Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Plaid » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:28 pm

Allied turn:

Soviets entered Warsaw and destroyed several axis units in the middle. Offensive was not as strong, as Vokt wanted, because of Soviet airfields being in muddy weather zone.

In the west paratroopers push forward, while other units keep attacking forts. Cologne held at 2 steps.

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In the south Constanta captured, meaning Romanian DD was destroyed. Axis units across the front sustained some damage.

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In Finland Helsinki held at 2 steps again.

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No allied progress in northern Italy.

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In Sicily Messina defenders were reduced to 6 steps. In an attempt to cut supply link for Messina transports were sent to Calabria.

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Axis turn:

Same weather combination rolled, meaning most of Soviet air units are still in muddy zone (some were rebased last turn).

Our retreat in the East continues with defensive positions near Posen taken.

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In the south frontline is collapsing, and I will try to rail away some German infantry units before Hungary surrenders, ruining rail link.

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In the west 1 step 101st airborne was finished off finally, and British paratroops are now cut out of supply. With only 1 movement range they can do only limited damage. Units were reinforced, but Cologne can fall now, with 7 step garrison holding the city.

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Stalemate in Turin front for now:

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Sicily - Messina defenders were repaired back to full strength. British transports (likely it were garrisons, provided how fragile they were) were attacked by Italian navy and aiforce (and even Luftwaffe strategic bomber from Swiss border).
As a resuly, two of them sunk completely and 3rd heavily depleted. Just in case of paradrop additional forces railed to Calabria. Protecting supply link is critical for holding Messina and Sicily in general - thats why this peninsula was guarded since 1943.

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After all repairs Germany and Italy afforded 1 garrison each.
Last edited by Plaid on Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Plaid » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:47 pm

Allied turn:

More attacks both in the east and west. Direct fighter attacks also destroyed several air units.

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In Hungary Budapest was attacked, but Hungarian mech held, inflicting heavy damage on Soviet units. As Vokt messaged me, attack was launched with no air support.
In Romania Soviet troops reached Bucharest.

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Helsinki garrison held at 2 steps one more time.

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Marseiles still holds at 1 step and Italian garrison near Turin also held at 2 steps.

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Messina defenders were suddenly reduced to 2 steps. US airborne units lands in Calabria, new transport also spotted (its French partisan unit from Nice).
One of Italian battleships was sunk by allied subs and supposedly carrier attack.

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Axis turn:

Exactly same weather combination - mud in the east, fair in the center. Does not matter much, as majority of Soviet air units are now rebased into central zone anyway.

No counterattacks in east and west, axis troops stand defensive and entrench. Most units were repaired, but it were not enough PPs to repair everything.

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In the south I wanted to force Soviet corps to retreat from Ploesti and rail away 2 German infantry units, but had to destroy Soviet unit instead, so only one corps was railed away.

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In Finland Helsinki defenders repaired again.

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Also nothing new in Turin area - just repairs and additional garrisons deployed.

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In Sicily 9 step corps was ferried to Messina, but unit is weak compared to previous one (no entrenchment, no experience, no defensive leader) and might be destroyed right away.

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Italy recruit one more garrison, all German PPs gone into repairs.

Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Plaid » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:50 pm

Allied turn:

First of all, Italy and Finland surrenders, as allies finally got Messina and Helsinki.

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Allies progress forward in both east and west, but not enough fast to threat Berlin. Cologne finally captured by Americans.

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Budapest holds at 1 step and some action in Romania.

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Axis turn:

I wanted to drop Italian paratrooper in Paris on the last turn, but Italy surrenders, so its not an option anymore.

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Western and Eastern front units reinforced. Additional garrison deployed in Prague.

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German mech railed to Rome to secure the city.

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Remaining German air and naval units are sitting safely in Norway.

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So looks like game is over and axis major victory expected, as allies are rather far from both Berlin and Rome.

Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Plaid » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:53 pm

Here are pictures of last allied turn, Vokt provided me with:

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Victory screen and casualties screen:

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Cybvep
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Cybvep » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:35 am

This was a good game and a great AAR :). You fully deserve your victory, Plaid. I think that Vokt played better in the second half of the game than in the first one, so I wouldn't be surprised if you were a bit worried in 1944. However, in 1945 it quickly became clear that the Allies would run out of time before they reached Berlin or Hamburg. In the end you even managed to save Rome, which is a great success.

It's 1:1 now. Time for a final match? ;)

Vokt
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Vokt » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:26 pm

Now that this game is over I will be doing some comments. It was a well earned Axis victory. It's true what Cybvep has commented about me playing much more better in the second half of the game. It was such a difference that for some time in 1944, I thought I might even have the chance of reaching German capitals after all.

First half of the game was one of the worst I have played with Allies. Not only for the botched desert campaign but also for the Soviet 1941 campaign. I think it's quite important for the Soviets to slow down a bit the Germans in 1941 mainly through ZOC dispositions. I botched one of those mentioned dispositions around Smolensk and that meant a strong German panzer and mech force in central USSR by 1 August. 1 extra turn of delayed attacks from Axis due to ZOC, may mean a lot for the Soviets in order to recover. Anyway, Plaid executed one of the best Barbarossas I have lately seen. Not only for the fast moving but also for the destruction of many Red army units in 1941. Soviets clearly fell into the temptation of counterattacking in 1941 (action in Orel) and this rarely sees success. As a result, USSR had manpower issues by 1942.

Now that I have checked that Axis oil levels were not good by mid 1942 it's understandable that a strong Case Bleu didn't occur and instead that little German offensive around Yaroslavl, carried out mainly with infantry units. This situation led to a stalemate for a quite long period which it was only broken by the Soviet 1943 Winter offensive that was the only good thing they did well on this scenario. From then on, Soviets stood in the offensive only to be stopped in the Niemen, this way running out of time to reach Berlin.

Overlord 1943 was not suitable this time for many reasons. One of them, the failed desert campaign. Italy was rather strong for this stage of game and if Germany was very busy in the East, upgraded units from mainland Italy could have been deployed in France to effectively oppose the landings. Once 1944 landings went almost unopposed, I found that correct Axis tech investments were made since by then, German infantry units had top artillery level (+4 air defense). This good tech level caused high losses on allied air units and explained why Allies struggled that much in breaching Siegfried line.

Allied campaign in the Med was no effective at all and of course it meant not being able to take Rome, this meaning an Axis major victory.

Cybvep
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Cybvep » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:45 pm

This game really shows that conquering Yugoslavia is very useful for the Axis. Conquest of Yugoslavia means higher war effort for Romania, which in turn means more oil, which in turn means greater freedom of action for the Axis.

duncanr
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by duncanr » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:56 pm

taking Yugoslavia is I think very helpful oil wise, particularly if there is a strong bombing campaign

the desert was an unfortunate result for the allies that cost them although I don't think fatal - as usual its Russia where it really mattered

unfortunately Vokt is smacking my Russians in our game and I have just made the mistake of counter attacking in 41 :-(

we are however not making the same mistake in the desert :-(

Cybvep
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Cybvep » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:05 am

the desert was an unfortunate result for the allies that cost them although I don't think fatal - as usual its Russia where it really mattered
This is true, but I think that unless the Germans make major blunders in the East or the Allied player is more skilled than the Axis player, the Soviets will need help from the Western Allies in order to reach all the important cities in time. Berlin, Hamburg and Rome all have to be taken and it's hard to do that unless the Western Allies keep the Axis busy, too. In this game, I think that the sluggish pace of the Med campaign really helped the Axis and as a result, Italy survived until 1945 and Rome wasn't captured by the Allies at all.

IMO time is a critical resource for the Allied player in 1943-1945. It's usually not a question whether you will push the Axis player back, but a question whether you will do that fast enough.

duncanr
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by duncanr » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:14 am

yes, under 3.1 and 3.2 the Germans have the advantage if the west is passive

I am trying a new approach in my game against Vokt - big Desert offensive just before barbarossa - its going well but I am conscious that most of the combat rolls have been very favorable (Tobruk fell in just 3 turns of attack) sp it won;t go as well as this one everytime

duncanr
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by duncanr » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:34 am

should also note that Barbarossa is also going well :-(

Plaid
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Plaid » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:38 am

Vokt wrote:Now that this game is over I will be doing some comments. It was a well earned Axis victory. It's true what Cybvep has commented about me playing much more better in the second half of the game. It was such a difference that for some time in 1944, I thought I might even have the chance of reaching German capitals after all.

First half of the game was one of the worst I have played with Allies. Not only for the botched desert campaign but also for the Soviet 1941 campaign. I think it's quite important for the Soviets to slow down a bit the Germans in 1941 mainly through ZOC dispositions. I botched one of those mentioned dispositions around Smolensk and that meant a strong German panzer and mech force in central USSR by 1 August. 1 extra turn of delayed attacks from Axis due to ZOC, may mean a lot for the Soviets in order to recover. Anyway, Plaid executed one of the best Barbarossas I have lately seen. Not only for the fast moving but also for the destruction of many Red army units in 1941. Soviets clearly fell into the temptation of counterattacking in 1941 (action in Orel) and this rarely sees success. As a result, USSR had manpower issues by 1942.

Now that I have checked that Axis oil levels were not good by mid 1942 it's understandable that a strong Case Bleu didn't occur and instead that little German offensive around Yaroslavl, carried out mainly with infantry units. This situation led to a stalemate for a quite long period which it was only broken by the Soviet 1943 Winter offensive that was the only good thing they did well on this scenario. From then on, Soviets stood in the offensive only to be stopped in the Niemen, this way running out of time to reach Berlin.

Overlord 1943 was not suitable this time for many reasons. One of them, the failed desert campaign. Italy was rather strong for this stage of game and if Germany was very busy in the East, upgraded units from mainland Italy could have been deployed in France to effectively oppose the landings. Once 1944 landings went almost unopposed, I found that correct Axis tech investments were made since by then, German infantry units had top artillery level (+4 air defense). This good tech level caused high losses on allied air units and explained why Allies struggled that much in breaching Siegfried line.

Allied campaign in the Med was no effective at all and of course it meant not being able to take Rome, this meaning an Axis major victory.
Now I will comment this from axis perspective.

1. I did not consider 1941 autumn action near Orel successful either. Losing armour, mech and lots of various unit steps did not feel good for axis in 1941. It looked like Soviets retaken initiative early on and forced Wehrmancht to retreat. Sure I did not know about Soviet manpower troubles. Now when I have more information this battle seems favouring axis.

2. About oil - it was very secondary reason while planning 1942 campaign. Main reason was high Soviet tech level (ground defense and AT upgrades). I did not want to attack infantry with tanks, while having odds like 4:3 (even worse for mechs) - those battered units could be destroyed by following Soviet counterattack. Another thing which could occur was Soviet retreat, so axis would hit air. So I picked front with weaker Soviet troops and little or no heavy units and striked there.
No single attack or operation was canceled because of low oil levels, though they were slightly below than I like for most of the game. If Soviets or W. Allies bomb Ploesti things could be different obviously.

3. About late game Eastern front - whole frontline was anchored by high tech armoured units with maxed out survivability. Those survived multiple times in situation, where normal infantry unit would be destroyed easily. Looks like investing into armour tech was very good idea, even with increased oil consumption. I have lost only 1 German armour unit in 1941 autumn and no more until 1945, if I remember correctly. They also were not bombed most of the time - bad odds against so tough target probably.

4. Med campaign went bad for allies, but still Vokt managed to force surrender. To late for him to get any benefits from it.

5.In the West in 1944-45 Axis troops held only slightly better than expected. It is very hard to breach Ziegfried line and positions in Holland if Germany is not broken (enough PPs to repair anything and ability to replace corps or couple of garrisons every turn). Another factor was manpower, which stayed high compared to previous game until very late game. -1 survivability penalty really hurts.
Probably was not good idea to send allied strategic bombers to bomb troops full time starting from 1944. German PP income significantly increased (~+30) after strategic bombing campaign was halted and bombers start to target troops. I think allies should have built less strategic bombers and more tactical ones and attack proper targets with each type.

Thanks to my opponent for this game, was quite an experience.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:30 am

Great game by both of you. :) This game was actually quite close. 2 more turns and Berlin and Hamburg would have fallen.

At least it's good to see that you in GS v3.2 can actually win with both sides. Some strategies probably work better than others you these might be different in GS v3.2 than in earlier versions. That is not bad, though, since you they have to rediscover the strategy that works best for you.

I'm sure both Plaid and Vokt learnt a lot from both games that they can use to play even better in future games.

Vokt
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Re: Plaid vs Vokt CEAW GS 3.2 beta AAR -- rematch

Post by Vokt » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:26 pm

One thing I realize playing game after game is the potential of this game of reminding real WW2 dispositions both in time and space. Defensive line in the Dnepr is one regularly chosen by the Axis player to face the attacking Soviets. Positions reached that way, are pretty similar to the ones happening in real war (late summer 1943).

In normal conditions, 1942 campaign in the East often means an Axis advance to the Don and a Soviet army retreat to the east bank of that river, as historically happened. What is not that much carried out is the advance into Caucausus and Stalingrad. Someone told here in the forums that is up to Axis player not to make the same mistakes in which real Axis incurred. Everyone with some military history background knows that by advancing into Stalingrad and the oilfields, Axis much overextended its lines thus easing the later encirclement and destruction of the German VI Army by Red Army.

Keeping in mind the above, we may find that many players moves and strategies roughly matches the historical ones because probably, in real war, doing those moves was the right thing to do. On the contrary, failed historical campaigns, often appear not to be carried out by players.

Other players moves won't be matching at all the historical ones, the game providing here a wide repertory of what if's scenarios.

Game timing related to the real WW2 is also good. We see many games waiting for 1945 to be decided. If any side doesn't incur in major mistakes, the timing also will roughly match with the historical.

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