Smolensk 41 Gold - Mogilev River Crossing AAR

Smolensk 41 Gold: A 25 turn scenario called "Mogilev River Crossing." 
Smolensk 41 Gold: This AAR is for a 25 turn scenario called "Mogilev River Crossing." It is a very manageable length and size. The units are at the battalion level which minimizes counter pushing.

The German commander is in charge of the XXIV Panzer Corps which is comprised of two panzer divisions (3rd and 4th), 10th Motorized division and a German cavalry division.  In the screen above you can see the space to maneuver which I really prefer.  I also like that the scenario designer gives the German player freedom to decide the axis of attack rather than placing the German forces in contact.

Initially, I held my Panzer divisions in reserve and sent the cavalry division forward to probe the Dnepr south of the city.

Recon elements of 4th Panzer have reached the river as 10th Motorized begins to setup for an assault on the northern part of the city.

You can see by the Strength Dialog screen that the armies are pretty evenly matched.  The Germans control the skies in this early Barbarossa scenario which makes sense and their overall quality is higher as evidenced by the Victory Point values for each army (which also makes sense).


This is also a good test of a highly mechanized force (checkout the vehicle disparity) assaulting a well laid out defense in pretty difficult terrain.


The attack is underway from the north. Here I am lining the Corps artillery assets up to support the attack.  You can just see 3rd Panzer hanging back to the west waiting for a breakthrough.
Taking advantage of the air situation is a big part of the GE attack.   I used my initial recon flights to observe troops within the city and then along the eastern bank of the Dnepr.
Using the artillery dialog is the best way to manage artillery assets.  This is turn 12 and you can see that I have ringed the city with 10th Mot and 4th Panzer.  I didn't commit my armor into the fight until I had a river crossing.  GE infantry from both divisions assaulted the city itself.
Here I am moving a bridging battalion into position behind an assault to the river by GE 10th Motorized Div.

Turn 17: I grabbed the Mogilev objective and another crossing. I learned a painful lesson about the bridge I put over the Dnepr north of Mogilev. The ground on the opposite side is too marshy for my armor to use. I have only been able to get infantry battalions across there "on foot."

Turn 17: I have bridged the Dnepr in the middle of a marsh.
II Bn 41st Inf Regt got isolated in Mostok on the eastern side of the river and suffered catastrophic losses and is attempting to fight its way out. The initial bridgehead has shrunk to a few hexes as I attempt to withdraw my units. I did manage to exit two battalions of 10th Mot. off the board using that bridgehead though.

The second bridgehead at Stantsiya though is building nicely. I have over 100 tanks on that side of the river with a full regiment of infantry.
There are pockets of resistance inside Mogilev still but the southern bridgehead is too strong for the Soviets to break in time.
German losses were heavy.  I lost very few tanks (less than 5).  My vehicle losses were from my recon units as I fixed the Soviet defenses around Mogilev.  

The after action screen reveals the Soviet defense around Stantsiya. You can see two German units heading for the exits.
Final Thoughts:

Mogilev River crossing turned out to be a tough nut to crack for me but in the end I achieved a "Major Victory" in Tiller game terms. I read the battle notes for the first time afterwards and it seems the Germans bypassed the City to the north and south. I entered the City from the western suburbs using 10th Motorized and took heavy losses. 

My first bridgehead east of the City was surrounded and reduced to a 1km hex. I misread the terrain and couldn't bring 3rd Panzer over that bridge to exploit the hole I made (I could almost hear my digital troops groaning at their dumbass commander when I realized this). 

In Mogilev's southern suburbs I captured both bridges intact and exploited the primary road there to exit enough forces to achieve the major victory. 

I did a good job of preserving my armor for the breakthrough.  Early on I misused the cavalry division to recon the Soviet units along the river.  They took heavy losses from my probes there.  I am not sure what their best use in this battle would have been.  In the end, they hung back and entered the city at the end of the game.

"Mogilev River Crossing" is a really fun scenario to solo, with manageable unit counts, interesting terrain and a determined AI.  Kudos to scenario designer Greg "Sturmer" Smith for his work on it.





Comments

Very Informative and useful... Keep it up the great work. BadIceCreamOnline