AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:36 pm

Your problem is that when Morris has transfered his army to the west....he will have twice as big as yours and better in technology. Like previously said, you need to take control over the skies

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:11 pm

10/30/1943

The first October 1943 turn was mud, so very little happening there. Then the weather cleared up again in late October. Here's the situation at the end of the Allied turn:

Image

This was a *very* dynamic move, and a huge boost for the Allied cause. At the beginning of my move, Morris was trying to hold back my invasion with a couple of Finns and a Hungarian corps positioned just west and south of Bremen/Wilhelmshaven. He had a mech Korps with a leader in Bremen. My air forces were in great shape because I had just used the previous mud turn to repair, refit, and reposition. The interesting thing, as you can see on the map, is that Morris had a full dozen Luftwaffe fighters ready to contest control of the skies. Luckily for the Allies, I was ready for that and was able to match him dogfight-for-dogfight. The losses were pretty evenly spread out (3:3 being the typical result), but this screenshot shows that the RAF & USAF ended the turn mostly in 'white' effectiveness, while he's in green or even yellow.

The big story, obviously, is the massive Allied breakthrough. I cut through his meat shield like a hot knife through butter, took Bremen (I used my best quality bombers, 2 mechs, and a tank to do the job), and then, to my surprise, found the Kiel canal area wide open to my remaining tanks. I sent two tank divisions up into position just north of the Kiel canal. To add insult to injury, I found that Kiel city itself was vacant, so I dropped the 82nd Airborne Division in there.

All through this campaign I've been conscious of the Armageddon-like counter-attacks M was able to mount vs. Joe Rock. If you look carefully at the map above, you'll see that I have a nice screen of infantry, including a newly-dropped paratrooper, so that he won't find it easy to get at my tanks. And if he does hit me with his Panther divisions, he'll find that I've got a huge tank army, most of them with antitank tech maxed out.

Well, with November weather coming, I doubt that M will be able to mount much of an offensive, but I don't mind going into the weather with my present positioning. Maybe I can take Copenhagen over the winter and be ready to bring my navies into the Baltic for the next campaign season!

I'll close by saying that yes, of course, my opponent will steadily be bringing his large army westward. I have to be ready for that. But take a look at the minimap, and you'll see that I'm also pressuring him in Italy near Genoa, in the Italian boot (which he's largely abandoned), in the Balkans, and in the former Soviet Union, where a new crop of partisans spawns every turn. Last turn I got 10 partisans in one spawn! Also, the British have been causing trouble from their bases in Persia. On the October 30th turn I landed a British gar in Astrakhan. So, I'm not paralyzed with fear over his huge army. All those little blue dots you see in the minimap are very busy at the moment quelling kulak rebellions and quashing raids by Cossacks.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:57 am

It doesn´t look like Morris will make it back in time....if you get lucky with weather and have one more fair turn...that could be it. Berlin would be in danger

It is an impressive force you have gathered, i guess Morris have neglected convoy hunting for some time

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:03 pm

I think it will be very hard for Morris to fight back here because the Allied production is quite a bit higher than the German production despite USSR being knocked out of the war. The increasing partisans popping up in Russia will become a big nuisance. The Allies are already at Hamburg and it's only 1943.

Even if the panzers get back to Germany they will have to face the Allied bombers. Panzers aren't that great being bombarded turn after turn. Diplomaticus can just harass the panzers and attack then with Allied tanks once the efficiency is down to yellow. Morris doesn't have the economy to rebuild all his losses. If Morris counter attacks he only helps Diplomaticus with the grinding of units. The Allies have more units to lose than the Axis so the Axis must kill 2 units for each lost to have a chance to halt the offensive. I can't see this happening.

Morris can form a defense line in Germany during the winter, but the Allies are already across the Rhine and Elbe. So there are no longer any good defensive line to prevent losing Berlin and Hamburg. The Allies can just continue to grind Axis units during the winter and then the Axis will lose a few hexes each turn until Berlin is lost.

I think this game is a very good example what happens in the Germans neglect subs and go all out against Russia. You can take Russia, but the Allied convoys get home each turn. That's a major disaster for the Axis. The subs actually inflict quite a lot of damage in GS v2.1 against convoys. So not being able to limit the Allied production is a recipe for Axis loss. You only need 6-8 subs to cause big problems for the Allies. That means a slightly weaker Barbarossa, but you can still weaken the Russians quite a bit.

I've seen success with the Axis when the Axis players finds the right balance between the west, south and east front sections. It's quite hard to find, but if you do then it's hard to crack the Axis defense.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:13 pm

Mr. Stauffenberg makes an interesting point here. In my AAR vs. Supermax, I think a key part of the astounding comeback of the Allies was due to the fact that only a very few convoys were intercepted all game long. In the early years, Max needed his subs to support Sea Lion. Later, I'm not 100% sure why he didn't go after my convoys. Saving oil, maybe? In any case, this made it possible to bring Britain back from the near-dead. At one point the UK's PP/turn was only 19 (!), but with the convoys, I was able to rebuild a powerful RAF.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:32 am

After a long hiatus due to traveling, our game continues.

It's March 1944--first clear weather in the new year. Both armies spent the winter in fairly static mode--adjusting their positions, repairing & upgrading, etc. In the USSR, from 3 to 10 partisans have spawned each turn. The British invasion of the Baku area and their seizure of Astrakhan have provided some bases of supply for the partisans, and this has been added to by the partisans taking Archangel and two other minor cities. It still adds up to little more than a nuisance factor, but it's tying down a lot of troops that Morris could use in the West.

In the Balkans (sorry, no screen shot), it's a similar situation, where some Yugo partisans have been supported by a handful of Brits. They've taken a couple of ports and so have supply, but so far they've been kept contained by Axis units in strategic spots.

Morris has stripped Italy in order to reinforce in Germany, so I expect things to crack open there soon. The lower half of the boot is being slowly taken, but just by gars. Rome is under siege, and in NW Italy the German line is being worn down. Still, this is just a side show. Now for the main event.

Here's the situation at the beginning of the Allied turn for March:

Image

As you can see, M has been massing his mechanized infantry all winter. This looks like preparation for a big attack, so I was very surprised to find that he had not taken advantage of the first clear weather turn to launch an assault.

I took advantage of the time I had while away to study screen shots I'd taken, and I came up with a plan. Due east of Hamburg, he has only weak forces: Romanian and Finn corps, a gar, and a single SS panzer. Berlin is occupied by a panzer with 8 steps. I decided to make a bold move and see if I could strike a knockout blow immediately. Could I take Berlin and Hamburg in the same turn and end the game at once? Here's how it played out:

Image

While Hamburg fell fairly easily, I failed to take Berlin, so no easy knockout. Now I have to face M's counter-stroke. I expect him to move his units that are massed south of Hamburg to break up my vanguard near Berlin while he uses his massive mechanized infantry force to hit the soft spot in my line between Arnhem and Bremen. He has the potential to destroy several of my units and to cut off my main tank force from its level 5 supply coming from Paris.

I'm sure his counter-attack will be ferocious, but I think I can withstand it. I have 12 tank divisions, all of them nearly maxed out in tech (5-5-6), and I have a lot of air assets to bring to bear. He's going to have to relocate most of his fighters, so that means he can't repair them, and as far as I can tell he only has 1-2 tacs left. I also feel good that I've managed to maintain my infantry screen, so while I expect to lose a lot of foot soldiers, I think most of my tanks will survive the next turn.

A final note. Something odd and unexpected happened at the end of the turn. I had landed a sneaky British gar in an empty Finnish port--the one due west of Helsinki. At the end of the turn the game announced that Finland had capitulated! I don't understand why this happened. I'm sure that M only has 1-2 units in Finland (there was a Finn corps in Helsinki), so that means he had fewer than 6 Axis units in the country, but I thought in addition to that he had to lose several cities. Can anybody explain how this happened?

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Cybvep » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:34 am

Nice move, winning in Mar 1944 would have been a great victory and you were close!

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:41 am

Okay, I figured out the fall of Finland. The manual states that Finland surrenders if a) there are fewer than 6 Axis units in Finland and b) 2+ cities in Finland and/or Estonia are held by the Allies. I took a second look at the game map and realized that Morris had never taken the Estonian rail depot city of Tartu, so all I needed was to take 1 more and the Finns threw in the towel.

Image

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:07 pm

April 7 1944

When I opened the file, I saw that Morris had done exactly what I had predicted:

1) A devastating counter-attack
2) with one prong driving straight at my airfields in northern Holland
2) and with a second one breaking up my assault on Berlin.

Image

As predicted, I took heavy losses, including several mechanized infantry and 2 fighters destroyed on the ground, but all of my tanks survived (though one survivor was battered down to '2' steps).

I took a long, hard look at this result before deciding what actions to take in my turn.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:33 pm

Due to being short on time, I haven't posted very many screen shots--just the central battles. But to get you up to speed here are a couple that will show the state of things at the beginning of my April 7 move.

First the Balkans:

Image

Because of the seizure of Tirana and the fall of Italy, I was able to get supply to some Yugoslavian partisans and eventually to land a few reinforcements. This shot shows that M has withdrawn his Hungarian defender in order to help save Berlin. The main achievement here has merely been a matter of tying down some forces that M could have used elsewhere and eating away a bit at his production (and adding to mine).


Next, the Caucasus area near Baku:

Image

The Allied capture of the Baku area was important, not because of oil but because it's a considerable PP source. My strategy here has been to send out 'tentacles' of controlled hexes so any new partisans won't have far to go to get in supply.

A look at the minimap will show little orange dots all over the map of the former USSR. These are nearly all partisans. They've been able to tie up and slightly weaken M's forces and are now in control of about 4-5 cities, draining the German economy and providing supply to nearby troublemakers.

And now on to the main event. Here is the large view map showing how things stand at the end of the Allied turn:

Image

When I first looked over the map showing Morris' counter-attack, I was spooked by what he'd done in Holland. His attack was more effective than I had expected, and my first thought was to bring my tanks and planes to bear in order to stamp out his huge mech invasion. But then I realized that he'd accomplished this at the cost of properly defending Berlin. [In fact, I'm really puzzled by M's deployment of his best defenders--all those mechanized units--in the Ardennes area near Cologne. The woods meant that they were kind of stuck there, with limited mobility; and it really puzzles me that he'd choose to use minor allied corps to defend the pathway leading to Berlin.] I decided to make a smaller-scale counter-attack in Holland (using planes that were out of reach of the Berlin area anyway) and to throw nearly my whole tank force right at the German capital.

As you can see from the map above, even with my scaled-back version, I was able to isolate two German mechs in Holland and to re-establish my line.

More importantly, my tank blitz swept away most of the defenders from around Berlin, and destroyed all but 2 German panzer divisions (an 8-step SS in Berlin itself and a 3-step in the Ostwall). This left the Allies in control of 4 hexes bordering Berlin. Morris' 6 powerful mechanized units in Holland and NW Germany are too far away to come to the aid of Hitler. Unless M is able to pull a rabbit out of his hat, I think we'll see the surrender of Germany in one or two turns.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Cybvep » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:33 pm

Very impressive. It looks like Morris will lose despite the fact that Russia surrendered. It's a sign that even the Russian surrender doesn't prevent the Allies from winning the game, if they are still powerful enough.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:31 pm

What this game tells is that if the Axis puts too much effort into Russia then all Allied convoys hit home and you get a monster sized western Allied force that will take Berlin regardless.

So in order to win as the Axis you need to put quite a bit of effort against the western Allies. That means reaching Omsk is probably not possible, but you can still win the game.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Morris is better on strategy than on tactics. This game is won by the Allies and in 1-2 turn Berlin will fall.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by rkr1958 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:30 am

Diplomaticus wrote:Unless M is able to pull a rabbit out of his hat, I think we'll see the surrender of Germany in one or two turns.
O.K., you've won against Max and it looks like you're about to win against Morris. These are two of the elites. Now will you admit that you're in that class. That is, you're one of the GS elites!

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris (No Morris Pls)

Post by Diplomaticus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:44 am

Image

And... the game ends in an Allied Strategic Victory!

Image

This has been an amazing game, and I want to thank Morris for being such an interesting and challenging opponent.

Once things started to go really badly in the USSR, I figured I'd lose pretty badly, and when Morris had that devastating long summer campaign in 1942, driving right up to Omsk, I was sure that I'd suffer a major defeat.

Then... a miracle happened--the Italy surrender. Without that, I doubt very much whether the Allies could have pulled this out. On the one hand, it might seem a fluke--the combination of a partisan happening to work his way over to Trieste and M happening to send his Tirana defender off to hunt a nearby partisan; however, I don't see it that way. Part of M's super-aggressive approach requires leaving his cities behind the lines under-defended. For example, in his assault on Russia, M just bypassed Leningrad, and he left any 0-production city alone. I'm sure his idea was that these would be insignificant when he took Omsk, and he was right. But this style of play does leave you open to bad luck with partisans, and that's just what happened to him in Italy. Was it bad luck or was it the natural consequence of his risk-taking style? I'd say both.

Another huge factor in the turn-around of this game was the Western Allied conquest of France. After losing the Italians, I think that Morris must have been desperately short on garrisons, because I was able to drop paratroopers right into key cities like St. Nazaire and Cherbourg. By the time M took Omsk, the Allies were in Paris, and the race was on.

At that point Allied victory was no doubt inevitable, but I think my opponent might have delayed the end by making some different choices. The key factor was the Americans crossing the Rhine. Morris had built an impressive Luftwaffe force of 12 fighters, but in retrospect I think he'd have been better off skipping a couple of those fighters and using the PP to defend the Rhine river line.

One final note: This game, and Morris' game vs. Joe Rock also, started in the old RC11 version. The current version of the game makes the Russians tougher, with better tech (including the key anti-tank tech) and less morale loss. The Russian winter, too, has been made tougher on Axis. But when we see that even with M's spectacular successes against Joe and me in these games he still lost both of them, I wonder whether we haven't gone too far.
Last edited by Diplomaticus on Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:30 pm

Congrats to a great victory.

I don't think we can use the game between you and Morris and Joe and Morris to draw any conclusions about the true Axis strength. Morris is playing with very high risk and being overly aggressive. So he managed to push very far in Russia. The downside of being so aggressive is that you don't move into defensive mode early enough.

Morris Axis would have won big-time against average players because the Allied player would panic and be overrun. You need to be very skilled to survive a concentrated Axis attack. Both you and Joerock are way above average players.

In the current version it would be a bit tougher for the Axis to reach Omsk, but I don't see that as a bad thing. The Axis can still inflict a lot of damage on the Russians. There are many good defense lines the Germans can use to stall the Russians once the 1942 offensive has run out of steam.

I believe that Morris puts too much effort in the war in the east and that makes the western Allies too strong. The biggest flaw in his strategy is that he ignores the battle of the Atlantic. If you see an elite Axis player who invests in subs and go after convoys then the western Allies won't be able to make a lot of noise before 1943.

Just look at the AAR where Ronnie is the Allies. He has lost Egypt, fighting a huge sub force and maybe will be the victim of a Sealion. It could be the Axis is putting too much effort in the west, but I think they might have a chance if they can engage the Russians in 1942 at least.

Joerock is now Axis against Morris and let's see how he does before making conclusions. Joe is currrently crushing Ronnie in a game where Joe is the Axis. So the best players will come up on top regardless.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Cybvep » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:47 pm

I believe that Morris puts too much effort in the war in the east and that makes the western Allies too strong. The biggest flaw in his strategy is that he ignores the battle of the Atlantic. If you see an elite Axis player who invests in subs and go after convoys then the western Allies won't be able to make a lot of noise before 1943.
Yeah, I think that he never gave up on his 2.0-style strategies.

You've won a great victory, Diplomaticus.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Diplomaticus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:41 pm

Thanks for your feedback and encouragement, everybody. I've invited Morris to post his afterthoughts as well.

One thing that I think this AAR makes abundantly clear is that the Axis cannot afford to lose Italy before 1944. (This is one area where the game doesn't quite get it right, since as we all know, the real Axis was able to fight on for two years after Italy surrendered.)

In several of his posts, Borger (aka Stauffenberg) has made some comments on strategy that I think we should all pay heed to. Russia is a huge threat to the Axis, and you need to have a solid plan to deal with that threat, but, as the man says, balance must be the key. IMO finding the right balance between East and West and finding the right strategies and tactics to implement it is what makes playing Axis so very difficult.

Both Max and Morris have challenged me to rematches where I play the Axis. I strongly suspect that they will demonstrate in a big way just how hard it is to win as Axis against a top opponent.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:43 pm

At first ,congratuate to Cliff’s great victory !

It is my first experience to play a pbem after Soviet surrender & Italy surrender . It is quite impressive ! Thanks Cilff giving me such an interesting war !

Regarding to the conclusion of this pbem , I have several points which are different from Borger’s points :

1. the turn point of this game is Italy ‘s sudden death . I did not catch the point of Rail hub is counted as surrender city . So around that week I lost two Italy( Cliff , Doug)& almost lost another (Joe) . At the turn of Italy surrender , Axis had arrived two hex from Omsk . It was no doubt that Axis would take Omsk within 3-4 turns after fair turn coming . I am sure If Italy was alive & USSR surrender , game would be over .
2. actually , It was wrong that I had nothing to guard conquered cities & only concentrate to the east . If anyone don’t believe me , I will provide the screenshots of the turn just before Italy surrendered . You will find that Axis Garrison almost all cities which has production not only in Italy but also in Russia . But unfortunately, most of them were Italians .

3. After Italy surrender , although I built 12 Gars , but it was still very weak to against the Allies with whole air superior ! Meantime , I took four fair turn to take Omsk . But Allies took Paris & got full supply . Then the race began . but the fatal point is the rail cap number . Omsk is too far to transport my elite units back ,I could only transfer back three Mech by two turns &cost more pp .

4. At the time of Italy surrendered , my manpower was 723 . But after built the GARS &supply the wounded unit , It decreased very fast . The main reason I built 12 FTRs is because I can not afford for the consumption of manpower . I was forced to do that . I hope they can give a breath to transfer my units back ( I had only 9 rail points each turn )

5. I have to admit that Cliff is a great player with the ability of handle the opportunity ! His onslaught to hamburg is impressive . The reason I quited the chance to launch the attack first at the first fair turn is that The top lvl US tanks are too tough for me . The effective of them were around 95 , but mine were around 80 & less anti tank ability . If I attack them , the odd will be like suiside .

6. Finland’s lost was as the same as Italy . It was because of another rail hub in Estonia ! Do you think it is rediculous that , after Soviet surrender , Finland will surrender by a Estonia rail hub conquered by Allies ? !
Meantime , there were 3 Finish corps disappear on the west front . It was the turn of Humburg’s fall . After that Axis was hopeless & wait for the death !


7 huge amount of partisans after Soviet’s surrender in Russia . Since it is the first time I play this game after Soviet surrendered , I did not expect it happened like that . The most crazy turn ,there were 12 Partisans in Russia & 2 in Polland . I caculate the total of the parisans after Soviet surrendered , there were over 110 !! Is it reasonable after Soviet surrender ? As we know that one corp unit is 50000 soldiers , although partisans are not full strength , let’s count it as average 5 , 25000*110= 2750000 partsans !


One more impressive point : Cliff’s smart move of British troops move into Baku after Soviet surrendered . It badly rob the Axis’s pp .


Finally , I do agree that Cliff is an elite ! It is my pleasure to play with him !

I also agree with Cliff ‘s point of game balance . I know I had shortage of building Navy & sometimes too aggressive . Anyway I still believe that I & Supermax have the enough ability to against elites like Joe & Cilff . But we both lost the game . I do agree that Joe & Cliff play best performance , do we lost the game because of our mistakes or Axis has few opportunity to win .

Let’s find the answer by more beta test . :)

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by rkr1958 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:14 pm

Diplomaticus wrote:One thing that I think this AAR makes abundantly clear is that the Axis cannot afford to lose Italy before 1944. (This is one area where the game doesn't quite get it right, since as we all know, the real Axis was able to fight on for two years after Italy surrendered.)
I'm not sure I agree with you on this. I believe we've gotten Italy right. I think in games where the axis collapse very quickly after the surrender of Italy are those games where the axis player has relied very heavily, and maybe too much, for the Italians to defend the west and provide garrisons of captured cities in Russia. I know in the actual war the Italians contributed a few divisions to Russia; but mostly they were concentrated in North Africa, Italy (of course) and Greece. In my opinion a quick collapse of Germany after the Italian surrender has more to do with not having enough German forces in the west, including a strong reserve, than with the game. And, I think this is especially true if the axis player is going for an all out knock blow in Russia.
Borger wrote:Joerock is now Axis against Morris and let's see how he does before making conclusions. Joe is currrently crushing Ronnie in a game where Joe is the Axis.
That game was concluded with an axis ultimate victory. Joe was at the gates of Omsk; but still with a lot of work ahead of him to try to take it (which wasn't a certainty), Joe decided to stay put, run out the clock and get his ultimate victory. I agree with Joe, why risk a sure ultimate victory for some probability (50/50 maybe) to try to capture Omsk at the cost lowering your victory level?

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