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CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 1:15:58 PM   
UP844


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WARNING: this AAR contains spoilers! Do not read if you still have to play this Campaign Game.

I apologise for the lack of detail, but a Campaign Game AAR as detailed as those dealing with simple scenarios would became several hundred posts long.

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon
Post #: 1
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 1:18:43 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
Status: offline
La Fiere Causeway

Day 1 (turns 1-12)

As the day breaks, an old tank - but a tank nonetheless - appears on the Picauville road, followed by half a dozen infantry squads. Soon, another tank and more infantry appear behind it.

The lone US squad at the Cauquigny crossroads manages to kill a tank, but then it is overwhelmed by German fire. Unfortunately, more and more tanks and infantry arrive. The squad routs to La Chapelle, then it is killed by massive German fire.

The Airborne platoon rushes west, attempting to set up a blocking position before the bridge, but it is quickly overrun by the huge German force. (With hindsight, I should have retired them in the stone buildings in La Fiere; I did not expect, however, such a massive force).

As the sun sets, there are no more American units on the map: engine and marching sounds (and the icons of VP hexes changing from American to German control) mark the advance of the Germans.

Around midnight, an American airborne platoon with a 60mm mortar arrives on the scene. Since such a tiny force has no hope to successfully engage at least three tanks and an unknown - but large - number of infantry units, it stops on the hill east of La Fiere. From there, it should have a clear view of the causeway and the brush hexes would not provide hindrance to protect the German infantry. All of the above, of course, is valid if my valiant paratroopers survive the German fire as soon as day breaks.

During the night, some noises comes from the German lines, but not so many as I expected.

The picture below shows the situation on turn 12: it looks like the Germans stopped moving as soon as their first tank reached the last objective (I think, one more VP hex in the La Fiere buildings would have "motivated" German infantry to move forward with the tanks, not leaving them alone and exposed to infantry attack). The unpossessed bazooka mark the location of the bridge garrison last stand.

At the end of the first day the VP/losses situation is as follows

American VPs: 0 (Major defeat)
American losses: 10 HS, 2 Ldr

German VPs: 18 (Major victory)
German losses: 1 AFV





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/10/2018 1:20:44 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 2
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 1:48:05 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
Joined: 3/3/2016
From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 2 (turns 13-24)

The German tanks open fire on the 60mm mortar as soon as the sun rises. Another infantry platoon comes from S.te Mère Eglise and enters La Fiere, while squads attempt to keep the mortar manned under German fire.

German infantry does not seem interested in advancing, so the Americans attempt attacking the tank sitting on the VP hex at the east edge of the bridge. A lucky 60mm round Shocks the tank and the infantry move out of La Fiere towards the tank. The fire from the other tanks does not stop them, the tank is killed in CC and the VP hex is now US-controlled. The infantry returns to La Fiere, from where it has a clear field of fire over the causeway.

Around midday the Germans, spurred by the loss of the VP hex, start moving east again: the battle over the bridge rages for the whole afternoon and in the night. Two other tanks are killed in CC, losses increase on both sides and the VP hex changes hands several times.
The arrival of another airborne platoon just after sunset allows the Americans to regain control of the VP hex and provides some respite for the Americans, which suffered heavy losses during the afternoon. With no more supporting tanks, German infantry will have to attack over the causeway and the bridge to take the VP.

At the end of the second day the VP/losses situation is as follows:

American VPs: 5 (Major defeat)
American losses: 17 HS, 3 Ldr

German VPs: 13 (Draw)
German losses: 9 HS, 1 Ldr, 4 AFV


< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/10/2018 2:41:03 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 3
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 2:25:54 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 3 (turns 25-36)

There is a pause as both sides reorganise after the heavy losses both took during the previous day fighting. Another American platoon arrives from S.te Mère Eglise and runs for La Fiere. I am sure I can stop any German attack, but I doubt my forces are strong enough to pass the bridge and retaking Chaquigny.

In the mid-morning, the Germans surge forward again, but they are stopped cold by heavy MG, mortar and squad fire: by midday, the attack is repulsed and the Germans are fleeing.

In the early afternoon US forces cautiously move beyond the bridge. A few German units attempt small-size, uncoordinated counterattacks, but they are easily repulsed by the huge firepower of the Us units, which continue blasting their way west. On their way, US units recover the bazookas abandoned on day 1 in the ill-fated attempt to stop the German attack: they will come handy very soon.

At dusk, the Germans launch an organised attack with a sizable infantry force supported by a couple Panzers. A short-range ferocious battle lasts all night and ends with the destruction of the Panzers (one by a Bazooka, one in CC) and the conquest of the VP hex at the Chaquigny crossroad.

The image below is taken at the beginning of turn #37 (start of day #4), to better show the deployment of the opposing forces in daylight visibility.

At the end of the third day the VP/losses situation is as follows

American VPs: 12 (Draw)
American losses: 20 HS, 3 Ldr

German VPs: 6 (Minor Defeat)
German losses: 27 HS, 4 squads, 4 Ldr, 6 AFV





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/10/2018 2:40:26 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 4
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 2:42:00 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 4 (turns 37-42)


A full company arrives from S.te Mère Eglise, heavily armed and with two M-5 light tanks in support.

The Germans, however, are not yet doomed: a force of Elite and Fallschirmjager squads attacks, heavily armed with Panzerschrecks and Panzerfausts from the Picauville road. They are accompanied from the remnants of the original attack force, which after three days of combat consist of a mix of units ranging from 1st line to Conscripts.

The Stuarts go CE to use the road movement rate (and their nice AAMGs) and in a single turn arrive at the Chaquigny crossroad, taking care to stay away from German AT weapons. The infantry double-times down the road (moving 9 hexes, with the leader and the road bonus) while the fight resumes at the crossroad.

The German attack is once more stopped by the heavy firepower of the American squads (with the help of MGs, mortars and Stuarts). At midday, the fight is over, the Germans are repulsed and the US forces regain control of all the VP hexes.

At the end of the game the VP/losses situation is as follows:

American VPs: 18 (Major Victory)
American losses: 21 HS, 3 Ldr

German VPs: 0 (Major Defeat)
German losses: 46 HS, 4 squads, 5 Ldr, 6 AFV





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/10/2018 2:56:33 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 5
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/10/2018 2:55:25 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
Status: offline
The game flows smooth and without the delays that plagued the Kursk Campaign Games: as I previously stated, I do not know whether this depends on the game engine improvements or on the composition force mix. The only way to be sure is to play the Kursk CG to see if they also have improved.

The scenario is quite challenging (and never boring! ): I could have avoided playing Custer's Last Stand on day 1 , but I underestimated the number of Germans I was facing.

As a consequence of the large number of hindrance hexes, the closer you are to the enemy the less cover you have: this is reflected by the losses, which mostly consist of HS killed by Casualty Reduction.

The only "flaw" I found is the lack of a reason to advance up to the bridge for the German infantry: this leaves the Panzers alone and vulnerable to infantry CC, especially at night. On the other hand, we all know the AI is not exactly at its best when attacking: next time, I'll try to play this from the German side.

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 6
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 5:06:21 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
Joined: 3/3/2016
From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
Status: offline
And now, the German side...

La Fiere Causeway

Day 1 (Turns 1-12)


Unfortunately, my German forces are nothing near the AI's: I have 5 2nd line squads, two leaders (a C* and a D*) and a 1937 vintage tank: a Pz Kpfw 35 (t) (I think I should be grateful for this stand-in instead of the proper Hotchkiss or Renault tank; at least I have a bow machine gun also ).

The Americans have two Bazooka-armed squads in the building in Chaquigny near the Amfreville/Picauville crossroads and a C* leader with two other squads and a MMG in La Chapelle. Driving them out with second line troops and nothing heavier than a 37mm gun in support is going to take some time.

The tank and the squads move forward on the right of the Picauville road, out of the LOS of the MMG in La Chapelle. They stop 5 hexes away from the Bazooka squads. The tank goes CE to gain some accuracy with no risk of being fired and the C* three squads with a LMG and a MMG (this stack will fire a respectable 16 FP attack at +3 DRM; the tank is just for show). The other leader and two squads, should dash forward and surround the house once I manage to break both squads (this could require some time ).

In the late morning the house falls into Germany hands and is occupied by the MMG group which will use the same trick against the US MMG stack (which will only return fire with the MMG ). Another Pz Kpfw 35 (t) has arrived and both Panzers start firing on La Chapelle.

In the early afternoon, La Chapelle also falls: now all the VP hexes in Chaquigny are German-controlled, but this is not enough to get a Victory (or even a Draw).

In the afternoon, the meagre German forces advance through the causeway, supported by the Panzers: this time, the low defensive value of the brush terrain makes their fire much more effective than against stone buildings. At dusk, no American units remain on the west bank: a leader and some squads managed to rout across the bridge and could return.

Just after dark, German infantry dashes over the bridge and kills a couple broken squads and a leader in La Fiere. Some other squads should be wandering across the country, since I hear them moving in the Rout Segments. The evening is spent setting up all the German units in a defensive position in La Fiere.

Around midnight, a couple squads appear on the road from S.te Mère Eglise. They had a brief, inconclusive firefight with the Conscript squad watching the road; the latter withdraws to La Fiere rather than risking a full effect fire by two Airborne squads. The Americans continue advancing and are wiped out by fire from most of the German force. Another Airborne squad advances and is also killed by massive German fire.

German Losses: 2 HS
German VP: 18 (Major Victory)

American Losses: 7 S, 7 HS, 3 Ldr
American VP: 0 (Major Defeat)




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 7:11:31 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 7
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 7:16:22 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 2 (Turns 13-24)


The Americans launched small (platoon-sized) and uncoordinated attacks for the whole day, mostly from the north and the east, plus one from the south. All of them were repulsed with heavy American losses, and the bridgehead was never seriously threatened.

With reinforcements arriving on turn 25, I plan to expand the bridgehead a little.

Note: the picture is essentially identical to the one showing the situation at the end of day #1. Actually, the slopes of the hill east of the bridge are full of American SW (MMGs, 60mm M19'sLt Mtrs, Bazookas) abandoned by squads broken or killed by German fire.

German Losses: 2 HS
German VP: 18 (Major Victory)

American Losses: 11 S, 32 HS, 8 Ldr
American VP: 0 (Major Defeat)





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 8
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 7:31:11 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 3, start of turn 25


The AI has obviously read "Night Infiltration for Dummies".




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 9
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 9:29:05 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
Joined: 3/3/2016
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 3, Turns 25-36


The AI launched a series of larger and better coordinated attacks on the bridgehead from dawn to mid-afternoon: all of them are repulsed with increasingly heavier casualties, as the German expanded their bridgehead adding the dribble of platoon-sized reinforcements they received over the course of the day. A couple German HS are lost as they scouted for approaching American forces (and found them )

In the late afternoon the AI stops its attacks and everything is quiet in La Fiere. I take advantage of this lull to place a couple squads on the hill towards S.te Mère Eglise, to act as a roadblock.

The last reinforcements arrived just after sunset and consist of a third Panzer 35 (t) and of a 1st line infantry platoon led by a very welcome B** leader and armed with a Panzerschreck and a Panzerfaust. I am reasonably confident I can deal with Stuarts, but if Sherman appear they can really ruin my day (I doubt the 35 (t) can do more than scratch their paint). Time will tell.

Suddenly, in the wee hours of the night, a platoon of Elite infantry appears on the left (north) end of the bridgehead, but it is wiped out before it can cause any damage.

German Losses: 4 HS
German VP: 18 (Major Victory)

American Losses: 17 S, 55 HS, 13 Ldr
American VP: 0 (Major Defeat)





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 10
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 11:08:55 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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La Fiere Causeway

Day 4, Turns 37-42

As the sun rises, all hell breaks loose: the Americans launch a three-pronged attack on the bridgehead from the North, the East and the South. Three Stuarts and a few infantry squads appear on the hill and start firing on my infantry. The roadblock force is overrun, except a single squad that miracolously manages to enter CC with a Stuart and is killed.

The Panzers start firing on the Stuarts but even when they hit, their 37mm fail to penetrate [they got 7 hits, 6 failed to penetrate and 1 immobilised its target]. The Stuarts, in turn, ignore the 35 (t) and start slaughtering my infantry with their 37mm and MGs. Both the Panzerfaust and the Panzerschreck fail to hit; in a fit of desperation, I also fired the 50mm mortar at the Stuarts, but it has no effect at all (assuming it may have some).

At the same time, the northern American force sets up a M19 and soon a rain of 60mm bombs falls on the VP hex at the eastern end of the bridge, while several stacks move south. A smaller force comes from the south.

My nice bridgehead is crumbling under the fire from the Stuarts and the 60mm mortar. The Stuarts are the most immediate threat, so I resort to East Front tactics, attacking them in CC, while the 35 (t) continue firing on them (I might get lucky ). The German infantry takes some heavy losses while approaching the tanks, but finally manages to kill two, while the third is still in CC.

The southern American force is stopped just short of La Fiere by a deadly point-blank fire by Conscripts.

I was starting to rearrange my forces to deal with the northern force when...
[continues in the next post: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT YET PLAYED THE SCENARIO - big spoiler ahead]

The final results are:

German Losses: 3S, 11 HS, 1 Ldr
German VP: 12 (Draw)

American Losses: 17 S, 66 HS, 14 Ldr, 2 AFV
American VP: 6 (Draw)




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 11
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 11:22:30 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD

On turn 40, during the American Movement Segment, the game pauses. I looked around for the moving American units, but I saw no units moving near the bridgehead, so I hit the space bar. The game paused again and this time I saw a bunch of Americans descending on Chaquigny from the north.

On turn 41, there were two Stuarts that were not yet engaged in CC, so I didn't move the Panzers (big mistake ). I attempted moving some infantry, but the 60mm mortar broke or pinned most of them, also preventing other units from entering the bridge. The only squad that managed to cross the Merderet was killed on the road by a MMG shot.

On turn 42, I finally moved the Panzers and some infantry, but it was too little, too late.

With hindsight, I could have left (or sent) some Conscripts HS in Chaquigny to provide some warning: after all, the historical situation saw no defined front, but this never occurred to me and two game days spent easily repelling American attacks on the bridgehead gave me a serious case of "victory disease".

ADD-ON: to add insult to injury, in "Pegasus Bridge Coup de Main" (see the AAR) I left two HS in the rear, watching for possible German counterattacks .

So, despite the spectacular 6:1 loss ratio, the game ended in a Draw.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 11:38:44 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 12
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/11/2018 11:29:33 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1016
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From: Genoa, Republic of Genoa (occupied by Italy)
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@ Paullus:

My compliments for the final coup de theatre: it really surprised me . My reaction was a loud "What the **** is this?" which worried my wife .

A "technical" note: I noticed that routing units continue routing until they rally, as there are very few hexes of "proper rally terrain" (i.e. woods or building). This is especially true of the east bank, where the only buildings are those in La Fiere.

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 13
RE: CG-005 La Fiere Causeway - 7/12/2018 7:27:08 AM   
Paullus

 

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_____________________________

For my part, I shall do my duty as a general; I shall see to it that you are given the chance of a successful action. /Lucius Aemilius Paullus

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 14
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