Check out the Polish Turn 11 on Fog Of Wargames.
We have clear weather for the final turn.
Lets look at the Objectives. The drop in troops from 498 to 407 isn’t considerable, but its good to see the numbers are still dropping.
At the start of this turn, I’m excited. Mainly because I wasn’t sure last turn, whether there would be another one. But also because I’m hoping I can finish this off. It seems like an eternity since I started the march towards Warsaw. I want to close the deal.
I meditate by moving my remaining units from the east. I realise this is the last turn, and moving them along the roadways is just going through the motions, but I’m compelled to do it. I use the engineers in the north to scout out the Polish remaining in Modlin Fortress.
Before I begin actual combat, I spend a little while going through all my Generals and laying down cards on whatever units I could. Mainly Haste (small bonus to Action Points), but one or two Offensive/Defensive boosts for Infantry. I figure its time to blow all my remaining cards, and its not worth documenting the procedure with images. I lay about 5 cards down.
In preparation, I move what Artillery I can forward, leaving precious AP available for attacks. I move my infantry and tanks as little as possible. But I want to focus on the important hex, so some AP is spent to get troops in position.
The Polish 8th Infantry (and quite a few other stragglers) are camped in the central hex worth 50 Victory Points. I have to get in there. I order all my air support to make an attack there.
The airstrike causes some casualties (mainly Polish Aircraft), but none of the units are affected by it. Hmmm.
I pound the area with Arty, but a similar result turns up. Hardly any kills, no Polish units affected.
With this worrying development, I take a step back and decide to concentrate on the area below the crucial Warsaw hex. I order a ground attack in.
My troops struggle (and only have enough AP to run 7 rounds of combat), take some losses and one of the Infantry Divisions actually retreats. Minimal casualties to the defending Polish. How are they defending so strongly now?
Ok, I move my attention to the Southern end of the defensive line, perhaps I can shake things up there. I may as well try. I lay down some arty first and then order a ground assault. I’m not worrying too much about stacking penalties, mainly because its the last turn. The last push.
A similarly staunch defense shown by the Polish unit stationed there. Another one of mine is in retreat. I’m starting to worry here, I think it may be down to the readiness values of my men. They’ve been hammering away at the Polish lines here for so long, they’re simply fatigued and out of shape.
Well its now or never. Time to hit the center. This is the Schwerpunkt (focal point) of my last 11 turns. I’m very nervous.
Overstacking the attack way too much, I launch it.
It goes better. Two Polish units broken, four of them panicked. But theres still resistance there. And a number of my troops have had to retreat from the area.
I’m desperate now. I move anything I have forward to make a final attempt at the hex. I can feel the Victory slipping away. I manage to scavenge three infantry divisions and disregarding the ground attack stack value on the hex, I push them in for another hit.
They take heavy losses, and retreat. I manage to affect the two air units.
I’m sat facing the map, staring at the 378 stack number on the hex I need to be in to win. And I have no units with Action Points left. No more options to play. It takes a few minutes to sink in, because I’m so gobsmacked at how well the remaining Polish army have performed. All attacks I’ve made before they crumbled before me. Now, at the deciding moments of the battle, they hold fast, like Supermen!
I try to rationalise why. I look at the terrain modifiers for the Warsaw hex. I realise I don’t fully understand the numbers in the table. The ATT-MOD (attack modifiers) seem to suggest that Tanks and Arty combat effectiveness are reduced quite a bit in such Urban settings.
Somewhere, I’ve badly misjudged what was needed to assault the center. I’m hoping some knowledgeable folks will be able to enlighten me. I feel cheated of a Victory here. But I know its down to something I’ve missed in the details. Some assumptions I’ve made, that has back-fired on me badly.
Here’s the lie of the land at the end of Turn 11, we’re STILL at the door, but we’re ineffective in moving the Polish defenders out. I should have had more troops up front, and could’ve rested them in “waves”, one turn on, one turn off – perhaps?
The disappointment weighs heavy on me.
Hitler will have me strung up!
Here are the Graphs showing Total Troop numbers over time.
And the one showing Casualties inflicted. You can quite clearly see the rise on the 16/9 when we closed the noose around the men in the Bulge. Since then, casualties seem to have been commensurate with the Polish, and “eye for an eye” type of thing.
Well, thats its! I think the game will end with a draw. The German’s failing to secure Warsaw in good time. I’m hoping myself and Chip can have a bit of a post mortem and look at where we both went wrong in our approach. I’d appreciate any comments here about why it all fizzled out for the Germans. I’m sure, in the long run, my defeat (albeit a technical DRAW) will be a valuable lesson for other new players to the game.
I’ve really enjoyed playing a PBEM game against another player. Chip has been an excellent opponent, and has played his hand really well. Now I can finally go and read his Blog entries and see what he was thinking during the battle!
We’ll take a little break but look to the future for more “Battles of the Blogs” in other Wargames.
Thanks for reading.