Hofen Ho-Down – A mini AAR
To celebrate the release of the new beta patch – and test if the Formation Lockup bug is gone for good – I'm making this quick and dirty mini AAR of the Höfen Ho-Down scenario.
The plan is pretty simple – this is not a “serious” attempt at winning – and consists in securing Monschau and Höfen withing Day 1. For that, I give 752nd Rgt the order to attack Monschau from the northeast
attaching to it several tube and Nebelwerfer battalions. 326th VG is more of a shell than an actual full fledged combat formation. Regiments are down to one battalion each, though there's quite some artillery available. These are the forces under 752nd HQ
about 3,000 men and 116 guns. Looking at the Apers and Bombardment values, this force packs some serious punch. I set the H Hour for 752nd Rgt to be 08:00 hours. Let's see if they make it in time.
I set 751st and 753rd Regiments to go after Höfen, in a pincer attack with 753rd attacking from the northeast
and 751st attacking from the southeast
I've taken care that the FUP for these two forces are out of sight of the US units in or around Höfen. 753rd command has a combat power slightly lower than that of 752nd
about 2,000 men and 80 guns. 751st is substantially weaker than 752nd
numbering some 800 men and 25 guns. I set 751st to go first, setting its H Hour to 07:30, while 753rd will go second at 08:00. Hopefully this will end up with US troops reacting to 751st attack, so 753rd can get them on the flank.
I let loose my troops for half an hour, to see what happens.
06:00 to 06:30
Right off the start I see I need to adjust my plans
Note how the H Hour for 751st has slipped by 24 minutes. In order to be consistent, I need to delay 752nd attack by the same amount of time. It's also interesting how all Rgt CO's staff think they don't have enough strength to achieve their objectives. Rather than whining they should get their act together quickly and surprise the Americans!
751st Rgt forces seem to be on the march without problems
one Coy is already securing the FUP, while the rest of the battalion starts moving towards it. Note how the AI has set the IG platoon in a “on call” fire mission, to provide support if necessary. 753rd staff seems also to be doing its job right
it's beautiful to see how units maneuver in BftB... without having to do any micro-management :) 752nd is also on the ball
and moving towards its FUP without any problems.
06:30 to 07:00
The first flaw in my plan becomes apparent
753nd route to the FUP was a bit too optimistic. The AI traces routes on the basis of the info it has at hand... which didn't include the presence of an AA platoon and a infantry Coy in the vicinity of his route. I should have specified “Shortest” and “Covered” to get 752nd Rgt going to its FUP in a straight line, more or less. In any case, sure this has attracted the US AI attention.
The rest of the plan is executing without problems
I don't notice anybody being locked up.
07:00 to 07:30
753rd Rgt is now in trouble
3/I/753 routed towards the FUP after a lively exchange of fire with the US troops and a couple barrages by US artillery. One of them fell right on top of I/753 Battalion HQ... not good at all. 2/I/753 is right now exposing his flank as makes its way into the FUP and 1/I/753 seems to be reluctant to further advance...
To the south, 751st seems to have a much easier time. Note that its three Coys are already within the FUP I had setup. To the north 752nd seems to have some trouble positioning as well, and has its H Hour to slip by 24 minutes.
07:30 to 08:00
My plan is unraveling in front of my eyes
753rd and 751st have further delayed their H Hours by 53 and 30 minutes respectively. I'm not sure if I should intervene or not. Besides that, the US artillery has been peppering 751st FUP, causing a few casualties.
08:00 to 08:30
Time to replan for 753rd Rgt
I change the route for 753rd FUP from Quickest to Shortest, which should get them into position out of reach of US troops. 751st seems to be wavering, US artillery isn't really refraining from bombarding their positions.
To the north, 752nd seems to be ready to launch its attack
which should start in about 5 minutes, according to the task details (one can check the sub-tasks corresponding to each “top-level” task by left-clicking on the icon of the “top-level” task)
08:30 to 09:00
Half an hour later, 752nd forces are adopting their attack formation
and should start advancing (or trying to) at any moment. To the south, 753rd staff decides to give up
and falls back out to take cover and regroup. I think I'll have to admit that the thing in the south has all but failed, and retreat back to the forest, waiting for reinforcements.
09:00 to 10:00
I leave time slip by one hour this time, to see how does the attack on Monschau develop
not bad, but not really well either. US artillery forced the 326th Aufklarungs Coy to retreat, with a powerful series of barrages. Meanwhile, 752nd infantry has forced to retreat a tank? Platoon in Monschau and seems able to secure the bridges, even with 3/I/752 falling back in the moment, since there's still 2/I/752 in good shape and 1/I/752 is in reserve.
I order 753rd and 751st to fall back and regroup.
10:00 to 11:00
The US artillery is doing a magnificient job pinning 752nd Rgt attack to the ground
3/I/752 is having problems to rally and 2/I/752 got routed and rallied and seems to be going to make another try to move forward. 1/I/752 is wavering also, I'm wondering why 752nd hasn't committed it yet... the attack is obviously failing.
11:00 to 11:30
752nd finally commits 1/I/752... seems that the AI just read my mind
though the Coy is stopped dead on its tracks as soon as it gets into Monschau. All this lack of angriff has allowed the AI to place a Cavalry Squadron on the other side of the river (I got a glimpse of them moving in that direction about 1 hour ago).