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Subject: A Tense Refight rss

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Philip Sabin
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On Wednesday evening, I played a friendly game against a retired Major General. I commanded the Soviets, and my initial breakthrough was very historical, including the failure of the primary western attack against Vinograd but the success of the secondary attack against Medvin. I proceeded to push the encircled Axis forces north, and eventually they were penned into Korsun and Yanovka to the north of the Ross river. I had a strong outer and inner ring, and I hoped that I could maintain this to prevent any breakout, especially after the thaw came on turn 5.

Despite the mud, my opponent got lucky and managed to pierce my outer ring in Morentsy, but he had only two panzer divisions nearby to exploit forward and to guard his flanks. He chose to split these divisions between Morentsy and Zvenigorodka, and when I overwhelmed the one in Zvenigorodka and cut off the spearhead in Morentsy, I thought that my situation had actually improved. However, before I could overwhelm the forward panzers, they launched a joint attack with the main pocketed forces and succeeded in linking up in the crucial hex of Shenderovka. My ring was too strong to allow a link up with the main German front, but since the later panzer reinforcements had managed to seize Tichonovka and Vinograd, the stage was set for a messy night breakout from Shenderovka on turn 8, just as happened historically.

I had taken advantage of the westward diversion of the panzers to occupy the German supply source hexes at Panchevo and Mokraya Kaligorka. I still held all of my own supply source hexes, though at the expense of losing some tank units rather than retreating. Most of the pocketed German forces succeeded in rolling the 3 or more needed to break out, and the final victory calculation gave my opponent the narrowest of game victories by 28 points to 27. I did not mind, because I was delighted with how well the game had mirrored the dynamics of the real battle, all the way to the Shenderovka breakout.
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Roger Hobden
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Nice AAR !
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