Europa Games and Military History

Month: January 2020

1943 MAR II Soviet Turn


Dateline 9. a.m March 22 1943

Location: Somewhere in Helsinki

“This is radio Free Finland transmitting. The Bolshevik attack started 3 hrs ago and we are already receiving reports of enemy breakthroughs across the entire perimeter. We advise you to lock your doors and stay away from windows. Use a basement if you have it.

About half an hour ago we witnessed a large air battle and our air corps displayed courage and their heroic deeds beyond their duty fighting through swarms of fighters and downing by my count over 30 enemy aircraft, others fell to AA fire from the Kapyla batteries. The skies do now appear clear and it is equally clear that the enemy will draw no aid from the air for their attack”

10.00 a.m. March 22 1943

“From our location we can see smoke rising from the direction of the government buildings

I do not know how long we can continue to transmit; I can see a column of tanks moving towards us with brown clad troops marching along each side, squads are breaking away periodically and clearing the building down Alexsanterkatu.

As a result of our airmen’s tenacity and determination we have heard that ministers have been safely air lifted out of the city and are to continue the fight from Turku where the remainder of the army stands to protect the government. Commander-in-chief Mannerheim however has refused to leave the city and is staying resolute with the heroic defenders of our proud city.”

10.35 a.m. March 22 1943

“A few minutes ago I saw enemy troops enter the ground floor of our building, There is  commotion now on the stairs and a lone rifle shot has been answered by a long burst of automatic fire.

This is Free Finland transmitting for the last time from Helsinki, Continue the fight”
“Nyet Radio!!”
“do not give in,”
RAT TAT TAT; “do not surren ….” TAT TAT 

HELSINKI has fallen.

Turn Report

Partisan Front: 5 rail hits.

Finnish Front: In the far north the inexorable march continues and the last remnants of German resistance in the centre are eliminated.

In the south the lone Finish division outside Helsinki is crushed and eliminated but fantastic action by the Finish air force (with some help from Tallinn based Luftwaffe units eliminates or returns all Soviet GS and drops the planned odds from 3:1 to 2:1. Engineers are on hand to avoid a potential rout and the attack goes in . A HX secures the city for the Soviets.

Only Turku and Ponri remain in Finish hands.

The front around Murmansk

The front around Murmansk

Leningrad Front. The Soviets have practically suspended operations south of Leningrad and move the remaining mech forces back to Leningrad for refit/redeployment. A desultory opportunistic attack at the west end of the line results in an NE.

On the Kalinin axis a single attack against the German MLR unseats a large stack from a fort but the German forces retreat in good order.

Moscow Front: The Soviets content themselves with redeploying artillery and other units to central Moscow with a view to a future attack against the last hex in Axis control.

Voronezh Front. The German encircling ring enclosing the city of Voronezh is too powerful to attack directly but the opportunity to strike against the weaker flanks is not lost and two large stacks are attacked one eliminating two German infantry divisions. The second attack and a series of others south of the besieged city prove less successful and result in a series of NEs and DRs against the defenders.

Stalingrad Front: No action.

Battle of Voronezh

Battle of Voronezh

Air War: The Finish air force prove once again that their effect far exceeds their paper strength and numbers. A MS406, F2A, G50 square up against 2x Guards Yak9s and a Yak 1 allowing two accompanying ME109Gs out of Tallinn to sweep away 2x IL2s.  The remaining Il2 is removed by accurate AA fire. Whilst a great victory that causes some consternation to the attackers by dropping the attack a column all is in vein as a HX results from the resulting 2:1 attack.

The majority of Soviet air activity on the main Front has been forward deployment and transfers to new airbases to keep up with previous advances.

In the Moscow area this was attempted by mounting a large raid on the German held Hex’s airbase.

A costly exercise: Of the 12 aircraft involved 3 are eliminated, 2 aborted 1 is lost to flack and the survivors fail to achieve a single hit!

Deep raids prove more successful with the long range force inflicting 4 rail hits.

Battle Report

Auto Attacks = 3
Diced Combats = 9

Soviets = 10, Air= 4
Axis: Forts = 1, German Isolated = 20, Un-isolated: = 23,   Fins = 9 and 2xAA,

Loss Ratio for Month: All Axis/Soviets = 1.11

1942 MAR II Axis Turn

Loss Ratios to date:

There has been some recent exchanges regarding weather absolute losses or relative losses are more important in determining the relative performance to date of the combatants and what losses might be expected at this stage.

Thus I have started noting the loss ratio which I will add to each of the combat reports on a turn by turn basis.

I thought it might be interesting to some to include details of the losses to date at this approximate half-way point in the game and the following charts show absolute losses and relative losses (expressed as Axis/Soviet per turn).

Axis/Soviet Losses per Turn

Axis/Soviet Losses per Turn

A few points to note about the charts and figures:

  1. The horizontal axis numbers are turn numbers with the Surprise Turn being “Turn 1”.
  2. In the early days I logged attacker’s losses as attack factors and defenders losses as defence factors.  At some unrecorded point I switched to replacement factors for all losses for consistency so there may be some small differential adjustment needed for this.
  3. These are gross losses and do not have regard for the various recovery rates of the combatants through the Replement System. I have recorded, but to keep things simple, have not differentiated here between normal and isolated losses

I have not played/recorded Scorched Earth enough times to be able to give any significant insight into the figures although any insights or observations others care to give would be interesting and useful. What is clear however is the shift from Axis to Soviet in both gross losses and in particular loss ratios. The latter from approximately 10:1 to 5:1.

Axis/Soviet Loss Ratio per Turn

Axis/Soviet Loss Ratio per Turn

Surprisingly there does not appear to be any weather related differences that can be seen in the figures probably because both combatants have sustained offensives throughout the poor weather seasons.

Turn Report

Weather. No change across the map A-B = Snow; C-D = Mud, G=Clear

Finland & Army of Norway: The defensive perimeter established around Murmansk gains some much needed supplies by sea

In the south supplies arrive by Transports and Gliders to feed the German part of the Helsinki defence force. Finish fighters abort the lone guards fighter which tries to penetrate the transport stream. The transports and gliders land without incident.

The Finns take advantage of the repulse of the Soviet last attack and a brave 5-6 inf XX exits the city to a certain death in the hope that it will buy another week of resistance for the city by shielding the approach of the Soviet hoards.

Helsinki under Siege

Helsinki under Siege

AGN:. The Axis face a dilemma do they fall back another hex to straighten the line following the penetration by the Soviets or nip off the one hex bulge? They decide the latter and all available forces mass against the intruders.

A DE results eliminating the stack in its entirety. (6-6 guards, 5-6 guards, 9-6 art, 2x 3-1-8 rkt).  Attacking forces return to defensive status.

The similar bulge into the German lines south along the Leningrad axis is still too strong to attack with local forces but itself cannot breach the defenders line so is left unmolested.

AGC: No activity other than fort construction as the Axis build up defensive hubs around Bryansk, Orel, Kursk etc.

AGS: Thinned by the exchange against the Axis forces the previous turn the Soviet defenders crumple east of Voronezh and the Axis establish a tight ring around the city isolating within the ring both the city and an adjacent fort.  The ring is strong and the Axis are confident that it cannot be breached. Reich minister Goebbels prepares a speech announcing the fall of the city.

The Encirclement of Voronezh

The Encirclement of Voronezh

Air War: Most Axis air activity is establishing and protecting DAS with some rail bombing around Voronezh although the latter fails completely to inflict any hits.

The Soviets decide to employ a “fighters First” strategy and in all intercepts mass against defensive fighters. This back fires in one significant engagement where a lone FW190A eliminates all 3 interceptors sent against it; (Mig3, Yak7B, Hurri 2B)

Battle Report

Diced Combats = 2
Soviets = 37, Air= 4
German Air = 1