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  #1  
Old September 28th, 2010, 06:57 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

USSR vs. Germany


Mission: Defend, Tikuin, USSR, 11/1941 - grouped objectives.

Enemy: Panzer Regiment Strength – 2 Tank Bn, 1 Infantry Bn, 3-5 Artillery Bn, plus ATG and AAA. Strike aircraft likely. Average force experience, ~75.

Terrain: Map = 100x100. The map is reasonably open with some hill dominating a lot of that ground. Numerous peaks of level 30 and 40 can be found around the battlefield. Most significantly, a level 40, triple peaked hill can be found mostly in the friendly deployment zone. All three objective groups are on the slopes of this hill. The northern most group is behind the center peak and they echelon forward with the southern most group being south of the southern peak. All of the objectives are in open ground. There are clusters and lines of trees, with clusters being more dominant. The northern peak and the north half of the central peak of this large hill are covered with trees. Visibility is likely to be spotty from those areas. Outside of my deployment zone, there is a cluster of trees making visibility along the north edge difficult if not impossible. West of the southern peak, there are lines of trees out about 750m until a level 30 hill is encountered. To the southwest of this peak there are more tree lines and a small cluster of trees. Due west of the central peak is mainly open ground.

There are two roads on the map. One is generally east-west crossing the map and the central peak of the large hill. A north-south road also exists. The majority of this road is in enemy territory. It heads straight north until the two roads cross. Then it turns to the northeast and exits 800m outside of enemy territory. There are a few buildings on the map and can be found close to the roads. Cultivated fields are also common.

One other note: General Winter has arrived. The map is snow covered. Visibility = 56.

Troops: Tank Brigade Strength – 2 Armor Bn. (36xT-34/76A+, 26xT-34/76B+), 3 Infantry Co., 1 Support Co (4xHMG sec., 4x45mm ATGs, 2x82mm Mort. sec., 2x120mm Mort. sec., 2xKV-I, 4xScouts w/trans., 1xEng. Plt, 3xAAMG sec. and 4xSupply Trucks).

From Support Points: 4x37mm AA Btty, 6xBunkers, 100xBuild Points. Average force experience, ~80.

Time: 53 Turns

Analysis

Looking at it from a defensive point of view, the area isn't bad, but not great either. The large, triple peaked hill would be a nice point for a defense, IF it was all on my side of the deployment line. Enough of the hill is forward of the deployment line to create blind stops forward. Since I can't deploy forward of the line, my force would have limited ability to watch the north edge. It is open enough before they get behind the trees, but all I can do is see them coming. The next time I see them will be at knife fighting range or after they have rounded my flank. Visibility to the south edge isn't great, but better. The best visibility is due west. I will have decent LOS in that direction.

Snow will play a factor. It will slow the battle down, keeping the enemy in my kill zones longer. The exception is the east-west road. I expect them to push down this road to some extent. Sheer numbers mean some will come down it, even if by accident. Infantry will be riding the tanks unless I can separate them. Tanks without infantry and infantry without tanks are more vulnerable.

Test runs on the enemy force selection showed lots of planes and lots of artillery. There were 11 batteries of 150mm or larger. I didn't even bother counting mortars. As for aircraft, it picked ten. The AI tends to pound areas around the objectives and with that much fire power, I need to figure out a way to minimize casualties before our ground forces make contact. Aside from that kind of support, I expect in the range of 150 armored vehicles of one sort or another. My test run came up with seven German companies to my six, but a German tank company can be 22 tanks. I've got one with 12 and the other five have 10 tanks. One area where we could be relatively even is infantry. The AI could throw me a curve, however. That remains to be seen.

Plan

I haven't finalized my plans, but am considering two options. One is a conventional defense. Line up to cover the objectives in the best way possible. What I don't like about that is with the artillery the AI will have, it could pound me into dust and capture everything with a platoon. I know the AI won't be that patient, but it could be done. Anyhow, this is Defense Plan 1.

My other option is to take the fight to the enemy. Even though this is a defend, there isn't any rule that says I have to stay there and take it. In this option, I set up a defensive line centered and pushed almost up to my deployment line. Everything goes there except armor. I put obstacles in front of them, leaving the flanks open. On each flank, I position a tank battalion. They will perform an double envelopment of the advancing enemy. Given their position, they will certainly stop any moves to flank my infantry line. With this plan, my hope is the enemy artillery will mostly go over my infantry line. The enemy will be aware of my armor, but I hope to have them be a moving target making them difficult to hit with artillery. Also, if I mix closely enough with the enemy, maybe I can use their aircraft against them. A few blue on blue attacks wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. This is Defense Plan 2 and I'm strongly leaning in favor of this one.

Opinions?
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  #2  
Old September 28th, 2010, 08:18 PM

Brian61 Brian61 is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Defense Plan 2 looks good although I'm not sure I'd be bold enough to try double envelopment. The double envelopment spoiling attack should draw the enemy's supporting fire away from your front lines and hopefully break up the attack into smaller, more manageable chunks. The danger is getting cutoff, bogged down, and defeated in detail.

A possible alternative might be to make one of the flanking forces much larger than the other. The smaller would conduct a mobile defense, falling back trading ground for time and hopefully getting enemy arty to fall on their own advance. The larger would try to breakthrough and then either roll up the line or go deep and circle around to do a hammer and anvil against the static defenses. The snow might make this impractical in the south, though the road in the north looks interesting.

Anyhow, I agree with your leanings toward at least a partially mobile defense, especially up against that kind of artillery fire!

Brian
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  #3  
Old September 28th, 2010, 09:28 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

I'm pondering your comments. One concern is the snow. With differing sized flanking column, I stand a chance of a major strength mismatch on one flank without the ability to shift tanks quickly. There is merit in the idea of having the AI drop artillery on their own units. I could skinny one side up, but leave it large enough to make a stand if necessary. One flank could go with 22 tanks and the other one with 42 tanks on the other. If I go with this option, I would have the larger group up north. The trees there are capable of screening a larger force than those down south.

My envelopments will be more flank attacks than true envelopments where the intent is more to cut off the spearhead. I probably wouldn't push out as far as displayed in the plan. How far they move out would be dependent on the AI movements. I want to move out far enough before turning toward the center to catch a large number of enemy tanks by the flank without exposing my flank to similar attacks along the edges.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 10:08 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Plan

I've gone with Defense Plan 2, slightly modified using Brian's suggestion. Instead of one tank battalion on each flank, my north(right) flank has 42 tanks and my south(left) has 22 tanks. The northern area beyond the trees is more open and better suited for tanks. Additionally, the enemy will likely advance down the road quicker than any place else. My northern force will take the battle to the enemy. The southern tank force will also strike at the enemy, but if things get to be too much, the can retreat back to their revetments and hold there.

My infantry line has a row of mines and a row of dragon's teeth. Tanks will get there quickly and might push through a row of mines without damage. The dragon's teeth need to be cleared before they get through. Sometimes, the AI tanks will skirt along the dragon's teeth, so eventually the mines will score. Unfortunately, my infantry doesn't have any long range AT capability, so they get to sit back and watch the activity to their front. My ATGs are deployed to cover the flanks of my infantry line, just incase the enemy manage to get a few units around. The guns aren't good against front armor, anyhow. For support, I have 12 AA guns. Those are deployed destroy planes and not necessarily to support the main line.

For the first turn or two, I'll hold fast to determine where the enemy's main trusts are coming from. There will be over 100 tanks coming at me, so I will need to know how those numbers are deployed to best use my tanks.

Rather than putting another screen print that will be similar to what I've already put in this thread, I'm attaching my save after deployment, but before the first turn starts.
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  #5  
Old September 29th, 2010, 10:45 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 0 (Prep Fire)

Enemy prep fire was lighter than expected. Only eight batteries of artillery and no aircraft. That doesn't mean they don't have more artillery or aircraft, but I expected more. Only one 170mm battery was even close to anyone, causing 6 points of suppression on one unit.

I plotted some mortars out there, hoping to catch some tanks on the move later.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 11:05 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 1

Enemy fire continued into turn one as expected. Three more batteries turned loose firing smoke. That gives them 11 batteries so far. A little more suppression this turn, but no casualties.

Enemy tanks are on the move. Roughly one company sighted north of the east-west road. They also have armored cars on the road. Those will make it to my line much faster than their tanks.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 11:22 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 2

Artillery fire has stopped.

I've got 36 enemy tanks approaching from the road north. Most of the tanks are north of the road, but there are a few on it. Eight armored cars are advancing down the road as well.

All my tanks are on the move. I'm going to set range to 750m. No sense wasting ammo. I've got 22 T-34/Bs in the north group, but I need to make the most of my shots. South group is also moving, but I don't expect them to see anything for a bit. The enemy has more trees to move through there.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:11 AM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 3

More enemy artillery firing smoke.

Enemy tank count up to 50 on or north of the road. I also see nine armored cars and one half track. Some shots were exchanged, but no damage to either side. Friendly mortars plinked a few enemy tanks as well.

A few enemy tanks are coming out of the woods down south. Again, shots exchanged, but no damage to either side. Mortars off target down here.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:22 AM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 4

Well, I took a bite out of them up north, but there are a lot of enemy units. I'm not going to bother counting live ones. We did cap six armored cars and nine tanks. They have three more immobilized. Some enemy returned fire, but not many and it was all ineffective. Friendly mortar fire was on target, but only caused them to button up. Some of my tanks were on the receiving end of mortar fire as well.

Down south, enemy tanks continued to pop out of the woods and brew up. Five tanks are destroyed, so far. Two are still alive, but not for long.

As expected, the enemy is carrying infantry. I can't afford to mix with them.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 9xPzKw 38b(t), 4xPzKw IIIh, 1xPzKw IVc tanks and 4xSdKfz 222, 1xSdKfz 231(6) and 1xSdKfz 221 armored cars destroyed.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:08 AM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs. Germany - Tikuin, USSR

Turn 5

Enemy hit hard up north. Scratch an additional three armored cars and 28 tanks. Throw in two half-tracks for good measure. There is infantry scurrying about the tank battle. Most seem in good order, but I'm sure they have taken casualties. I can't even make an estimate on infantry casualties at this point. My mortars did hit some more and I did see one infantry unit was completely destroyed, but that is the only confirmation I have. The enemy did drop more smoke and directed some light artillery and mortars at my tanks but no damage.

Pressure down south is minimal. Only tank riders trying to push forward, but 22 tanks with nothing better than to shot at infantry makes progress impossible. My mortars are off target here.

Two Stukas made bombing runs, but they won't be back. They won't make it to the airbase, either No known damage from the attacks.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 10xPzKw 38b(t), 13xPzKw IIIh, 2xPzKw IVc, 1xPzKw IIc, 2xPzKw IIf tanks, 1xSdKfz 222, 1xSdKfz 231(8) and 1xSdKfz 221 armored cars, 2xhalf-tracks and 2xJU-87B dive bombers destroyed.

I'm done for the night, but am attaching screen prints of action on both flanks. In the south flank picture, the burning hext at the end of my line of T-34s is where one of the Stukas went down.
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