Kharkov AAR 2 Final Spuddy Soviets

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Kharkov AAR 2 Final Spuddy Soviets

Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:32 am

Well here we go. When I first read about the Kharkov tournament I wanted to get in right away. ( I think I might have been the second or third person to e-mail Chris that I wanted in ! ) My goal from the start was to just get past the first round. No offense to anyone that went down in the first round, but I just wanted to prove that I wasnt at the bottom of the talent pool. As luck would have it here I am facing one of the best players of SSG titles around. (and also the person whom I picked from the start to win the whole show) I have come this far, win or lose I will enjoy it either way.

On to my simple strategy for the Soviet offensive. ( as a side note, the strategies of Kharkov are simple, its the tactics that make or break you )

Stalin has decread that Kharkov will be taken! Anything else is failure in his eyes. Secretly my plan is different. In the Kharkov sector we will use our heavy arty to slowly bleed the Germans in this sector and force Talos to keep the 3rd and 23rd Panzer Divisions in the Kharkov area. At any available chance we will expend whatever we can to destroy units of the 3rd and 23rd. Those units are highly mobile and can go anywhere they want. With them on the loose we will never be able to hold Krasnograd, Lanaya or Borki. Here is an image of the Kharkov sector at the end of turn 1. We have managed to destroy 2 Regiments and the Pioneer and Recon Battalions of the 294th inf. Division. We have also managed to destroy both the Pioneer Battalion and Recon Battalion of the 79th inf. Division. (as another side note, I love to target the units that only have 1 life, kill them once and they are gone for the whole game)
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In the center section of the map the attack is very similar, kill German units. Our goal is to take out both of the Hungarian Regiments, the 183rd Regiment of the 62nd Division, the 162nd AT, Recon and Artillery units, both Regiments of the 454th Security Division and the Romainian 20th Regiment. We succeded in killing all of these with the exception of one of the Hungarian units. (he will have to be dispatched another day ; )
We also need to send some of the Calvary units toward Krasnograd and Lanaya in order to switch control of as many hexes as possible to lessen the movement cost for the coming turns. Our main objective is Lanaya, and ASAP. With Lanaya in our hands we are given 3 divisions for the defense of Izyum. Stalin has been infomed that large German forces are gearing up for an assault in the south, but he doesnt believe it. We know better and without those 3 divisions are job will be much harder. As far as releasing the 21st and 23rd Tank Divisions, I can take the release hexes, but I am sure Talos is more than skilled enough to re-take them, and I would likely lose a couple Tank Regiments in his counter attack, so I will not even try to get those two hexes and do my best to protect the Tank Regiments of the 6th for use later.

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In the south I will do my best to pull off a "Mario" and expell the Germans from hex 48/48 and thus allow the repair of the bridge at 49/47 and the excape of the motorized and HQ units of the 9th Army and 5th Calvary Corps to escape to later defend Izyum.
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I failed to boot Lewis from hex 48/48 and so my HQs are doomed. I did get 1 of my Tank Regiments across the river though.

All in all a pretty good turn 1. Turn 2 to post soon after
Talos posts.
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Postby Talos » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:04 am

Kharkov German Turn 1

When opening up the first turn, the immediate thought was yikes, as Soviet forces in the north have absolutely massacred the German position and else where things are not great. In the end i spent about 3½ hours over my first German turn as I had a lot to consider and contemplate.

Northern Area
Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have struck hard into the German position in front of Kharkov and also into the Chuguyev pocket with SW front reserve forces supporting the units of the 38th Army, in addition interdiction has been deployed to hamper German operations in this area. I should add this is the best opening i have seen for the Soviet forces in the north and is a very good start, i consider my self an aggressive player, but this beyond what i have attempted and it will be interesting to see if it can be sustained.

After the initial feeling of what am i going to do my brain started functioning again and i realised in achieving this stunning attacking position, a number of counter attacking opportunities had been opened up especially to the south. In addition to this though i needed to put some kind of defense in place, and had to decide on falling back to Kharkov or try and form a line further forward. After some deliberation i decided i was going to form a line further forward and try and contain the Soviet advance. Also unlike the other game Spuddy had not activated the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps for turn 2 which means I can commit the bulk of my forces on the 1st turn against the Soviet northern armies.

Turn 1 Norther Sector Start
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After making the decision to hold forward and counter attack mostly to the south i begin to put my plans into operation. I start in the Chuguyev pocket where i use the arty of 51st Korps to attack the exposed units of the 277th Division. The reason i chose these units rather than those of the 38th Army is they are the SW front reserves and if I can weaken them or if i am really lucky destroy them totally then it will cause major problems to the Soviet forces as they will have no reserves to commit to another sector either for exploitation or to counter any reverses. Most of the arty attacks succeed and then elements of 51st Korps and the 6th Army Stug Bn (to get the dice bonus) move into finish the job off. After this attack most of 51st Korps retreat and setup defensive positions.

Turn 1 Chuguyev Pocket
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To the far north i use 29th Korps enmase to attack the exposed unit of the 293rd RD. This proves an easy attack and after this units setup defensive positions along the northern side of the Soviet breech in German lines.

In the center the 3rd and 23rd Pz Divisions, plus supporting units attack the Soviet line in the center and the south, all these attacks are led with massive arty bombardments. These attacks result in the loss of 7 Soviet units. After this troops then retreat into a defensive line reinforced with the 71st Division, so that there is continuous line of troops with a Infantry regiment in each hex apart from one location, in addition the PZ divisions grenadier regiments entrench just behind the main front line, so providing a safe space to retreat and also not easily attacked (Carl M maneuverer). As well as the regiments of infantry the each hex has 3 other steps placed into it to bolster the defenders (this is where the loss of the 79th and 29th ID's recon and Pioneer Bn's really shows up and I am forced to use some of the PZ division assets to bolster the line in a couple of places).

Turn 1 End Position Northern Sector
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Turn 1 Kills Northern Sector
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Central Area
Again Spuddy has pushed hard to break through the German line, but in probable in what is a crucial location has failed to get control of the alert hex for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps. Losses on this front have again been heavy, but unlike my attacks in the other game all but one of the infantry units can be reconstituted from the dead, though one more may be forced to surrender on turn 2 depending on what Spuddy decides to do.

Turn 1 Start Central Sector
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Objectives for 8th Korps are to survive as fighting force and start to form a defensive line to the to the south of Kharkov running from Zimev where 51st Korps will garrison the town. In doing this i chose to put the troops into the woods into defensive positions, but make a slight change prior to this and use one of the units and another from 51st Korps to make an attack on a Soviet unit that is a bit exposed, this attack is proceeded by an arty bombardment and results in the destruction of a unit of the 253rd RD. In addition elements of the 113 Division are also located to this region. Elements of the 62nd Division that are not surrounded fall back towards friendly lines.

Turn 1 End Central Sector North
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Further south Perechipino is garrisoned by 4 units including the elite unit of the 113 Div, the Pzjager and Pioneer Bn and the KG of 113th Division. To the west the last unit of 113 Division is entrenched in Lannya and Pzjager Bn of the 3rd Pz Division is also sent that way, in addition the Garrison is reinforced with a strong point and a mine to one of the non river sides. Next turn this will be reinforced by units of 305th Division. Krosnograd is left as an open city.

Both air interdictions are used in this sector, one to slow down the advance on Lannya so it can be fully garrisoned next turn and the other further north to guard the space between the retreating 62nd Division and the defensive line further north starting about Borki. I should add Borki gets the lowest priority on victory locations for the simple reason if its taken it give the Germans some replacements which are much needed at the start of the game, Lannya and Perechipino do not.

Turn 1 End Central Sector South

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Turn 1 Kills Central Sector
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Southern Area
Turn 1 Southern Sector Start

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In the 6th Romanian Korps area, Soviet forces of AG Bobkin and cavalry have destroyed the northern most Romanian regiment. This though leaves them exposed to counter attack, and the heavy arty of 11th Korps and the remaining Romanian units counter attack killing of a rifle and cavalry regiment which is a nice bonus. It would be good if Spuddy continued his attacks here but i think its un-likely as the major objectives are further west. In Addition i move the HQ of the Romanian Korps closer to the front lines.

Further south units of 11th Korps destroy a number of Soviet strong points, otherwise not much else happens.

The 17th Army's attached units are sent at top speed to garrison Dneprovinsk, these include the Romanian Division, the two engineering units, the heavy arty and the 88 flak Bn.

The 44th Korps and 1st Pz Army counter attack against the units at the bridge hex (same thing i do as the Soviets) and destroy a Soviet Tank Brigade as it can not retreat and the hex is garrisoned by 4 Infantry Regiments.

Turn 1 End Southern Sector
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Turn 1 Kills Southern Sector
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All in all a good German turn especially after the initial reaction, I still have concerns, especially about the northern attack, but if the line holds in most places for turn 2 then things should be secure enough that i can withdraw one or both Pz Divisions to hit the Soviet 6th Army, or at least try and garrison the river line. At the moment the job is just to survive as a fighting force and pick off any Soviet units I can.
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Postby Talos » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:26 am

A quick note. The use of the Tank Brigades of the Soviet forces is a major difference between I and Spuddy we differ in their employment, i am prepared to take substantial risks in pursuit of my objectives with them while Spuddy is more cautious in their use. If Soviets forces do not push hard at the begining they are probable doomed to lose. The two games to some extent show these differing view points and differing philosphies of how we approach these games, i will leave it to the rest of you to decide which way is best or perhaps which suits your style of play. :)

As an added thought, my use of the armour early on is an attempt to overload the German defenders, basically giving them to many fires to deal with at the same time, and i don't think this has really come through in what i have written.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:26 am

Turn 2 objectives are to reach Lannaya and attempt to take it without bumping into Krasograd, slowly move toward Borki while attacking the surrounded German forces south of Borki ( a couple of low odds attacks per turn will put them in the red by turn 4 resulting in their surrender. Taking the time to make them surrender will delay any presure from the south on Kharkov, but will take them out of the game for good. )

here is a graphic of my blitz towards Lannaya and assault. Just a couple more ops points by one of the units or a little less combat residue and Lannaya would have been mine.

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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:12 am

Kharkov German Turn 2

Things are a bit better this turn but still not great and more work is required to remedy the situation.

Northern Area

Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have made some more in roads into the German position, but nothing disastrous. To the north i lose a regiment of the 71st ID and the 670 Pzjager BN from the font line and the 79th arty further back. Further south the last remaining regiment of the 294th manages to hang on though it took a fearful pounding, the 23rd Pioneer in situ with it was not so lucky. In roads continue to be made by the 38th Army and the SW front reserve units into the Chuguyev pocket. Overall i am pleased with how the second turn has gone especially as Soviet loses were quite high in terms of steps, it could have potentially been a lot worse, as it is i might be able to hold the Soviet hoards further away form Kharkov than i originally hoped and so make my life easier for the rest of the game.

Turn 2 Start North

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Turn 2 End North
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After some deliberation i decide that it will be a minimum effort along this front for most part as i need to send one of the Pz Divisions south to stop the Soviet 6th Army drive towards Kharkov from this direction. Most units will dig in and the infantry regiments will hedgehog to stop the tactical shifts. One Soviet regiment of the 124th Division is destroyed and in the Chuguyev pocket the 51st Korps with the attached Stug Bn destroy a regiment of the 343rd Division (so 1 divisions worth of the SW front reserves has now been destroyed). I would have liked to have done more hear, but in the end defense and other combat priorities take precedence.

Turn 2 Start Chuguyev Pocket
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Turn 2 End Chuguyev Pocket
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Turn 2 Kills North
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Central Area
In the center a unusual occurance, in that i only lose one unit this turn, but the location is more than a little annoying. Spuddy has managed to bounce the defenders of Lannya and i have lost the regiment of the 113th Division guarding the place. The only saving grace is that he has been unable to advance into the city and capture due to it being Zoced by the Pzjager BN of the 3rd Pz. Else where the 6th Army has pushed further west and attacked units of the 62nd division, but they survive as well as gaining control of the alert hex for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps. I am happy with these developments as 8th Korps has been given a bit of a respite to lick its wounds and form some kind of credible defensive position.

Turn 2 Start 8th Korps
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Turn 2 Start Lannya
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After some thought i decide to try and destroy one of the Tank Brigades that is a bit exposed next to the units of the 62nd Infantry Division. This attack is preceded by arty bombardments which both succeed and then an attack by a infantry regiment and the pioneers of the 62nd division, which result in the destruction of the Tank Brigade. Further to the east i eventually decide to try and retake the alert hex for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps, this decision was not taken without a lot of soul searching, but in the end i decided that it was necessary so the Tank Corps will not have the advantage of attacking with the arty bonus on turn 3 and to generally slow up there deployment. The attack to some extent is a bit of a failure as i only destroy one Soviet regiment, as the arty and air power have an off day. But the primary objective is achieved of gaining control the of the critical hex, though it does mean that they recon of the 133th division is almost certain toast and Gruppe Koch is in not much better position. But it should allow the 23rd Pz division to have another opportunity next turn to do some damage and allow reforming units a chance to dig in and gain some replacements. At Lannya the town is re-garrisoned with two regiments of the 305th and the 3rd Pzjager Bn, weather that will be enough to hold or not as open to debate, but in the short term it maybe, longer term if the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps head this way probable not.
Turn 2 End 8th Korps
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Turn 2 End Lannya
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Turn 2 Kills Center
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Else where Perechipino and further south are left alone by the Soviet hoards.

Southern Area

The Romanians take a pounding this turn as the bulk of AG Bobkin destroy 4 Regiments. I am not sure if this is a good or bad move by Spuddy, as its VP's, but at the cost of having the units not attacking further west, and is not as though the Romanians are going to be doing much for the first part of the game anyway. After some thought i decide to leave the remaining units in harms way and counter attack, destroying one Soviet Regiment to see if Spuddy will remain around to finish them off and so lose the advantage of the attacking bonus when trying to take Lannya.
Turn 2 Start South
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Further south units of 11th Korps destroy a number of Soviet strong points, otherwise not much else happens.

17th Army attached units continue on their way to garrison Dneprovinsk, these include the Romanian Division, the two engineering units, the heavy arty and the 88 flak Bn.

Along the 44th Korps and 1st Pz Army front Soviet counter attacks kill off another German regiment as it can not retreat (a mistake by me) and gain control of the bridging hex. In addition for some reason there is a lone Cavalry regiment out in the open. German forces retake the bridging hex and destroy the cavalry regiment.
Turn 2 End South
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Turn 2 Kills South
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This turn has not as been as good as the first turn though I am still holding, but there remain a number of critical sectors.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:03 am

Turn 3 has things fairly quiet in the southern area, as my Mario move failed. (1 tank regiment was able to escape ) In the middle sector near Borki continued attacks on the surrounded units will soon result in their loss, while progress towards Borki is not moving as quick as I would like. In the Kharkov area the lines have been drawn, and now I am just trying to pick off a few German units whenever I can. In the following image I show the simple tatics I try to use on units that seem vulnerable. While the attacks do not achieve any needed ground or break the German lines, they do result in over 100 vps. Sadly, German counter attacks later this turn cost me just as much in the same area due to me only having only a tank regiment available with enough op points to re-locate the retreated units for further arty attacks.
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Considering the skill level of my opponent, this game is going ok. The problem is having only a 700 point lead going into turn 4. All the points that Talos will earn chewing up the units in the southern area of the map will eat up this lead in no time.
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Postby Talos » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:33 pm

Kharkov Germans Turn 3

Things are slowly getting better in the north, but the south ends up being a disaster apart from one shinning light though an unexpected bit of luck which i am not sure if Spuddy recognized. (A small apology i forgot to take screen shots of the kills this turn).

Northern Area
Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have again made in roads into the German position, but only in one location which is a bonus, and this has left a number of counter attacking opportunities. The one attack that succeeded though is a major annoyance as i lose the last remaining regiment of the 294th Division and the Mechanized PZG regiment of the 3rd Pz.
Turn 3 Start North
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The arty of the 6th Army and 17th Korps and air strikes are to reduce the Soviet troops that are un-entrenched that have pushed into the German line. This includes the 36th Tank Brigade, 2 cavalry regiments and 5 rifle regiments. Its unlikely that i will get all of them, but the majority should be possible. The attacks result in the loss of the tank brigade, 3 rifle regiments and 2 cavalry regiments, and these attacks are carried out without un-entrenching the rifle regiments along the front line as most important criteria. 3rd Pz then retreats to Kharkov in preparation for its next mission (either west or south) the reason being the arty and attack bonus have now gone from Soviet forces, so the troops along the front should be that bit safer, though nothing is certain.

Turn 3 End North
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In the Chuguyev pocket there is again a lone regiment of the 277th un-entrenched with a step loss so the heavy arty of the 51st Korps attack and destroy this regiment as well, an added unexpected bonus.
Turn 3 Start Chuguyev
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Turn 3 End Chuguyev
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Central Area
As expected the 6th Army attacks the units guarding the alert hex for the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps and very strong forces are placed in position to make an attack by German forces unlikely to succeed so German troops revert to defensive disposition in the forest. In addition Soviet troops attack the the remaining units of the 62nd division, and suffer substantial losses, though supplies are starting to get low amongst the defending troops bit for the moment they hang on.
Turn 3 Start Borki
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Turn 3 End Borki
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About Lannya their has been a disaster as Soviet troops manage to get their attacks co-ordinated between the arty, air and ground troops which force the defenders to retreat as all initial attacks succeed. Unfortunately for Spuddy the victorious troops chase the retreating German forces and though eventually finishing them off come to close to Krosnograd, so that next turn the city will fall and release the Alert units of 17th Army which is a very unexpected development but a major bonus.
Turn 3 Start Perechipino
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Turn 3 End Perechipino
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Else where Soviet troops advance south a little way past Perechipino.

Southern Area
Very little happens in the south as most German forces are left alone apart from some units of 11th Korps which are almost destroyed by an unexpected attack of the 57th Army.
Turn 3 Start South
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Turn 3 End South
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17th Army attached units continue on their way to garrison Dneprovinsk, these include the Romanian Division, the two engineering units, the heavy arty and the 88 flak Bn. In addition the 389th ID will arrive via the OMA's about Dneprovinsk and will prepare to advance north with other units of 17th Army to relive Perechipino and then to Krosnograd and Lannya with some help from the 6th Army.
Turn 3 End 17th Army
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This turn has been a mixed turn for German forces, in the end its not been a disaster which i suppose is the best i can hop for early on against a skilled opponent and none of the infantry regiments are permanent kills so they can come back and reform, especially with the personnel boost when Krosnograd falls. This i think is the major difference between mine and Spuddy's approach, i am thinking slightly longer term in terms of stopping German units reforming.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:16 am

With Lannaya in our hands, we will use the alert units activated to try and put up a defense of Izyum. (without these units you had better just run and avoid the losses, as the AOs will limit the German 3rd Mot. div. and 1st Panzer div. more than your troops will.)
No further gains are achived towards kharkov. Units from the Lannaya operation now head towards Perishipino (sp) and final preperations are made to finish off the surounded units se of Borki.
Just in case someone doesnt understand how the units can escape from destruction on the southeast corner of the map, here is an image of my tank regiment fleeing across the bridge to fight another day.

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Our units surrounding Perishipino find well entrnched and strong defenses. The next couple of turns will need some luck to achieve anything, as Wiking will be on the prowl in about 2 turns now.
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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:25 am

Kharkov Germans Turn 4

Well my comment last turn of things slowly getting better in the north may come back haunt me.

Northern Area
Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have again made in roads into the German position, Spuddy switches his main effort to the north against the 79th Division and manages to overrun two regiments plus some supporting units, in addition the flak unit in Liptsy is destroyed and town briefly falls under enemy control, this breech in the German defenses is the most serious so far.
Start Turn 4 North
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I did briefly consider letting Spuddy having Liptsy, as the extra personnel and alert division could prove useful, but in the end decided against it, because of the VP implications. Another reason for this is that Soviet forces that have advanced on Liptsy are in a very precarious position, with potential no avenue of retreat and are un-entrenched. With this in mind the 3rd Pz Division plus supporting forces is sent north to expel the invaders and send them reeling. With the help of the bulk of the 29th Korps and preceded by an air and arty bombardment Germans launch a counter attack. The initial attack is designed to try an get a retreat result as well as having armour units attacking from 4 directions (but most importantly not the 3 shift unit of 3rd Pz, this saved for the second attack which I expect to need unless i am very lucky). The attack goes in, gets double dice (75% chance), a retreat result and some armour attacks as well. This results in the destruction of one unit and reducing the other 3 down to one step, the second attack led by the armour of 3rd Pz is 8-1. but because of the step shift is an automatic overrun and finishes the Soviet forces off. The 23rd Pz is then moved from up from about Borki to attack another part of the Soviet forces and though they are not as successful as the colleagues to the north they do get one cavalry regiment and severely damage a number of other units. In addition i use all possible arty to weaken the remaining units in the area and also the carpet bombing attack which gets an unexpected bonus as it scatters north east and destroys two Soviet arty units.
End Turn 4 North
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Turn 4 Kills North
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In addition more units arrive back in Kharkov and start refitting in preparation for operations in a couple of turns.

In the Chuguyev pocket not much happens as units of the 51st Korps are needed further north and at Zimev at the moment.
Start Turn 4 Chuguyev
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End Turn 4 Chuguyev
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Turn 4 Kills Chuguyev
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Central Area
A rather unusual occurance, which allowed me to send the 23rd Pz north to Kharkov, Soviet forces concentrate their efforts on trying to destroy the surrounded units of the 62nd ID. Which i believe is a mistake, the destruction of these units could wait, attempting to get in the German position is more important. About Lannya and Krosnograd the perimeter is expanded and some units are left to guard the conquests, while the remaining units of AG Bobkin and the Cavalry head south and surround Perechipino, though it is not attacked except by some arty.
Start Turn 4 Borki
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Start Turn 4 Perechipino
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German forces now reinforced by more returning units and some additional troops form a line along the river in the forest to the north about Borki, and will expect to get up to near full strength over the course of a few turns with the boost to the replacement pool. The 62nd ID continues to survive, but will probable not hold out for much longer, two units are in the red. Further south the units of 17th Army start pushing back the Soviet perimeter south of Perechipino and will be reinforced by Wiking and co next turn which should give AB Bobkin some problems. I do use the heavy arty of 8th Korps to attack a lone rifle regiment which is down to two steps and am rewarded with both attacks succeeding. German forces have to continually pick off soviet forces where they can until they get down to a manageable size.
Turn 4 End Borki
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Turn 4 End Perechipino
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Turn 4 Kills Borki
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Southern Area
In the south units of 44th Korps again take control of the bridge hex side having been forced back, which allowed some Soviet units to escape. In addition with the help of the arriving 1st PZ army forces (arty) a series of low odds attacks are launched against Soviet forces of the 9th Army. Though this results in some quite heavy casualties to German forces it results in the destruction of a arty unit and a rifle regiment.
Turn 4 Start South East
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Turn 4 End South east
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Turn 4 Kills South east
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The 11th Korps continues to destroy some strong points, and notices some units of the 57th Army heading east which is a bit of a surprise, it will be interesting to see where Spuddy positions these forces.

This turn has again been a mixed turn for German forces, though i think i am winning the war in the north against the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies. Especially if i can get another turn of using one or both Pz Divisions to trim the Soviet forces down to size in the north and then allow them to turn south or south east, once i manage to stableise the position.

Overall i can't complain about the state and where the German forces are at the moment. Interdiction is used up in the north to hinder Soviet movement in the break through area, and in the south to slow the movement of the 6th Army and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps.

This game is still in the balance and will depend on how i conduct the German offensives in the south and against the Soviet 6th Army.

None of the infantry regiments (apart from one of the security regiments) destroyed by Spuddy so far are permanent kills so they can come back and reform, especially with the personnel boost when Krosnograd falls. This i think is the major difference between mine and Spuddy's approach, i am thinking slightly longer term in terms of stopping German units reforming and so having less units to try and form a defense with, even a one step unit can help hold a line in good terrain.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:26 am

Turn 5 is the last turn we will have a chance of making a dent in the Pershipino (sp) defenses. We attempted an arty and air attack with no success. This means that Talos will not retreat, and with very poor odds it is time to accept our fate and begin preparing for the attacks of Wiking. Our goal is to hold onto Krasnograd through turn 12. next turn i will disply our defenses.

Around Kharkov we have pulled back to defensable positions.

The following image is of the surrendering units of the German 62nd inf. I must say that it takes quite some time to wear down strong defensers that are hedgehogged, but in the end I feel it is worth. I now have the vpts, and they are out fo the game for good. Now on to Borki.
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Postby Talos » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:54 am

Kharkov Germans Turn 5

Northern Area

Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies have again attacked the German positions, but this time my forces hold, though barely. The focus of the effort was again Liptsy and the units of the 3rd Pz Division, elsewhere along the northern front all is quite, hopefully this will prove to be the high water mark of the Soviet offensive in the north.
Turn 5 Start North
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As the 6th Army has still not really advanced against the southern defensive line i am again able to concentrate both the Pz divisions against the northern armies. Both pz divisions and supporting troops conduct numerous offensive operations, which are preceded by arty bombardments. The end result is Soviet forces been driven back in most places and the destruction of 9 Soviet units amongst the 21st and 28th Soviet Armies and the 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps, in doing this the central front of two hedge hogged units loses two of their supporting units, which i hope will not prove a disaster. After the offensive units retreat back into defensive positions supported by partially rebuilt infantry units (courtesy of the Soviet trip into Krosnograd). Next turn (unless the situation is truly desperate) will be a turn of refitting for both the PZ divisions and infantry units in this sector though it will be helped by having the 51st Korps AO expanded to cover further north if necessary as long as Spuddy decides not to use the Alert divisions in the Chuguyev sector.
Turn 5 End North
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Turn 5 Kills North
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In the Chuguyev pocket Soviet forces continue to expand forward including at least one of the Alert divisions as the 15GRD was spotted. Again a unit has been left out on its own though and so the focus of the 51st Korps is the destruction of this unit, another regiment of 343th RD. The attack is preceded by an arty bombardment and then units of the 51st Korps plus the Stug Bn of AGS launch an attack which destroys the unit, troops then fall back into defensive positions.
Turn 5 Start Chuguyev
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Turn 5 End Chuguyev
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Central Area
The 6th Army and the Tank Corps finish off the surrounded units of the 62nd Division and force them to surrender which is a blow, and then proceed to take out the forces guarding Borki. Still forces do not push north up to the river line or out west to try and out flank the German position so i can't really complain as its allowed me to continue with the battle in the north.
Turn 5 Start Borki
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Troops of 8th Korps plus all supporting units in the region fall back to a defense on the river line, but not before engaging a damaged brigade of the 21st Tank Corps on its own. The attack is again preceded by a arty bombardment and then ground troops go into finish the job off, unfortunately in doing this they take loses which means the defenses in a couple of places is not as strong as i might wish, and i have added some arty units to bolster the defenses in a couple of places. Elsewhere along the river defenses replacements are added to some under strength infantry regiments as well as strong points.
Turn 5 End Borki
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Turn 5 Kills center
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Further south the units of 17th Army continue to push in the Soviet perimeter south of Perechipino and Wiking plus the 5th Romanian division arrive in the OMA and prepare to enter the fray. At Perechipino the Soviets launch a arty bombardment which is only partially effective and otherwise just dig in, some of the rifle regiments of AG Bobkin are noted to only be at two thirds strength. Next turn the 11th Korps AO expands and they will be used to attack from the east while the rest of the 17th Army pushes up from the south.
Turn 5 Start Perechipino
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Turn 5 End Perechipino
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Southern Area
Not to much from the Soviet forces in the south as they dig in, though in the wrong locations which will make them fairly easy kills for the combined might of the 1st Pz Army. The mechanised troops should have been left or moved further north so they could only be engaged by the units of 44th Korps, as it is now the 9th Army is probable going to suffer some serious loses.
Turn 5 Start 1st Pz
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In the south the German offensive starts and troops of 1st PZ, 3rd Motorised and 44th Korps engage the Soviets forces of the 9th Army still on the south side of the river. A series of sustained low odds attacks destroy the two HQ's, two AT regiments, two Cavalry regiments and 5 rifle regiments, helped by some judicious use of arty at appropriate points in the battles. Further to the west the 60th motorised division surrounds and bypasses Barvenkovo and then continues to head north, while the 1st Mtn heads further west destroying a number of strong points. As the turn ends troops will be moved north over the next two turns and refitted as well so as to bring the back up to strength in preparation for the assault across the river on Izyum.
Turn 5 End 1st Pz
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Turn 5 Kills 1st Pz
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The units of 11th Korps continues to destroy some strong points but other wise they will prepare for a change in focus next turn as they head west to help engage AG Bobkin.

This turn has again been a good turn for German troops generally, and though i have lost some troops of 8th Korps it is not essential and the German defenses still hold, maybe i can finally stop the northern offensive completely in the next couple of turns and use the rebuilt infantry regiments to form a line and then use the Pz Divisions further south against 6th Army and to recapture Lannaya and Krosnograd.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:45 am

Turn 6 is the highwater mark for the Soviets. Wiking and supporting troops are attacking from the south, 3rd Mot. and 1st Panzer are prepared to destroy everything in their path and 3rd and 23rd Panzer have beaten up my forces in the north enough to render them defensive.
Not enough vps have been earned to make it through until turn 16, but we will fight on.
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Postby Talos » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:29 am

Kharkov German Turn 6

The high water mark of the Soviet offensive has been reached in the north and for most places in the south, as only the 6th Army with the attached Tank Corps are still trying to press forward.

Northern Area
Soviet forces of the 21st, 28th and 38th Armies and the attached cavalry corps have switched over to the defensive and have started to dig in along the front line in most places, the one place where they try to push forward they are un-ceremoniously pushed back by German forces.
Turn 6 Start North
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As the infantry regiments of the the 79th and 294th divisions reform they are used to garrison Liptsy in the case of the 79th, while the 294th starts to guard the front line. With this in mind the 3rd and 23rd PZ launch two attacks (despite my plans to rest them this turn) which forces Soviet forces to retreat and also result in the destruction of a rifle regiment.
Turn 6 End North
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Units of the 51st Korps for the most part rest and regain control of territory in the Chuguyev pocket, next turn they will start to take over some of the defensive duties of 17th Korps, so 17th Korps can fill the gap further to the north so leaving the PZ divisions to roam southwards either against 6th Army or AG Bobkin and Krosnograd. As an added note the 15th GRD still remains in the vicinity of the pocket.
Turn 6 Kills North
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In general attacks were limited in the north as most of the arty was refitted this turn as it had run out of bullets.

Central Area
The Soviet 6th Army and the attached Tank Corps try to breech the river line defense of 8th Korps, the attacks result in the destruction of the 9th Hungarian regiment and damage a regiment of 305th which is brought down to one step. The line manages to hold, and i am happy that Soviet forces have not tried to do an end run around the flank of the defensive line, head on assaults are much easier to defend against.
Turn 6 Start Center
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After some thought the line is reinforced with fresh units, and other units brought up close to full strength by some judicious use of replacements. In addition i take the chance to use some arty attacks against Soviet units to keep the Tank Corps below maximum strength for as long as possible.
Turn 6 End Center
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Turn 6 Kills Center
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Further south about Perechipino Soviet forces have retreated to the next river live, blowing all the bridges as they go. The units of 17th Army continue to push in the Soviet perimeter south of Perechipino and link up with the defenders of the town, with the help from 11th Korps.
Turn 6 Start South west
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17th Army is still waiting to get to full strength with the arrival of 4th Mtn Division, which is due next turn. Its unlikely any significant attacks will be launched next turn, but the turn after the attacks will start in earnest, and this will be the time where the two PZ divisions will be needed to keep the two Tank Corps in play.
Turn 6 End South West
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Southern Area
Not to much from the Soviet forces in the south as they continue to dig in, though still in the wrong locations for the 9th Army, while the 57th Army has not been seen, in addition the alert forces of the of the 73rd and 102nd RD's have been spotted guarding the river line and approaches to Izyum.
Turn 6 Start South east
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The 44th Korps and units of the 1st Pz Army attack two rifle regiments and two arty units, and several low level attack eventually destroy this stack, though some of the attackers suffer casualties. After this the bulk of 1st Pz Army heads north to the river line guarding the approach to Izyum and spots a lone regiment of the 73rd RD on its own. Units of the 1st Pz then attack this unit with 3 attacks destroying the unit, which is an added bonus before the main assault on turn 8.
Turn 6 End South East
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Turn 6 Kills South East
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This turn has been a quite turn in general for both sides, but Soviet forces have pretty much hit their high water mark, and German forces are now starting to force the tempo of operations in most places. At the end of this turn i was 862 points down, i would expect this to go up for the next couple of turns and then plateau before reversing towards the end of the game, with luck i will manage to keep it below a 1,000.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:05 am

Turn 7 and I am just preparing for the coming storm. Here is a pic of the defensive situation around Lannaya and Krasnograd. We are slowly pulling back, but should be able to hold on until late in the game. Sadly it still wnt be enough points for a victory, Talos is just too good for me to handle.
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Here is also a pic of the defensive situation around Izyum. With Barevenkovo surrounded it will switch over to German control next which will release my units in the south-east. The added defenders will make taking Izyum that much harder for Talos.
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Postby Talos » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:32 am

Just a quick comment on the surrounding and capture of Barvenkovo. The way as it stands at the moment Barvenkovo will remain in Soviet hands, for it to fall with out a German unit going into it, the hexes needed to be surrounded on 4 or more sides for it to change to German control, at the moment all the hexes are only surrounded on 3 sides so they will not change control.

A small point but something worth noting as it makes a big difference.

I will post the next turns when i get home tonight.
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