Initial Disposition of The Wermacht in 1942. Are we thinking clearly here?

Today is the day that I attempt to start GD’42. After a crushing week at work, full of dissapointments and disheartening news, I am going to lose myself in this game for the weekend. Lets see what happens.

I will be relying on you dear reader to point out more optimal locations, better thought out plans, and all the things I am missing! I am in a bit of a funk and kinda cloudy headed today. But it was this or stay in bed.
Lets take a look at the map shall we?

The German Player

Firstly! Our opponent. Note the white skin, pockmarked with the ravages of war, the warlike slit eyes, prominent chin and mealy thin lipped grimace. phew..eww he looks scary.

The entire map and German dispositions

But has he thought through his defense?

Looks deeply set back from here. Lets take a closer look. All units are in Dug in slots, the Platoon in the middle of the minefield looks a bit unusual. The Soviets may end up being funneled here if they are not careful. The plan appears to be to draw the soviets into a trap that will flank them and allow their superior numbers to be mitigated.

The Bridge and Mill area.

There appear to be 2 layers to the defense as well. First a company on the front end, maybe positioned to soften up or weaken the enemy as they approach?  Or are they covering the Woods road? A second deeper layer with more crossfires and infantry guns, AT and MG positions.  Lets look from another angle.

The German center viewed from the rear.

If the weather is snowy all these units are in interlocking fields of fire, as range for visibility will be 3.  Nice, what will happen with clear weather?

Ouch look at that stack of mortars hidden in the woods.  Is this a shoot and scoot defense or a stand and die defense?

Looks kind stand and die to me?

What do you think?

South Western portion of the map

Down in Kataskaya …. No one in the city? Not sure this is wise. Perhaps he is afraid of the rocket attacks?  He will lose defensive benefits from the buildings no doubt. Once again the mines and unit placement are aimed at maximizing overwatch opportunities and crossfire shots.

Not looking strong here!

These units have their work cut out if the Russians head this way.

Travino area looks tough!

At first the German player had thought that Travino was not able to be defended closely. A re read allows units to be WEST of hex row 18, an and NORTH of the river.

Time for the Soviets to get on the board.

7 thoughts on “Initial Disposition of The Wermacht in 1942. Are we thinking clearly here?

  1. Gontcharova is almost empty. I think that is a big mistake as it is on a MSR. having your nazi units dugin in the open instead of in buildings is a mistake.

    the Soviet preplanned barrages from the Katys are wildly inaccurate and you should not avoid built up areas just because of them. the other big guns can hurt but protective is a lot better than open terrain. i recall that the only protective terrain is in the “larger” villages.

    the buildings are better terrain and dugin units in the buildings are harder to spot.

    i don’t understand your placement of some minefields.

    i also think the bn of the GD is defending too far back. are you trying a reverse slope only defense with them?

    also, you can use the TRP’s for calling nazi arty fire so try to make sure you have units (as FOO’s) in woods (or buildings) on the high ground so you can spot all the TRP’s. that lets you use the nazi arty to pound the soviets as they move up.

  2. Re open units. I was unaware of the scale of scatter! Trying to be too clever I guess.
    Gonch’ is a op sheet fail point, I would institute a HD there or a PD there if given the time. knowing that I Battalion is onits way to secure and move/PD woods west of and Smolkovo proper as of 8.20 from Vasil’tsova. Now that we know the Russian intent.

    Correct on partial v full protective.

    The idea with recessed defense was to draw the soviets into the ‘crucible’. However the offense is focussed not on Vasil’tsova but on Noviki as first Op Sheet target, one of three choices. That target was chosen by poll on BGG. Remember I’m rolling solo.
    Plus its my first big major campaign not destroyed by a cat.,,,,so far.

    I put minefields on opposite side of rivers/streams, near Karaskaya, they all have LOS and under 3 hex range if snow.

    I’m still learning TRPs, but I understand your point.

    Great comments again sta tuned for a vid on road network for your thoughts.

  3. The trees are insanely tall … look out for them with LOS, especially across the river!

    I have to roll with Perry on his general analysis of the defense. The mines near the Mill are too far back … Overall, if you want to draw someone into a shooting gallery, you put the mine in front of the flanks to make going down the middle more attractive. If you put mine in the middle, it makes smashing the flanks attractive.

    How did you decide on the placement of the mines in Karskaya? I think I see the pattern, but I’m not sure.

  4. Hmmm with only 4 mines layering the flanks was not feasible.There is a gap in the center as a temptation covered by IG and mg’s. However I see your point. Clearly lucky for me WWII was not left to me to position troops.

    The set back was my attempt at drawing in the Russian. Fighting in the open plain seemed to invite more artillery, more troops, per hex, where they are now they are layered a little, so less troops can get at each layer.

    If as the Soviets you want to try and go around thru the woods I’m cool with that, in snow impossible for tanks and extra mps for the foot. well thats how I was thinking of it anyway.

    Gotta start somewhere I suppose.

    Oh and Ethan are the trees not the same height as rest of TCS? 20M? Or do you mean relative to other features>?

  5. I just mean relative to other features. Those intermediate elevation levels are only 10 meters. The trees in 33.34, for example, go as high as 240m, which blocks the LOS from the AA guns in Bogorditskoe to all of the Tarkhovo hill from Tarkhovo south. (OK, I’d have to check the precise LOS for each hex, but I’m pretty sure …) Similar problems for the flak up in Vasil’tsova. Those 88s *really* want to be firing at long range so that the Red Army can’t fire back effectively. Being a B-0 target stinks.

    My $0.02.

  6. I just looked more closely at the road net. making Noviki your main “center” thrust puts you in a position where you have no MSR until the soviet right wing forces clear both Karskaya and Goncharova. all of them add up to 4 vp’s but what next? where do you go from Noviki?

    the main road net south of the river only opens up at Gorovatka. west of there we see only one MSR route back to the west edge.

    i think the Soviets need to plan a day ahead. that way they pay attn to the road net and the vp locations. with the slower command prep rating, they need to think way ahead.

    it is hard for me to tell from the pic exactly where the GB bn is defending but the Tarkhovo ridge runs south from 23.31. i think it is very important for the nazis to have FOO’s atop the ridge. there is a lot of open ground tot he west of the ridge line.

  7. Perry, click the images to get them full-sized (or right-click and then select to view in a new window or a new tab). You can make out a lot of detail in the original photos.

    Historically, the towns the Soviets took on the first day were all in the south: Karskaya, Noviki, and Goncharova. Two “center” thrusts at Noviki and Goncharova opens the possibility of trapping all of III-GrR 216, SA 186, and 3 Pio 186. The MSR is pretty secure because of its “L” shape and sheer distance from the main German forces (counter-attacking Karskaya is … risky).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.