Author Topic: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart (finished)  (Read 20709 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2016, 02:27:36 PM »
TURN 16 -- AUGUST 17,1941

 


Oh yay, he has discovered thereís nothing between him and Moscow!

 


Now the deepness of my strategy shall become apparent.

Let us consider the worst case scenario: he takes Moscow -- something he probably canít do for at least a turn anyway, because I had enough points to drop a major garrison there this turn and also enough points left over (thank God) to redirect my final arriving early conscript army to whatever theater I want next turn. Which I wonít be putting near Moscow, by the way, but somewhere a little safer.

But assuming he takes Moscow, which I fully expect a turn or so from now:

so
the
hell
what
?

He wonít catch STAVKA which has already flown out (nor the Central Front HQ which has already landed back up the road). Heíll get a few extra VPs, and make Stalin paranoid enough that thereís a good chance heíll have an episode next turn, which would be bad news for four of my generals and which would paralyze my strategic cards for a turn which would be annoying (again).

The only way he benefits farther from that is if he demanded at the start of the game to choose his theater focus -- which based on some other things I doubt -- and if he chose Central Front as his focus -- which based on some other things I doubt.

If both those conditions are true, then I think heíd win the game outright by taking Moscow.

If he pressured Hitler into sticking with a front, and that front was Central, then heíll benefit only at the end of the game. If he catered to Hitler at the start of the game, he only benefits if Hitler happens to be preferring to hold Moscow at the end of the game. Iíll suffer because I did choose to hold Moscow, but he wonít directly benefit except in those situations; and in any case, he still has to be holding Moscow at the end of the game. If I retake Moscow at any time, and hold it at the end of the game, I donít suffer and he doesnít benefit. And this is only Turn 16 of 54. That isnít quite 1/3 of the game yet.

Meanwhile, I get to have a strong central army group sitting in his new backfield -- something I was willing to risk less strong army groups twice over already to accomplish -- while heís forced to wildly extend his PG logistic Headquarters around us in order to keep his hyper-extended troops in something that pretends to be supply.

In other words, I have a better chance at snapping the supply line of a significant number of his troops, than at any previous time in the game.

In yet other words: I can make Moscow into a trap for him.

Weíll see how or whether that plays out soon. First, the strats and stats.

For what I think is the first time this game, more of my armies fully activated than partially or didnít activate (without me having to use our superpower). And while 19 of my divisions failed to deploy again, 17 did, and 18 are still on the way into the theater. So Iíve still got 37 whole divisions theoretically on the way, even though Iíll only get one more HQ.

Now, in practice, some of those divs belong to HQs which arenít in any position to receive divisions. I donít know what the game does if HQs die without receiving all their divisions, although Iím hoping the divs get reassigned to other HQs. But I realize itís possible not all those divs will arrive. And theyíre the consistency of frogurt, of course, being early conscript divisions. But still, theyíre strategic manpower.

 


Which, granted, Iím going to need every erg of, because, damn.

 

Yeah, so I lost two ďlateĒ (and two ďearlyĒ) armored divisions. They arenít really worth much compared to German armored divisions anyway, and on the net I picked up a bunch of fresh divs of all kinds.

 


And sure my active troop numbers ticked downward again, which isnít surprising considering...

 


...that Iím having to invent new graph numbers to describe our losses.

But those losses, although real, and tragic, and something Iíd much prefer to not have happened, mostly this turn represent that superstack of divisions caught trying to cross from Central to Northern front to snap his main Northern supply line. They were going to die; that was already expected; and now they have. (Three more shattered divs remain in the area, but theyíll surely go next turn.) Also some more of my swamp road counter-thrust died, also expected -- although a surprising number have survived to this turn. Whether theyíll still be around next turn, who knows?

There were also actual combat casualties this turn (and during my turn last round which are just now being tallied in). But keeping in mind where the great majority of those numbers came from, the casualties arenít horribly horrible.

And Barthís field-numbers continue to drop for the second turn in a row.

And those numbers might be picking up soon. As we shall see farther down the doomscroll.

But first, the Lenin/Petrovzov line.

 


I continue to hope I didnít make a long-term strategic disaster by ordering my final North army for the next 24ish turns, to deploy up on the road to Petrozov. But next turn theyíll be in position to go probe up the rail line. And my 54th Army has started to spread out around Leningrad to prevent encirclements by the Finns (and their pet Wehrmacht Div whom I canít see right now -- wonder if heís heading north again...) More spreading to come there; but Iíll be sending those two (actually three) red divisions, remaining from the Leningrad Army, southwest along the road soon to help with the retreat or counterthrusting there.

 


And Iím now doubtful I can succeed in a piecemeal counterthrust, because I wasnít able to save any of the divisions of the 23rd Army -- a major actual combat loss this turn. In fact, Iím starting to seriously worry whether I can save most of the Leningrad Army which ran south to try to extricate the 23rd from the Talinn area! The 57th Army punched back a couple of small German stacks to keep the route open, so thereís a little hope, but Iím almost certainly going to pull everyone back to Narva and a line behind the river, starting next turn. I just donít think my 13 divisions can nick his 9 (visible) divisions, even when theyíre spread out like this. And Iím dubious that he only has 9 up here.

Iíd feel better about trying this later, if I could get behind them with the 54th, now south of Luga and trudging as fast as they can for Pskov; but Iíll be hugely fortunate if the 54th can even save part of the developed pocket down there. Because...

 



...Barth has finally swung around the 48th and 24th Armies.

His 1st Panzer Div has suffered a little for that, as we managed to gang up in a fighting retreat to whomp them from three sides. Whether I did the right thing spending my precious fuel and ammo on that, I donít know -- I was hoping to knock him back a step, which would put me a little closer to being saved by the 54th coming down the rails, but neither that nor the smaller attack on his 291st Infantry succeeded in moving them.

I did notice (and pointed it out in my screenie) that Barth looks like heís trying to send a North Front unit around the mountains, although I suppose that could be a lagging Central front division.

Although Lord knows he doesnít seem to be lagging anything through that gap:

 


And that might, just might, be his downfall.

This is where the decisive battle (the ďkessenĒ in Japanese military nomenclature) may be already being fought.

My main regret this turn (aside from forgetting to spend the final parts of it trying to put remaining armies on the defense until I fail the admin roll, argh!), is that I attempted two more spoiling attacks across the river at Mogiliv. I should have waited for that at best, and I hope I donít come to regret that more.

But friends.

Oh.

My.

God.

The minor news is that Iíve denuded my river defense some more (south of the Orsha core) to push back against his giant pocketing attempt, and that push backward has been great. Which is why Iím sorry in hindsight I attempted attacks across the river with my defenders. They should have stayed put and stayed sitting strong instead of weakening themselves any.

The major news. I can hardly overstate my hope here. But wow. Wow.

In order to try to stretch around the pocket, he had to over reach his troops so far past their logistic HQs, that he also had to move those HQs up to support the 2nd and 3rd Panzergruppes.

And I pushed north.

And I SNAPPED THEM!!!111!!

I didnít over run the 2nd Logistic HQ, and I didnít overrun his 3rd PG HQ, but I snapped his truck line in two places, and Iíve pushed a good solid thrust up to where heís got the logistic and PG HQs parked, almost completely undefended, in Vitebsk.

2nd PGruppe Logistic HQ? OUT OF SUPPLY!

2nd PGruppe Army HQ? OUT OF SUPPLY!

3rd PGruppe Army HQ? OUT OF SUPPLY!

Everything east of Vitebsk? OUT OF SUPPLY!

Whatever heís got rolling on Moscow?! OUT OF SUPPLY YOU SONS OF MOTHERLESS GOATS!!

You know what his Moscow roll means mainly? A few generals die (maybe to be replaced by better ones, who knows), and I donít get some strategic options next turn -- or whenever he punches through that major garrison, probably not next turn. But mostly it means he doesnít have a few divisions around to strengthen his pocketing attempt.

Look at it.

Look at it !

Let me try to give a technical understanding of just how endangered a significant chunk of his central thrust is now.

The colored stripe on the left of every chit, is essentially the HQ flag colors. It tells you which divisions are commanded by which HQs.

Now take a look at that screenshot, and find every dark blue flag and every light blue flag. Use his 2nd and 3rd PG HQ chits as references; Iíve marked them on the map, but theyíre the ones with the (standard) German flag on them.

Notice that about half the divisions on the west and south side of my line are flying those Ďflagsí? And all the ones on the east side of the pocket?

Those things are all out of supply.

Because one truck line (with 3s on them) goes up to the 3rd Logistic, which is then supposed to go to the 3rd HQ to be distributed back to 3rd Army Divisions. But that truck line from Logistic to 3rd HQ has been snapped.

And one truck line, with 2s on them), is supposed to go up to the 2nd Logistic, when is then supposed to go to the 2nd HQ to be distributed etc. And that line has also snapped. In fact, 2nd PGHQ is sitting east of me in Smolensk, no doubt supporting the push on Moscow, and they are screwed. That black SS division trying to wing its way around me on the southeast? Out of supply. That unknown div way out there pushing for the encircle? Out of supply? Some other units you canít see but which are working on messing with railroads out there already? Out of supply.

Now:

That doesnít mean things are peachy. My troops on the line up there have been battered, and Iím sure a stack in the forest will die next turn, and he could very well do more damage and even re-establish a truck line. Although he has to use political points to do that. But re-establishing a truckline to help the western side of his push, wonít help the eastern side of his push; and he wonít be getting 2nd PG HQ back to helping its units on the west side of my pocket anytime soon, and heíll have to do some quick dancing to get the 3rd PG HQ back to the west side of the push -- leaving most of its divisions trapped without it on the east side of the push!

Also, his divisions wonít just run out of gas and food immediately. He may still manage to loop around enough to pocket me, and force a collapse of my river defense line to open (presumably) the southeastern joint of that loop.

But still. Wow.

This is so much of a muchness, I am honestly and seriously wondering if he did this to give me a sporting chance of not losing early! Much props if so.

If that wasnít his intention, I can only think heís feeling spooked about when and how bad the mud season will be. But if the mud strikes early, heís going to be ultra-screwed.

Speaking of being ultra-screwed by mud in an attempt to drive for an early surprising win:
 



I kept that whole screenshot because itís all important.

Notice first that lone German division in the upper right. Heís out of supply now, but he was aiming to snap that rail line into Gomel, which would be bad news for everyone on my line there. And he still might make it! If so, Iím going to have to collapse my river defense line to try to re-establish supply, or possibly even to open a southern corridor into the Ostra pocket. This would be several kinds of bad.

But thatís the main bad news this turn; perhaps offset by that division being currently out of supply and not likely to be back in supply anytime soon.

The first great news is that despite being pushed entirely off the road now, my swamp counter-thrust still lives another turn -- and that includes the armored division at the far west of the thrust! Which Barth seems to have forgotten or is ignoring or just doesnít have the divisions handy nearby to deal with yet. None of them can move or even fight worth a poot, and they lost many divisions, and I honestly donít know if theyíll survive even one more turn. But they still live to be rescued.

And the rescue is moving forward! Two hexes forward even! And along the way I shattered our first German division!

I wonít know for sure until I see the aide report next turn, but that could very probably be the first division weíve destroyed this game!!

Some of his other divisions on the south side of his central line are in trouble, too; and with Zhuk having arrived in the area to kick things into gear, they wonít stop being in trouble very soon!
Now, even if I can push safely (without being snapped off again) another two hexes to bring up a supply trail for those trapped remaining armies, that doesnít mean Iíll certainly be able to rescue them. Supply takes time to move. And that far-west armored division actually belongs to the 16th HQ, and so itís at the far edge of command and supply help already, if not outside it.

But thereís a slightly improved chance now -- far from certain, at best -- that I might be able to accomplish the counterthrust mission to snap the main central supply line at Brest.

Which will of course seriously mess with Barthís central push, even if he can re-establish the supply trains and trucks a little farther northward somehow in the same theater.

Relatedly, the 44th is still holding onto the bridge, but if Barth can see the danger heíll surely start a new push northward there, and I donít know how long the 44th can hold against such a push.

But then also relatedly, the 37th conscript Army is still marching westward above their front-border. And while they clearly wonít be able to surge south and mess with the supply of the southern thrust, theyíll soon be in position to help defend the road to Gomel, or even to help solidify a lane back west on the swamp road!

 


The rest of the 37th, back guarding Kursk, is still prepping along with the 47th and 38th Armies to defend Kharkov, which aside from Moscow is the next major city in danger. Barth is taking his time to get everyone refueled and his logistic HQs parked nearby for that battle, which promises to be... well, honestly if we lose here we lose the south. And I donít see how we can win.

 


Unless these clowns, south of Kharkov and west of Rostov, working out of Stalino, can do something especially useful. My last southern front army until October, the 53rd, Iíve put conservatively into Stalino -- after very much internal debate -- and next turn the 51st will be ready to roll (at least partially) -- and this turn the bold 40th Army surged forward to the environs of Pawlograd.

Petrov on the Dnieper still remains strong, probably because Barth just hasnít bothered to attack the minor garrison yet, and by a miracle most of the 45th Army crossed the Dnieper out of the mountains -- but not their HQ for no clear reason, who could only crawl dispiritedly southeast toward besieged Petrov. I suspect the 45th HQ and its few remaining divisional guards will die next turn, or never cross the river; but by then I should have an army or two near most of the 45th, and can maybe pick them up. Theyíre poised to do some interesting backfield damage to save Kharkov, if I can just manage to play them right. Or at all.
 


It isnít very likely the 46th can be saved, much less the disintegrating South Army; but I was finally able to pull the 46th back across their damn-fool river expedition to try to mess with the Romanian line. So possibly, perhaps, Iíll be able to push some of the 46th southeast next turn and work a fighting retreat through the swamp and river system toward Perekop. I very much doubt it, but it isnít impossible yet. Had I worked on using them to guard open a corridor, I maybe could have saved more of the two or three original army remnants holding the river there. But I didnít, so sigh.

As bad as things are in each theater, though, there are still some interesting and more-than-interesting opportunities to be had. Iím not beaten yet!

 


Even though heís pulling steadily ahead on the unadjusted score.

 


And will certainly continue pulling ahead for a while.

Thin times ahead. Thin times.

But letís see if I can make him thinner, too.

 


 

ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline -budd-

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #61 on: March 22, 2016, 05:53:01 PM »
Man you've got balls of steel, thats a hell of a risk.......budd approves O0 . we arent going to have to wait a freaking few weeks to see how this turns out are we...that aint right.
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Taken ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #62 on: March 22, 2016, 06:04:24 PM »
I honestly thought he had sent in the next turn already, but when I went to look about half an hour ago he hadn't. Probably won't see anything more until Easter weekend starts.

The snip of his 2nd and 3rd PGruppe HQs, didn't require anywhere near as much risk as either of the two slowest counter-blitzes I threw earlier.  :P Only one of which now has the faintest chance of partially surviving (much less accomplishing its goal, which was to snap the logistic trail for Barth's whole central theater!) On the contrary, I think he's the one who took a ton of risk trying to push for Moscow so soon, leaving his logistic trail parked within a couple of hexes of my strongest remaining mass of Sovs on the board.

Maybe I've misread him, though, and he actually chose pre-game options where taking Moscow at any time would be instawin. I know from reading comments not-on-his-AAR-thread that he's very worried about being behind his schedule. At this point in the game, losing Moscow would be annoying for me (and will have come from me taking one of those two much larger risks, that failed), but not probably fatal, unless he took those two choices (demanding to set his front goals, and choosing Moscow) -- both of which I have somewhat gambled he didn't, based on what I think are reasonable educated guesses from other evidence.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #63 on: March 26, 2016, 02:56:55 PM »
TURN 17 -- August 21, 1941

 


I appreciate the compliment that Iíve punched him until heís drunk somehow. But itís time to embrace the horror.

There are spots of good news (yíknow, relatively). As his message hints, Moscow hasnít fallen yet. My plans there seem futile, but, hey, not fallen yet. Consequently I got another turn of being able to use strategic cards; which I promptly played for a rousing speech (10 Polipoints, for a universal small activation bonus). I used another 6 points letting Zhukov inspire one of the swamp road rescue party HQs to greater initiative and activations, and then flew him to another rescue party HQ nearby. Other than that, weíll see whatís left to use next turn.

16 divisions deployed this turn but 20 failed to, and I only have another 10 arriving soon. Itís a long scary time after that.

 


A long scary time of looking at this getting worse each turn.

 


Does that look hopeful to you somehow?

 


Hope is a lie.

 


Sure, my losses slowed down quite a bit this turn. But look at that chart. Iíve reached the top. Iím about to break the chart with my losses. THERE IS NO CHART ABOVE THIS!

(Oh, donít worry, Iím sure my staff will add a new value next time and make logarithmic adjustments as appropriate...)

Well, letís start the doomscroll with a bright spot.


 


A lack of a grey spot is like a bright spot, right? In this case, I mean I havenít found the Finnsí pet Nazi division again, but I did find two more Finnish divisions (for a total of three, so far) sitting around near their northern border. The 55th reminds them that we are to be trifled with!

Hopefully they wonít take that lesson too much to heart, because I had to thin out the Leningrad defense again. Why?

 


Because thereís an SS panzer or motor division running up the back road to Luga through Novgorod.

If Iím going to have any chance of getting that rescue army back from Pskov, much moreso keep it in supply while itís down there, Iíve got to protect the Luga line. Of course the SS might just strike off northeast and cut the main rail to Leningrad from wherever the heck weíre getting our supply once Moscow is gone.

The Narva retreat isnít going so great, but it isnít an utter disaster yet. Yet.

 


No, this is what an(other) utter disaster looks like. In accordance with the prophecy, my one turn of indecision earlier has cost me Pskov; and with Pskov, goes almost all hope of rescuing the Ostrov defenders. I pound at the single panzer division for all my worth, but my worth is worth nothing.

 


Also worth nothing: my attempts at keeping his supply line snapped, or to do anything else worthwhile around Orsha. Unless I count retreating some heavily beat divisions in my northwest corner worthwhile.

In case youíre curious, this is what Moscow looks like.

 


My plan to drop my final Army somewhere I could run behind his line eventually, was foiled by him already having snapped too many rail lines; and I just didnít have confidence in my major garrison holding out -- even though only one division is here at the moment. But you know itís coming. Maybe I should have put it a little farther back on the line leading to Gorky, instead of gambling that some divisions will arrive to save the city -- but then theyíll just be surrounded and cut off, so...

Speaking of being surrounded and cut off.

 


Barth is pushing hard (as previously noted) to cut off not only the Orsha defenders but Gomel, too. Which naturally includes the swamp road rescue force. Which is making miracles, and has pushed another hex forward, but... sigh. Iím afraid the miracles will have run out. That final hex just looks like one hex too far.

The Gomel south defense is starting to pull back north under pressure from Barth; but I do have a bit of an advantage that Gomel is (a little insanely) outside his theater. So heíll have some trouble actually taking it.

But only if I can deal with that oncoming SS div and whatever is following behind it. My 37th Army keeps advancing westward to help -- it even picked up a division this turn, and its cav division is currently sitting south of Gomel (that far forward) -- but Iím thinking that maybe I should try seeing how far northward out of my theater I can go, to cut off that SS div. If I can.

Meanwhile, eastward, the area around Kharkov is so weird I had trouble figuring out how to get a snapshot!


 


For no clear reason, I still canít get the 45th HQ over the Dnieper -- but I did get everything else, and theyíre running for the backfield in the fine summer weather! I have no idea that theyíll be able to do a dang thing, especially if their HQ (very probably) dies nex turn, but if Iím not in position to take advantage of things then yíknow.

By somewhat the same token, Iíve decided to largely collapse my defense of Kursk, or whatever town that is north of Kharkov, in order to shuffle units into a bit of an attempt at snipping those Romanians, and generally just giving a stronger, shorter line to the Germans. If they push me out of Kursk, so be it; thatíll be above the theater line, so maybe I can exploit it.

My final armies arriving in Stalino are pushing up the rail to try to help in holding open a corridor for a flanking sweep on Barthís logistic tail there; but I badly need to devote some divisions to defending the river on the other side of Dniepetrov.

Last, and to be honest probably least right now:

 


The Crimean retreat could be going a lot worse, and probably will soon! But I did get my tanks into Perekop; and I plopped my new minor division for the turn in Melitipol; and Iíve secured the bridge out of Barthís push for now. But he clearly has forces trying to zip down to Meli, to cut me off permanently before I reach the rail line south of Perekop, and I just donít know whether I can stop him. (Iím pretty sure I canít.)

 


Barth-ler continues to inch past me to an actual victory score.

Long scary times ahead. Or maybe short scary times.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2016, 06:21:50 PM »
TURN 18 -- August 25, 1941

The unending horror of Barbarossa continues to... um... unend.

 


No, no, thatís a more hopeful picture of ending horror.

 


Yeah, no, Barth-ler is being generous in that description. Iím the one with a giant central army cut off from any hope of ever getting supply again. And with no effective hope of ever cutting off his supply again.

A bunch of my armies either didnít activate or only partially did this turn, and man that hurt. At this point, I might as well use my superpower even though itís going to mess with my score and help his -- which I do. Next turn, every army that can will fully activate. If we donít bust this problem next turn, I can wave Russia good-bye west of the Urals.

15 divisions arrived this turn, and 14 more failed to deploy. But those 14 are all Iíll get for the next 11 turns, whenever they finally arrive -- and Iím sure some of them never will.

Doomstats?

 


About the only good thing on the map there at the start of my turn, is that my final conscript army arrived in time to save Moscow. For now. Frankly, as I mentioned with some detail previously, I would have gladly sacrificed Moscow to shatter his two central PGruppe supply lines and keep them shattered. But alas.

 

Remember last turn when I said hope is a lie? I was telling the truth. Sure, I picked up 8 conscript divisions with tank battalions...

 


But that didnít stop my overall numbers from continuing to drop, for reasons which will sadly become apparent soon.

Admittedly, that might have been Barthís single worst turn of net losses on the field all game. Which might explain the grim tone of his charitable interpretation of the slaughter in his opening communique. But...

 


...if anything, his losses slowed down a little this past turn. He just didnít have anything (or as much) replacing them. My losses keep gushing like a gushy thing.

And friends, thereís more of those losses to come. A lot more. I fear the end of the game may be effectively approaching, and might be settled for all practical purposes next turn.

As a sign of the time: so far I have spent a close average of an hour and twenty minutes playing each turn, sometimes a little more, never substantially less to my recollection (apart from turn 1 where the Soviets canít move at all). This time, 57 minutes.

Let us scroll the doom.

 


Too many Finns still guarding the ultra-northern approach. My 55th Army is already taking troubling losses from attrition or whatever, so: never mind, Iíll leave yíall alone.

Had I put the 55th down closer to Pskov, I might have been able to avoid the disaster down there. But, well, that was a choice and I made it and here we are.


 

I donít think I even made a snapshot down at Ostrov, because those two or three stacks have been annihilated except for three un-rescuable divisions.

The 52nd Conscript and the survivors of the Leningrad Army, are getting the hell out of whatever x-tonia country that is, retreating past the river at Narva and Iíll try to hold a line there as long as I can (along with my free fortifications this turn). But Iíve turned 42nd Army straight around and back toward Luga, to set up some kind of defense there. (Along with my free minor garrison this turn.) Had I moved them faster south, and just started them closer south, and had I given them some support from the 55th... but I didnít.

What I can try now, is to send the newly arriving 54th Army southeast along the main rail spur from Leningrad to the Moscowish heartland, to see if I can loop them around eventually behind Barthís northern push. That might take 10 or more turns, but Iím not getting another HQ even on the board, much less any more divisions, for another 10. So I might as well try. At worst, I may be able to keep Barth from... well, I donít think I can keep him from cutting the rail supply there, per se, but if when he does, I might be able to reforge it by surprise.

 


I canít imagine how Iím going to reforge this. Originally there were two pockets here, but donít be fooled into hoping my little infantry division down there is helping resupply my final remaining roadblack to Nazi domination. It really isnít, no more than my failed attempts at snapping his own supply line again, or to snap the supply of that thrust between my northern and southern Central lobes.

 


My swamp road armies still have a few decent divisions remaining (including that armored division near Brest), but even if I got to them I wouldnít have any way to supply them now. I can try marching the 37th Army north to open the gap (Iíve flown Zhukov in their direction to help them march faster); and Iíve thinned the swamp-road line as much as I dare, to pull some fast movers back (cav and tanks) to see if I can accomplish anything next turn.

But if I donít get a solid turnaround here next turn, those two giant pockets will disintegrate practically all my remaining central theater armies. And then all Barth has to do to score an instant early win, is find my remaining few central armies and crush them, too.

This is why I activated my activation super-power again. And dangit, I might even do it again next turn. Thatís how desperate I am.

 


Barth started his probing assaults on the Kharkov line, and I counter punched him a little, but itís really only a matter of time here. I did spend most of my Polipoints on putting a major garrison in Kharkov, for all the fat lot of good it will do me. And Iím continuing to move up my last southern armies until winter, from Stalino, for all the ditto.

 


My 53rd Army, the final to be deployed in the South until winter, has... well, actually fully deployed already! So Iím sending it southwest toward Zapor to see if I can maneuver into doing anything worthwhile down there. Some tanks escaping from the Romanian roadblock debacle even managed to (no doubt temporarily) cut a German division off from supply, ha!

 


But that doesnít really mean anything less than a total disaster will be happening down in the upper Crimea or lower Ukraine or whatever that is.

The best news this turn, I suppose, aside from saving Moscow (temporarily), is that I managed to get most of my remaining armies switched over to defensive mode -- or to start the process anyway, which will take two turns.

 


And I suppose Barth isnít technically winning on adjusted points yet, and still has a long way to go for that.

But if I donít pull a miracle next turn, he wonít have to go far to go that long way.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2016, 03:03:39 PM »
TURN 19 -- August 29, 1941

August ends and the Huns havenít reached the Urals or even Persia yet.

... ........ woooo!

 


Umwhat? ??? The Finns already crossed the border, game. They were at the gates of Leningrad already, and by sheer luck I managed to deploy enough of a conscript army there in time to keep them from overrunning the city. I RECALL THIS VIVIDLY, GAME, WHY DONíT YOOOOOOuuuu know what, never mind. If the game wants to sock Barth with Polipoint penalties for something that already happened weeks ago, fine. As weíll see soon, the Finns havenít actually moved over their border yet. Again.

I suspect, although Iím too lazy to check the rulebook next to my chair, that what actually happened was that Barth activated one of his own superpowers last turn (Germans have several such powers), and this is the result. Fair enough if so; he can afford to do so, and would be insane not to.

If he did, then Iím a bit disappointed that the game isnít a little clearer about what happened. There wasnít even a klaxon alert!

 


Yes, I set that little joke up on purpose. I need all the grey humor I can get.

Let us consider the doom strats morbidly.

Only 4 divisions deployed this turn; and only 8 remain undeployed. Iíll be shocked if they deploy -- but then again, maybe they will. I saw something peculiar in Moscow, which Iíll get to soon!

Everyone technically activated, because I used our only superpower to trigger that last month. But that isnít going to help most of the central front: activation means nothing if you refuse to walk when activated, although in this case Iím going to assume in their favor the problem is a lack of offensive ammunition.

 


The superpocket continues its sucking strangulation at the start of my turn. It wonít be getting any better.

   

That may look like a wash, but...

 


...it was very much not. The few replacement divisions couldnít replace the ones I lost. Technically our manpower on the field is drifting down in parallel, but heís going to be crushing unspeaking numbers soon.

 


Yes, numbers even more unspeakable than that.

For what I expect will be the final few turns of the game, Iíll be starting the doomscroll around Moscow before doing my usual north-to-south run.

 


This is what Barth meant when he said Russia is vast. But notice the 3rd PGruppe HQ down there to the far left. Thatís how close his main anaconda is to Moscow -- at this point heís sending only a few divisions forward, to see if he can cut off Moscow and start its siege early. But he may be running at the end of his tether, unless he brings that tether forward. Roughly speaking then, my plan is to surge out some corps of divisions (I would have sent my HQ, too, but Iím hoping I can pull a few more deploying divisions in first) and see if I can mess with anything. Remember, it doesnít really matter to me if Moscow falls, because if my central Army Groups die then Moscow is going to fall anyway.

Also, notice the shiny red regular infantry division there amongst my advancing conscripts? Yeah, that was a division intended to deploy to a HQ that has been overrun or something. So it deployed to my conscript HQ instead! This is why Iím leaving the HQ behind for a turn or two, to see if being at Moscow and the head of a major rail network will score me a few more divisions out of the undeployed pool.

With the prelude done -- and now that I think on it, maybe Iíll just keep it with the Central report hereafter -- on to the usual doomscroll.

 


I didnít bother showing the Finns I could see still on the border (with their pet Nazidiv), because I ran away from them quite quickly: the 55th Army has nearly caught up with that half-shattered infantry division that has been loitering around up there since the start of the game!

As the 55th turns the corner at Tichwin, I continue an orderly retreat of the 52nd and the poor remnants of the Len Army over the bridge at Narva; and the 42nd starts beating in futility at the Nazi assault that has crushed all hopes and dreams before it. The 54th continues its bold plan (which only happens to look like running the hell away) back up the rail-line, and hopefully down around the invaders eventually.

 


No point even typing comments on the map, as I scroll down to the north part of the superpocket. The main difference between this turn and last turn, is that last turn I still had some ammo and gas left. I donít see how any of these poor doomed heroes will survive until October. Or even mid-September. Mud or no mud.

 


Again, not much point marking this. Everyoneís out of ammo and gas, and I canít even send help to break open the line. The swamp road army still has a surprising number of decently operative divisions left, but they canít do anything. And that armored division that failed to reach Brest has finally, I dunno, disintegrated or something. I canít tell that they were attacked.

Distances are indeed vast in Russia, as Barth said. And that is why I will lose.

 


The wings around Kharkov may look sturdy, but notice that red circle down there? I attacked that single Hungarian infantry division with 326 points of divisional power, in a 20% flanking attack. And all I did was make the Hungarians scowl. And that is also why I will lose.

 


Those red Xs at the top of this photo of the southern portion of the Kharkov line, will show better what I mean: I hit those Hungarians from THREE SIDES! -- WITH ENOUGH DIVISIONS TO BE A CORPS IF NOT A SMALL ARMY!

Granted, I donít know what I would have done with them anyway -- they were just at a 3 hex juncture by themselves so I spat at them.

The slightly interesting hope is at the bottom, where my 53rd Army (the last one Iíll receive before Barth crushes me utterly, or 10 turns pass whichever comes first) has managed to send a couple of cavalry units over the river. Will I be able to send some more units next time? Maybe the whole army eventually? Who knows? But I dang well activated my ďactivationĒ superpower again, just to try. Frankly, I might as well keep doing it every turn at this point, even though it makes my points 5% less valued, and Barthís 5% more valued, each turn.

Last and currently least:

 


My sad remnants of the second Romanian Roadblock, have strung out in a run north of the Crimean peninsula. Although I ran those three divisions past Perekumpf toward Melitipol, Iím seriously thinking of turning them around next turn and heading south to Kurman, maybe dropping some free garrisons each turn in those towns to slow down pursuit. I could be on the other side of the Crimea 11 turns from now when my last Southern Army of the game (so far as I can tell) arrives; maybe thatíll be worth something. Or maybe I can bottle up at Kurman and keep a few of Barthís units pinned at Perekwhatever, to prevent me from breaking back out again, which might be a better use of their remaining strength.

 


Just to remind you what my reinforcement schedule looks like.

 


And just to remind you another milestone of the game is coming. Bart-ler may not instantly win when his adjusted score passes mine, but the game will regard him as winning at that point.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2016, 06:01:21 PM »
TURN 20 -- September 2, 1941

As I mentioned in my last entry, Iím thinking of concentrating on improving my position in Europe this Turn, at least up until Bart plays the Scoring Europe card and --

--

-----

-- crap, this is the Barbarossa game, isnít it?

Well, I guess Iíd better re-read my previous entries to figure out where IAAAAIIIEEEEIIIEEEIIIIEEEEE ah, thatís where.

In increasingly deep squat.

 


Itís adorable how Bart-ler has this weird superstition that the mud will somehow rise up and save me. Wait, our side still has rabbis, right? Can we get some golems going here?!?

This time I remembered to check our division-destruction tally screen. According to that report, we have killed exactly 2 German divisions so far. And also exactly no German divisions, on any front. I believe this report with all my heart.

 


What can men do against such reckless disciplined and experienced and supplied and well-led hatred?

 



 


   

And yet, this is a game that cruelly gives me tiny slivers of hope. Todayís sliver of cruel hope:

 


It sure isnít either of the remaining roadblocks, being punched steadily backward -- although Iíve got Zhukov flying for the bridge at Narva to blow it next turn, I hope.

And it sure isnít the 55th conscript army nearing Leningrad to be caught there with everyone else -- Iím seriously thinking of running them round the corner, or back up the rails, into central Russia if I can!

No, itís the 54th Army, having been visited successfully by Zhukov and galvanized permanently into better action (theoretically), starting to approach their river crossing three or four turns from now.

You may notice this plan assumes Iíll even be able to cross the river; a deed that has rarely ever been accomplished when I need it. Frankly Iím thinking of abandoning this plan and running for central Russia with them, too.

 


That rail line leads back to Moscow, and I could really use the help.

Meanwhile, alone up near Moscow, I send the 56th out with its HQ (sort of) to see if I can roll around and snip off that division to our northwest. Thereís simply no way for us to save those armies trapped in the two (or three) superpockets now...

 

Even supposing I got the army down far enough to smack that supply HQ, so what? One army by itself (and itself vulnerable to being supply thwapped) couldnít break a hole for those divisions to march out; and Bart would just spend a turn or two reconstituting his supply and rolling me over for no gain.

 


Same here except moreso.

Although, you can see I am trying to evacuate remaining portions of the 37th Army from Kursk, over the theater border, back up toward Moscow again. Iíve temporarily opened a bit of supply to most of the 37th, too, although Iím doubtful much use will be made of it. But a division or two of Barthís hordes might get trapped in a pocket as an accidental side effect.

 


The line around Kharkov is still holding, but theyíre in poor supply because Bart has snapped the rail lines in and out of the area. In hindsight, maybe I should have ceded the rail lines to begin with and tried to set up behind the river...? But I needed the rail lines to bring enough divisions in (with their HQs) to hold for any time here at all!

A better hindsight plan would have been to gather up near Kursk and fade across the theater border, to try to threaten things later north or south of it. Far too late now.

 


My hopes of crossing the river down here and turning the corner onto his forward supply base, were dashed by the Romanians. I donít know how great they were in the real Barbarossa, but they have dang well earned their pay and medals in this game.

Iím strongly considering rolling this army south next turn, as far as I can, trying to reach...

 


...the Crimean escape hatch. Iíve already sent four divisions south to make a try of it; and I saved seven divisions (and 2 HQs) already, sort of (for various values of Ďsavedí).

In this Godforsaken mess, I need any little projects I can temporarily find to amuse myself.

 


Yeah, yeah, the Americans are coming eventually to save their Uncle Joe, someday. Youíll see.

(In this game, the Americans canít and donít come to save Uncle Joe...)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #67 on: May 29, 2016, 07:58:51 PM »
SURRENDER -- September 6, 1941

On this date I have decided to haul ass for Asia across the Urals. We will build giant cannons with lots of antiaircraft and nukeahem I mean shell the Huns back to the Stone Age behind our mountains of stone.

 


I havenít gotten this analysis yet, but letís just let the doomscroll speak my case for me, shall we?

FINALLLLLL DOOOOOOMSSTRAAATTTT!!
By the way, the game rolled a reveal of strategy and aims this turn (or round or whatever the game wants to call it from screen to screen ;) ), which on speaking with Bart about the irony I discovered that it also revealed my goals to him. It seems necessarily improbable that we would both fail (or succeed, depending on how you look at it) two low-chance rolls the same Turn like this, so my guess is that the roll is for both sides to be exposed simultaneously. Anyway, as I inferred he was going for Rostov in the Southern Theater -- but because he had agreed to support Hitler, Bart learned just this Turn that his goal had been changed to Leningrad!

 


Not that it was going to make much difference.

Notice something missing in that shot? Weíll get to that soon enough.

 


Thereís a hint.

 


Weirdly, the total casualty slope thinned out a bit! But the difference is that nothing could deploy to take the place of the losses. Thatís why the prior snapshot showed a massive irrecoverable drop of total troops in the field.

 


Nor were any troops going to arrive any time soon in anything like sufficient numbers to keep Bart from autowinning the game.

Now, since he chose to lick Hitlerís spit-curl, he couldnít autowin the game by holding a target for a month; heíd have to hold it until the end of January 1942, when the game ended. But let me tell you, an autowin was still on the way and well within his reach, mud or no mud -- and notably, no mud yet!

I wonít run the doomscroll in the usual order, north to south, but in a topical order this time.

Weíll start with the key fact in the Southern Theater:

 


I miscalculated an ability to throw a decent sized (but conscript) army behind his thrust to snap his supply chain. Had I sent troops to keep the rail line across the Dneper open at Dneperpaulsk (or whatever that is), maybe that would have worked, but then again my regular troops had shown a marked inability to stop Romanians, so what would these conscripts have done? No need to answer.

I did manage to create an escape route south through the Crimean penninsula:

 


But Iím very dubious how many of those divisions would have been able to successfully escape through it.

A little farther north:

 


The Kharkov line, though still strong at the moment, is still completely doomed, because I just couldnít find a way to keep their rail supply open; and based on past experience I have no confidence in their ability to retreat back over the river system to the east.

I forgot to get a snaphot of the few divisions trying to leave Kursk (if I recall correctly) back toward Moscow, but while they werenít blocked yet, neither were they going to be going anywhere quickly. I might have been able to save one or two of them for directed partisan purposes, but their HQ had been cut off (with most of their fellow divisions) in the rush east to try to aid the main fight on the Central Front, and would soon be dying out of fuel. So when would those divisions be redirected to an HQ, and where would that be, and could they even reach it eventually? -- no, not with the whole Central Army pushing toward Moscow. More on that soon.

Although I didnít know it yet, since Hitler hadnít changed his mind until Bartís surrender-accepting turn, Bart would have had to take and hold Leningrad instead of Rostov starting on Sept 10 forward -- until Hitler maybe changed his mind again! (There are four times this might happen in the game, the last being in November.) So how was Leningrad area looking?

 


Deceptively strong. But as soon as Bart pushes up a little farther northeast, which I canít feasibly stop, he snaps the main line, and that group withers with a little tiny rail line leading into Tichwin (and thence to Leningrad on a double line) being the only artery. And that portion probably snapped within by mid-October at the extreme latest, weather regardless.

In theory, 54th Army up there, at map-right, on the rail line to Moscow, might have been able to push its cavalry division across the river, but then what? Past experience suggests it wouldnít have been able to cross the river, too, with its divisions, or in a highly piecemeal random fashion, and the cav wouldnít have been able to keep going west far outside the HQ support (especially with the river in the way), so could the 40th cavalry by itself have snapped the supply line for the besieging Hunnies? Doubtful. Very doubtful.

Especially since the 54th itself would soon be out of supply thanks to Bart pushing for a surround on Moscow. And really, whether Hitler sent Barth consistently one place or another wasnít going to matter anyway.

 


Bart doesnít have to take and hold anything, including Moscow. He can auto win by wiping out all my divisions in a theater, and in that screenshot you are looking at the sum total surviving divisions in the Central Theater. Some of which could be diverted from North Front (instead of trying to snap Northís Panzer supply line), but whether they happen to live is immaterial. Once all Central divisions are gone, thatís the end of the game.

Technically I still in fact had some remaining divisions on the swamp road and east of that, but they were going to helplessly die soon, with no possible rescue. All those armies and divisions north on the wall for the past month?

Gone. One hundred per cent gone.

Hereís that strategic map again.

 

Without major reinforcements soon, thatís a game over situation in the Central Theater.

And there are no major reinforcements, or any reinforcements at all, soon.

Thatís an autowin in Central Theater on the way in maybe five turns, ten turns tops, purely depending on how much mud Bart has to churn through to push around my troops and cut them off again a few more times; or just straight up wipe them out with multiple attacks from different angles.

Thus... game over.

...

......

BUT IíM CURRENTLY A FEW POINTS AHEAD, ABOUT HALFWAY INTO OUR GAME OF TWILIGHT STRUGGLE!! :D :D :D

Can the Soviets pull out a win in the future, against a foe not as ruthlessly dedicated to war as the Nazis?



Maybe. Maybe...



Okay, at the moment it looks like we're going to call the game in Bart's favor. It has been over 30 days since his move, so technically I could claim the win from the load screen (and might still do that anyway to move things along), but I honestly don't know what I could do to even survive until October. ...one moment, a Steam message -- Bart will be sending a brief turn so that I can load in and send the surrender.

After this, I'll start a new thread for the aftermath commentary so we can both talk about things together (along with any audience). I'll post up links as they get established.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 09:47:50 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: REALLY OUT TO GET ME! -- DC:Barbarossa JasonPratt vs Bartheart
« Reply #68 on: May 29, 2016, 08:16:07 PM »
Annnnd the new aftermath discussion thread has been set up here: http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=17083.msg449121#msg449121.

I'll also append a new link in the first post.

Thanks to all readers, from Grogheads and elsewhere, for both our threads!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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  • Posts: 18505
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Note: I have added a final "Surrender" doomstrat and doomscroll report, similar to previous entries, in its proper place upthread.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.