VotG CG IV: The North Shore Open

=FC=Gorgon

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Hi folks,

First, Happy Memorial Day to our American readers and service people. (this was supposed to be posted last night) :)

VotG CG IV AAR
--------------

Russian Team:
o Northern CO: MikeS (=FC=Gorgon)
o Southern CO: Jim (Eagle02)

German Team:
o Northern CO: MikeP (PZchala)
o Southern CO: Brian (Dr Death)

Hey folks,

This is the start of our AAR of VotG CG IV which we started on Apr 16th, 2009. We'll probably post an AAR for each CG day. That way we can try to describe the whole scenario and hopefully reveal purchases. But that will depend on the situation as we don't want to ruin our FOW during the CG.

Jim has the records and most of the notes so I hope he'll be able to post them in the future. I plan on giving a synopsis and some of my thoughts on the tactics and strategies we used. I apologize in advance for the lack of completeness.

So, Day 1; Sept 14th.

Several weeks ago we diced for sides and teams and it ended with me and Jim vs MikeP and Dr. D. Jim and I got together to stare at the map and come up with our CG strategy and our tactical plan for the first day. I won't detail our strategic plan yet but I can go over our tactical plan a bit.

We looked at the map and divided it into 3 sectors: North - Center - South. We figured we could reasonably defend (ie slow down the assualt) 2 out of the 3 sectors. After some discussion, which included carefully examining the map in regards to the CG victory conditions, we decided to basically defend the South as best as possible, followed by the North; thus leaving the Center lightly defended. However we divided the map in half along row 22 with Jim the Southern CO and myself the Northern CO.

My personal thoughts were that we should try to hold onto the North and South board edge to make it easiest for reinforcements to enter the board. So my base plan as the Northern CO was to at least hold on to Pavlov's house. I figured even if I got pretty much wiped out, holding that spot would be good for the next scenario.

But we didn't want to give up the Center without a fight. So I setup K23 as a strongpoint (FYI, strongpoint is being used as a generic term). To round things out, I picked L14 as a strongpoint and also the Milchhaus. The Milchhaus would be nice to hang on to as well, but if the Germans attacked strong in the North, I didn't think it would hold out. Thus Pavlov's house would be the Northern Alamo if it came to it.

I'll let Jim give his account for the defense of the Southern sector.

We're doing this FtF so we won't have cool VASL maps to show you, except for the 'hidden' Russian setup which the German team got to see to plan their attack. But I will attempt to describe my setup and let the others describe theirs in more detail if they like.

Starting from the North, I setup roadblocks in L1 and L3. The idea being to channel any AFVs approaching from the North into the 9th Jan Square. I put some NVKD guys in the Milchhaus buildings with an MMG, an ATR and a 10-0 Commissar. Some 4-2-6 'scripts were in stone bldgs in the H and I column in front of the Milchhaus complex.

I put a 50mm mtr and an NVKD squad plus a 4-2-6 and an 9-0 Commissar in the L14 and some more 'scripts inthe I15 and I17 blgs.

I put roadblocks in L19 and L21. Th K23 blding has the 82mm MTR in K23 lvl1 with a NVKD 6-2-8 and an LMG on the ground floor. In the basement is our HIP 9-0 Commissar and field phone for the 80mm OBA. I'll explain that later.

For the rest of the on board OB, I put one 4-2-6 in the Railway station with some dummies.

For my reserves, I put the 76L in Pavlov's house with some Guards and the 76* in the Q10 bldg with some infantry support. I put some more units in P1 to help slow down an assualt along the board edge and the rest in the S column with some real cloaks and some dummy cloaks.

I setup my reserves up pretty far back for a couple of reasons. First, I assumed the Germans would make great gains on the first day and wanted to keep my troopers alive as long as possible. So if they're far back, it'll take a while to activate them and thus the Germans would have less time to shoot at them. Second, I wanted the Center to look open to maybe entice the Germans to attack in the middle. Sure, we defend the middle light on purpose but I also assumed they would make good gains. Why not let them make gains but we receive minimal casaulties in the process? This would put us in a stronger position for a night counterattack.

As we start the game, it becomes apparent the Germans are focusing on the South. They have their bombardment there and as they start to expose their setup, it becomes even more apparent. Dr Death is the CO of their Southern force and MikeP is the CO fo the Northern/Central force. A lot of SMOKE is fired and the Germans start their advance.

As mentioned, the main strength seems to be focused on the South. But a company or so moves into the center, heading towards the railway station. As the Russians, we absorb the blows thrown at us and try to break their concealment to have a better idea of what we're dealing with.

For turn 1, the significant action is that we manage to kill a StuG and so far, no Stukas.

In turn 2, Dr D and MikeP confirm that they didn't purchase Stukas. Interesting. In all of the AARs I've read, the German player almost always buys the rotating Stukas and says it really helps keep the Russian player pinned down. Well, I'm sure our crafty opponents have a method to their madness which will become apparent as the CG moves on.

Turn 2 brings up the first instance of Staligrad fun with some CC action which breaks about even. I make my first mistake and leave a unit at Level 1 a little too long. He ends up getting smoked. Meanwhile, I pull my real unit back from the Central rail station and leave some dummies to cover him. One of the dummies gets jumped by a German squad but I win ambush so I withdraw away to be even more distracting. :) I'm trying to lure MikeP into moving into our OBA surprise.

The biggest thing of turn 2 is that the Geramns make their reinforcement dr and a company moves in to the North. I guess I'm gonna have to fight up there after all.

The Germans continue their push in Turn 3. MikeP reaches our OBA surprise in the Center and our barrage goes off perfectly breaking 2.5 squads. For the next 3.5 turns, the barrage really slows things down in the middle. It's not until I pull a 2nd red card in turn 7 that it's gone and the Germans in the middle can effectively cross the street. Great call by Jim on the barrage. :)

The Russians roll double ones on our reinforcement DR and we are quite happy. These guys come up from the South and can be used to help slow down Dr Death's push. A platoon also books it up towards the Center as MikeP is starting to make some progress just South of our Commander's dividing line. With no Stukas we can do this. :)

I'm afraid I had to go deal with a work problem on Turn 4 so I don't have any notes for that night. But as you would expect the German push continued. I'm sure the others will have more to say on about this turn.

By Turn 5 the Germans have made pretty steady progress to about the J row in the North and Center and a little further in the South. Our causalties are moderate being mostly conscripts for me, though I did have have 6-2-8 NKVD unit get vaporized by one of MikeP's deathstars in the Milchhaus complex. Snipers and booby traps (level B) have been pretty quiet so far.

Turns 6-8 see the Germans pushing hard to get as much territory as possible. I end up losing the Milchhaus complex. My NKVD units in K23 end up getting surrounded (and eventually escape) but they did a great job of holding the Germans off. I still hold Pavlov's house as no one got anywhere near it.The perimiter is drawn and it's pretty much a straight line done L-P hex rows. Most of the AARs I've read here have the German's making a big breakthough in one sector to form a big bubble in the perimiter and here is ours being an almost straight line North to South. Very interesting. :)

Jim and I opted for a Night Counterattack which we have started planning. We will pick up 14N on the 28th. It's great playing in a CG again and VotG is looking pretty cool so far. :)

Thanks,
MikeS
 

=FC=Gorgon

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If Jim doesn't post them sooner, I'll post them on Thu night when I can get a copy of the paperwork. I plan on keeping a tab myself so I'll have everything in front of me for future posts.

M
 

Eagle02

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What are the casualties?
Janusz
Ah, Janusz. It's all about the blood isn't it? Here you go:

German Casualties:
1x3-3-8
1x2-3-8
15x4-6-7
2x8-1
1x7-0
1x10-2
2x StuG IIIG
4x StuG IIIb
1xSd kfz 10/5

we calc at 78 CVP

Russian Casualties:
6x NKVD
6x 5-2-7
8x 4-4-7
17.5x 4-2-6
1x 6+1
1x 8-0
2x 9-0
2x T-34
1x crew
1x 82mm mtr (captured)

we calc at 99 CVP for German victory.

Jim
 

Bob Holmstrom

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Great AAR. Thanks for posting.

A couple of things:

I note that you set up a 76L in Pavlov's house. Note that it would have to be fortified to do so and that the gun can't be moved. You probably know that but just throwing that out there.

Also, 99-78 CVP is a russian victory not a german one. The germans have to get a 2-1 CVP advantage to win for the initial scenario.

Lastly, no stukas?!? Big mistake for the Germans on Day 1. Without stukas hovering about, the russians can freely shift their defense.
 

Eagle02

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I note that you set up a 76L in Pavlov's house. Note that it would have to be fortified to do so and that the gun can't be moved. You probably know that but just throwing that out there.

***Why? It's not on L1. I see B23.93

Also, 99-78 CVP is a russian victory not a german one. The germans have to get a 2-1 CVP advantage to win for the initial scenario.

***Ah, yes. Thank you. We missed that at 0300 when we wrapped up. Man, that was a late night!

Lastly, no stukas?!? Big mistake for the Germans on Day 1. Without stukas hovering about, the russians can freely shift their defense.

***This was huge. I rolled snakes for our reinforcements DR from the southern board edge in R3. Totally shut down the German board edge land grab. The KV-1s went right into overrunning and cutting off those German squads and then reinforced the fight against 3 StuGs. I waxed 2 StuGs in J47 and J48 and a HMG shot made one recall from I46. I managed to regain all the way up to the Theater.
 

rdw5150

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Lastly, no stukas?!? Big mistake for the Germans on Day 1. Without stukas hovering about, the russians can freely shift their defense.
Agreed great AAR!

Thanks!

I also agree its a huge mistake for the Germans not to take the Stukas on the Sept 14th Day attack. The scenario will go the complete 8 turns and to me its a no brainer.

Those KVs that entered would have had all sorts of problems if the Stukas were about. I kept my KVs off board and will dig them in, using HIP.

Peace

Roger
 

Eagle02

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Here's how it looked in the southern sector. I figured the MLCOA was a German schwerpunkt in the south so I my expectations were to get my butt kicked and try and hold it together. I had a thin line of pickett squads up front with some dummies. The defense was organized in depth. My roadblocks were in I46/ca6, L39/CA6, L33/CA5, and L35/CA6. First fights were to revolve around the Children's House and the theater. I figured they'd be busted up by turn 3 and we'd be fighting on the "K" hexrow. The second layer of defense had a historic fanatic strong point in the Nail Factory. I had HIP guns in L1 in S39 (76*)and U44 (76L). Another HIP 76L in CC38. My only HMG was in K44 cellar w/a 4-4-7/8-1. Commissar Sullichenko was the rallying point in L44. IIRC there were maybe 6x4-2-6s and 2-3 NKVD holding the center for me. My T-34s were all HIP in I45/ca5, L47/ca5, and J42/CA6. The 82mm mortar was HIP in L36.1 (crappy spot in retrospect but it looked liked it wa in LOS defilade and covered the road).

I survived the barrage well enough b/c I had almost everyone in the cellar locations rather than ground floor. My only real loss taht I recall was a broke squad who Sullichenko promptly rallied. G1 the Germans smoked the heck out of everything they could. Dummies bought me time but the jig was up by G3 and they were well into a shooting match in the far south. I wasted the first StuG IIIG early in the game w/a CH from the HIP T-34 in I45. He promptly pulls back hull down behind the wall in M46. 2 more StuGs pull up for the chase to I46 and J48. THe German infantry is right with them, take the Theater and push east. There's a standoff among the armor until G5. That's when my KV-1 reinforcemnts can really get into he armor fight there. I shock the StuG in J48. A Stug IIIB came up in J49 and I tag him by mid-game. My HMG in the cellar blasted a 7-0 OBA observor off the theater roof and recalled the CE StuG in I45. Dr. Death was bobbing and weaving the StuGs. I was shooting at him from all sides and he pulled all the stops to keep me facing his best AF but with luck and mass I did much better. The beauty was that the StuGs never got to fill their primary role of supporting the infantry.

Further north I don't have as much clear success. The German infantry can throw their weight around a lot better in rows 44 thru 26 against me., and they do. Dr. Death is a aggressive player who knows how to push the German infantry. I am typically able to skulk, blast some decent D1F/SFF, and rout for turns 5-8 back to hex rows S/T. I can't complain. I did not always do as well in CC as I would've liked. I tried to keep it normal instead of HtH so as to waste time. Sometimes it didn't work. My HIP 76L in CC38 got a beautiful long range hit/KO on a StuG IIIB who bogged in L30.

The Nail Factory held for about 2 turns with a NKVD, 4-2-6, 9-0 holding down the fort. The NKVD even survived one 36 FP +4-2 shot but by G6 they were done. Couldn't survive 2 of those! The 76L in U44 did a good job breaking up a death star who moved into the street but there were too many Germans. I also got a pair of encirclement shots on a 9-1/548 in M41 and then M40. The second shot CR'd the 5-4-8 but made the 9-1 berserk.

It is difficult getting to those 8ML German troops so far b/c the Russians haven't had a lot of FP to mass. I like to take more lower FP shots and leave a lot of resid. The barrage was very nice to see being so effective. As an artillery officer, I love to see that!

Those are my highlights. It has been a blast. Looking forward to more!
 

pward

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76L is an ART, and normal size. So it's not allowed in a building unless it's fortified.

23.423 GUNS: No weapon depicted on a 5/8" counter may occupy an upper level of a building [EXC: Mortars (23.85); Fortified Building (23.93)]. A non-vehicular weapon on a 5/8" counter may be set up or pushed into a building/rubble only if it is either a small target (C2.271) or an AT/INF Gun that is not a large target. Mortar fire, and MG/Gun attacks vs Aerial targets, are not allowed from a non-rooftop building Location.​

If you did fortify it per B23.93, setup is allowed, but moving it during play or between scenarios is not.
 

Eagle02

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76L is an ART, and normal size. So it's not allowed in a building unless it's fortified.

23.423 GUNS: No weapon depicted on a 5/8" counter may occupy an upper level of a building [EXC: Mortars (23.85); Fortified Building (23.93)]. A non-vehicular weapon on a 5/8" counter may be set up or pushed into a building/rubble only if it is either a small target (C2.271) or an AT/INF Gun that is not a large target. Mortar fire, and MG/Gun attacks vs Aerial targets, are not allowed from a non-rooftop building Location.​

If you did fortify it per B23.93, setup is allowed, but moving it during play or between scenarios is not.
Now I see what you are getting at. Thanks! I know we hosed this up for 2 gun locations so we'll see what our partners want as an equitible arrangement. Jim
 

pward

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They would be OK in Factory locations, per O5.6 which is referenced from V6.1 for VotG Factories. Unfortunately, neither Pavlov's house, U44, nor CC38 are factories... so that's three invalid locations if you didn't fortify them.
 

Bob Miller

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Looks like you need to spend some Sept 14th night FP points on fortifications to rectify that slight boo-boo.

Great AAR. The partner approach. A lot more tough on the attacking Germans than the Russians from my experience. But if the German team can agree on daily and overall objectives and where the forces should be concetrated, they could pull this off.

Team play should make the game faster and allow each side to play a tighter game as each player has less to remember and control. Plus it's always funner to have a partner (cue Psycho here.......) Make plans, bounce ideas off each other, project the purchasing sequence, etc.

Just woe to the partner who takes command of the side's 10-3 and gets him killed the first time he moves the leader. Take a routine 4+2 IFT resulting in a NMC, zing... a 12, pow, a 6 on the wound severity. My partner at the time wasn't too happy with the course of that event.

The barrage on the "J" road seems like a interesting idea. Russian defense did the classic "barbell" defense that seems to be the norm. Protect the north and south and give up the middle. I feel that if the Germans commited to attack south (bought bombardments in that area like this team did) they should have went all in and utilized 95% of their at start troops to accomplish that endevour. Anything less is playing fair with the Russians. Playing fair will make your CVP suffered equal to the Russians. That's not how you win this CG.
 

Eagle02

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It's nice to have someone to share the triumphs and challenges with. Talking smack is that much more fun too. Of course the points you make are also very true about playing a faster, tighter game.

The main German provided force has to enter b/t hexrows 20 and 40. I think that makes it a little more difficult for them to shift their focus off to the north or south. Most of the Germans we faced came head on thru the rail yard and that terrain is brutal. Lots of bogged StuGs. I think they expected us to fight much further forward than we did b/c they smoked everything they could. That all costs a lot of time.

The pre-reg for the barrage was actually on I21. The thought being that the Germans will stop and set up a base of fire along the I hexrow to shoot the guys in K. They did exactly that! Twice we adjusted the FFE:2 just to let it drift b/c it was always going to hit something good (either the brokies in row H, shooters in row I, or movers in row J).

I'm actually more looking forward to 15D. I expect an even angrier, more aggressive German attack after the 14th.
 

=FC=Gorgon

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I'm actually more looking forward to 15D. I expect an even angrier, more aggressive German attack after the 14th.
\

Yes, I expect an angry attack on 15D; especially if things go well for us on 14N. We are not doing a phony war. For those who have seen Dr Death pissed off, you know what I mean. I haven't seen MikeP pissed off yet, but I imagine it won't be pretty. :)

But as others have suggested, I suspect we'll have to spend some FPPs to make up for our boo-boo; which affects what we had planned to spend already. Oh well. :)

We discovered another mistake during refit where we rolled for the tanks which apparently we shouldn't have done yet (since we're doing a 14N). But I believe our agreement is to not setup the tanks affected for this scenario, however. Live and learn.

I'm pumped for our next session (tomorrow). I will personally try to post some news as it happens, but it might be 'light' as I won't want to give any tactics just yet.

M
 

janusz.maxe

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I've tried to understand the flow of this scenario, but there are some things I have to ask.
I rolled snakes for our reinforcements DR from the southern board edge in R3. Totally shut down the German board edge land grab. The KV-1s went right into overrunning and cutting off those German squads and then reinforced the fight against 3 StuGs. I waxed 2 StuGs in J47 and J48 and a HMG shot made one recall from I46. I managed to regain all the way up to the Theater.
(I think you mean firestation, the theater is about 10 hexes to the east, IIRC)?
Huh? Had the Germans on three turns advanced past the firestation? Was the advancedcompletely unopposed? My German opponent got his southern reinforcements in turn 6, and barely took the firestation by turn 8.

The tactic of defending in depth seems not to have worked very well. The German losses are significant, I'll give you that, but the territory lost is huge. The Germans are ready to attack the Univermag or Pavlov's. I would have thought that a defence based on the K-row, that the Germans only reach by turn 3 would hold. But the block behind the children's home is lost, as is the Milchouse. Whew! And I thought I lost a lot of terrain on my initial scenario. OTOH, the casualties were 122-65.

Janusz
 

rdw5150

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The tactic of defending in depth seems not to have worked very well. The German losses are significant, I'll give you that, but the territory lost is huge. The Germans are ready to attack the Univermag or Pavlov's. I would have thought that a defence based on the K-row, that the Germans only reach by turn 3 would hold. But the block behind the children's home is lost, as is the Milchouse. Whew! And I thought I lost a lot of terrain on my initial scenario. OTOH, the casualties were 122-65.

Janusz
Hi!

I think the russians look in great shape. They bloodied the Germans pretty badly and did not give up nearly as much land I see in normal 14D end perimiters.

Considering the Russian forces are not near as good on the 14th as they are for the rest of the CG, I think he is in good shape.

Plus he can attack at Night (no one seems to do, I tactic I do not understand) and take back a section of the map.

I remember when VotG came out, Tom mentioned to expect a huge break out for the Germans, maybe reaching the river by day end.

In my CG, the perimiter is about the same (he took a little more in the South) but Russian losses were staggering in the 14D scenario. I took back a bunch of the middle in the 14N scenario.

Just MHO of course. Seems like these CG tend to end early. Anyone else notice that?

Peace

roger
 

PZchala

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Great stuff by our Russian comrade/enemies. Not much time to comment in-depth, but as the German commander largely responsible for the failure of the Luftwaffe to show up on day one, I will only say that we did indeed make a huge error. Dr Death and I both came to quick realization of what we could of done to the southern flank Russian reinforcments and their maurading AFV's if we had Stuka's screaming down on them. Not to mention 9th of January square, which was well-zeroed in by all those illegal guns! :D
 

Eagle02

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I've tried to understand the flow of this scenario, but there are some things I have to ask.

(I think you mean firestation, the theater is about 10 hexes to the east, IIRC)?
Huh? Had the Germans on three turns advanced past the firestation? Was the advancedcompletely unopposed? My German opponent got his southern reinforcements in turn 6, and barely took the firestation by turn 8.

The tactic of defending in depth seems not to have worked very well. The German losses are significant, I'll give you that, but the territory lost is huge. The Germans are ready to attack the Univermag or Pavlov's. I would have thought that a defence based on the K-row, that the Germans only reach by turn 3 would hold. But the block behind the children's home is lost, as is the Milchouse. Whew! And I thought I lost a lot of terrain on my initial scenario. OTOH, the casualties were 122-65.

Janusz
Fire station - that sounds right. I did not defend it for very long. It maybe 2x4-4-7s and 6+1 in it until turn 3ish. A Death star and a long of movers were able to get past it fairly quickly. IIRC I couldn't throw out enough resid to cover all the mvt. I have the T3 photos that I'll post as soon as I can find the cable and it should make it clearer.

I never intended to fight too long in the Children's Home. I thought this would only serve to play to the German's strengths. They had us in numbers of squads and available firepower. I figured I'd waste their time for 1-2 turns there and bug out. Mike fought longer up near the Milchhaus. He didn't leave it until the last night of play when he finally was outnumbered.

I can't say I'm unhappy with where we are position and loss wise. I was afraid the Germans would push through to row W on day 1. I fully expected the Univermag would be on the front line on 15D. We also managed to not lose any 76Ls or 76* guns b/c they were far enough back.

We'll see - the game is young and it's all good.
 
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