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HTTR (mini-guide): Tutorial, AAR, tips!

 
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HTTR (mini-guide): Tutorial, AAR, tips! - 2/13/2004 10:46:21 PM   
MarkShot


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Joined: 3/29/2003
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Towards the end of 2003 around the time that HTTR went gold and showed up on store shelves, I created two extensive threads in the HTTR forum which had served as a mini-guide to the game. In the beginning of 2004, a hacking incident resulted in a considerable loss of content from the Matrix Games forums including these two threads.

Fortunately, I had created an offline archive of the content which contained about 90% of what was valuable. Thus, it became possible to resurrect these two threads for the HTTR community.

First, I would like to thank Ugo "Tzar007" Marsolais who put in a tremendous amount of time and diligence in order to reconstruct these two threads manually from the archive.

Secondly, I would like to thank Dave O'Connor of Panther Games and Marc Schwanebeck and Shaun Wallace of Matrix Games for their support and assistance with this effort.

We all hope that this material will help you to get the most out of your purchase of Panther Games' latest master piece, Highway to the Reich. Remember to return to the forum often for more tips, AARs, user maps/scenarios, multi-player action and the latest news about official strategy guides, scenario expansion packs, future games, and much more!

---

Note, since the thread was rebuilt by Tzar007, you will notice that each post starts with "From Member:". Tzar007 did this in order to maintain the context of who was the original poster of each post.

Mark "MarkShot" Kratzer on 02/14/04.



The HTTR and COTA mini-guides are now available in offline format (PDF) for download.

I would like to thank Eddy Sterckx, fellow beta tester, for the time and effort he put in to reformating the HTML into MS Word to yield a PDF.

You may download them here:

HTTR download link

COTA download link

* Note that the HTTR guide does contain quite a bit of material that is still applicable to COTA.

Enjoy!

Mark "MarkShot" Kratzer on 01/12/06

The COTA Battle Planning Checklist is now also available for download. HTTR players should also find it useful. The link for download is:

COTA Battle Planning Checklist

Enjoy!

Mark "MarkShot" Kratzer on 02/25/06


< Message edited by MarkShot -- 2/25/2006 11:39:06 PM >


_____________________________

Panther Games (RDOA/HTTR/COTA/BFTB) Beta Tester
Post #: 1
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:10:27 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:

I was doing some beta testing and I got a feeling to write an AAR for public consumption. Dave, President of Panther Games, has given his approval. So, that's what this thread will be.

So, let me lay out what my objectives in writing this AAR will be:

(1) To have some fun myself ... I often analyze, make plans, and take notes ... but I have never really published an RDOA or HTTR AAR. Although I have done a few pseudo AARs/scenario reviews as part of the Beta testing.

(2) To give you folks a sense of the game as I know that excitement is starting to build with the release of the game on its way.

(3) To get a little discussion going about the game and as appropriate Dave can jump in and answer some of your questions.

(4) To provide some tutorial insights into how the game can be played.

The style of this AAR will be that of strategy gaming/tutorial. I am not really a hardcore wargamer. So, there won't be any dissassembly/reassembly of MG42s blindfolded here or discussion of muzzle velocities or bullet dispersion patterns.

When I started playing RDOA in the Summer of 2002, I was truly clueless and was lucky to get a draw in scenarios. But countless hours of play and the old school of hard knocks taught me the basics.

---

So, let's begin. The screenshots and play recounted here will be from a build that could well be what ends up on the store shelves. If not, it will be extremely close. This is the real deal.

The scenario is the "Eindhoven - Para Rescue" scenario. It runs for 1 Day and 14 hours. Compared to most HTTR scenarios it is of relatively short duration and low complexity (meaning limited objectives and forces involved). {It was good for beta testing due to its size. It took me about 3 hours to play through it. Of course, rate of play in HTTR is mainly a matter of personal style.}

HTTR scenarios have both a general briefing which you see when selecting which one to play and a side briefing which you see once you have selected your side and entered the scenario proper.

The general briefing follows below:

"The drive to Arnhem is off to a shaky start!

A battalion group from 82nd Airborne Division has been driven back from its objective at Son Bridge by previously undetected troops of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 1. The battalion has held out for 48 hours and is already exhausted and depleted.

Meanwhile, the lead battalion of the 131st Queen's Infantry Brigade has just finished driving the forward SS battalion from the northern suburbs of Eindhoven.

Will the Brigade succeed in taking the Son Bridge intact and relieving the isolated paras? Or will the SS troops bottle the English up in Eindhoven, to mop up the airborne at their leisure?

The operation must be finished quickly or it will be too late for the rest of the airborne, far behind enemy lines to the North."

I will be playing as the Allies and the Allied briefing follows below:

"Unexpected resistance has forced 2nd Bn 508th Airborne Regiment away from Son Bridge and into the shelter of the woods to the West. Bottled up there for the last 48 hours by fanatical troops of SS Pzgr Regt 1, the Airborne troops are now exhausted and depleted. Their objective remains untaken and they are in danger of being destroyed completely if they are not relieved soon.

Your lead Bn has finally succeeded in dislodging the SS defences in Eindhoven, and the way to Son Bridge and the paras is clear. The rest of the Brigade is on the way, if Son Bridge can be taken intact then the sacrifice of the airborne troops will have been worthwhile. If the bridge is blown, you will have to find another way North.

Your ultimate objective is the St Oedenrode bridge, which you must take by tomorrow night in order for the Guards Armoured Division to conduct passage of lines on its way to relieve the landings further North."

---

Well, that concludes today's installment. In the next installment, we'll take a look at the objectives, the map, forces involved, ...

Stay tuned.

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 2
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:38:47 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:

Well, we'll begin at the beginning. I have chosen all the default options for this scenario.

I will be playing with ORDER DELAYS = PAINFULLY REALISTIC.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with RDOA, setting this option simulates command delays as orders are passed through the chain and command and executed. It adds a whole additional dimension to your HTTR experience. For beginners, some might consider that this increases the difficulty. I think that is debatable. But for new players, you can try a simple scenario at both extremes and see what the impact it has.


(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 3
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:39:26 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


Here is how things look when the game first comes up. (I will assume that you have already read the general and side briefing that I posted above. So, we won't look at those again.) Personally, I don't get too carried away look at the briefings. I try to see if they contain the answer to the any of the following questions:

(1) What is my mission?
(2) Where and how strong is the enemy?
(3) Where will enemy reinforcements come from?

Next, I usually head over to the left panel. (see image)

If you haven't already done so, then observe how long the scenario will run for. Time should have an impact on all your planning. HTTR is not an open ended game. You will often need to formulate either an explicity or an implicity time table and stick to it. This is especially true in some of the shorter scenarios running 1-3 days.

Next we move on to looking at the objectives. You can break down your review of the objectives into three parts:

Part I: What are the point make up of the objectives? This includes looking at their value and the occupation and completion components. For occupation points, you should also pay attention to their time frames. Are there any points to be awarded for destroying the enemy?

You may observe that the bulk of the points come from taking just a couple of the objectives, and this would indicate where you should focus your efforts. Other minor objectives, should be considered mainly for pushing across a scoring threshhold. HTTR has basically: Decisive Defeat, Marginal Defeat, Draw, Marginal Victory, and Decisive Victory. In some cases, the scenario designer may have used minor objectives to provide the player some hints as to what their plan might be.

In playing scenarios, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes it may be sufficient to take a few objectives and then make sure the others are contested. If they are contested, then neither side gets points. It is often easier to contest an objective than take it.

Part II: Where are the objectives located?

In some scenarios, you might have many objectives of relatively equal point values. But you may observe that some of the objectives are in close proximity. Thus, they could be attacked or defended by single force or multiple forces working together. This would make them relatively higher priority than isolated objectives. For example, a single objective located on the far side of a river.

Part III: The terrain around the objectives?

In some scenarios, there is less of a progress of making progress across a map and multiple objectives are for the taking depending how you want to go about it. With such choices, terrain can be a very big factor. How hard will an objective be to attack or defend? Perhaps in meeting engagement, you will choose to go after the ones easy to defend first and get yourself entrenched; towards the end you can make your push on the ones hard to defend and dislodge the enemy.

So, what do we see for this scenario? (see images of the three objectives; note locations on map on the right and point values on the left) {I have turned off display of units for these screen shots.}

Son Bridge Objective:




St.Oedenrode Bridge Objective:




Destroy the Enemy Objective:




We have two bridges: the Son Bridge in the South and The St. Oedenrode Bridge in the North for which we have secure crossing objectives. Looking at the point values involved, it is clear that we will need to take both to achieve a decisive victory. There are points for destroying the enemy, but we will simply regard those as icing on the cake.

There is one other thing worth making note of in our initial analysis and that is the present status of those bridges. So, let zoom in on the bridges. When we look at the icon for the Son Bridge, we will see that it is pink. That means that the Germans have primed it to blow. So, be advised that the status of crossings can play a big role in this game both directly and indirectly. Directly, in the sense that they can represent objectives and points or indirectly, in the sense that a forces time table can severly hampered by losing a preferred crossing.

Primed Son Bridge:




Unprimed St.Oedenrode Bridge:



Okay, that wraps up today's installment. Next time, we will look at the forces on the map and composition and timing of our forces.

---

Your comments on this thread are welcome. As you can see, I am writing this in tutorial fashion. There are few reasons for this. I would like people who didn't own RDOA to get a sense of HTTR. I am trying to reach a broader audience who may not be hardcore wargamers. I am trying to throw in some tips and useful frameworks here and there. Sooner or later, the forum will see a surge of new players and maybe this thread will be of some use. For you RDOA players, I will try to point out some of the cool new features that Panther has added to HTTR as we happen across them.

< Message edited by Tzar007 -- 2/13/2004 10:35:17 PM >

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 4
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:45:23 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:

In this installment, we'll take a look the following items:

(1) The mission.

(2) The forces and reinforcements which we have available.

(3) A simple time table.

* The Mission *

Except for a few paratroopers on the Northern Bank of Wilhemina Kanaal (The Son Bridge) our forces are starting in the South either near Eindhoven or further South down at the map edge.

Thus, we'll have to push North and take the two bridges in sequence under a tight time table.

Everything really hinges on the Son Bridge. If the Germans blow it, we are more or less stopped and lose potential points. If the Germans hold it, we are more or less stopped and lose potential points. You get the picture.

* Our Forces *

There are a number of ways to quickly see what you have to work with. First, if you play the game a lot, then you will probably get familiar with the Estabs and just be able to know what you have by looking at the names. However, we'll assume you are not at that point yet.

The way I usually do this for forces on the map is to click on the map, then up arrow to get to the senior unit, and then use the arrow keys to walk the chain of command. This is pretty quick and easy to do. You'll get a sense of what units you have and the chain of command. Often, I'll have the equipment tab pulled up on the left so I can see what the unit is packing.

With HTTR there is another very quick way to get a sense of what you have and that is to use the unit filter keys. A series of key toggles have been defined to allow you to display just certain classes of units on the map. So, suppose you want to see what arty you have, well, hit the "8" toggle key and only arty units display. This can be a lot quicker than my old method which I described to you above. On a small scenario like this, the unit filters will seem like a minor convenience and you could easily get by without them. But when you go play one of the larger scenarios running 5+ days and having a couple of hundred units on the map, you will see what an incredible time saver and situational awareness aid this feature is.

{Author's note: I have set my unit icons to use little pictures crafted by Dave. You can play the game displaying standard military symbols instead. However, this is just what I am used to.}

Well, let me you show you a few quick screenshots so that you can see how this works. I have also highlighted for you the little indicator which shows up on the bottom of the map. RDOA players will also note that the highlighted area also indicated what unit info has been selected. First, all units. Second, just arty units. Third, just the HQs. See how this works.


All Units:




Artillery Units:




HQ Units:




So, what do we have?

131st. Queens Inf Bde:
1 X Eng [motor]
1 X TD [motor]
1 X Arty [motor]
1 X LTank [motor]

1/5 Queens Inf Bn:
( 4 X Inf Coy, 1 X mortar, 1 X ATG, 1 X LFlak, 1 X LTank ) [motor]

2nd Bn 508th:
( 3 X Inf Coy [foot], 1 X mortar [foot],
1 X ATG [motor], 1 X Eng [motor], 1 X LFlak [motor] )

Now, when looking at your forces, you also what to see what will be your reinforcement situation. So, we jump over to the reinforcement tab for this. On the left side, you will a list of reinforcements. When a particular one is highlighted you will see it's icon where it will appears on the map (extreme South). For you RDOA players, I believe that additional information is being displayed in the reinforcement tab, but I forget what was added.


Reinforcements Tab:




The important thing when looking at reinforcements is to note three things: what, when, and where. We can easily see if the arriving units is infantry on foot or with transport, or armor, or artillery, etc... When looking at "when", it is often best to think of reinforcements in terms of time windows. Reinforcements in the display will often be itemized, but the scenario designer will often have many individual units arriving in a one hour window. As most of you will be playing with order delays turned on and these are waived for the first 59 minutes after arrival, then you should tend to look at these time windows and see all units arriving in the window as one or just a few task forces to command. This will vastly simplify your perspective on dealing with reinforcements and, at the same time, lead to a more cohesive plan for their use.

Here is what we see about this battle in terms of reinforcements:

Day #1, morning - 1/7 Queens Inf Bn (motorized)

Day #1, afternoon - Arty

Day #2, evening - 1/6 Queens Inf Bn (motorized)

Day #2, night/morning - Inniskillen Dragoon Guards (armor)

You will notice that I have abstracted the time frames a little. When you think about your plan and reinforcements, you may want to do this. It better reflects the realities that events are simply not going to happen at the exact hour and minute that is written into your plan. After all, this is war.

In some games reinforcements are quite vague and happen almost like unexpected bonuses in the midst of battle. As you can see in HTTR except for the time frame, they are pretty definite. So, in any less than trivial scenario, you should make sure that you integrate them into your plan. For example, this may mean that your initial forces on the map primary task might not be to engage the enemy. Perhaps, their mission will be to secure a good fire base location for arty or secure a key highway so that the follow on heavies can move into the battle quickly.

* The Time Table *

I often find it helpful to construct a simple time table. This is particular true of shorter scenarios before proceeding. In longer scenarios, you can put forward a time table, but there will just be too many unknowns to really employ it to guide the entire battle. You'll simply have to replan a few times on the situation evolves. However, with this scenario we can easily put forward a time table to which our adherence will be a good measure of our chances for victory.

Phase I: Prepare Push on Son (1 08:00 - 1 14:00)
Phase II: Take Son (1 14:00 - 1 22:00)
Phase III: Prepare Push on St. Oedenrode (2 06:00 - 2 12:00)
Phase IV: Take St. Oedenrode (2 12:00 - 2 22:00)

You will notice that I have left some slack during the morning of Day #2. If my troops are making good progress, then they may get some rest before entering into battle on Day #2. If they are not doing as well as I expected, then they may have to fight on through the night.

---

That concludes this installment. Next, time we'll prepare our initial plan, issue orders, and kick off the game and follow the battle.

Stay tuned for more AAR, more new features, more tips, and more screen shots.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 5
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:48:48 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


Before actually formulating our plan and starting this particular game, let's talk a little bit about style of play. What I am going to describe here is my style of play and yours may well differ. Although HTTR is a realtime game, I do pause at times to analyze the situation and I always pause when issuing orders.

We could say that HTTR will take two forms of player inputs. There are query inputs. These will be key strokes or mouse actions that you will issue for the purpose of displaying information. There are command inputs. These will be key strokes or mouse actions that you will issue for the purpose of altering the outcome of the game. I generally find that while playing HTTR, you will be performing more query inputs than command inputs. In another thread, I had said that HTTR is a "true" strategy game. You will not be spending most of your interaction with the game handling miniscule details which only fractionally contribute to your overall strategy. In fact, when you issue command inputs, they will generally reflect your strategy in a clear succint manner and have a significant impact on the very outcome of the battle.

By the way, the thread I refer to is here: A Perspective: What Makes HTTR Truly Special

So, I tend to generally regard an HTTR game as having a number of order cycles. The cycle begins when I have a plan or sub plan and issue orders to carry it out. The cycle ends when the orders are either completed or I revise them. For example, the order cycle begins when I order an attack. The order cycle ends when the attack has succeeded and the battalion completes securing the objective and assumes a defensive posture.

Thus, in my view, an HTTR game is made up of a series distinct junctures (order cycles) where you implement/revise a plan. Aside from formulating plans, the challenge to you, the commander, is to recognize out of the continuous flow of battle when a key juncture has been reached and a new order cycle is required. So, as you play, you will spend much of your time watching a dynamic situation and trying to evaluate the progress of your plan, the enemies intention, and the ebb and flow of battle. So, as I present this AAR, commanding may seem very simplistic and that is because without actually playing the game, it is not easy to see what a challenge it is identify these discrete points in a battle which for the most part is completely continuous. HTTR models this continuous nature of battle very well. Unlike other games, battle in HTTR can be quite messy and at any given point in time it is not easy to say with certainty what the true situation is. Individual units will advance and fall back. Battle lines will not be like lines drawn on paper. For you the reader, this AAR is going to look cleaner than battle really is, since you will be unable to watch the actual flow of the game.

Having explained all that. Our examination of this battle will focus on the following moments.

Day 1 @ 08:00
Day 1 @ 08:58
Day 1 @ 10:55
Day 1 @ 11:59
Day 1 @ 12:11
Day 1 @ 13:12
Day 1 @ 13:48
Day 1 @ 14:46
Day 1 @ 15:03
Day 1 @ 16:43
Day 1 @ 17:19
Day 1 @ 19:58
Day 1 @ 20:47
Day 1 @ 21:31
Day 2 @ 01:09
Day 2 @ 13:26

Prior to each of these moments, I analyzed the situation. Through my analysis, I concluded at each of these moments that a key juncture had been reached. Having arrived at that realization, I then issued new orders to some of the units under my immediate command.

---

Of course, you don't have to pause the game while playing and you can simply issue orders on the fly whenever the mood grabs you. But I presented this discussion, since for me as someone who was learning to play, I found it to be a useful framework and discipline to improve my skills. It made me very concious of my role as the commander and the interplay of cause and effect.

---

Fear not, in our next installment, we are going to focus on the actual plan and issue some orders. {I just wanted to give some flavor to those of you who do not own a copy of RDOA (Panther's first game).}

< Message edited by Tzar007 -- 2/15/2004 1:04:39 PM >

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 6
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 4:55:34 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


Okay, it's time to begin constructing our plan. In a nut shell, we will need to seize two bridges in sequence with a tight time line.

{Regarding the use of military terminology ... I am neither a veteran, hard core war gamer, or historian. So, my use of terms may be somewhat off at times. Please don't be offended.}

An important part of any plan for an HTTR scenario is the establishment and use of fire bases. I will use the term arty for units with a bombard capability (indirect fire) of medium to long range (beyond 3km). I will use the term fire base to mean a concentration of arty units in relative close proximity (1-3km).

Before we cover fire bases, let's back up for a minute and talk a little bit about why arty and mortars are important. Arty and to a lesser extent mortars are going to play a key role in the success or failure of any plan. This is due to three main reasons:

(1) They represent a significant portion of your overall fire power concentrated into a small number of units.

(2) They are one of the few things that can reach out an touch the enemy and when handled properly cannot be touched back (meaning that unlike your line troops your guns may be able to avoid suppressive direct or indirect fire themselves). This can increase their effectiveness relative to units with similar fire power ratings such as armor.

(3) Their reach allows them to be deployed to fire to maximum effect immediately when your units on the move make contact. The moving units can return fire, but they are not nearly as effective as if they were in prepared positions and dug-in.

To illustrate point #1, let me show you the arty unit filter for some of our forces with the combat power info selected. {Note, that the unit filter will include big guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, and light flak.} Unit icons can display various unit info in the upper right hand corner. There is a wealth of information displays to choose from. Below is a unit icon with the unit info box highlighted with combat power displayed.


Info Box: Combat Power




Here is another screen shot comparing the relative combat power of a self propeled gun regiment (8 Sextants) with that of a motorized infantry company (126 soldiers). We see the former displays the value 4 and the later 2. The important thing to note is that combat power is a logrithmic scale (similar to the Richter scale used for earthquakes). Thus, the arty unit displayed contains two orders of magnitude (100X) the fire power of the infantry company as opposed to just doubled.


Comparison of Combat Power:




When you have some experience with HTTR, you will see just how important arty is. On the attack, it can dislodge stubborn defenders or make them so supressed that your forces can overrun them. On the defense, if you catch the enemy massing for an attack at the right time, you can delay their attack preparations by as much as 12 hours and cause up to 30% casualties without them ever firing a shot.

A fire base is a concentration of arty at a location that puts its guns in range of the terrain upon which you are conducting operations. Additionally, a good fire base will make sure that your guns are protected. Of which the best protection is that no one knows that they are there in the first place.

You can easily check the range by selecting the bombard order to display the range circle (the blue circle) and then canceling it. RDOA players will also notice a new black circle. This is a new feature indicating the minimum bombard range for the unit. So, we see in this screen shot below that our single arty unit will not do us much good where it is currently located. It cannot put shells in the area of either bridge.


Artillery Range:




So, why create fire bases as opposed to simply letting your arty be scattered across the map? (In larger scenarios, you could easily have 6-12 big gun units. In this one, there will only be 3.) Since your arty is such a valuable asset to you it is a primary target for the enemy arty. If your arty gets badly mauled, you will be severly handicapped. If your arty is engaged by line units and has to relocated, then it cannot be servicing fire missions and it is temporarily disabled.

By using one or more fire bases, we can improve the security of our arty units. We can locate them in an unlikely spot to see enemy action with low visibility from afar. At the same time, we can take some line forces in reserve and establish a defensive perimeter. The perimeter will first prevent the enemy from getting close enough to see what is inside the perimeter and target it, and second prevent the enemy from overrunning our arty if they come in strength. One thing I should point out is to remember that your arty does have a minimum range. Thus, it may not be able to service fire missions in its own support. The answer to that problem can be to have more than one fire base or sprinkle a few mortars into the the mix.

Let's look at the four key issues that pertain to effective management of arty: location, movement, security, and employment.

* Movement *

Before moving arty, you want to make sure that they have a safe route to take. Ideally the route should not only be under your control, it should be free from enemy observation as well. Otherwise, they can shell it.

* Location *

When you deploy your arty it should be to a safe location. What is safe? First, and most importantly is should not be seen. So, get some woods, hills, or villages in between it and the enemy. Second, have some defensive forces in the vicinity in case the enemy just happens across it. Third, choose good real estate. A bad choice would be right off a major highway in enemy territory. Roads are likely to see enemy movements. Another bad choice is often right at one of your objectives. Objectives are magnets for the enemy and do not provide your arty with a low profile situation. (An exception might be if the objective is located in a large city and you have a huge dug-in force defending it.) Another problem with objectives; it also becomes likely that you will see massed enemy concentrations within your arty's minimum bombard range. Thus, making it ineffective.

* Security *

We covered this above. Protect it from prying eyes and those who might wish it harm.

* Employment *

You can choose to leave the positioning of your guns under the direct command of the AI or take control of this yourself. For mortars, it depends very much on the situation. It's an interesting discussion, but one we are not going to have time for. For the big guns, I think this is something you are better off doing yourself. They are simply too critical to not make them part of the top level plan.

In terms of fire missions, you can either let the AI choose the target coordinates or pick them yourself. I tend prefer letting the AI do this. My reasons are: First, it is somewhat distracting from the overall battle. Second, the AI does a decent job. Rarely does it shoot at empty space or low value/vague contacts. You can see this when you are on the receiving end. There is one very important exception where you MUST call in your own fire missions and that is when trying to secure primed bridges. We'll cover that during this AAR.

---

Well, that was a lengthy discussion of arty and next time we will be prepared for the first step of our plan - selecting and establishing our fire base.

---

By the way, fellow beta tester and now Panther employee, Steve "Golf33" Long is a former arty officer. So, if you really want to learn something, ask him some questions. All the lessons I included above were simply the result of getting slapped around by the AI.

---

Until next time ...

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 7
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 5:04:34 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


In my last installment, we talked at great length about arty. Here is a look at the area around Eindhoven.


Eindhoven Area:




The bottom line of all that discussion is that Eindhoven will become our initial fire base for this scenario. Intelligence shows a relatively weak German presence North of Eindhoven. In contrast, we are going to soon be coming up this road in force. It is my estimation that the German units to the North Eindhoven will not be making a stand, but instead scrambling to get back to the Son Bridge and hold at that location. Why? It's clearly the most defensible terrain feature standing between their main position and the Allied advance. (That's what I would do.) So, setting up a fire base at Eindhoven is relatively low risk and will put Son in range of our guns.

Below we see the orders issued to the arty unit to get up to Eindhoven ASAP and deploy in support of the operation. Also, an engineering unit will provide some local security. I also want to hold the engineers in reserve in case I have any demolition work for them to do like unpriming bridges. Note, the command parameters given to the arty unit (selected by highlighting their order marker on the map.)


Orders:




Now, let's move up to Son on the North Bank and see what the situation of 2nd Battalion 508th Para Regiment is. We know that this Bn is at the point of exhaustion. How? First, it tells us that in the briefing. Tip -> Second we can see that by selecting the HQ and then hitting the down arrow while holding the shift key to select all subordinate units. This gives combined info on all selected units at the right. Look at that fatigue level!


All Subordinate Units Selected:




I could have also selected unit fatigue to display in the info box for all my units on the map. As you can see, those paratroopers are exhausted compared to the fresh forces to the South.


Fatigue Level:




Given their extreme state of exhaustion, I am not expecting too much from them. I will be pleased if they can act in a supporting role in taking the Son Bridge. Here is the mission which I want to give them.

(1) Harass German units pushed back from Son when the main attack is underway. There are two ways to look at my plan to harass the Germans. On one hand, by cutting off one of the German escape routes, won't I be making the attack harder? Yes, that could well be true. On the other hand, if the Germans get expelled from Son, they will most certainly regroup and counter attack. Thus, the more damage I cause now, the less likely they are to counter attack and the less effective a counter attack will be. So, in my view, harassing them is a good idea.

(2) Place mortar fire on enemy units opposing the attack on Son.

(3) Prevent German reinforcements from reaching Son from the West.

Initially, I am going to order most of them to get a little rest in place for the next 58 minutes.

We see that below.


Rest Order:




I will have my ATG (anti-tank gun) unit, move to the tree line to prevent movement from the West along the trail (dashed brown line). I will have my engineers set up a road block in the woods to the South. I will have my mortar unit move 1km to the East to get closer to the impending action and also be protected within a safe perimeter of paratroopers. See the orders below.


Other Orders:




---

For you RDOA players, I'll mention another HTTR improvement. You heard it hear first, since Dave forget to mention this in another thread. In RDOA, you will see that ATG units don't really live up to their full potential. That was because they were effectively classed in the same group as arty which do not behave like front line troops (meaning they are not particularly robust when faced with direct attack). In RDOA, ATG units supressed and broke very quickly. ATG units have been tweaked in HTTR. They are much more robust when they get dug-in to a tree line or town edge and cover a road or open area.

---

In our next installment, we'll go back to our forces in the South and complete the initial set of orders. In specific, we'll look at Phase I which was to prepare the push on Son. Also, we will learn about the importance of recon and how to conduct it in HTTR.

Tea time! (No, I am not British; actually, American, but I just felt like saying that. It sort of adds some historic flavor. )

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 8
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 5:17:10 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


Remember the time is Day #1 @ 08:00. The battle has yet to begin. We have a preliminary time schedule drawn up and have issued some initial orders. We are now going to finalize orders for the remaining forces on the map.

However, before issuing the final orders, let's talk about two key concepts intelligence and reconnaissance.

Throughout the game as the commander, you will receive reports about enemy activity (location, activity, composition, ...) limited by the fog of war. (A useful new feature in HTTR is the intel filter of which there are three settings: all reports, recent reports, and current reports. I tend to mainly play with recent reports selected. Recent Intel gives you a good idea of enemy intentions without unnecessarily cluttering up the map or appearing to visually inflate enemy strength. Current Intel is useful when you have an air strike available and you are looking to see where to use it.) At the very start of the game, you are likely to have intel reports scattered across the map. But there after, you will mainly tend to receive intel reports in relatively close proximity to your own positions. This does not mean that the enemy isn't concentrated and waiting for you someplace else. It simply reflects the reality of mainly being able to develop a picture when you are close enough to see or hear the enemy. (Along those lines, the level of available intel at night falls drastically compared to the day. This has its implications and you should keep that in mind when constructing plans.)

So, as we have just noted, you will usually have a passive intel picture where your forces and those of the enemy have run into each other on the map. In contrast, recon is an effort to develop an active intel picture. You will issue orders for the sole purpose of gathering information about the enemy. It's the difference between being stuck in a dark room and reaching out with your hands to feel ahead or simply putting your arms down and walking face first into a wall. Which would you rather do?

Let's discuss some basic rules of thumb for recon in HTTR.

(1) You will want to select units with motorized transport. You want them to be able to cover ground quickly. Also, you want them to be able to disengage from the enemy if possible to continue on their way. After all, recon does not mean search and destroy. My favorite units for recon will tend to be armored car platoons or light tank platoons. Recon orders (movement or defend) should only be given to forces of a single unit and not multi-unit forces. Single unit forces travel very fast. Multi-unit forces are much more focused on security and will use overwatch techniques to travel. (This will increase their life expectancy at the cost of slowing them down greatly.)

(2) When issuing recon orders you should generally try to travel on roads. First, roads are the fastest way to cover ground and you usually want to get as much information reported back as quick as possible. Second, you may be trying to operate in a 58 minute time window (explained below). Third, the enemy will tend to travel by roads. So, you are more likely to find him when using roads. Fourth, you are often trying to find a path for your forces from Point A to Point B which is clear or with limited resistance. The best path for your forces are usually roads (fastest travel; least fatigue).

(3) Recon orders are either MOVE or DEFEND in HTTR from one place to another (for a single unit, the outcome of either of these two orders are pretty much the same). You will want to set the order parameters as shown below. The idea is to travel fast while trying to avoid getting into a protracted fire fight with the enemy. However, when you do come under fire, then return the maximum amount of fire possible in order to disengage. Try to have your recon orders terminate at a location where the unit can still do some good. Some example, the site of a future FUP (where they can serve as advanced eyes), an objective (perhaps it will be vacant and you will be able to pick up points without a fight), a key road intersection which is likely to see enemy reinforcements pass by, ... My point is that if your recon unit lives long enough to reach its destination, then make it worthwhile. (The reality is that recon units often get sacrificed.)


Move Order for Recon Unit:




(4) If you play with ORDER DELAYS enabled, then arriving reinforcements have 60 minutes during which order delays are waived. At time T0, take a few armored car units from the reinforcements and sending them rapidly down potential routes which the larger force could take in order to attack a major objective is an excellent idea. At time T+59, you pause the game and based on the experiences of your recon units, you give your orders for the larger force. By doing this at T+59 as opposed to T+60, you save many hours of order delays in your force getting underway. By using recon, you make sure that your force will actually arrive where they are going or not loose 1/2 day and 10% of their strength on rout.

(5) Another good time to conduct recon is when one part of a plan is winding down and the details of the next phase will need to be developed. In such cases, 3-4 hours (order delays in effect) before that point in time is reached, you should issue recon orders.

(6) Since adding or removing units from a force can force their commanders to rework their plan for carrying out their orders (resulting in long additional delays), if you intend to perform recon it is best to keep those units separate. You don't want to commandeer them from an attack in progress.

Before wrapping up this discussion of recon, there are two more points I want to make.

(1) Sometimes a single unit may be issued orders with an intent that is multi-functional which can include recon as one of the underlying reasons. For example, Unit 1 is given orders to go from Point A to Point B. If Unit 1 happens to run across the enemy, then they will enhance the active intel picture. If Unit 1 fails to run across the enemy, then they will set up a road block at Point B. At the roadblock, their purpose will now be to screen for enemy movements (provide early passive intel reports) and to delay enemy movements down the particular road.

(2) Sometimes you may send a unit on a recon mission to encounter the enemy despite the fact that even without intel you are certain the enemy is there in great stength. For example, the map has five 5 point objectives and one 60 point objective. Where do you think the enemy might be? So, why do that? Well, suppose you have a very impressive fire base assembled, but your forces marching to attack will probably not make contact with the enemy for 9 hours. What good are those guns doing for you? If you send a recon unit into the enemy strong hold, then your guns will have a target list to fire upon. Furthermore, since in 14 hours, you will most likely be attacking that strong hold, then wouldn't it be nice to have already caused some damage before the attack begins? (Your armored car unit will likely be no match for what they encounter. But your artillery will make the enemy pay a dear price for decimating that armored car unit.)

---

Okay, we didn't get to issue anymore orders, but we are ready to and we will in the next installment. However, I got to run. (As you can see, I am trying to establish a strong conceptual base upon which orders presented in this AAR will be made. Readers, let me know how this approach is working out for you. Thanks.)

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 9
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 5:48:19 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


In our last installment, we discussed recon.

In a little bit, I will discuss the approach I will take towards the Son Bridge. But, it is clear that I need to know what is going on along the highway from Eindhoven to Son. Thus, we have a recon mission up the highway to Bokt. I have intentionally stopped it short of 1.5km of the Bridge.

Let me state a very important point when dealing with bridges: When dealing with enemy garrisons sitting on top of bridges which are primed with demolition charges, you need to be careful not to make them unduly nervous.

So, a little over zealous recon could loose us the objective.


Screen shot for the orders below:




Remember my time table?

Phase I: Prepare Push on Son (1 08:00 - 1 14:00)
Phase II: Take Son (1 14:00 - 1 22:00)

The reasons I broke that into two distinct phases as opposed to Phase I - Take Son are:

(1) A long distance attack on Son is going to get sloppy. A sloppy attack will be a risky one that might cause us to loose the bridge. We want a crisp attack that will seize the bridge intact.

(2) By Phase II, we will have our fire base set up and possible other reinforcements at our disposal.

So, to achieve Phase I, we want to drive in reach of Son and stop. Once in reach of Son, it will be possible for our arriving reinforcements to move North unmolested to prepare for the final assault. I am envisioning then two attacks. The first, will push in range of Son and secure its position. The second (reinforcements) will FUP (organize) South of the first's line and then attack Son while passing through the first force's lines.

My Bde will FUP in Northern Eindhoven and drive to within 2km of Son. In reality, their orders are going to take them even closer to Son than that and I am being very careful where I place the task marker. Attacking units will exploit beyond the task marker during their attack. So, I need to be careful. I don't want to the German garrison to feel that they are about to overrun and that their situation is hopeless.


See screenshot below:




That's it. This is the complete set of initial orders. To see what this looks like (only units with orders directly from me are selected by current filter; remember some of those you see have subordinates under their command) ...


Orders North:




Orders South:




The battle begins - FINALLY! (I knew some of your thought I was incapable of getting to that moment.) Actually, I think the pace of this discussion is going to pickup, or so I hope.

In our next installment, we'll see what happens from:

Day 1 @ 08:00
Day 1 @ 08:58

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 10
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 5:52:50 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 08:00
Day 1 @ 08:58

Elements of the 2nd. Bn 508th. Para Regt made progress consistant with their orders.

My recon element made it up to Bokt and met very minimal German resistance. This is very significant and we will come back to that in a minute.


See screenshot below:




To the South, our fire base is established and the 131st. Queens Inf Bde is beginning their push North. I have highlighted the 131st. for you so that you can observe their attack formation and also note thick black arrows in the unit info box on the icons. These units are assaulting.


See screen shot below:




It's Day 1 @ 08:58 and we have arrived at our first juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) At Day 1 @ 09:00, order delays will kick in for all the units which you see on the map. If I give them new orders now, they will carry them out immediately. At 09:00, the same orders will require hours worth of delays.

(2) My recon just told me that the Germans are unable to prevent movement up towards Son. There is no need to fight my way up to the area of the bridge. Thus, it is time to revise the plan.

(3) The 2nd Bn. 508th. were getting some rest. It's time to give them updated orders before the delays kick in.

Here are my new orders:

(1) 131st. Queens Inf Bde (rejoined by the engineers) will move directly 2km South of Son to FUP and attack. Now, there is a certain risk with eliminating Phase I and going immediately to Phase II of the operation. I had assumed that by Phase II (seizing Son) that I would have all my arty in place and another Bn. Also, the 2nd. Bn 508th Regt would have established their harassing position along with bringing their mortar platoon in range. So, then why abandon Phase I? Well, the flip side of sticking to plan is that for every additional minute it takes to reach Son, German reinforcements are also heading their to join the fight and those Germans already their are digging in and improving their defensive situation. So, I perceive that I have momentum and will take the initiative. The biggest risk factor is the limited arty support to suppress the bridge defenders as opposed limited number of attackers. (I'll explain more about this later.)

(2) 2nd Bn. 508th. are ordered to move East towards their harassing position and with the mortar platoon also moving somewhat further East.


Revised orders North:




Revised orders South:




Note that the dim lines show the current orders in effect and the white lines show my new orders.

---

Let's talk quickly about concepts once again.

The placement of FUP points is an art. Too far from the actual attack task marker and your attack will not be very cohesive and your troops are likely when not making progress to fall back quite far to get organized. Also, the reserves will tend to remain quite far back from the fighting. Too close to the actual attack task marker and the enemy may well observe them and rain down arty on them. The attack will end up being very disrupted and chances for success will be quite reduced.

Good FUPs balance these two extremes and always attempt to avoid observation where possible. This means when possible put woods, villages, hills ... between you and enemy observation. Also, remember that armor attacks best over open ground and that infantry attacks best through woods and urban areas. So, select an axis of attack appropriate to the forces involved.

I also wanted to talk about managing mortar platoons. You can take command of them and have them deploy in a specific location or you can leave them under command of their battalion commanders. There are reasons to support doing it either way. I'll share with you my thinking.

(1) When you have a very good picture of where the enemy is and what they are doing and you can safely set up your mortars in range of the engagement area, then I would say take direct command. By doing so, you will accomplish two things. You will avoid your mortars inadvertently coming under enemy fire. Your mortars will already be deployed and immediately ready to provide supporting fire for your infantry companies.

(2) When you do not have a good picture or need to attack over an extended distance (more than 2km), then leave your mortars under your Bn commanders control. The mortars will advance with the rest of the assaulting troops. When contact with the enemy is made, they will deploy and provide supporting fire.

---

In our next installement, we'll examine the time period of:

Day 1 @ 08:58
Day 1 @ 10:55

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 11
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 5:56:34 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 08:58
Day 1 @ 10:55

To the North:

Elements of the 2nd. Bn 508th. Para Regt are now pushing towards their harassing positions on the German's West flank around Son. Given my alteration to the plan, they will probably arrive too late to play a key role. The ATG unit looks like they may have spotted some German reinforcements coming in from the West.


See screenshot below:




To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde moved North with only token resistance from the Germans. They are just beginning their attack to seize the Son bridge. I have highlighted the 131st. for you so that you can observe their attack formation and also note thick black arrows in the unit info box on the icons. These units are assaulting.


See screenshot below:




It's Day 1 @ 10:55 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) The 131st. Queens Inf Bde just began their attack.

(2) We need to put suppressive fire on the German positions by the bridge to reduce the risk that they will blow it.

Do remember before that I said that I mainly let AI manage targetting arty, but that there is one very important exception? Well, this is it. Your attack on a bridge can be proceeding superbly one minute and the next minute; BOOM - the bridge goes up on smoke. The best recipe that I have learned for seizing primed bridges is:

(1) Put suppressive arty fire near the bridge. At the start of the scenario, note the intel and location of defending units. Those that are entrenched are not going anywhere. When you bombard the bridge area, then lay it on that location. Put as many arty/mortar units as you can afford on spreading fire around the bridge even though you don't see any targets. You can set the ROF (rate of fire) to slow.

(2) If you have lots of arty, then leave some on call to handle targets of opportunity and urgent requests for assistance.

(3) You can make the fire mission very long, since you are going to manually cancel later anyway.

(4) Start the fire mission as soon as the attack kicks off, don't wait until you are in contact with the enemy.

(5) Don't worry about friendly fire casualties. The barrages will be lifted if your troops advance into the the line of fire.

Taking this approach will greatly increase your changes of the enemy not being successful in blowing the bridge.

This is why I said that my skipping immediately to Phase II is somewhat risky. I am less concerned about an unsuccessful attack (I can always try again) than I am about getting the bridge being blown from underneath me. More arty support would definitely have been welcome.


Here are my revised orders below (just a fire mission really for my mortar and arty units):




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 10:55
Day 1 @ 11:59

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 12
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/14/2004 6:01:37 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 10:55
Day 1 @ 11:59

To the North:

Elements of the 2nd. Bn 508th. Para Regt are advancing. The ATG unit is exchanging fire with German reinforcements coming in from the West. RDOA players will note the new Log Tab on the left of the screen.


See screenshot below:




To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde has advanced about one half the distance to the bridge. They are beginning to receive some enemy arty fire.


See screenshot below:




To the extreme South another Bn, 1/7th Queens has just joined the party:




It's Day 1 @ 11:59 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements have just arrived and are awaiting orders. Nothing more; nothing less.

I want to use the new Bn to continue apply pressure to the Germans defending at Son. It is often a good idea to attack an enemy from a number of different axis. That is what we will do.

We are already attack from the South. We cannot attack from the North as that is what the fight is about in the first place. We can either attack from the East or the West.

An attack from the East presents a number of problems:

(1) I have no roads leading me that way.

(2) The Germans are likely to have the area by the Ferry up there under observation if they have the bridge primed.

(3) There are a number of minor rivers which the attack would have to traverse.

An attack from the West looks like a much better choice:

(1) I have a highway leading to the FUP point.

(2) A German presence around the FUP point is unlikely or the 2nd. Bn 508th would have spotted some Germans along the canal.

(3) I can limit the number of minor rivers needing to be traversed.

My new orders will be to have Bn, 1/7th Queens to attack from the West.


See screenshot below:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 11:59
Day 1 @ 12:11

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 13
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 4:40:46 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 11:59
Day 1 @ 12:11

To the North:

Elements of the 2nd. Bn 508th. Para Regt are continuing to advance, but they are still pretty much being pushed beyond the point of exhaustion. As said before, they are not going to really make it into the fight for the bridge.

To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde is making progress under enemy fire. Lead elements are now only 1km from the Son Bridge.


See screenshot below:




To the extreme South another Bn, 1/7th Queens is getting underway to their FUP to the West of Son. Note, the small black arrows in the unit info box indicating move orders. Although I gave attack orders, to the Bn Commander he is commanding his subordinates and that is why we currently see move orders.


1/7 Queens' Orders:




It's Day 1 @ 12:11 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) The 131st. Queens Inf Bde appears to have momentum and I believe that they will make it to the bridge. I should be able to send in the engineers who were assigned to the 508th on a mission to secure the crossing and get rid of those German demolition charges. They should have reasonable change of success as the defenders are having to deal with shelling and the assault coming from the South.

(2) The 2nd Bn 508th. will not make it into the fight. On the other hand, we still have a couple of companies of Germans trying to make it the bridge from the West. What if the those two companies are only the lead elements? The 2nd. Bn is in a decent position to stop those Germans cold. Fresh German reinforcements could still throw back my attack on Son if they make it there in time.

My new orders:

(1) The 2nd. Bn 508th will block the path going through the woods where they are. The associated MG company will set up to cover the approach to the woods.

(2) The engineers are to make their way to Son to unprime the German charges on the bridge. E Company is to shift their position a little bit to the South and take the engineer's road blocking role.

You will notice that in this single game, I have both macro-managed and micro-managed. I have ordered attacks and left the details and coordination up to brigade commanders. I have also tasked individual companies to block a road. As I said, HTTR scales smoothly and seamlessly. Why? Well, because it mimics real life. There are no obtuse abstractions here to manipulate.

See my new orders in the screen shot (note the purple in the unit info task display which indicates that new orders have been received; which is from me, their commander):


New Orders:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 12:11
Day 1 @ 13:12

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 14
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 4:44:31 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 12:11
Day 1 @ 13:12

To the North:

No real change.

To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde have almost reached the Son Bridge and Germans are falling back. But most importantly, the Germans tried to blow the bridge and failed. Note, that the bridge icon is no longer pink and see the side panel primed bar. We still don't actually control the objective; it does not have a green perimeter around it. (see screenshot)


Germans Fail to Blow the Bridge:




It's Day 1 @ 13:12 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) There is no longer any immediate threat of having the bridge destroyed. Now, it is simply a matter of making a successful attack across the canal and breaking the German defense. My arty no longer needs to pound the area around the bridge. They can once again service fire missions requested by engaged units.

My new orders:

(1) Put my arty by Eindhoven back on call.

(2) Have the 508th associated mortar platoon move closer towards Son and go on call.

(3) The 508th associated engineers are no longer needed at the bridge. Have them set up a new road block.


See my new orders in the screen shot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 13:12
Day 1 @ 13:48

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 15
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 4:49:01 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From JeF:


Mark,

That's what I call a detailed AAR !
Very good.


quote:

For you RDOA players, I'll mention another HTTR improvement. You heard it hear first, since Dave forget to mention this in another thread. In RDOA, you will see that ATG units don't really live up to their full potential. That was because they were effectively classed in the same group as arty which do not behave like front line troops (meaning they are not particularly robust when faced with direct attack). In RDOA, ATG units supressed and broke very quickly. ATG units have been tweaked in HTTR. They are much more robust when they get dug-in to a tree line or town edge and cover a road or open area.


Nice. Very sweet.
I always like to let some of those, each with a small infantry company, to cover my back and flanks in the campaign. Not that I manage to win though

JeF.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 16
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 4:55:42 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 13:12
Day 1 @ 13:48

To the North:

No real change.

To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde is within 0.5km of the Son Bridge. 1/7th Queens is almost at their FUP. Soon, they will join the attack. We still don't actually control the objective; it does not have a green perimeter around it.


See screenshot below:




To the extreme South, an arty unit just arrived.


Artillery Unit Arrived:




We should note that we are now back on schedule more or less with the original plan. Remember?

Phase I: Prepare Push on Son (1 08:00 - 1 14:00)
Phase II: Take Son (1 14:00 - 1 22:00)

It's Day 1 @ 13:48 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) By now, I am sure you have figure out that whenever there are reinforcements it is time to stop and issue some orders. Minimally, to the reinforcements and possibly to other units if the plan should be revised.

My new orders:

(1) We need to think about moving our fire base further North. We will have Son soon and we need to be able to strike targets up by St. Oedenrode. A little South of Bokt about 2km South of the Canal is a good choice. It will put us in range of St. Oedenrode while still being having the German positions at Son beyond our minimum targetting distance. Also, we have a strong presence around Bokt and own the South Bank. Our arty should be safe there. So, the reinforcing arty battery will move directly up to the new fire base and deploy.


See my new orders in the screen shot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 13:48
Day 1 @ 14:46

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 17
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 4:57:54 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 13:48
Day 1 @ 14:46

To the North:

The Germans continue to come under heavy fire.

To the South:

The 131st. Queens Inf Bde's attack has finally faltered. Note, all the movements paths by their command to fall back and regroup. On the other hand, 1/7th Queens is fresh and beginning to press the Germans with a new attack. We also see our new fire base getting established.


See screenshot below:




To the extreme South, another arty unit just arrived.

It's Day 1 @ 14:46 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements ...

My new orders:

(1) Have the arriving arty battery move up to our new fire base.

(2) Everything else is pretty much going according to plan.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 14:46
Day 1 @ 15:03

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 18
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:00:58 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 14:46
Day 1 @ 15:03

Although we have yet to cross the canal, we see that a successful attack is at hand. Note the green border around the icon and the green objective highlight on the left panel. Also, note that our Win Meter (top left) just jumped to around the 50% mark.


Son Bridge Taken:




It's Day 1 @ 15:03 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) I can see that the Germans are unable to hold Son or counter attack in force. It is time to start thinking of Phase III: Prepare Push on St. Oedenrode. I have become intimately familiar with the German capabilities at Son, but I know nothing of their disposition further up the highway to the North and at St. Oedenrode. I will need that information in the next few hours. So, it must be time for recon.

---

It's important to note that you need to think ahead while playing HTTR. You cannot simply react to what has failed or succeeded. You must be able to extrapolate trends and predict how things will be in 2-6 hours. You need to do this, since actions which will be appropriate for the situation six hours from now must have orders issued now. Now, is this a true strategy/war game or what? It's all about grasping the big picture and managing it. You got to love this game! (Dave gives me extra 80mm HE rounds during resupply for these little plugs here and there )

My new orders:

(1) Our original recon unit is once again on the move to the very heart of the German stronghold at St. Oedenrode. Before you say anything, I want you to know that when I asked, these guys volunteered for this mission.

(2) Everything else is pretty much going according to plan we just need to give it time.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 15:03
Day 1 @ 16:43

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 19
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:05:05 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


quote:


Mark,

That's what I call a detailed AAR !
Very good.

JeF.




JeF,

Glad you are enjoying it. Well, I am glad I decided to do this little 1 1/2 day battle and not one of the grand campaigns. Panther would have been out with Game 3 before I finished writing it.

Well, I hope the tutorial style will prove useful for someone when HTTR hits the shelves.

Take care.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 20
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:08:29 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From Arjuna:


quote:

(Dave gives me extra 80mm HE rounds during resupply for these little plugs here and there. )

MarkShot



Mark,

Great AAR.

You do realise that those 80mm rounds can't be fired from your Sextons as they fire a 25pd shell ( 84mm ).

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 21
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:10:54 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 15:03
Day 1 @ 16:43

Our attacking forces are preparing to cross the canal. Our recon unit has run cross the Son Bridge and encountered German units which had fallen back. At the moment, our recon unit is stalled in a shoot out.


See screenshot below:




The battle is pretty much done at Son. However, we have yet to complete the task of moving our fire base North.


See screenshot below:




It's Day 1 @ 16:43 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) We have good control of the situation at Son and we will still have a lot of arty fire power on-call even if one battery is on the move.

My new orders:

(1) Have the arty battery at Eindhoven more North to the new fire base before its services are needed in the attack on St. Oedenrode.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 16:43
Day 1 @ 17:19

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 22
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:13:53 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 16:43
Day 1 @ 17:19

Our attacking forces are taking up positions on the Northern back of the canal. Our recon unit fought its way through the shattered German defenders and is now on its way up St. Oedenrode.


See screenshot below:




To the far South, the brigade base just arrived.

It's Day 1 @ 17:19 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements ...

My new orders:

(1) The brigade base is to take up a defensive position at our new fire base.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 17:19
Day 1 @ 19:58

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 23
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:17:17 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 17:19
Day 1 @ 19:58

Our recon unit found the highway heading North to be free of German defense, but encountered a strong German presence at St. Oedenrode. As can be seen in the left Stats Tab, they have taken a pretty bad beating from the defenders at St. Oedenrode. Of course, our arty is returning the favor.


See screenshot below:




At the Son Bridge, the 1/7th. Inf Bn is busy securing the objective:




To the extreme South, the 1/6th Queens Inf Bn has just arrived:




Also, the 131st. Queens Inf Bde (the first force to attack Son) is preparing to cross the Canal.

It's Day 1 @ 19:58 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements ...

(2) Recon has given us some good intel. We have clear route up to St. Oedenrode which is heavily defended.

(3) The 131st. Queens Inf Bde order's are out dated. We already hold the Son Bridge and the 1/7th. Inf Bn is busy securing it.

Remember?

Phase III: Prepare Push on St. Oedenrode (2 06:00 - 2 12:00)
Phase IV: Take St. Oedenrode (2 12:00 - 2 22:00)

As I see that the Germans have concentrated their defense at St. Oedenrode, I will skip Phase III and go directly to Phase IV.

The battle has been proceeding at a good tempo. I want to maintain it. I am not going to stand down due to night fall and rest. It is a short battle and my troops can manage it.

My new orders (my forces will be moving under the cover of darkness):

(1) The 131st. Queens Inf Bde will take the highway North and attack up the middle from the South.

(2) The 1/6th Queens Inf Bn will take a wide flanking route and attack from the opposite flank and not where the Germans would expect it from the North. There is a slight bit of risk to doing this, but I don't believe the Germans will be present any where else in great strength. Although I could be wrong and run into reinforcements on the road. It is a chance which I am willing to take, since I am well ahead of schedule.

(3) The 1/7th. Inf Bn will be left to hold Son in case of a counter attack by the Germans. (no new orders for this)

See my new orders in the screenshots. You can see the orders first zoomed out and then zoomed in on St. Oedenrode.


Zoomed Out:




Zoomed In:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 19:58
Day 1 @ 20:47

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 24
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:19:54 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 19:58
Day 1 @ 20:47

Not much has happened, since my last update. My forces are busy digesting their new attack orders for St. Oedenrode and they are just beginning to be sent down the line to lower commands.

Our recon unit up by St. Oedenrode is recovering from being routed by the Germans. They have taken 75% casualities.

It's Day 1 @ 20:47 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Any further push by my recon unit would be suicidal on their part. They have already made a major contribution.

My new orders:

(1) I revise the recon unit's orders and have them take up a position in the tree line and keep the Germans under observations.

(2) All other orders still stand.

See my new orders in the screen shot. RDOA players will notice a gama shift in the game map. (No, that's not my video card failing.) The game now scales the gama based on time of day. It is a very clear reminder of changes in the visibility situation.


Night Falling On:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 20:47
Day 1 @ 21:31

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 25
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:24:40 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


Another new feature highlight which I forgot to mention. Notice the light blue and dark blue status bars on the left of the screen shot. This allows you to compare the initial state of the unit versus its current state. This is handy, since the extreme right position actually represents full strength for the unit. However, many scenarios have units starting at reduced strength. Thus, this new feature allows you to see what has been the impact of combat in this scenario.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 26
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:27:05 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 20:47
Day 1 @ 21:31

Not much has happened, since my last update. My forces are busy digesting their new attack orders for St. Oedenrode and they are just beginning to be sent down the line to lower commands. <-- No, I didn't haphazardly cut and paste that from my last post. That's pretty much the situation. This is the impact of order delays. Things don't happen instantly.

A bridge building unit did show up as a reinforcement to the extreme South. There's no bridges for them to build and I don't mind.

It's Day 1 @ 21:31 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements ...

My new orders:

(1) Send the bridge building unit to defend up around Son. After all, they have about 60 rifles and spot for my arty.

(2) All other orders still stand.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 1 @ 21:31
Day 2 @ 01:09

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 27
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:31:00 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 1 @ 21:31
Day 2 @ 01:09

To the North:

Things are heating up again. The 131st. Inf Bde's attack from the South is now underway. The 1/6th Queens Inf Bn did not encounter any German opposition during their flanking maneuver. They are now about 8-9km from reaching the FUP leading to their attack from the North.


See screenshot below:




To the South:

The 5th. Inniskillen Dragoon Guards (henceforth the 5IDG just arrived.)


See screenshot below:




It's Day 2 @ 01:09 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) Reinforcements ...

(2) We hold the Son Bridge and the highway from there to St. Oedenrode is clear. We can bring the 5IDG right into the battle.

(3) The 5IDG brings one arty unit with it which should join our fire base.

My new orders:

(1) The 5IDG's arty to deploy with at the fire base South of the canal.

(2) The 5IDG to proceed directly up towards St. Oedenrode and attack from the East.

I think the Germans at St. Oedenrode are in for one nasty wake up call when the sun comes up.

See my new orders in the screen shot. First, the 5IDG's orders. Second, the zoomed in attacks on St. Oedenrode.


5IDG's Orders:




Attacks on St.Oedenrode:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 2 @ 01:09
Day 2 @ 09:52

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 28
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:32:19 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 2 @ 01:09
Day 2 @ 09:52

This post is somewhat different than the others. I am providing you an update here at Day 2 @ 09:52, since it is pretty clear that it's all over for the Germans. They have fallen back towards the West of St. Oedenrode after being hit on two flanks. The 5IDG will soon hit them from the East. You will notice that the Win Meter (top left) is pegged all the way around 95%.

There was no reason for me to stop and there are no new orders to be given. However, I wanted to share with you the glory of a plan which is all coming together.


See screenshot below:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 2 @ 09:52
Day 2 @ 13:26

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 29
RE: Tutorial Thread - 2/15/2004 5:34:17 PM   
Tzar007


Posts: 766
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status: offline
From MarkShot:


We'll review what has happened during:

Day 2 @ 09:52
Day 2 @ 13:26

131st. Queens Inf Bde has fallen back to regroup and reattack. They have seen a lot of the fighting as they were the first assault the German positions at St. Oedenrode. The 1/6th Queens Inf Bn is busy securing the objective. The 5IDG has just initiated their attack.


See screenshot below:




It's Day 2 @ 13:26 and we have arrived at another juncture in this battle. How did I determine that?

(1) The Germans at St. Oedenrode are on the run.

(2) Our troops are tired and we have what we came for.

My new orders:

(1) Put all my forces at St. Oedenrode under a single command of the 131st. Queens Inf Bde HQ.

(2) Have the 131st. Queens Inf Bde HQ organize a defense of the St. Oedenrode area.


See my new orders in the screenshot:




In our next installment, we'll look at the time period of:

Day 2 @ 13:26
Day 2 @ 22:00

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 30
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