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A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943» Forums » Sessions

Subject: PBEM Session: Stalled at the Donets rss

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Darin Stephenson
United States
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I do not run and hide... I strategically maneuver.
We tried this game a couple of times face-to-face, but found that it was taking us nearly 1 hour per turn. Since we couldn't generally set aside 8-9 hours, we decided on a PBEM game. This was really the first "full" game for both of us. The game was played on Vassal from March 9 to May 14, 2007.

Darin (KentuckyKid) played the Soviets and Aaron (WonderCinz) played Axis. All of the pictures were taken at the end of the turn in question (after reinforcements).

Turn 1 saw the Soviets break through the Italian lines at Boguchar. South of Stalingrad, some Soviet forces advanced southward on Romanian positions, while others moved westward across the Don to try and deal with the Germans there.

Turn 2 saw the Axis plug the holes in the middle, while the Romanian forces were all but wiped out by the Soviets in the south. The Soviets began to push against the Hungarian lines in the north.

In Turn 3, the Soviets expanded south of the Don. They made some progress in the middle, but it was much slower going there.

The Hungarian lines in the north fell in Turn 4. In the south, the German tank divisions retreated to take up defensible positions west of the Donets. In the middle, the Germans kept retreating tactically -- the Soviets were gaining ground slowly, but they couldn't break through.

The Soviets had trouble making up ground in the south in Turn 5, against the well-positioned tanks. Modest progress continued in the middle and north.

The northern gap in the Soviet lines came back to haunt them in Turn 6, as two German tank divisions found their way behind Soviet lines and nearly made a run at Soviet supply sites. While this led to the eventual loss of one of these German tank divisions, it was an important step, as it put Soviet units out of supply for a turn and halted the steady westward progress.

In Turn 7, it became apparent the the Axis powers would take their stand along the Donets. The Soviets were trying to cross at various places in the south, with limited success. It was clear that the southern assault on Rostov held little hope unless the Soviets could bring some help from the north, and Kharkov seemed all but out of reach in the north.

Turn 8: Seeing no hope of securing either Rostov or Kharkov, the Soviets try hitting a weak point in the German lines south of Kuplansk. They were hoping to run towards undefended Stalino or Dnepropetrovsk or at least put some German forces out of supply in the last turn. German tanks from the south dashed these hopes.

The picture below is from late turn 9, when the game was abandoned. The Soviets were out of actions chits, and the Germans were leading 29 to 23. The Germans had 3 actions left that they didn't use, so they certainly could have scored a few more points had the game continued.

Here is the final toll.

The final score:

Axis 29 (25 cities + 4 Soviet mech elimination)
Soviets 23 (4 German mech and 11 German non-mech eliminations)

I think that both players learned a lot during this game. We look forward to our next one!

(Edit: To repair non-working image links.)
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