AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (Full Version)

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Surtur -> AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 10:17:10 AM)

This is an AAR of a PBEM of WitW's Bulge to the Rhine short scenario. What makes this AAR a little different is that the two of us playing are also the co-authors of the scenario. As I play along I will, when appropriate, look to explain some of our design decisions. Since we built the scenario the introduction of the new combat delay function has had an impact on rates of advance. I will be looking at balance and allocation of victory points. I can guarantee that the release version of Bulge to the Rhine will be better for this PBEM.

Introduction
Bulge to the Rhine is a 12 turn scenario starting on 16 December 1944 with the launch of Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein. This is such an obvious start date for a scenario that had it not been included in WitW a few eyebrows would have been raised. Such a well know start date helps the scenario designer as information on strengths, organisations and dispositions are easier to research.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/00.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 1
For a scenario designer one of the tasks is to set the initial turn to optimise the performance of the AI. As the designer's control of the AI air directives is only fixed for Turn 1 we chose to set up the Op BODENPLATTE air strikes. In reality these were delayed until 1 Jan 45 but had been planned to go ahead on 16 Dec 44. Here is a view of the air directives:

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/01.jpg[/image]

Having run the air phase things have been pretty successful although costly. I have destroyed 41 Tempests which are a formidable opponent.

As you can infer from the scenario name this is more than just the Battle of the Bulge. The key to winning is holding on as long as possible. Only two Axis Victory locations are not already held and I intend to keep them that way. As I don't want to over extend my T1 attacks are going to be limited to capturing Bastogne and gaining valuable points. In my research I had the pleasure to read Stephen Newton's biography of FM Walther Model. Model lobbied hard for a small option of Bulge concentrating on encircling Aachen. The scenario is set up to allow you to try this for yourself. Finally 6th FJ Regt is set up to replicate von der Heydte's parachute drop - Op Stoesser.

Here is my game plan for Turn 1:

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/02.jpg[/image]

By the end of my turn things are working well - I have captured Bastogne and put sufficient combat power there to hold hopefully for at least a turn and force the Allied player to commit units to drive them out. I have switched 6th SS Panzer Army and 5th Panzer Army. 6th SS Pz Army is set to withdraw with most of the SS Pz Divs (to head to Hungary) on T5 and T6 so I'm already preparing for that occurrence. I have begun to pull out of the Colmar Pocket. Finally I have set most of my mobile units to Reserve and broken them down into regiments to maximise reserve activations.

Allied Turn 1

The German has pushed through to take Bastogne on a very narrow front (10 miles wide). As a result of his concentration of five panzer divisions within 10 miles of Bastogne the Westwall is weak and without adequate reserves. I have placed the US 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions directly in front of any continued advance to the northwest toward Antwerp. Both armored divisions are packing the M36 90mm GMC in their attached TD Battalion.

I have taken two hexes in my Rhineland Campaign NE of Maastricht. This will enable either the British 2nd Army or US 9th Army to fight east of the Maas River instead of crossing it under fire. One of the conquered hexes was a Westwall Fortification 4 Position.

This week was spent moving aircraft toward the front, and increasing their bomb loads. The air battle was not intense as there was a lot of changing taking place. Next week my air forces will be ready.
The week was also spent getting my support units in Corps HQ’s adequately staffed with artillery and anti-aircraft units. Those changes are basically done with a bit more to do next turn.

Infantry and Armored divisions were also assigned support units. The US Infantry Divisions normally receive a TD Battalion, (SP or Towed), a Combat Engineer Battalion, and a Tank Battalion if available. If a Tank Battalion is not available the Infantry Divisions normally are assigned an AA-Auto Weapons Battalion.
The US Armored Division receive a TD Battalion (SP), a Combat Engineer Battalion, and either a SP Artillery Battalion or a SP AA-Auto Weapons Battalion.

British and French Divisions are similarly equipped with the main goal of getting engineers, tank destroyers, and tanks into the divisions rather than leaving them in the Corps HQ’s.

The II CA Corps was heavily strengthened this week for a move on Kleve as part of my Rhineland Campaign. The German fortifications are not yet at peak strength, and the line is weakly manned with one infantry division per 10 miles of front. I will strike next turn from the Nijmegen area.

V US Corps is occupied trying to clear the swamp 10 miles NE of Malmedy. Results should be better next turn.

VII US, XVIII US Airborne, and III US, and XX US Corps have moved to contact, and are screening the enemy offensive. They will “roll with the punches”, and counterattack as soon as possible.

7th US Army is on the defensive except for the unsuccessful attack made on the Alsatian plain.

Unfortunately, the 21st Panzer Division was committed as a reserve and thwarted the attack of VI US Corps.
The German is moving back toward the Rhine in the Colmar area, and as a result the French 1st Army has advanced deeper into the Vosges. Not sure how far the German will retreat.

I have a plan to conquer Lorient in order to free up forces for the Westwall and Rhine battles. Rennes Airbase has P-38 Recon, P-47’s with 1,000 lb. bombs, and B-26 Bombers with 2,000 lb. bombs. I expect a fairly quick victory.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/01_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 2
My first check on receiving Turn 2 is to look at Bastogne - I'm still holding itwhich provides me valuable points. On the subject of points I now have some admin points so I need to think carefully how to use them - I am helped in WitW by there being no cost to change a unit assignment but as only one change per unit per turn is allowed it is worth taking time to make sure you get it right first time.

I begin my air phase by looking at the weather. It's snowing almost everywhere so flying operations are off the cards. This is good news as it allows me to readjust my air OOB. I've started to group my fighter units in Luftflotte Reich. I have set all my Level Bomber and Transport aircraft to Rest. I'm putting all my Tactical Bombers in II Jagd Corps with FB escorts. Finally I need to manage my pilots carefully as the lack of good pilots is my greatest weakness.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/03.jpg[/image]

The ground phase allows me to continue my plans from T1 - I still hold a little of the initiative. In the north I build two fort units in Haarlem and Amsterdam. At Bastogne I begin to pull back - I do not want to be encircled. East of Saarbrucken I bring in a FJ Div to allow me to reinforce Saarbruecken with 17 SS PzG Div and place 11 Pz Div in reserve. I continue to delay in the Colmar pocket. Finally I begin to rearrange my HHQs. Using the Commander's Report and a scrap of paper I calcuate that OB West, OB Oberrhein, WMBefehl Holland and Army Gp H are all surplus to requirements and are being removed from the orbat. In the next turns 25th Army are probably for the chop - Christiansen is a poor leader and I don't have the points to replace him.

Here is the screenshot at the end of the turn.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/04.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 2

On this turn I conquered the Port of Lorient. Why? To free up investing forces for use elsewhere. I will probably try to take St. Nazaire as well although with the 265th Infantry Division inside the Fortress it is much more formidable.

I was able to recapture Bastogne in two back-to-back attacks. The 1st SS and 12th SS Panzer Divisions were sent reeling by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Armored, 84th Infantry, and 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
I broke through the Westwall 20 miles NE of Aachen. It was only defended by the 363rd VG Division, and my attack by six US Infantry Divisions cleared the hex, which was exploited by two uncommitted US Armored Divisions (5th and 7th US Armored Divisions)

In the Air Campaign I upgraded a number of aircraft. All air units (Day Fighter) in RAF Fighter Command now fly the Mustang III or Mustang IV. I intend for them to not only protect the British Isles, but to fly Superiority missions over Holland and Germany and free up the British 2nd TAF to carry more bombs and rockets. The flying weather was very poor, and I have chosen to fly in poor weather or better to reduce operational losses. Not many air sorties were flown this turn.

I was able to drive the 9th VG Division, 416th Infantry Division, and Fuhrer Grenadier Bde. back over the Sauer River. XX US Corps/3rd US Army made advances in two different areas on the Southern Flank of the shrinking Bulge. I expect the German Player to completely evacuate the Bulge now that he has lost Bastogne for good.

The attack of II CA Corps was a complete success. They are now on the Rhine and poised to continue tough fighting to clear the western bank. Kleve and the Reichswald are now in the front line.
I expect the strength in front of 3rd & 7th US Armies to weaken as the situation from Nijmegen to Aachen requires the German to defend the west bank of the Rhine.

All of the US and British Day fighters and Recon aircraft are set to accept Trained Pilots only. This is working well. This cannot be done for any other Nationality as there are too few Trained Pilots.
The French have replaced their Spitfire IX’s with P-47D-15s and Kittyhawk IVs. Both aircraft have a greater range and bomb load.

I am currently way behind in Victory Points as I only am rewarded for advancing. This is by design. I cannot win by holding Bastogne on March 10, 1945. Where were the Soviets on March 10th? On the Oder River with the Germans trapped in only a portion of East Prussia. The scenario ends on March 10, 1945. I must accomplish a lot before that date to win a victory. I’m beginning to see progress, and must be patient.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/02_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 3
Bastogne has fallen. From now until the end I am in a rearguard action. The question is where the attacks will fall. A review of the map with the battle locations shown and the victory locations highlighted give a fair indication of the enemy plan.

Once again poor weather allows me to concentrate on reorganising the Luftwaffe. There are three areas where I can help improve things further. Firstly ensuring I'm making best use of the best aircraft - for example swapping Bf 109 G-14s for Bf 109 K-4s or G-10s. Manoeuvre ratings and heavier weapons are key factors. The second is adjusting loadouts and locations so that aircraft fly in the cleanest configuration. I set a Superiority Air Directive west of the Ruhr where I can see that limited air attacks have been conducted. Finally I close down and evacuate any air bases not supporting aircraft.

In response to the fall of Bastogne and the enemy attacks I withdraw my armour from the Ardennes where it is of marginal value. I SS Pz Corps pulls back towards Koblenz whilst II SS Pz Corps moves to west of Cologne and is placed under command of 15th Army. HQ 25th Army is disbanded with its Corps placed under 1st FJ Army.

The screenshot summarises the position at the end of Turn 3.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/05.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 3

The weather was fine for air operations and a great many sorties were flown with heavy losses. I lost 481 aircraft in air combat, but downed 264 German fighters including 100-Fw-190A-8’s and 96-Bf-109G-10s. My largest losses were 154-Typhoons, 190-P-47D-25s, and 90-Mustang IVs. The enemy cannot afford those kind of losses, and they are painful to me as well.

The British and Canadian attacks near Kleve continued to make progress. The breakthrough 20 miles NE of Aachen provoked a violent German reaction, and as a result “the Bulge” in the Ardennes is being evacuated by the German. My attempts to widen the breakthrough near Aachen failed, and the German looks to be massing for a counterattack. I reinforced the breakthrough force with the 102nd US Infantry Division.

10th US Armored Division has crossed the Saar River after the way was cleared by four US Infantry Divisions of XX US Corps.

Ten miles east of Saarbrucken the Westwall has been reduced from a Fort 3 to a Fort 1 after heavy attacks by XII and XV US Corps.

The VI US Corps advanced NE of Haguenau, and also cleared the Rhine due east of Strasbourg, although the Rhine has not yet been crossed in this sector.

The French have closed to the northern edge of the city of Colmar.

Next week, in the Ardennes, the German will be pushed back into Germany unless he withdraws first. His attack in the Ardennes was nothing more than a “Spoiling Attack” designed to delay Allied thrusts which are now underway across the front.

My forces are massed opposite St. Nazaire for a full attack next turn. From that I will determine if it can be pursued to a successful conclusion or abandoned.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/03_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 4
My review of the start of Turn 4 shows that the Allies have continued attacks on all the assessed avenues of approach with additional attacks down the Rhine valley in the area of Karlsruhe. The weather has improved to Cold (i.e. clear wnter skies) so the Allied air attacks rain down with avengence.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/06.jpg[/image]

Elsewhere the area of most concern to me are the attacks towards Cologne. The US have launched attacks either side of the hex that they gained in the previous turn. The Westwall has been breached and further success in this area could spell disaster at an early stage. Luckily the presence of Bittrich's II SS Pz Corps gives me considerable combat power and I decide to counter attack and regain lost territory.

The attack is successful and at least for the moment I have bought myself some additional time.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/07.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 4

The Port of St. Nazaire fell as the result of back-to-back attacks by US and French forces under the command of XXI US Corps. Over 14,500 POWs were taken in the surrender for negligible losses.

XX US Corps expanded their bridgehead across the Saar River, and XII US Corps broke into the Westwall east of Saarbrucken. Saarbrucken is ripe for encirclement.

A bit farther north 9th US Armored Division has crossed the Sauer River NW of Trier after a successful attack by III US Corps. Trier is threatened from the North and the South.

East of Strasbourg the 3rd US Infantry Division has crossed the Rhine River NW of Offenburg. The bridgehead was quickly reinforced with the French 2nd Armored Division which is also serving under VI US Corps.

The Breakthrough NE of Aachen has been expanded. Strong forces of British XXX Corps, XIX US Corps, XIII US Corps, and VII US Corps are pressing the enemy to the east.

The German position in the Netherlands along the Maas River has collapsed. The 1st Polish Armored Division has taken The Hague, and several German units are threatened with encirclement.

The Broad front Strategy is creating crises all along the front, and the German does not have the resources to oppose them all. I believe the front collapsing in the Netherlands was a choice made to be strong in the main areas of fighting and let the other areas be captured.

The air forces are in need of rest and will be taking time for rest and maintenance. With the front becoming fluid the ground forces are not in great need of air support as they are more than capable of causing great loss to the enemy in a war of movement.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/04_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 5
Turn 5 arrives with the unpleasant but expected news that I SS Pz Corps have left for the Eastern Front. This is going to be a difficult phase as over the next few turns I am going to be losing over half of my armoured forces to the East as well as a large number of air units. My withdrawal from the Netherlands is now well in hand. Hopefully I can hold the Allies at Haarlem and Amsterdam and along the IJssel.

The Allies continue to make their attacks across the front. In the north I'm very pleased to see that 190th Infantry Div, supported by a Kampfgruppe from 9th Pz Div hold off two major attacks on the Reichswald.

West of Cologne I once again lose the territory I retook in the previous turn with an additional hex lost too.

Of most immediate concern are the attacks near Saarbruecken. This is my first difficult decision and I chose to pull back 17 SS PzG Div. Luckily the area already has tactical panzer reserves. I still have in an operational reserve 116th Pz Div and 130th Pz Lehr Div. Their combat power is significant but there is no need at present to commit them forward.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/08.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 5
In the Netherlands Rotterdam has fallen to I BR Corps. The Maas, Waal, and Nederrijn Rivers have all been crossed. Utrecht is in the front line.

In the Rhineland Campaign XXX BR Corps and VII US Corps continued to make progress in the grind to the Rhine River. Many of the strongest enemy positions have been overcome.

In the 3rd US Army sector Saarbrucken has fallen to XII US Corps. Additional progress was made to the NE of Saarbrucken by XII and XV US Corps.

The 1st French Army has positioned itself for a strong attack on Colmar. I expect the German to withdraw to the east bank of the Rhine to avoid encirclement on the west bank of the Rhine River.

Many of my air assets have been resting, and that may continue into the next week. The French have been issued P-47D-25’s as their supply of P-47D-15’s was running low.

After the fall of St. Nazaire; US and French divisions have begun their rail movement to the front on the Westwall. Their arrival will strengthen the attack at the most opportune time. I believe I will commit the XXI US Corps intact, and I believe it will go to 3rd US Army.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/05_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 6
I've now made it half way through the game and I'm still hanging in there although the worst is yet to come.

This is a good point to take stock. I'm helped in this by one of the new WitW features - the metrics screen function. This screen produces graphs that track strengths and values against turn. The screenshot shows the comparison of AFV strengths over the last six turns. I may have lost almost a thousand but the Allies have lost heavily too.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/09.jpg[/image]

At this point I take time and care to reorganise my OOB making sure that I reassign support units left behind by departing units. I also spend almost all my admin points on replacing leaders.

Here is a screenshot of the strength of my defences at the end of Turn 6. We are entering the stage where I will need to switch from a strong line of defence based upon the Westwall to a carpet defence preventing significant advances which I would be unable to counter with my diminishing strength.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/10.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 6
In the Netherlands Utrecht has fallen. The German line is very weak north of Arnhem. I have started to move forces in that direction to cross the Ijssel River near Deventer.

V & VII US Corps continue their drive on Bonn. 2nd & 3rd US Armored Division are 10 miles from the Rhine. Euskirchen is in the front line.

In the 3rd US Army sector progress has been made moving NE of Saarbrucken to the second (and last) layer of Westwall positions. Trier is heavily defended with three VG Divisions inside.

VI US Corps also conquered a position near Karlsruhe to aid the 3rd US Army attack. An assault across the Rhine SW of Karlsruhe drove the enemy back, but I was not able to cross the Rhine River. It should make it easier next turn as the fortified position was destroyed.

Very poor weather has kept air missions to a minimum.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/06_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 7
As I push on into the second half one of the few bright points is the arrival of some of the late war aircraft types. At last the Ta 152 H has become available. Here in the screenshot it is shown in comparison with the Fw190 D-9 Dora. I quickly convert Stab/JG26 and Stab/JG2 from their 'Doras'.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/11.jpg[/image]

On the ground I'm feeling reasonably happy. The Allies are making progress but thankfully it is deliberate rather than spectacular. I am particularly pleased that I am still holding all the Allied Victory locations and have lost only Saarbruecken from those that I had at the very start. I'm sure Jodl at OKW will be pleased - not as pleased as I would be if I had the admin points to replace him. Luckily I have Model and Balck at Army Group level. Willi Bittrich's recent arrival at XII SS Corps has already made a difference.

Another newly appointed leader - Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg leads a counterattack by LXXIV Corps and centred upon 130th Pz Lehr Div to push the Allies back from the northern outskirts of Euskirchen.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/12.jpg[/image]

In the very far south I begin to pivot back from Freiburg with the flank of 19th Army. If the Allies follow then they may struggle with supplies as there is no rail crossing until you get to Offenbach. I still hold onto Colmar - my last foothold in France.

Allied Turn 7
In the Netherlands I now have both the I BR Corps and VIII BR Corps north of the Nederrijn River. Some progress was made to the east and Arnhem is in the front line.

The II CA Corps is still refitting slowly. Kleve and the Reichswald are strongly held by the German.

Progress was made by XXX BR Corps, XIX US Corps and VII US Corps advancing side-by side. All are 10 miles from the Rhine with weak German units to their front.

V US Corps advanced which will hopefully cause the enemy to pull back from strong positions for fear of encirclement.

Due south III US Corps has taken Bitburg and captured supplies and fuel. I expect to be counter-attacked. Trier is now only defended by one VG division not three. My attack on Trier was not a complete success. It will be repeated; although the enemy should withdraw.

VI US Corps has crossed the Rhine River in two location SW of Karlsruhe. It could force the German away from the Rhine. The enemy has already given up the eastern bank south of Freiburg.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/07_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 8
Eisenhower's is certainly following a broadfront strategy with attacks against all my Armies. Luckily there is once again snow falling in Western Europe which keeps Allied air power at bay and gives me some respite.

With four turns to go I begin to sense that the finishing post may be in my grasp. They say a cornered tiger is at its most dangerous. With this in mind and knowing that every turn and every hex will be important I counterattack where the Allies have advanced in limited strength. Each of the southern armies launches a counterattack. Only 1st FJ Army and 15th Army in the north don't counterattack as no suitable opportunities are apparent.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/13.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 8

This turn must be described as “Big Week” from the air. I finally had excellent weather across the entire front. All of my air assets were committed to attacking ground units. During this “maximum effort” the German suffered grievous air and ground losses. Mobile units suffered extraordinary losses from rocket firing Typhoons and P-47D-25 fighter-bombers.

The air assault opened with RAF Fighter Command flying an Superiority Mission over the Holland/German border with its Mustang IV’s. German Bf-109K-4s intercepted and each side lost about twenty four fighters. The air battle intensity never slackened after that opening dogfight.

The success of the air battle led to the best weekly gains since the German Counter-attack began on December 16th. Two hundred square miles of Holland were liberated, and one thousand five hundred square miles of Germany was conquered.

In the 1st and 9th US army sectors XIX US Corps has crashed through to the western bank of the Rhine. 113th US Cav Grp fired small arms and mortars into the ruins of Cologne. Their break-through was quickly reinforced by the 13th US Armored Division, newly arrived on the continent.

US 3rd Army conquered 700 square miles of Germany including the second layer of the Westwall positions. There are no Westwall fortified positions left west of the Rhine.

The German 19th VG Division is now surrounded in Trier. 9th and 11th US Armored Division have linked up on the Moselle River NE of Trier.

7th US Army has strengthened their Rhine bridgehead SW of Karlsruhe by adding the 14th US Armored Division and the 45th US Infantry Division. 63th US Infantry Division made the initial crossing. Their next step is an attack on Gaggenau to link up with the 3rd and 36th US Infantry Divisions which have pushed east and are now 10 miles NE of Offenburg.

I French Corps has thrust in behind the German lines at Freiburg. This thrust should result in the German evacuation of Colmar, their only remaining occupied territory in France.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/08_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 9
Turn 9 shows the true power of the Allies and my weakening position. The more that the Allies push me away from the fortifications of the Westwall the more precarious my situation becomes. The centre of my line is particularly vulnerable and the attacks have cut off 19th Volksgrenadier Division in Trier. Not only is this a unit I don't want to lose but Trier is also a Victory Location.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/14.jpg[/image]

Once again I defend aggressively. This time I launch seven successful counterattacks across the front and in all but one case I reoccupy the territory. One attack opens a route back to Trier hopefully ensuring at least another turn of occupation.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/15.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 9
Favorable weather for air support continued this week, and I pushed all units but those with very low morale or high fatigue into the air. German ground units were devastated and German air opposition was light due to previous heavy losses or high fatigue of his remaining air units.

In the Netherlands, Apeldoorn on the Ijssel River was captured. A strong attack on Arnhem was repulsed by the German 6th FJ Division. I had destroyed most of it attached Panther tanks and StuG’s, and thought it was ripe to fall. It was not.

The British 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions have been dropped near Winterswijk, Holland. It is a risky move, but the German is weak. British I and VIII Corps must quickly cross the Ijssel River, and II CA Corps will attack across the Rhine to relieve the airborne forces.

XIII US Corps have moved to the Rhine River just north of XIX US Corps. I hold 20 miles of the left bank of the Rhine opposite Cologne/Butzweilerhof.

Progress was made by XIX, V, and VIII US Corps in driving into the mass of German forces centered around Euskirchen and Bitburg.

XX US Corps has taken Trier and has driven north-east thirty miles along the right bank of the Moselle River led by the 10th and 11th US Armored Divisions. The spearheads are 20 miles from the three US Parachute Regiments dropped on Bad Kreuznach, Horn AB, and 10miles NW of Horn AB on the western bank of the Rhine River.

Supporting attacks by the XII and XV US Corps are moving north toward the Rhine River and the US Parachute Regiments.

Supporting attacks by the XII and XV US Corps are moving north toward the Rhine River and the US Parachute Regiments.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/09_Allied.jpg[/image]


Axis Turn 10
The turn starts with the shock that the Allies have launched a series of airborne assaults into the rear areas of 1st FJ Army and the boundary between 15th and 1st Armies. As I start the air phase I set the map display to show the hex interdiction levels. As I would have done the Allied player has set a ground attack air directive set to interdiction. This will make my attacks against the airborne forces much more difficult.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/16.jpg[/image]

In response I concentrate my air power in the same areas with two superiority air directives. Not only will this reduce interdiction levels but also make any resupply flights more costly.

For the ground phase I rely on the first principle of war - the selection and maintenance of the aim. I'm not going to let the airborne operations unhinge my successful strategy. I remain focused on holding the victory locations and where I can reducing the airborne forces.

In the north the two british airborne divisions are too hard a nut to crack with the limited forces available. In the centre the three US airborne regiments are forced into a single hex and surrounded.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/17.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 10
In the Netherlands I BR Corps has crossed the Ijssel River with the 1st Polish Armored Division taking Deventer. The Poles are still 30 miles from the 6th BR Airborne Division. The door to the North German Plain is being opened. British Infantry Divisions will move into the bridgehead next turn.

II CA Corps attempt to cross the Lower Rhine has weakened its Fallschirmjager opponent. The attack will be renewed next turn.

A successful attack by XII BR Corps has enabled the entire XVI US Corps to cross the Maas River 10 miles west of Krefeld.

V, VIII and III US Corps have cooperated in cutting off two Regiments of the 26th VG Division 10 miles NW of Bitburg. III US Corps has also advanced north of Trier.

XX US Corps has lunged forward and make contact with the three US Parachute Regiments landed near Horn Airbase. Idar-Oberstein has been captured by XXI US Corps in the drive toward Mainz.

In the south 1st FF Armored Division has taken Donaueschingen Airbase and other French forces have moved across the Rhine as the German is withdrawing.

In the sector of 21st BR Army Group there is currently Heavy Rain bringing Heavy Mud with it. This has limited air support by 2nd BR TAF, but it will also make it difficult to conduct successful attacks against the British Airborne forces behind a minor river near Winterswijk.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/10_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 11
In the north the rains have come and with them heavy mud. This means that the Allies have failed to link up with the BR Airborne Divisions. Unfortunately it also means that I will be unable to destroy them. Whilst the rains and mud have made ground combat sluggish this has been a ferocious turn in the air - I down over one hundred transport aircraft but it has cost me an awful lot.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/18.jpg[/image]

In the south although the Allies manage to link up with their airborne forces my counter attack on the narrow corridor that has pushed through my lines allows me to rout them and I believe this is my last huraah.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/19.jpg[/image]

In the very south I am in danger of being encircled but follow orders and desperately cling to the VP locations of Freiburg and Offenburg.

Allied Turn 11

In the Netherlands the 3rd & 15th BR Infantry Divisions crossed the Ijssel River into Deventer. Another crossing of the Ijssel River was made by 51st BR Infantry Division 10 miles SE of Deventer. Four strong divisions are now in the bridgehead, and the bridgehead is secure.

In the Netherlands the 3rd & 15th BR Infantry Divisions crossed the Ijssel River into Deventer. Another crossing of the Ijssel River was made by 51st BR Infantry Division 10 miles SE of Deventer. Four strong divisions are now in the bridgehead, and the bridgehead is secure.

The 1st and 6th BR Airborne Divisions have been resupplied by airlift, and await contact from the I BR Corps and II CA Corps next turn.

Moenchen-Gladbach is under heavy attack by XVI & XIII US Corps and XII & XXX BR Corps. Its’ fall is imminent.

Wesseling has been taken by the XIX US Corps. The City of Bonn is in the front line.

V, VII, & III US Corps continue to reduce the size of the German position west of the Rhine River north of the Moselle River. XX, XXI & XV US Corps are doing the same south of the Moselle River.

The French 1st Army and VI US Corps are on the verge of having the German 19th Army “pocketed” east of the Rhine River. The French 1st Armored Division is 20 miles NE of Bad Duerrheim.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/11_Allied.jpg[/image]

Axis Turn 12
My last turn arrives with a sense of pleasant relief. My hold at all costs strategy may be good for a time limited scenario but for a longer term strategy it means I have been bled white. I am now forced to disband nightfighter staffeln to provide sufficient trained pilots for my day fighters - and there is not that many left as this view of Luftflotte Reich shows. Available aircraft are in the Rdy column - Pilots in the Plt column with * showing where there are not enough.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/20.jpg[/image]

My strategy for the last turn is simple - position my forces in the best position to hold for the final Allied push of this game. I know that in the south most of 19th Army is likely to be encircled.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/21.jpg[/image]

Allied Turn 12
The scenario end date has come. The Allied Armies have suffered a Major Defeat according to the Victory Conditions as currently set-up. As the Allied Player I am well satisfied with my “Major Defeat”.

In the North, Winterswijk has fallen to the 5th CA Armored Division and the link-up with the 1st & 6th BR Airborne Divisions has been successfully accomplished.

In the Deventer Bridgehead are strong units of I BR Corps, I BR Airborne Corps, and II CA Corps. Enschede is in the front line. The BR/CA offensive can be continued at will to Hannover, Bremen or driving south-east into the Ruhr. If the game continued several of those options would be pursued. The German has no defensive line north of Kleve/Emmerich.

The XII & XXX BR Corps along with the XVI & XIII US Corps have taken Moenchen-Gladbach.

V US Corps drove back the Panzer Lehr Division and advanced SE of the “Fortified Locality” of Euskirchen. The corridor to Euskirchen is now 10 miles wide.

Other units of 1st & 3rd US Armies continue to push to the Rhine with Allied spearheads now 10 miles from Koblenz and 20 miles from Mainz.

In the South, VI US Corps and the I & II French Corps have surrounded the bulk of German 19th Army between Offenburg and Freiburg. Identified units include 159th ID, 708th ID, 16th VGD, 338th ID, 716th ID, 198th ID, 757th Infantry Rgt, 360th Cossack Rgt, and 2/405th zbv ID. There are no German forces outside of the “Pocket” worthy of mention. After the Pocket is reduced the way is open to Southern Germany.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/12_Allied.jpg[/image]

Conclusion Axis
I receive the final results back from my worthy opponent - and we have now played a number of times. I know we are well matched adversaries when not working together in scenario design. I'm surprised with the Axis Decisive victory. The frontline is not far off history - better in the north and south but not as good in the centre where the Allies first crossed the Rhine. Obviously the game is balanced but the VPs are well out with the new combat delay. This has given me time to react to Allied thrusts and respond accordingly. It looks like a couple of locations need amendment and less points for the Axis. Making losses more costly for the Axis also seems important.

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/amazon/Art/witw/AAR/22.jpg[/image]

Back to the editor to make a few more tweaks and make this scenario even better before release.

Conclusion Allies
My Opponent has focused on accumulating Victory Points. I have focused on destroying the enemy army in the field. My Opponent has accomplished his objective, and I have accomplished mine.

It has been a pleasure to fight such a capable human opponent. This has made Bulge to the Rhine (BttR) a very enjoyable experience. I would encourage all players of this game to find a group of “like-minded” gamers to test the gaming skills against.

Bulge to the Rhine should be expanded in future Expansion Packs. I would suggest a Title called “Bulge to the Elbe” with a potential for the Allies to cut Germany in half and link up with Soviet forces on the Elbe!




Kronolog -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 12:33:46 PM)

It looks great! It's nice to see that the Germans still have som fight left in them and that they are able hurt the allies even during early 1945.




marion61 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 2:17:48 PM)

If I may ask, what are you using so that you can get more than one picture into your post for the thread?




Jim D Burns -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 3:19:14 PM)

For this scenario the fact the German’s are capable of taking Bastogne on turn one before the allies can respond has me worried. Historically lots of roadblock positions were thrown up to slow the Germans drive down and it allowed enough time for US reserves to reach Bastogne. Teams Cherry, O’Hara and Desobry all grabbed up extra allied strength from troops that were streaming west from the breakthroughs and managed to hold on and slow the Germans down and delayed them long enough to give the allies time to reinforce Bastogne.

I see an armor brigade Northeast of Bastogne which I assume is the parent unit for the three teams, can it be broken down into smaller regiments to occupy both hexes east of Bastogne? Not even sure it would solve the issue, but taking out Bastogne on turn one should be out of reach for Germany. So perhaps even consider placing part of the 101’st in Bastogne at setup if you can’t slow them down enough with forces on hand.

Good read covering of the actions by the three teams:

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-02.htm

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-07.htm

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-03.htm

Jim




Red Lancer -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 4:00:36 PM)

Jim

It's already been changed much as you suggest. We spent the weekend rejigging Bulge after we finished the AAR. It doesn't mean that the Axis can't take Bastogne - but they will have to work much harder t it.

Screenshot shows the Allied setup on T1.

[image]local://upfiles/18789/08754704C86D47A1BFF22B98042EC2F5.jpg[/image]




Jim D Burns -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 4:58:00 PM)

Team Desobry was reinforced by a battalion of the 506th on the 19th, so I guess it's even justifiable to put some Para unit’s one hex east of Bastogne if needed (fixed for one turn so they can't be moved to other areas they historically couldn't reach on turn one). That or perhaps place another Para regiment in Bastogne with a reserve setting or something. The week long turns is the real issue here, Germany has too many movement points to spend before the allies get to respond.

That gives me another thought, you can easily justify placing some of the German divisions a hex or two back from the front line hexes to eat up some of their available movement points on turn one. Perhaps that’d eat up enough moves to keep them out of Bastogne if needed. I can guarantee though if it’s possible to take Bastogne then eventually it’ll fall every single time the scenario is played once players get better at the game.

Can available fuel levels be cut in half? That might be all that is needed if its possible.

Jim




Red Lancer -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 5:38:21 PM)

Jim

You raise some very valid points and the week long turn has been a challenge as you acknowledge. From a scenario design perspective we have tried to give the flavour of Bulge - hindsight cuts both ways. We've tried to make it so Bastogne can be captured but not with the historical forces. I've always played wargames to do be able things differently when faced with the same problem.

The new combat delay rules can be very MP hungry so we're loath to reduce Axis MPs and the set up is to encourage the player in a roughly historical direction. For the Allies we've positioned units roughly where they would have been when the Axis met them so that when the Allied player gets his turn he is not completely off track. That said we did want the Allied player to have the oh **** moment at the start.

As I tried to explain in the AAR (I played Axis) the scenario is not Bulge centric but if you don't make Bulge attractive the Axis player can stay defensive which misses the whole point of a 16 Dec 44 set up.




zakblood -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 5:39:53 PM)

it still all seem too hardcore and far too much action going off at once for me, there is a lot of units to control and move, and maybe is too much for a casual player like me atm, while i will be buying it as i also have WITE, i find it a bit overwhelming tbh atm so think i may not be fully ready for it, and i have had the game WITE since release, so yes a while now, WITW with all the info i have seen shown so far still makes me think too much is happening all at once for me, so will just sit there until i either find the time or are ready for the time / learning curve etc etc and be ready to put this much into a game, which atm i don't feel i can one do it justice or even enjoy...

i think i'll stick with the easier ones for now, then by the time i'm ready,. the game will be a lot better as well in not on;ly development but also have some icons instead on nato ones etc, again for easy of use for the casual gamers like myself, not negative either, just a honest comment, does look nice and look forward to release, thanks for the update and share...




Jim D Burns -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 5:47:20 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Lancer

Jim

You raise some very valid points and the week long turn has been a challenge as you acknowledge. From a scenario design perspective we have tried to give the flavour of Bulge - hindsight cuts both ways. We've tried to make it so Bastogne can be captured but not with the historical forces. I've always played wargames to do be able things differently when faced with the same problem.

The new combat delay rules can be very MP hungry so we're loath to reduce Axis MPs and the set up is to encourage the player in a roughly historical direction. For the Allies we've positioned units roughly where they would have been when the Axis met them so that when the Allied player gets his turn he is not completely off track. That said we did want the Allied player to have the oh **** moment at the start.

As I tried to explain in the AAR (I played Axis) the scenario is not Bulge centric but if you don't make Bulge attractive the Axis player can stay defensive which misses the whole point of a 16 Dec 44 set up.



I have no issue at all with the ability of Bastogne to be captured. My issue is its fall before the allies can do anything to stop it. I think you'll find most players will find issue with this reality. So an axis turn one capture is bad and needs to be prevented in my opinion. It also flips history and forces the allies to go over to an attack posture.

Jim




SigUp -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 6:06:45 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns

I have no issue at all with the ability of Bastogne to be captured. My issue is its fall before the allies can do anything to stop it. I think you'll find most players will find issue with this reality. So an axis turn one capture is bad and needs to be prevented in my opinion. It also flips history and forces the allies to go over to an attack posture.

Jim

If you hardwire it that way that Bastogne under no circumstances can be captured on turn 1 it will never fall. By turn 2 the Allies can shove in enough reinforcements to prevent that from happening. Don't forget, we are talking about one week turns here. Turn 2 starts on 23rd December 1944, by that time the German offensive was basically dead. If Bastogne can't be taken on turn 1 many German players will simply dig in and wait for the Allies to come.

Thanks for the AAR, good to see the impact of pilots and weather on air operations. That was sorely missing from WITE. After seeing the results of the battles, however, I have a significant concern regarding the combat engine. Attacker losses still seem to be too low, like in WITE. In the first battle shown the Germans only lose 1.2% of their men and in the second one 1.6%. The engine still seems to follow the principle, the more the better and whoever attacks and wins is king. It's looking like the WITE snowball effect all over again.




KurtC -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 6:39:09 PM)

Nice AAR that is small enough to see the movements and see what kinds of decisions on a smaller scale will be necessary, but also big enough to see several areas of action along a pretty good sized front.




Steelers708 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/12/2014 8:10:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Lancer
As I tried to explain in the AAR (I played Axis) the scenario is not Bulge centric but if you don't make Bulge attractive the Axis player can stay defensive which misses the whole point of a 16 Dec 44 set up.


But surely the fact that on Turn 3 you pulled all your armoured units out of the 'Bulge' takes away the 'Bulge centric' argument any way. Surely from a German pov the Ardennes offensive scenario should be to take( or at least try) Antwerp as in the original plan, otherwise why bother with an an Ardennes scenario in the first place, yes we know they failed, but surely the point of the game is to not just to recreate history as it happened.




spinecruncher -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 12:58:09 AM)

I think what would keep me away from this game is the historical disparity. I mean, let's face it, the Germans goose was cooked by June 6, '44 (if only the Fuehrer had awoken at sunrise that morning and ordered his panzers hard into the beachhead then things could have been different -- imagine that squads of panzers rushing headlong into Juno, Sword, Omaha.. And once Bagration was unleashed, the Germans never had the resources to unleash a successful offensive. I think this game will have to take some "artistic license" and somehow even out the odds to make for balanced game play. Put it this way, under any conditions, how could the Germans have made a successful Wacht AM Rhein? IF they were outlandishly successful they could have made it into the English Harbor or Dutch ports. Then what? Wait for the buzz bombs to cause the Allies to sue for peace, and/or join Germany in a war against the Soviets.

This game looks awesome, but the history is pretty straightforward and the fate was inevitable.




zakblood -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 2:19:53 AM)

if their fate was inevitable, theirs little point in playing it, as if you can't alter history, then all you do is follow it, then there is little point, i'm sorry to say




Jim D Burns -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 2:59:55 AM)

It all depends on what is considered a victory in game. Any game that covers an historical war has to contend with the historical facts. It’s the victory conditions that matter not whether or not you can change the historical winners and losers somehow. For instance if you are playing to try and hold out longer than historical for a win, a wargame can be plenty fun to play. Use a little imagination, there is more to it than just who wins the war if you set your goals and expectations to focus on what a victory should be in any given game about history.

One of the most fascinating challenges in wargames is to try and tackle defensive situations against impossible odds. There is a real art to pulling off something like that, not to mention the huge amount of satisfaction you can get as a gamer if you succeed at such a challenge.

Jim




aspqrz02 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 11:43:01 AM)

Only if his Panzers had already BEEN 'hard at the beachhead' ... otherwise minor things like the entire allied TAFs and all the dropped bridges might, just possibly you understand, have had a slight effect.

German units moving by day, especially motor/mech ones, were, basically, toast ... that's historical.

Unless you plan a night attack against the beachheads?

In that case you need the Panzers already almost at them, not where they were historically located, and then the dropped bridges become the delaying factor ... so I am not sure that you'd get them there before first light on day 2 ... and then that minor problem of the entire allied TAFs rears its ugly head again.

You'd need to rejig the entire German pre-landing deployment with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight *and* nobble the allied attacks against every major road and rail bridge within 100 miles *and* nobble the allied TAFs as well to do better, I suspect.

YMMV.

Phil




Steelers708 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 12:00:31 PM)

In my experience though most people play historical war games to try and change history, it's the 'what ifs' that make them interesting. In smaller scenarios I can accept certain restrictions, for e.g. in the AAR above the Germans won a MV even though they failed to take Antwerp etc( the objective of Wacht am Rhein), I can understand this as it's a short scenario.

But in the big campaigns it seems as if it's pre-ordained that the Germans don't have freedom of action like the Allies. In July 1943 German forces(divisions) were distributed as such - Germany 6, East 188, West 52, Norway 13, Finland 7, South-East 15, Italy 6. Now as the German player can I withdraw 8 divisions from Norway, no!, the same goes for the South-East, that's 28 divisions tied down just because it's historical, and as they're in the the East Front box(for some strange reason) you don't have the option of using them to bolster the East front either, never mind the West front, the same could be said for the 7 in Finland, kept there for basically political reasons.

Ok so I lose the freedom to use 28 divisions where I'd like, but what about those in the West, 52 divisions, can I send 20 of them to bolster the Eastern front, well yes, but ultimately to what purpose, the Russians will still be in Berlin by August 1945 even if I kick the Western Allies of any beachheads. I dare say the same goes for Luftwaffe fighters, if I pulled them all out from the East Front box, there would be no difference to the Allied bombing campaign, meanwhile the Allies are not tied to history in the most vital factor from a German defensive view point, they can, with the odd exception, land anywhere they want, when they want.




Micke II -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 5:56:42 PM)

A minor point but the pockets of Lorient and Saint Nazaire in West of France surrended on May 8th 1945. They were very strong fortress protecting submarines bases. Perhaps their defensive value should be increased.




Steelers708 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 7:11:01 PM)

I don't know from a German perspective how the U-boats e.g. are modeled but as a German player the last thing I would do is leave units needlessly tied up behind Allied lines, there value on the front line would surely be of more value than the few Allied units left besieging them. Of course if it is somehow hard coded that they have to hold certain locations such as Brest and St Nazaire then it is one more nail in the coffin as regards the German players freedom of action.




Red Lancer -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 7:34:27 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Micke II

A minor point but the pockets of Lorient and Saint Nazaire in West of France surrended on May 8th 1945. They were very strong fortress protecting submarines bases. Perhaps their defensive value should be increased.


They are already Level 4 fortifications - we thought that was a good value. For the Axis you do nothing - if the Allies want to launch an assault so be it. You'll know better than I but I thought the didn't fall because the Allies chose not to attack rather than they held on against repeated assaults.




comsolut -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 7:36:17 PM)

Any chance of an AAR Wacht Am Rhein against the AI, to show if it can provide a challenge single player?




gravyhair -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 7:58:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Steelers708

I don't know from a German perspective how the U-boats e.g. are modeled but as a German player the last thing I would do is leave units needlessly tied up behind Allied lines, there value on the front line would surely be of more value than the few Allied units left besieging them. Of course if it is somehow hard coded that they have to hold certain locations such as Brest and St Nazaire then it is one more nail in the coffin as regards the German players freedom of action.



Historically, that is exactly what Hitler did in an effort to deny ports - but maybe you knew that.




Red Lancer -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 8:46:51 PM)

There is no hard coding to hold ports - Bulge to the Rhine has the ports held because that's what the situation was on 16 Dec 44.




aspqrz02 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 9:16:59 PM)

What a lot of supposedly Historical gamers don't get is that there are reasons for the restrictions the Germans are forced to operate under. Yes, sometimes it's because Hitler was an incompetent b^^^^^d, but, more often than not, it is because of logistics issues that, unfortunately, vircually all standard histories that historical gamers read simply either ignore or gloss over.

There's a reason you can't take those 8 Divisions from Norway in 1943 ... iron ore. Swedish iron ore. From ice free ports.

If you did withdraw, you'd lose that ... and that would have a quite significant impact on the German War Economy ... minor things [;)] such as fewer tanks, guns, planes, trucks, railway tanker cars etc. etc. ... all things that Germany was desperately short of already.

Similar issues apply to the German divisions in the SE ... as long as you have chosen to take the SE in the first place, of course (and there are good reasons for that, even though the current scenarios do no start till much later). If you evacuate you shorten the Russian lines as well as your own and, almost certainly lose Romania (if not lost already) and its oil, and, IIRC, significant bauxite deposits.

Synthetic oil or no, Romania was a vital resource, you cannot afford to just give it away by abandoning the SE to the allies. The Bauxite is, likewise, vital.

Since most games don't really go into production much, or not very realistically, they wouldn't handle this well - but, yes, I'd like to see a game where you could make such decisions, and have then come back (very very soon, in all likelihood) and bite you in the bum to your detriment [:D] ... fewer tanks, weaker armoured divisions; less tactical mobility with fewer trucks and less fuel overall; less well trained pilots who can, in any case, fly fewer missions due to less fuel ... and fewer aircraft of all sorts because of less aluminium; less ammo of all sorts and less food because the petrochemical industry has less feedstock for explosives and fertiliser.

The German War Economy was operating at the absolute limits of its capacity, which wasn't all that much, relatively to the capacity of its enemies, already ... what you (and many other 'historical' gamers) suggest would have, in reality, made the logistics and production system far, far worse and almost certainly ended the war sooner (though, of course, by how much we can only guess ... I'd say a fair bit, many months, in fact, YMMV).

So, yes, I, too would like to see these options made available - but in a game with either full production options that will be severely hit if such decisions are made or where the consequences of such decisions have hard-wired consequences of a similar nature.

Otherwise you're playing the sorts of wargames the Japs did before and during the war where, for example, when they found that they couldn't perform certain ops at range because of lack of tanker/refuelling capacity, they simply magicked it into existence so the wargame could proceed ... the real operations (and the entire war, of course) based on such fantasy planning went exactly as well as you would expect.

YMMV.

Phil





aspqrz02 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 9:21:38 PM)

ISTR that they were at least partly beseiged by newly raised (aka more or less untrained) French Metropolitan Divisions consisting of FFI elements ... perfectly capable of ensuring the Germans, with their finite and limited supplies, couldn't really break out and do any damage, but probably not up to the task of actually taking them.

Phil




Steelers708 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/13/2014 10:30:53 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

What a lot of supposedly Historical gamers don't get is that there are reasons for the restrictions the Germans are forced to operate under. Yes, sometimes it's because Hitler was an incompetent b^^^^^d, but, more often than not, it is because of logistics issues that, unfortunately, vircually all standard histories that historical gamers read simply either ignore or gloss over.

There's a reason you can't take those 8 Divisions from Norway in 1943 ... iron ore. Swedish iron ore. From ice free ports.

If you did withdraw, you'd lose that ... and that would have a quite significant impact on the German War Economy ... minor things [;)] such as fewer tanks, guns, planes, trucks, railway tanker cars etc. etc. ... all things that Germany was desperately short of already.

Similar issues apply to the German divisions in the SE ... as long as you have chosen to take the SE in the first place, of course (and there are good reasons for that, even though the current scenarios do no start till much later). If you evacuate you shorten the Russian lines as well as your own and, almost certainly lose Romania (if not lost already) and its oil, and, IIRC, significant bauxite deposits.

Synthetic oil or no, Romania was a vital resource, you cannot afford to just give it away by abandoning the SE to the allies. The Bauxite is, likewise, vital.

YMMV.

Phil





You would only lose the iron ore if the allies decided to invade Norway, and that is why I said in another post on the forum that the Germans should have the option of reducing troop levels in Norway but at the cost of an economic impact if the allies invade, as to the SE If as the German I chose to abandon e.g. Greece then I should have that option.

The point I'm trying to make is that the game is 'historical' for the Germans but not for the Allies e.g as I said earlier the Allies are not restricted to landing only at Anzio or Normandy, and I suspect that switching Bomber Command and the 8th AF over to supporting the ground offensive is a switch of a button option, whereas in real live both Bomber Command and the 8th AF were extremely reluctant to do so as they were convinced the war could be won from the air by bombing Germany.




aspqrz02 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/14/2014 1:37:37 AM)

Indeed, you SHOULD have the option, as long as the game includes a full production system that represents historical reality.

What you are suggesting would have much the same, or worse, outcome for the German player in pretty much exactly the same way that the German player 'won' this AAR but, actually, bled himself so dry that the war would end months earlier than it did.

Really, it's what the Germans did themselves, to a lesser degree, in early 1945, they basically closed down all the Wehrkreise and the Replacement Army and sent all the training units and the last draft of trainees off to the front ... gave them a short term boost, for some very low values of 'boost', but meant that the war was inevitably and irretrievably lost at that point at the very latest. Even if the reinforcements had somehow created a miraculous short term stop in Russian/Western Allied advances, the Germans had ensured they would have exactly NO follow on forces. Incredible dumb ...

So, sure, abandon (partly or otherwise) Norway and the SE and watch the allies shut down you iron ore imports more easily with even a partial invasion, watch your panzer units become even more shadows of their already understrength selves with their tactical and operational mobility reduced drastically (and, therefore, their ability to act as a 'fire brigade'), watch the Heer Infantry become even more static as the POL dries up for what few trucks remain, and watch ammo and food shortages start to bite much earlier and much deeper, and watch the Luftwaffe being driven from the skies months, perhaps years, earlier as new aircraft production dries up ...

Sure, you SHOULD have that option.

Given that, as other posters have said, the outcome of the war is an inevitable allied victory, the victory conditions have to be drawn to compare how well you do against that metric ... so, for short term gain that might, barely, garner some victory points, you will ensure a quicker defeat ...

But, yes, you should have that option!

Phil




aspqrz02 -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/14/2014 1:42:23 AM)

Actually, the Allies should *not* be able to do *more* amphibious operations. They didn't have the sealift ... it had to be shuffled backwards and forwards between the PTO and the ETO.

They should be allowed to choose *different landing places*, sure ... and they should be allowed to take a *big* VP or PP (WitAE term there) hit if they do MORE invasions, representing the slowing of the allied advance across the Pacific and the probable extension of the war there into 1946.

Until we have a 'War in the World' game (hear that GG et al?!?! [:D]) with full production for all sides and the relevant historical limitations we can't really represent that [;)]

Phil




Duck Doc -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/14/2014 2:51:36 AM)

I don't think the game engine can model or simulate the ad hoc combat groups (kampfgruppen or teams) that played such pivotal roles in the later parts of the war. The American teams were successful in delaying the German advance in the Bulge because they were able to confront, blunt and frustrate the spearheads of the German advance around Bastogne and elsewhere. The game does not show the tentacles of the units well and therefore I don't expect the game engine to be able to replicate this phenomenon at all. For this reason I am not sure a Bulge scenario would be one I would pick to show off the game. There are other reasons also relating to peculiarities of terrain and weather which make the Bulge a funky scenario for this game engine. This is not a criticism at all. I would like to an AAR of an amphibious operation and I suspect one will be forthcoming.

Obtw, you could improvise unit fragments like partisan units which could enforce movement penalties on an advance to simulate the teams but I would imagine it is too late to consider something like this.




quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns

For this scenario the fact the German’s are capable of taking Bastogne on turn one before the allies can respond has me worried. Historically lots of roadblock positions were thrown up to slow the Germans drive down and it allowed enough time for US reserves to reach Bastogne. Teams Cherry, O’Hara and Desobry all grabbed up extra allied strength from troops that were streaming west from the breakthroughs and managed to hold on and slow the Germans down and delayed them long enough to give the allies time to reinforce Bastogne.

I see an armor brigade Northeast of Bastogne which I assume is the parent unit for the three teams, can it be broken down into smaller regiments to occupy both hexes east of Bastogne? Not even sure it would solve the issue, but taking out Bastogne on turn one should be out of reach for Germany. So perhaps even consider placing part of the 101’st in Bastogne at setup if you can’t slow them down enough with forces on hand.

Good read covering of the actions by the three teams:

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-02.htm

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-07.htm

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Bastogne/bast-03.htm

Jim






Erik Rutins -> RE: AAR - Wacht Am Rhein (11/14/2014 1:48:08 PM)

Unlike WITE, you pay an additional movement cost for hexes that have had battles in them. That helps in both Bulge and Market Garden to model the effects of units that delayed the advance but could not entirely stop it.

It's also worth noting that these shorter scenarios are great fun, but because they are shorter and start at a set point, they are more likely to end up close to the historical script. The full campaign can start as early as the invasion of Sicily, or May of 1944, or June of 1944. With those longer timelines, the German and Allied players have many, many options to explore alternative attack and defense strategies. With the Eastern Front Box option on, it gets even more interesting.

To me, WITE was a bit more operationally focused, WITW is a more strategic game in terms of the choices you can make in the grand campaigns. That to me is why you play WITW, because there is absolutely no guarantee how the Western Front would have unfolded had the Allies and Germans made different decisions.

Regards,

- Erik




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