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1942 Case Blue - AAR!


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Next up in the AAR series is 1942 Case Blue, a campaign that covers the German summer offensive to capture the Soviet southern oil fields as well as their drive to capture Stalingrad.

caseblue_splash.jpg

Ghost Of War will play as the Axis and Ivanov will man the Soviet defenses and counter attacks as the Soviets player.

caseblue_map.jpg

This campaign was a Beta testing favourite for these two so expect some fierce fighting as well as the usual competitive AAR banter :)

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Last edited by Hubert Cater : 03-19-2013 at 11:51 AM.

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Thanks Hubert for creating the new thread.

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, summer of 1942 is coming really quickly. After the failure of Barbarossa plan, Oberkommando des Heeres is aware that this year it will be impossible to repeat the events of 1941 and launch a massive strike on all the fronts against the Soviet Union. We should focus on one front, and, according to gen. von Manstein, it should be the south:

advicex.jpg

Well, I couldn’t agree more with good ol’ Erich. The terrain around Moscow does not look very friendly and will surely affect our supply lines seriously. Moreover, Abwehr informs us that the Soviets really think that we are going to attempt to attack Moscow again. Therefore they concentrated a formidable amount of forces around their capital. South then!

thebeginning.jpg

At the beginning of the game we receive a present from OKH. They allow us to deploy the following forces:

  • 3 Med. Bombers
  • 1 Tac. Bomber
  • 2 Artilleries
  • 4 Infantry Corps
  • 2 Mech. Infantry Corps
  • 4 Tank Corps
  • 2 HQs (Gen. Hoth and Gen. von Kleist- both rating 7)

Of course we should not spread them all over the map, they should be concentrated and ready to strike like a snake! For well known reasons we are not going to reveal their position now, not to make it easy for our opponent.

Apart from our activity in the south we expect some heavy fight in Demyansk-Rzhev region:

demyansk.jpg

The Soviets will surely try to eliminate completely the Demyansk Pocket and we will simply not let them do it. The Fuhrer declared Demyansk as a Festung and Feldmarschall Goering promised that Luftwaffe will provide all the supply that is needed. Therefore no step back, no way out but forward!

Our situation in Rzhev region is not easy too, as Soviet High Command STAVKA has planned and launched massive offensive, attempting to encircle our forces. They must be stopped and we will achieve it with no doubt!

Further north, the city of Leningrad is under siege, however we never really managed to close the siege completely. It is unlikely that we will manage to do it this year, in spite of the help that our brave Finnish allies provide. Nevertheless we plan some minor activity there too, to make life of our opponent harder.

HISTORY:

German Fall Blau offensive’s main strategic goal initially were Caucasus Oil Fields, however this goal was changed in the Summer of 1942 in Führer Directive No. 45. It split Army Group South into two smaller army groups: Army Group A was to continue further into Caucasus and Army Group B was to attack and seize Stalingrad. Changing strategic objectives, while the operation was already in full swing, wasn’t a good idea. First of all it caused major logistical difficulties for the divisions changing their routes and supply lines. Secondly, none of the two Army Groups was strong enough to achieve its objectives. Nevertheless no one dared to oppose Hitler which finally led to a catastrophe you all know about.

Demyansk Pocket actually existed between February and April 1942. Inside there were 5 Wehrmacht divisions and 3.SS Totenkopf Division trapped (about 90000 men). Hitler ordered them to hold their positions, mainly because H. Goering, the chief of Luftwaffe, ensured him that Luftwaffe was able to create an “air bridge” and provide daily supply of 240 tons. It actually turned out to be true, mainly because Soviet air forces were very weak at this moment and the weather was making such a massive air operation possible. It led Hitler to believe that Luftwaffe was able to repeat this successful operation for the encircled German forces in Stalingrad. Well, let’s just quote the classic: History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, let us begin...

BTW - Ghost, do you think that there are many Ladies going through the forum???

***

The May of 1942 comes to an end and the situation on the front after our recent debacle near Kharkov is not exactly rosy. It is clear that our offensive potential has been spent and that the armies of the German fascist invaders have regained their momentum. Due to that, Stavka is well aware that we need to be ready to repel a new enemy assault this summer. Initially the highest political echelon was strongly convinced that we should expect a renewed strike against our great capital – Moscow. Accordingly the defences were strengthened there. The recent events in the south however, strongly suggest that the enemy chose to strike in the direction of the river Voronezh and Stalingrad on the banks of river Volga. It is very likely that the oil fields of Caucasus may be endangered. If we lose them it may mean the turning point of the war. The oil is essential to our war effort. Also if the fascist invaders manage reach Volga, it could mean that we would no longer be able to use the river as transport artery for the goods that are delivered by our allies vie Middle East and Persia.

image_zpsd1429433.png

Our intelligence has already spotted that the enemy has been deploying a considerable force against our Voronezh and Southern Fronts ( in the vicinity of Rostov ). At least five mobile corps of the First Panzer Army have been spotted – a strong indication where the future schwerpunkt of the fascist attack will be located. Stavka has provided us with the last minute reinforcements and we will be able to strengthen our comrades on the front with the following units:

- 5 armies

- 2 tank armies

- 2 cavalry corps

- Semyon Timoshenko HQ

image1_zps562af4c8.png

We deploy those units mostly in the area of Rostov and Voronezh to face the pending enemy assault. We are well aware, that those units probably won't be able to hold a determined German attack. We hope at least, that those units may be helpful in steaming the initial momentum of the Axis assault in the south:

00_zps5fc24858.png

The main fighting is expected to unfold in the south but we certainly cannot ignore other fronts. Most of all we need to protect Moscow and Leningrad at all costs! Despite the apparent numerical parity, the enemy is expected to hold the initiative for some time due to the better organization and higher experience of his armies. From the other hand the time will be on our side, so we shall seek for any opportunities to draw and exhaust the German reserves and if we manage to achieve a 1:1 casualty ratio, it will mean our victory in the long term, thanks to our increasing manpower and material superiority.

One of such a “attritional hotspots” will be for example Crimea and Kerch and Stavka intends to hold them for as long as possible:

SEVASTOPOL000_zps2a91ba0e.png

NOTE :

The Soviet HQ will mark the destroyed Fascist units with this symbol:

Hammerandsicklebig_zpscbe6da26.png

You should interpret it as a visualisation of the wrath and vengeance of the Soviet workers and peasants ( not to mention the working intelligentsia ) who exert their bloody revenge on the enemy who dared to enter our great, socialist paradise!

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I remember back in the days just playing the original and thinking, wow finally a strategic war game that is starting to get closer. Now looking at this, is far away from the original game and a leap forward in wargaming especially with the improved AI and not just the amount of units which is also quite cool. Really appreciate the continual development and the vision of Hubert and the team to continue to push the barriers closer to more realistic terms of the real war and the paths that could of been taken:) I still recommend purchasing the originals and going from there for new comers as you will enjoy all of the series and extend your enjoyment step by step as even I years later still can go back in time and still play the originals now and again. My life in China would of been so much more boring without Battlefront and probably would not of been able to stick it out here without. So again thanks team!

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There may be some ladies on the forum, Ivanov. But they are probably hiding afraid of being exposed. And I am not that aggressive player. I’d prefer you to say “very dynamic” ;).

As we already mentioned, the southern front will be the main area of our offensive. On the Crimean Peninsula 11th Army under Gen. von Manstein started the offensive against Sevastopol Fortress. They were strengthened by Luftwaffe’s VIII Fliegerkorps under General Oberst Wolfram von Richthofen’s command (yes, from “these” Richthofens, cousin of famous Red Baron):

The Soviet forces are entrenched and in this turn we were unable to break their resistance. However Gen. von Manstein promised to defeat the Soviet forces in the next two turns.

sevastopol.jpg

Going to the North, the cities of Rostov and Voronezh are naturally our first objectives. After reaching Donets perimeter we will reveal our further plans. Here is the situation after the first turn. The Soviets didn’t suffer very big casualties so far and in their turn surely they will be able to deploy more troops in this area. But our Panzer Divisions are like a steamroller! They crush and destroy all the resistance. We expect the Soviet line to break in the next couple of turns.

southernfront.jpg

In the Centre, we have plans of aggressive defense, but basically we will hold to the initial deployment line… unless we decide to attack [or Ivanov decides to do so] ;). So there is no screenshot this time, as nothing important happened there.

There are plenty of interesting events in Demyansk-Rzhev region. We managed to widen the corridor to our besieged troops in Demyansk. We also pushed back one of the Soviet armies endangering our southern flank below Rzhev. There are more to come, as we rearranged a couple of things in our lines:

demyanskrzhev.jpg

All quiet on Leningrad front.

Thank you for your attention and stay tuned for more!

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As it becomes apparent that the main effort of the enemy is focused in the south, the reinforcements are rushed in to the theatre. STAVKA is pretty convinced that there won’t be any major Axis offensive elsewhere, so units are sent in by rail from other, quiet sectors, in order to stiffen the defence of the Southern and Voronezh Fronts. The aim is to create deep, defensive zones, anchored around the cities of Rostov, Milerovo and Pavlovsk. The Soviet HQ is well aware, that the current efforts probably won’t be sufficient to halt a determined fascist attack, but we hope at least that we will be able to slow down considerably the drive of the Heeresgruppe Süd. Due to the relative proximity of the Caucasus and the Volga river, we don’t possess the luxury of trading space to for time, as it was the case during the campaign of 1941:

001_02JUNSouth_zps9a996aa1.png

In Crimea, the enemy assault against Sevastopol is in a full swing but for the moment the defences of our Costal Army stand firm and the attackers suffered a considerable loses in the process. Note that our brave soldiers can count on the support of the heavy guns of the Maxim Gorky battery!

001_02JUNMaxiGorki_zpsc790692c.png

Despite the heroic efforts of the Costal Army, we expect that the defences of Sevastopol will be overrunned at some stage, but in order to draw the enemy reserves our Crimean Front have launched a series of attacks from the Kerch Paninsula:

001_02JUNKerch_zps70584d68.png

In the centre, the Voronezh and Bryansk Fronts are conducting a planned and orderly retreat. Note that some of the Heeresgruppe Mitte units have already suffered serious loses in the process:

001-02JUNVoronezh_zpsb0b8f5a1.png

At the same time in the area of Rzhev, the armies of the Kalinin Front have been ordered to evacuate their current, precarious positions. Our units there are low on supply and their present, awkward dispositions ( which are the reminder of our earlier, winter offensive ) have become simply unattainable. It is a common knowledge that Comrade Koba ( aka Stalin ) is not really keen on allowing our commanders to withdraw, but for the moment gen. Zhukov managed to persuade him, that such a move is necessary and that Red Army will be back there, as soon as we manage to regain our strenght:

001_02JUNRzhev_zpsefd123f6.png

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The initial 400 MPP’s have been spent on operating, reinforcing and refitting the existing units. Unfortunately we unable to rebuild any of the destroyed armies

The good news is that thanks to the so called Lend Lease aid, provided by our imperialist allies, we already start to form and equip some new units in the area of Kazan:

001_02JUNLendLease_zpsf32d1961.png

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While Ghost Of War is on a short leave ( he mentioned holidays but we know, that he went on a recruiting tour in order to conscript volunteers for a crusade against us ), I am going to take an opportunity and point some important changes that differ Assault On Communism from the earlier SC 2 releases.

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INFANTRY

I think that the coolest and most important change in the Assault on Communism system, will be the way in which the German and Soviet infantry units are going to be represented. Everyone loves tanks and aircraft, but it's the infantry that forms the backbone of both – Wehrmacht and the Red Army. It makes up for about 90% of the units on each side. The main German infantry units is a corps:

GERMANCORPS_zps5fe1ca7e.png

At the same time the main Soviet infantry unit is an army:

SovietArmy_zps0c309a2d.png

Let’s have a look at the basic stats of both unit types:

GERMAN INFANTRY CORPS:

Soft attack: 2

Tank attack: 1

Soft defence: 2

Tank defence: 2

SOVIET ARMY:

Soft attack: 3

Tank attack: 2

Soft defence: 2

Tank defence: 2

Some of you are probably already shocked – how it is possible ( given the well know organizational, doctrinal and tactical superiority of the Wehrmacht, during the early stages of the war in the East ), that the main German infantry unit has lower stats than it’s counterpart on the Soviet side? Well, infantry corps is simply smaller than the Soviet army and the stats in the game reflect this fact pretty accurately.

Let’s take a look at a real life example from 1942 and compare the strength of the German X corps versus the Soviet 11th Army. Both were facing each other during the battle of Demyansk and are present in the Case Blue campaign.

The X infantry corps ( 16th Armee, Heeresgruppe Nord ) was composed of four divisions:

-3rd SS Totenkops ( motorised )

-30th Infantry

-290th Infantry

-18th Motorised ( around 6000 troops and no motor vehicles in January of 1942 )

All in all the X corps had 27 infantry battalions numbering in the best case around 25000 men.

On the opposite side of the front stood the 11th Army ( North Western Front ) with it’s five infantry divisions:

-84 ID

-180 ID

-182 ID

-188 ID

-254 ID

The army could count on the support of the three tank battalions and had in total around 36000 men.

So as we see the Soviet army was considerably bigger in terms of the manpower, yet in terms of the real combat performance both units were comparable. How this fact is represented in the game, when some of the base stats of the German corps are lower? Well, the Germans start all of the campaigns a superior infantry tech :) For example in Case Blue they start with the infantry tech 2, while the Soviets with tech 1. So if we add up the tech to the base stats of the units, their final parameters will be equal:

GERMAN INFANTRY CORPS TECH 2:

Soft attack: 2 + 2 tech = 4

Tank attack: 1 + 2 tech = 3

SOVIET ARMY TECH 1:

Soft attack: 3 + 1 tech = 4

Tank attack: 2 + 1 tech = 3

Usually the German units are also more experienced, so their performance during the initial stages of the campaigns (1941-42) is clearly superior to the Red Army infantry units.

Some of you may be tempted to make an insightful comment:

“hey, but what will happen when both sides research the maximum infantry tech 5?. The Soviets armies will be stronger!”?

This is a good point. Let’s prove it:

GERMAN INFANTRY CORPS TECH 5:

Soft attack: 2 + 5 tech = 7

Tank attack: 1 + 5 tech = 6

SOVIET ARMY TECH 5:

Soft attack: 3 + 5 tech = 8

Tank attack: 2 + 5 tech = 7

Indeed - the tech 5 Soviet army would be stronger, than the smaller German corps. The point is, that the tech 5 is usually researched late in the game ( circa 1944 ). So it really underscores the fact, that the German player needs to secure the victory up to 1943. Otherwise his Wehrmacht will be overwhelmed by the numerically superior enemy, who had also managed to eliminate the gap in the tech (in this case the infantry tech does not only mean the improvements in equipment but also introduction of the superior tactics, organizational changes and more flexible command and control).

All in all, AOC is going to feature the best and most realistic infantry model up to the date and I’m pretty sure, that you are going to love it :)

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ANTI TANK UNITS

Another great improvement introduced in the Assault On Communism will affect the anti tank units :) The combat potential of the AT has been considerably buffed and I would really recommend the players not to ignore them:

Antitank_zps196b8db2.png

As you can see, the base tank attack and tank defence of the panzejager are 3, so they are much better than the TA/TD of the infantry corps which are 1/2. Pay close attention, how to employ those units in combat. You could use them as a cost effective speed bumps, taking an advantage of their very good defensive stats. Personally, I prefer to use them as a second line counter attacking asset. The trick is to position your AT behind the first line of the defence and hit the enemy armour, when it’s most vulnerable ( that is when it stops after attacking your infantry, which is deployed in front of the PAKs )

The anti tank units are not really mobile ( 3 action points ) but they can be upgraded with the motorisation tech. In this way, they would be able to catch up faster with your tank spearheads, however this kind of tech is expensive for the AT. The motorisation upgraded PAKs may be no longer as cost effective as they were before, so think more than twice before you decide to motorise them.

Lastly, the anti tank units require a separate tech research category in order to improve their stats. But the cost of the research is cheap ( 50 MPP ) and it’s well worth to invest in it.

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Yes that is entirly correct. Soviet field armies consisted of 5-6 divisions while a german corps had less, about 2-3 infantry divisions at start of barbarossa. This is the way to simluate this.

Soviet corps-structure resurrected later in the war together with the old army structure. But I would not put emphasis on that, instead make sure the russians can field as much as possbiel of the field armies.

In my battle for russia scenario the russians will start with the mech corps that can't be rebuilt. However after that they will from mid 1942 recieve the tank armies. I''m not sure how you are simulating that, but tank armies should be immensly powerful but few in numbers. While germans fielded 10+ corps during the war in the east the4 Red Army never fielded more than 5 and eventually a 6th Tank army.

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The Russians early have unbuildable tanks that are TA/TD 3/3s and not upgradable.

In 1942 they get the normal tanks. Due to the nature of the engine they have slightly more tanks than the Germans. Germans should always be ahead 1 tech level thus why the Soviets have more air and tanks and men.

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I would love to see that tanks would be able to receive an intelligence tech upgrade, representing radio comunications.

Germany starting with it, USSR not.

Both sides with equal strong regular tank techs, but the germans a tiny nose width ahead because of the better comunication.

Result of the upgrade could be a 5, 10 or 15% higher readiness and / or unit morale.

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Tech levels incorporate all those things in one, not just barrel and armor. Its also doctrine, tactics, communications, efficiency. Thats how I look at it. If you make the system overly complicated it can be min-maxxed and more difficult for an A.I. to use.

Hearts of Iron series has an unbelieveable system of complexity and their A.I. is terrible. I last played HOI2 and beat the game the 1st time easily without reading the rules.

So until A.I. is like the human brain the simpler the better.

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Tech levels incorporate all those things in one, not just barrel and armor. Its also doctrine, tactics, communications, efficiency. Thats how I look at it. If you make the system overly complicated it can be min-maxxed and more difficult for an A.I. to use.

I have to concur with the above. The Wehrmacht advantage in the communications ( radio equipment ) was probably more important, than the thickness of the armour and the caliber of guns of the Soviet tanks, hence the German tech superiority in the game.

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The latest news from Ghost Of War are a little worrisome. Apparently he has been taken hostage by his family, with his laptop securely locked in the basement... He promised to post as soon as possible but for the moment he is just trying to survive through the Easter. It's not an easy time for an armchair general – some of you probably already know... In the mean time let's take a look at:

ARTILLERY

Artillery is considered the queen of the battlefield and you simply cannot ignore it while playing the Assault On Communism campaigns. It is a very valuable asset – it’s main advantage over the air units, is the fact that it can fire up to three shells per turn, while not being at risk of taking any loses ( the aircraft most likely will take some damage while attacking a ground target ). It is true that during highly mobile operations your arty will be struggling to catch up with the mechanized spearheads, but otherwise you’ll have plenty opportunities to employ it. In reality there will be a lot of set piece battles, breakthrough operations or fighting for the cities, so you’ll learn quickly that the artillery is an invaluable and cheap force multiplier.

Let’s take a look at the base artillery stats in order to understand better how it works in combat:

ARTILLERY_zpsa979395a.png

As you can see, the base soft and tank attack values are 0.5 and increase by +0.5 with each tech level ( there are two arty tech levels to research ). It may look as not too much, but given the fact that the artillery unit can fire up to three shells, it is possible that it may inflict some loses on the enemy unit. More important that causing direct casualties are the de-entrenchment and demoralization caused by each artillery shot. You will often encounter heavily entrenched enemy units ( especially in the cities ), so you’ll simply have to “soften” them before you’ll be able to undertake a direct, infantry assault. So never forget the famous quote:

“Artillery conquers, infantry occupies”

Apart form the regular artillery, there are also rocket artillery units, equipped with the notorious Katyushas or Nebelwerfers:

ROCKET_zps7e513b28.png

If you compare them with the regular artillery, they have lower soft/tank attack parameters, but are better in de-entrenching and have a very high demoralization of 30%. They were feared by the enemy combatants and it’s quite understandable why:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaPaq9UN8_I

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I have to say that I do not like units which will not take losses when attacking as I think this is very artificial. All significant military formations from division upwards had integral artillery units available for counter battery fire. To allow a specific "artillery only" unit to act as an invulnerable attacker is not in my view correct and the "evasion" factor should be set at 50% maximum. The fact that the artillery unit is apparently many miles from the front line is a pure game convention because SC does not allow stacking.

I would also suggest that a good way to distinguish between corps and army sized units on the same side is by giving an army sized unit the opportunity to attack twice but with the same offensive stats as the corps sized units. They should have better defensive stats as you cannot in game terms defend twice! My thinking is that a corps and an army are both using similar weapon systems in an attempt to defeat an enemy but the army ought to be able to sustain the attack for longer (i.e. attack the same unit twice) or attack on two axes in the same turn which they could do if they were represented as two corps units in the same square. For minor countries I allocate weaker offensive values for corps but their armies come up to major country offensive standards but can in most cases only attack once. It is quite useful to use the concept of multiple attacks to get round the lack of stacking in SC and I also use it for US and British fighters and bombers which were so prolific in the latter war stages that they would otherwise occupy virtually all the UK land mass.

Regards

Mike

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I have to say that I do not like units which will not take losses when attacking as I think this is very artificial. All significant military formations from division upwards had integral artillery units available for counter battery fire. To allow a specific "artillery only" unit to act as an invulnerable attacker is not in my view correct and the "evasion" factor should be set at 50% maximum. The fact that the artillery unit is apparently many miles from the front line is a pure game convention because SC does not allow stacking.

I wasn't entirely correct stating that the artillery will never take any loses when attacking. There is a counter battery feature and the enemy arty will provide it, if the friendly unit is within it's range. Also, your artillery may suffer from the air attack or simply get overrun, so in reality it's far from being invulnerable :)

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I have to say that I do not like units which will not take losses when attacking as I think this is very artificial. All significant military formations from division upwards had integral artillery units available for counter battery fire. To allow a specific "artillery only" unit to act as an invulnerable attacker is not in my view correct and the "evasion" factor should be set at 50% maximum. The fact that the artillery unit is apparently many miles from the front line is a pure game convention because SC does not allow stacking.

I would also suggest that a good way to distinguish between corps and army sized units on the same side is by giving an army sized unit the opportunity to attack twice but with the same offensive stats as the corps sized units. They should have better defensive stats as you cannot in game terms defend twice! My thinking is that a corps and an army are both using similar weapon systems in an attempt to defeat an enemy but the army ought to be able to sustain the attack for longer (i.e. attack the same unit twice) or attack on two axes in the same turn which they could do if they were represented as two corps units in the same square. For minor countries I allocate weaker offensive values for corps but their armies come up to major country offensive standards but can in most cases only attack once. It is quite useful to use the concept of multiple attacks to get round the lack of stacking in SC and I also use it for US and British fighters and bombers which were so prolific in the latter war stages that they would otherwise occupy virtually all the UK land mass.

Regards

Mike

You are right about artillery being incorporated into a corp. Artillery units have no business in a corp level game. But for the fun factor it should be there. Also the game mechanics work around this units. When stacking is allowed then you can call the Arty just extra artillery regiments for said units. But we are on a 1 unit per square game. So some abstractions must be made.

The double attack army is an interesting idea. But it would have to be play tested quite a bit as it is far off the standard for SC2. The E.F. scenarios were designed with new custom ideas that were a shift in the mechanics of the game...... it took us forever to balance it.

So imagine how drastic a change it would be to give armies 2 strikes, which IMO is a huge change.

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Thank you Ivanov for keeping the attention of our audience while I struggled during my family feasts ;). I must admit that I didn't pay enough attention to many changes, you were writing about.

After three days of constant feasting, my bowels suffer from a murderous blitzkrieg, believe me. But let’s go back to the battlefield, traditionally starting from the southernmost area, Crimean Peninsula.

With a little help from Gen. Manstein’s HQ we managed to capture main Sevastopol area. There are still some coastal guns left, but surely it is a matter of time when we break their resistance. Gen. Manstein has got some thoughts he would like to share with us. Well, I really advise you Erich, you’d better keep such thoughts to yourself, unless you want Führer to send you to the Eastern Front. Oh wait, he had already sent you there. Well, anyway you’d better be quiet.

sevast3.jpg

Now, going north, our forces in the Ukraine are rushing east. We managed to destroy some Soviet forces and push them further east. Although I must admit that Ivanov is withdrawing his troops orderly and without panic. We weren’t able to encircle some of his armies in the forest south-east from Charkov, although we really tried. Nevertheless, the 17th Army is closing to Rostov and it seems that the city’s days in Soviet hands are numbered. South of Pavlovsk German 6th Army under Gen. Paulus is driving a wedge between the Soviet armies. Our Italian allies are the spearhead of this brave offensive maneuver.

southafter.jpg

In the central region, the 2nd Army under Gen. von Weichs has observed many weak spots in the Soviet defense line, therefore we decided to take some offensive actions in the area to north-west of Voronezh. Our troops destroyed some Soviet units and we are encircling Voronezh from the north. What happens next? It’s hard to be certain, since we don’t know the exact size of the Soviet reinforcements in this area. We are pretty sure though that we will see some action soon.

centerafter.jpg

Further north, in our favorite Rzhev- Demyansk area, we are attempting to close a large group of Soviet armies in the pocket. Although Ivanov has recently claimed that Gen. Zhukov managed to convince Koba to let them go back, it seems that they were a little bit late with this. It is obvious that now they have large problem with supply lines, which won’t let them withdraw quickly to the east. We started our offensive to cut them off. Is the fate of thousands of Bolsheviks sealed? You will find out in the next episode!

rzhevafter.jpg

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Of course I would have to say that I'm in Mike's court with the suggestion of double strike armies, makes a neat variation on the corps organizational concept. Still, it was a frequently followed strategy to attach additional assets(ie artillery) to offensive or defensive deployments where combat emphasis was likely.

I would vote for the dual strike army capability, with artillery assets(units), but I would also give armies a lesser degree of evasion when compared to a corps organization because of the denser footprint. This may be an area where we could examine a breakdown and build up feature for the corps to army relationship.

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On 12th of June Rostov, Millerovo and Pavlovsk remain firmly in our hands! The reinforcements have been pouring into the area and some local counter attacks have been undertaken.

Here our armour in a spoiling attack against the enemy infantry near Rostov:

00312junrostov1.png

Stavka has sensed that the front of Army Group Centre has been weakened, so our Bryansk and Voronezh Fronts waste no time and begin to move forward along the two parallel axes. Their objectives are Orel and Kursk. Comrade Stalin is has been very enthusiastic about the offensive and firmly believes that if we manage to recapture the cities, the fascist front in the centre will collapse and the war will be over by the end of 1942! Gen Zhukov has more realistic view on the matter and has been trying to persuade his boss that the Germans remain still very strong, so their total defeat at this stage of war is rather unlikely. He sees the offensive as a way to wear down the enemy and force him do deploy the reserves in the center, rather than somewhere else. The Western Front led by Zhukov himself has been quite active too. An enemy corps has been battered and forced to retreat near Kozelsk:

00312junwestern.png

Further north the retreat of Kalinin Front continues. Near Rzhev a series of almost suicidal, human wave attacks forced the enemy panzer unit to retreat! For the moment, we don’t poses any significant armour units in the area but our infantry could count on the support of our brave Red Falcons! The air force has been really helpful during the battle and it’s attacks managed to disorganize and disperse the Fascist tanks which were forced to retreat behind the river Volga!

00312junrzhev.png

On the Leningrad front, the White Finnish interventionists moved forward towards the great city of our Revolution ! Unfortunately for them our defenses there are strong and the aggressors have already suffered quite significant loses:

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The Red Air Force has been a decisive factory that allowed us to drive back the enemy tanks near Rzhev:

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