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Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 1:42:31 AM   
lk2500

 

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I'm trying this as the British and not having much luck. Going to have to start over and try some different tactics.

Anybody already beat this one? I'd appreciate a tip or two!
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RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 12:50:54 PM   
UP844


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I played "Le Hamel" a couple times: the first time I lost through the combination of deadly AI OBA and poor tactics; the second time I won through better tactics and - especially - through the disappearance of AI OBA after a single strike.

As regards to AI OBA, you can only hope it loses access as soon as possible.

The British most important asset is the Churchill tank: it can pump 95mm shells (a 16 FP attack) into German positions and soften the Germans quite nicely. It can only be killed by the 75mm gun (that should be your #1 target) or - less easily - by OBA.

I organised the British infantry as follows:
1) two fire support stacks, consisting of the *** and ** leaders, two squads (one of them armed with a MMG/HMG) and a crew armed with a 51mm Lt mortar (so that the latter can use the leader bonus on the to-hit roll;
2) two manoeuver stacks, with a leader (one of them has the radio, see below) and three squads with a LMG and a PIAT;
3) an assault stack, with two squads and the FT and DC.

Even though a straight approach through the trenches has its appeal, it also exposes your forces to fire from most of Le Hamel fortified buildings: I took it on my first attempt and I was stopped in the east end of the trench system.

The second time, I used the road to approach the village: the intervening brush provides some nice cover from the German fire coming from part of Le Hamel. When I arrived to the woods north of the road (which blocks LOS from the western part of Le Hamel), During this advance, I located the 75mm gun (so I knew where NOT to go with the Churchill).
I turned north and started trading shots with the Germans in the eastern part of Le Hamel. Once these (and the 75mm gun) were eliminated, I moved the Churchill so that it could fire on the east part of the town, and shifted my infantry so that all of them fired on a single building, and so on.

Some sparse hints:

The 120 OBA (Royal Navy destroyers, I suppose) can be useful if it hits, but it is so unreliable you cannot base your planning on it. Do not call artillery less than 4-5 hexes away from your units, as it can drift and make the enemy happy.

Unless you are in a position where moving would be suicidal, use your turn to move and fire in the Advance/Defensive Fire segments.

Unless you have to move, never forfeit an occasion to fire. Your chances might be slim, but you have nothing else to do anyway. In the worst case, fire on "Broken" units to make them "Broken+" and more difficult to rally.

Do not close too much to German stacks if you can: if you keep out of the normal range of the squads, the AI will only fire with MGs, while you will be able to fire with both squads and MGs. Against 2nd line infantry (range = 4), try to move at range 5: your squads will fire at full FP and the AI will reply with MGs only .

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 1:00:26 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to lk2500)
Post #: 2
RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 12:53:11 PM   
UP844


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1st attempt: the Direct (failed) Approach.

All the German units in building A, B and C could and did fire on my advancing units, stopping them halfway through the trenches.




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< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 12:59:44 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 3
RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 12:59:25 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1019
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2nd attempt: the Indirect (successful) Approach

Blue: approach movement and north turn to engage building A. The yellow arrow shows the LOS limit for buildings B and C, which cannot fire on the units engaging building A.
Green: small northward movement to engage building B: the woods hex blocks LOS from building C.
Pink: additional northward movement to engage building C.
Cyan: breakout






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< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 1:00:04 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 4
RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 1:00:31 PM   
lk2500

 

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Good stuff UP844, I'm looking forward to giving it another go. You are spot on with the British OBA being unreliable, pretty frustrating. I'll try calling it in on closer targets. I had actually tried something similar to your indirect approach but went further South trying to use the woods for cover. However, I stepped into the wrong hex and got chewed up anyway, lol.

Thanks!

< Message edited by lk2500 -- 7/11/2018 1:02:14 PM >

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 5
RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 1:04:44 PM   
UP844


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Player OBA is so unreliable I gave up including it in my plans a long time ago.


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to lk2500)
Post #: 6
RE: Le Hamel - 7/11/2018 3:12:50 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1019
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I also considered a deep flanking move, taking the two inland VP hexes first and then turning north to take Le Hamel proper.

Even though there is enough time to pursue this approach, I discarded this option because the "one building at a time" method would have meant to engage the German units in buildings C/B/A (in order) at such short ranges (4 or less hexes) that even AI infantry squads would have fired on my units.

Let us know how has your new attempt ended.

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/11/2018 3:14:08 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to UP844)
Post #: 7
RE: Le Hamel - 7/12/2018 1:49:08 AM   
lk2500

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844

I also considered a deep flanking move, taking the two inland VP hexes first and then turning north to take Le Hamel proper.

Even though there is enough time to pursue this approach, I discarded this option because the "one building at a time" method would have meant to engage the German units in buildings C/B/A (in order) at such short ranges (4 or less hexes) that even AI infantry squads would have fired on my units.

Let us know how has your new attempt ended.


So far so good. After all the joking my OBA took out an 81mm mortar with it's first round and then took out the 75mm AT Gun with it's second! As you can see after my mortar crew rallied they forgot their gear, so I had to send them back :)




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< Message edited by lk2500 -- 7/12/2018 1:51:09 AM >

(in reply to UP844)
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RE: Le Hamel - 7/12/2018 1:59:05 PM   
UP844


Posts: 1019
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This is the most accurate [player-controlled] artillery strike I ever heard about .

In my first attempt, I called OBA on the 75mm: the first fire mission drifted and slaughtered the Germans in the single-hex, non fortified building, the three subsequent oned drifted off-map. In the second attempt, OBA finally landed on building A, after several off-map drifts, but when it arrived only a few broken HS remained. I never tried using OBA when I attacked the two buildings in the Sout

On the other hand, in the second attempt the 75mm crew was killed by a 51mm mortar (I could not believe my eyes: I fired hoping - with extreme luck - to pin the crew. I suppose it was a Critical Hit).

If the 75mm is gone, the scenario is half won: the only serious threat remaining is the 81mm mortar in the woods (which provides a nice -1 DRM against mortar fire).

Now the Churchill can run (well, crawl ) around undisturbed and start pumping 95mm HE shells around.

_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to lk2500)
Post #: 9
RE: Le Hamel - 7/13/2018 2:10:26 AM   
rmmwilg

 

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Just finished and it and any attempt I made to be within range of the 81mm mtr and 75 in eastern Hamel was hopeless, but I did the deep flank thing, took those two buildings first and was finally able to break into the complex from the rear. Even so, the east part of Hamel remained to the very end due to very, frustratingly accurate 1FP attacks from the 50mm gun crew in the western most fortified building holding off my squads for coupla turns that wrecked the time remaining. Maybe it was just good die rolls by the Germans, but that eastern half of Hamel was just deadly. Yes, it did however, take me 6 turns before I was able to bring any real firepower to bear on German positions.

(in reply to UP844)
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RE: Le Hamel - 7/13/2018 8:21:37 AM   
Paullus

 

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And this is what really happened. This is from Wikipedia but is supported by several other sources.

"When they turned west to move along the beach towards their primary objective at Le Hamel, they came under heavy fire and had to break off the attack.Major Warren, in charge after the commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Smith was wounded, decided that the troops would have to circle around and attack the emplacement from the rear, a process that took several hours."

_____________________________

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 rmmwilg)
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RE: Le Hamel - 7/13/2018 12:29:52 PM   
dox44

 

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i also tried to attack straight on and was unsuccessful.

very good scenario though.

thanks!

(in reply to Paullus)
Post #: 12
RE: Le Hamel - 7/16/2018 12:44:53 AM   
lk2500

 

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Finally ended up with a British Minor victory, just not enough time to take all the buildings to the South.

(in reply to dox44)
Post #: 13
RE: Le Hamel - 7/16/2018 12:11:22 PM   
UP844


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The German deployment greatly affects the difficulty of this scenario. I played it three times, plus another one on the German side.

The most difficult game was one (not the one in the AAR) in which the 75mm, one 81mm and both 50mm mortars were positioned so as to beat the east coastal approach, while the second 81mm was positioned to cover the paved road that provides a sheltered approach for the infantry. The HMG and MMG were both placed in fortified building, each of them with a negative DRM leader. I had to divert the Churchill south to deal with the 81mm (but at long range, to remain out of sight from the 75mm), while the infantry took a more southernmost path (losing a couple extra turns). In the end, when I was finally ready to assault Le Hamel it was turn 9, a bit late to get more than a Minor Victory.

In the game recounted in the AAR, conversely, the German daployment was very British-friendly, allowing me to mass the British firepower on one target at a time and to get a Major Victory one turn before the game end. Unfortunately, the time I lost in the inconclusive firefight in mid-game prevented me from also wiping out the Germans in the two southernmost buildings, but they are not essential for the VP count.

As a side note, I noticed that sometimes the AI sets up the German Lt Mtr in buildings, preventing them from firing. I suppose this happens because they are SW instead of Ordnance (like the 81mm), but this has the (pleasant) side effect of making the approach easier for the British.

< Message edited by UP844 -- 7/16/2018 12:13:33 PM >


_____________________________

Chasing Germans in the moonlight is no mean sport

Siegfried Sassoon

(in reply to lk2500)
Post #: 14
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