Battle of the Blogs – WtP:Bzura AAR – Turn 4

Check out the Polish Turn 4 on Fog Of Wargames.

Looks like the weather has picked up again. I’m not entirely sure what effects the weather has on the game, I’m presuming its something like Aircraft flight range and perhaps the movement costs over certain terrain?

Checking the Objectives page, I gasp in amazement as I see the powerpoints inside the Warsaw/Modlin area had dropped considerably, from 1210 to 969. So 241 powerpoint equivalents have shuffled forward presumably to meet my advance towards Warsaw. Perhaps the Polish want a fight? This could be a good sign.

Here’s the lie of the land at the start of the German Turn 4.

As you can see Chip’s Polish defense outside of Warsaw has pushed forward and out of the Warsaw/Modlin Line area. They’re moving forward to meet my troops! I think the Polish army are keen to strike back at the German advance, but from what I can see, its playing right into the German’s hands. They were 190 powerpoints away from a Polish Victory, a few more secured retreats into the area could’ve ended the scenario. By rushing forward to engage, they’ve now weakened their main route to a win. They now need 431 powerpoints for the Win.

If I can engage them outside of the objectives, perhaps I can break through their line at one or two points and make a break for Warsaw.

First things first, I need to know if there is anything directly behind the Polish front. I order a recon patrol from Lodz to scout the area.

Little Anti-Air resistance to my Recon.

With troops from both sides locked together in a struggle along the Modlin Line, I seek a weak point along the line, a place where I can punch a hole and then start to pour my men and Panzers through.

Those engineers stationed along the bank of the river’s snaking tributary look particularly weak, checking their stats you can see they’re only shallowly entrenched (45) and their morale is quite low (37). Since the Polish line has just moved forward, none of the troops along the line will be dug in to any extent.

I decide to focus my wrath on those poor engineers. An airstrike first.

I send all my remaining air to strafe and bomb the area, some damage inflicted.

With a good chunk of my Artillery stationed just  behind the front line, I send the signal to bombard the area.

From the stack values, you can see I’m making the stack value, but not overdoing it. As I understand it, the more troops you add to the stack, the more you go over the stack limit (the denominator 100) the more losses you will incur due to troop density. So keeping the numerator (112) as close to the stack limit, ensures maximum effectiveness, minimum troop damage due to overcrowding effects.

The shelling takes its toll.

Finally its time to order the assault, over the bank of the river and into the Engineers territory. To be sure of a win here, I overstack the stack slightly. I’m willing to take the losses, I NEED to open this hole up. I have Panzers revving their engines behind me.

The assault hits hard. Three hefty German infantry units storm the area, and break the non-combat engineer troops. A massacre.

I’m so excited at this point, I can feel the adrenaline making my heart beat faster! As if every beat will push my tanks through this gap. I begin to move what I can across the river and into the Polish rear.

As it stands I can’t push my Panzers too far forward, the terrain is unsuitable for distance movement, and I think the Polish cavalry’s zones of control are hindering my progress. I decide to shell the Cavalry – see if I can dislodge them.

The bombardment goes well, lots of dead horsemen.

Now I send my Motorised troops from the 4th Panzer Division to finish the cavalry off, and hopefully leave the wider gap open to passage through by the rest of my tanks.

Success! The Motorised infantry cause the Cavalry to retreat! Time for my Panzers to roll.

As my tanks roll through the line, I decide to get their General to play his Haste II card, which effectively gives one of Panzer units extra yardage.

I play the card on 1st Panzer Division.

Thought I’d post up the mugshot of the General who gave a few extra miles to my vanguard of steel.

In this terrain, it only affords me an extra hex. But I figure its an extra thrust in towards Warsaw.  Hopefully my other tanks can pan out a bit more and widen the gap even further.

I’m seriously in danger of being cut off from my supply, if the Polish can close the gap, and they have quite a reserve of troops (even gun-trains) stacked up at the crossing. Sadly I have little in the way of spare troops to pour into the gap.  Mainly artillery. I’m hoping I can funnel some more through next turn.

My troops across the front of the Modlin Line are spaced out too much, having been forced to engage the advancing Polish. Instead of spending several turns trying to jiggle them northwards and into the gap, I decide to poke holes in the Line where I can. I have some troops centrally as well as a small force in the South. Perhaps I can distract the Poles from the main thrust by harassing the rest of the line with incursions?

I strike from below.

My two infantry and one Engineer division hit the relatively weak troops at the southern most point of the Polish line. They are broken. Another gap opens up!

Since I’ve attacked with everything I have, there’s very little movement points left to make any pushes northwards. But hopefully this southern gap will give the Poles something else to think about.

The next distracting stab at the line goes ahead along the main railway line into Warsaw. I hit them with Arty.

The bombardment causes a small number of casualties.

I order an assault on the Polish 2nd Legion Division.

My infantry struggles to push through, the Poles lose some men but they’re still stalwart in their defense of the railway line.

In the North Central sector, my men of the Northern Sweep are bundling up in Wyszvogrod. Its time to use brute force to get into the waistline region. I hit them with Arty.

Bombardment causes some casualties. Not enough though.

Time to send some of the infantry in for a ground assault. I keep two infantry divisions in reserve to be ready to push in if the initial attack goes well.

The brave Polish troops put up a good fight, but are overwhelmed by my superior forces. They are panicked and retreat.

Finally, the 32nd Infantry Division moves into the Waistline area. With the SS Leibstandarte pushing up from the South, the waistline gap has nearly been closed. One of my original plans is almost a reality! Whether they can hold the Polish forces buzzing around like aggravated bees, is another question.

Here is the lie of the land at the end of the German Turn 4.

An Overview of the sectors and the planned movement for the next turn.

SOUTHEAST Sector

You can see my assault on the Warsaw/Modlin Line, with my push through the gap in the north, and my two distractions in the center and the south of the line. If I can, I’ll push them all into Warsaw itself! But my primary goal is to get my Panzers and motorised troops forward.  I’m going to have to watch my back, that many Polish pushing forward could quite easily cut my advancing troops off.

SOUTHCENTRAL Sector

In the area around Lowicz the Poles are holding their own. I only want to hold them there, and channel what little troops I have left into the Waistline area or forward to help with the assault on Warsaw.

SOUTHWEST Sector

This sector has a lot of fresh troops, and I’m rushing them as fast as I can to engage the rear of the Lowicz defense. Perhaps I can sandwich them all and start to finish them off?

NORTHWEST Sector

These troops have languished in the rear of the action for far too long, its time to push them forward and to round up the Polish troops in the cordoned “bulge” like a sheepdog herding the sheep. If the dog worries the sheep, then so be it. Pulling the northern contingent over the river, I can move the General forward with the men, and unite the supply lines – undo the ridiculous troop split I set up in the early turns.

NORTHCENTRAL Sector

Finally, my push into the Waistline around Wyszvogrod has happened. Plus the squeeze from the south should demolish the troops cut off and trapped centrally. If I can secure this line, I have stopped the Polish retreat in its tracks.

Stay tuned for Turn 5!

  • Barthheart

    Good breakthrough near Warsaw! Make him pay for coming out to meet you.

    Rainy weather makes airstrikes about 2/3 less effective. Also cost more to move over anything but road/rail.