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NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
01-06-2018, 06:48 PM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Alan also shared his thoughts on creating the Prokhorovka scenario over the time, and on issues reported here, and on issues he's observed himself.

I'll start with his thoughts on Artillery on this scenario, in particular the Soviet artillery:

Quote:This subject has been hotly debated and I admit that the Russian artillery is too strong in this scenario. But while the Russian artillery is historically accurate, it is the game engine that is at fault. I have suggested to Battle Kat the following fix, the freezing of indirect fire units. This means that they can not fire on certain turns, then afterward they can freely fire. Another suggestion was variable ammunition percentages. In a long battle the supply situation can change dramatically. For the Russian artillery to be historically accurate in the scenario there would be no firing allowed at all for the first 20 turns. Then on Turns 21-23 all artillery would be able to fire with 100% ammunition. This would represent the fifteen minute artillery barrage that the Russians started their attack with. And finally from Turn 24 to the end of the game the Russian artillery would be able to fire with only 10% ammunition. Historically the Russians fired 90% of their artillery ammunition for the day in the opening barrage. For the rest of the day they had to make due with only 10% of the day's ammunition left so they had to be pretty picky on what indirect fire requests they were going to fulfill. This is why the Russian artillery fire was sporadic for the rest of the day.
   Another fact that is not generally known is that the Russian fifteen minute barrage was not all that effective. Many of the target areas could not be seen by Russian spotters and so a lot of firing was done by grid-coordinate. This produced a lot of scattering of impact areas. A lot of rounds impacted in areas where the Germans had nothing at all. In other cases the rounds landed in areas where there were only support units. While this did have an affect on the Germans long term combat capabilities, it did not really affect the German short term combat capabilities of that day. (Ironically, a lot of field kitchens were hit in all three SS divisions, more by chance then by design. This made a lot of Germans pissed at the fact that they would not be getting a hot meal for the next few days.) Of course there were also combat units that did get hit with a variety of results, but there were just not that many affected as the Russians had hoped. The point here is that the Russians be allowed to fire at units to which they did not have spotters for. Sure there will be a lot of scattering but then that is what happened in real life.
   I also firmly believe in the use of Headquarter units for the artillery. Of course for off-the-board artillery units I don't even bother giving them Headquarter units as they are not needed.

Artillery has indeed been commented here, and I've played the scenario on both sides as well. The above is great input as how, hopefully, the coming incarnations of the new Campaign Series engine, together with its Event Engine and Adaptive AI settings (the former being capable to drive the latter, dynamically), can alter things. 

I especially find it intriguing to be able to model artillery use in a manner Alan describes above: first, you don't have the assets at all, then you have them at their full power for a certain period, and then the logistics issues come to play. 

That needs to be used in consideration together with the historical situation at hand of course, and while this observation is true for a large battle depicting a full day of battle, it would hold true say to many Winter War scenarios, where Finns had powerful artillery assets available, but stocked very low.
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01-20-2018, 07:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-31-2018, 12:42 AM by Crossroads.)
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Commanders, Alan's created a few historical battles-within-battle scenarios from the Prokhorovka 5 Proper. Here they are. 

First, their Scenario DB pages for downloading them:

>> Vassilievka (Subset of Prokhorovka - The Historical Battle) <<

>> Hill 252.2 (Subset of Prokhorovka - The Historical Battle) <<

>> Kalinin (Subset of Prokhorovka - The Historical Battle) <<

>> Hill 235.3 (Subset of Prokhorovka - The Historical Battle <<

And here's the scenario descriptions:

Quote:12 July, 1943

Vassilievka, 15 Km west of Prokhorovka, Russia (Best played against Human player or as German vs AI): At 8:30 AM on July 12th, a massive artillery barrage opened up along the length of the German frontline. After fifteen minutes the barrage was lifted and various Russian units moved out against the Germans. Among these units was the Russian 18th Tank Corps, followed by units of the 42nd Guards Rifle Division. The 18th Tank Corps moved down the Psel River Valley in two columns. The left column was led by 170th Tank Brigade, which was supported by the 36th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment. The right column was led by the 181st Tank Brigade. The left column was to support the 29th Tank Corps assault on Hill 252.2 but found its path blocked by an anti-tank ditch so it continued its way south towards its ultimate objective, the Sukh Komsomolets. The right column was to move down the road by the Psel River and relieve the Russian force holed up in the town of Vassilievka. The Germans replied by sending the Tiger platoon from the 1 SS Panzer Regiment, plus elements from the 1st SS Assault Gun, 1st SS Recon, and 1st SS Anti-Tank Battalions to block the left column, while various elements of the 3rd SS Division tried to eliminate the trapped Russian force before the 181st could relieve it. The Russians then sent in their second echelon consisting of the 110th Tank and the 53rd Motorized Rifle Brigades, followed up by the 132nd and 136th Guards Rifle Regiments of the 42nd Guards Rifle Division. Ultimately, the Russians did relieve the force in Vassilievka and capture Sukh Komsomolets but could not advance further and were later pushed back up the valley by the two German divisions until the afternoon rains brought most of the combat to a halt.

Quote:12 July, 1943

Prokhorovka, Russia: (Best played H2H or as German vs AI): The legend of the battle of Prokhorovka often includes a gigantic swirling tank battle involving over a thousand tanks. But the truth, as it often does, proves to be much less than the legends say. The origin of the mythic tank battle comes from the Russian 29th Tank Corps assault upon the German SS Panzergrenadier Division "LAH". Here the 29th Tank Corps attacks the 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment at 8;30 AM. The 2nd Regiment which is defending the LAH division's front line, was expecting small local attacks, which had been the norm from the Russian units they had been facing for the past seven days. But the size of the this armored attack totally surprised them. The Russians push back the Germans and make good progress at first, capturing Hill 252.2. But a forgotten anti-tank ditch and the Smoroshevoye Forest brought the Soviet assault to an abrupt halt. This allows the 1st SS Panzer Regiment to counterattack and take back most of the lost ground. By 1:00 PM the fighting is largely over with the Germans reoccupying the southern side of Hill 252.2 and the Russians holding the northern side, with the peak of the hill becoming a no-man's land between them.

Quote:12 July, 1943

Kalinin, Russia, 16Km southwest of Prokhorovka: (Best played against human player or as German vs AI): The 2nd Guards Tank Corps was not ready when the main attack started at 8:30AM, so General Rotmistrov let them begin their attack later. It was not until about 12:00 PM that the 2nd Guards started theirs, with some support from the 2nd Tank Corps as well. But the Russians had a few disadvantages in this attack that they did not have in their earlier ones. For one, it started to rain about the same time that the attack started. Within an hour the rains turned the ground soft. They also lowered the visibility down for the rest of the afternoon. Also, the Russians did not have a massive artillery barrage at the start of this attack, in fact, most artillery requests for the rest of the day were denied due to ammunition shortages. But the 183rd Rifle Division would be following up behind the 2nd Guards to occupy and defend what gains were made. Their target was the German Das Reich SS Panzergrenadier Division. Das Reich had been largely left alone during the morning attacks, except during the initial barrage. In fact, its soldiers were expecting to have an easy day. But as they enjoyed their midday meal, they had their lunch interrupted by Russian armor coming over the rise in front of them. Several penetrations were made in German front line, but these were quickly sealed off and destroyed. The largest penetration occurred into the vast field north of the town of Kalinin. Here a Russian tank brigade ran into an ambush sprung by German artillery, tank, and tank destroyer units deployed around the perimeter of the field. After suffering many casualties, the Russians withdrew back to their defensive line to regroup and prepare for the German attack that they knew would come in the next few days.

Quote:12 July, 1943
Hill 235.3, 10 Km Northeast of Prokhorovka, Russia: (Best played against a human player or as German vs AI): The burden of the II SS Panzer Korps attack on the 12th fell on the "Totenkopf" SS Panzergrenadier Division. Its mission was to attack north of the Psel River towards the Prokhorovka-Kartashshevka road, and then upon reaching it, turn right and proceed towards Prokhorovka, stopping short of it upon capturing Hill 252.4. In essence, they were performing an envelopment of the Russian forces in the Psel River Valley. But before they could begin their attack, there were several tasks to perform. They had to expand their bridgehead north of the Psel, move the attack force across the Psel into its attack position located there, and deal with the threat to their right flank in the town of Vassilievka. By about noon these tasks were more or less accomplished, and "Totenkopf" could begin its attack towards the road. This attack was not the classic "blitzkrieg" assault, but rather it was a slow methodical attack as the Germans had two defensive lines to pierce and a partial third one just in front of the road as well. The Russians were not idle during this time. The 95th Guards Rifle Division had assumed the main defense north of the Psel. It relieved the battered 52nd Guards Rifle Division and 11th Motorized Rifle Brigade, sending them north where they could regroup and resupply. The forward rifle regiments also launched a series of probing attacks along the front line of the German bridgehead in an effort to keep the Germans off balanced. Nevertheless, the Germans proceeded with their attack. By about 10:00 PM, the forward company of the German force reached the road but could go no further as night had fallen.

And finally, here's a design note to go with all of them:

Quote:First, the maps: The areas depicted are the actual areas that the forces had to work in historically. The limits represent their maneuver boundaries. Actually I cheated a bit and gave them one or two hexes past their historical limits because sometimes units would go past their boundaries before being hauled back in by higher command. To go any further is to go into another scenario that is occurring at the same time
Second, game turns: If I wanted to be totally historically accurate, then the these scenarios would be 70 - 90 turns in length to match the total length in time that combat occurred in the areas depicted. Of course, in each case the fighting was most intense the first couple of hours (20-30 turns), after that the Russians would attack with reduced forces, get beaten back, then spend an hour or so regrouping, then attack again, repeating this cycle for the rest of the day. Because of the mechanics of the Campaign System, I had already shrunk the time length down to eliminate those periods of no combat. But as we both know the Campaign System does not do a very good job in depicting the friction of war. Any way there are a lot of scenarios in the normal game that end well before the time limits too, mostly because of how people play the game
Last, but not least: this scenario is for history, not tournaments.

I hope you enjoy these historical battles, they certainly give an idea of what went on at Kursk salient at the time...

Helmet Wink
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01-20-2018, 11:13 PM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Thanks Alan for the new scenarios and Battle Kat for posting them up. Smile

The actions around Hill 252.5 have always been a particular interest of mine. I will certainly enjoy reviewing and playing these new installments on the engagement at Kursk!

ItB  Cigar5
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01-31-2018, 12:41 AM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Hill 235.3 ,  the latest Prokhrovovka 5 sub-scenario added to the Battles-within-Battle post above. 

I hope you enjoy it. It, too, has been created as a historical situation as a design goal.
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02-01-2018, 04:26 PM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Quote:Sure you can copy and paste the write up probably but the reinforcements have no direct connection to the org file structure.

By that I mean you can see in the reinforcement dialogue that on turn 4 a platoon of Panther tanks comes in and where but it doesn't tell you what division, regiment or battalion it came from in the org file. Sure if you have a single battalion of Panthers then you have a pretty good idea but if you have 4, 5 or 6 battalions like in some of the mega scenarios you have to do that by memory and quite frankly mine is not getting any better. One has to be careful with that or the historical entry of forces in a particular scenario could be fouled up.

Send me an email and I can tell you how to find the direct connection in the org file.

Jason Petho
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02-06-2018, 11:09 PM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Battles-within-battle scenario downloads updated with a full design note from Alan, common to all four battles. No changes to scenarios, so if you want to read it just download any one of the zip archives.
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06-24-2018, 09:16 PM,
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Updates to all Battles-within-battle scenario sets:

- Hill 252.2
- Hill 235.3
- Vassilievka

Also, Prokhorovka The Historical Battle updated with an updated scenario design notes by Alan.

Thank you Alan for your continuous efforts in preserving military history in new and updated JTCS scenarios!
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