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Germany: Road to War (CORE v.90)


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#41 Morrigan

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 10:50 AM

When last we spoke the USSR had declared war on Germany (February 1942). As usual I had spent the bulk of my 1936-1941 years upgrading techs rather than buildng a large army, so I was a bit tense seeing stacks of 20+ Russian infantry and a stack of 15 fighter squadrons along the frontier. The bear had not been hibernating for the past 6 years.

The Russians didn't wait for the mud to dry up before launching their 1942 offensives. In early March I noticed troop movements up near Konigsberg and down south along the Romanian border. I was unable to blunt the initial thrust in the south and did not have control of any of my allies' armies (though I remedied that as quickly as the diplomacy points built up). What I did have was control of the Med including Gibraltar and the Suez canal, which allowed me to launch a feint at Sevastapol via amphibious invasion. I hoped to slow the soviet advance into Romania with this move.

The attacks on Konigsberg and then Suwali in the north were both beaten back with low to moderate losses. My reserve divisions up north (a 9-division mech inf army and two 3-division tank corps) rushed from hot spot to hot spot and tipped the scales where my defending infantry was hard pressed. Kesslering's Ju-88s were devastating; three stacks of 3 or 4 squadrons each flew sorties around the clock, chewing up the Soviet columns with brutal efficiency. I chased the remnants of two attacks on Konigsberg back to Memel, bleeding the retreating divisions badly, then withdrawing back to my more defendable starting points.
Posted Image

March Map
May Map
June Map

I did not see it happen, but at some point the 15-squadron stack of Soviet fighters was whittled away to nothing. My tech advantage with Improved Interceptors (only 4 squadrons of these on the whole eastern front) and Medium Bombers easily outweighed his vast numbers.

In the south the Russian attack on Romania left Lvow poorly defended, which my panzers took advantage of. This combined with a slow reaction to my landing in and subsequent reinforcement of Sevastapol resulted in a respectable pocket being closed and eliminated.

It is June and the Russians have smashed two more large armies against my flexible northern defenses. My new Panzer IVH with 75mm Long guns divisions are in the field now. I've organized them into four corps, 3 of which focus on AT attachments for smashing through enemy armor. The forth PzIVH corps is my deep exploiter for the steppes, configured with Engineer battalions for more speed and defense value. I'm currently resting my troops and reorganizing a bit to take advantage of the rupture that has developed around Kursk. Once I've evened out my lines a bit and my Panzers are ready, Moscow will hear a knock at the gates.
Posted Image

#42 dojoboy

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 11:16 AM

Very nice Morrigan.  How is the air war going in the west?  I forget, is the US involved in Europe yet?  Keep rolling.  I especially like the amphibious landing from the Black Sea. :thumbs up:
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#43 Morrigan

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:53 PM

No USA that I've seen so far, I'm not even sure they're warring with the Japanese, gotta check that out next time I fire it up. Canada does some strategic bombing, mainly hitting UK provinces, but not enough to damage my economy. I've been upgrading AA guns wherever I see or expect them to come flying in.

Regarding that amphibious invasion... I doubt I would have had that opportunity if the Soviets had not immediately sent their forces from the Rostov and Caucus areas down into Iran when they declared war. They've taken a number of Iranian provinces and have a dozen divisions working down there. I've only moved a stack of 3 airborne divisions to the area to try to keep them out of Iraq at least. Maybe I can put General Paulus in charge of 6th Army/Army Group South, take Stalingrad and the Caucus oil fields, and cut those units off in Iran :D

#44 dojoboy

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 02:16 PM

Even after I occupied the British Isles, the USA kept strat bombing me.  I kept trying to figure out how they were reaching me, then  realized they were flying from Iceland and near Morocco.  

I'm looking forward to the next installment.
"There is no end to sorrow."  ---Van Gogh

#45 Jard

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 04:00 PM

dojoboy, on May 20th 2005, 01:16 PM, said:

Even after I occupied the British Isles, the USA kept strat bombing me.  I kept trying to figure out how they were reaching me, then  realized they were flying from Iceland and near Morocco. 

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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Ya for some reason the AI has a range on their bombers that far out strips mine.  I was getting bombed in south germany from Iceland and Aden, kind of absurd.

By the by, I will have the write up of my Soviet adventure probably tonight.  Should make for some good reading!
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win  -- Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

#46 Morrigan

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 08:11 AM

I ended my last post with a boast about driving on Moscow, but that hasn't proven to be a reasonable route to take. Being a "scratch it where it itches" kind of strategist, I've pushed deeply into the southern regions of Russia, to the gates of Stalingrad. I'm regrouping in that area right now, trying to build enough force concentration to assault that city.

Posted Image

June 42 Map
Blocked in the north and center, the wehrmacht pushes toward Stalingrad.

July 42 Map
A chance to exploit to the north appears but the door is shut and withdrawing from the salient is required only a couple weeks later.

August 42 Map
The situation near Stalingrad is looking scarily familiar; Panzers have penetrated to the south of Stalingrad, my Balkans allies defend an extremely long northern flank, and Paulus is present in the area.   :o

#47 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:48 AM

I'd very much appreciate it if you would break those maps into 4x3 maps.  It defeats one of the purposes of making them small.
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#48 Jard

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:18 PM

Took me a little longer to write up, but this one will have pretty pictures.

Date line May 16, 1941.

The previous winter is coming to a close.  My southern flank(Yugoslavia & Greece) has been secured by a small detachment of troops that have by now rejoined my main force. I have just completed the upgrade of all my tanks to Intermediate Medium Tanks with 75-mm long barrels.   It is time for the bear to be subdued.  I was reading up about Barbarossa at wikpedia and found out the original start date was mid-May instead of the end of July. The early start will be useful in the end.

I turned the fog of war off for the pictures, however I took all of them far after the fact so I had no knowledge of soviet disposition of forces other then what was directly adjacent to my troops.

The front May 16, 1941 388k jpg

You can see the status of my border with the USSR, as well as where my MP and Supplies stand. Also notice that I still have quite a few DP from the new order west event.  I have been using these to tech up Hungary and Italy, they will both be especially useful holding those vast russian battle lines.

Posted Image

My opening moves:
I have two panzer armies, one headed by FM Rommel in the north the other by Guderian in the south.  Rommel is supported by a small mechanized force, Guderian by infantry and Motorized troops.  The blue arrows show the initial thrusts against the soviet prepared positions.  They have level 3 land forts in all those provinces.  But I can bring technologically and numerically superior force to bear to break through.  My initial attacks go through Zjitorim and Minsk.  Subsequent plans of advance are shown by the red arrows.  After taking Minsk I plan to wheel Rommel's forces back through my lines in Wilno and attack Vitebsk from there and Minsk, that will provide the quickest route to Moscow.

Guderian's objectives in the south are slightly different.  Although his ultimate objective is Stalingrad his first order of business is the encirclement of forces in the pipet marshes and possibly to the South.  Both objectives are marked by Yellow circles.  For the pipet encirclement he will drive up along the east side of the Dnepper river to meet up with infantry advancing through the breach Rommel creates(North green arrow). Meanwhile infantry to the south will advance through Guderian's breakthrough and secure his gains, if the opportunity presents itself they can advance south(southern green arrow) to encircle the forces along the romanian border on their own.

Large tactical bullet point!
I have not brought Romania into the Axis yet for a very good reason.  As long as they are neutral I do not have to worry about the Russians driving through them to me.

Unlike most military plans mine go of without a hitch.  It turns out my tanks out match anything the russians can field (I will find out much latter that russian infantry only has a hard attack of 5, by the end of 1942).  It seems that the speed and firepower I can field will cut through anything the russians throw at me.  

July 13th, 1941 Rommel plants the German flag over Moscow less then a month after the beginning of hostilities.

The following happens in quick succession.  

I complete the encirclement and destruction of 30 Russian units in the pipet marshes and an other 15 units along the Romanian border.  Romania joins the Axis powers.  Those obnoxious Americans are at it again, sinking about half my fleet in one day and generally making a nuisance of themselves.  I have the recipe for their undoing however, my naval bombers will soon destroy most of their atlantic fleet.

August 17, 1941:
Northern front 364K JPG
Southern front 324K JPG

You can see the state of things as summer ends in russia.  Most interesting I think is that I have more MP then I did when I started several months ago.  You can see that Sevastapol is about to be taken and my push to Leningrad has not even started.

November 4, 1941 :
Northern Front 372K jpg
Southern Front 328K jpg
Fall is over and the first cold winds of winter are blowing in.  I order the cessation of major offensive operations and my units (mostly) bivouac for the winter.  By the 7th the last major Soviet attempt to retake Stalingrad will have failed.  I end my summer push with two of the three major russian cities under my control.  As well as a landing in the mountains off the black sea to threaten the baku oil fields.  I failed to take Leningrad, but a third panzer army under Model will be ready by the spring and should easily push through. I end the summer offensive with most of my MP intact.  My goal over the winter is to connect my thrust from stalingrad with the landing to its south.

Winter 41: Creation of Ukraine, decline the creation of Belorussia so I can continue to strategically deploy to its east.

Spring-Summer 42: Consolidation and continued forward push through to the Urals and Murmansk.  With such a large front I spend most of my time stopping the Soviets from breaking through the weaker parts.  But September 30 sees my ultimate victory in the east.  

Where does this leave me?

After new order east fired, I set up a Russian POW as the new leader of the land to the east.  The Communists soldier on but with only one province with any VP in it and hardly any industry under their control their days are numbered.  Japan joined the Axis in short order.  Americas Navies have been largely decimated and I have been following the z-plan for Naval improvement so I have a half way decent fleet.  I sent some marines to puppet Australia and New Zealand, they did so easily.  It will take about six months to build the transports for a North American invasion.  Given an other year I could likely achieve axis total victory.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win  -- Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

#49 Morrigan

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 08:08 AM

Looks  like you have things well in hand, were it me I would not have the patience to continue on to the Americas :). Good idea not pulling Romania in as an ally right away. While I typically try to follow the major historical paths when I play, I do also recognize that things like the Romanian border with Russia are very weak and need some help; you kept them neutral, I landed behind the Soviets as a diversion, two solutions to the same problem.

Something you'll notice if you start playing (or go back to playing?) CORE is the slowed tech advancement. Improved Medium tanks with 75mm/L guns come about a year after you got them in your game. CORE does a good job of preventing players from hyper-focusing on a single tech for that huge advantage over the AI.

I'll try to post more about my game today, things are a bit unsteady on the eastern front, those Russians breed like rabbits!

#50 dojoboy

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 04:27 PM

Very well done Jard.  Morrigan, I look forward to your next installment.

Btw Morrigan, my university (UT-Chattanoga) just lost Terry Brands to the US Olympic Training Center.  He was here three years and produced a couple All Americans this season.  We hate losing him.  Of course, I'm assuming you follow wrestling in Iowa and know who he is.
"There is no end to sorrow."  ---Van Gogh

#51 Morrigan

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 09:02 AM

I really only follow Hawkeye football... oh, and which beers they have on tap at Joe's Place in Iowa City ;)

No game update today, but I did want to say that this is one of the most tense and difficult games I've played. No steam-roller of a Wehrmacht here, and the Soviets are no push-over. WHile they've mounted no serious offensives and made no signifcant breeches in my lines, they've slowed or stymied many of my offensives.

#52 Jard

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 09:06 AM

Morrigan, on May 22nd 2005, 07:08 AM, said:

Something you'll notice if you start playing (or go back to playing?) CORE is the slowed tech advancement. Improved Medium tanks with 75mm/L guns come about a year after you got them in your game. CORE does a good job of preventing players from hyper-focusing on a single tech for that huge advantage over the AI.

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Getting the better tanks was something I had to sacrifice for.  I built fewer units and neglected my air techs a lot.  It helped that I held the UK for about 6 months their IC enabled me to overcome some of problems I had created for myself.  Also my unit deficiency went that I had to rely on allied troops to hold some provinces.  I had been planing on this so I spent a lot of DP on giving out techs to Italy and hungary.  Every action comes at a price in this game, fortunately I could pay.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win  -- Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

#53 Morrigan

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 09:18 AM

Jard, on May 23rd 2005, 09:06 AM, said:

Getting the better tanks was something I had to sacrifice for.  I built fewer units and neglected my air techs a lot.

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Yup, but with CORE it's not just a matter of spending more IC on a tech to rush it. CORE lengthens the time it takes to complete some techs and/or it adds more intermediate tech advancement steps. The goal is a more realistic rollout schedule for new techs as a game progresses.

#54 Morrigan

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:09 PM

I'm not sure when/if I'll get a chance to do a full writeup of the the last year I've played, so I wanted to give a quick update and ask a couple of questions.

I've slowly pushed the soviets back to the Urals and have taken Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad. Murmansk and Arkangelsk are mine, as are a few of those 35+ infrastructure provinces east/northeast of stalingrad.

When I took the thre big cities the soviets asked for terms and I was given the chance to redraw the border as far back as the Urals. I declined to do this and now I wonder if that was the "bitter peace" event people talk about. Was that it or is that still to come?

In other areas, I have a corps of Panther II (advanced mediums with 85mm guns) tanks rolling through eastern africa and another corps of PzIVH tanks just finished clearing north africa except for the 0 infrastructure provinces. I also have overrun a vacant India.

Japan didn't declare war on the Allies until 1944! This event is what finally brought the USA into the war. They have done little beyond drop a few bombs on my industry. I have rather beefy AA protection and their bombers pay dearly for those IC they deplete. Japan is not one of my allies, wonder if I should make it so?

#55 dojoboy

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:55 PM

Morrigan, on May 25th 2005, 09:09 PM, said:

When I took the thre big cities the soviets asked for terms and I was given the chance to redraw the border as far back as the Urals. I declined to do this and now I wonder if that was the "bitter peace" event people talk about. Was that it or is that still to come?

Yes, that was it.  Its presentation is different then the standard Bitter Peace.  Do you have a save prior to your decision?  I'd reload it, myself.
"There is no end to sorrow."  ---Van Gogh

#56 Jard

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:30 AM

Morrigan, on May 25th 2005, 06:09 PM, said:

Japan didn't declare war on the Allies until 1944! This event is what finally brought the USA into the war. They have done little beyond drop a few bombs on my industry. I have rather beefy AA protection and their bombers pay dearly for those IC they deplete. Japan is not one of my allies, wonder if I should make it so?

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You probably do not want Japan in the axis until after the defeat of the USSR.  Their surrender conditions are changed (you also need vladivlostok).
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win  -- Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

#57 Morrigan

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 10:26 AM

Hm, yeah I'll keep Japan out of it and see if I have captured enough soviet territories to force them to be a puppet or annex them. I doubt I'll go back and do the bitter peace thing. As far as I'm concerned, having all of europe including England under my flag, plus owning everything that matteres in the USSR ... that's a win.

If I have to capture vladivostok to annex/puppet them, I'll just load up some transports and see if I can get them by the US Navy which appears to be kicking Japan's butt right now.

#58 Jard

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:08 AM

Well, heck if you are going for right out annexation go ahead and have Japan join the axis.  At that point the reasons fro keeping them out do not matter any more.  Also you may want to make sure you have some paratroopers, they come in really handy once you get past the Uruals.  Specifically the capture of Irkust(sp?).
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win  -- Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

#59 Morrigan

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 12:00 PM

Yeah i have 3 para units for dropping on empty/poorly defended provinces. I'm not sure I'll be able to work my way across from west to east. Russia still has big piles of infantry and armor all over the place and I'm running out of manpower. It's really annoying to have to set up static defenses next to all those 0-20 infrastructure provinces with 10-20 soviet units in each. You can't take them out on the ground with those bad infra numbers.

I could help my manpower issues by releasing the UK and France to puppet  status and pull my garrison units I suppose, but I reallly like all that Grey color  on the political map :)

#60 Morrigan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:24 AM

Late 1944, the USA has invaded and reinforced their beachead in Casablanca, 5 units were in the first wave and they're up to 8 divisions now. I have units gathering to try to crush them before they land too many more divisions, but their tankers are driving Sherman Easy Eights with 75mm/L guns; not the equal of my Panther IIs, but definitely not pushovers! I only have 3 divisions of Panther IIs in North Africa and they just arrived so their org is very low.

I've pushed deep into the USSR along the trans-siberian railroad. I'm 4 provinces from Irkutsk and stretching myself quite thin. I've invited Japan into the mix and hope to take control of their armies and capture Vladivostok, but I'm not sure they'll be up to the task. Annexation of the USSR may be a pipe dream.