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Spud007

Rep: 58.5
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:07 pm Post subject: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

A brief after action report on a head to head GC in the TLD Kharkov 42 Mod
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Spud007

Rep: 58.5
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:38 pm Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

TLD Second Battle of Kharkov Mod V2.3

Spud007 – Soviets
Excellancy – Axis

15 minute Battles. Line Settings. Force Morale On. 2min VL rule.



We have just finished a H2H Grand Campaign. It began about 2 years ago and thanks to the Pandemic and all the associated lock downs, we were able to reach the end on Dec 31 2021. The result: Major German Victory.
At the start the Soviets had just about all the South East corner of the Strategic Map except for the corner map of Sloviansk, and only entry on Balakleia and the maps north of it. By the end all we had left in the South was half the Izyum map, but we did have a small rump of about 5 maps worth of territory in the North East. Our total number of BattleGroups had been whittled down to a total 10 left standing on the field. Amount of tanks we had left was probably 3 KVs and 4 or 5 T34s between all our remaining BGs. We were done!

At our highest point, about 7-8 days into the GC, we reached Merefa on the outskirts of Kharkov, Vodolaga in the West, and Velyki Prokhody in the North. But from then on excellent work from Excellancy was able to isolate the individual BGs at the tip of our advance and then squeezes us back. We were able to hold the south eastern entry entry of the 14th Panzer BGs until the last week of the Campaign, but once they got free these Axis forces were able to crush us in the South.

Favourite Maps

Borisovka and Verkhniy Bishkin.




On these huge maps the opposing BGs would slog it out for days on end. It would be a back and forth that often would end up with one side looking like it had finally just about taken the map, but only to find in the next battle all that had been gained was lost. Both these maps were a snipers paradise, with one pair of snipers on my side scoring 60 kills (see the records thread). Armour was vital, but a well-placed AT gun could wreak havoc.

Mechebilovka and Kam’yana Yaruha


These maps were often important swing maps in the strategic to and fro of the Campaign. On them infantry could defend well even against Armoured attacks, and we had some great battles on both these maps.

Zmiev

Don’t know why but this map was a tank graveyard. When we first attacked here we lost so many KV’s and T34s to invisible German AT guns. It took many turns before we could finally take it from what I thought was a weak German infantry group. When it was the other way around at the end of the Campaign, a Soviet Rifle Division was able to see off 2 German Armoured BG attacks.

Crashes and bugs etc…

The map of Lyptsi was weird. From the Soviet side on deployment it would look we had VLs but then we couldn’t actually deploy there, it seemed the VLs were mixed up for some reason. This made it practically impossible to play this map so we decided to try and bypass it, leaving it as held by the Germans. But it was also a map where reformed German BGs would deploy and attack from, so it was not good for us as we always had to defend it with a BG nearby. It also made any North Western thrust difficult for the Soviets.


We often had random crashes from airstrikes (in nearly all cases the Axis airstrikes), barrages, or for other unknown reasons. Most of the times it would be the first battle of our gaming session. We would then try to recreate (VLs, tank losses etc…) as good as we could and then truce. But the crashes didn’t happen so often that we ever felt like stopping the Campaign.

Favourite and Most Feared Weapons From Soviet Viewpoint

Soviet Weapons

Maksim 1910 Medium Machine Gun. This mg was a mincing machine and when we had a ‘sewing machine’ symphony of them in tandem we chewed up a lot of krauts and Romanians.
ML-20 Gun. This howitzer was tough and reliable and capable of delivering a heavy blow on infantry and tanks. It even knocked out a few German Tanks with a direct hit.
ML-30 Gun. The antithesis of the ML-20. Would be lucky to get it to fire more than 2 or 3 shells. Normally it would just be spinning around and around…
DP Obr 39 or 42. Our best AT gun. I had a few crews with 4 or 5 tank KO tallies. But they would only last a few battles as Tanks usually had the upper hand on them once they found where they were.
KV-1. All models were the best tanks for the Soviets. They usually would outlast all German tanks except Panzer IIIJ, IVF2, and captured T-34s.

Axis Weapons

Wurfers
. These German rocket firing halftracks wreaked havoc on both infantry and tanks. I would go as far to say that these bastards, and my opponent’s excellent handling of them, are what stopped us reaching Kharkov. Their fire seemed to be tighter than the scattered rockets of my Katyushas. In a way they replicated the overwhelming German airpower of the real battle that was missing here because of the airstrike crashing issues.
Dreaded 88. It took me a few battles before I realised that an 88 versus one tank was suicide for me. Even 2 tanks to one was dangerous. This AT gun was feared and it wasn’t until past the middle of the campaign, when we were being pushed back, that I finally found the best infantry weapon to tackle it; the DP-27.
Panzer IIIJ. This was a numerous and strong German tank that could meet and defeat any of our tanks, including the KV-1s.
PzIID. Ugh. This was an infantry killing machine that could also easily dispose of any of our light tanks. Hated this tank!

All up a great Mod to play, combining intense tactical battles with a very good strategic map that had you thinking all the time what your next moves were going to be. A big thank you to Drizzt for doing this! And a big thank you to Mooxe and all the others that keep this valuable website alive for us CC nuts!
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Tejszd

Rep: 130.8
votes: 19


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:55 pm Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

Thanks for the write up on the mod!
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ScnelleMeyer

Rep: 159
votes: 13


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:50 pm Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

Thanks for an interesting report on the Kharkov mod!
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mooxe

Rep: 210.8
votes: 25


PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:30 am Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

Nice AAR thanks for the read.


Join Discord for technical support and online games.
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Schmal_Turm

Rep: 54.3
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:15 am Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

I had finished the Kharkov Grand Campaign mod some time ago (or actually, I played till the last day). So, I decided it would be interesting to compare the results I came up with against those listed for H2H by Spud007 and Excellancy.

I was playing against the AI, but I too played 15-minute Battles, Line Settings, Force Morale On, 2min VL rule. I noticed that the German player lost many more tanks than I and many more AT guns. I did notice, though, that the number of Russian losses were comparable. The difference, other than fighting the AI as opposed to fighting H2H, may have been that I had read of a German Strategy some time back where the writer said that the tanks and AT guns would lie in ambush before the attack. So, I decided to try that out and not have my tanks in direct fire mode with the Russian tanks whenever possible, or if they were it was a darkened green line showing a "no clear shot," or at least a more difficult shot. It required me to check to make sure that the line of fire was not a "bright green" to more than one tank at a time, if possible. The result is that I would literally wait for the Russian tanks to come into the direct line of fire of my tanks and long-range 88s which are well concealed deep in the forests. That is the only way they are able to survive to fight another day. If it weren’t for those 88s, I would have a hard time taking out the Russian heavies like the KV and therefore able to forestall many a Russian advance. In fact, I was amazed that my units with the 88s were taking out more tanks than a number of my tank units. A number of times I have retreated to a territory that is more defensible.  

I did not notice, like was stated, that the PzIII J model was particularly effective. It could easily take out the T-34 but not so much the KV, or at least took a number of hits to do it. But yes, the Wurfers were devastating to anything within the blast radius. The trick is to use it as soon as there is a good target such as a concentration of tanks so that by the end of the battle you are able to fire another salvo. I am surprised that the "Stalin's Organs" was not listed as a good weapon. I hated them with a passion and would do almost anything to take them out, from firing the Wurfers to sending a suicide squad to do a search and destroy mission. I probably lost at least a quarter of my tanks to these, when you count the disabled tanks that were never repaired. One thing is that when I play I try to limit the number of losses, especially of tanks. I assume the position of the German Commander who must have units left after the battle to fight another day.


"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." Moltke
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Drizzt

Rep: 121
votes: 9


PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:26 am Post subject: Re: Kharkov H2H GC AAR Reply with quote

Spud007 wrote (View Post):

Crashes and bugs etc…
The map of Lyptsi was weird. From the Soviet side on deployment it would look we had VLs but then we couldn’t actually deploy there, it seemed the VLs were mixed up for some reason. This made it practically impossible to play this map so we decided to try and bypass it, leaving it as held by the Germans. But it was also a map where reformed German BGs would deploy and attack from, so it was not good for us as we always had to defend it with a BG nearby. It also made any North Western thrust difficult for the Soviets.
We often had random crashes from airstrikes (in nearly all cases the Axis airstrikes), barrages, or for other unknown reasons. Most of the times it would be the first battle of our gaming session. We would then try to recreate (VLs, tank losses etc…) as good as we could and then truce. But the crashes didn’t happen so often that we ever felt like stopping the Campaign.



Hi, thanks to you and Schmal_Turm for the feedback.

You have tested v 2.3 very deeply (more than me). Glad to see h2h works well. So:

- In v 2.3 Some (few) inner maps are German deployment maps. A weird choice yes, but it's something I thought and made to simulate the German superiority here. In this battle, only something like one third of maps have been an historical theatre of battle: this is due to fact the Russian offensive has been a disaster since the first days basically for two reasons: poor strategical/tactical knowledge/experience (not the complete unpreparedness of 1941, but still not the experience of 1943), and the fact the germans had chosen this area as penetration point for an upcoming offensive, so a lot of german troops were massed there (and were coming there). Inner deployment maps represent the "constant pressure", the superiority of germans due their upcoming offensive (that has become a counteroffensive).
- What you say about Lyptsi sounds like a bug (my bug). Can you explain better the concept: "it seemed we had Vls to deploy troops (on soviet side), but we could not do it"? What happens exactly? Other users have had this bug?
- "first fight" battle of the campaign (new or from a savegame) it's a old hardcoded bug, pressing the button to go into the battle from the BG screen (from stratmap to battlemap). I have never had a single crash for an airstrike or a barrage. Another hardcoded possible bug: maps full of wrecks where IA tries to generate a "new" wreck in a place already occuped by a wreck: it crashes. Anyway: random airplane airstrike or an airplane in particular? Barrages...?
- I have never had problems with ML-30 (maybe it's about range: I mean its minimum range, therefore a correct behavior that seems apparently wrong). Both ML-30 and M-20 (and their German counterpart in the mod) are big artillery guns that usually are not in a game like CC (they are part of the off map artillery barrage) due to their minimum range (probably it's the same about rocket launchers, at least Katyusha) which is often uncomfortable for CC. My goal, inserting them in the forcepools, it was to augment the idea of a "big battle" like this one effectively it was.
- There are some others hardcoded bugs listed in the readme file.
- Data is not 100% perfect (very minor errors I'm able to correct with the experience of now), but it's extremely solid about single player. I have never played a h2h game, so I don't know if they are present hardcoded crash bugs that only appear in h2h.

Drizzt
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