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1941 Barbarossa - AAR!


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17th of September 1941

In the past weeks we had the Battle of Kiev, now the Battle of Dnjepropetrovsk is starting.

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We have seen worse losses.

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The North still holds. I am happy for every turn, because it is a bit early for a siege of Leningrad.

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The majority of the German Tanks is in the south. Apparently the industrial ressources of the Ukraine are the next target of the Wehrmacht. My troops are prepared, but the only thing they can win is time.

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Germany is fielding 108 units at the moment.

Detailed losses next turn.

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23rd of September 1941

Final turn of the summer... from now on there will be more than 3 days per turn, and this will help me big time.

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A lot of casualties this turn.

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Heeresgruppe Mitte is refreshing its tanks. Sooner or later they will attack again... but where?

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The Battle of Dnjepropetrovsk rages. I decided to do a small counterattack. The Romanian Corps in the west and the German Corps in the northeast were damaged badly. My actions have lowered German supply, and the division in the south is on supply zero. The tanks have zero as well, and this limits their offensive power seriously.

Fortunately my egineers have finished a first fortification, and this helps against direct attacks from the west.... and in the east, there is low supply. Next turn it will be October, and I hope for bad weather.

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My losses of the first threee months... but at least I destroyed three romanian corps.

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5th of October 1941

I have finally reached October, and my confidence grows a bit. As I lost Smolensk early in August and Bryansk early in September, I thought this is going way too fast. But now it looks a bit better. Let us see what the remaining months of 1941 will bring.

Every turn consists of 6 days instead of 3 now, so my next post will be on the 17th of October. The first phase of easy victories has ended now... October and November will be more difficult... but the Wehrmacht is still way ahead the Red Army, so the suffering will continue.

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Most of these units are destroyed on supply 5 or higher, so I can buy them back easily. My force pool is completely empty of divisions, and there are just 2 more armies I could buy.

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In the north, Jörg has beaten a hole in my defensive line.. and this hole will not be be closed anymore. Let's make the best out of it and try to win some time.

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Heeresgruppe Mitte is approaching Vyzma... the lack of tanks slows the operations there.

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Fortress Dnjepropetrovsk is holding, but soon the Germans will reach the inner defense perimeter. I try to keep them busy with counterattacks, and a lot of German units are cut of from supply. At least this slows down their attack to the south where I try to fortify the entrance into the Krim peninsula.

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Hindsight is 20/20.

If you took a modern day historian/military strategist for.....

Germany, they would have done better

USSR, they would have done better

So you cant compare history to a wargame. But the Germans should be able to get to a good point. There are a ton of variables.

The game has a learning curve for both Germany and the USSR. The system is slightly different employing new mechanics to operate. I played lots of games and after each one I discussed with my partner the strategies that could be used by either side. Its a healthy level of anxiety.

Hubert and I agreed that untill people were wow'ing about it we didnt release it for marketing. Its fun, its not overly complicated to play, and the strategy is deep. In my last game with Happycat he got to historical lines. A little shifting on the front, less Moscow, more Rostov but thats because it was his choice.

We were both exausted by the Spring and need time to rebuild for 1942 action. I'd say the Barb 41 scenario is the most fun I have had in a wargame in a long time. My other partner LGB who is really critical of games didnt get bored of it. I played the most games with him.

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17th of October 1941

The battle of Dnjepropetrovsk still rages... and there is a (first) battle of Kharkov, that might be even more exciting than the one in Dnjepropetrovsk.

And of course the weather starts to change... muddy ground in the south and snow in the north.

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Less losses, and the Force Pool is empty.. at least for Divisons and Armies.

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The hole in the north gets bigger, but the weather might help here.

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Our glorious forces destroy the first German unit: the 5th Jäger Division bites the dust. I had a few troops in the rear... for emergency reasons. These move to the north and reinforce Kharkov. It is an interesting situation there: no numerical superiority for the Axis, better supply on my side... and good entrenchment.

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Axis forces enter the inner ring, and the fall of Dnjepropetrovsk is getting closer. I do a couple of counterattacks to keep Jörg busy, and I can force a corps and a Tank division to withdraw. Apart from that I try to cut off isolated units, so the start on supply zero next turn. This means their combat usefulness is very low.

Visible on the bottom: the bottleneck to the Krim peninsula is closed. If I can keep the Axis away from there until the end of the year, I would regard it as a big success.

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29th of October 1941

Time for some crucial developments! On various theaters the Red Army has started to fight back. For sure it is not the right time to fight back all along the frontline, but I have ordered to execute a couple of smaller counterattacks, and these will keep Jörg busy. Dnjepropetrovsk will fall, but it held long enough to allow the transfer of reinforcements. One of my strategic targets: controll the eastern half of the Donets Basin when winter breaks in.

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The weather prevents the Germans from inflicting major casualties. In theory, I could buy back the HQ I lost at Dnejpropetrovsk, but fortunately I have more than enough low quality HQs.

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My troops evacuate Pskov and form a defensive line at Lugo. Why do I do this? Any troops at Pskov would be killed on low supply, and it will take Jörg two turns to reach Lugo. Then it is the end of November, so time is running fast. And I can bring in new units to Lugo, so it will be easier to hold.... but any unit I would send to Pskov will be dead in one turn, and from next turn on the railway junction will be cut off, and I would not be able to send new troops. And I can be pretty sure Jörg will not reach Leningrad, because it is just 4-5 turn until years end... at Narva, he does not even try to break my line.

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I send massive reinforcements to Kharkov, and I prepare an attack in the rear of the German spearhead. Let us see if Jörg anticipates this. I might loose the city next turn, but I will try to take it back... I have 10 units down there.

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Final whistle for Dnjepropetrovsk. No more supply, no reinforcements... but I was able to withdraw a couple of units and encircle a Romanian Corps. A starving German division is destroyed, so my troops notice the enemy is not invincible.

At Melitopol and Stalino there are enough units to hold the line and maybe conduct local counterattacks on weakened axis units... there are plenty of those. I think this turn I forced 3 or 4 axis units to withdraw... this did not happen at the start of the campaign.

My troops from the Krim peninsula march to the north, force an axis corps to withdraw and reach the outskirts of Nikolayev.

By the way: I get 17 new units next turn.

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10th of November 1941

Time to strike back... I will start my first major offensive now. The timing seems right, the German forces around Kharkov are exposed. I am not quite sure about the outcome... I might loose all my troops or achieve somehting... who knows. At least I have the initiave and can decide where to strike. Maybe winter strikes somewhere in the middle of this offensive, and this would be an advantage for me.

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I have seen worse losses already.

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In the north, my troops dig in around Lugo. I left a couple of units close to the frontline to delay the advance. Jörg does not attack at Narva, my line is too strong there.

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The Red Army strikes back! Of course my troops lack the technology and experience of the German troops, but let us see what numerical superiority and good supply brings. A couple of German units are encircled.

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In the south, I just want to hold the line.... I can live with the loss of Melitopol, but I want to keep the Krim peninsula and Stalino. My fist Anti Tank units arrive.. might be a nasty surprise for Jörg.

Next turn 13 new units will arrive, including 3 more ATGs.

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22nd of November 1941

My confidence is growing, my troops destroy the first German Tank Group.

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My own losses reach an All Time Low.

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In the north, my troops hold the line. Not much activity here, the focus is in the south.

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Around Kharkov, my troops destroy a trapped German division and a weakened Panzer Group. Unfortunately it had supply 5, so Jörg can buy it back, but I did not want to miss the chance to kill one of these nasty units. A couple of German units might find their way out of the trap.

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In the south, I can hold the line. My target is to control Melitopol until the winter comes. Looks good.

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4th of December 1941

Germany is bringing a new type of units to the frontline: Mechanized Corps. They have very good punch against my infantry. And we have very good news from our naval forces!!!

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My losses remain low.

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I prepared a trap for the "Tirpitz": I did put my subs into the expected path of the mighty warship, and Jörg got caught: the "Tirpitz" was ambushed by my subs and took damage during Jörg's turn. During my turn, my subs can attack the ship with Prepared Attack Bonus and leave it heavily damaged. My own Battleship "Marat" attacks as well, and the "Tirpitz" is almost gone. Finally the Destroyer "Tiblisi" sinks the burning ship, and the pride of the Kriegsmarine is on the bottom of the Balric Sea. Another great victory for our glorious forces!!!

My defensive line in the north looks fine.

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Around Kursk, my troops destroy two more German units. But I start to feel the immense pressure of the Wehrmacht, and my technologically inferior forces retreat. I have surprised Jörg part of the front, but now I need to react to the enormous presence of Panzers here and make sure not to loose the whole frontline.

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In the south, the Germans advance as well. I still have nothing against their Panzer Divisions, so I face the risk of loosing Melitopol.

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16th of December 1941

The Red Army is entering positions where it wants to remain over the winter. In general I am very happy with the current state.

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No lost units this turn (for the first time), just a few political developments. The "captured" towns means the Wehrmacht captured them, so from my view these are cities I lost during the last turn.

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Heeresgruppe Mitte is approaching Moscow. My defenses are prepared, and I am confident they will hold.

I evacuated Orel, because it was in danger to get surrounded. For the moment I prefer to have a stable frontline with good supply and no pockets I cannot reinforce, this is why I made this strategic drawback. More of this strategy will be visible in the next two pictures.

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From Kursk to Kharkov, my lines are stable. I will place infantry in the first line and ATGs in the second, so I can counter any German Tank attacks.

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Melitopol was evacuated as well, I want a firm line at Stalino. Seems as if I was successful in defending the eastern part of the Ukraine.

Winter can come, I am prepared.

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30th of December 1941

It is deep winter now, and the Wehrmacht if fully hit by supply shortages and strength losses due the low temperatures. Jörg has written me he is very happy that the event is over, but I needed to mention to him that the event might take a bit longer than he hoped for... as far as I can remember from my matches versus the Allied AI, the Wehrmacht gets hit by this event in three consecutive turns. A player who does not know the event at all might get surprised in an advanced position, and this will hurt a lot. Fortunately for the German side, Jörg was well prepared. Since two turns, fighting has almost stopped, and both sides enter the winter camps.

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I have evacuated a few cities that did not fit into my defense concept. My idea was to have a firm line that will definitely hold the advance of the Wehrmacht, and I think this plan worked.

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Nice greetings from our scientists!

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The Krim peninsula is an obvious target for next spring. My defenses are set up, and I will try to make it as difficult as possible for Jörg.

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This is what i had in mind: a firm line from Leningrad to Stalino, and the Krim peninsula still under my control. From now on I can buy Soviet Tank Corps, so I can mount offensives against the German inavders. Time to strike back, but I will not yet reveal where my counterattack will start.

In general I am happy with my performance. 1942 will get very difficult for Germany.

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You are right, but this is a wargame not history. I ran a game with Happycat and he did historical. A little less near Moscow, a little more near Rostov.

The main key is that the Germans took all the key industrial areas.

Now if the Germans were smart enough they hunkered down early enough for the Winter. The 42 summer totally depends on what both sides did in Winter and what the Germans do in Spring. I can't say more on the strategy otherwise I'd give it away.

The replayability of AoC Barb41 is high, very high. I played 20ish games myself and Im still learning new strategies and counter strategies.

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15th of January 1942

Just ordered my first Tank Corps... nice. Apart from that there is not much to report. I started to upgrade some of my armies at key locations to Infantry Weapons Level 1, but it will take time until I have upgraded the complete Red Army. I also received Fighter Tech Level 1.

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Jörg has drawn back some of his forces around Pskov. So I let my own troops advance.

Nothing happened elsewhere.. both armies are resting.

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16th of February 1942

General Winter is still in Command, not too much happening. I can imagine the Wehrmacht needs the rest to regain its strength, but my feeling is that the Red Army is not yet ready for large scale operations. After what I read in books they tried a lot of these operations in 1942, and the usual results were horrific losses and strategic defeat.

Half of my infantry is now upgraded to Level 1, but it will take time until this process is finished.

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My troops reach the outskirts of Pskov. This will force Jörg to divert some forces over here... and these will miss somewhere else.

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Still happy with my over all situation. I have added more troops to my defensive perimeter in front of Moscow, and I can easily send extra troops up there if Jörg decides to attack there. I wonder what his next targets are.. pretty sure the Krim peninsula is one, but what else?

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4th of March 1942

Spring has arrived, and fighting will restart sooner or later. I expect an attack on the Krim peninsula, but this will not be the main drive. The main drive will occur somewhere else, and I think it will be somewhere between Kursk and Stalino. This is why I concentrated a lot of troops there.

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Cheers to my scientists... this will make our new tank corps more powerful.

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In the north, my troops have started the first wave of attacks on Pskov. The German division in the city is heavily damaged and needs to be reinforced. My Light Tanks are ready to attack next turn... so maybe my troops can take back the first Russian city in the war.

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Here is my position from Mitsensk to Kharkov. Some of my troops have formed a bulge to the west. They are fully entrenched behind a river, so my position is good. But the main reason is: it might occur that Jörg attacks this bulge first, and I need to time to establish a second line.. you spot my engineers in the north of the city. If Jörg attacks the troops in the west, it will take him a few turns until he reaches the second line, and his troops will be no longer in perfect condition. So this position is a decoy and a time saver.. let us see if he bites in. Maybe he attack somewhere else, and then I can still withdraw the troops from the bulge to reinforce the attacked area.

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Here ist my frontline from Kharkov to the south. 4 tiles deep, and most units are upgraded. 5 ATGs wait in the center. For sure not easy to penetrate.

Jörg can come out to play.

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20th of March 1942

The Battle for Pskov still rages with losses on both sides. The city looks a bit different now.. at least there are a lot of free parking places.

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Not much hope for the German division in Pskov, it is almost surrounded. Next turn I will have Prepared Attack Bonus for all units in adjacent tiles... that should fit.

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My tank reserves have been upgraded to Heavy Tanks Level 1. Not as good as the German tanks, but better than the Light Tanks I had previously.

@ Al: late November 1941.

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