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Redmarkus5 -> APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 7:46:39 AM)

Here I will walk through the basic features of the 'strategic' operations map. (Actually, I would like to see a new truly strategic layer added, so that I can decide where my operations will take place).

Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 7:50:46 AM)

I have chosen the 2SS Panzer Division's operation within the Kharkov Defense Operation campaign. This is a chance to show off the Tiger tanks.

The operational briefing is terse. Force the river crossing and advance northwards.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 7:57:12 AM)

My first task will be to clear Pavlovka which is reportedly being held by elements of the Soviet 104 Rifle Bde.

We have no intelligence about the composition or state of this unit, or about any other enemy units position north of the river Mzha. While speed is important, therefore, I need to proceed with some caution.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:01:24 AM)

I have two obvious options:

1. A frontal attack on Pavlovka, possibly supported by a left hook.

2. A move across the river on the left to drive along the northern bank of the Mzha and isolate Pavlovka preparatory to assaulting the town from north and south in the next phase.

Option two is somewhat more classy, but it exposes my flanking force to attacks across the axis of advance from the heavy woods north of the river. If Soviet armor is present, this is its most likely axis of advance. Consequently, I opt for Option 1, believing that simplicity is the essence of effective planning.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:28:53 AM)

2nd Panzer Division
Operational Orders
04.00 March 07, 1943

Attention: Lt Colonel Redmarkus


We face a stretch of open ground with scattered trees and shrubs and good fields of fire for our own troops and for enemy forces. Across the open ground, 2km distant is the village of Pavlovka, containing a mix of wooden housing and small commercial structures. Pavlovka comprises a single street and runs laterally from east to west across our line of advance. Two fords across the Mzha lie to the north of the village and a third ford is situated just beyond the eastern tip of the village. This third ford carries the main road and is the most important of the three.


Elements of the Soviet 104 Rifle Bde are reportedly entrenched in and around Pavlovka. Their supply state and morale are currently unknown. They have only been in-situ overnight and are unlikely to be deeply entrenched. They are also likely to be heavily fatigued.


KG Redmarkus is to attack Pavlovka and clear the town of the enemy.


Initiate a preparatory artillery bombardment and then attack the western edge of the town with infantry.

Your Panzer Grenadiers should provide covering fire from positions 1km south of the objective across open ground.

Once the infantry have gained a foothold in the town, push your Panzer Grenadiers forward to seize the center of the town. You should use smoke to cover this move, if available.

Finally, use appropriate forces to clear the eastern end of the town.

Be sure to establish defensive positions along the length of the town's northern edge to deflect any attempted Soviet counter attacks from north of the river.

You will have 60 minutes to execute this series of attacks.


The desired end-state is full control of Pavlovka and the domination of all three Fords (see your marked maps) north of the river.


The divisional commander intends to continue his advance along the road running northeast out of Pavlovka using both infantry and panzers. Therefore, the final orientation of your forces should ensure that a rapid crossing of the river using the easternmost ford is possible. This requires you to position your Panzer Grenadiers and their APCs at the eastern end of the town and possibly in the woods adjacent to the road south of the ford.


We are currently attempting to arrange artillery support. You will be advised further once you are in position for your attack.


You have no attached or detached units.


Your forces are fully supplied. However, you must limit your use of artillery as ammunition resupply is problematic.


As per SOP.

Gott mit uns!


Brigadeführer Herbert-Ernst Vahl


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:35:12 AM)

Selecting each unit and then right-clicking on one of the highlighted green squares, I make my initial moves into attack positions.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:37:52 AM)

I click the end turn button and the AI makes its moves. The AI has opted not to attack me and will now be digging in. The time is now 0800.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:41:29 AM)

Selecting one of my infantry platoons (Lt. Dieke) I see that there are three potential points it can attack this phase - each is marked with an orange blob.

I right mouse over Pavlovka and a target icon appears. Right clicking will select this for the attack by Dieke's platoon.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:43:13 AM)

I right-click on Pavlovka and Lt Dieke and his men are now committed to the attack.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:48:30 AM)

Using the same technique, I add another 3 platoons to Dieke's attack (black circles added by me in Paint).

Another 5 infantry platoons (my gray circles) move up to support the attack while the Panzer Grenadiers remain on the right to cover the center and eastern end of the village.

I expect to have all of these forces available to me when I enter the map.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:50:38 AM)

I now click next turn so that the AI can execute its actions...

CharlieMike24 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:54:07 AM)

Looking forward to how things develop. The operational layer is a bit of a mystery to me. Especially the scoring......

Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 8:55:42 AM)

The AI decides to launch two spoiling attacks against the flank of my advance.

From experience I know that the scale of the 3D battle will encompass all three attacks - even if I choose my main attack as the next action, I need to be immediately on the lookout for the two AI spoiling moves, which will be underway at the same time.

Hopefully, as I am facing an infantry brigade and have no armor of my own at this stage, the AI is only attacking with infantry. However, as one of the AI moves comes from across the river, I can't be certain what it will contain.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 9:00:15 AM)

I opt to click on my original objective although in this situation it probably makes no difference which flame I choose to click - everything is going to be resolved in a single fight as all three actions are occurring very near to each other.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 9:02:35 AM)

Note that as long as there are available 'flame' battle icons on the screen, the Next Turn button is grayed out. I cannot advance to the next turn until all combats have been resolved on the 3D map.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 9:33:21 AM)

Well, I forgot that the battle can only cover 9 squares, so by clicking the selected flame, I have left my Pz Gren Platoons out of the fight.

No matter - I have 5 platoons of infantry, with some APCs in support, and this should be sufficient.

I deploy one platoon to watch the river crossing, one to put flanking fire into the southern enemy probe, and three to launch a Company assault on the village.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 9:54:52 AM)

The first Soviet counter attack is beaten off with heavy losses to the enemy and heavier than expected losses on my side.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 9:55:42 AM)

The advance out of the woods into the western end of the town proceeds.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 10:02:42 AM)

With heavy losses on both sides, the enemy requests a cease fire. I accept, having botched my attack and without having received any artillery support.

Enemy resistance was stronger than expected and he showed real spirit.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 1:50:53 PM)

From: Divisional HQ, SS 2nd Panzer Division
To: Commander KG Redmarkus
Subject: The attack on Pavlovka
Date Time Group: 0800/07/03/43

You are ordered to resume your attack immediately. Pavlovka must be secured by no later than 14:00 this date.

Your second-in-command and the commander of the initial assault company are to report to this HQ with the after action reports for your KG covering events between 04.00 and 09.00 this date.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 1:51:55 PM)

Back on the OPs screen I see that one battle icon remains available. Due to the premature ending of my first assault, the enemy's second counter attack has not yet taken place. I have a chance to redeem myself!

Note that my intelligence about enemy forces has improved and that the Soviet units spotted so far are well dug in, contrary to the briefing I received.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 1:56:57 PM)

From: Commander KG Redmarkus
To: Divisional HQ, SS 2nd Panzer Division
Subject: The attack on Pavlovka
Date Time Group: 1000/07/03/43

Your orders received. My attack will be renewed within one hour.

Please note the following:

1. The enemy is dug in in strength and comprises high calibre infantry supported by ATRs and several heavy machine guns.
2. We require artillery support urgently.
3. We request 1xStug platoon to cover our entry into the village.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 2:00:05 PM)

Before resuming the attack I right click on one of my units on the map to open up the Platoon State report.

Clicking through this report allows me to spot any units that will need to be pulled out the line for refit during the next movement phase, or merely left out of battle.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 2:04:27 PM)

The numbers under the three solder icon indicate the number of available vs. KIA or seriously wounded soldiers in each squad.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 2:08:04 PM)

Clicking on the Squad's icon toggles on or off a setting that grants the selected squad or vehicle priority for repairs, reinforcements or resupply. I can use this to try and ensure that my prize units are given preferential treatment, although they will still need to be close to a logistics unit in order to qualify.

However, I don't really want to carry out this action now. Better to wait until the end of the phase when I'll know the final state of my force.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 2:19:25 PM)

My plan for Phase 2 is to leave my depleted infantry platoons to hold the river crossing on the left while I force an entry into Pavlovka on the right using my Panzer Grenadiers (who are, in fact, Pioneers!) and remaining infantry.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 5:06:49 PM)

Fog obscures the objective as my troops form up.

This time, I have artillery support as requested, so I prepare to lay down fire on East Pavlovka.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 5:14:15 PM)

Infantry supported by Marders moves into position.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 5:19:40 PM)

A Pioneer platoon on the advance.


Redmarkus5 -> RE: APOS STRATEGIC MAP - WALK THROUGH (6/4/2012 5:27:00 PM)

Contact front! Soviet ATR Squad.


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