can hold it the movement penalty imposed by my forces will stop his HQ and motorized units from escaping to fight another day.
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In this screen shot you can see my simple plan of fleeing west and setting up defense for the city of Lanaya. Hold Lanaya and the Soviet player is deprived of 3 inf. Divisions to defend Izyum. This will have a big effect on my later attack on Izyum.

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lastly I will show my simple plan for defending the Borki area of the map.
First order of business is making sure the Soviet 21st and 23rd Tank Divisions are not activated early. I have highlighted the two activation hexes Lewis needs to take in order to release them. All I need to do is gain control of one of them, and then retreat and set up a line of defense with Group Koch and the 191st Div.

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I will delve into my defense of Kharkov in turn 2
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Postby Talos » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:14 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 2

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

Well a very unexpected development, the northern group of armies do not lose a single unit to any German counter attacks on turn 1, of which there are a few but as not as many as i would expect, with the reason being, the 23rd PZ Division has headed south to stop the 6th Army advance. Most of the casualties are amongst the Armour, and this turn most of the Armour units of this group will spend some time refitting to get there combat strength back up.

Turn 2 Start 21, 28 and 38th Armies

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The German defense has produced a solid line of entrenched units, plus the lone regiment of the 79th Division out on its own un-entrenched. This unit will be one of the priorities for this turn, to get it down to one step and force it to surrender. Reconnoitering a bit further forward i see more infantry regiments entrenched with only one other unit attached, this will give me the chance to bust the German defensive line at this point if my attacks succeed, one is almost certain the other will need a bit of luck to get rid of another regiment of the 79th and the last remaining regiment of the 294th . The attacks go as planned and as well as the 3 infantry regiments, the Pzjager Bn of the 3rd PZ and the 88ths of the 6th Army are also destroyed. This should force a general retreat of units to the Kharkov suburbs in preparation for the next turn as there are now only two infantry regiment to hold the line plus the units of the 3rd Pz. The only thing of minor annoyance is that because i retreated the arty of the 38th Army last turn, because of the German retreats, they have nothing to attack this turn.

Turn 2 End 21,28 and 38th Armies
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Turn 2 Kills North
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South western front attached forces 343, 277 ID's, the Tank Brigade and the two engineers of the SW front, plus the 304 and 199 ID's of the 38th Army continue to reduce the Chuguyev pocket defenses, with no real setbacks.
Turn 2 Start Chuguyev Pocket
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Turn 2 End Chuguyev Pocket
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army
Well Soviet forces suffer two casualties along this front which are 66% casualties for all of turn 1, so I can't really complain. German forces counter attack, destroying two Armour units and retaking the alert hex for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps. The counter attacks are led by the 23rd Pz Division and 71st Infantry Division, plus elements of 8th Korps, at the end of the turn the Germans entrench with a forward defense and use one of the air interdictions to imped the Soviet advance, in addition the units of the 62nd Infantry Division heghog and do not retreat.
Turn 2 Start Central Sector
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The primary objective for the 6th Army this turn will be to recapture the alert hex to activate the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps, as well as pushing onto the German position. Also as the 62nd Infantry Division has not retreated, i will keep them surrounded and try and destroy them one by one, hopefully getting a surrender chance, though the main objective is to stop them rejoining the rest of 8th Korps and the defense to the north, one division plus ancillary units will be allocated to this task.

Well the attacks go in but, but do not really achieve any objectives apart from gaining control of the alert hex and inflicting some serious combat loses to a Panzer Grenadier Regiment and engineers of the 23rd Pz Division.
Turn 2 End 6th Army
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Army Group Bobkin and the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
The goals for the troops this turn are to advance as far as possible towards Krosnograd and Lannya and also to advance on Perechpino, and to launch an attack if lightly defended. With this in mind the previous turns placement of the attached arty at the end of the turn and and the lack of any German interdiction to imped progress means the AG Bobkin arty can range on Perechipino this turn if necessary.

A cavalry regiment is sent to reconnoiter the town and finds just a KG of the 113 Division entrenched defending Perechipino. With this information the heavy arty units of AG Bobkin move into range and pound the town defenders causing two step casualties. As there is just one step remaining i push more units than otherwise so i can get up to 20-1 odds and force the defenders to surrender. The remaining units push onto towards Krosnograd which has been abandoned and Lannya where a unit of the 113 Division is entrenched, this is likely to spell the end of the cavalry regiment doing the reconnoitering.

Turn 2 End AG Bobkin and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps

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Turn 2 Kills Central Area
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

German units of the 44th Korps and 1st Pz Army counter attacked on turn 1 causing me to lose control of the bridge hex and also destroying the Armour unit of the Southern front as it could not retreat. Unfortunately in doing this, German troops suffer horrendous loses, losing two engineer units and an infantry regiment (68 ID, 97 LID Eng Bn and a regiment from 257th ID).

Turn 2 Start 9th and 57th Armies
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9th Army objectives for this turn are to reopen the route to the bridge and try and get more of the mech units of 9th Army to safety. The attacks succeed and, i regain control of the hex, which allows the two Armour units of 9th Army to escape across the river.
Turn 2 End 9th and 57th Armies
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Turn 2 Kills South
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57th Army
Nothing major in the 57th Army sector, as German and Romanian attacks take out a number of strong points.

57th Army objectives remain the same as for the 1st turn and a few more strong points are destroyed.

All in all a good turn for Soviet forces, the only slight downer is the release of the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps being delayed. Interdiction is again used to protect the advance of the 6th Army and slow the retreat of any German forces.
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Postby Talos » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:34 am

Regarding hex 48,48. The chance of evicting the defenders of this hex are not great and i do not even try to do so. I normally take what i can get here which is to get the armour brigades, AT regiments and the HQ of the cavalry corps out of harms way anything else above this is a bonus.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:20 am

Turn 2 has Talos attacking from every direction, and achieving good progress. Things are starting to look rough for the Germans, and 3rd and 23rd are going to have to really step it up in the coming turns or the map will be overrun with Soviets.

here is a graphic of my proposed defense of Lannaya. I feel Lannaya is the main city to defend south of Kharkov. Keep it and the Soviets are deprived of 3 rifle divisions. This will make taking Izyum that much easier.

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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:17 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 3

South Western Front

Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies
As expected a general retreat has been ordered by German forces, especially to the north while to the south units of 51st Korps are in a strung out line from Kharkov to Chuguyev trying to hold back the hordes of the Soviet Armies. In addition while retreating a counter attack gets launched in the south which destroys 3 units of the 38th Army and further in the north 3 arty units are also destroyed.
Turn 3 Start North
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Turn 3 Start Chuguyev
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Objectives for this turn are to push into the gap created and advance on Kharkov to th west, Liptsy to the north and Chuguyev to the south. Though the advance goes as planned, the attacks are an uncoordinated mess and even the arty does not make any real impact this turn. Still all in all some good ground is made and its noted on the northern side of Kharkov there is a large gap which may mean troops can circle around the north of the city next turn, while Liptsy is being defended by a mixture of units including Armour from the 3rd Pz Division. The more i can force Spuddy to use the Pz Divisions in defensive duties the better off I am.
Turn 3 End North
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Turn 3 End Chuguyev
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South western front attached forces 343, 277 ID's, the Tank Brigade and the two engineers of the SW front, plus the 304 and 199 ID's of the 38th Army continue to reduce the Chuguyev pocket defenses, with no real setbacks apart from the Tank Brigade taking a pounding from German arty.

Turn 3 Kills North
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps

Well very little happened on the German turn along this front, part from the Pzjager Bn of the 62nd trying to make a run for it (it gets all of one hex). This means that the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps are activated, though again German interdiction is in place to slow Soviet troop movement. In addition with 305th Division being deployed at Lannya, it means there are very limited resources being deployed to defend Borki and river line guarding the south of Kharkov.
Turn 3 Start 6th Army
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Objectives for this turn are to destroy the Pzjager Bn and a slightly damaged regiment of the 62nd Division, In addition troops will reconnoiter the German defenses to the north to see where additional attacks can be mounted and to try and breech the river defenses. The Pzjager Bn and the
183 regiment of the 62nd Division are destroyed and latter forced to surrender (I umed and arred about this as it meant a slight diversion of troop resources from further north, but in the end decided it was worthwhile as it cut down on the forces available to 8th Korps longer term). Further north after probing the German position the 71st Pioneer Bn and arty regiment are spotted next to Zmiev. An immediate attack is launched after an arty bombardment which destroys both units, in addition the 5th Guards Tank Brigade gets across the river with the help of the 23rd Tank Corps. Further to the east the 21st Tank Corps and other elements of the 6th Army destroy the 194th Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division and the Pzjager Bn in a series of low odds attacks. In doing this an engineer unit of the 6th Army is left exposed, and it will probable be finished off in the German turn. Finally a low probability attack is launched on Group Fredrich and the recon Bn of the 23rd Pz Div resulting in a step loss for each side.
Turn 3 End 6th Army
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Turn 3 Kills Center
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Army Group Bobkin and the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps

A small German counter attack sees the end of the exposed cavalry regiment as the 113th Division has been reinforced by the 305th Division, which means taking Lannya will be tough, Krosnograd remains undefended.
Turn 3 Start AG Bobkin
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Objectives for the forces here will be to expand out the perimeter at Perechpino and probe the German position at Lannya, Krosnograd will be left alone for the moment. Cavalry is used to reconnoiter the German position and after some deliberation after an ineffectual arty bombardment an attack is launched on the defenders of Lannya causing a step loss to each side, Soviet forces then pull back to some defensible locations. Along the Perechipino axis cavalry regiments wander far and wide and see no sign of German forces.
Turn 3 End AG Bobkin
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Current state of 8th Korps
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

German units of the 44th Korps and 1st Pz Army again counter attack on turn 2 causing me to lose control of the bridge hex again and also destroying a AT regiment as it could not retreat (you would of thought i would have learned my lesson from the previous turn). In addition one of the air interdictions is used here as well, which to say the least is unexpected, as i would of thought they would have been needed further north.
Turn 3 Start South
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9th Army
Objectives for this turn are to reopen the route to the bridge and try and get more of the mech units of 9th Army to safety and also dislodge the defenders in hex 48, 48 to try and make the escape easier. The attacks succeed and, i regain control of the hex, which allows the 2nd AT unit to escape, and the HQ for the 5th Cavalry gets to the bridge hex, which is a major plus. The attack against the other hex fails so getting the arty out is now looking like it might not be possible. In addition as their has been heavy concentration of forces by the bridge i reconnoiter further to the west and note the lack of defenders in some hexes guarding arty. This may allow a change in tactics next turn if the troop dispositions remain the same, especially if I can not get the arty free.

57th Army
In the 57th Army sector, German troops try to launch an attack against two regiments of the 14th GRD which does not really succeed, and further to the north Romanian troops destroy some strong points, though it potentially leaves one of the regiments exposed.

Objectives for the 57th Army this turn are pick off a couple of strong points and destroy the exposed Romanian regiment. All goes according to plan as the strong points are removed and then a number of low odds attacks are used to destroy the Romanian regiment.

Turn 3 End South
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Turn 3 Kills South

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All in all a good another good turn for Soviet forces, the annoyances this turn are the failed attacks at Lannya and amongst the northern armies.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:10 am

Somehow I misplaced the images for this turn. (or just plain forgot to save them) I am sure Talos will have enough coverage to make up for my lack of images this turn. In the end most will not want to read about turn 3 anyways, as the debacle that unfolds in the coming turns will trump any current comments I might have. Prepare to witness a series of blunders that will not pass quick enough from my memory. :(
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Postby Talos » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:26 pm

Kharkov Soviet Turn 4

Just a quick comment on this turn and the one that proceeded it by Spuddy. This turn may have decided the course of the game, as significant German loses occurred, this was because a lot of troops got left in the open un-entrenched and an attack failed on Spuddy's last turn with the roll of the dreaded one. The one comment i will make about this i would have not moved my units out into a position where they could not retreat and entrench this early in the game as the Soviet arty still gets 4 attacks per turn and still has a large number of combat units available, even if Spuddy's attack had succeeded there would have still been large loses due to the arty alone. As it is this has turned into a disaster this turn for the German forces from which they will be hard pushed to recover from. The one beacon of hope is that i decided to go into Krosnograd the reasons for which i will explain later, as normally i would not do so this early on in the game. As an added note this turn also took about 3½ hours to play mainly because i had so many options to chose from and had to decide on some priorities.

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

Very little i the way of counter attacks by German forces, and i do not lose any units in the northern group of Armies. On checking the position of the German troops i see there are gaps north and south of Kharkov which means that potentially that Kharkov could get surrounded this turn.
Turn 4 Start North
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Turn 4 Start Chuguyev
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The 21st Army only has really one attacking option this turn, which is to go after Liptsy (defended by the 670 Pzjager, the AA Bn of 3rd Pz and 1 step regiment of the 79th Division), with that in mind a number of arty attacks are carried out, all unsuccessful, but the combined might of the rifle Divisions is enough to get to the 1-1 combat table and get a1-d1, though all three defending units get their defending dice roll and cause a loss as well. The lone rifle and tank brigade to the north may now succumb to a 29th Korps counter attack. Unless this stack is heavily reinforced i will be attacking here next turn as well.

The 28th Army and the attached 3rd Cavalry Corps will have the objective of trying to encircle Kharkov and pick off targets of opportunity. The first attack goes in against the the last remaining regiment of the 79th Division, 294th Pioneer and the Pzjager Bn. A number of arty attacks are launched and one succeeds, this followed up by several low odds attacks which destroy the regiment and Pioneer Bn, but the Pzjager Bn retreats out of harms way. The cavalry acting in the roll of recon then spot an excellent target of opportunity, un-entrenched arty on the far east side of Kharkov, this then become the main focus for the assault of the 28th Army and 3rd Cavalry Corps. The first one is destroyed without to much trouble, but the second one tries to flee but is eventually caught by cavalry coming in from south catching it in open ground. In addition is noted that there are not that many defenders in Kharkov itself, mostly arty units protected by one combat unit in each hex. At the end of the turn Kharkov has been surrounded and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future as the Cavalry Corps will aim to push push further west next turn into the forest.

The 38th Army has the job of guarding the flank of the 28th Army, but also manages to launch one successful attack and destroy a regiment of the 297th Division which was at 50% strength from last turn and not supported. Further south some more strong points are removed near Chuguyev. One of the things i could not do this turn was go after to Chuguvev, much as I might liked to have done, but i would not have had the forces to hold the flank of the 28th Army, it may be an option for next turn.
Turn 4 End North
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Turn 4 End Chuguyev
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Turn 4 Kills North
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps

During Spuddy's turn this was the main are where counter attacks were launched and failed which have left a large number of German units exposed. The German attacks did destroy another Soviet Tank Brigade and the engineering unit, but everything else survived in a more or less combat capable state. I was planning to attack north this turn towards Kharkov and get a large number of forces across the river but the German troops disposition has changed all this. The SW front attached force where going to continue reducing strong points in the Chuguvev pocket this turn but are instead used in the 6th Army sector to bolster the attacks here. The plan for this turn is to wipe all the un-entrenched forces to the west of Borki and also try and capture Borki itslef though this is a secondary objective.
Turn 4 Start 6th Army
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The first stage of the attack is to get all they arty of 6th Army into range of the units i am attacking. I start to the far west and use two arty attacks to remove the 6th Army Stug Bn guarding the 6th Army mortar unit. Then further arty strikes are used on the 6th Army pioneer and 23rd Pz recon stack and then on the Gruppe Koch, 2/201 Armour Bn, Pioneer Bn and the 126th Pzg regiment of the 23rd Pz Division stack. The first attack is to remove the 6th Army pioneer and recon Bn with an automatic overun as their were only two steps left. This was followed by surrounding the 4 stack hex on all sides with armour and also getting the maximum possible shift bonus. I the reduced the first attack to 5-1 from 3 sides all attacking with armour, this attack though not an overrun was guaranteed at least one kill and maybe as many as 5 if the armour succeeded and also a high probability of getting a retreat result. The retreat result was what happened which wiped the Pz Bn and Pzg units, all remaining units attacked at 20-1 odds getting a surrender result, so Grupe Koch will not reappear. Lastly the lone 6th Army mortar unit is also destroyed. I now launched my attack on Borki and a series of low odds attacks reduce the other Pzg regiment of the 23rd Pz and 6th Army flak Bn until there is nothing left, Borki is then captured.

These series of attacks have resulted in the destruction of 10 German units, including the bulk of the 23rd Pz Division. At this point the two air interdictions i have are used to slow German movement between Kharkov and the remaining defenders along the river line. Next turn i would expect to link up the 6th Army with the Northern Armies and gain control of a large area of the forest. This will allow the 6th Army to have a secure supply base even if i lose the route to the south of the Chuguyev pocket, which could be a viable option, though I will have to move the 6th Army HQ again at some point. At the end of all this units entrench and all available replacements are used to get the Tank Corps up close to full strength in preparation for future battles.
Turn 4 End 6th Army
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Turn 4 Kills 6th Army
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Army Group Bobkin plus the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
An unexpected situation has developed about Lannya, as Spuddy decided to counter attack here which has left a number of units un-entrenched and quite vulnerable, but it also means i will probable have to take Krosnograd to get the best results, with appropriate consequences in doing so. This was a tough decision to make at this particular point in time as taking Krosnograd early can lead to major problem with alert forces from the south arriving, though to counter that there is not much of 6th Army left and it should be possible to take Lannya and destroy all remaining forces over the next couple of turns and then turn AG Bobkin south to guard the southern flank and then use some alert forces and 6th Army forces to guard the Krosnograd area, especially if i can surround Kharkov and keep 3rd Pz bottled up. I still had not truly made up my mind when i forgot to move a unit hex by hex and it got to close to Krosnograd which meant the city would have been taken in a couple of turns at the latest. After this happened i decided to go all out and remove the forces about Lannya as quickly as possible.
Turn 4 Start Lannya
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All forces are allocated combat opportunities at Lannya and the surrounding area which means a large number of German troops are destroyed. Some of which surrender from the 305th so they will not re-appear. Unless circumstance change i will now try and reduce the remaining forces about Lannaya over the next couple of turns. The downside of doing this is there is a large number of replacements about to be added to the German replacement pool from Krosnograd and Borki, though even this sudden influx will not get all the currently killed units back up to full strength, and it will also take a number of turns to do so to add them in any way. Luckily it will only start the turn after next as the Soviet forces have to hold the victory location for full turn before this activates.
Turn 4 End Lannya
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Turn 4 Kills Lannya
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

German units of the 44th Korps and 1st Pz Army again counter attack on turn 3 but i retain control of the bridge hex, unfortunately movement restrictions mean that the arty will not be escaping the impending onslaught. So as noted last turn, cavalry scout out the German position and again notes the lack of defenders at one location guarding two arty units.
Turn 4 Start South
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The arty of 9th Army are used to bombard the hex removing the defending pioneer unit, this is then followed up an attack that destroys both the arty units. A side effect of this is that two of the cavalry units can not escape, but this is a small price to pay, as its a net gain of Vp's and also removes two arty units from the 1st Pz Army order of battle which may matter later on. At the end of the turn troops hunker down in their bunkers and next turn they will shift into their final defensive positions in preparation for the 1st Pz Armour attack. As an added note southern front attached unit have been destroying the various bridges in this sector to slow down the German advance.

57th Army
Nothing much happened in the German turn apart from the loss of some strong points. There is another potentially exposed Romanian regiment which I decide to try and destroy with a number of low odds attacks, but it just manages to escape with a retreat result. Troops then start heading into their defensive positions in preparation for the coming assault.
Turn 4 End South
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Turn 4 Kills South
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This was a very good turn for Soviet forces and may well have decided this game, we will see what Spuddy decides to do with his remaining troops, what ever it is it will be tough and i now have to start taking care of my arty and rest some each turn.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:54 am

Looking back, turn 3 was really the back breaker for me in this game. ( I was thinking it was turn 4, but after mulling it over I now remember it was turn 3) I must preface the explanation of turn 3 with the fact that Talos is a better player than I, and this description is in no way intended to switch the blame from myself to the game system or luck.
So... the situation on turn 3 had Talos attacking Kharkov from the east and south through Borki. Many of his units ar now exposed and vulnerable to counter attack and the highly mobile units of the 3rd and 23rd are just the ticket to give him a bloddy nose. In the north all of the units of the 3rd Panzer division are within 1 hex of 2 stacks of Soviet units that show combat odds of 8-1 possible. With the combined shock value of the 3rd panzer all combat shifts are given to me and result in die rolls of 2-6 being overuns. The benefit of this is these units can attack, chase and attack again and again until Soviet units are destroyed then run and prepare to do it all over again tomorrow. I line up the first attack (which again will result in an overun with a roll of anything other than a 1) well as luck would have it a 1 is rolled, and now 1/2 my of my attack strength for the area is out of the game for this turn. (many would say so what, but when you have the Soviets in a position where at least 4 or 5 hexes have non-entrenched units you can relly kick some butt with multiple attacks in 1 turn)
Ok, so I was pimped on that attack. I also have almost all of the 23rd Panzer Division within a few hexes of Talos's exposed Tank units attacking through Borki, and the same overun odds apply down there. it appears as if I can make attacks on at least 4 hexes and destroy 1/2 or more of his tank forces in this area and thus stabilize the situation. I line up the first attack, take a deep breath and hit the attack button. Another 1, well I am screwed now. (as the Brits say, "proper" screwed)
I now have all the units of both of my panzer divisions exposed and not able to entrench, and nothing was achieved in doing so.

The following image shows Talos's follow up attack on turn 4 which eliminates some of both Panzer divisions. The loss of these units will not permit me to attack with these odds ever again.......and things begin to fall apart.

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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:34 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 5

Another quick comment on this turn as its proved harder to play than i thought it would be, Spuddy is still defending well and picking off my exposed Tank Brigade's.

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

In the 21st Army sector as expected the the 29th Korps counter attacks with a number of low odds attacks and destroys the tank brigade and and rifle regiment. But apart from the addition of a strong point to the defenses of Liptsy, nothing else is done to slow down the Soviet hordes. The attack on Liptsy is preceded by an arty bombardment and air strike which remove the strong point and the regiment of the 79th Division which is now a permanent loss as it has already been destroyed once. The follow on attack gets rid the of the 670 Pzjager Bn and the town is now guarded by only the flak Bn of the 3rd Pz which will survive as i can not get enough combat odds to get another attack going. Next turn i will have to make the decision if to capture Liptsy or not as it will release another alert division and more replacements for German units.
Turn 5 Start North
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During Spuddy's turn he counter attacked heavily against the armour brigades of the 28th Army, but otherwise failed to make a dent in the encircling forces to the north, to the south 3 cavalry regiments were destroyed, but this has not really affected the overall situation of the German forces. Plans for this turn will be to finish of the encirclement of Kharkov to the maximum possible depth and gain control of the forest where possible to the south. Doing this should take all of Kharkov and the Chuguyev pocket out of supply which will severely restrict the movement and attacking options of the 6th Army. In addition its noted that elements of the 51st Korps have been added to the defenders of Kharkov and the 1st Bn of the 23rd Pz Division. This means that the defenses north of the pocket have now been weakened, and once Kharkov is properly been secured i will turn the 38th Army south to start reducing 51st Korps in th northern part of the Chuguyev pocket. Having the lead unit of the 23rd Pz in Kharkov will also restrict the movements of the remainder of the division when its rebuilt unless its operates very close to the vicinity of Kharkov it will not get its divisional integrity bonus and movement bonus. The 28th Army and 3rd Cavalry Corps units push around Kharkov and note a few attacking opportunities, the 3rd Pz pioneer is destroyed and then the 3rd Pz recon and 8th Korps arty is noted further west which then are destroyed by 21st and 23rd Tank Corps.

The 38th Army has the job of guarding the flank of the 28th Army again but probes the German position to the south noting the reduced defensive capability available to the 51st Korps. Further south some more strong points are removed near Chuguyev. As noted above, once the situation about Kharkov has become stableised the 38th Army will start trying to reduce 51st Korps.
Turn 5 End North
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Turn 5 Kills North
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps

During Spuddy's turn a number of air attacks and arty strikes where carried out on the armour units which resulted in the loss of the final armour brigade of the 6th Army. Otherwise most of the remaining defenders in this region have retreated apart from near Zimev where some units are still guarding the river line and the troops near Borki have dug in awaiting their fate.
Turn 5 Start 6th Army
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Initial attacks are launched against the 23rd Pz Pzjager and 2/201 Pz Bn and the 191st Regiment of the 71st Division. A couple of attacks are launched and the second one forces the defenders to retreat which results in the loss of the the 23rd Pz units and reduces the 191st regiment to one step. I then get the attack odds up to 20-1 to force it to surrender so removing another unit permanently from the German OOB. The 21st and 23rd Tank Corps are then used as described above to gain ground in the forest and to destroy the 3rd Pz recon and 8th Korps arty. Infantry units mostly dig in and will need a turn or two to recover to combat effectiveness as about 50% of them are looking a bit fragile at the moment. Further south the remaining units of the 62nd Division are still encircled and i will replace the 266th Division units with some engineers as the rifle regiments will be of more use near the front line.
Turn 5 End 6th Army
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Turn 5 Kills 6th Army
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Army Group Bobkin plus the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
After lats turns debacle Spuddy has just entrenched his remaining units about Lannya, making them much more difficult to attack. Plans for this turn will be to destroy the Pzjager and recon Bn of the 113th and the last remaining regiment of the 305th and then prepare for an attacking against Lannya with the full might of the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps.
Turn 5 Start Lannya
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Plans do not quite go as expected as the 113th units are destroyed, but the 305th regiment manages to survive by retreating which is an annoyance. Elements of the 6th Cavalry Corps are sent further south to keep an eye on Wiking and friends as they appear and then gradually retreat towards Perechipino. I will have to reinforce the south probable with a 6th Army and SW front rifle division next turn so i still maintain a balance of forces.
Turn 5 End Lannya
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Turn 5 Kills Lannya
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

German forces have advanced in a hex i vacated and have not left an appropriate retreat path which means i might have the opportunity of destroying two more 44th Korps units. Attacks go in as planned and German units can not retreat which leaves two units with one step each which are then destroyed with follow up attacks. Troops then move into defensive positions in preparation for the coming German assault.
Turn 5 Start South
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57th Army
Nothing to really report in this sector as the 57th Army digs in to defensive positions.

Turn 5 End South
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Turn 5 Kills South
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The Soviet position is now getting close to its high water mark and i will have to start thinking of where to place my defenses and get troops especially of the 6th Army into appropriate positions over the next two or three turns. Interdiction is placed south of Kharkov and the 51st Korps and along the main road leading in from the west. In addition Soviet strong points are placed in Borki and the forest to the north to start building a strong defensive position.

Turn 5 VP Score
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Postby Spuddy64 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:17 am

Turn 5 leaves most of my remaining units from the 3rd and 23rd bottled up in Kharkov. Without attack bullets they will be stuck here unless a supply path can be opened up. Kharkov is in no danger of falling, but without the attack value of these units we have no way of hitting back at the Soviets. Excellent job by Talos of exploiting and surrounding the city.
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In the Lannaya area tyhings are somewhat better. Forced to prepare for the coming of Wiking Talos has only limited forces around Lannaya. The town will hold.
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If you havnt been able to figure it by now, I am toast in this game and the issue is not in doubt, only the final amount that I will lose by remains to be decided.
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Postby Talos » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:51 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 6

Comment for this turn is that its first where there has been no major counter attack by Spuddy's forces in the north and center.

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

In the 21st Army sector Liptsy has been reinforced by the last regiment of the 79th Division, a heavy arty of 17th Korps and another strong point as well as the 3rd Pz Flak Bn. Arty and air attacks again proceed the low odds assault getting two strikes before the 21st Army and the attached 13GRD division start their attacks. The initial attack succeeds and the last regiment of the 79th Division dies, the remaining defenders are forced to retreat. Which now leaves me with the choice to take Liptsy or not, after some deliberation Soviet forces enter the city in strength as the extra replacements and extra division should not prove to much of a problem until the 29th Korps AO expands and even then it will be a matter of just being careful. The remaining troops of the 21st Army retreat out of enemy range and dig-in in preparation for some rest over the next few turns and setting up defensive positions for the future.
Turn 6 Start North
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The 28th Army starts to reorder it self slightly, but mainly digs in about Kharkov as Soviet troops have other priorities for the next few turns.

The 3rd Guards Cav in co-operation with units from 6th Army encircle the 394th Pzg regiment of the 3rd Pz Division and and launch a low odds attack. Next turn a number of low odds attacks will be launched before getting a major attack in place to force this unit surrender if at all possible.

The 38th Army has the job of guarding the flank of the 28th Army again but probes the German position to the south again noting the reduced defensive capability available to the 51st Korps. Further south some more strong points are removed near Chuguyev. Next turn the plan will be start trying to reducing the 51st Korps strong points, with Chuguyev probable being a priority and then the other two Infantry strong points to the north of the pocket so there is an uninterrupted supply path to the forest to the south west.
Turn 6 End North
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Turn 6 Kills North
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps

Nothing much happened this turn as Spuddy is conserving his remaining troops. But cavalry recon units did note that part of the reconstituted 23rd Pz Division operating to the west of Kharkov. When activating the Tank Corps its noted that these may be entrenched in range for an attack which was not expected. After confirming the placement of these units plus some arty as well the Tank Corps are sent forth to engage the enemy. After the dust clears the 128 Pzg regiment and the arty of the 23rd Pz are destroyed but the other two units survive, still a useful battle as it again reduces the strength of the 6th Army. Further to the east at Zimev after an ineffectual arty bombardment troops of the 6th Army and SW front launch two attacks destroying the 690 Pioneer Regiment. Further to the south the 266 RD guarding what remains of the 62nd Division is replaced by some engineers and this division is sent south towards Krosnograd. In addition next turn i will likely send one of the SW front divisions south as well so the bulk of AG Bobkin can be used to meet the threat from south of Wiking and co.
Turn 6 Start 6th Army
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The time is also taken to move some arty and the HQ's of the Tank Corps north to Borki. Also i will have to decide where to place the Tank Corps in future as i could use them in the north to eliminate pockets, though this is not truly necessary, or i could try and be a bit more ambitious and send them south to have another crack at Lannya, as long as the proceeding's arty and air bombardment is successful. In addition i will use some units of the 6th Army to push out the perimeter as far as possible. Next turn it is likely that the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps will have to rest as they are mostly at 50% strength. The other priority for the 6th Army and associated troops next turn will be to destroy the remaining units of 8th Korps along the river and the 51st Korps engineer just north of Zimev.
Turn 6 End 6th Army
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Army Group Bobkin plus the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
The majority of the AG Bobkin and the 6th Cavalry Corps are sent south towards Perechipino in preparation for defensive duties. Further south east of Perchipino it is noted what looks like a cautious German advance, and cavalry scouts confirm the presence of enemy units. The remaining cavalry units of the 6th Cavalry push out the perimeter as far as possible and then full back and take up defensive positions apart from a lone regiment of the 2nd Cavalry on the main road.
Turn 6 Start Perechpino
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In addition all possible interdiction is placed in and about Denprovinsk to slow the advance of troops from the 17th Army that are about to appear.
Turn 6 End Lannya
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Turn 6 End Perechipino
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

The German offensive kicks off and i lose the 9th Army HQ, a rifle regiment and two cavalry regiments but otherwise not to much happens, i also maintain my presence across the river to help tie down German troops in the future. In doing this the recon of the 97th Jager is down to one step and on its own, so i use one of the 9th Army arty units to finish it off.
Turn 6 Start 9th Army
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Turn 6 End 9th Army
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Turn 6 Kills 9th Army
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57th Army
Nothing to really report in this sector as the 57th Army digs in to defensive positions.
Turn 6 Start and End 57th Army
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The Soviet position continues to expand, but slowly. As i have not yet gained the alert units from taking Lannya, i will have to decide if i can defend Izyum or just vacate the premises and ignore the south and the 1st Pz Army and just concentrate in the 6th and 17th Armies sectors. It will depend on if Spuddy gives me a chance to send some of the 9th Army troops to the Izyum sector otherwise the Southern front will concentrate on hit and run tactics against German forces in this region.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:51 am

Not much to discuss this turn. Wiking is slowly heading toward Krasnograd, and 1st Panzer and 3rd Mot. await their chance to race towards Izyum.

Sorry for the lack of details and images, but frankly Talos is doing such a bang-up job there is not left for me to tell.
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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:21 am

Kharkov Soviet Turn 7

An unusual situation is now occurring, where Soviet forces have such an ascendancy in the northern and central area at the moment, that they can move and chose attacks, without any great fear of having to worry about defense. Still caution is still the watch word, as i got careless last turn in some units placements and i do not want too much of that. Also as an added note i forgot to take screen shots for the start of the turn so you will all have to make do with end of turn and kills screen shots.

South Western Front
Northern Sector 21st, 28th, and 38th Armies

In the 21st Army sector the troops have been forced out of Liptsy by several attacks by the 29th Korps, which results in losses to both sides in the form of steps, but no troop loss. After forcing the my troops from their position. Spuddy does not try and recapture the place, as he obviously wants the alert division from the north to help in the very adverse balance of forces in this sector. Three full regiments enter the city and entrench, which i hope will be enough to hold now without to many problems. The rest of the 21st Army try and refit where possible, as a number of units are low in strength, the plan will be for this army to refit probable for the next couple of turns at least unless the Germans try and press an attack from the north before the AO of the 29th Korps expands.

The 28th Army continues to dig-in about Kharkov as other Armies have other priorities for the next few turns.

The 3rd Guards Cav in co-operation with units from 6th Army encircle the 394th Pzg regiment of the 3rd Pz Division and and launch several low odds attacks brining it down to one step, then reinforced with the majority of the tank 21st and 23rd Tank Corps a heavy assault is launched to force them to surrender.
Turn 7 End North
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Turn 7 Kills North
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The 38th Army has now pretty much a free hand to take on what remains of 51st Korps outside Kharkov, the priority though is Chuguvey. The current defenders are an infantry regiment and a light flak Bn, which can probable be destroyed by a serious of low odds attacks, though it would be helpful if the arty or air power helped out before. Of the 3 strikes that go in (2 heavy arty and 1 air strike), one arty unit hits. Follow on attacks by 38th Army then gradually reduce the defenders until they are eliminated and the city is taken. This is a major bonus, as it will free up the 38th Army area of operations to include the Chuguyev pocket as well as proving some VP's. I will now have to decide if to clear the pocket entirely or concentrate on the units that have already been surrounded.
Turn 7 End Chuguyev
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Central Sector 6th Army, Army Group Bobkin, 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps
6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps

Mostly small mopping up operations this turn to clear the 394th Pgr as described above and then further to the east 6th Army and SW front reserve divisions try and take on some engineers and a Pzjager Bn of 51st Korps, but roll the dreaded one, though they do get a retreat result, so will have to try again next turn. This type of assault will also be used against the two remaining units of 8th Korps by the river in turn. This will then free up these divisions to operate in the south about Krosnogard or to reinforce the besieging troops about Kharkov, or possibly even launch an assault later on.

After the combat in this area finishes, another Rifle division and the Tank Corps are sent south, as i intend to have another go at Lannya as long the preceding arty bombardment is successful, in addition the time is taken to replace combat losses of the Tank Corps so that they will be at full strength next turn.
Turn 7 End 6th Army
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As an added note this was where i got careless lat turn with the SW Tank brigade, all out on its own and Spuddy pounced on it.

Army Group Bobkin plus the 2nd and 6th Cavalry Corps

The majority of the AG Bobkin and the 6th Cavalry Corps now take up defensive positions about the approaches to Perechipino and along the river to the east. German units are advancing from the south including Wiking, so again i deploy interdiction to slow their advance, though not all of it this time around.
Turn 7 End Lannya
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Turn 7 End Perechpino
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Southern Front
Southern Sector 57th and 9th Armies
9th Army

The German offensive continues to press north, but along the flanks where 44th Korps operates there are some counter attacking opportunities. To the south i engage two regiments and after an arty bombardment one is destroyed and the other forced to retreat. Further north another attack is launched, but does not succeed as well and the German forces escape, though each is reduced to one step.
Turn 7 End 9th Army
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Turn 7 Kills 9th Army
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57th Army

The 57th Army finally gets some major combat opportunities as as units of 11 Korps advance into the open, a swift counter attack is launched and despite some poorly led attacks, the recon and pzjager Bn 's of the 298 Infantry Division are destroyed and two regiments are reduced to one step, which should slow their advance in the future. After these series of attacks the 57th Army then reverts to a defensive posture.
Turn 7 End 57th Army
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Turn 7 Kills 57th Army
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Interdiction is placed in the north at the expected entry of the Alert division and also to the west where the arty unit of the 113th Division was found to be left by the retreating German forces (i may get a chance at it next turn).

The Soviet position continues to expand and i am now starting to run out of places to expand into, only the ultimate prize of Kharkov really remains. Lannya is probable not going to matter in this game, though three extra divisions are always welcome. I have always thought taking Lannya a major goal of Soviet forces but as this game so far proves, it is not necessary to capture this place and still be able to win. A quick update on the VP situation, currently the Soviets lead by 2,672 points and that will only grow significantly over the next two turns. In terms of VP losses, the German have lost 2,030 VP in units (56 permanent kills and 14 units that can re-spawn, the units that surrendered are in the first total) and the Soviets 895 VP's in units (30 units of which a fair proportion are armoured Brigades)by the end of this Soviet turn.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:12 am

Turn 7 ends with more German units being chewed up by the Talos juggernaut. I must edit my statements from earlier in the AAR...... even if the attack die rolls had went my way, the obvious skill level disparity would have still resulted in a Talos victory. Maybe not quite as 1 sided, but it still a Talos victory. Amazing how one can have a string of decisive victories and then play someone who is so much better that it isnt even a contest. i do hope readers can glean some useful information from Talos's excellent AAR.
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