ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (Full Version)

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phoenix -> ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:30:24 PM)

Thought I would put up a few posts to explain the Allied side of this MP game, played between Yakstock and myself. The Axis side can be found under Yakstock's thread. You're probably best reading that first as Yakstock does brilliant AARs and all the background etc is explained there. These posts on my part are sadly a slightly more slapdash affair, but I hope they make reading Gary's AAR (which I'm not reading until we've finished) more fun.

Gary - YAKSTOCK - should not read this, as they will contain my tactics and some positions which he'd only be cheating himself to have access to.....

My 'analysis' of this scenario is based on playing it through a few times against the AI, one full time as Allies, once as Axis. It's a great scenario, like the Bulge in miniature, I think, with the same dynamics and issues that the entire Bulge offensive had - basically, thin Allied starting cover, strong Axis start, difficult terrain, difficult supply lines for the Axis as the advance progresses, plus gradual build-up of Allied superiority in men and materiel over time. As with the Bulge generally, the Allies start on the defensive, overwhelmed by the Axis attacks, then gradually build strength to a position where they can hopefully counter.

In this scenario I know, from the 'black' intelligence gained by playing the AI and from the intel reoprts, that there's a big Axis advance coming at me. The snap below gives my starting position and orders.



As can be seen, I start with 3 groups of units, comprising about 1,300 men and some armour. The armour is mostly Stuart tanks though. I have 15 of them in TF Kane. Plus there are some M8s. My feeling is that this is not a strong force to oppose what's coming. My experience with Stuarts in the past has been that they're useful (for a while) against infantry in defence, useful for recon, but if he comes with armour then they will perish quickly. Given the nature of the map - which allows wide flanking opportunities for both sides - I decide that if I hold in the positions I start with (I believe they are the historical positions which obtained when the Axis attacked 'Parker's Crossroads' [and Parker himself quickly died] at Baraque de Fraiture) then I will likely be cut-off and will not be able to extricate the cut-off units. So I decide to pull back to more defensible positions at Grandmenil, Manhay and Vaux-Chavanne. I debated with myself whether to leave a screen to delay him, but decided that it was just as likely he wouldn't even try to attack Baraque de Fraiture head-on (rendering the screen there useless) and more likely that anything I left behind would get surrounded and surrender. For the next 2 days or so I basically have the men on the map to hold him and I don't want to lose any. So I will pull all back. There's a valuable arty asset in TF Parker that I especially wish to ensure gets well back.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/1DE0B6C9FE1C4B5EA093DA139BD984FE.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:32:44 PM)

Do I have a grand plan, I hear you ask?

Well, yes. The Allied position is that I don't really start getting reinforcements enough to give offensive opportunities until after day 7. In fact, to get the full strength formed up I would have to wait until about day 11. That's my assesment. It's possible I'm too cautious.

So what I plan to do is:
1. Pull back and defend a corner, a small enough corner to defend and keep supplies clear. I would like this corner to be roughly the solid black line marked on the map below (forgive my awful graphics) - the Grandmenil, Manhay, Vaux-Chavanne axis. The dotted black line is only an intermediate position I will hold. However, I'm conscious that the Axis has superiority for all the starting stages and I may have to pull back further, especially if he explores very far north and starts getting into my rear...
2. Pull his forces into that corner.
3. When I have offensive strength, after day 10, try to use some part of it to try to flank down the eastern edge of the map (the big red arrow) and cut-off his supplies (at the road circled in red), attack from the rear. If possible try to cut off a large part of his force in the Grandmenil-Manhay valley.

That, I think, will be enough. My expectations are that it will be difficult for me to get a draw, to be honest. That's all I ever got against the AI. From the excellence of his AARs I would have to suspect that Yakstock is a good player, probably much more adept than myself, and I will thus be very happy with a draw.



[image]local://upfiles/36260/20A918BC308947D9A425FC134E22AFF8.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:34:01 PM)

Quick update as the scenario opens.

I'm starting to withdraw. I can clearly see that he has sent his armour out east. In fact, I watch them moving east then north all the way up to where they eventually turn in at Malempre. I was relieved they turned in there (and decide to temporarily hold the 2-325 GP Bn at Malempre, once it gets clear of the woods, to stop his armour), fearing he might be able to get all the way up to my supply bases at the top of the map (the map is much longer than the area covered in the pic below).

From playing airborne scenarios of this game I have become paranoid about losing both supply bases and supply columns in long scenarios. It only takes a certain amount of '100% failed' messages about supply before you've no trucks left to ship supply. Ditto if your base is ambushed and destroyed. The supply will continue to arrive at the SEPs, but you won't get any of it if there's no trucks to ship it. In a 14 day scenario this is a crucial point. I have in fact moved my senior HQs and bases further down the map, off their starting positions, just in case he tries to get along the top edge of the map (where they start off) and ambush them. But if he goes north he will still find them easily enough and at the moment I have nothing to contest him with.



[image]local://upfiles/36260/AF0352AABBF04E7A9C613A102DD54BF5.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:35:11 PM)

The first decent clash came around 5 o'clock, at Malempre.
I have managed to get TF Parker extricated whole and into a temp blocking position.
TF Kane has assumed a blocking position to the west (looks strong, but remember it's only 15 Stuarts, basically)
The 2-325 glider infantry are on foot and took longer to get back to Malempre. Their mortar got stuck in the woods and suffered a very long and heavy bombardment that reduced its strength by nearly two-thirds!!! I detached their AT unit (4 towed AT guns) and positioned it with a good field of fire (marked 1). This unit did an excellent job on direct fire orders. I believe - from the intel - that they took out two Stugs. The Stug unit coming into Malempre in the pic either routed or retreated back shortly after this.
TF Brewster - comprising a 100 man company of the 509 paras (left back at Vaux-Chavanne), and 9 Shermans - has arrived and been brought in to try desperately to hold up his armour (marked 2). However, within about 30 mins of arriving I was down to 6 Shermans for no apparent gains. And they were all out of ammo!I pulled what was left back to Vaux-Chavanne. Then pulled the glider infantry back to Manhay. I felt we did ok in this little battle, at Malempre, because my orginal fear was that his armour would roll straight through Malempre and into Manhay before I could get anything back quick enough. I felt we stopped him, albeit temporarily, though, of course, he might not have planned to go throgh to Manhay at all. Certainly second guessing his strong armoured, mobile force is already proving the bane of my life.....



[image]local://upfiles/36260/F9F54475FC8B439BAD43362658D43FCD.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:36:26 PM)

Mindnight day 1 and the yellow lines represent my worries. Will he try sneaking men or armour along these routes by night? I have placed a unit to screen out east, but, to be honest, visibility is so poor at night that it's possible to pass very close to units without being seen.

In retrospect I wish I had pulled everything right back to the Grandmenil-Manhay-Vaux Chavanne line before nodding off to sleep. Not sure it would have made much difference though. I did pull back Parker and the glider infantry once they were rested a bit. Should have pulled back Kane too....



[image]local://upfiles/36260/1718FC08D75347788CDB79329A7C0757.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:39:06 PM)

This greeted me on daybreak!!!!!
I had some warning during the night as supply columns failed to a selection of all units! Lost supply trucks!!
He's in a prime position to snipe my crucial reinforcements (marked 1) - my reinforcements and a portion of my supply have to come down that big red road that he is now happily able to take potshots at - and has got into Grandmenil. I'm not worried about him actually being in Grandmenil, but his presence there (marked 2) cuts supply to TF Kane. In fact, he has managed to cut both my main supply routes from the positions marked 1 and 2....

I felt very grim on seeing this. I felt like driving back to HQ and handing in my resignation


If there's a plus side it's that he doesn't seem to have realised that TF Kane is such a weak force. less than 200 men and 15 Stuarts, basically. I think if he had known this he could have really done serious damage with a large attack in that area. he had the forces over there to do it. I will now try to extricate Kane and start plugging holes....but I'm not feeling good about any of this. Not sure that I will be able to hold the desired Grandmenil-Manhay-Vaux Chavanne line as my upcoming armoured reinforcements (still a way off, but coming...) will now have to do something about his armour at position 1.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/1725100B33454BE3A46B2B5C4EAC05F3.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:41:14 PM)

Picture from the Battle for Malempre.

On the basis that this is my only chance to sway this history in my direction, here's a pic (albeit in summer and daylight) of the route into Malempre that the Axis Stugs took and the position of my AT detachment, mentioned in the post above. Those heroic men! We are sure they knocked out 2 Stugs and put the entire company into retreat......

Thought it might be interesting to see what the ground actually looked like.




[image]local://upfiles/36260/B2C0EF4FF6314717A9A0CE402AB0CAB1.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:42:23 PM)

And a pic of the actual countryside on the road through Chene al Pierre - my main supply route - and the position the Axis armour has snuck into during the night, showing how easy it will be for them to take potshots at the road and disrupt supplies.


In the game there are now armour units on the furthest ridge (the dark line behind it is the start of the forest) within the black circle in the pic.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/FF0D4B389FA948308B2F2C20DDE3952B.gif[/image]




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:44:06 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

Yes. But the problem is....well.....maybe I'm too cautious.

Anyway, I'll post something soonish. I worked out that using 2 computers you can load and open your side of the game from saves, take your snaps etc. Can't see the opposing side (sadly....:)), but you can mess around with it as it was when you took the save.


Ha! Nice one, phoenix. One thing I'm wondering about - and will try when I do some research on Windows 7 networking features - is whether I can run two instances of Command Ops on the same machine and simulate a network socket so the two think they're talking to a machine over the Internet. Or maybe I can do this with a VM?




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:44:34 PM)

I'm not sure if my comments are welcome, but I'd like to share with you a few observations.

Yakstock is obviously very offensively minded (I'm also very offensively minded, so I understand what he's doing). Notice how he's using the notion of advance detachment (or advance guard) to the fullest here.

The technique consists in detaching a part of your force (usually one very mobile), forming up a smaller combined arms unit (in CommandOps terms, a Inf Coy, a Tank Coy/Plt and something else for fire support, either AT or Flak) and sending them well in advance of the main body (a reconaissance in force) to either raid and interdict supply lines, prevent the enemy from forming a solid defense, to probe to identify enemy concentrations along advance routes, or in the defense, to be used as a reserve, get security on your flanks and rear areas, block enemy lines of advance to delay or hinder his ability to get into an attacking position.

Such small forces will always move and react quicker than a full Bn, or a Rgt. Just consider the time it takes for a big force to get into road column formation and then start going.

Obviously, this means you haven't your force concentrated, but as all principles it's applicability and usefulness is relative to the situation at hand.

In this particular case, what I'd suggest you to do is to make your own combined arms detachments - while holding the line you want to hold - and send them against his detachments, and send others (with delay orders) down his likely lines of advance for his main force. A single platoon can stop a whole column for quite a while in those narrow roads running through thick forests.

His mobile units will be thirsty for fuel, and that's a very big problem for him. If their tanks are dry they're sitting ducks and tend to surrender (i.e. the vehicles get abandoned).

Besides that, the US infantry really packs a punch in terms of firepower. Those Volksgrenadier infantry formations aren't nearly as good as the Das Reich panzergrenadiers (and those units are good, but not quite as good as they one would assume from reading their unit history).

So dismiss those surrendering thoughts, phoenix. It might get though, but it's going to be tough for him as well [:)]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:46:01 PM)

All thoughts welcome, sir!! We're not done yet. Thanks.

I have thought that I'm certainly too defensive-minded. Because I do consider putting together small, mobile groups to do more adventurous things (believe me, to detach 4 Stuarts form TF Kane and send them way east as a screen was adventurous for me! - and, as you will find out as things progress, it was a bad idea - (a) they missed the crucial night movement of his armour, (b) they ended up cut-off and surrendered!), but I always end up, in this kind of situation, rejecting the loss of essential front line power. So, I have only 15 Stuarts in TF Kane. Detach a platoon for bravery and adventure and I have 11 left. 15 is pretty grim, 11 is worse. Ditto the 9 Shermans in TF Brewer. And as far as useful mobile assets against his armour go, that's it, for now. The US Infantry may have some strength, as you say, but sending 9 Shermans against 7 stugs and 12 (or so) Panzer IVs (as I did at Malempre) resulted only in the loss of 3 Shermans. Plus, I think that daring as his advance detachments are, they are very risky manouevers with important materiel. I'm sure he knows this, thinks the risks worth it - but I would like to try to prove that wrong. Already (beyond the posts I've done above) I think I may have succeeded in cutting off his advance armour for a while. He's very vulnerable when behind my lines. Plus, one thing I have got coming in this scenario is significant arty. So, in this long scenario, where I have to wait for so long before getting significant men and machines to play offensively, I'm still not sure - depsite the attractions - of the value of detaching from so small a force in order to get behind his lines. Clearly I will have to detach to deal with his infiltrations (if reinforcements don't arrive on time), but that's necessary because otherwise my supply lines remain cut. Those are my thoughts, though I'm always looking for room to take away a few units here and there and let them roam a bit. What do you think?

A different, and interesting point is about the historicity of such tactics. Would such detachments have happened historically? I wonder. Almost certainly not for the Allies in this position, I would think.

I was joking about surrendering, of course. I don't mind losing if it's this much fun. And I learn this way too. Certainly his use of extremely mobile detachments to cut my lines has been a solid lesson for me. As I said, just not sure I have that offensive capability yet.

But all comments and suggestions welcome. Be good to try to keep spoilers out (for both of us.) if poss (as you did, Bletch - thanks).




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/26/2013 11:46:38 PM)

Phoenix,

I'll get back to you tomorrow in the morning, it's late down here [:)]

Just briefly. That loss of your Stuart detachment was unfortunate - sometimes sh*t happens, mate. In the Race For Bastogne playout I was talking about on Dave's thread about the Battered Bastards AAR, Lehr's 902nd PzGrenadier Regiment - over 2,000 men and a couple hundred AFV's - were stop for over two hours by a Sherman platoon (which got reinforced by a Infantry Coy). I only could overcome that by flanking that detachment with leg infantry.




wodin -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:45:04 AM)

Your pics aren't showing my end.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:47:36 AM)


Uploaded them all again. Thanks Jason.




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 1:22:11 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
I have thought that I'm certainly too defensive-minded. Because I do consider putting together small, mobile groups to do more adventurous things (believe me, to detach 4 Stuarts form TF Kane and send them way east as a screen was adventurous for me! - and, as you will find out as things progress, it was a bad idea - (a) they missed the crucial night movement of his armour, (b) they ended up cut-off and surrendered!), but I always end up, in this kind of situation, rejecting the loss of essential front line power.


As I commented before, that's unfortunate and I shouldn't deter you from detaching forces to do what I have suggested above. "Adventurous" as it might sound, I see it in the following terms:

Scenario (1):

You stay concentrated along your main lines of resistance. The enemy has no problem whatsoever flanking you or cutting your supply lines, therefore forcing you to (a) abandon the position, or worse, (b) force you to fight a breakout battle to clear the path of retreat of your forces. I say worse because you can't rely on a supply line to support the breakout assault and you may be as unlucky as seeing that your enemy has timed his main assault on your position at the same time you're engaged in your breakout battle. This usually means your force is destroyed or badly mauled, and then the enemy achieves two things: to occupy the valuable location you were defending and damaging your forces.

There's an option (c), which is to bunker down and fight an all-around defense. This is a very good option if there's the possibility of relieving your isolated force and it has significant amounts of supply to support a defensive battle. (c) when feasible opens up a number of interesting possibilities, since your opponent advance will suffer from the need of keeping an "inner ring" to keep your isolated forces in place, and an "outer ring" to defeat relieving forces. The needs of an encirclement battle might well stall his advance for a significant amount of time. On the other hand, your isolated force is for all intents and purposes, pinned down and unable to defend other objectives or cooperate with the rest of your forces.

Scenario (2):

You send detachments to cover flanks and keep a reserve (sitting on your rear, by definition). Then things get less deterministic, as outcomes of your opponent actions vary.

It might well be the case that he defeats in detail your small detachments. But unless you have bad luck or struck by massive odds, you should be able to withdraw any detachment falling back in a controlled way. This gives you two things: time and knowledge of enemy dispositions. Having more time allows you to decide whether or not to fight an encirclement battle as the defender: you might well retreat before he can cut retreat routes.

So you can see this is a trade-off between having more liberty when deciding what to do/making more difficult your enemy's operations and suffering losses. While you state that you're fighting a flexible defense, I see you too committed to particular positions.

You should answer the following question to yourself: If you know those positions aren't tenable in the mid term, why committing so much to them?

As a little "historical note". All these ideas are in reality as old as the hills, mate. The earliest and more famous recollection of a campaign I can remember featuring anything like this dates back to the Second Punic War, where Fabius, rather than keeping his army together to fight a pitched battle, kept it in small detachments harassing Hannibal's advances and foraging parties, never allowing himself to fight a pitched battle he wasn't sure he could win (which, translated to modern terms, becomes fighting an encirclement/breakout battle). Another Ancient example is that of belligerents in the latter stages of the Peloponese Wars, where the appeal for pitched hoplite battles (or naval battles) was past and due after significant attrition.

A more modern example is that of Napoleonic campaigns, especially the 1805 French campaign against Austria. The Man kept his Corps separated along different routes, interdicting supply routes and eventually forcing battles where he wanted to, against forces with low supply, tired and little faith in their commanders' abilities. In general, it took a great deal of time for his opponents to counter adequately this (and doing this to Napoleon as well, when they were on the offensive). "Doing a Napoleon" and getting away with it, makes me feel like Hannibal from the A-Team when he takes out his cigars [:)]

I can take an example of historical usage of detachments, in this campaign, to defend aggresively from Fishbreath's excellent AAR:

quote:

The situation, in his opinion, was still developing, and he didn't want to commit his reserve before he had a better picture of it. Cota did release the remainder of 707th Tank Battalion, two companies of Shermans; the battalion's other two companies were already committed with the 112th Regiment to the north and the 109th Regiment to the south. Those two companies, still in the 707th's assembly area along the Clerve, were only two miles away from Hosingen, and so a platoon quickly got under way to bail out the artillery. They arrived shortly, and with their help the artillerymen resolved the day's first crisis.


quote:

Fuller, who had far too many crises on his hands to employ his two tank companies as a single unit, sent two platoons to Marnach to retake the south end of the village, while at the same time Paul dispatched his reserve, C Company, from Munshausen to carry out the same task. The two groups were supposed to meet, but C Company came under fire along the road and had to abandon it. The tanks made it to Marnach, though, and were able to clear the Germans from the town. Lt. Col. Paul sent one platoon to retrace its tracks, locate C Company, and defend Munshausen, while dispatching the other to drive south on Hosingen, which Paul thought had fallen. The first platoon did come across C Company and reach Munshausen, and the second swept the Skyline Drive between Marnach and Hosingen clear of Germans, and, to Paul's relief, found Hosingen still in American hands.


quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
So, I have only 15 Stuarts in TF Kane. Detach a platoon for bravery and adventure and I have 11 left. 15 is pretty grim, 11 is worse. Ditto the 9 Shermans in TF Brewer. And as far as useful mobile assets against his armour go, that's it, for now. The US Infantry may have some strength, as you say, but sending 9 Shermans against 7 stugs and 12 (or so) Panzer IVs (as I did at Malempre) resulted only in the loss of 3 Shermans.


That engagement is quite a fifty-fifty thing, phoenix. It could have played out quite differently. The PzIV has a hot gun but flimsy armor. Pretty much the same story for the StuG. The Shermans have decent armor and their gun can defeat StuG's and PzIV's from practically any aspect. You did there what you had to do, even if you didn't win.

If it was a "meeting engagements", even more chancy. I'd not be quick to draw too many conclusions out of that.

Sometimes the TacAI has some trouble placing stuff. So in the defense, as soon as the force arrives and deploys, I detach assets whose placement I'm not happy with. This doesn't cause a replan for the defending force.

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Plus, I think that daring as his advance detachments are, they are very risky manouevers with important materiel. I'm sure he knows this, thinks the risks worth it - but I would like to try to prove that wrong. Already (beyond the posts I've done above) I think I may have succeeded in cutting off his advance armour for a while. He's very vulnerable when behind my lines.


Exactly [:)] That was one of the two things I was suggesting: denying the security of his supply lines to those forward detachments.

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Plus, one thing I have got coming in this scenario is significant arty. So, in this long scenario, where I have to wait for so long before getting significant men and machines to play offensively, I'm still not sure - depsite the attractions - of the value of detaching from so small a force in order to get behind his lines. Clearly I will have to detach to deal with his infiltrations (if reinforcements don't arrive on time), but that's necessary because otherwise my supply lines remain cut.


See my remarks above the difficulties of fighting an encirclement battle for both the attacker and the defender. Can you setup a place to stay put, with plenty of supply at hand, while keeping a screen to avoid him from easily exploiting deeper behind your lines?

Think of setting up a "Bastogne"-like battle :-)




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 11:25:42 AM)

Much to think about there, BG. Many thanks for taking the time. It's encouraging me to try to get a higher perspective, which I certainly need because at the moment I'm lost in the gritty mess of trying to plug holes and hold him back. We're actually approaching day 3 evening in the game now and I still feel I have not enough men to branch out. But you're right. His tactics have been extremely effective. I will need to change my approach.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 11:31:40 AM)

Meanwhile. Day 2. next snap I have is from 10.57

[image]local://upfiles/36260/31151F466B4D4427BDDF372A79604BFE.gif[/image]

Reinforcements have arrived in the form of CCA 7. There's 40 tank Battallion with about 30 Shermans. 48 Arm Infantry with about 350 men, 2 Bn 424 INf with about 320 men. Sounds good, and they're all desperately needed, but they all arrive in a shambles, tired almost to exhaustion and with low morale. they will not be very effective I feel. I should perhaps immediately rest them, but don't feel able to.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 11:49:55 AM)

1. I order 2-424 down to Grandmenil with a view to attacking and retaking it.
2. I order 40 tank to attack the armour overlooking my supply route near Chene al Pierre
3. I order 48 Arm Inf to Manhay. My plan there is to have Parker hold until nightfall, if possible, then pull him back to a line held just north by 48 Arm Inf. I am expecting Manhay to come under heavy attack today. I will keep Parker there until nightfall, but don't want him cut-off and destroyed, so will cede the town after dark.

I am also expecting a heavy assault on TF Kane today, so will watch that and pull him back to join the 2-424 in assaulting Grandmenil before he becomes too degraded to be useful.

TF Brewster is in severe danger stuck out in Vaux Chavanne, I feel, but will keep him there as long as possible too, then try to extricate what's left after dark. I don't want his armour to have an unimpeded route into Manhay and I do want Brewster to block the supply routes to his northern armoured probe, if possible.

That's the plan for day 2. Basically, deal with the incursions onto my supply route, hold positions sth of Grandmenil, in Manhay and Vaux Chavanne as long as possible.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/0EF89A9CB3384B1CBB0257EC677F2A13.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 11:54:31 AM)

So much for not resting them. In what is to be the first stage of an awful debacle involving 40 Tank, resulting in its complete destruction, all the newly arrived units disobey my orders and bed down......

[image]local://upfiles/36260/25E66768B0904E3B9589FBE59F9F01E8.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:06:35 PM)

As 40 Tank wakes up and continues its assault in the afternoon the disaster unfolds. There were about 9 Shermans in A, B and C companies, 4 stuarts in D co. Intel says they're attacking 9 Panzer IVs and 6 Stug 3s. With those odds I think it's reasonable to put in an attack and leave it to the AI, no? The result is that all 3 companies attacking ended up decimated and surrendered (at around 16.00). End of 40 Tank!!! A Force of 31 Shermans reduced to about 9. Grim. And it leaves my northern back door wide open. It's 13.02 day 2 here.


[image]local://upfiles/36260/66267479F7444358B2865E46C08110F5.gif[/image]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:14:16 PM)

The position just as darkness begins to fall in the 'southern sector' around Manhay.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/3CB1F832F65A4B7EB6A864794A05941D.gif[/image]

1. Parker has been given the order (a Delay order, in fact) to Move back. He's done a fantastic job and I suspect the 3 pronged assault against him during the entire afternoon will have cost the enemy too. I give him the order now expecting, with it being a 'delay' order and with orders delay, plus the inherent difficulty of withdrawing under fire, that it will be well after dark before he really starts to move. Luckily the enemy has not managed to cut off his reteat route.
2. I order Brewster back to the same position, though have low expectation that he will make it.
3. Kane has already been ordered (bit earlier than planned) back to Grandmenil and is on the way. I've shifted him earlier because it looks like the Axis has actually abandoned Grandmenil (not sure why - maybe the intel showing his two units west of Gradmenil is just the tip of a very large iceberg trying to move into Grandmenil to replace the units he appear to have used to assault Manhay, I think - but I will try anyway to do just what he did last night - sneak into Grandmenil). Kane has done an outstanding job holding a very large force, I suspect (though I assume they weren't top class troops, but Volksgrenadiers instead).
4. First elements of 2-424 are arriving to re-take Grandmenil.
5. Plans for the 48 Armoured INf to occupy the line north of Manhay have been scuppered by a strong attack/probe at my supply route a bit further north (see next pic) - so I've had to order the 48 back up there.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:24:00 PM)

The 'northern sector' - above Manhay.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/ECB4546928F844E48D5C6233FD0529D7.gif[/image]

1. VERY worrying. Following the destruction, in effect, of 40 Tank, the enemy seems to be piling armour into this area. My back door (indicated by arrow) is wide open.
2. I decide - due to this and the probes further sth on the same supply route - to try to do without this road for supply, so order the CCA7 HQ and base to the west (not through the trees, but by roads just off the pic!). I'm hoping the AI will route the supply from the SEP at the top of this road along the same roads the base will now use to get further west, thus avoiding his blocks. There is not actually much I can do to deal with the Axis force at 1 at the moment. I have nothing I can use against it. The remnants of 40 Tank will have to defend the route nth, but I fear he will try to get right across the top of the map during the night, and there is little to stop him if he does. I do suspect that my units further sth might have severed his supply to the units at 1, earlier on, so maybe that will deter him. Fingers crossed.
3. 48 Arm have had to be ordered back to deal with his new attack here. I desperately need to rest 48 Arm though before launching anything. they are so exhausted I worry an attack would resut in a mass surrender...
4. 2-424 is headed fro Grandmenil.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:36:37 PM)

The next update I have (and will post tomorrow, hopefully), is from the morning of day 3.

What's my analysis as night falls day 2?

Swamped. No room to do anything but plug holes and hold desperately. His attacks on the western supply road have wrecked my plans to hold the Grandmenil-Manhay-Vaux Chavanne corner. I'm now slowly retreating everywhere, I think.

BUT, hard to believe, but it's only day 2 of a 14 day scenario! Plenty time to think and change tactics. I get some significant reinforcements tomorrow, but not enough to change the desperation. I'm hoping to use them to deal with his armour attacking the north-west supply road. After that I get some arty day 4, i think, then nothing until day 7. then, slowly, from then through to day 10, the materiel starts arriving. But it's a long gap to wait after tomorrow - 4 days loom without significant reinforcements. I can only hope his pool is running dry....




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 12:42:31 PM)

Pic from google earth of the site of the destruction of 40 Tank. At least 20 Shermans left burning.

[image]local://upfiles/36260/63DDA3C0CA1B4F9696222088149451EE.gif[/image]




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 1:40:52 PM)

quote:

Problem is they've got no bloody ammo. None of them. the only one with ammo left is the reserve company and - as per comments in other threads about this - it is not brought into play at all. What's it there for? What is the meaning of 'reserve' if it doesn't now get involved instead of the other companies, I wonder. And why are those 3 companies pressing an assault on German armour when they have no ammo? The limits of the AI, methinks. I will be more cautious in future.


That does indeed sound like a bug to me. When you say they didn't have any ammo, you mean ammo for their main gun right?




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 1:48:28 PM)

deleted




Bletchley_Geek -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 1:52:27 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

That's right. No AP or HE for the main gun. They attacked Panzer IVs with machine guns. Is it a bug? Or a feature we don't have yet? There's been threads about it (ammo use) recently - about not swapping out units with depleted ammo in an attack. I think Dave said it didn't happen. Not sure, though. I should have watched more closely. I only noticed the ammo prob when it was all over and I looked at the save to do the AAR.


This does warrant a closer look.

On a less serious note, those tankers had balls of steel [:)]




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 2:23:51 PM)

Oh dear. Just checked again. They weren't out of ammo. The only ones out of ammo were the destroyed tanks - the 105mm guns. My mistake. I'll correct the posts. Though that makes their demise even more puzzling. 30 Shermans against 9 Panzer IV and 6 Stugs and I lose over 20 Shermans? It's not fair.

they were exhausted, of course.




wodin -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 2:26:07 PM)

Pics fine now thanks mate..great AAR.




phoenix -> RE: ALLIED side MP AAR Spearhead v Reich (3/27/2013 2:38:04 PM)

Cheers Jason.




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