Leo Zappa
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Operation Uranus After Action Report #1
Stalingrad Pocket 2nd Edition
Pre-Game and Game Turn 1 (November 19-20, 1942)


My wargaming buddy Dan and I began our most recent effort on October 3, 2013 – the 16 turn campaign game of Stalingrad Pocket 2nd Edition. This scenario depicts the first month of the Russian counteroffensive, Operation Uranus. This is the first play ever of SP2 for Dan and me, and only our second SCS game, coming on the heels of our recent play of Yom Kippur. I am really enjoying the SCS experience – simple straightforward basic rules, but just enough chrome to keep things interesting. In a way, this is a rematch of sorts for Dan and I, as a couple of years ago, he and I played an epic game of the SPI mini-monster “Drive on Stalingrad”. As in that game, I am playing the role of the Russian commander, G.K. Zhukov, while Dan again takes on the position of German General Maximilian von Weichs, commander of Army Group B.


The following link sheds some light on my thoughts going into this campaign:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1036875/preparing-for-a-...
I have ended up deciding to pursue a mainly historical approach as the Russians, with an eye to surrounding Stalingrad within the first four turns of the game.

Stalingrad Pocket 2nd Edition’s campaign game starts on November 19th, 1942, with each game turn representing two days of actual time. The game is 16 turns long, so in effect, the campaign game spans 32 days of action. The Axis forces start out deployed in a thin, continuous line to the western and southern flanks of Stalingrad, with a concentration of units centered on Stalingrad itself. The majority of the Axis troops on the flanks are Rumanians, while most of the troops in Stalingrad are German. There are also several German mobile formations set up behind the main lines. The Russians have significant armored forces available opposite the Rumanian formations, and a lot of infantry in the vicinity of Stalingrad.

Here are the pre-game deployments of both sides:





And now, the launch of Operation Uranus!

AAR#1 - November 19/20, 1942
Comrade Stalin,

I am pleased to report that we have launched Uranus on schedule. The weather was clear, and our efforts were supported by four air force regiments. The first two days of the operation have brought generally favorable results. To the west of Stalingrad, 5th Tank Army, 21st Army, and 65th Army have made numerous penetrations of the enemy lines, with the 65th Army destroying the German 14th Panzer Division in the process. 5th Tank Army is now positioned to crush the enemy 22nd Panzer Division tomorrow, which should eliminate the last mobile reserves of the enemy in this sector. Meanwhile, the 21st Army and part of the 65th Army are preparing to surround and destroy the Rumanian 4th and 5th Corps. The other part of the 65th Army is going to head east around the flank of the German 11th Corps.


To the southeast of Stalingrad, 57th and 51st Armies smashed the Rumanian 7th Corps, causing it to retreat over 30 kilometers to the west. Our forces will pursue and annihilate the remains of this force over the next several days. Once the Rumanian 7th Corps is dispatched, we anticipate that 51st and 57th Armies should join hands with 65th Army and effect the pocketing of the Hitlerite forces in Stalingrad within the next four days.


As for Stalingrad itself, 24th, 66th, 62nd, and 64th Armies will continue to exert pressure on the German forces in the city, to ensure that the enemy is unable to disengage and interfere with our pocketing operation. The enemy was able to fly some supplies into Stalingrad.


The only unfortunate note regarding the opening of our operation is the unacceptable performance of our artillery forces. Both our conventional and our rocket artillery units were relatively ineffective in terms of preparatory bombardment and our initial infantry assaults suffered accordingly. The commanders of the offending units have been dealt with.

The attached map will show you the current situation:


Regards,
G.K. Zhukov


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mike gray
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great aar.
thinking about getting this game for myself.like the scs system very much.been playing ins with the smaller battles.the river crossings are very interesting.i think i need more playing time.
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Xesqui BCN
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great AAR!
congratulations and enjoy the game!
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Chris Buehler
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Great AAR! Please continue to provide updates.

Chris
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Leo Zappa
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ChrisBuehler wrote:
Great AAR! Please continue to provide updates.

Chris
My pleasure. Hopefully we will get another session in next week. I'm anxious to get my tanks rolling again. I don't think I'll be able to close the pocket on Stalingrad as quickly as the historical Russians did, but I hope to do so within the next three turns. Despite my horrendous die rolling on my initial barrages, I was still able to punch enough holes in the Axis line to get most of my reserve armored spearheads into open country. I'm really looking forward to smashing the German 22nd Panzer division next turn. If I can pull that off, I should be able to make some hay west and south of Stalingrad.
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Kev.
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Wow Axis hung tuff on the Left! Impressive.

That of course is mitigated by the disaster left West of Stalingrad. Germans have lots of punch if your opponent is prepared to shuffle bits around and consolidate.

Don't forget your Reserves. They give a nice one , two punch. Great stuff mate.
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Leo Zappa
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Well, so much for the Axis left...or right! I'll post a more complete AAR later, but here's a teaser from tonight's game turns 2 and 3:

As you can see, the Axis flanks are in complete collapse. I am probably two turns away from pocketing Stalingrad. I must admit, the German artillery in and around Stalingrad is very tough - it's been my biggest headache so far. My German foe also beat me to Kalach, but I've got other plans for my mechanized forces that will hopefully unhinge the backdoor to Stalingrad!

Losses have been very lopsided so far, as you might expect in this situation. The Axis have lost 41 units to date, while the brave Soviet forces have lost 5 units. As I had hoped, the big coup of turn 2 was the total destruction of the German 22nd Panzer Division to the southwest of Stalingrad. I'm happy to have that formation out of the way!
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Leo Zappa
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The next installment is now ready for those who subscribed to this thread!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1071774/operation-uranus...
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Leo Zappa
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AAR#3 is now up:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1093313/operation-uranus...
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Mike Moe

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Hey Leo!
Great aar! I pulled my copy out on the 26th to set it over the New Year and then I came across your great aar! I will be following the action closely.
Thanks for your work.

Plumasman
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Leo Zappa
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AAR4 is up:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1125551/operation-uranus...
 
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Leo Zappa
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The final AAR in this series, AAR#5, is now up for subscribers...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1224516/operation-uranus-abb...
 
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