From: Cologne, Germany
As you can see from the screen dump 2nd Para Bn would have secured the rail bridge any moment now. 1st Para had routed off 4 Kraft Coy at Hartenstein and the KOSB Bn was just about to overrun the rest of Kraft Bn. A German column was approaching from the west at Groote Heide. but I was confident the two Border companies there would stop them in their tracks. I had the depleted South Staffs Bnmoving down the highway towards Arnhem - so far unopposed.
I probably should have opted to drive the 2nd Para into Arnhem instead of going for the rail bridge. They probably would have slipped into Arnhem unchallenged or at least they would have stemmed the flow of German reinforcements heading west down the road to Hartenstein. But even so, by setting the troops to Move at fastest speed, with no rest and with Bypass options you should be able to get pretty close to replicating the historical outcomes.
At least in HTTR (without "no rest" option), focusing on the bridge didn't work out, usually, as the steady stream of forces from the east made penetrating Arnheim difficult - later on, especially slightly west of the West Arnheim objective (On your screenshot around the location where you can see a Coy that looks like a German armored Recon unit (same symbol that is used for [US?] Armored Cavalry these days), according to its symbol.
It's best to speed to Arnheim, like you or Simo suggested, then occupy the Arnheim highway bridge, and create a concentric defensive perimeter (well, actually a kind of semicircle, due to the closeness to the river) that is large enough to ensure that all crossroads and main entry points (arterial or radial roads) are blocked.
Your strategy in the West (2 dispatched Coys at Groote Heide) to block the highway usually works out for 1 day (and maybe several hours per each new "wave"), but then the delayed enemy (and future) columns will just ship around your roadblock after one or two unsuccessful attempts to dislodge the blocking units. It's best to advance as far as Ede and have an entire Bn establish a strong block of dug-in Coys instead, covering the polder/dam in the west and the northern approaches (possibly used by Naval/fortress units later on), who should be supported by 1 or 2 additional Mortar Coys. That block force should be left there until the Arnheim force starts to loose ground/troops heavily and then should be sent to Arnheim to reinforce the troops there.
Same with the southern approaches (south of the drop zone) to Wageningen: 3-4 Coys placed at the outskirts of the woods, blocking the main highway (roads to Arnheim), and supported by 2 mortar coys will take a big deal of pressure from the main force in Arnheim and delay the German build-up.
If one or another Coy can make it to the very important crossroads South and South East of Deelen airfield, as forward roadblocks, then this will seriously delay precious German reinforcements as well.
Destroying the 88mm position (either with Polish Para units later on, or - if you manage to take the rail bridge early on - with British troops) at the "Medinhardweg" (North of Elden) may be costly (it may require several Coys), but takes the enemy's ability to spot (for German long range/heavy arty and Nebelwerfer) and fire at your troops on the other side of the river.
Re the 30th Corps advance up the highway. Point taken about the bypass. Perhaps what we need is a two pronged bypass, where we split the force into two parts with one prong continuing along the opriginal route, while a secondary force attempts to bypass.
Actually, I guess that's what most experienced players (and commanders in RL) will do anyway, where maybe the "continuing" prong should bring the tanks forward to protect the precious INF units (as they will be sitting ducks on the highway) and to push up the highway.
The bypassing part of the split force should mainly consist of fast armored units, followed by the armored assets and motorized Inf at the rear, with Recon units (which should have a higher spotting range, since they are faster, more mobile and have better equipment for sighting) being the spearhead, in order to find the best route. I don't know how advanced the AI code is in that respect (recon, spotting, selection of routes for the main force), but whatever you do code-wise, I suggest to make the change of the plan (to split the forces) an option for the human player, as there may be situations where alt routes are occupied or just used by the enemy, so that it would be desirable to maintain a two-pronged attack/move.
Maybe like an option in the left-hand menu "split forces (if attack on the main POA [point of attack] is endangered to be delayed)" or a message window like "It appears that the current enemy activity will delay division XY's assault, do you want to split forces and bypass with half of your troops?" ["Yes"] ["No"]
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 8/9/2012 9:00:45 AM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006