Stalingrad

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Postby Abwehr » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:26 pm

Tips for the Soviet side:

-Don't plan your attack in a way that it absolutely requires good artillery rolls to work, as after the first few turns the effectiveness of your artillery sort of plummets.

-Don't put all eggs in one basket, try not to place Corps in the same stack when near German units. If they get a good roll and it surrenders, you'll lose it for the entire game. There are situations where you don't have much of a choice, though.

-Plan ahead: Pick the spot where you want to cut German supply on turn 2 or so, and focus forces on that area accordingly.

-The objectives are not all that important in the first few turns, as long as the majority of the Germans are dead and gone by the end of the scenario and you're in or near Stalingrad, you have a pretty good chance of winning. You do have to capture objectives, but in many cases you're not really in a hurry to do so.

Tips for the Axis side:

-Don't waste your Romanians, especially the more mobile units and 4 step regiments. Only move hedgehogged units when you can kill a good Soviet unit that won't come back or when you can pull back into a supplied area. I'd suggest moving the Romanians in the east out of dodge to the west (towards Stalingrad), not the south, but you could detach a small force to that area too. The objectives in the south can be held by hedgehogged German KG's, possibly with Romanian support. With a regular pace of Soviet advance, those units won't be out of supply until after the first German Panzer reinforcements arrive.

-Get all of your mobile German units to the greater Kalach area ASAP. Don't keep them in Stalingrad, where they have nothing to do and their strength is pretty much completely wasted. Concentrating your mobile forces in the center of the map will allow you to kill anything the Soviets throw at you. You can keep the StuG units in the Stalingrad area (near Gumrak or the like, not in the actual city) for some shock shifts for your infantry.

-Don't be baited into maintaining positions you can't possibly hold. It's the supply line to Stalingrad that matters, the rest is of lesser value.

-Don't move German hedgehogged units unless they can be rescued by doing so.

-Just because you get double dice on every attack doesn't mean you should attack everything that moves. Try to make attacks with odds from the second half of the CRT table only. If you try 3:1 attacks or the like, you can easily suffer from serious damage. If you focus on a few 10:1 12:1 attacks each turn, most of the stacks you attack are going to die with minimal losses to your own units.

-If you have the choice between attacking a unit/stack and leaving good units in a dangerous position or not attacking, I'd suggest not attacking unless the unit you can kill is really good (like a Tank Corps). If you need to get a shift from a more risky hexside, use some of those independent units that you can afford to lose.

-There's no need to keep two German infantry units in the southwestern part of the map, especially not when the Romanians have made a sort of orderly withdrawal. If 2 or 3 Romanian divisions (mostly) made it, move the Germans elsewhere as 1st Guards Army isn't going to capture the objective in the area from across a major river as long as you place a good Romanian regiment or two in it and also place stacks at its flanks.
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Postby pete AU » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:25 pm

In addidtion

Soviet:
Your army is massive, but fragile. You need to be offensive - but not too ambitious. The plan is to surround Stalingrad - cut it off and deal with it later - not attack it head on. Chip away at the Germans with 1-1 odds and determined attacks - retreats are useful, moreso than kills. Push the germans back from the airfields and wait for them to go red - then finish them off.

Little packets of hedgehoged axis troops mid-game can be left and cant do much harm - if they move you can quickly wipe them out - if they don't, they arn't harming your advance. Picket them with a unit or 2 and monitor their actions.

Germans
Perhaps the most important thing is keeping track of your air supply. Pitomnick will go out if the Soviets move adjacent, Gumrack if captured. Once the airfields are gone you will be hard pressed to hold onto stalingrad - let alone attack.

Hoths offensive in the latter game could gain you a few vp locations - but is unlikley to get to stalingrad unles you've done major damage in the early part of the game - try to protect South of the Chir and consider an offensive against Kalach as well as the historical route - it is possible to open up a supply route to the Stalingrad pocket - if the pocket is strong enough.
History is an argument without end
Projects - Iskra (available to download), Stalingrad Pocket (ver101 finished and available to download), Guadalcanal (map done), Guadalajara (playtesting - volounteers?), Napoleonic Borodino (volounteers?)
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Postby Abwehr » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:30 pm

Main problem for the Soviets remains trying to kill/remove stacks with a hedgehogged unit in it from the town hexes you need to capture. Due to the VP's, waiting until they turn red can still result in a defeat.

By the way Pete, did you get the e-mail I send you on the 9th?
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Postby pete AU » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:44 pm

Just read it.

I have a version of Guadalajara ready to play. I want to finish colouring in the map - then I'll post a link for playtesters.

Lots of interesting twists in this game.
-points for exiting nationalist units (Ie threatening Madrid)
-special effects from observation units on the heights surrounding Brihuega. This will allow us to replicate what happens if you try to take the town without taking the overlooking hills. (as happened historically - causing a mass rout of Italians)
-A push/pull CRT to replicate the type of fighting

I want to give the feeling the Italians are all gung ho on their way in (you can see the massive convoys/numbers/strength but know the republicans are just going to offer dogged resistance that the Italian 'in'volunteers were not ready for - as the poet said: Spain is not Abyssinia...
History is an argument without end
Projects - Iskra (available to download), Stalingrad Pocket (ver101 finished and available to download), Guadalcanal (map done), Guadalajara (playtesting - volounteers?), Napoleonic Borodino (volounteers?)
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Postby jjdenver » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:57 am

Let me solicit some more specific 1st turn Soviet advice. Here is what seem like reasonable goals to me. Pls correct them.

51st Army: should try for a 1 hex break in the Romanian front and leave other Romanians in place?

57th Army: should try for a 3-4 hex break in the Romanian front and exploit straight ahead (south on map orientation)?

62nd & 64th Armies: probably no attacks, just lend artillery to armies on the flanks of these 2?

66th Army: attrit XIV pz korp - may have a 1 hex break in front or not.

65th & 21st Armies: expand the bridgehead at Kletskaia.

5TA: break through toward Perelozovskii (sp?) on a large front (3-5 hexes)

1GA: Nothing
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Postby Abwehr » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:01 pm

51st Army should do what it can do, killing at least one of the stacks in front of it and advancing past it for a hex or two with its mobile units.

57th Army should try to attack the hex with the 3 step divisional cadre, not the hex with the 4 step regiment as it requires less luck with artillery rolls to remove it. It should try to destroy strongpoints and advance a bit, together with Stalingrad Front. Don't advance the units too far or the German motorized division in the area will wreck some units. Anchor the advance on the minor river to the west.

64th Army should partially move out and prepare to take over part of 57th Army's flank on turn 2 (when 64th Army AO expands slightly). Artillery should be used to help 57th Army.

62nd Army should shell the German stacks at 39,3 (priority) and 40,1 (possibly, if you have some artillery to spare). It's really helpful if the stack at 39,3 dies (with help from 66th Army) because it includes a Panzer battalion, and Panzer battalions are your greatest foe. You can use a special attack to achieve the desired result if needed.

66th Army should take care NOT to advance into a hex held by a German unit at the start of the turn (minefield hexes are OK) as some German AO's will open up, making it a lot easier for the Germans to strike back on turn 1.

24th Army should attack the hex at 36,5 there is not much more it can do until the Germans pull back, which they will do in many cases on their turn 1 as it frees up units. Move a division and possibly one of those area defence brigades next to the XI corps units in the hills to the west.

65th Army should kill the strongpoint at 25,8 with an artillery unit (preferably with a gun unit, not a rocket unit as you'll need the better units for the trickier rolls) and move its tank brigade as far east (towards 24th Army's AO trigger hex in the town) as possible without exposing it too much (so stopping with the minor river at your flanks is a good idea). It should also destroy the strongpoint at 20,10, after which the Cavalry Corps belonging to 21st Army can go through and kill the HQ and artillery unit at 24,1. If all goes well and you haven't used all your artillery yet, you could also kill the AT battalion near the strongpoint at 25,8 with artillery.

21st Army's 4th Tank Corps can be used for a gamble as you could move it so that it can attack the Panzer battalion and artillery at 22,15. Use an air strike first. If it doesn't hit, don't attack. If it does hit, feel free to attack using a special attack, although you might need another air strike to finish the Panzer battalion off. Getting the hex in artillery range is possible, but extremely tricky as the battalion at 18,13 would have to die so you can move artillery there. Use the bridging unit to get the tank battalion on the Romanian side of the river back to your side. Spread out infantry, using 2 or 3 divisions to help out 5th Tank Army in pinning down the Romanians.

5th Tank Army needs to advance as far as it can, killing at least KG Simons. The motorcycle unit (DON'T move it until all the Romanians in its area are gone), together with 21st Army's 4th Tank Corps could cut off the Romanians from supply. You'll see how when 4th Tank Corps is in position and the Romanians next to the motorcycle unit are gone. You could wheel some units of the 5th Tank Army towards 1st Guards Army, but that's risky as the odds that you'll prevent a Romanian withdrawal are not too good as you need a fair amount of luck to dislodge the defenders of the VH to the south across the major river. It might be better to just use every mobile unit to move to the east. Use some divisions to keep the Romanians in place. Park a Tank Corps next to the Romanian Armour division so it remains out of supply, if you cut the supply.

1st Guards Army mobile units should be used, together with 5th Tank Army units to overrun the Romanians they can reach in the 5th Tank Army area. Don't move 5th Tank Army's Tank Corps more than 1 or 2 hexes to achieve a good result, otherwise the movement will cost too many OP's. You could use part of a Tank Corps to finish Romanian units off, though. 1st Guards Army should gradually move down the line. As many results will be surrenders, it should have enough bullets to work the entire north-south line over at 12:1 or so odds. As for the west-east Romanian line: try to kill the HQ in the hex with the cavalry and just move some infantry in. Place a division or two next to the Romanian infantry on the edge of the map, move the rest towards the Romanian 9th Infantry Division.

If everything works, German XI Corps will be (almost) entirely out of supply and the Germans will have lost 2 Panzer battalions. If you slap the Romanians in the west with interdiction, they're not going to get back in supply without German help and the Germans should be withdrawing towards the center of the map. Place one interdiction near 57th Army's spearhead units so attacking them becomes more costly to the Germans/Romanians in terms of OP's. You should probably use the other three to interdict the Romanians in the west. There's little use to interdict German mobile units at this point. Most will be locked in by their AO's in any case and interdicting them without having units near them for additional OP penalties is kind of pointless to begin with as they have a lot of OP's.
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