Part 80: Turn 80: December 24, 1942
uPen, can I ask how many VPs you have right now, and if possible, how many VPs you had in April 1942? The "sudden death" victory conditions for the new expansion pack's Grand Campaign got posted and I wonder if it you would have hit it by now.
Right now I'm sitting at 127 and in April it was 181.
The 5th Guards army is in the Stalingrad front on the Romanian border. We're only allowed to have 11 Guards armies so this is the halfway point.
The Germans are holding their ground up here which is fine by me, I'm sick of chasing them.
The Leningrad front shatters the German line holding them back and advances into Estonia. I fully expect the Germans to abandon this entire area to me, it's useless now that I'm out of that chokepoint.
A few small battles take place down here, pushing the German line back a little wherever possible. Besides the western front this region is the best supplied on the map and so over the next few turns I'm going to be concentrating the majority of my AP up here to build more rifle corps. With the German line shortening so quickly the only way I can keep momentum is by increasing troop density dramatically.
The rail lines are still nowhere near catching up, this whole area is going to continue to just rest and wait.
One attack is launched near Minsk, driving back a German security formation. The rest of the front switches over to a temporary defensive posture, if I'm not going to be advancing I might as well dig some good fortifications to prevent the Germans taking advantage of the poor state of my supply. I also spend a little time re-organizing hexes in preparation for fusing rifle corps in a few weeks. Once January hits I'm going to be fusing ~4 rifle corps a turn and I might as well be ready for it.
I have no idea how many Germans there are down here or where they are. Since the rail lines are beginning to catch up down here I'm going to take a few hexes and see if I can scare the Germans into retreating again.
The Don front begins to wade forward through the swamps again, running into light resistance on the flanks but nothing in the heart of the marsh.
Near Rovno the Volkhov front drives back a German infantry division and marches up to the outskirts of the city but doesn't find the primary German line.
The Crimean front also pushes forward but doesn't find anything. You can see my newfound source of confidence in this picture, my RR corps has nearly caught up with the front in this area.
Going to finish moving into position this turn so the assault can begin in earnest next turn.
The Stalingrad and Transcaucasus fronts continue to push up. The line is thin here but I've got mountain divisions in mountains facing off against German infantry regiments, I'm not really scared.
The Invasion force occupies the line and launches a few attacks, mostly just to drive the Germans back over the border into Hungary. It appears the AI noticed my buildup because they've railed in several extremely powerful units. A cursory inspection reveals the 6th Panzer Division (6=149) and the 21st Infantry (8=21) as the standouts but there are a few more clocking in at comparable numbers. The real question however is what is behind the lines, recon shows there is at least some depth with several mobile units lurking behind the line. I should be able to get better reports next turn but I'd guess there's a full Panzer corps back there at the very least. Either way I'm committed, the invasion starts on New Year's eve.
In the north the Germans are committing to keeping me out of Estonia. This won't work but it will slow me down.
West of Pskov it's the same, lots of well rested Germans with decent morale are holding their ground against my advance. This will work better than it will up on the Leningrad front, the Leningrad front is composed of mostly corps size formations and the Germans are throwing regiments at me up there. Down here I've got mostly divisions facing off against German divisions, any progress will be an absolute slog earned one hex at a time.
On the Hungarian border a motorized division bloodies one of my rifle corps and drives it back a hex. A little unexpected but not a disaster by any means. Now that I've got all my corps into position this German line is looking incredibly flimsy, especially right in the middle where I've got 5 rifle corps facing off against some Hungarians reinforced with German regiments.
I'm going to give the Hungarians the best New Year's fireworks show they've ever seen.
My air losses are continuing to spiral out of control, I think it's the number of recon missions I'm trying to run in this weather but I might be wrong. Either way I've got plenty of planes in reserve so once the blizzard is over I'll rotate some of the more battered squadrons out for fresh ones.