GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Plaid
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GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Thu May 18, 2017 6:15 pm

Here comes AAR of GS game played with newest 4.0 beta version between me and Vokt.
Game is ongoing, but 30+ turns ahead, so everyone (including Vokt) is welcome to read and comment.

1939 campaign was rather traditional, with Axis going for 2 turn conquest of Poland:

Poland, Axis turn 1

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Poland, Allied turn 1

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Poland, Axis turn 2

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There was noteable counterattack of Polish cavalry from Posen, which halved one of German corps units, but overall Axis casualties were rather low.
New Polish OOB, while making 1 turn conquest of Warsaw extremely hard, also leaves less room for Polish counterattacks on turn 1 - Germans have to kill most of Polish units, as they clean road to Warsaw now.

France

Preparing quite standard defensive line in France - deploying BEF consisting of both British starting corps and motorised units, aswell as 2 garrisons shipped from Canada.
We will decide where exactly to place defensive line (on Somme or near Belgian border or maybe even on Seine) a bit later.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Thu May 18, 2017 6:19 pm

1939-40 winter

Here is a picture of fully prepared defensive line in France in February 1940. Axis offensive can start any moment.
French used their PPs to build cavalry, corps and couple of garrisons so far.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sat May 20, 2017 3:20 pm

Turn 11 - March 19 1940

Fair weather has arrived and Axis DoWed Belgium and Holland. Amsterdam defenders held at 2 steps though.

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Allies remained passive, holding their positions and awaiting Axis attack. Corps in Amsterdam was repaired (note, minor power capital now provides full 5 supply instead of 3).

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Transports with Canadian corps and mech are sent to England.

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Plaid
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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sat May 20, 2017 3:21 pm

Turn 12 - April 8, 1940

Germans have taken Lille and engaged main defensive line in the center.

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Allies still remain passive, just repairing and swapping units.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sat May 20, 2017 3:25 pm

Turn 13 - April 28, 1940

Axis attacks are still focused in the center, near Lorrein frontline was almost broken

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Allies started retreat from forest area south of Lorrein. Even some fortresses were abandoned. Still southern flank of Allied defensive line looks rather weak with positions at Seine being manned by low morale garrisons.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Tue May 23, 2017 6:45 pm

Turn 14 - May 18, 1940

Germans push hard in the center, getting dangerously close to Paris with their armoured formations.

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Allied armies fall back to final defensive line at Seine. Air and naval units performed some harassment missions with mixed results.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Tue May 23, 2017 6:51 pm

Turn 15 - June 7, 1940

Germans mostly dealt with southern flank of Allied frontline. It will collapse next turn deffinetely and we can't do much about it.
And motorized unit even crossed Seine near Paris, forming bridgehead NW of city.

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Allies counterattacked this bridgehead with everything they got, destroying German unit and restoring this section of the front.

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Downside of this move is that Paris defenders have taken damage and the city might fall very next turn. Fate of BEF units is also uncertain now, as they ended rather far from the coast and close to Wehrmacht units.
Italy has join the war previous turn, so already weak Allied southern flank is now even more exposed and will cease to exist very soon.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Thu May 25, 2017 7:28 pm

Turn 16 - June 27, 1940

So Germans continued their offensive actions and Allied southern flank was literally wiped out. Paris was attacked too, but held at 2 steps.
BEF units ended relatively safe, only one garrison south of Paris is unlikely to survive.

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In Allied turn German corps near Paris was counterattacked and reduced to 4 steps. Allies might have scored a kill there, if BEF participated in this attack, but instead British units used this turn to prepare for evacuation.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sat May 27, 2017 11:29 am

Turn 17 - July 17, 1940

This turn Germans captured Paris, while BEF escaped rather succesfully. Only one garrison was killed, corps and motorized ended only damaged a bit.

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Its rather late for Sealion and I don't see one will happen, but defensive positions were prepared just in case.

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Casualties after French campaign:

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sun May 28, 2017 8:05 pm

Turn 18 - August 6, 1940

Germans started strategic bombing campaign right away. London was reduced to 7 steps.

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As a response RAF fighters were repaired to reasonable strength and ordered to interceptany further attacks.

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In Africa campaign against Syria is being prepared. Note how Allied units have lower supply levels under new rules.

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Turn 19 - August 26, 1940

Luftwaffe continue to bomb London and city becomes rather damaged. Intercepting fighter lost to German one (1:2).

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In Middle East Damascus was secured, as planned.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:50 am

Not much notable events occured until Barbarossa in May 1941.

One of them was Axis conquest of Yugoslavia in Autumn 1940 (taken 3 turns because of bad weather).

Turn 20 - September 15, 1940

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Turn 21- October 5, 1940

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Turn 21- October 25, 1940

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Denmark was conquered by Germans in early spring 1941.

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Also there were constat, but low intensivity air combats around Malta - German and Italian fighter landed some hits on RAF Malta unit, but failed to achieve anything decisive there.

Allies had plans to start major offensive in Africa in 1941, so additional armour unit and tac were built and sent to Middle East during winter 1940.

Turn 25 - December 24, 1940

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While majority of RN DDs were busy escorting that transports German subs had their fun with convoys

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London was also kept at more or less low production until bombers were recalled for Eastern front in summer 1941. British fighters engaged German escorts, but results were more or less even.

On turn 31 (April 23, 1941) rebellion occured in Iraq, but with new rules rebels are rather weak - just 3 low strength garrisons this time. They were dealt with in couple of turns.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:32 pm

Barbarossa was started as early as turn 32 (May 13, 1941)

Initial Axis turn:

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Soviet strategy was to retreat in the center and north with some delaying action, while trying to hold Germans in the south, where extensive fortification system should slow them down.

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As a comment, I don't like those forts - they are ahistorically strong. Stalin line actually looked like this - isolated strongpoints all along 1939 USSR border.

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Old fortifications at 1939 borders had heavy weapons removed, while new ones at 1941 border were unfinished. And none of them were as solid, as Ziegfried line anyway.
Current representation with single strong position south of Pripyat marshes is both ahistorical and poor for game balance, creating unneeded trouble for Axis in this sector.
When Germans try to kill units, sitting in these forts, they become Guards and hold for prolonged time.
Another question is why do Soviets have 3 Guard units limit in 1941 - should be only 1 in my opinion.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Barbarossa progress:

Turn 33 - June 2, 1941

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Turn 34 - June 22, 1941

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Turn 35 - July 12, 1941

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This turn Allies also finished their preparations in Egypt and ready to start advance on Tobruk. Idea is to engage Italians in Africa, while Germans are busy in the East, but it turned out not that great, as it takes more time to cross the desert with new supply rules. Heaviest fighting occured in Libya in late Autumn/Winter 1941.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:12 pm

I don't have problems With the fortifications as the Axis. They Russians lose a lot of morale and therefore they are pretty helpless in those fortifications. You can easily bomb them down to 0 morale. The fortifications are weaker than they used to be as well. The main difference is that units don't retreat there.

If you allow the fortifications to remain intact for quite a few turns then they become more difficult to take out unless you use offensive units and airstrikes.

In GS v4.0 the Germans are quite a bit more potent than in GS v3.1 and beta testing showed quite a few games where the Axis easily reached Stalingrad in 1941. That was not the intention at all. However, the extra potency is good for later game balance. The initial addition of some fortifications slowed the Germans down a bit, but not enough to really matter. With the current fortifications you might see the Russians hold the line like they did historically. What you will see is that either the Axis work to clean up enough fortifications to get free movement eastwards or push eastwards via holes and get a big mopping up job later.

The Axis Siegfried line wasn't very strong either. However, they are needed to give the Axis a chance to hold the Allies at the Rhine in 1944.

The Version you're playing now is a beta where we alter these defense lines to check the impact. If they become too much we will make more holes in the Stalin line.

Anyway a single fortifications hex west of Kiev won't prevent the Germans from overrunning the Russians, but it might slow down an outflanking manoeuver North of Kiev. Kiev only fell because Army Group Center was diverted South after Smolensk fell. So they hit Kiev from the east moving down the east side of the Dnepr.
Last edited by Peter Stauffenberg on Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:22 pm

Number of Guards units in 1941 is 4. That was because we had the 4 shock army units being Guards Mechanized. Now they are just regular reinforced infantry units. I Guess we didn't adjust the number of Guards units after we introduced shock units. Maybe a lower max limit for 1941 is better. We will discuss that in the beta Group.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:29 pm

Current Soviet fortification setup is not gamebreaking and can be dealt with, but it creates unhealthy gameplay IMO.

Germans have to send their best units and lots of airpower in this sector, to deal with fortifcations very fast, while Soviets are unentrenched and have poor morale. Otherwise Soviet units would entrench and regain morale and it will be extremely hard to deal with them (and Axis still have main fighting further East, so they can't go all in against those forts).
Historically main German push was not in the south, but in Belarus.

And I think we should not consider only extreme games with all-in Barbarossa in May. Lets take a game where Barbarossa starts in June and there is something else going on (u-boat campaign, fighting in Africa, etc)
Axis will go nowhere close to historical line in this scenario, probably they would not capture even cities like Kharkov.

By the way I don't see problem with Germans reaching Stalingrad in 1941 - it happens in Autumn, and Soviet morale is recovered by that time, while Germans suffer from supply issues - the place can be defended, Axis can even lose badly there in case of early SW.

Should we keep posting rules discussion there or move to the beta forum?

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:56 am

I think this belongs in the beta forum. That is where the testers are. We are still fine tuning the game before the final release. So it could be some of the fortifications disappear in the final Version. Let's see what the beta testers find out.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:25 pm

Turn 36 - August 1, 1941

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Turn 37 - August 21, 1941

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First Soviet counterattack occured - German mech near Novgorod was reduced to 1 step and forced to retreat. In the north and center Red Army pretty much finished retreat, Axis will have to fight for any further territory gains.
In the south there is some room to retreat to Don, if Germans keep attacking in this sector - its no good to defend in open steppes terrain.

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Turn 38 - September 10, 1941

More fighting around Novgorod, no counterattacks were made this time.

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Meanwhile in Africa British army reached Tobruk - place does not seem heavily defended at all.
Note how simple march from El Alamein to Tobruk (7-8 hexes) taken 3 turns with new supply rules.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:13 pm

Turn 39, September 30, 1941

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This turn Soviet launched counterattack near Leningrad, reducing German corps there to 1 step. Germans are not going to progress anywhere in this sector before winter with so thin forces.

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In Africa Tobruk was flanked and battle for Gazala began, Italian garrison held for now.

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Turn 40, October 20, 1941

Fair weather allowed Axis to continue their offensive in Leningrad area. Massive air support allowed Germans to kill couple of Soviet corps units.

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In the south Rostov area was cleared of Soviet garrisons, but looks like not much more going to happen there this year.

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During Allied turn another counterattack was launched in Leningrad front, leaving German corps isolated there.

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In Africa Gazala was taken, so Tobruk is completely surrouneded now and we can start our assault.

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Picture with general situation in the Atlantic - we are doing our best to protect convoys, but bombers keep missing German subs and destroyers don't roll that great. Going to change soon, as we get more ASW upgrades though

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Turn 41 - November 9, 1941

Despite bad weather Germans tried their best to relief infantry near Leningrad and even killed Soviet mech there. Unit was finished off by airstrike, so supply line was not restored (and I think this battered infantry going to be destroyed this turn no matter supplied or now)

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During Allied turn mentioned corps was killed and Soviet units moved forward, preparing for winter offensive.

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Good initial progress in Tobruk - defender was halved already.

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So Barbarossa is basically over, but we can still see Soviet units sitting in their forts here and there near border. Vokt started early (in May) and brought significant forces, but still he could not send units to deal with all of those forts. In general Axis were behind schedule aswell, failing to take Novgorod/cut off Leningrad and barely taking Rostov. Kiev taken in October did not look OK aswell.
I don't think so formidable soviet fortifications are needed in the game, as it makes Barbarossa unreasonably hard. With historical start date in June progress going to be rather terrible, maybe even Kiev will hold till the winter. In the end it can promote defensive "Fortress Europa" strategies.

And I don't like fortresses near Moscow too. We already almost never see Axis pushing for Moscow in average game and this thing completely discourages any offensive in this area.
If we want to see historical "Typhoon" with Germans gambling for Moscow in late Autumn - quite the opposite should be done - replace some forests near Moscow with clear hexes to create opportunity for German armoured forces.

I think 1941 Eastern campaign already was too "comfortable" for Allies, you just know that Axis are unlikely to take any important objective before the winter most of the time. With adding fortifications it became even more so.

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Re: GS 4.00 beta Plaid vs Vokt (Allied AAR)

Post by Plaid » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:23 pm

Turn 42, Novemer 29, 1941

So SW is already here and Red Army is ready to strike. Germans did some retreating in the north, but most positions were held.

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Soviets were not been able to kill any units yet and progress was not great, but atleast mech near Kaluga was hit rather hard.

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Tobruk is about to fall, while Commonwealth infantry units slowly advance through the desert. No sign of Axis military presence yet, but we have seen couple of transports arriving.

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Turn 43, December 19, 1941

Germans dont abandon their positions in the east, actually they even counterattacked and killed Soviet corps in Ilmen lake area.

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What I did not expect at all is another counterattack - in Africa, where Indian infantry got killed.

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During Allied turn Soviets did more attacking with mixed results. Mech near Kaluga held again (at 1 step).

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In Africa Tobruk was taken and counterattacking Axis forces - engaged. While this attack was total surprise, Allies just have too many men and equipment in the area - they will eventually overwhelm Axis, I think. Second armoured unit really helps to tip balance in Allied favour in this scenario .

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