"Another one" - Plaid vs Morris

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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zechi
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Post by zechi » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:56 am

Plaid wrote:Looks like another game with early loss of Italy is coming, I bet italy surrenders by the end of 1942.
I would not be so pessimitic. Why don't you place an (experienced) SS MECH with a leader with a defensive bonus in Messina. It is very hard to destroy such a unit if the Allies do not have two TACs and multiple shore bombardment options. With the RN nearly totally destroyed, it will be very difficult for the Allies to capture Messina even if they have the TACs.

Furthermore, you could bring some Fallschirmjäger to this theater. They can easily make a jump to Sicily and bolster the defenders if necessary. If they jump into a hex controlled by the Axis they will not take losses normally. Last but not least, you could perhaps even jump into Tunis from Sardinia with an Italian (or German Para) placed there. Of course the Allies could capture Tunis in one turn (which is likely if properly prepared), but if they do not succeed, then the Para unit will not be quickly destroyed.

Plaid
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Post by Plaid » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:43 pm

I will be rather brief, since I have little succes to share with you this times.

Its turn 45 now, january 1942

While most of MED RN was sunk (2DD this turn, BB - previous turn).

But it is major disaster at southern wing of eastern front.

Image

Just no comments, all this troops will be dead opening huge hole in my lines, I am unsure will I ever be able to stop this soviets during summer.
I lost lots and lots of PPs in all this dogfighting with RAF in MED and east, so now I lack ground troops and this sort of things start to happen
Actually I am surpriesed that I ended out of supply, since I have 10 step entrenched german corps in Dnepropetrovsk.

I am starting (only starting!) to think about surrendering this game, as it will go into nowhere. For now this AAR proves uneffectiveness of "default" axis strategy vs Morris' one.

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:36 pm

You shouldn´t be so hasty. Take a look at it again, Severe winter struck with perfect timing for Morris, he had almost made contact on every front. If you would have retreated 2-3 turns and given up ground to make sure he couldn´t attack, then you would be in entirely different situation. Perhaps catch him in open field when summer came.

I know it is hard to give up ground that you have fought for but 3 turns is only 6 hexes, you gain that in one summer turn and a hole lot less killed axis forces.

Crazyg

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:44 pm

Though i do agree, you are in a tricky situation :?

Rhialto
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Post by Rhialto » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:52 pm

Crazygunner1 wrote:You shouldn´t be so hasty. Take a look at it again, Severe winter struck with perfect timing for Morris, he had almost made contact on every front. If you would have retreated 2-3 turns and given up ground to make sure he couldn´t attack, then you would be in entirely different situation. Perhaps catch him in open field when summer came.

I know it is hard to give up ground that you have fought for but 3 turns is only 6 hexes, you gain that in one summer turn and a hole lot less killed axis forces.

Crazyg

mmm.. but I see Plaid's point; this looked almost too easy for Morris. He over-ran Plaid at almost the first opportunity - January 1942, despite his own relaxed - almost careless play with the Western forces. It is very difficult to time the disengagement and space creation as you advise, expecially as you don't know the exact onset of SW. Is there room, anyway to do this? There are certain river lines such as the Dnepr that you have to try and defend. Going all the way back to the Bug would take time and burn oil and then in the spring an advance has to be made again to regain space, burning more oil again. I think the point here is that the Axis have no margin for error, and the allies have a huge margin.

Plaid
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Post by Plaid » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:00 pm

I have to add that retreat is now much less effective, with new spotting rules.

With old spotting rules if you retreat 2 hexes at SW weather, soviets still able to see you units (and so they are affected by ZoC and can't move 2 this 2 hexes and engage).

With new spotting rules, when soviets also have spotting halved, when your frontline retreat 2 hexes, they vanish from soviet LoS, so soviet unit can move 2 same 2 hexes , bump into axis line, where he technically can't move because of ZoC, and attack. Axis unit will be with no entrenchemnt, and will very likely retreat, ruining ZoC wall, so soviets will be able to exploit it and kill several more axis units.

At current version this attempts of "organised" retreats cause severe casualties to axis troops, probably higher then standing ground.

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:43 pm

I see both you points, but axis has never had any room for error i think, no matter what version.

With the zone of control idea is to keep out of range of the Russians, must station air units to get better range of visability to see when they are coming. Also his line was dangerously thin, could´t cover the line with almost a single line front and on some parts you need a double to hold at all.

Crazyg

Rhialto
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Post by Rhialto » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:18 pm

Crazygunner1 wrote:I see both you points, but axis has never had any room for error i think, no matter what version.

With the zone of control idea is to keep out of range of the Russians, must station air units to get better range of visability to see when they are coming. Also his line was dangerously thin, could´t cover the line with almost a single line front and on some parts you need a double to hold at all.

Crazyg

Looks to me like a reasonable double line given the circumstances and the assistance of the river, albeit mostly romanian/hungarian allies.

Image

rkr1958
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Post by rkr1958 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:08 pm

Plaid,

Do you think you'd have been able to stabilized the situation in Russia is you didn't have to face UK fighters there?

Plaid
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Post by Plaid » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:02 pm

Problem is not the UK fighters itself, problem is that during this 2 years I lost more then 100 air steps fighting with UK air units and navy mostly, and its huge hole in my PP resources. Yes I sunk many ships and inflicted many steps loss on RAF, but knowing of this will not refund german PPs spent.

I had only 4 tanks when started Barbarossa, lost one recently, probably will lose one in Crimea.
And I see no way to replace this units, all PPs go to replace infantry, and still i can't replace it fast enough.

Looks like attempt to deplete axis potential by extensive BEF and building huge high tech RAF (instead of any other UK units) worked great for harassing axis in later game.

If I had troops for axis offencive in 1942 in USSR (and use air support), this damn RAF fighters will intercept every time, and its more and more wasted PPs. Germans simple can't afford 4-5 dog fight battles (average 2-3 step lost each, step cost 6 PP) with adequate tech fighters every turn. Looks like Morris in his turn has no problem repairing all this fighters, as its only way he spend UK PPs. Looks like he have commander in USSR, so he dont severely suffer from 3 supply, his fighters have better effectiveness then soviet ones even during SW.

If we look into PPs, allies gather much much (several times, I believe) more PPs then axis during the game. What keep game challenging is axis tech advantage. It means that each allied power can have parity with germans probably in one area, while in others germans are better.
And Morris cleverly exploit it by building for one of allied powers ONLY this type of unit, which have parity with germans. So all of his fighters (other then starting ones) are and will be british and high tech. He will not produce british tanks or corps, which are weak and can be easily destroyed with low casualties. This approach "optimise" british PPs, as all of them are used to produce units, which are even/better, then germans. And this sort of allied "PP optimisation" is deadly for axis, as axis simple have much less PPs and will collapse faster.

richardsd
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Post by richardsd » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:11 pm

This is his strategy, bleed you with the Brits, then hit you with the Russian's.

You won't have enough units to stop the Americans landing in Europe.

Morris doesn't plan for a long game, so he can optimise his labs and builds to support his aggressive style.

Against this, I believe you have to take England and close the Med. I am not yet sure when you should launch Barabarossa.

If you take England he can't replace the FTR steps very easily and its also harder for the US to get engaged.

Plaid
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Post by Plaid » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Thats true, Richard. Something creative will work better against this...probably.
Lets see how Max's game will progress.
But my initial goal was to test plain, "default" strategy.

BuddyGrant
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Post by BuddyGrant » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Thanks Plaid for the wonderful AAR & good luck with whatever you do to try and right the ship. It seemed like this game was going well for you, and suddenly it's like this - frustrating I'm sure. The Allies seem to be able to afford many errors in this game with hardly any impact on the result - maybe a playability solution would be to have only inexperienced and/or poorly rated players take the Allies in multi-player games? ... or perhaps Max can prove that the Axis can still overcome versus a capable allied player.

richardsd
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Post by richardsd » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:08 pm

To be fair, I should probably own up to the fact that it might have been me that gave Morris the idea for the UK FTR's in Russia - it was one of the strategies I used to stop his German ARM blob.

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:58 pm

Rhialto wrote:
Crazygunner1 wrote:I see both you points, but axis has never had any room for error i think, no matter what version.

With the zone of control idea is to keep out of range of the Russians, must station air units to get better range of visability to see when they are coming. Also his line was dangerously thin, could´t cover the line with almost a single line front and on some parts you need a double to hold at all.

Crazyg

Looks to me like a reasonable double line given the circumstances and the assistance of the river, albeit mostly romanian/hungarian allies.
It´s not that he did something wrong, just look at where Morris launched the attack. In the north he broke through against an italian tank to establish a perimeter on the otherside of the river. Tanks are never useful in the frontline and there was no double line there. In the south a combined tank and mech assault destroys the corp in the firstline. After that he didn´t provide any reserves to fill in the gaps or provide with a 2 line defense. That is not what i call 2 line defense.

I see that Morris have spent all his research on Tanks, they are good quality and upgraded. In theese circumstances i would easily retreated the 6-8 squares to avoid destruction of the army group south. That is why i gave the sugggestion, it would have been better to give up ground than stand there and take a beating. But this is the hard part, it is easy to say this after you see the results.

Plaid
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Post by Plaid » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:42 am

Well, we discussed it with Morris and decided to stop playing this one, as I accepted my inevitable defeat in couple of years.
I have very few offencive units and no way to produce any more - all PPs go to replace infantry, and still I can't build enough. So any offencive in 1942 in USSR will not be possible.

Neither I have troops to deal with 1942 allied invasion in France.

My main problem is that I suffered a lot (100+) air casualties - most from high tech UK fighters, which simple burned my PPs.

My forces suffered great, I built very few tank and no navy at all.
Another problem is that I allowed destruction of axis forces in southern USSR and Crimea, now its huge hole there and only way to try to mend it is to retreat far to the west, almost to the pre-war border.

Allies are sitting on Sicily and I can't commint strong enough forces to deal with them, which means early end of italy aswell.

For sure its partly my fail, not balance flaw. Probably if I did know, what expect me, I had a chance to be more succesful (first thing would be not building and losing so many german units - i'd rather focus more land forces), but as I applied the most default axis strategy, it failed badly vs Morris.

I believe balance flaw is that game rewards allied narrow lab specialization and mass-production of certain unit. Axis can't afford it, because they have only Germany able to produce real capable units, italian are just to weak to "specialize" them in anything early in game.
Another thing is that game is rewarding for using UK units as cannon fodder in France and MED.
And even if I attempted Sealion, it would mean even more wasted german PPs and even weaker Barbarossa.

Probably something like MED + Sealion campaign with defencive play on the east since beginning (1942 DoW) may work better agains Morris, but I think its impossible to achieve much better results then mine with default strategy.

Morris
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Post by Morris » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:44 am

I am sorry that this AAR finished so early ! I have looked forward to a longterm fight at least to the late 1943 . The detruction of the southern Axis units is the main reason of this . It was an accident .Axis seems had no mistake before this compaign . Why axis could not afford for only one mistake ? Plaid is a gentleman & a very outstanding axis player , He had tried his best to avoid to drop into Allies tricks in the last 40 turns sucessfully , the main reason caused this result is the unbalance rules of the present 2.01.23 .

Yes ,I partly agree with the coming patch regarding to the Allies unit in USSR . How about just change back to the original status that Allies unit cannot use the USSR rail system. In the real history , there were some allies planes fight at Murmansk for USSR . It should also not completely close the player's choice to save USSR if Omsk is in dangers ! Besides this , there are some more changes necessary.We'd better discuss about it after my AAR with supermax . He is going to launch the Babarosa very soon . Let's see what will happen there .

It is my great pleasure to play pbem with the elite like Mr Plaid !
Thanks a lot Plaid !

leridano
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Post by leridano » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:37 pm

You have done the things rather well in USSR but you have received a severe blow so this makes me think that something was wrong and weird here. One of things could be that severe winter started so early as on 9 november 1941: this is excessively soon. IMO, severe winter chance in november in northern Europe should be removed from the game. Historically, in november the germans performed good and they now can´t do nothing because of this. So we have to make possible that if the weather turns to bad weather right in october, the germans can have enough time to dig in for winter. And if the weather has been fair in october in northern zone that it could not change dramatically to severe winter in the very following turn what seems to be a little bit unrealistic. The other thing could be fighter UK blob: surely the new rules (send units to force pool) will help much on this.

On the other hand, I still cannot see why you, playing as axis, frecuently abandon Africa. Tobruk is a rather cheap position to defend against the british if you commit minimal forces to this scenario. You can hold there for months and only when the americans launch Torch in late 1942 it would make a little bit sense IMO to think in an evacuation from Tobruk. Furthermore, you avoid early Husky operations as Morris has been able to launch because your premature withdrawal from Lybia. And Husky engagements with the brits have much helped to the soviets (again) to succeed.



    Morris
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    Post by Morris » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:46 pm

    I usually leave a Italian GAR in Tobruk & other Lybia cites . Just for concentrate to the defence of Sicily .

    Plaid
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    Post by Plaid » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:43 pm

    Well, I think nothing will stop allied player from skipping Lybia and going straight for Sicily/Southern France/Tunis/Elsewhere.

    Especially agressive ones, like Morris. Even more, all this troops can stuck there forever near Tobruc, if naval ways are blocked.

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