Sunday, December 30, 2012

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T033

T033: 12:18.42

Strategic Outlook
Mark is gearing up for a renewed, albeit reserved, sense of attack. He’s pushing a bit more toward Stalingrad, which is curious. The Caucasus Front is relatively quiet except for a small breakthrough in the north that won’t amount to much. The problem for me is that I just don’t have the power yet to assume my own offensive stance in this scenario. The Russians are the key here, as they’re building up strength, but not quickly enough for me to take advantage of the Axis weaknesses in places like the Don Front and in the Caucasus. If I had the extra formations at full strength, I’d strike hard and fast in both those places, where Mark’s formations are tired and in need of some rest. I’m debating three different offensives right now, possibly to launch in unison. But that all depends on how quickly I can get replacements to their units and supply to formations that are in desperate need of it.


I left a small window open and Mark came storming through. I should be able to counter this, but it will take a turn or two before I get things sorted out. A mechanized unit from the 5th Guards Tank moved into a blocking position, which should allow me time to muster up enough help.


After resting for a turn and preparing for the attack, I’ve launched a wave into the first line of Axis defenses. It only took one try to pop the cork here, pushing back the Saxony Division. The Burgundy Division held against the second attack, but was hurt badly and shouldn’t hold against another wave. The 1st Armored Corps led the attacks, as the 2nd Armored Division is pressing through to Oran. This won’t get any easier from here, as supply will quickly become an issue. But if I can rotate units in and out of the line as I go, it should help mitigate some of the supply issues.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T032

T032: 12.11.42

Strategic Outlook
Not much going on this turn, other than troop shifting and airstrikes. The Torch landings continued with the UK forces arriving this turn. Stay tuned for next turn, as I expect things to heat up once again.

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T031

T031: 12.4.42

Strategic Outlook
The “Third” front is now open, as the combined US-UK invasions force has begun its landings in Morocco to no opposition. That will surely change, but at least they’re on the beaches. Overall my situation is improving with each turn. Two large armies arrived on the Eastern Front, both of which were immediately shipped to the Caucasus. I can easily tell that the Axis forces in the East are losing steam. Mark has been forced to give up on no fewer than three would-be offensives. I’m not out of the woods just yet, but I can see some daylight.


Surprisingly, the shattered remnants of my line are holding the German divisions back from an open path to Grozny. This extra time has allowed me to deploy some extra reserves I had sitting around, including some help from the Don Front South sector. The big news here is the arrival of the 5th Shock and 3rd Guards Armies, and the recouperating 2nd Guards Army. If I can keep the Axis forces away from these formations for another turn, they can disembark and maybe even take their time getting into position. I’d hate to run down their readiness so quickly by rushing them to the front.

Morocco - Operation Torch

The landings were supposed to be the easy part, and they were. I have two turns of sea transport at 30k. The UK and Polish Corps weren’t able to land in the first wave, but it’s not a critical mishap. Patton’s 1st Armored Corps has made contact with the German-French forces, fortified along a short front. They’re backed up by additional units, but this is a position I’m sure I can break in a few turns. Naval support is readily available, but I’m hesitant to expose the squadrons to enemy air attack or even a sortie by the Italian Navy. In the last game, I took some heavy naval losses because I underestimated the Axis ability to knock them out.

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T030

T030: 11.27.42

Strategic Outlook
Torch is a “go” for next turn. I’ve disbanded the sea transport and the entire invasion force is ready in the ports. As for the rest of the theater, my defenses are much stronger in this game than the previous game. I can’t really chalk it up to any single aspect. However, I can say the replacement rate changes, coupled with a slight strategy change has been the biggest difference so far. If you recall, the availability of the 45th and 46th Russian Armies made an enormous difference in holding the Rostov Sector for much longer than in previous runs. Mark admitted to me in our most recent email that it might be better if he switches over to the defensive at this point. I haven’t analyzed his moves for this turn just yet, but that seems to be a stark change from how things were going in the last playtest. My plans were to shift my own forces to offensive operations within 15-20 turns. Mark may allow me to do so sooner. We’ll see.

The first sector where Mark has pulled back and abandoned his offensive. His lines are restored to basically their starting points. Friendly reinforcements are arriving and plugging up the Russian gaps.

Losing this city would have been a huge blow, but I managed to blunt the attacks just enough to force Mark to rethink the risk-reward of going all-out to capture Yelets. Not much combat other than some simple counter attacks from my side to restore the lines.

Don Front - North
Mark hasn’t retreated back across the river just yet. I wouldn’t either, as the Russian numbers defending the northern side of the Don are still weak. This won’t likely amount to much in the end, but it will definitely suck up valuable reinforcements I need to send elsewhere.

Don Front - South
I’ve recaptured two hexes this turn, as some reconstituted divisions have arrived to relieve the 1st Guards Tank and 2nd Guards Armies. The bulk of my front line is still manned by the Orel and Ukraine Front mechanized divisions, which are pushing back a bit more this turn. I should have more units to send here soon, allowing those Front Group divisions to retire and refit for what should be renewed offensive operations in Central Russia.

The two main breaks in my angled line are giving me a gigantic headache right now. However, losing Grozny would be an even bigger headache, so I’ll just take the flimsy defensive lines for now. The 5th Guards Tank Army has been a great anchor for the center of my line, as I only need to use one division per hex to mount a decent defense. The rest of the line isn’t so strong. Mark hasn’t made much headway on either wing of the line, so just refer to the previous turn’s slide for a general idea of where things are happening.

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T029

T029: 11.20.42

Strategic Outlook
It’s time to open another front. The invasion plans for Operation Torch are outlined below. I don’t plan on using any shock theater options for this one, as it’s not likely that the invasion forces will have to fight their way onto the beaches. The overall situation is improving slightly, but the fact that reinforcements tend to arrive a turn or two after I could actually use them has made things much more difficult. I’d like to shift things on the Russian Front from a defensive stance to an offensive one within the next 15-20 turns.


Pulling all available reserves from nearby sectors, I’ve managed to at least contain the German breakthrough. I don’t have enough to mount a decent counterattack just yet, but as Mark’s forces lose steam here, I’ll have an opportunity to strike.

Don Front - North

Mark has gained a solid bridgehead across the Don here, but supply will quickly become an issue for his assault force. The road across the river was not capable of offering full supply, and its bridge was blown to compound that supply issue. I should be able to muster up some more reinforcements this upcoming turn. Hopefully in the meantime, I can keep the Germans in check.


Just a quick regional update here. It would definitely be easier to just retreat back to a defensive line from the mountains thru Grozny to the Caspian Sea and up to Astrakahn. But I’m committing to not allowing Mark any free gains. This is not a sustainable position at this time. The next big wave of reinforcements won’t arrive until at least turn 31. And even then, it will take a few turns to get them ready and deployed.

Plans for Operation Torch

Mark has planted his defenses inland, away from the beaches and Casablanca. The US will take the northern landing beach, while the British and Pols attack into Casablanca. I do know that the German-French forces that were swapped in for the Vichy Forces earlier in the game are fortified along the line marked on the map. Behind them are additional German and Italian units in defensive positions. I doubt an additional landing at Oran will be possible. The risk of not getting onto the beaches would be too great.

TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T028

T028: 11.13.42

Strategic Outlook
The Caucasus area is in the most danger right now, but Mark has decided to launch excursions in the Yelets and North Don Fronts. I should have expected the Yelets attack, as I shifted all my armor to the South Don Front. The artillery reinforcements arrived this turn, but won’t be combat-ready until next turn. They should really help make a difference where I need it most.

A German Panzer division, supported by some Hungarians, broke through and scooted a few hexes before I cut them off. This doesn’t have the feel of a major offensive, so I’ll deal with it using local reserves.

North Don Front
Same as the Yelets breakthrough, but with a little more oomph behind it. I’ll need to get some reinforcements here soon, as the line is very weak. I was relying too much on the river to keep the Germans at bay. Now that they’re making headway, I’ll have to address this with some significant attention.

South Don Front - Stalingrad
This sector has remained stable for two turns now, which is more than I can say for other sectors. The arrival of the Orel Front mechanized divisions turned the tide here. I’m not out of the woods just yet. As more reinforcements arrive, I can solidify my defenses and hopefully turn Mark’s attention elsewhere.

Central Caucasus

The first line has evaporated, but the Germans are still not near Grozny. A few loose cannons have gotten into my interior lines, but nothing significant. The 5th Guards Tank has arrived to give Mark something to think about on his left flank. This isn’t enough for me to defend the entire region, but it’s a start. The 6th Army and an Op Group has arrived west of Grozny. Hopefully the Germans don’t get to them before they can disembark.