Post Mortem 4man Op Typhoon

So what happened today?

Operation Typhoon was played by 4 guys. One person had played twice, one had played several times in their youth, I had played (sort of se AAR) twice and one person had their first exposure.

See snippetts and videos in links below.

The two least experienced players myself and Brady had the task of capturing Moscow. We actually decided to go the encirclement route with Kilgores modified rules and errata.

The 3rd and 4th Panzer armies were commanded by me. Playing the role of Reinhardt and Hoepner. While Brady took the open battlefields and Little Moscow with 2nd Panzer and 4th Army lead by Guderian and Von Kluge.

Our first mistake was to allow me any points for support for the 3rd Panzer Army. We should have left it with zero points and let it shuffle forward unsupported and out of supply and allocated that extra support point to one of Brady’s armies, for the first 5 turns, especially given what happened. At start Brady was missing 2 Corps. This hurt his initial offense.

I think challenges existed for Brady with the unique combat system of modifiers. As some of you know the Germans receive a Column shift for Divisional Integrity (DI) where an entire division is present in the attack, and also if a Panzer Battalion (PB) is present a column shift for them as well.

That combined with some large chit draws for strength (units start with no strength you pull from a cup to see what your strength is based on type of unit and morale, a narrower good range for Germans, a wider exceptionally good and exceptionally bad range for Soviets i.e. from 1 – 20 however most are 4-5 factors.) by Peter as the Southern most Soviet player really messed up some divisions early with key losses of PB’s in turn 1 and turn 2. Tula held for 4 turns. On the 5th turn we had a net 16 VPs.

In the North some good attacks got us off on the right foot and a combined Panzer division /Infantry Division attack in two areas forces some early losses and small break throughs. However given the terrain we had trouble capitalizing.  Cisco the Norther Soviet leader Lelyushenko and kurkin (Ithink) proceeded to advance past my stacked closely knit formations and attempt supply blocks and even the odd counter attack. This left no choice but to pause, and atack at un attractive odds several times. Such that by Turn 6, the 46th Panzer had suffered losses, and several infantry regiments were reduced. More cautious play (i.e. if I was unsupported I would have held back a bit) would have resulted in a better outcome I think.

Step loss count in Regiments and Bns and Steps.

Then the challenge became stretching the Soviet line, lots of momentum was lost as the 57th, 9th and 7th all veered from one lane to the other as they headed or tried to head East. Killing units in their wake but advancing sideways with Moscows fortified defense just 4-6 hexes away!! Frustrating. The 40th Corp made good strides forward.

By the end of turn 7 however this was the result:

net 31 VPS including Tula (10) + 6 cities.

19 regiments or Bns lost by Germany.

25 Brigades or Divisions lost by Soviets.

13 Fresh Divisions about to enter!

Southern map:

Northern section:

I think also that the Northern sector needs to consolidate it efforts more, bringing more combined arms effort to a single or two closer points rather than the approach I took here. Cisco played a wily defense, at first I was annoyed by  a sole cav unit willing going out of supply to try and block my supply. Then the trickle became a flood, I had left too much line too porous. The strong A graded units, began picking fights with my regiments who were trying to hold the line.  Rescuing those cost me an entire division.

So  after looking hard at our potential to break thru and do some damage, we agreed that the South was spent. The North was ok but challenged by a deepening defense and bad terrain. Thus it seemed we were doomed to 2-3 more grindy turns.

After everyone left I did the step loss count above, and it confirmed what we thought. Too many losses across too many units. With the majority of the 24th Panzer kerput, and significant chunks of 12 and 13th Inf hurting little was going to budge in the South.

Now… while its out the temptation is strong to play again solo!

[EDIT] – Northern Soviet player (Cisco)

The thing about this game is there really isn’t any overrun capability. So that means even a 1 point unit can limit panzer divisions to a one hex advance. By putting weak road blocks in front of “schwerpunkt”s, the concentrated German drives can be blunted.
In the northern area (Kevin’s area) he made about two of these schwerpunkts. And by concentrating so much combat power in small areas, it left the areas between them weaker than they otherwise would have been, and I was able to repeatedly get units behind the Germans and run and stomp on the supply lines. I think that maybe a better strategy is to spread out the combat power into 4 or 5 main drives, while making sure the Russkies can’t get behind the German lines. And to try to get two high odds attacks coordinated so that if you can get breakthrus on both of them, it will enable the Germans to trap small pockets of Russians repeatedly. Although several “breakthroughs” did happen, I don’t think there was any great advantage that came out of them.
And Kevin often maxxed out the chart on combat by having many shifts due to armor and divisional integrity. Maybe it would have been better to have like 10 attacks around 6-1, rather than have 4 attacks at 9-1, a turn.
Sure, the schwerpunkts made progress – but eventually they had to stop being “schwerpunkts”, and attack to the sides and rear (away from Moscow) to try to stabilize the front, and regain their supply lines. Which gave the Soviets time to get more reinforcements and released units sent to the front, while the German panzer divisions were running around like keystone cops trying to put out a fire.
And I’m not too sure about the towns giving victory points – it seemed the main effect of that was to get Soviet reserves released earlier.
We do need a rematch, with switched sides, to see if what I think is of any value, or if I’m just full of hot air.
I didn’t pay much attention to what was happening down south, but the way I’ve played that area before was to bypass Tula, leaving it surrounded with mediocre troops, and using the panzer divisions to try to trap Russians. Clear out the area, then deal with Tula later. I did notice that Brady had an amazing capability of making the exact roll needed get that one “A” result in the columns repeatedly.

See link for videos:

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