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BtB "A Lesson in German" - Ash vs Steel32 AAR (USSR)

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Following a discussion in an older abandoned AAR (http://community.battlefront.com/topic/112555-barbarossa-to-berlin-%E2%80%93-ash-vs-will-axis/) where I pondered gross failure of my Germans and how both myself and my offtime opponent Will95 struggle with the Axis in this campaign, Steel32 graciously offered to show me some strategies. This promises to be very interesting, and though I doubt I will be able to put up too much resistance, I will certainly do my best and perhaps learn something in the bargain! 


Steel32 is hoping to make an AAR from his point of view (chinese internetz allowing) but even if that does not work out you'll have my musings to keep you company through the twists and turns of another "Barbarossa to Berlin" game. I hope it will prove entertaining! 


Turn 1


Steel32 got off to a great start with a strong opening variant, focused on crippling HQ's and obliterating most of the forward airforce. Consequently, most of the remaining forces in the border areas were annihilated and the few survivors left in pitiful supply with resulting low chance of escape. I decided to try a middling route in the defence of the North, most of the remaining forces staggered backwards, placing themselves as much as possible to mount one last fatal distraction to the advancing enemy. The Caucasus garrisons and other diverse divisions were railed in to provide a light screen for retreating light armour, I want to save as many of those as at all possible. The HQs are all doomed, placed as roadbumps more than anything else. Otherwise, infantry was railed into most towns on the immediate axis of advance to build entrenchment as quickly as possible. 


Armor losses were unfortunately very low for the advancing germans, only two groups lost anything beyond the elite steps.




The south saw more of the same, albeit in lesser scale. A headlong rush to reach and cripple HQ's and isolate border cities. For my part i pull back, railing in some armies to block and buy time to reinforce, as well as making a local counterattack from Odessa, driving back a romanian corps and erecting a flimsy screen on the approach. 




Due to the accumulated costs of reinforcing, railing and preparing a little operation of my own in the Caucasus, investments in tech will have to wait a turn or two. 

Edited by AshesFall
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Turn 2


The slaughter continues unabated, total losses after this turn is 35, likely to continue to rise. In 41 the Soviets balance a difficult slack rope between slowing the Germans sufficiently and limiting serious losses to maintain a dangerous presence in 42. I'm a little worried that I'm currently flailing over to accepting few to many losses but at the same time I -must- slow Steel down a little in the first turn to allow my anchors backward to entrench. The one positive note of the turn is that most of the losses were damaged and surrounded units that were never making it out alive anyway.


Local counterattacks and attempts to screen retreating light armour are the themes of the North, Smolensk is surrounded by a ring of newly arrived units, hopefully that will allow the armour to escape. An attack against an 11 Panzer in the centre leaves it at 9, but also leaves the soviet toy tanks with nowhere good to go. I'm hoping the armour near Riga will take a readiness hit due to doomed pocketed soviets messing with supply lines, if it does, Riga might hold one turn. Unlikely, but fingers crossed. 




The Germans are moving crazy fast in the south and already the approach to Kiev is exposed. The Wehrmacht has also managed to link up with minor forces to the west, the pressure there is going to be difficult to withstand. Again, Soviets retreating from imminent encirclement attempt to bedevil the supply process for the advancing hun, striking a HQ near the front. A lot of reinforcing in the south, attempting to gain some entrenchment and readiness to make a more effective fighting force. 


Romanians retreat in the far south, and the Soviets do the same not wishing to become too exposed. Mission accomplished with the withdrawal in any case, time bought for the units behind the river to reinforce and entrench. 




German armour have taken a bit of damage now, especially in the north where the five central groups are around str 9, not sure about their supply, but I'm hoping to start dropping their readiness if they do not stop to rest. 

Edited by AshesFall
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  • 2 weeks later...

Turn 3


Losses continue to be extremely high. That worries me a bit, but looking back over the first three turns there really hasnt been much I could do about it. The two first turns were nothing but a mad scramble to retreat as many units as possible, a frankly brilliant first turn made that an almost impossible prospect though. Studying the pictures show pretty much every unit lost these three turns to be on low supply and unable to retreat, what little could be operated has been, several cheap screen units have also died to attempt to save mechanized units. This has also been largely unsuccessful, in the north again due to impossible supply situations and in the south due to a successful link-up between axis minors and german invasion force. I'll have to remember that move, I dont think its possible to stop it, but perhaps delay it. 


The graphs and losses screen shows a dire situation, I try to remember that this is only turn 3, and I could not have prevented most of these losses. The only place I could have done so is in the south, but that would have meant giving up immense amounts of ground to save a handful of units, probably not worth it. I will have to be more cautious with throwing away units from this point on though. 




The finnish front sees the first minor victory of the war for the Soviets. The finns pushed the mechanized units blocking the approach to viipuri hard and moved an unupgraded corps into an exposed position. I doubt the loss matters, but it sure feels good. Ash morale, +1! Otherwise I continue to seed cities with cheap disposable USSR corps, doing this means it will usually take two armour units to smash a city open, and will perhaps slow the advance a little. Riga (not shown) proved the first objective the germans set not immediately taken, the two defending armies were annihilated, but the city stood. Force marched units blocked any possibility of reinforcement though. 




The centre gets a short breather as the immense weight of 5 armour corps chew down remaining units behind the lines and in a critical railway city. In anticipation of smolensk falling to those 5 panzers, the mech units around there are withdrawn as much as possible. Attempts to save mech here have been unsuccessful, and probably resulted in 6 unnecessary losses. I'll have to try and concentrate my mech on one front eventually, to effect meaningful resistance. Im gathering an air group around the centre, but due to the weight of losses taken I'll have to simply withdraw them while in good supply and not reinforce them. Other units take precedence. 




The south saw another devestating strike, two mech units got caught and destroyed, one of them mainly due to an unlucky retreat by town defenders. I'm attempting to open up a little distance slowly while reinforcing. Since most axis units have merged towards the west and no attack seems forthcoming from the southern side of odessa all units there are redeployed to the line. 



Edited by AshesFall
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Turn 4


Im going to try to include more information on the pictures and type less of an essay every turn :P


So what went on this turn in general? We began an attack on Persia that will provide critical funds for the duration of the game. I have no idea whether Steel32 will continue north or strike east and join up with the forces around Kiev, I think that is what worries me more, as Kiev is as good as fallen already, cant defend it. If the central and southern armies join up and push the germans may very well conquer the entire south with all the important resources. To that end, concentrating mech to mount a resistance might be a good idea. Also, with the fall of Smolensk guaranteed, german armour could reach the few forces I had, so a retreat was necessary. 







Edited by AshesFall
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