I've had a good time tracking and reporting this game, so far. After turn 4, the map looked like this:
Here's turn 5.
STAVKA ordered the 300th, 97th and 47th Guards IDs and the 2nd Guards Motorized ID to attack the German 336th ID and 11th Panzer division, forcing a retreat. The 5th Motorized, 315th, 333rd, 3rd Guards Cavalry and 4th Cavalry IDs to attack the 7th and 8th Luftwaffe, elminiating them. The German 22nd, 62nd IDs and the 22nd Panzers were forced to retreat by the 312th, 346th, 14th Guards, 50th Guards and 8th Cavlry IDs. Russia's 1st Guards Motorized ID, 35th Guards, 40th Guards and 153rd Ids and the 23rd Tank corps eliminated the 304th and 298th IDs by forcing them to retreat into Russian ZOCs. The 278th, 197th, 41st Guards and 15th Tanks attacked the German 306th, but the Germans held their ground. The 160th, 161st, 206th, 209th, 305th and 25th Guards Ids eliminated the Hungarian 10th and 12th IDs. The 219th ID alont with the 24th and 25th Tank corps eliminated the Hungarian 20th ID and overran the Hungarian 2nd Army HQ. The 172nd 243rd, 20th Guards and 6th Guards Cavalry IDs, with the 2nd Tank corps eliminated the Hungarian 7th and 13th IDs. The 17th and 18th Tank corps eliminated the Hungarian 1st Tank division by forcing it to retreat into Russian ZOCs.
The 1st Guards Army HQ sent the 1st, 159th, 346th and 14th Guards IDs after the Romanian Motorized ID and the German 294th ID, forcing a retreat. The 278th, 197th, 41st guards, 35th Guards and 40th Guards IDs, and the 12th, 15th and 23rd Tank corps attacked and eliminated the 306th ID by forcing it to retreat into Russian ZOCs.
The 3rd Guards Army HQ attacked the Romanian 2nd and 18th IDs with the 315th and 5th Motorized IDs and the 4th Cavalry, eliminating the enemy units.
The Hollidt HQ pulled back forces within its command range, and spread them out to increase their control of the area and slow the advance of the Soviet troops.
The 4th Panzer Army HQ fell back to occupy Rostov and reinforce the troops already deployed there by Hollidt.
The 5th Tank Army continued the drive forward toward Rostov.
The Kempf HQ, Ordered by Manstein himself, fell back to cover the approaches to Stalino.
The Hungarian 2nd Army moved back to within range of its units in the North. The F-Pico HQ Moved the GD, 3rd Mountain ID and 168th ID out of the Russian encirclement.
The German 306th ID is OOS.
No Soviet units are OOS.
The German DR, 335th ID, 333rd ID, 302nd ID, 320th ID, LAH and the second Manstein command chit entered for the Axis.
The Russian 279th ID and 1st Guards Cavalry entered for the Soviets.
The whole map after this turn looks like this:
I have a few more images of this, as well. The images I've uploaded give a good overview of the map, but it's tough to see details due to the way that my camera focuses on all the little bits, and probably also due to the fact that I don't know how to adjust it to make it focus better.
So, here they are. I took four closer images of the South, South-Central, North-Central and North sectors of the map.
I should probably mention something about the current VP situation. The Soviets have eliminated a number of German IDs and Panzer divisions, so they're climbing up the VP track. But the Axis still have a pretty good lead, and the Russians need to capture a couple of those key cities to have a chance at victory.
4 more turns to go...
The Russians are in OK shape, but behind schedule in ground controlled and initiative terms. OK in units destroyed. They need to focus on the drive on Kharkov in the north, and on cutting up the German PDs just committed to that wing. In the southeast, they can just content themselves with picking off the forward German IDs, at least 3 of which look quite vulnerable.
A supplementary drive toward Stalino in the center might be useful, but don't divert too much from the Kharkov drive for it.
Tactical specifics - in the north, SS PD DR can be encircled if the Russians get the first move in that area. Just send on tank corps circling it to the south, passing close to the German HQ and then NW on the east side of that river. Then the remaining armor hits it from two front hexes and all its retreat routes are covered. Even with the rough it should be 3:1, giving a 2/3rds chance of reducing it. Two in a row would kill it, but it'd be a start regardless.
South of there is the main German weakness, the "hole" in their line with only an HQ. Since it is on a road, 1st Guards Mech can run right over it and keep going (ZOCs stop road movement, HQs do not) and reach the crossroads beyond the river line the Germans just railed all their infantry in, along. Send plenty of IDs behind along that road, road movement. The rest of the central armor can fan out slighted astride the road.
This means 1st Guards and any available northern HQ have to go in the cup.
In the south, the German 1st Panzer Army left an ID out east that can be encircled. Just use the cavalry to overrun the HQ and continue around the ID to the north. Mech then crosses the bridge and snaps a frontal ZOC on it, and it won't get away.
In the south-center, there is another German front line ID that can be encircled with ZOCs if the Russians get first impulse there.
Rostov is too strongly held, it won't fall. But killing the north wing of the German force will at least equal that VP swing, if you can accomplish it.
On the German side, they can move some mobile divisions out of the south to cover the thin center. The northern group should fall back on Kharkov and let distance take some of the Russian punches right now. Hungarian 2nd should go in the cup - it or either Manstein early and the north can hold.
Love thy fate.
Awesome report; made all the better with your photos.
Thanks again, Jason. I don't take your comments into the dungeon with me when I play, but I'll see how much of that I can remember, and how effectively I can implement it.
And thanks for the compliment, The Deacon.
Edit: Wait a minute, I've already played Turn 6. The Germans got a couple of key early moves, and escaped destruction in the North. I'll post that one this evening, or tomorrow, when I have time.
- Last edited Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:54 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:52 pm