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Drive on Stalingrad (first edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Russian Rope-A-Dope: Turns 11 to 15 rss

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Russian Rope-A-Dope: Turn 11

The Soviet attack over the Don near Voronezh, although a failure, portends a shift in the initiative.

Hitler Directive
(The game was played ignoring Hitler Directives, but are being rolled retroactively to see what effect they might have had.)

The initial die roll is again even, so Directive B remains in effect. (The initial roll has only been odd 3 times out of 11...)

Turns
The Axis is retrenches in the south, and then the Soviets finally engage in both the north as well as the south where they surround a Panzer division. At this point the Soviets conclude that perhaps they have concentrated too many HQs in the south (5) and not enough around Stalingrad (3).



Score
Axis: Unchanged at 116.

Soviets: Unchanged at 117.

Turn 12

Hitler Directive
The initial die roll is odd – maybe my whining influenced the dice. At 116 points, the die roll modifier is 15 – 12 = +3. The die roll is 5, so 5 + 3 produces Directive F:
• Unlimited divisions across the Don
• 10 mechanized divisions allowed in the north
• No Retreats restriction is lifted.
• Capture Rostov by Turn 4. (Done.)
• Capture Stalingrad in two turns: Turn 14.
• Capture Voronezh in two turns: Turn 14.

Turns
The Axis manages to extricate their surrounded Panzer division and rail an air unit to support the defense in the Stalingrad region, but the Soviets engage the Axis almost continuously from the northern Don River down to the Maykop region. The Soviets form an impressive defensive line around Tuapes and Sochi to protect against marauding German mountain divisions. A few breaches form in the Axis line, but the Soviets are unable to take advantage of them this turn.



Score
Axis: Unchanged at 116.

Soviets: Unchanged at 117.

Turn 13

Hitler Directive

The initial die roll is odd two turns in a row – time to buy a lottery ticket? The die roll modifier is 15 – 13 = +2. The die roll is 5, so 5 + 2 produces Directive E:
• 12 divisions across the Don
• 8 mechanized divisions allowed in the north
• No restrictions on retreats.
• Capture Rostov by Turn 4.
• Capture Stalingrad by Turn 14.
• Capture Voronezh by Turn 14.

So... the Axis may start feeling the wrath of the Fuehrer starting next turn for not taking Stalingrad or Voronezh.

Turns
The Axis attempts to form up a defensive line while the Soviets continue to engage on a broad front. In the north the main Soviet attacks occur on the stack securing the end of the Axis line on the Don River at hex N2532. This Axis stack is using the “ablative Rumanian shield” defense. Every D1/D2 result is fulfilled removing that many Rumanian units which are then replenished on the Axis turn. In this manner, the Axis player manages to run through a good proportion of their Rumanian units over the course of several turns. Elsewhere, the Soviets concentrate on the Axis units located at the confluence of the Chir and Don rivers. Unfortunately, these units have no handy sacrificial pawns to throw into the fray. In the south the situation has reached crisis proportions for the Axis, and the first Soviet unit has broken through into the rear of the Axis lines.



Score
Axis: Unchanged at 116.

Soviets: Unchanged at 117.

Turn 14

Hitler Directive
The initial die roll is odd three turns in a row – what’s going on? The die roll modifier is 15 – 14 = +1. The die roll is 3, so 3 + 1 = 4 produces Directive C:
• No divisions across the Don
• 2 mechanized divisions in the North (this turn ends with only 1 division in the north)
• No Retreats is in effect
• Capture Grozny two turns from now: Turn 16.
• Capture Maykop two turns from now: Turn 16.
• Capture Novorossiysk two turns from now: Turn 16
• Rostov must be captured.
• Capture Tuapes by turn 16.

The axis no longer have to take Stalingrad or Voronezh, so they continue to be unaffected by Hitler Directives. (How long can that last?)

Turns
Axis units released from the Novorossiysk area head east to plug holes in the Axis lines, although it only seems like a matter of time before the Axis is unable to restrain the Red Horde. The Soviets continue to pound the Axis line in the north, but are unable to punch through. In the south the Soviets take Salsk and continue to pressure the Axis lines.



Score
Axis: 116 – 5 (Sal’sk) = 111.

Soviets: 117 + 5 = 122.

Turn 15

Hitler Directive
This time the initial die is even, so Directive C remains effective:
• No divisions across the Don
• 2 mechanized divisions in the North (there is only 1)
• No Retreats are in effect
• Capture Grozny by Turn 16.
• Capture Maykop by Turn 16.
• Capture Novorossiysk by Turn 16
• Rostov must be captured.
• Capture Tuapes by Turn 16.
Once again, the Germans are one turn away from feeling the pinch of a Hitler Directive...

Turns
The Axis counter-attacks in the south, re-taking Sal'sk, but Maykop is looking untenable at this point. The Soviet respond by re-taking Salsk in turn and punching through with an armor unit that crosses the Don next to Rostov, cutting the supply lines for Axis in both the north and the south. The Axis never cleared the rail line between Nikitovkah and Likhovskoy, so this is utter disaster for them.



Score
Axis: Unchanged at 111.

Soviets: Unchanged at 122.

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