Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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joerock22
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Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:53 pm

Hello all,

I typed up this first post before receiving Morris’s first turn in reply. Instead of changing it, I thought I would just post it so you can see my thought process at the time. Before Morris’s unorthodox moves forced a change…

**note – I am typing this AAR immediately after every turn, but leaving a posting delay of a few turns. Morris has said I can read his AAR, and I don’t want to prohibit him from mine if he chooses to look.


Greetings,

It’s been awhile since I last did an AAR, but this occasion just seemed to call for it. After my close victory as the Allies in our last game, Morris and I decided to switch sides and start a game on GS 2.10. He has already promised to show me a “completely new strategy.” I’m sure he intends to demonstrate a new Allied uber-strategy on me.

We’ll see. I don’t expect this game to go exactly how either of us intends. We are both too strong-willed for that. Here are my initial goals:

1. Blitz into France in 1939
2. **remaining goals removed for confidentiality. Sorry, Morris :)


The Delayed Blitz

My favorite Axis strategy used to be to attack Holland on turn 2, and then Belgium on turn 3, 4, or 5 if I got fair weather. In this way, I could attack the French during the winter but still limit casualties taken in Poland. This strategy no longer works, since Belgium and Holland are linked.

Still, I wanted to do the Blitz, but I couldn’t stomach the heavy casualties the Germans suffer in Poland when they move a large force west on turn 1. So instead I planned to invade both Holland and Belgium on turn 3 (hopefully). Here are what I think are the pros and cons of this strategy, compared to both the full Blitz and Sitzkrieg:

Pros:
- Early invasion of Holland and Belgium, allows you to attack the French during the winter (average 1 kill per turn), and you get the first turn of fair weather in 1940 to hit the French rather than Holland and Belgium. End result = earlier fall of Paris
- Limits the effect of bad luck with the weather in February-March 1940. You can still do damage even during the bad weather period, as opposed to Sitzkrieg where you can do absolutely nothing and are completely at the mercy of the weather
- Because you can employ the Luftwaffe on turn 1, Poland still falls relatively easily in 2-3 turns, without heavy casualties

Cons:
- The Weather – this strategy relies on getting at least 1 turn of fair weather between October and November. Your odds per turn are 75%, 75% and 25%. Chances are excellent that you will get at least 1 fair turn, but chances are also good that you will get ONLY 1 fair turn. That means no fair turn in 1939 to attack the French. It also means being forced into Sitzkrieg if you get really bad luck with the weather
- Rail Cost – this is not extremely high. You probably have to pay a minimum of about 15-20 extra, with more for extra insurance units. Higher than Sitzkrieg but lower than a full Blitz
- Oil – you will probably burn more oil than with Sitzkrieg, but not an incredibly high amount. During the bad weather, only your planes and maybe a tank and/or mech will be active per turn

Overall, I think the pros of this strategy outweigh the cons. In a previous game, I tried this Delayed Blitz and Paris fell on April 8, 1940. My luck with the weather was actually below average. October/November was fair/mud/mud, and February/March was mud/winter/fair. Casualties were actually lower than a recent Sitzkrieg game, and Paris fell 2 months sooner. I can only hope this works as well against Morris.


Turn 1 – September 1, 1939

Image

The invasion of Poland goes as planned. Results were very good except for a couple fighter steps lost. One corps and a couple garrisons railed to the west. All other units were either needed for Poland or out of rail range. Tank, mech, and corps to be railed west on turn 2, Luftwaffe to fly there.

**will try to make bigger screenshots in the future

Morris
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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Morris » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:06 am

will you adjust your strategy now ? or you will still bliz me ? :) I felt lucky when I read your Bliz Strategy . It is really a " Bliz Vs Bliz" :lol:

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by rkr1958 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:01 pm

Morris wrote:will you adjust your strategy now ? or you will still bliz me ? :) I felt lucky when I read your Bliz Strategy . It is really a " Bliz Vs Bliz" :lol:
This is a bit strange to me see opponents posting in each others AAR while the game is in progress. I guess to do that we have a "delayed broadcast" of a few turns as Joe wrote above.

joerock22
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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:22 am

Turn 2 – September 21, 1939

Well, this is a surprise! Morris invades and conquers Belgium. I think these are the gains and losses for the Allies:

Gains:
- French get a few extra PPs
- French do not suffer the surprise morale penalty
- Holland will never be surprised now (no morale penalty and full strength units)—this probably means waiting until mid-1940 to invade so I can strike from the south
- Tactical – creates a narrower front, makes Blitz more difficult

Losses:
- USA loses 6 war effort until joining the war
- Convoys are 25% smaller until USA joins war
- Germany gets full production from Belgian cities once they are conquered

So the Allies pay a heavy long-term price for some short-term gain. Perhaps it would have been a better idea if I was using my typical Scandinavian Blitz strategy. But as you can see above, I am not. I think Morris will be quite surprised to see strong Axis units already swarming into Belgium. Give me a couple turns of fair weather and I will make him pay dearly for his aggressiveness!

Image

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:48 pm

Turn 3 – October 11, 1939

On his turn, Morris was able to destroy a 10-step German corps that had crossed the river. Only losing 4 ground steps and 1-2 air—good results from the French. My fighters lost 3 steps vs. the French fighter and the British Strat, for crying out loud!

Fortunately, the weather was fair and I was able to respond. My goal this turn was to break out of the pocket Morris is trying to pin me in. I was able to accomplish this by destroying his mech north of the river, and forcing his garrisons in the Ardennes forest to retreat. We are almost to Lorraine; Morris will have to respond to this.

Image

Image

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Cybvep » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Good hit with the u-boat, that's 15 PP + 7 PP (?) required for embarkation lost. This should partially "repay" for your loss of one corps (35 PP) and it was the UK's GAR, not the French one.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:08 pm

Cybvep wrote:This should partially "repay" for your loss of one corps (35 PP) and it was the UK's GAR, not the French one.
I don't remember exactly, but I think you're right. Even better!

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:25 am

I don't know what Morris sees in his strategy. The Germans have broken through the French lines and can use the winter to kill several units. That means an early fall of Paris and a big risk of a 1940 Sealion.

Belgium is good to have as a buffer for the Allies.

Long term it's even worse for the Allies due to reduced convoy size, lower US production, slower lab builds etc. So what has Morris seen that we haven't? If the purpose was to flood France with garrisons then it's too late for that. Soon Lorraine will fall and that will lower the French production a lot.

If the second October turn is fair then I think Morris will see the panzers dangerously close to Paris.

Joerock can actually simulate the Sichelscnitt (Case Yellow plan) and cut off the Allied units in Belgium so they can't be railed to Paris. Belgium will fall to Germany when Paris falls so there is no need to destroy the big pocket of Allied units in Belgium. Has Morris made the same mistake as the real French Army HQ and repeated the Dyle plan?

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:41 pm

Turn 4 – October 31, 1939

Morris did respond to the threat to Lorraine, so instead of bashing their heads against the wall the Germans focus their effort in the much softer north. My major objective was to cross the Meuse River in force before bad weather hit. This was accomplished, and a French corps and garrison destroyed in the process. Now the Belgian heartland is exposed and the Allies have to worry about defending a longer front.

Image

Thanks to my Strat’s heroism, my fighters are in good shape compared to the Allies. Another fighter is already in production.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:43 pm

Turn 5 – November 20, 1939

More good results for the French! An 8-step German corps reduced to 3 and forced to retreat for the loss of only 2 ground steps for the Allies? And I lost 3 fighter steps vs 1 CV and 2 Strat steps for the British. What gives? Am I missing something or are the Allies performing very well here? My air units especially consistently perform better on my own turn. Here is the screenshot before my turn:

Image

Again, it seems Morris’s good luck with combat results is balanced out with bad luck with the weather—it is fair again!

Image

Image

This may sound odd given the current situation, but I’m starting to see the appeal of Morris’s Allied Blitz strategy. I was able to make this much progress (very costly progress!) only because of the good weather. Odds say Axis should get 4 turns fair and I got 5. Now let’s say that I only get 3 turns fair—then I’m bogged down in Belgium, stuck in a lousy position to launch an offensive in spring 1940.

Now say I had done Sitzkreig instead, as most people do nowadays. The French would be entrenched and much better able to defend Belgium than the Belgians would. Holland would be tough for the Germans because surprise would not be possible. Even with good weather, Paris would probably last until July. August or even September with bad weather luck. Potentially longer than that if the Axis player makes mistakes or isn’t very good with Case Yellow.

So I definitely see the potential short-term benefits of Morris’s strategy. Even my progress has been ridiculously bloody, in part because of lucky results from the French, but also because of the difficult position Morris had me trapped in.

I still think the long-term penalties outweigh the short-term gains. But this strategy of his has the potential to completely eliminate the Sea Lion threat in 1940, with better luck with the weather or a passive Axis player.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by richardsd » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:43 pm

The Allied Airforces aren't suffereing any morale loss so they will perform 'better'.

I am still sure his plan was to hold you in Belgium with a short line and defense in depth - I believe the goal is to 'bleed' the axis as much as possible.

Still I am not sure the long term penalty is worth it, then again Morris may just be building ARM and DD's for a 42 US invasion so he might not really care!

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by zechi » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:53 am

Did he really destroy two MECH and one INF?

I don't think the fair weather is such a big advantage for the Axis. Yes, the Axis may make quicker progress, but during fair weather the Allied counterattacks also hurt much more. Furthermore, the Axis do not have air superiority if they go for a 1939 Blitz. The Allies field 2 FTR + 1 STR + 1 CV and the Axis 2 FTR + 2 TAC + 1 STR.

If the Axis go for Sitzkrieg they will usually have air superiority (normally at least 8 air units in total), which will make things much less costly I assumem, even if it takes a lot more time to finish off France.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by rkr1958 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:00 am

zechi wrote:Did he really destroy two MECH and one INF? .
I think you might be misreading the screen cap. I think the red X's are hexes captured by the 2 German Mechs and 1 infantry corps. I don't think Joe has lost any German units (yet).

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:45 am

Joe has lost 1 corps and another was reduced to 3 steps.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:30 pm

zechi wrote:Did he really destroy two MECH and one INF?
Sorry, I meant to identify the 3 units destroyed--Morris has been moving them around so much. It was 2 French garrisons and 1 French corps with leader (south of Brussels).

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:25 pm

Turn 6 – December 10, 1939

More excellent results for the French. A 9-step German corps reduced to 3 by 1 French corps and 3 garrisons. Yes, the French lost 2 corps steps and 6 garrison steps, but with my effectiveness advantage this shouldn’t happen. Defender does fire first, after all. I’ve done suicide garrison attacks with the French enough to know that you’re lucky to get 1 step every 2 or 3 attacks, not 1 every time. At this point, what can I do but shake my head?

I repaired both 3-step corps to save them, and focused my offensive effort in the Lorraine area. No units destroyed, and only 9 garrison steps killed, but crossing the river and capturing the mines were more important this turn. Now we can press our advantage even during winter. Bombers could at last fly unescorted; the sky has been cleared of Allied fighters, just as my fresh fighter group arrives. Ah, well, maybe I’ll delay repairing the damaged ones so I can make other purchases sooner.

Image

Will Morris pull another rabbit out of his hat and damage my mech or tank?

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Diplomaticus » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:18 am

Joe, was it wise to place your fighter in the rough/woods hex next to Liege? That's only 3 supply.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:45 am

Diplomaticus wrote:Joe, was it wise to place your fighter in the rough/woods hex next to Liege? That's only 3 supply.
No, that's 4 supply. It only appears as 3 because that's what a new unit initially starts with. The supply "reset" as soon as I ended my turn, but I had already taken the screenshot.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by Cybvep » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:48 am

I bet that Morris will try to damage your MECH, which is stationed in a clear hex and can be attacked from 3 sides (+ air attacks). Anyway, your timetable is bound to be good, so you can take your time and you will still have many options for 1940-1941.

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Re: Joe v. Morris Round II (Joe's AAR)

Post by joerock22 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:00 pm

Cybvep wrote:I bet that Morris will try to damage your MECH, which is stationed in a clear hex and can be attacked from 3 sides (+ air attacks). Anyway, your timetable is bound to be good, so you can take your time and you will still have many options for 1940-1941.
I thought he might too, but he actually did nothing. Probably because he could only attack with 1 non-garrison unit. I've resolved to continue to press forward, despite the Allied counterattack results.

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