Battle of the Blogs – WtP:Bzura AAR – Turn 8

Check out the Polish Turn 8 on Fog Of Wargames.

Also check out Troy Goodfellow’s piece on AAR’s in strategy gaming, on his blog Flash of Steel.

The weather is once again Sunny. This is a good omen.

Checking through the Objectives this turn. Comparing the powerpoint scores, the Polish front has remained fairly static this turn, with only 4 powerpoints being lost. Basically all who are going to defend Warsaw are behind the line now, and the decrease in numbers may be due to combat casualties.

Looking at the lie of the land at the beginning of the German Turn 8. The Bulge is stitched up nice and tight. The push east is a little fragmented for my liking but we’re not too far from Warsaw now. More steel to the front!

Here’s the supply situation at the front, as you can see, across the Polish turn we’ve managed to maintain our supply. I’m guessing the pocket of resistance in the center is feeling the pinch, and can’t put up much of a fight. So, really all that stands in the way of the German Army are the brave few fronting the outskirts of the Polish Capital City.

The supply surrounding the Bulge encirclement has never had any trouble, and the trapped Poles have nowhere to go, with no supplies, they either fight or surrender (AFAIK there’s no unit surrender in the game, so they’ll be forced to fight, on MY terms!).

To cut a long story short, I begin biting off chunks of the bulge defenders until I’d whittled the resistance down to a tiny area, over-stacked with disrupted and routed units. Time to mop up the broken soldiers of the Polish army.

I had to put this screen in, because its been the biggest victory in terms of numbers of troops broken or panicked I’ve ever seen in the game. I attacked with some arty units and a small group of engineers. Theres no dignity on display here. Large swathes of crumbling Polish troops are being crushed under German jackboots.

Finally, I snuff the life out of the Bulge.

More carnage on a large scale.

Until the Bulge resistance is GONE! Next turn, these troops will be marching on the front, spearheaded by my Panzers. TO WARSAW!

I need to know whats in Warsaw. Is there anything remaining other than the staunch line of defenders I can detect? I send in an air recon patrol.

Some air resistance, and a tiny bit of flak. One or two casualties. Acceptable losses.

I begin my assault, by trying to clean up the Polish resistance trapped in a pocket behind my front line. The SS Leibstandarte lead the clean up operation. I’ve heard they were good (ruthless) at that.

The Poles are once again pushed into smaller and smaller areas, tumbling over one another, without supply and hope, they retreat further exacerbating the problem for their remaining comrades.

The SS whittle down the pocket to a lone hex, stuffed with broken Polish troops. Next turn will see their downfall. Now my front-line begins to nibble away at the weak points in the Polish defensive line. Its very tempting to use too many action points from too many troops to attempt devastating effects on the defenders. I have to show some reserve. I want to surgically cut my way through this line, so as not waste any action points and leave behind me lost opportunities.

My zeal for killing perhaps got the better of me, when I sent two stacked infantry in here after a Flak unit. The swell of excitement as I make a hex worth of progress towards Warsaw is intoxicating.

I try attacking the Lodz HQ again, but I meter out the punishment in small doses, using only two units, holding back, hoping for a rout, so I can gain another foothold further forward. I’d already poured the remaining Air power onto them. The attack wasn’t entirely successful. We did some damage. However rather than attempt another attack on the same hex, which will be hampered by the previous attack, I decide to push Northwards and hit the 8th Polish infantry. Hopefully widening the front to syphon more troops into the hot zone.

Its an interesting point to raise about the game, you can’t keep ladling attacks onto the same hex, because after the attacks there exists a modifier that dampens the effects of further attacks of the same sort. You can see the little counters on the LODZ HQ, labelled ‘air’ and ’79’. More air attacks will be at a disadvantage, because you’ve already hit the site with Air. The ’79’ adds to the stack limit, so you’re more likely take more casualties and you need more power to do the same sort of damage (I think). Its a rather clever mechanic, which reflects the consequences of enemy fire upon an area making subsequent attacks even harder. It goes some way to tame any hammering of the same hex over and over again to force a submission.

Anyway, the change in tack to push northwards is successful and causes a rout. The front line is widening. Hopefully theres time to get the troops from the non-existent bulge eastwards to join in the storming of Warsaw. Hopefully, I can do it before Turn 11 arrives.

The supply situation at the end of the German Turn 8 is as follows. Fully supplied on a broad front.

Just for completeness, heres the last shot of the Bulge area, with its supply shown. Plenty of troops ripe for movement eastwards!

Heres the lie of the land at the end of Turn 8.

Gotta keep an eye on that stray Polish infantry unit sitting in my Southern sector. I’ve got an engineer unit keeping tabs on him.

Stay tuned for Turn 9!

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Ian Bowes / spelk