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Kursk - an AAR

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  • Kursk - an AAR

    Computer War in Europe

    There is a Scenario named Kursk. It is 18 turns long.
    I have now played it by PBEM from both sides against 2 different people. This is a sort of combined AAR of the 2 games.

    We start with the victory conditions.

    The Axis need to hold Russian Personnel Centres ("RPC") at the end of the game as follows:
    8 or more = Axis victory
    6 or 7 = a draw
    5 or less = a Russian victory.

    As the scenario opens, the Axis already holds 7 RPCís. The Axis need to capture 1 more RPC for a victory. The Russians need to re-capture 2 RPC for a victory.

    Looking at the map, there are 3 the Moscow area.

    And there are 4 in the south of the map. Kharkov begins in Axis hands and Stalingrad is impossible to capture in this scenario so that leaves 2 to be fought over.

    Leningrad is a RPC as is the city one hex to the northwest. But both are impossible to capture during the course of this particular Scenario.

    As the scenario opens, there is a bulge around the city of Kursk. However Kursk is not a RPC. And therefore not a victory location.

    But, just north of Kursk, is the city of Orel and this is a RPC. And so the Axis, need to attack the Kursk bulge from the north simply as a way of protecting Orel

    In the first game, my Russian troops slowly withdrew from the Kursk salient and used the troops to defend the 2 RPCs in the south. My Axis opponent put a big effort into attempting to destroy the troops in the salient. Late in the game he attacked towards the RPCs in the south but they were by then well defended and the lines held.

    So long as the Russians donít lose too many troops in the Kursk salient, they have a powerful force. In the first game, after withdrawing troops from the Kursk salient, my Russian troops attacked Orel, just north of Kursk and ultimately it was not too hard to capture it.

    In the second game, my Axis troops started by attacking the north shoulder of the Kursk salient. The idea was to push back the Soviets so that in the long run the RPC of Orel would remain in Axis hands. This seemed to be working but my canny Russian opponent stretched my forces across the map and ultimately Orel fell to the Soviets. So the city fell in both games.

    Meanwhile, in the south, my Axis forces put in a big effort against the 2 RPCís there and both were captured. However, due to using the attrition option, my Axis forces became weaker as the scenario went on and my Russian opponent recaptured one of them.

    From the Russians point of view, the Kursk bulge is useful, in keeping occupied a large number of Axis troops, who might otherwise be attacking deep into the Russian motherland. And yet the troops therein are very useful in making counterattacks.

    Air superiority plays a big part in this scenario. The Axis begin with 22 Air Points ("AP") and the Russians begin with 13.

    The Axis receive an average of 1.60 APís replacements per turn and the Russian receives 0.50

    If the Axis begin the Scenario by placing 18 APís in the Air Superiority box and (and use the remainder for ground support) and the Russians place 12, this means mathematically, the Russians will lose 3 APís in air combat per turn and the Axis will lose 2.

    As the Axis can replace their losses much quicker than the Russians, the Russians will run out of APís after only 5 turns!

    Further, a canny Axis player will keep track of the APís lost by the Soviets and after a few turns place only 12 APís in the air superiority box leaving more to be used for ground support. Eventually he only needs to place 6 APís in the air superiority box per turn to account for those late game AP replacements the Russian receives.

    Having read this, a canny Russian player, could begin by placing no APís in the air superiority box until such a time he has 18 available and then use them all in one go.

    Then the following turn, remove all APís from the air superiority box until such time he has accumulated 18 APís and strike again!. This will keep the Axis player on his toes and cause him to place 18 APís in the air superiority box for most of the scenario. This means he has 12 fewer to use in the ground support role and should lead to a near automatic Russian victory.

    As it turns out, in the first game my Soviets had a victory and in the second game my Axis troops held on for a draw. In this second game, we were helped in this by some bad weather which slowed the advance of the Russians.

    I am a newby to this game system and this was a good learning experience.


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