Author Topic: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942  (Read 3888 times)

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Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 08:21:39 AM »


Here's the plan.

1) The 23rd and 3rd Panzer Divisions from Kharkov and the 14th and 16th Panzer Divisions from the south will encircle the Barenkovo bulge and link up. I punch a hole in the bulge with the infantry in the south, and just use my panzers in the north due to a lack of infantry.

2) Attack and take the victory point location Izyum with the 60th Motorized Division, with the help of some infantry from the 1st Panzer Army. I'll also assign some pioneer battalions to this unit, which will help in attacking across rivers and fortified positions.

3) Move most of the units in the 17th Army (brown counters) in the southeast to the west to help the infantry push the Soviets back across the Donets. There are no victory point locations in the southeast so a weak front there is permissible.

4) Consolidate some of my infantry in the 6th army from regiments into divisions. If you look at the purple counters with X's on them, you'll see some of them have three vertical lines at the top. These are regiments part of a greater division. Divisions are designed by two X's. Consolidating regiments will increase their overall strength and also allow them to project a zone of control, which makes it harder for the enemy to pass through. Add in the fact that the enemy must cross a river and it's a working defense.

5) Break the security division into units in 454th Security Division into regiments and garrison them in Sumy, Poltava, and Dnepropetrovsk. It won't be enough to fully garrison the cities, but it should damper partisan activity.

6) Keep the VIII Corps and III Panzer Corps close to the subordinate encircling panzer divisions. Once muddy weather starts, they'll need to be close to HQs to properly refuel.

Before I execute this plan, I have the AI auto recon with my airforce. Although I play with the default setting of fog of war off, recon helps ensure the combat values of enemy forces are accurate so I attack with the appropriate amount of force. This is more important for enemy units behind the front lines, where my adjacent units cannot auto-recon them during the logistics phase.

Next I auto-bomb the enemy airfields. I also use the Luftwaffe to bomb what enemy units I can before attacking them, usually in situations where I think a successful attack may be close.

Finally I execute my plan and end the turn.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 08:22:03 AM »


The Soviets have their turn, and then turn 3 begins. You can see above the Soviets took a lot of losses, in large part due to attrition from encirclement.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 08:22:32 AM »


The Luftwaffe is holding up well.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2018, 08:23:14 AM »


You probably just noticed two things: the different colored terrain and the red-outlined counters. The brown terrain means mud, just like I predicted. You can also see in the top-right of the UI it says "Mud."

The red-outlined counters means the enemy units are isolated from supply due to our encirclement. They will take a severe penalty in combat and will be forced to surrender or be destroyed if my attacks are successful enough (the alternative being a retreat to another hex).

I won't lie that I had to play this scenario a couple times because I had issues knowing where to encircle the enemy. Doing some history research paid off.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2018, 08:23:43 AM »


I read the Wikipedia entry for the battle and found this map. In the yellow circle, you can see blue arrows (the Axis) pushing into the Barenkovo bulge southwest of the Donets, which encouraged me to try the same strategy. Pretty amazing how a game can evoke history like this. Typically games are historical thematically; War in the East goes beyond that.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2018, 08:24:26 AM »


Pressing F11 will show all the previous battles from the last Soviet turn.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2018, 08:24:59 AM »


One notable battle took place in Lodan, the northern-most tank icon. The Soviets attacked me with great odds and dislodged my regiment from the city.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2018, 08:25:37 AM »


The 3rd Panzer Division encircling the bulge was also attacked. They barely held on. If the Soviets attacked with a 2.0 to 1 ratio, my panzer division would've retreated and the Soviets would've escaped the pocket.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2018, 08:26:13 AM »


The 60th Motorized Division was attacked twice with overwhelming odds, but managed to hold the city. This is likely in part due to my assignment of Erich von Manstein to their corps HQ; an excellent mechanized leader.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2018, 08:27:05 AM »


Earlier I said you can't do much during muddy weather, but I'll be doing a couple of small maneuvers that will make a big difference. In the north I'll be moving the 1st regiment of the 79th Infantry Division back into Lopan, where it retreated from a Soviet attack in the last turn.

In the center I'll move the 257th and 384th Infantry Divisions into Izyum to support the 60th Motorized Division. Now that I threaten their flank I can expect some opposition and I'll need my forces strong there.

Finally, I'll move the Italian Motorized Division that unfroze this turn to help support the attacks on the bulge in the next turn.

I do recon, bomb air-fields, execute and end my turn.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2018, 08:27:42 AM »


No battles happen during the Soviet turn. Everything is the same, and I don't have any plans to change anything either.

In the above screen you can see the Soviets lost about 15,000 men while I just lost 4,000. If I click on the Soviet logistics button, I can see all these losses came from just attrition.

I do recon, bomb-airfields again, then end my turn.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2018, 08:28:11 AM »


The beginning of turn 5. The Soviets are still taking lots of attrition losses.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2018, 08:28:42 AM »


It looks like the Soviets dislodged my regiment defending Lopan again.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2018, 08:29:18 AM »


This is the second and final turn with clear weather. I will finally destroy the encircled Soviets forces. I'll take out the weaker stacks with my infantry and the stronger ones with my panzer divisions. I'll also bomb the enemy units if I think my attacks on them are a little risky.

I'll take back Lopan again with my regiment and push a couple more infantry across the Donets west of Izyum. I try to see if I can make the enemy units around Izyum retreat so I can take another victory point location with my motorized division, but I don't have enough forces.

I do recon, bomb enemy airfields and units, then execute my plan and end my turn.

Offline Pzrjager

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Re: War in the East, Battle for Kharkov 1942
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2018, 08:29:58 AM »


Here's the victory point situation at the beginning of turn 6. I'm really close to a 2.0 to 1 Axis major victory.