From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
[bIMPORTANT NOTE: I just realized I was playing out of a 4.2.246 savegame, so some of the results I'll shown should be taken with a grain of salt. The point of posting is to have a reference to compare with a game started with 4.2.248
Day 1 11:30 to Day 1 12:30
The attack on Monschau has failed. US artillery has beaten back both companies – which came within reach of the bridges – exchanged fire with cavalry on the other side and then routed
One of the companies has routed a whole kilometer, not looking back until reaching 752nd HQ position, while the other has seek refuge in the woods to the east. Time to pull back, I think.
753rd Rgt has fallen back into Rohren to rest and wait for further orders
nobody got stuck, though the Rgt HQ is perhaps lingering a bit too long. 751st Rgt infantry have already received orders to disengage and fall back into the woods where they started the day
I cancel 752nd attack, and order them to stay in the FUP.
Day 1 12:30 to Day 2 05:30
Analyzing yesterday's failure, I see that 326th VG Division is a really, really weak unit. Infantry experience and training are nothing to write home about, while the “morale” factor (aggression, fitness and stubborness) are average. The second 751st Rgt battalion has arrived as a reinforcement, and I see that some StuG's and the second 753rd Rgt battalion will arrive in the battlefield about midday. I'm considering an early evening attack, taking advantage of the lower visibility (thus reducing US Army defenders spotting ability and artillery effectiveness).
Meanwhile I send orders to 752nd to take cover in the woods to the east of Monschau – which is a much better FUP than the one I had chosen yesterday
and 751st to take positions to the east of southern Höfen
out of sight of US troops in the town. Last, but not least, I reorganize artillery, assigning one Artillery battalion to each Rgt, and leaving the rest under division command. I will be bombarding Monschau and Höfen the whole day.
Yet another factor to consider is that the whole area has become a mud quagmire. Off-road mobility should be very low.
Day 2 05:30 to 15:30
Time to setup the second attack. Things haven't going very well for 752nd Rgt
the Defend order I gave to them – implicitly – has meant they've been engaged all day, fighting several skirmishes with the troops the AI has in Monschau. It brought an Engineer Coy to bolster the defenses. So I think I'll leave them doing this for a little longer, before falling back yet again.
The attack on Höfen will be similar to the one I tried yesterday, with 753rd attacking from the northeast and 751st attacking from the southeast. But now I think both will be much stronger, and will be less fatigued.
I see that the perception I had of my forces was grossly distorted because of having the artillery directly attached. I think yesterday I only had strength for one single attack, rather than two. Here's the plan for 753rd Rgt
I have setup this time the routes to be the “shortest”, I should get out of this what I actually wanted. And here's the plan for 751st Rgt, with the StuG's attached
let's see how does this go.
Day 2 15:30 to Day 2 17:15
753rd Rgt and Bn staffs have needed about two hours to get the march to the FUP organized
so seems that the northern pincer attack will start at about 21:00. 751st staff officers haven't been much more efficient, and it's been a long wait until the FUP march plans have reached all sub units
It's interesting to note that while 753rd says their H Hour has slipped by about 3 hours, I haven't received word – yet – of any delays on behalf 751st Rgt
Day 2 17:15 to Day 3 07:58
There hasn't been any night attack at all. Both Rgts have decided to stop and rest for the night... so I guess I forgot to check the task modifiers to avoid that. Even more sad is that 753rd staff hasn't come around to plan the attack
the march to the FUP isn't completed yet. Meanwhile, 751st got its act together over the night, and sub units have their orders
let's see if the attack goes on before the end of the scenario (in about 5 hours).
Day 3 07:58 to Day 3 12:00
751st Rgt attack gets the Go! Order at 08:11
note how 751st forces have been organized in two groups, and seem to be doing a double envelopment attack of sorts. I keep my fingers' crossed.
One hour into the attack, and the situation is like this
two of 751st Coys have already reached their destination on the flanks, while German artillery has been pounding southern Höfen without having me to issue a single command. After two hours of indecision – some Coys with Assaulting orders waiting for “something” - 751st Rgt tells me they are abandoning the Attack
seems the reason is a lack of fuel. Which makes me to scratch my head: this is basically an infantry outfit... and the StuG's seem to me to be fully fueled
there's something that escapes. 753rd seems to be in some sort of “lock up”
the Move sub task corresponding to reaching the FUP has been delayed countless times already. Why it stills is not completed? The infantry and mortars got into position at about midnight...
The scenario ends with a Decisive Defeat
I think I need to go over the whole manual (and the tutorial) again. It's been a very long time since the last time I tried to play half seriously BftB, and seems I'm really rusty. It must be said that 326th VG it's a CRAP outfit. Whoever drew the plan for this Division to attack in this sector should be shot :-)
Please guys, comment on this. While the formation lock-up bug seems to be gone, but the behavior of 753rd Rgt doesn't have to me a clear explanation as WAD. Let's see if we figure out the – many – things I can't explain at all :) Here are my questions:
- I knew the AI takes very seriously resting and all that. But I wonder what's the rationale behind stopping two attacks, with fresh troops - 753rd and 751st had been resting for a whole day - just because light goes out. Should I have tweaked the "Rest" related task parameters? If so, what settings should I have selected?
- I have realized that attaching directly too much artillery to commands might not be a good idea at all. The footprint of the command gets really big, and it seems to cause troubles for AI to determine formation and stuff. Seems that for the time being, the best one can do is to assign heavier artillery Defend tasks so they become available to On Call fire missions (or those the player sets up).
- The abortion of 751st attack and perhaps the "lock up" of 753rd while trying to deploy in its FUP might be related to things fixed in the patch, perhaps the HQ fuel level requirements. This is the most likely explation for 751st staff decision. However, this isn't a good explanation at all for 753rd inability to "reach" its FUP. Or rather, to acknowledge troops were already in position.
- Then, I'm wondering how much sense does it make that 751st attack, with six companies of infantry and plenty artillery support - AI was allocating two or three fire missions per hour on the americans in Höfen - can't manage to just overwhelm a single US infantry company. Yes, 326th VG is basically crap. But those are 6:1 odds and with US artillery silenced by counterbattery fire. Looking at the attack, I saw a complete lack of aggressivenes, even with Aggro, ROF and Losses set to Max. Certainly, as an outcome, seems to me as a complete outlier. 395th Rgt L Coy should have retreated with heavy losses, or perhaps even surrendered, if the double envelopment the AI was trying to do had actually been finished...
I'll next play this out as the Germans with a fresh start from 4.2.248 and then with the US. I'm curious how the AI would play this out.
I hope this has been an interesting read, at least!