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Our Backs to the Volga - ongoing German AAR


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Results:

Left:

The sIG 33 survives yet another straffing run…and now has 1 x HE and 1 x HC; if it survives long enough to use both of those, I’ll consider it a win :rolleyes: ! The two T34s are moving up to menace my scurrying ex-horde and a third one is en route up from the river.

Centre:

Woohoo! The StuG IIIE lands two quick ones into the T34s flank while staring down the barrel: that proves too much for the crew and they bail out. The Pz IVG also slams two into the turret of a KV-1S that has pulled up from the river road into a nifty hull down position…fortunately, that crew (the same one that zapped three Pz IVs in one turn) couldn’t hit one of the StuG IIIEs that was involved in some weird Stalingrad ballet and had its keester to the KV for most of the minute: sure hope the Beast is dead after the Pz IVG rung its bell twice!

Sweepers are moving up slowly. I sure hope I can muster enough force to challenge a flag or two. I still have one FT team left, which I’ll take as a good omen.

Right:

Well, at least no artillery seems to be falling…

Turn 26

Orders:

Left:

‘Retreat!’

Centre:

Still forming up, and hoping to use the StuG platoon and Pz IVG escort for one last push. The Pz IVG s going to pull back to try and get a shot up the tail pipe of one of the T34s over on my Left flank, then it’ll have to deal with the T34 that’s still over near the right flank factory….all of this assuming that the KV-1S has been zapped, of course.

Right:

R & R continues as they await an infusion of fresh blood.

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Results:

Left: withdrawal continues, helped by the smoke. The T34 start to pull back a tad , as all the smoke jungle is probably a little spooky: all the buildings develop grenade-armed shadows. The T34 advancing up from the river keeps coming, but no LOS between enemies.

Centre:

The Pz IVG, which survives a straffing run, chalks up the KV-1S and pulls back, but no LOS develops across the map to the left-flank T34. The StuG IIIE platoon continues to pump out HE. The lone T34 on this side creeps up, but the StuG is long gone around the corner…maybe next turn it’ll creep forward some more and give the immobilised Pz IVF1 a flank shot or three :rolleyes: . The FT team, still two-men strong, might be in position to barf fire next turn. The sweepers keep coming, but I don’t know if I’ll have the firepower to suppress the Russian reinforcements.

Right: A couple more squads trickle into the front line.

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Results:

If there was any CAS activity this turn, I missed it.

Left: withdrawal continues, helped by the smoke. The T34 start to pull back a tad , as all the smoke jungle is probably a little spooky: all the buildings develop grenade-armed shadows. The T34 advancing up from the river keeps coming, but no LOS between enemies.

Centre:

The Pz IVG, which survives a straffing run, chalks up the KV-1S and pulls back, but no LOS develops across the map to the left-flank T34. The StuG IIIE platoon continues to pump out HE. The lone T34 on this side creeps up, but the StuG is long gone around the corner…maybe next turn it’ll creep forward some more and give the immobilised Pz IVF1 a flank shot or three. The FT team, still two-men strong, might be in position to barf fire next turn. The sweepers keep coming, but I don’t know if I’ll have the firepower to suppress the Russian reinforcements.

Right: A couple more squads trickle into the front line.

Turn 26 ORDERS [yah, look, I know I've alrready posted Turn 26, but I miscounted the turn numbers for a while there... :rolleyes: ]

Left: withdrawal continues

Centre & Right:

Infantry keeps forming up for the last push and the AFVS try to support

Results:

Left:

Wholesale rout continues. The sIG 33 lines up a marauding T34 for a while but can’t get a clear shot; the T34’s partner is also creeping up. Right near the end of the turn, the T34 coming up from the river and one of the StuGs in the centre spot one another and the StuG lands a HC round in the turret front…I hope the Death Clock has starting ticking.

Centre & Right:

The other two StuGs dish out HE and canister, aided by the FT team that gets off a squirt of hot sauce. The Pz IVG moves up. The T34 on my right flank pokes its nose far enough forward for the immobilised Pz IVF1 to line it up, but it retreats before a round is loosed. If I can fracture these last four T34s, there’s a chance I’ll have enough 75 mm HE to make a push.

Turn 27 orders:

Left:

The Pz IVF1 is going to surge forward pronto to try and help the StuG take out the T34. Infantry will hunker in the jump-off factory and try to keep the lice out of their wounds.

Centre & Right:

Hmmm…that T34 in the rear area is worrisome…I’d better have the Pz IVG react to it, perhaps with a StuG covering its rear, in case the other T34 surges forward again. Infantry should complete their form up moves soon. Other two StuGs will continues to dish HE.

[ December 14, 2003, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Brent Pollock ]

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Results:

The withdrawal on the left continues apace. The sIG 33 doesn’t get a target but the Volga-most Pz IV F1 emerges to help the central StuG IIIE double-team the T34 that got tagged right at the end of last turn…here’s a different kind of death clock:

0:06 – SUH Penetration and the T34 starts forward and moves its turret forward...must be panicky

0:15 – Track hit immobilises it…turret doesn’t move

0:24 – SIDE LOWER HULL Penetration

0:30 – SIDE UPPER HULL Partial Penetration

0:31 – SIDE UPPER HULL Penetration

0:37 – Turret Rear Ricochet

0:38 – Turret Side Partial Penetration

0:45 - SIDE LOWER HULL Penetration

0:46 – Track hit

0:53 – Track hit

0:54 – SIDE UPPER HULL Penetration

0:60 – SIDE LOWER HULL Penetration…and it's still not Abandoned nor KO’d

The central factory boys are almost ready for jump off, but a T34-sized monkey wrench is on the way: the Pz IVG was supposed to give it a “meet-n-greet” but was possessed by the Tac AI (understandably so, as the right flank T34 spotted it) and now it is BU with its rear facing the T34…which also managed to spring two units from the POW cage…argh! On the plus side, a tank hunter team sprinted into some rubble and, on the fly, lobbed two panzerwurfmines (sp?) and the grenade bundle and KO’d the last T34 on that flank: t’was glorious.

The right flank boys are doing what they can.

Turn 28 Orders:

The Pz IVF1 has a new lease on life: time to head for the ferry landing and try to cause havoc…and maybe neutralise a big flag. The sIG is also going to join in the fun, although I fear it’ll run afoul of a 12.7 mm HMG.

The StuGs will continue to do one more turn of softening up before the last surge. The one that is low on HE will get ready to greet the T34 after it kicks the Pz IVG up the whazoo. Infantry gets into position.

[ December 17, 2003, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Brent Pollock ]

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Results:

Left:

Withdrawal is pretty much complete. Before starting to surge forward, the Pz IVF1 puts another round into that hapless T34 before it is finally registered as KO. The other two AFV are running up to help out.

Centre:

Man – didn’t even get much of delay out of the Pz IVG as it catches fire within seconds. The other T34 seems content to sit tight near the other small corner flag. One of the StuGs gets immobilised by some grenades, but at least it’s facing a target. The other two dish HE, but it might not be enough to help the pioniere make their final push next turn.

Right:

They’re crawlin’ but not doing much else.

Turn 29

Orders

Continue on with no changes. Jump off is next turn, although I’m guessing that everyone’ll be too pinned down to really have a go at it.

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Results:

The live Pz IVF1 is in position at the landing. The StuG platoon dishes more HE, which is almost gone, and is ready to drop one of the resistance nests. The end run has succeeded in luring back the T34s. As for the infantry: not much movement, except for the centre.

Turn 30

Orders

The other two AFVs head for the landing while the Pz IVF1 starts pounding a MG building. Two StuGs try to drop the resistance nest while the CO gets ready to greet one of the T34s. Two infantry platoons are set to start advancing out of the central factory corners. The left and right sides are pretty much done in and just trying to hold on.

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Results:

He’s down to a single T34 after the first to head to the Russian lines got distracted by all the German infantry and came reached the factory corner with its turret pointed rearwards: one AP round from the StuG CO into the turret side and a grenade bundle from the factory denizens convinced the crew to bail and run. The sIG 33 gets shocked en route to the ferry landing so we’ll see if it lives through the anticipated hail of MG fire. The Pz IVF1 has started pounding the MG strong point with HE area fire. The Other two StuGs drop the building they were pounding and the non-immobilised one (how’s that for a round-about way to say “mobile”) faces riverward and lets loose with some HE and canister at some hapless marines in the nearby rubble: at turn’s end the pionier platoon starts to head for the “cleared” rubble.

The other T34 is zooming back to his lines: definitely feeling the pressure from having German AFVs ready to get a “car wash” in the Volga.

Turn 31 (turn one of overtime)

Orders:

Do what we can to try and hammer that last T34. The StuG CO is down to 2 x HE rounds, so it’ll likely be up to the other mobile StuG. The pionier platoon will keep pushing and the AFVs will throw what HE they have left into the cause. Everyone else has pretty much decided that no other pieces of Stalingrad look any cosier than the one they’re sitting in right now, so “why move?”, they ask.

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Result:

Well, that light tank wasn’t shocked after all: it headed riverward and took out the sIG 33 and turret-jammed Pz IVF1. That leaves me with this for armour:

1 x PzIVF1 at the river with one casualty and plenty of ammo

1 x immobile StuG IIIE with some AP

1 x mobile StuG IIIE CO with no ammo

1 x mobile StuG IIIE with dwindling ammo

On the plus side, the two platoons that headed out of the factory haven’t been completely stopped yet and the FT got of another burst. On the Right, it looks like the Russians are moving up to solidify their perimeter: that flanks been about 25 solid minutes of Teutonic Agony.

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TIME’S UP

Dang - I was hoping for a bit more overtime to neutralise another HQ Bunker flag! Steve did a better job with the artillery & on-board 82 mm mortars than I managed: none of my Russian FOs got more than about 15 kills. He held both flanks with little more than the original forces, from the looks of it, although his left side got some stiffening to its right.

The stats for the Three Stooges StuG IIIB platoon are impressive: three T34s and almost an entire company of troops (91 infantry casualties)!

A Minor Defeat but Major Fun! Here’s the point breakdown:

AXIS ALLIED

FLAGS 300 1200

Enemy Casualties 3715 4845

Prisoners Taken 1200 0

So, I held all minor flags but, of the majors, all I managed was to neutralise one. Even if I’d neutralised all five, I only would’ve managed a draw: the flank flags really hurt me, and that’s what happens when you try to assault factories without proper combined arms prep.

P.S. I kept misrepresenting the 3 x StuG IIIB platoon as StuG IIIE.

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Part of it might've been bad luck but mostly it was just lack of support. The factory was defended they way big ones should be: stay off the first tile and set up to cover the bit of dead ground just outside the edge. Being that far back gets you out of the way of most suppressing fire. Without assigning OBA, I was supposed to counter this with AFV direct fire to rubble some tiles and use the dust for cover, but I got distracted by T34s and didn't stay focussed. I also attacked a little strung out and could've stacked three or so platoons into a more concentrated space.

Originally posted by Aardvark:

Thanks taking time to post a great AAR. Things seemed to be going well on your left until the second factory, and then... disaster. It wasn't clear to me why it went sour. Just a factory too far?

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Originally posted by Brent Pollock:

AXIS ALLIED

FLAGS 300 1200

Enemy Casualties 3715 4845

Prisoners Taken 1200 0

So, I held all minor flags but, of the majors, all I managed was to neutralise one. Even if I’d neutralised all five, I only would’ve managed a draw: the flank flags really hurt me, and that’s what happens when you try to assault factories without proper combined arms prep.

Another German loss. Not suprising. Let me compare this to the stats from my game. I also played the axis:

Axis / Allied

Flags Held: 600 / 1200

Enemy Casualties: 3455 / 2583

Prisoners: 44 / 0

Score: 52% / 48% (DRAW)

Pretty similar. You took many more casualties than I did, to the tune of some 2000 points, although you managed to capture 1200 points worth of prisoners, which partially offsets this. You pushed harder, but in doing so only lost points along the way.

I maintain that the Soviet force is too powerful. The large objective flags are too valuable, and too easy for the Russian player to hold. Finally, the scenario is too short, which gives the German player very little opportunity to overcome the Soviet reinforcements.

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Originally posted by Runyan99:

...I maintain that the Soviet force is too powerful. The large objective flags are too valuable, and too easy for the Russian player to hold. Finally, the scenario is too short, which gives the German player very little opportunity to overcome the Soviet reinforcements.

I am currently playing this PBEM as Soviet and have a few turns left to go.

I disagree about Soviet being too powerful, as one Stuka pass resulted in:

1 X T-34 immobilized

1 X T-34 shocked

1 X Inf platoon (4 X squads w/HQ) = eliminated

2 X MMG (6-man crews) = eliminated

Axis artillery is devestating, able to suppress units in heavy buildings.

I would agree the scenario is too short (but I say that about every scenario). It's just my personal opinion, but I feel the attacker should have 10-15 extra turns on every scenario (for Recon).

However, having said that, I don't know if the scenario would have that "Mad Minute" feel to it for every single turn, if the battle had 45+ turns.

I thought this was a great scenario, especially as my opponent is relentless on the attack.

My wish for this scenario (because it is so much fun) would be for the chance of replayability by spreading out the spawning of reinforcements in both time and space, with some percent chance of appearance thrown in as well. Perhaps, add some heavy buildings in the Soviet rear area and make sure the Inf spawn inside these protected areas.

Sometimes it's fun to swap sides and have a go at it again.

It might also be interesting to experiment with Dynamic Flag (w/auto-pick) with the opportunity for replay in mind.

Great scenario and AAR.

My 2 cents,

Ken

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great AAR if i may say so, very absorbing and well written. What was the end score (Percent)?

The battle seemed to be going well for the Germans in the first half - a gallant defence swung the tide in the second half.......seems much like Stalingrad! Axis casualties were very high indeed.

Hope you all had a great Xmas and new year!

Terry

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Hi CDIC,

I saw this thread and saw that you had popped in. Not read any of the thread (yet) as I am half way through this monster.

A stonking scenario and even if I lose the fun that me and Lou have had so far has been well worth the price of admission.

This scenario is worth five beers...

Happy New Year and if you ever get back to the motherland give me a heads up.

;)

I hope to add a bit of insight once I finish the scenario and can read this thread. Until then I shall lurk.

Cheers

H

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Capdog,

We are into our last few turns and it has taken a turn for the worst for the Defender and looking good for my attackers.

Just waiting for the sewers to release my four platoons that have got lost in the tunnels.

I won't be doing that again as I would have been better placed with them on the top rather than underground for the last 26 turns.

A good scenario and I will elborate more this weekend if we manage to complete it.

Also looking forward to reading all the points above this and seeing how I compare.

If you have some time to test a few scenarios let me know as I have switched sides for a certain event and become a gamekeeper rather than a poacher.

;)

H

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Hi H,

That's a very quck turn rate if you are nearly finished already.

I would love to play test scenarios, but unfortunately when i came back to China i left my CM disks in Australia because this job is too demanding.....alas, i have no free time to play my beloved wargame! CM is too much of a distraction for me, so i resign myself to posting here on this forum to satisfy my craving.

You could of course come visit me with a laptop and a copy of CMAK one weekend and help me out mate!

Cheers

CDIC

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I still plan to get out to China at some stage in the next few years and will certainly do my best to swing by.

The game is just about finished and it looks like a white wash unless the Soviets are hiding in the cellars.

It would seem that I have been able to gain all flags. I am hoping to wrap the last turns up this weekend.

A magnificient scenario and I have had a blast playing it.

More comments to come....

H

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The last file was sent last night but due to the forum being down I could not post.

I won a pretty convincing victory in the end and the game ended with all the Soviets throwing up their hands with a total collaspe of morale.

I will post exact details when I get home.

The key turning point was in the last five or so turns when I managed to kill all the Russian tanks.

With them out the way I was able to ravage the Soviets with DF HE from my tanks. Only one of the Soviet tanks (KV) was taken by the Stuka. The rest were whittled away by some good shots and careful use of the German tanks.

IMO the key to the game is removing the Soviet tanks so that you can mount effective attacks on the various buildings held by the Soviets.

Sewer movement was a total failure for me and of the four platoons I commited to this (all with +2 Stealth) I had about three squads turn up where they were sent. I perhaps sent them too deep as it was 23 turns or more moves under ground.

Those four platoons would have been far more use above ground and I will never again use such long distance moves.

I enjoyed the surprise of having Soviets behind my lines and these units caused me some pain. Lou my opponent messed up with one platoon of these and had them machine gunned down by me as he tried to move them across a street. The other group caused a lot more pain as I lost a useful Stug to some Tank Hunters.

This is certainly a tough game for the attacker but it can be won if you use the right approach and work hard to co-ordinate your efforts.

The Soviet airforce and artillery was a pain in the bum. I guess if Lou had better luck with his tanks I would have been in quite a different position.

H

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Originally posted by Holien:

IMO the key to the game is removing the Soviet tanks so that you can mount effective attacks on the various buildings held by the Soviets.

I'll second that: my inept AFV handling really hurt. And when I did get it right (the Three Stooges StuG IIIB platoon), they were devastating (their kill stats are mentioned above in another post).

Sewer movement was a total failure for me and of the four platoons I commited to this (all with +2 Stealth) I had about three squads turn up where they were sent. I perhaps sent them too deep as it was 23 turns or more moves under ground.

Those four platoons would have been far more use above ground and I will never again use such long distance moves.

I've posted it before...somewhere...sewer movement is mainly for ducking attacks and moving into unoccupied zones. Using it to enter enemy occupied ground floors is a risky business. Also, the moves should be kept to 5 minutes at the longest and only done when supported by a Stealth bonus HQ.

Glad to see someone else has added their AAR here - mission accomplished.

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Hi Brent with regards to sewer movement I had never used it before and saw your comments (due to FOW) until too late.

I now know what and what not to do.

I guess it was lucky for Lou I did not have an extra 4 platoons beating him up.

Then again maybe they would have been hurt by the Soviet heavy Arty.

The score was 75% to 25% a Major Victory.

He lost 837 men to my 477 and I captured 173 men. I lost 8 vehicles to his 17.

Lou lost it in not applying his artillery effectively and did not use his armour well. In the first turn Lou saw some of my tanks and assume that my men would be with them. His 152 Arty hit that area.

Fortune was with me as I had placed my armour well back from my start lines and as Lou had not seen my possible deploy area it killed two T/C's and that was all.

If that had hit home that entire flank would have been wasted as my men were grouped quite tightly and they were the vital engineers and HMG crews on the right flank.

I was lucky with some tank duels (1 stug took two T34's on the left flank) and in other areas careful manuver ensure some good kills on his remaining armour. Lou had a tendency to park his armour and so I could play the angles on it.

It was a great game and even though Lou lost he said it was fun to play.

Of course he enjoyed the bit where a stray Stuka bomb took out a factory that I had occupied. Again luck was with me as there was only a HMG and Platoon HQ in the building at that time.

H

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