Another AAR (Full Version)

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henri51 -> Another AAR (4/9/2012 2:38:36 PM)

Having figured out how to save screenshots with the Mac without having to quit the game, I have started another game of the second scenario, where the Germans are trying to link up with their main force to the West by passing through my units. After starting the scenario, I place my units and a battle breaks out in the North. The screen shows the initial starting positions. I am allowed to move my units in this area before the fighting starts.


Here you can see my 3 infantry platoons each with 3 squads of 7 men. The enemy are the blue blobs in the NE (I am playing with all enemies visible). There are about 50 enemy soldiers and I have about 70. Note the icons in the top right where I can either select a full platoon or one of its squads. When you select a platoon as I have done here, all its squads are shown including a commander if there is one.

Here I am allowed to place my units, and I will do so in the next message and screenshot, where they are deployed expecting the enemy attempting to either break through or perhaps to try to flank me. The enemy usually divides his forces ito 3 or so groups, and I expect him to do the same here.

Hmmm.. the screenshots are a bit big, so I will try to use Paint to make them smaller.

henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 3:12:59 PM)

Here is the start of the battle. The blue circles show the enemy units and the red circles show the defensive positions of my three platoons. The arrows show the possible locations of enemy attacks. Usually they will use at least one of their squads to attempt to flank my positions. In this case, they milled around a bit at first and then surprised me by doing the totally unexpected.


Here I am showing my units as icons, but I could also show them as the Germans are with little colored balls over their heads. I find it easier to use this map to follow the action instead of the 3D map. Note also that this map is only the top half of the combat map, which itself is a fraction of the total scenario map.

The situation for the Germans here is not easy: they are outnumbered by almost 2:1, and they have to attempt to get to the West of the map across my force in defensive positions. Of course they could decide to just grab a bit of territory and wait for the turn to end, hoping to have a better situation on the following moves. In another thread on this forum I described briefly how their friends in the West attacked my at 6:1 odds with tanks and artillery support and wiped the floor with my puny units.

The next message will show what they did. Stay tuned, I will post the result later after the visitors I am expecting go back home.[:D]


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 6:15:49 PM)

Now the Germans did the unexpected. They began to move South instead of moving West as expected.


Now I am not to sure what is the meaning of this. 1) It could be a feint to get me to come out of my defensive positions; 2) they could be trying to outflank me to the South; 3) they could be biding their time and horsing around waiting for the time to expire. (I have the max battle time set to one hour, so if nothing happens before that time the battle will end and move on to the next turn).

From the clock on the bottom left there is already 20 minutes gone, so I have to decide what to do. I didn't mention that my clampong down on a defensive position allowed the enemy to grab a victory flag, so if I don't do anything I will have lost a victory location for nothing.

After a few more minutes, I decide to use my northern platoon to grab the objective to their SE, and to move my reserve platoon in the center South along the road parallel to the enemy movement, so if they decide to suddenly veer west, they will have to fight this blocking force. The Northern platoon will bew closer to the enemy and in a better position to intervene, or perhaps to grab another flag if the Germans continue to move South. The other platoon stays where they are for the moment, since I don't want to move everyone out of their defensive positions.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 6:46:04 PM)

This picture is the 3-D map showing the enemy still moving South. I have now captured the victory flag in the North, and you can see my reserve platoon moving South along the road. Out of view to the SE is the other German platoon moving SE.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 6:55:57 PM)

Now with less than 10 minutes left, the Germans veer West and attack directly into my platoon in a defensive position.


I figure it is now or never, and with almost half of the Germans too far away to intervene, I decide to counterattack; Leaving the defending platoon in place to serve as an anvil, I hammer the Germans from two other directions. Caught in a cauldron with fire coming from three directions, it doesn't take long for the Germans to be wiped from the map.

I have time to grab the nearby objective and decide to go after the remaining German platoon, but they are too far away and the turn ends.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 7:02:18 PM)

This is the screen that shows the result of the battle.


The Germans have taken 27 casualties and I have taken only four (with one killed). Note that the screen says that this is only a draw, which probably means that this is not the victory for the battle but the level of victory for the whole campaign which has (I think) 10 turns.

Since this is only the first turn and I have only hammered one German platoon, it may be a bit early to crow, since from other games I know that the Germans have plenty of units both to the East and to the West with tanks, artillery, and much else. Check out my thread with the title "sufferin soccatash" to see how the German crushed me when they attacked from the West with such a force,utterly destroying four of my platoons including two tank platoons...[:@]

But anyway, so far so good, as the falling guy said as he went by the 10th floor window...[:D] Maybe I will post some more after I play the next move (there were no other battles this move - often there is more than one battle per move).


mercho -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 7:08:46 PM)

Hi Henri,

Dont't want to hijack your beautiful AAR. I have one question. Where can i change, that my soviet troops look like the germans in your aar ? Not like symbols, more then the small dots with the circle heads ? Hope you understand what i mean, lol....


gids -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 7:32:29 PM)

have to click on the 2 nd button down left of your screen beside that lightning bolt ,you can click it several times and you will see the symbols above their head change

henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/9/2012 8:08:40 PM)

F6 toggles among 3 possibiities: icons, little balls over their heads, or just the men (almost invisible) - I never use the latter, which can be useful only for extreme closeups.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 1:20:53 AM)

Ok, on to the next move. I place my units and see that the GErmans in the North are a bit weak. I think that I can probably have time to attack them and destroy before their forces to the South can intervene, then maybe I can destroy the enemy piecemeal. So I order two infantry platoons to attack there figuring that I should have a local superiority of about 2:1.


The Germans are the little blue dots. However the best laid plans of mice and men....


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 1:24:17 AM)


I forgot that the enemy during this phase can move too, and the German AI apparently saw that his Northern force was rather isolated, and moved them down with the other Germans there.


Dang! Now I am facing a superior enemy in numbers and quality: I am outnumbered by about 2:1 and the Germans have machineguns mortars and artillery whereas I have only infantry without heavy weapons. Anyway I figure that I can capture the two nearby victory locations. My plan is then to hunker down and hope to be able to hold on until the time runs out for this battle (one hour). So my Northern platoon moves SE and takes the objective while the other platoon occupies the other victory flag and digs in and waits. The Germans are also waiting, and some are even in trenches.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 1:32:45 AM)

This screenshot shows me occupying the two flag locations and waiting for the enemy to attack, which they seem in no hurry to do.

After a half hour of waiting (luckily one can accelerate the time). they offer a ceasefire which I am happy to accept. There have been no casualties for either side but I have captured a flag.


Here I am using the option to display my men with little red balls over their heads.Although they are hard to see, there is a platoon between the two circles that are command radii for the platoon commanders.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 1:40:10 AM)

Ono to move 3; I bring in some reinforcements that include heavy weapons and tanks. Now I am going to try to move my units on the strategic map in order to try to get a battle near the center where I will have local superiority. Although it would be more prudent to put my units in good defensive positions since my mission is to prevent the Germans linking up, I figure if I can whittle them down that would give me an advantage.


OHMYGOD! The Germans are attacking from both sides and I have three battles to fight this turn! Which one should I fight first? I am not sure if the results from one battle carries over into the next, because if this is the case, one would be better off in fighting the easier battles first (assuming I could figure out which battle I have any chance of winning...).[:'(]

There's gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight...[X(]


Tejszd -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 2:52:39 AM)

Thanks for posting!

shrek -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 2:55:06 AM)

Agreed, keep 'em coming! [:)]

henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 11:44:41 PM)

I decide to start with the central battle, because it has the highest chance of having more friendly units.


And indeed, I have five platoons: a recon platoon, a tank platoon with two tanks, a machinegun platoon with four squads, and two 3-squad infantry platoons. The enemy is fairly numerous and is rather dispersed, although they are still free like me to place their units. I place one infantry unit at both ends, and the MG platoon in the center since it is the slowest, as well as the recon and tank units since they can move rather fast and I have roads allowing to move up and down fairly easily. So this disposition of my forces is flexible and I would have probably chosen something similar even if I had no idea where the enemy is (remember I am playing with full kknowledge of enemy locations, which is a considerable advantage).


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/10/2012 11:52:03 PM)

Sure enough, when I start the turn, the enemy has moved most of their force to the forest in the North, and have left weaker forces to the South.


The Hun has stuck his head in the meat grinder and I have my fist on the handle!

So my plan is rather straightforward. The infantry and the MG platoons in the N will hold their positions to defend against any incursion by the strong enemy force in the North. The weaker German force in the South should be no match for a pincer attack by my infantry platoon in the South and the recon platoon supported by one of the tanks. The infantry will loop around the lake and seize the objective while blasting then enemy in the nearby buildings while the recon guys and the tanks blast them from the opposite side.

The other tanks will move up the road diagonally to support the heavy weapons and the infantry. The Germans in the woods up there have 3 choices: 1) they can stay there and wait for the time to run out; 2) they can attack West and try to overrun my much smaller infantry platoon to grab the objective and run around my flank; 3)they can come down and try to link up with their brothers in the South.

Option 3 would entail having their flank raked by my machineguns not to mention running smack into tank fire not to mention the possibility of being hit in the rear by my infantry running behind them, so that option is highly unlikely.

Option 2 is the more likely since their mission is to attempt to link up with their forces in the West.But it would mean being hit in the flank by at least some of my heavy weapons and possibly my armor.

Option 1 is a bit worrisome, because I only have an hour and my Southern infantry platoon will need time to circle around the lake, and I have to be careful not to to attack the Southern Germans too early with the recon platoon before the infantry is ready to shoot them in the back.


Conrad Black has written an article in the Huffington Post claiming that President Nixon was not a crook. He wrote it from his jail cell where he also claims that he is not a crook. Talk about the pot trying to paint the kettle white...[:D]

Missouri_Rebel -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 9:40:06 AM)

Good work. Please continue

henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:03:14 PM)

So I begin to follow my plan. This screenshot shows my Southern pincer headed for the objective according to plan.


The Germans across the lake have apparently guessed my intention and have begun to move back to the objective. On the top you can see the Germans showing signs of moving West. On the left of the picture you can see my recon units approaching, and in the center one of my tanks is coming down the road. The Germans across the lake have already taken casualties, some from my infantry across the lake and probably some from my armor.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:09:41 PM)

This picture shows the situation in the North, where some of the Germans are moving West.


My infantry in the North and the machinegun platoon are in defensive positions, but the Germans might try to outflank them to the North, in which case my 3 infantry squads might not be able to stem the tide. The German movements so far indicate that the Germans might split their force, distracting the defenders with a frontal attack while most of their force flanks to the North.

My second tank is moving up the road and is engaging the soldiers around the infantry gun in the woods.

So there are two separate battles going on, this one and the one in the South, where I have a clear superiority but a problem of coordination. My plan is to finish off the Southern battle and then to move these forces North to help crush the Germans, especially if they decide to stay in the forest.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:19:02 PM)

This picture is a closeup of my tank trying to destroy the German infantry gun, which is themost dangerous German threat since a lot of my infantry is in the open.


Despite machinegunning this gun and shooting everything my tank has, the German gun stands fast, so I assume that it may not be visible from the tank and I keep moving closer until a minute after thispicture, the gun crew has had enough and run away. Unfortunately my tanks has become immobilized; it has either thrown a track or gotten stuck or has run out of gas, and I can find no indication of what is the problem. Although it does not respond to amy move orders, it keeps firing at the Germans on the right out of the picture, so it is not totally useless.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:24:53 PM)

This overall view shows that indeed the Germans in the North have divided their force and a number of them are assaulting my infantry platoon, while the rest are attempting to flank them to the North.


My infantry cannot move to intercept the flankers since they are under fire, and the machineguns need to generally stay where they are to hit the German attackers in the flank; besides, it would not be a good idea for the machinegun platoon to run between the infantry and the attacking Germans.

In the meantime my forces in the South have neutralized (to use a military euphemism - neutered might be a better word...) the Germans in the south, and are now moving up the road to help in the North. The ideal unit I need would be that damn tank, but it is stuck in the woods with no line of sight to the North, so it is shooting at the Germans to the East, which is not completely useless as we will see later.If the tnk could move, I would quickly route it to the Granite 4 objective from where it could dominate the German flankers who don't seem to have any AT guns.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:42:00 PM)

The Germans attacking in the North succeed in pinning my infantry and machinegun platoons, but at a heavy cost, and soon all the German attackers have given their lives for the Fatherland.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/11/2012 11:50:23 PM)

Now I carry out a nice plan that is successful but that may have been a mistake. The forces from the South have reached the Northern road below the forest, and I order them to go for the crossroads objective.The immobilized tank and the other tank as well as the recon unit have depleted the Germans in the vicinity, and their morale must be pretty low and they are certainly disorganized. At first I had considered sending the recon platoon there, but the flanking situation requires fast-moving units, so the recon platoon is sent along the road to the granite 4 objective, which I hope to reach before the Germans. The machineguns, the mobile tank and the remaining infantry are ordered to attack the German column to slow them down.

The objective changes hands twice, first it goes German as the vanguard of the column approach, then it reverts to Russian control when my recon platoon reaches it. As planned, the recon platoon then moves NE to join the fray against the German column, which is about to be annihilated when the scenario time runs out.


I gain a victory and everything looks fine: I have about 40 casualties to the German's over 80, and all of the German units on the map were either destroyed or crippled. So why do I say that my late-game strategy might be a mistake? If this were the end of the whole battle, it would be great, but it is not! I have lost one of my two tanks and the other one is out of gas. All the recon vehicles are out of gas, two of the squads were wiped out and one infantry platoon is broken (there are tables containing detailed information on each platoon and squad). Broken platoons cannot fight. If the Germans attack on the next move at the wrong place, I could find myself fighting with tanks that are out of gas and with squads that have half or less of their normal complement. In addition, my reserves are to the South, and it is unclear to me whether or not my units are too far from the supply trucks to be replenished.

If instead I would have let the German flanking column go, at that time I had practically no losses and although I did not check, I had probably inflicted losses of 5:1 or more.

So I am a bit worried, but the next move will show whether or not my worries are justified. In the meantime, I still have a battle to fight during this turn (this battle apparently joined the two rightmost battle locations). And the bad nes is that this battle involves German forces attacking from the West, and therefore probably contains some of the strongest German units armed to the teeth with heavy weapons and tanks.[X(]


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/13/2012 12:18:37 AM)

Here we go for the next battle, which is an attack by the Germans from the left. The next picture shows the situation after we have placed our units and movement begins.


I have an infantry platoon in good shape, a MG platoon in fairly good shape that may be a bit short on ammo, and two tanks that are out of gas. The tanks won't get very far with 6% of fuel, so I try to place them where I hope they can fight without moving much - no maneuvering all over the map in this battle.[:'(]

I didn't have much choice on where to place the other two platoons, so I tried to place them in cover in defensive positions roughly along a line protecting the Soviet objectives. I could be in big trouble if the Germans attack en masse along my right flank.

Since I am outnumbered I request a ceasefire, but so far the enemy has not accepted.The Grmans also have tanks, and they are probably full of gas. I think I see an enemy mortar.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/13/2012 12:27:50 AM)

The enemy seems in no hurry to attack. As usual he breaks his forces into 3 or 4 groups, and one of them runs off in the wrong direction. Oh Ok, it is a smart move, there is a neutral objective to the NW and his column goes to grab it.


But now I am surprised by his next move: he sends one platoon directly East right toward my infantry platoon.


henri51 -> RE: Another AAR (4/13/2012 12:30:42 AM)

A firefight breaks out.


My infantry fires t the advancing Germans, but do not cause many casualties. I note that my tank is in a gully and I orde it to attack the flank of the advancing Germans, and I also order the Southernmost squad of the infantry platoon to attack the flank. Just as the Germans reach my line, they are wiped out probably due in great part to being caught in the open in a crossfire and my units being mostly in defensive positions.

However from the previous picture, there are indications that the enemy may be preparing another assault, so I had better straighten out my line and get ready.


princep01 -> RE: Another AAR (4/14/2012 8:07:38 PM)

Henri, thanks for the very useful tutorial. Maybe I'll try this game afterall.

Commander Cody -> RE: Another AAR (4/16/2012 9:12:56 AM)

Just wanted to say thanks for the AAR. This looks like a game I might give a try--at least the demo.

Perhaps you could show us a few representative detailed screens (such as for your platoons or squads?). Also, do your units take up positions in buildings at all? Those would seem to be good defensive positions.


Shadrach -> RE: Another AAR (4/16/2012 1:00:26 PM)

This is very interesting Henri, thanks for making this. Inspiring, so maybe I can make one myself soon :)

Pretty nice you have FOW turned off, it helps to show what the German AI are thinking, if they are thinking at all. At least you get no nasty surprises - of which there is a lot in this game, believe me ;)

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