GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:12 pm

MTO, first half of 1944.

If you recall, Italy surrendered to the Allies in December 9, 1943 (turn 79). Anyway, even before the conquest of Sicily, Western Allies had already sent transports to mainland Italy coasts, so in turn 80 (December 12,1943) the Allies landed and took unopposed the port of Taranto.

In the new year, more and more units landed. Although at a slow pace, Allies approached to main German army defensive line that, expectedly, was built along the Gustav Line. Germans also tried to kept Naples in their hands and so a Corp unit was deployed to guard the city.

The seizure of Naples would become the most immediate objective for the Allies and this first offensive operation was met with success in March 18, 1944 (turn 84). With ample air support, British army, firstly, got good rolls when attacking the city and, ultimately, a Canadian landing 1xS of the city, meant to finish off defending German corps.

All of this time, Wehrmacht made no counterattacks at all. So Allies started to invest Gustav Line itself. Referred defensive line had been continuously bombed by Alied naval and air units, German paratroopers getting significant suppression.

First assault to one of the forts came in turn 86 (April 27, 1944) to which the image below corresponds.

Image

Shot is taken before Allies moves. In Allies turn, British attacked LXXXVII AK, located 2xSE of Rome. After having been heavily bombed by RAF TAC's, referred German HQ corps (Kesselring) took a beating but held the position.

Allies would try again to breach Gustav Line 2 turns later. Attacked German units, although depleted, held their positions once more. No matter the potent Allied attacks, with the Germans continuously swapping their depleted units with fresh ones, things were closer to a stalemate than to an immediate Allied breakthrough.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:42 pm

First, Thanks Vokt for doing the AAR, I really like looking at them! I really appreciate the work you have put into the AAR! :D

The position looks really close to historic position. But I think the Allies have built to many TACs and SACs and not enough Fighters. I think the Allies have to get air superiority fast over France in the early clear turns in the Spring and Summer of 1944. It looks like the air war over France is a 7 Allied fighter to 7 German fighter battle. Air superiority is not going to come to the Allies fast or easy, as the Allies I have fallen into this problem often and it is not fun. :(

The Germans have probably striped the eastern front of all their fighters and the Russians are still in contact with the Germans. So it is time for the Russians to conduct the biggest offense they can muster with total air superiority.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:00 pm

Thanks for the comments Carlos.

Indeed, lately it's often encountered this 1944 Luftwaffe last big effort vs Western Allies air power. If Germans strip the Eastern front of air units and redeploy them in the Western front, they can challenge UK-USA air forces based in England for couple of turns or more. The fact that many redeployed German fighters have quite good experience levels can make these late Axis air offensives very costly for the Allies.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:33 pm

Eastern Front, Spring-Summer 1944. Battle for the Dnepr.

We left here with the Soviets clearing of Axis units all lower Dnepr eastern bank hexes. Shortly after, Red Army also succeeded in forming a bridgehead 1xS of Dnepropetrovsk and in conquering a wide river hex 2xSW of mentioned city. With such gains, Soviets could think about a final big assault of Wehrmacht positions on the Dnepr bend.

Fair weather came back in turn 87 (May 17, 1944) and with it, more action. Most of Luftwaffe forces had been redeployed in the Western front so a big Axis counter offensive in the east was very unlikely. Only Axis attack (with some air support) targeted Soviet 6th Army 2xSW of Dnepropetrovsk that heroically resisted vs II SS PzK, permitting the Soviets to keep on their hands the recently seized wide river hex:
Image

Turn 87 Allies turn. Red Army started its long awaited large offensive operation in the Dnepr:
Image

Image is taken after Allies moves. As you can see in the shot, in this first round of Soviet attacks, Germans held really well no matter the massive (unopposed) ground attacks made by VVS and despite that a large airborne operation had been launched in support of the land offensive. Near Dnepropetrovsk, German XXXIX AK (mech) holding vs 2 powerful Soviet elite units, 1xNW of the city, was key. And in the lower Dnepr, German XV AK (moto) surviving at very low strength, kept the Red Army from linking with the paratroopers.


June 6, 1944 (turn 88). Germans mobilized their strong reserves W of Kiev and crushed Soviet airborne units. Furthermore, the weakened Soviet positions 1xS and 2xSW of Dnepropetrovsk were attacked either, 4th HQ Guards Army (mech) and 6th Army ending destroyed: bridgehead and wide river hex were both lost. In Allies turn, Red army, poised to retaliate, crossed again the river, 9th Tank Army occupying now the bitterly fought bridgehead:
Image


June 26, 1944 (turn 89). Again, Wehrmacht counterattack removed Soviet bridgehead, killing 9th Tank Army. In Allies turn, Red Army finally broke through:
Image

Shot is taken at the end of Allies turn. You can see that Red Army advanced further this time killing, amongst other, Manstein's XXXV PzK and recently brought Hungarian mech.


July 16, 1944 (turn 90). Another strong German conterattack wiped out all Soviet last turn gains. Anyway, in Allies turn, Soviets regained again bridgehead in Dnepropetrovsk and, starting an offensive in Kiev sector either, they also crossed the river 1xNW of Ukrainian capital.


August 5, 1944 (turn 91). Although having more and more losses, Germans again succeeded in removing all Soviet crossings of the Dnepr, even the recent ones near Kiev:
Image

Allies turn. Red Army this time destroyed 2 German corps and 1 airborne division, thus isolating Dnepropetrovsk from main supply. A depleted motorised unit in Krivoj Rog was finished off by VVS attack. In the lower Dnepr, 1st Guards mountain Army pushed hard and, forcing to retreat German XCI AK, conquered wide river hex 1xS of Krivoj Rog:
Image


After several turns of bitter fighting, Axis positions in the Dnepr had been significantly weakened. Soviets eventually will cross the Dnepr for good but the battle for the Dnepr was already an Axis defensive success.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:05 pm

I wouldn't call the Battle for the Dnepr an Axis victory. All the Axis managed to do was to hold the position for some turns. However, the cost seems to be that most of the Axis offensive firepower is gone. So once the Dnepr line breaks (like it has now) the Russians can storm into Romania and eastern Poland.

I compare this With the Battle of the Kursk. It doesn't matter if the Axis win the Battles one by one as long as both sides get depleted equally. It's only the Allied player who will benefit from a war of attrition. The goal is to get the Axis down so much in number of units they can't hold a defense line. Then it's only a matter of time until they reach Berlin.

I think the Axis do best when they defend behind rivers, in rough terrain etc. One such lines are broken it's often better to withdraw in force rather than fighting hard to get the defense line back. If you get close to Berlin you can't do that anymore.

However, since it's already the Fall of 1944 I think Plaid is doing well. He might afford to fight to the last man holding the Russians out of Poland before the Winter begins.

It seems the Luftwaffe is not present so I Wonder if the Axis have run out of oil. If yes, then the war is not over yet.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:21 pm

It seems the Allies are a bit behind schedule here. E. g. Overlord was thwarted in 1943 due to a strong Axis presence. Has Overlord become too hard to accomplish With the latest changes? I Wonder what would have happened in the Allies had landed near Brest and Cherbourg. Then the Axis units
would have to get closer to engage these invaders. Then they become within range of the Allied bombers.

Is Plaid's strategy of keeping the Axis units outside Allied bombing range and then have a one turn move to the beaches a winning strategy for the Axis?Is there a way to prevent that. I'm sure the problem is that the Allied fighters don't have range to escort the bombers so far into France.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:46 pm

I cancelled US landings in Britanny because Wehrmacht forces deployed in Northwestern France were way too strong. Later, we knew that Luftwaffe forces in France-Germany were also quite strong so guessing that US landings would have been largely defeated by the Germans. Anyway, I don't think that it's harder to land in Western Europe now (you will see that soon in the next update I will post later related to a big US-UK landing operation in Holland-Northen Germany).

Regarding the Dnepr battles, I deem them already as an Axis defensive success because Germans, although at a high cost in units (Soviet losses haven't been low either), have held the lines for many turns vs really potent Soviet attacks. Furthermore, they have done that without support from the Luftwaffe.

Anyway, altough a little bit behind schedule, I think that Soviets still can reach Berlin in time.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:20 pm

Western Front, Summer of 1944.

In turn 89 (June 26, 1944), Western Allies went for a big amphibious operation in Holland-Northern Germany:
Image

Shot above was taken at the end of Allies moves. You can see that the seaborne operation was preceded by an airborne operation involving 4 Allied paratrooper divisions. US 17th Airborne division directly landed on Emden (a rail hub) whilst the rest of airborne forces landed E of that city. Luckily, losses when grounding were low. For the seaborne landings proper, the most immediate Allied objective was the seizure of Wilhemshaven and Bremen. Near Germany beaches, it was disposed a second row of transports: in case that the first row of transports ended depleted by air strikes, landings would go anyway by swapping the transports.


Allied landings sort of caught the Germans off. Air warfare that had continued since the Luftwaffe big attack to England Allied air bases, had left German air force much weakened but still it could cause some problems to the Allies. It was key for the Allies to move fast before Germans could rush reinforcements in order to contest the landings.


July 16, 1944 (turn 90). Proof that landings took the Germans a little bit by surprise is that Wehrmacht wasn't able to launch any counterattack in this turn. Only Luftwaffe TAC's appeared hitting the transports, Allied amphibious units (which recently had got surface ships upgrade, +8 survibability) suffering reasonable losses. Germans railed all the units they could to the threatened area: notably, French II SS Corps was deployed in Wilhemshaven and SS Wiking in Bremen. In Allies reply, it came the Allied landings itself. With a massive air support from RAF-USAF based on England, many Allied units got ashore: in Holland, they took Groningen and in Germany, they heavily attacked II French SS Corps which held at very low strength (1).


In August 5, 1944 (turn 91) came the first big Wehrmacht counterattack:
Image

As you can see in the image above, taken before Allies moves, Germans throw a powerful armoured counterattack in Holland that destroyed US 17th Abn 1xS of Groningen. Because of German counterattacks, several paratrooper units suffered badly but they held their positions, thus accomplishing their mission of keeping the Germans away from the beachheads.

In Allies turn, Western Allies, always massively supported by their air forces, started to expand the initial beachheads. Big successes were the seizure of Willemshaven by Patton's II armoured Corps (thus killing SS Charlemagne unit within the city) and the defeat of German armoured forces in Holland: XLVI PzK was killed whilst LXXIX PzK was left very damaged. US XI mech Corps even crossed the Weser and got within 2 hexes of Hamburg:

Image

Again, the shot is taken after Allies moves. You can see that a couple of US transports were sent to Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark, Allies aiming at putting more pressure on Germany with a secondary landing operation there.

Allied landings in Holland-Germany had started well.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:58 pm

Why didn't the Allies just paratroop directly into the empty cities of Wilhemshaven and Bremen?
Seems like if you paratroop into the two empty cities and also paratroop into the two rail stations, then the Germans cannot rail anything near the beaches?

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:01 pm

In 4.00, damage taken by paratroopers when dropped over cities and capitals has been much increased. You get really bad odds when aiming at jumping on those hexes. When trying to jump into capitals you can actually get your paratrooper unit completely destroyed. On the contrary, if you jump on rail hubs like Emden there's much less possible damage that you can take.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:21 am

Landing in Northern Germany looks like a game killer, it's over for the Germans !
Makes me wonder why should I ever do a D-day in France again? :?
All I know is a fully manned Siegfried line sure is a pain in the ass for the Allies.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:30 pm

One good thing about landing in France is that you get air range to bombard the Axis units defending. As far away as Germany you can't protect bombers striking the Axis units. So this is only possible if the Luftwaffe is broken or the Axis have run out of oil.

A good strategy is to first land in France to Clear to Holland and the Siegfried line. Then you pin a lot of German units along the front line. Then you invade behind the German lines. Now you have fighter range to protect the bombers and you force the Axis to screen yet another front section.

This Works best if Overlord was started no later than Spring 1944 so you get the amphs back for another landing in the early Fall.

I this game the Axis had way more Axis units lurking in defense in France than they had for the landing near Wilhelmshaven. I Guess Plaid has had to send Axis units from France to Russia and/or Italy to prevent a collapse there. Maybe combined With quite a bit of Axis units still located in France which can't quickly be railed to the area under threat. This shows that the timing of the invasion was better now.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:30 am

Another downside of directly landing in Northern Germany is the supply issues that Allies have to undergo. Also, Paris counts for the final victory as capital of one of the major powers.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:08 pm

Italy, second half of 1944.

No matter the hard trying by the Allies, stalemate continued in central Italy for all the rest of 1944. All what Allies could do before bad weather arrived was to remove one of the Gustav Line forts, the one in the Adriatic Sea coast:

Image

Shot was taken in turn 93, (September 14, 1944). As you can see, Germans, led by Kesselring commander (corps in fort 2xSE of Rome) were doing a good defensive job. Only offensive Wehrmacht unit, VII AK (mech), that used to be located 1xSE of Rome, had been railed to other scenarios. Referred German unit was later spotted near Bremen as a SS unit.

Allies would have to wait for 1945 for getting to Rome.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 pm

MTO, Southern France, second half of 1944.

2 turns later than Allied massive landings in Northern Germany, Free French forces accompanied by a Canadian corps, landed unopposedly in Southern France taking Perpignan. In September 14, 1944 (turn 93), referred forces have much progressed, liberating Toulouse and advancing to central France and to Marseilles:

Image

You can see in the shot (taken before Allies moves) that in order to attack Marseilles, an additional landing operation was going to be launched. Referred city fell to the Allies in October 4, 1944. (turn 94) By that date either, De Gaulle's armoured reached as far north as Le Mans.

In turn 95 (October 24, 1944) weather changed to mud, French fast advance being sharply stopped. In November-December, De Gaulle armoured unit slowly approached Paris but did not attack the city.

Although not quite a replacement for the initially intended amphibious operation in Northern France in early 1944, these Southern France landings at least would provide the Allies with a chance to liberate Paris once the fair weather arrived in 1945.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:25 pm

by Stauffenberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:30 pm

One good thing about landing in France is that you get air range to bombard the Axis units defending. As far away as Germany you can't protect bombers striking the Axis units.

By 1944 the allies fighters have range to escort TACs and SACs to Hamburg with fighter based in England so the offense strike capability is no problem in a Northern Germany landing. On the defense it is a different story the fighter base in England do not have the intercept range to defend the transports and ground units in Northern Germany.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:28 pm

by Stauffenberg » 10 Nov 2017 19:30

So this is only possible if the Luftwaffe is broken or the Axis have run out of oil.
In this game, I do not believe the Luftwaffe is broken or out of oil. The much more common problem is: I think the Luftwaffe was out of range for the critical turn that the transports showed up on the coast of Northern Germany. The Germans have range issues just like the Allies. If you want to place Germany fighters so that they can cover the beaches of both Normandy and Northern Germany you need to place German fighter in Holland or Belgium. Then the German fighter are too close to the Allied Fighter in England and are subject to double strike. So to prevent double striker you set the fighter back further and then you can no longer cover large area of possible landing zones. In this game I believe the Luftwaffe was placed back a distance and could only cover the beaches of Normandy in France and the beaches of Belgium and this is very often the case.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Carlos_Danger » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:32 pm

by Vokt » 11 Nov 2017 11:30

Another downside of directly landing in Northern Germany is the supply issues that Allies have to undergo.
Supply: The first thing the landing has to do is get a port to get supply level 3. Landing in France in 1944 all the ports are forts and are sometimes hard to capture, landing in Northern Germany the only port, Wilhelmshaven, is not a fort! Seem like it might actual be easier to get supply in Northern German?

Overall, I still think landing in Northern Germany is a better place for a 1944 D-day?

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:38 pm

Eastern Front, late Summer-Autumn 1944.

The Axis started a general retreat from the Dnepr river positions in August 25, 1944 (turn 92). In Novgorod-Velikiye Luki front, in which lately there had been some activity, Germans and Finns also retreated. In Allies reply, the battle for the Dnepr bend came finally to an end: Red Army liberated Dnepropetrovsk and started to chase down retreating Axis units some of which were reached and killed.


September 14, 1944 (turn 93). Soviets entered Kiev (only city left garrisoned during Axis retreat) and moved really fast through Ukraine liberating numerous cities. Many retreating Axis units were caught up and destroyed.


October 4, 1944 (turn 94). Good weather allowed Soviet army mobile units to keep on moving westwards at a good speed: Lvov in Southeastern Poland was already reached. Progress in the northern sector of the front wasn't slower and there, the Soviets reached and engaged Axis positions along the Niemen river. Meanwhile, other Soviet army units, after liberating Odessa, had already crossed Romania borders.


Bad weather came in October 24, 1944 (turn 95) which kept the Soviets from running that fast. Only the exploitation movement due to destroyed or retreating Axis units, allowed mobile Red Army units to somehow keep the pace of last turns.


Red Army spearheads reached the Wisla in December 3, 1944 (turn 97). 2 German corps units were destroyed in the western bank, but the river wasn't crossed yet. It was in December 23,1944 (turn 98) that Soviet army, after killing 2 defending Hungarian corps in the western bank, crossed the Wisla. In other sectors, Koenigsberg and Bucharest were reached.


After having to bitterly fight to overcome the German stiff resistance in the Dnepr, Soviets had had their reward. Furthermore, given the high losses suffered by the Wehrmacht at the Dnepr and during its withdrawal, they didn't expect to encounter strong Axis defending forces in Poland. So the Soviets, although several turns ago were a bit behind schedule, now they shouldn't have major problems to reach Berlin in time.

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Re: GS 4.0 AAR (last update) Plaid (Axis) vs Vokt (Allies)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:39 pm

Carlos_Danger wrote:
by Stauffenberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:30 pm

One good thing about landing in France is that you get air range to bombard the Axis units defending. As far away as Germany you can't protect bombers striking the Axis units.

By 1944 the allies fighters have range to escort TACs and SACs to Hamburg with fighter based in England so the offense strike capability is no problem in a Northern Germany landing. On the defense it is a different story the fighter base in England do not have the intercept range to defend the transports and ground units in Northern Germany.
Just the very closest ones if they are placed Close to the coast line. In Normandy you can have fighters in the rear With no problem escorting the bombers going after rear Axis units.

One problem for the Allies is the 1 unit per hex including air units. You need ground units near the ports and para units near air units or cities. You can then Place air units in remaining hexes. So even if you theoretically can reach an invasion zone further away you might not get enough air units able to cover the area.

Another thing is fighter interceptions. That range is Shorter than the escort range. After the invaders have landed you might expect Axis bomber strikes on Beach head units and then ground strikes. If you land in Normandy then the fighters in England can intercept the bombers so the Germans need Axis fighters to escort. If the invasion area is near Hamburg then you don't have range to intercept and the Luftwaffe can do really much damage.

So it's safer to invade closer to England. Mulberry supply has only a certain range from London so if you invade outside this range you only get supply Level 1 instead of supply Level 2. That is a big difference.

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