Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
2 Posts

World War II: Barbarossa to Berlin» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Paths of Glory player revisits BtB rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matthew Barratt
United Kingdom
Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On Sunday I played Ste at Barbarossa to Berlin. I was the Central Powers ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Axis. The Germans are definately saddled with second rate allies, only having 5 2-2-3 armies between them, not to mention there unwillingness to send their troops where they are needed (the initial Hungarian army won't leave Hungary, in late 1944 I had to abandon two Hungarian corps to futile deaths in Eastern Poland as they refuse to enter Greater Germany and the Bulgarians won't go anywhere useful at all. Their tendancy to abandon the fight as soon as the Allies put a toe into their country was also vexing.

My big mistake was allowing the Soviets time to regroup during Barbarossa as I took time out to play RPs in Summer and Autumn '41 when I should have been pressing hard and waiting until the depths of the first winter (when I am in limited supply and have a column shift against me) and the first two impulses of spring (when neither side can play ops) to rebuild the losses incurred during the first year. I also made a half hearted attempt to break through in Africa wasting ops that should have been used in the USSR on capturing Tobruk, but failing to make any gains in Egypt. As a result of this I lost 1 VP for only holding 4 Soviet VP spaces at the end of '41. My other mistake of 1941 was declaring war on the USA at the first opportunity which hastened the entry of those nasty Soviet mechanized fronts.

At my 1942 high water mark I was at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad, but was some way short of the historical performance in the South, although I did manage to surround a front (ie army) and two armies (ie corps) that Stalin had ordered to stand fast in Dnepropetovsk (unfortunately Soviet units that die OOS are available for immediate rebuild, just the same as if they had died in combat). It was then that the Allies launched operation Sledgehammer capturing the Pas de Calais due to me not yet having reinforced or consolidated my two western armies (Sledgehammer is the Northern alternative to Torch, which wasn't needed because I hadn't made an effort to defend Libya once the Desert Army arrived.). The annoying thing was that I had Atlantic Wall (place two trenches next to Atlantic landing sites) in my hand that turn, but had had bigger fish to fry in the East. Worse still Ste had a US reinforcement card and the Canadian reinforcement card in his hand that turn. I rebuilt a bunch of troops, including Guderian's panzer army that I had lost attacking Leningrad, in the Ruhr and attempted to push him back to his beachhead, but my pitiful replacement capacity and the need to send three armies to defend Italy after Husky, stymied that attempt and I settled down to defend the Rhine, which I did succesfully until the last turn.

As I said, Husky was the next, and ultimately last, invasion that I had to face, I burnt through about a third of the Italian corps defending the straits of Messina with a stack of two Italian corps and one SS panzer corps. By then my three German armies had reached the mountains of northern Italy (German armies can't go into southern Italy until Achse is played) so I ran my surviving corps back to join the armies. Unfortunately I had forgotten about the Italy changes side card, which can be played once Sicily has fallen and removes all Italian units from the game and turns all unocupied Italian spaces allied. Luckily I had a corps in what had been Vichy France that could reestablish supply to my armies, but still the refusal of the Italians to die for the greater glory of Germany meant I had to pour much needed German RPs into the defense of Italy.

Meanwhile in the East the arrival of the 5-3-4 Soviet mechanized fronts hurt badly as their ability to move to join a combat meant that as soon as even a single Soviet unit moved next to one of mine I had the unpalletable choice of retreating, counter attacking (which played in to Ste's hand in as far as attrition is concerned) or suffering a massive T-34 spanking (Only the Soviets can spend ops to roll for trenches in BtB, so that wasn't an option). Luckily Hitler refrained from issueing stand fast orders at an awkward time, so I was able to fall back and lose space instead of troops. Ste made a mistake at this point; when I pulled the two Rumanian armies out of Crimea and stuck them on the front line with a German corps Ste saw this as a weak stack and directed several attacks on it, which was just what I wanted as I had a constant supply of non-German RPs that would have gone to waste otherwise.

I managed to hold the requisite Soviet VP spaces at the end of '42 and '43. However as '44 drew to a close I had to abandon Kiev, my last Soviet VP space, to avoid being surrounded, and thus took a 1 VP penalty. Meanwhile, 1 1/2 Rumanian armies went bye-bye in Bucharest leaving my other SS panzer corps defending my Southern flank on its own, because I hadn't realised that Rumania defects just required the Soviets to hold a single Rumanian space. Soon afterwards the Soviets began taking Wehrkriess spaces which, at -1 German RP for each lost, meant that there was little point in playing any more replacements.

My lack of any armies in the South East meant that the Soviets soon swept to the Adriatic, cutting off 4 VP spaces, 1 German corps and 3 useless Bulgarian corps from supply. This also threatened the supply lines of my much attrited forces in Italy forcing them to fall back to Munich. I had been planning on running back to the Fuhrer bunker in the last turn to force Ste to dig me out of an entrenched Berlin, unfortunately I had counted without all the Allied VP cards, including Casablanca that by itself gives the Allies 1 VP for each of the 4 neutral VP spaces. This meant that I had to defend a perimeter roughly corresponding to modern Germany. My most vulnerable VP space was the Saar that traced supply through a single clear space. This meant I had to reduce the Saar's garrison in order to stop the US forces coming up from Italy from cutting my supply lines. This left the Saar too weak to hold against an attack across the Rhine. I now had to recapture a VP space in order to win. The only possibility I could see was Antwerp, where I had the 2nd panzer army and two corps in Holland facing the British 1st army (only a 3-3-3) and two corps I made two attacks in successive impulses, which only resulted in my entire force in Holland being anihilated. This gaping hole in my lines caused me to resign with three impulses left of the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Barratt
United Kingdom
Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It should be noted that looking back at this game, my big regret is that I didn't utter the traditional lines "Superior Nazi science sneers at secure supply lines." when playing the Luftwaffe supply card.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.