Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

EuroFront II» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A very different Barbarossa. pt1 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tomas Lidholm
Sweden
Stockholm
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's October 41, and the russians still control Riga. How does that sound? Not too good? I would agree. If I didn't know how it looked in the south.

Let me start at the beginning.

So, Poland fell. No big surprise. The russians had a fairly expensive winter war, but when it ended the finish army was Mannerheim at 1cv and a 0cv static. Weser was done in the historically correct way, but the allied response was not. Canadian and british forces are still holding out in Narvik, despite heavy losses. But the reinforcements have been plenty too.

Belgium and Holland went quickly, and as Brussels fell the french regime was taken over by Petin, since the french didn't think the british did enough for the war effort. An early entry by Italy into the war and a couple of german blitzes soon made the French call for armstice, just before Paris was surrounded. With a strong french army still standing, the german players had to accept the armstice.

In the balkans, Romania went axis, Greece allied, and after the bulgarian entry on the Axis side, the yugoslavians felt compelled to do the same. After som harad fighting in Greece, it finally seems like the greeks will have to surrender.

In the east the Russians did not really manage to occypy the Curzon line on time, meaning that the germans gained a few steps. And rewrote the entire battle plan. The extra hexes in Soviet actually meant that there was a connection between army group south and army group romania. And that meant a wide front of open ground to the south of the Pripet marshes. And that's where the german army gathered. All of it, exept for the few garrison units left in France.

With good weather May2, the germans decided to start early, blitzing only one HQ, engaging everywhere possible and Striking hard towards Kiev and Odessa. With the initial russian line pierced, the first fortnight of june just saw a normal activation, cutting Odessa and Kiev (almost). Then the Blitzing continued, cutting Dnepropetrovsk and Khrkov and eventually running the over, and as November is about to start the fiercest battle is in Rostov and the german units are forming a defensive line just west of Stalingrad, waiting for the firce winter. A few supply problems from a break out from Rostov has made the forward german elements rather weak, but still a force to be reckoned with. If the first fortnight in November is mud then Rostov will fall to, since the russians wont be able to get supplies through unless they move first. So even though Riga is still standing, it looks rather good in the south. But not further south though... Rommel is making a little to rapid a retreat towards Tobruk after a disastrous battle at Benghazi, and Crete and Narvik is still in allied hands. So it's a race against the clock for the germans, they really want to break the back of the russian bear now, but it still looks rather flexible. And winter is coming, together with four russian shock armies...

In a few hours we will continue this interesting game, and I will keep you posted if you want to know how it went...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bart Grubben
Belgium
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
In a few hours we will continue this interesting game, and I will keep you posted if you want to know how it went...


Yes, please!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomas Lidholm
Sweden
Stockholm
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A very different Barbarossa. pt2, maybe not so different?
Last night saw a continuation of the game. With winter in Nov1 the russians could actually supply Rostov, but was unable to get eny reinforccments in, so the germans made an attack with everything they had available and took it from the russians. That meant that all of the southern cities was now in german hands and the next target looked to be Stalingrad. The winter also saw a massive russian build up in this area. Due to paralysis, the german army mainly licked its wounds and tried to make its lines look a little prettier.

On the other fronts, both west and north was quiet. In Africa, the german DAK and Afrika HQ was evacuated to Italy after a disastrous battle in Benghazi. All axis forces left in Africa by that point was a italian 1cv inf in Benghazi, and the LtAfr and THQ. Things looked grim. At that point, the italian inf actually survived a round of combat against an allied force of 3 mechs and 1 infantry (albeit unsupported). This gave the axis a little extra time and when the italitans finally fell the LtAfr could retreattowards Tobruk and be reinforced by a newly equipped DAK returning to Africa from Italy. With rebuilds of the italian inf and static it did not look as grim anymore, and when the initial allied attack was blunted by the DAK and then counter attack and destroy two allied blocks (one 2cv mech and 1 4cv mech). With allied HQ resources depleted this meant that the remaining forces had to withdraw and rebuild, giving the germans more time. As august is about to begin, the forces are locked in a stale mate two hexes from Tobruk.

In the east, as mentioned above, it became very cold. In an attempt to put som pressure on the germans, the russin army placed fresh reinforcements in the vicinity of Riga, but the german moved a few extra blocks there, so when the attack came in december, the germans could easily reinforce and tie up three russian shock armies. Som minor shuffling was the only other things happening during the winter. April saw a german pullback from the lines outside of Stalingrad, in order to be able to focus the attack better when summer came. And with may came good weather. Even though there was a risk of mud in the second fortnight of may, the germans attacked, and they struck straight north from Kharkov, heading for moscow. The reason for this is that this is where the russian defenses looked weakest. The germans managed to cut Voronezh and also put pressure on the russians on the line between Riga and Bryansk. The russian response to this was an activation of 4 HQ:s, to make new lines, and get reserves to the area around Moscow.

Luckily for the germans, May2 was also sunny and warm, so the attack could continue. Pressing north engaging on several places the germans caused heavy casualties south and south east of Tula. Bryansk fell and several new holes appeared in the russian lines. This made the russins activate fourh HQ:s again (including stavka for the second time). Now the defenses around Moscow was beginning to look solid though.

In June Tallin fell, thus ending the last hope for the defenders in Riga. A german corpd managed to catch up to the Baltic HQ too, adding it to the russian casualties. The line in the north was moving rapidly eastwards, facing little opposition. In th moscow area, the germans attacked at the weak spots, trying to kill as many russian blocks as possible. An attack was even made north of Stalingrad in July to kill som blocks, and to further widen the gap between what was slowly becoming the two russian fronts.

And that's where we are now. In the north, it looks like Leningrad will be cut soon, and further south there is fighting outside both Tula and Stalingrad.

To be continued, next session is on wedenesday.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bart Grubben
Belgium
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good session report, Tomas; please, keep them coming. I'm in the middle of my first Eastfront game (well, second actually: in the first I made a horrible mistake which left half the German army out of supply) and I really enjoy the system. I envy you for having the opportunity to play this game face to face. If I ever try my hand at Eurofront it will be PBEM I gues.

Reading your report it seems quite playable for such a monstergame. What's the estimated playing time for an entire Eurofront campaign?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomas Lidholm
Sweden
Stockholm
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And the dance began anew. Well, there wasn't much dancing actually...

One you play a game of EuF with sessions once a week you get a lot of time between to think about you're moves between sessions. My initial plan was to get of the map, because no russian player wants german armour running around in the off map areas just a stone throw (albeit a long one) from Siberia, or Kazakstan (german control of Kazakstan would put the entire southern russian army OOS).

The route toweards the off map areas lay open to me, as the russian (wisely) had separated his army into two parts, one folding towards Moscow, and the other towards Caucasus. There isn's much interesting in between anyway. And to just go for the off map areas would have been risky, since it would have given me a very narrow salient. So something had to be done about either the southern or the northern russian army first. Looking at the map I realised that the northern was the easiest target. Why? Becaus it had a narrow front, and I could actually go around it. I could not entierly encloe it, and this is probably where my opponent made his mistake. He thought that Moscow and its surroundings where safe.

So, first fortnight in august I cut Leningrad and moved my forces up outside Kalinin and Tula. Not a strange move, and not a move that should give any signs of my intentions. The russians solidfied their line, but failed to recognise the fact that the entire northerna army now was dependent on two railways, the ones going north from Voronezh and Gorky. With a german armour positioned east of Volkhov and two or three steps south of Gorky I could in the second fortnight cut both these railways and put everything around Moscow OOS (including killing two HQ:S and reducing stavka to 1cv). The soviets managed to regain supply by opening the Gorky railway (but not the other one), and september saw a german blitz really putting the lid on Moscow, and by the end of september any hopes for the russian steamroller was gone forever. Around thirty blocks was caught in move, so now the russian army was seriously depleted.

What happened elsewhere? The allies finally captured north africe in october (or was it november) and after this it did not take long before the italians left the war and an allied landing came in Marseilles. This was not a big threat though, mostly because of the fact that the allies have a really serious shortage of blocks in W42. And since the Eastern front looked good we transfered some of the PP allocated there back to the west front to help fortify southern france and northern italy. And maybe try to throw the allies back int the sea. This would have been hard, but maybe managable. At least the waest front became a stand still for now being (although the allied did a lot of attacks to try to put some pressure on the germans, but my west front partner had no big problems stopping him.

In the east the winter came, but by now the germans where at all the entry points to the off map areas except Guryev (which fell a couple of months later). The russian line in the south solidified from Astrkhan to Stalingrad, and then following the river south west down towards, and south of, the german controlled city of Rostov. Not much happend uring the winter, apart from moving and building. And when may was about to begin, the german army was fully built (including the hungarian and romanian restricted units, that where built just to defend that area since the allies had landed in Greece with two blocks, making the greeks revolt and capturing Greece. They did not get further though). But just when my attack on Kazakstan was about to begin we had to call it off for the day, and at that time our opponent conceded the game. It would have been interesting to see how it played out, but it would just have been a long pounding in Kazakstan, and with the german production advantage it would probably not have been able to hold (open terrain and all). So in may 1943 the game ended in a crushing victory for the germans.

Conclusions? Much of the game is decided in the east. The allies have a difficult time doing anything apart from smaller operations before the end of 1943. But I think we already knew that. What I think actually decided the game was the fact that the germans could attack heavily in the south at the beginning of 1941. Now I really see the advantage in occyping the hexes between Romania and western Poland so they will not fall into german hands. The brute force of the initial attack is what in the end brok the russians (I think), and I think that would have been harder to acheive without those few border hexes. And it is really hard to stop a german attack when they mass their HQ strength. All the way through the first yaer of the russian campaing I think my Field HQ:s nevere where more than 3 steps away from each other, often clumped together more close than that. And the last conclusion? There are very few railroads going north from Moscow...

New game next week, and that time I am playing Wallies!

And for your question, We played up untill may 1943 (begining 1939) and that took us four sessions of about 6 hours.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Besinque
Canada
New Denver
BC
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Tomas,

Excellent reports. You guys are trying all sorts of interesting things. I can't disagree with your conclusions, by the way. I also agree that leaving the game set up and holding weekly sessions is a great way to play the game, as you have a week to think over your next moves.

Playing Time: I would say that for experienced players a full 39-45 game takes around 60 hours. Few games go that long however, as it is often easy to read the writing on the wall considerably earlier.

One important feature of the system IMO is the quick setup time, so that if the game is getting one-sided, you can reset things to the historical balance for that time of the war (summer scenario starts) and still play an interesting EuF game through all phases/years of the war.

Best, Craig
 
 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.