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CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR

 
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CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 12:29:14 AM   
spelk


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This was my third playthrough, my first I tried as the Germans, but I struggled big time with the American Armour rolling all over me.

I tried a very tight level of control playing as the Americans, and I think I way too cautious, which seems to be the way I play the game if I think too much about each engagement I make. I was making good progress if I'd have had another couple of days to play with, I'd have made it. But as it was, I hadn't made my push forward fast enough, and even though I got most of the objectives under my belt, it was still a draw.

So this my third play through of this scenario, I decided to play it as high a level as I could, I was going to move the Task Forces around and not attempt to go any lower down the tree than that. I was also going to hand artillery over to the AI, normally I like to keep my hands on most of the Arty, but this time, they're all set to On Call.

My big plan was to sweep the CCA and TFB all along the northern roads bypassing Aminones and head for Dochamps from the off. The big push. TFA would attack Beffe and then hold it for as long as it takes. Whilst TFC would sweep through Aminones and then wheel round and come upon the forces on the Ridge (Hill 400?) from behind. TFD would advance and hold Magoster.

If I could secure the initial Objectives, I would attempt a push piecemeal through Devantave and Laidprangeleux. But my ultimate focus would be getting TFB (and the CCA following it somewhat behind) to Dochamps.

I was pleased to see my forces taking the objectives and then holding them, against a number of German counters. By evening, they were all in defendable positions and able to rest. If nothing else this game has taught me the importance of night time rest and supply.

TFC was key in disrupting the forces on the Hill, their sweep in behind caused a lot problems, and cross covering fire was being applied from units at Magoster and Aminones.

TFB had made it to Dochamps and they were dispatching any forces there. Lastly, I'd made a push with TFA from Beffe through to Devantave, using an armoured vehicle from the 66th to sit on Beffe.

Before their attack had engaged, I recieved a most unusual message

Sir, Kampfgruppe Kreutz HQ offers to surrender. To accept, select the "Accept Surrender" button in the Display Toolbar.

Ok, I accept. A Decisive Victory!! Wow!





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< Message edited by spelkZERO -- 6/7/2010 12:59:48 AM >


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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 12:32:21 AM   
spelk


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CCA had made it to Aminones, so was still able to supply all my troops easily. I guess the fast roll through made by TFB, and no doubt the losses at Beffe and on the Hill, shook the Germans into a Surrender.

I'm really pleased with the outcome, its my first Decisive Victory in the game!







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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 2:02:48 AM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spelkZERO

This was my third playthrough, my first I tried as the Germans, but I struggled big time with the American Armour rolling all over me.


I haven't tried the Germans, but from what I have sen as the Allies, with their initial disposition the Germans don't have much of a chance.I would guess the only chance (if there is one) is to quickly move he force at Beffe East to one of the roads leading to the exit objective, and to fight a delaying battle on both roads to the objective.

Nice victory with your offbeat strategy though...It would be interesting to see what would have happened if the Germans had been deployed in a more logical manner with the strongest force on Amonimes.

Henri

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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 4:16:41 PM   
Henri

 

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It is interesting to note that although you did not do it on purpose (although you WERE aware of the enemy dispositions by having played the scenario a few times), you carried out a perfect illustration of maneuver warfare: the enemy supply unit is at Dochamps, and by going there, you cut off supplies to all German units, thus making them unable to fight.

Had the Germans had their supply unit down the road on the left of the map, your knkockout punch would have hit only air, and the result could have been different...

Henri

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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 4:47:40 PM   
spelk


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My 'knockout punch' wasn't really aiming for the final blow, I was merely concerned about getting my CCA and followers off the map at the exit point in the time allotted. So, as much as I'd like to think it was all part of my plan to attack the enemy's supply depot, my main motivation was just to dash to the other side of the map :)

I wasn't aware the game had a Surrender option, which is why it took me quite by surprise. I was running under the impression I had to make those objectives as best I could in the time slots. So when a win dropped in my lap with several objectives unclaimed, I was both elated and a bit cheated out of the final push. Still, its my first decisive win, and Allies:100, Axis:0 is a very nice conclusion to my nights gaming.

I'm not massively au fait with all things wargaming, but I am very curious, and have a keen interest in military history from all eras (just a bad memory for precise details it seems).. so please forgive my ignorance on some topics.. I have a couple of queries from this outcome..

a) I thought moving my CCA supply forward would make getting the supplies to the troops on the front more likely and more quickly. Is this a tactic that would have been used in the conflict, or were supply depots not that mobile as such?

b) Also, to maintain control of an objective, I sometimes peel off units to hold a presence in the area, is this how it should be done, or even how it was historically? I sometimes feel its a bit "Capture the Flag" and "Gamey", and I have no real logic determining which units to use as these placeholders.

c) I hear a fair bit about manoeuvre warfare, and I presume its about shifting your troops into advantageous positions, but what are the alternatives? Attrition, going head to head or combined Arms stuff? I like to think the way I'm tackling it is 'offbeat' but I'm not entirely sure I'd know what wasn't offbeat - if anyone could highlight the various approaches to this sort of conflict, I'd be much appreciative.

< Message edited by spelkZERO -- 6/7/2010 4:53:58 PM >


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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/7/2010 7:07:15 PM   
Henri

 

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quote:

My 'knockout punch' wasn't really aiming for the final blow, I was merely concerned about getting my CCA and followers off the map at the exit point in the time allotted. So, as much as I'd like to think it was all part of my plan to attack the enemy's supply depot, my main motivation was just to dash to the other side of the map :)


Sometimes (and sometimes not) dubious moves result in lucky hits - remember Peter Sellers in "The mouse that roared" getting the US to surrender by bringing an "egg" into New York? The bottom line is that your strategy worked. But it would be interesting to retry this battle with German reinforcements on.I have no idea where and in what strength those reinforcements come in, but they could make at least some plans go awry.As the scenario lies now, the Germans forces could hardly be put in a worse starting position (in addition to being outnumbered), and if anyone is able to pull off a win with the Germans with this scenario without reinforcements, I would be interested in seeing how they did it.

quote:

I'm not massively au fait with all things wargaming, but I am very curious, and have a keen interest in military history from all eras (just a bad memory for precise details it seems).. so please forgive my ignorance on some topics.. I have a couple of queries from this outcome..


If you think YOUR memory is poor...

quote:

a) I thought moving my CCA supply forward would make getting the supplies to the troops on the front more likely and more quickly. Is this a tactic that would have been used in the conflict, or were supply depots not that mobile as such?


There are usually two base units responsible for supply distribution, but it is unclear to me how the game models supply distribution to the base unit. In real life, supply sources were kept well back of the battle,but had to be close enough to get the supplies to the front (in the game there are invisible supply truck units doing this). I don't know if the base unit gets fewer supplies if it is further from a map edge. I DO know that if this unit is overrun by enemy units, the owner is up the creek without a paddle unless he is saved by the scenario ending.I usually take no chances and leave the supply unit where it is near the map edge.

quote:

b) Also, to maintain control of an objective, I sometimes peel off units to hold a presence in the area, is this how it should be done, or even how it was historically? I sometimes feel its a bit "Capture the Flag" and "Gamey", and I have no real logic determining which units to use as these placeholders.


Leaving an objective undefended is an invitation to the enemy to take it. If it is a critical objective (for instance it is essential to maintain your supply line) then it is important not only to hold it, but to keep the line open. Note that you need to have more than 10 times the enemy strength in the objective area to get the points.

Note that no one forces you to go for the objectives defined by the scenario designer. Objectives are necessary for the AI at this stage of wargame design, but if you are more concerned with having fun that "winning", you can forego objectives that you disagree with in the broader context and play the scenario YOUR way. For example, in this scenario, I decided that the objective at Beffe was immaterial to my realizing the "historical" objective of linking up with Patton, so I decided to leave the units there bottled up for a later "cleanup" by infantry after the end of the scenario.

As for which unit to leave, it depends on whether or not you expect the enemy to attack it and where it is localized. You can occupy it with a HQ unit or artillery only if you do not expect it to be attacked by more than the HQ can handle, you can occupy it with an AT unit if you expect enemy tanks, or infantry if it is in woods; ideally you would like a combined force (infantry and armor-and why not artillery), but the units left there will not be available elsewhere. It is often a good ideal to occupy it temporarily with a unit (say a battalion) that needs to rest, and to replace it with a HQ unit and one or two of its support units later.Also it obviously depends on whether you are moving forward or retreating...

quote:

c) I hear a fair bit about manoeuvre warfare, and I presume its about shifting your troops into advantageous positions, but what are the alternatives? Attrition, going head to head or combined Arms stuff? I like to think the way I'm tackling it is 'offbeat' but I'm not entirely sure I'd know what wasn't offbeat - if anyone could highlight the various approaches to this sort of conflict, I'd be much appreciative.


Maneuver warfare is an approach to war first put forward by Sun Tzu, and developed after WW1 by Liddell Hart, DeGaulle, Guderian and others, and used by the Germans for use in WW2, and is the present fighting doctrine of the US Marines. One of its tenets is to be able to act faster than the enemy is able to react (the so-called Boyd cycle), so that the enemy can be neutralized by preventing him to act effectively. The classical example is the German Blitzkrieg in Poland and France, where fast-moving tanks break through enemy lines to disrupt enemy rear areas, preventing HQs and supply units to do their jobs, which prevents front-line units from dfighting effectively . The best exposition and most fun to read book on the subject is Liddell-Hart's book "Strategy", the modern version of which has been expanded to contain examples from the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

The alternative is the Theory of Clausewitz, an 19th (18th?) century German theorician who put forward the theory that the way to win is concentration of force.A good folower of Clausewitz was the Union General (I forgot his name - there goes the memory again) who coined the phrase "Get there fustest with the mostest!"

Most wargames leave little room for maneuver and allow instant reactions, and therefore allow only Clauzewitzian warfare.

Henri

< Message edited by Henri -- 6/7/2010 7:19:29 PM >

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RE: CO - BftB: Hell on Wheels AAR - 6/11/2010 11:26:40 PM   
wodin


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I occupy with HQ and arty units mainly...unless there is a chance it could be retaken then I leave a security element like an MG coy or even an Infantry Coy aswell as the Arty and Hq. You usually have enough time then if more is needed to send them in...also if you have any units kept in reserve for a laetr push have them defend there.

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