Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Jeremy Mac Donald » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:39 am

Axis South West Front Turn 40
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“Such subtle covenants shall be made, till peace itself is war in masquerade.”
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby xandamere » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:36 am

Turn 40:

Replacements back to 75%. I mentioned Mexico as a trouble spot last turn...and Jeremy managed to surround and destroy an armored division down there. I think he killed a Mexican tank division, too. Maybe I should listen to myself. Overall, though, a very quiet turn. Jeremy's getting ready to come across the Mississippi and strike into the heartland, and basically that's what the game will come down to. Frankly I think the Axis have lost at this point barring a catastrophic mistake on my part, but the one real hope for victory is to break out into the Midwest and win a significant tactical victory (i.e. not just a slow and steady pushing back like happened in our last match). My entire strategy in this match has been "don't lose a big battle," and as long as I can keep doing that, I don't see how the Axis win.

Annoyingly, I get a 1-rounder this turn, which means a lot fewer counterattacks than normal. Because of annoying positioning around New York as well as some threats in Mexico, this is a particularly bad turn for this to happen, though I feel like I can’t really complain too much as it’s been ages since I’ve had one (I can’t even remember, frankly).

Allied lines out west are starting to thicken a bit (trying to avoid just having a single thin line behind the river) and armored reserves are rested and ready to fight:

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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Jeremy Mac Donald » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:09 pm

Turn 41
Not a great turn despite Matt having a one rounder. Matt says it was a really bad turn to only get one round but I can't figure out why. Seems to me it was the perfect turn for the Allies to get such bad luck. Nothing critical needed to be counter attacked nor was a critical operation under way. My guess is there was a big stack of Allied units and an HQ in Mexico that would have been vulnerable if I happened to have fully supplied Panzers down here...but I don't. In fact the Axis attack in Mexico is far less then what I really would have hoped for. My units are wearing out and the advance is slowing. I might manage to get something going again when more Italians arrive, but I don't really think they are either of good enough quality or actually numerous enough to make a big impact. Maybe I find a way to pull units off the line to resupply them? I could almost see something coming together where the Italians take up enough of the line to allow the Finns and 2nd Axis Corp to get back up to snuff and turn into solid units again.

In the East the damage to my armies is really on display. For the first time I have a chance to push forward without having been really shoved back to my start line in the previous turn, but the advances are very modest. My armies are a wreck. This is especially the case at Boston where I am sure that I am attacking an Allied Army stronger than my own. I keep it up in part because attack is kind of the only option. The way artillery is working if you stop you get blown back every turn. Attack has become the best, really the only, form of defence. You can stalemate but really only where both sides agree (i.e. Neither has meaningful amounts of artillery in the area).

Japanese keep moving up to the front. Everything is not perfect, but I think next turn is the moment when I start the big attack across the Mississippi. I think I have reached the point where delaying any longer is making perfect the enemy of good. I have at least 5 offensives ready to kick off. That I can probably find the forces for two others is to start later is pretty much fine. Rail line is still too far back but the rest of the rail repair is just about to arrive, and I can't imagine my advance will be that fast.

Spread shifts hard in Matt's favour this turn. Not sure what is up with that as another 500 of my excess rifle squads flow into my Divisions. I guess the 75% replacement rate is making itself felt.

Turn 41.png
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Axis and Allies trade hexs behind the artillery every turn. Here an Allied early turn ending means a few extra hexs fall to the Axis
“Such subtle covenants shall be made, till peace itself is war in masquerade.”
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby xandamere » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:11 am

Turn 41:

At last, my recon event fires and my theater recon rises to a useful level! So nice to be able to see more of what’s going on. One of the things I see is that Jeremy is absolutely going to cut off Mexico. Like, all of it. It’ll take a little while still, probably, but he’s sending Italians west to the Pacific coast, and with just 1 rail line connecting Mexico, he could cut it with an airdrop at any time. I’m really pondering this now….do I want to pull back and let him just have Mexico? In addition to losing a major industrial city (and a bunch of VPs), I also lose a lot of units that will mobilize down there. The Mexicans are not the best units in the world, but there sure are a lot of them. I need to choose, and soon, if I want to fight to the death down in Mexico and risk losing a pile of units, or if I want to pull out.

This game is weird because on a tactical level I feel like I’m doing just fine, but on a strategic level I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just sort of defending everywhere Jeremy is attacking and trying not to lose any significant battles. I really don’t know what to do in Mexico and if it makes sense to hold on down there or try and retreat...I think I’m going to try and hold on, even though it’s hard for me to get reinforcements down there, because I feel like it must be equally hard for Jeremy to get reinforcements there as well (especially at this late stage in the match when he can’t be landing much...besides the giant pile of Japanese infantry divisions which I haven’t seen yet). In any case, I can’t really abandon Mexico just yet, as too many units are reorging...I’ll think on it again next turn, though I’m leaning towards fighting for it. To be clear here I'm pretty sure I'm winning, but what I mean by this is I feel like I don't really have a core strategy other than "don't lose a ton of units anywhere."

Otherwise not much going on - just the normal counterattacks. One thing of note is that my airfield bombardments seem to be lacking in effectiveness compared to our last match, and I’m wondering why that is. It could be that Jeremy is doing a better job of keeping his air units overlapping so I can’t pick off isolated ones. It could be the Japanese air force is a massive help there, as well, as they’re largely made up of longer-range fighters and can extend coverage significantly. It could also be that I have been so aggressive with my air force in this match and that I just don’t have the combat power to really hammer the Luftwaffe right now. I decide to compare to our last match. On turn 41 in this match I have 5,400 late Mustangs, 2000 late Thunderbolts, and 2100 King Cobras, along with of course a pile of earlier war fighters (2600 early Thunderbolts, 1700 total P-40s, 2000 P-39s, etc.). Call it about 9500 late-war fighters and slightly fewer early war fighters. In our previous match, despite having a significcantly lower replacement rate for most of the game, on turn 41 I had 5900 late Mustangs, 2400 late Thunderbolts, though only 1600 King Cobras...but that’s still about 400 more late war fighters despite a lower overall replacement rate for most of the match. Have I been pushing my air force too hard in this one? My turn by turn replacement rate isn’t that meaningful to my air force, unfortunately….it’s only something like 250 to 300 or so total fighters of all types, so between 1-2% of my total fighter strength in replacements each turn (to contrast, a newly-mustered fighter unit has 500 or so planes). So, it’s not as if I can just sit back and rest a bit in order to recover my strength, but I do think that I need to be much more careful about how I’m using my fighters - maybe I cannot simply bludgeon the Luftwaffe into submission (or if I can, it might just take far too long to be meaningful).

Boston, where a counterattack has cut off a couple of Axis units (I want to note, by the way, that Jeremy seems to feel the only good defense is a good offense in this version of TOAW....but I have a lot of fortified units here. I think the only good defense is both a defense AND an offense, with some fortified units to create a hard-to-move line but also a lot of counterattacks as well):

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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Ben Turner » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:44 pm

xandamere wrote:Turn 41:

At last, my recon event fires and my theater recon rises to a useful level! So nice to be able to see more of what’s going on. One of the things I see is that Jeremy is absolutely going to cut off Mexico. Like, all of it.


This is one of the things I love about an AAR: when the two players have a completely different picture of how things are going to develop. I don't think Jeremy has any such intention- unless I've missed something.
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby xandamere » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:28 am

Ben Turner wrote:This is one of the things I love about an AAR: when the two players have a completely different picture of how things are going to develop. I don't think Jeremy has any such intention- unless I've missed something.


At this point I was trying to think like Jeremy and figure out where I could get a large tactical victory, and what I thought was...Mexico. The Allies have supply from Mexico City and then from one rail line running along the west coast, so 3 airborne divisions could feasibly cut supply to the entire country - one on the rail line, 2 to surround Mexico City itself. Bam, a large Allied army is out of supply, the Japanese could force a landing at Tampico and/or Vera Cruz with their naval support to help, and a large Allied army is killed off while also blocking a lot of future reinforcements from entering.
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Ben Turner » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:37 am

xandamere wrote:At this point I was trying to think like Jeremy and figure out where I could get a large tactical victory, and what I thought was...Mexico. The Allies have supply from Mexico City and then from one rail line running along the west coast, so 3 airborne divisions could feasibly cut supply to the entire country - one on the rail line, 2 to surround Mexico City itself. Bam, a large Allied army is out of supply, the Japanese could force a landing at Tampico and/or Vera Cruz with their naval support to help, and a large Allied army is killed off while also blocking a lot of future reinforcements from entering.


Yikes. That would certainly be annoying, however;
1) most of your units in Mexico must have high supply and so cutting them off for one turn would not be fatal
2) you can mitigate against this by positioning some units out along the rail line from Mexico City. A couple of Mexican divisions in fortified status should make this prohibitive.
3) I think there's a 20% supply point in Guatemala?
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Jeremy Mac Donald » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:47 am

One of the things I see is that Jeremy is absolutely going to cut off Mexico. Like, all of it. It’ll take a little while still, probably, but he’s sending Italians west to the Pacific coast, and with just 1 rail line connecting Mexico, he could cut it with an airdrop at any time.

That that spine of mountains and super rough terrain that that bisects Mexico is pretty close to impassible. If it was open plains or maybe just hills or something I could sweep over it and cut the rail link but in reality its a barrier. What is actually happening is that I am trying to clear out your irregulars and Mexican units that pop up in the small cities around here as you do have a small army in the area. If I can do that then I don't have to keep a sizable force of Italians guarding this long line and will free up a reasonable chunk of Italian units for use else ware.
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby Jeremy Mac Donald » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:01 am

Turn 42
Well this is a frustrating turn. I launch the big western attack that I have been preparing for so long and suffer a 1 rounder. Extremely annoying...Not that Matt should be surprised by the attack but I am not sure he recognized its size. It always felt like he never really sent much extra to the West. Now he knows where all the attacks are coming from. I guess we will see how he reacts.

Meanwhile the situation continues to deteriorate in the East. Two more Infantry Divisions evaporate simply because they have been so hollowed out. The attack in the West will make this worse as well as the East must be getting by far the lions share of the replacements with things so quiet in the West. Around Boston I find myself looking at how I might be able to defend but it is a real problem as the way artillery works really the only defence is to constantly counterattack. Despite the fact that the Richmond line is not exactly in great shape I move to shift a solid Division from here up to Boston to try and stave off a collapse that appears ever closer each turn. The early turn ending here is a danger in that a Panzer Division is caught over extended and might be cut off and destroyed.

The Richmond Offensive see's a minor shift of the front as Matt actually pulls back slightly near the coast and I follow up. That said with a lost turn Matt might well manage to push me back pretty far in other parts of this front.

In the West I launch my big attack but of course there is no follow up.

Finally, in Mexico Matt makes a solid push which gets some counter attacks. Here there is a big deal as Matt cuts the rail line with some snuck through rail units through the cut is pretty far south along the Mexican line. Supplies to the Mexican forces is not great but these units are not over extended or anything. I had railed some Italians down here last turn so they have contained these guys and I rail a rail repair unit back here to fix the line. This is an annoyance but not a crisis...though supplies in Mexico seem to be a big issue with my units – unlike the East where supply is usually OK and readiness is shot.

Turn 42.png
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[Given that there is not much to show for the other parts of my turn here is a shot of Mexico. The rail line near the Pacific that Matt is concerned about but which I can't actually cut except with suicidal airborne. I'm trying to kill off the small number of Mexican irregulars and Gurilla's in the area and manage to clear the area out - up along the road we see what happens when I miss some. Matt never really stops trying to sneak forces through to cut the line but this match (unlike the last) I have mostly managed to catch the infiltrators before they cut the line. This does have a pretty serious impact on Mexico however. My troops down there were already a little worn out and with no rail repair on hand it will be a few turns before they get any supply. My goal of 'kill enough Mexicans that don't reconstitute to maybe make something happen down here' is significantly delayed.]
“Such subtle covenants shall be made, till peace itself is war in masquerade.”
―John Dryden
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Re: Fall Grau 2.25 Jeremy (Axis) v.s. Matt (Allies) Match 5

Postby xandamere » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:24 am

My thought was that you would indeed use the airborne to cut the rail line after spreading out into the desert enough to mean anything in Mexico would actually be unsupplied (and thus attrit) instead of just overextended.
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