I am playing an HTTR scenario at the moment which features an Allied delaying action. I don't recall that HTTR had too many of those, but COTA is full of delaying actions. Well, I just wanted to discuss briefly what is an effective general approach to delaying the enemy when you have a wide open map with space such that you can easily fall back. (My discussion assumes using just the DEFEND order and not the DELAY or WITHDRAW orders. DEFEND gives you the maximum amount of control at the cost of being somewhat less responsive to the changing situation on the ground. Of course, if you are determining the course of the battle, then you certainly prefer to have more control over as compared to better AI subordinate responsiveness.)
Get your blocking positions/line set up and dug-in. If you need to time to do that, then push someone out 3-6 km forward to slow down the enemy in combination with arty. Your blocking positions/line should have arty and mortars at their disposal.
Ideally, you would like the OPFOR to hit this line in daylight and get a good measure of it. Initially, the OPFOR may wonder into it with recon elements or the lead elements of a column in road march. However, in not too long (2-6 hours), the OPFOR will probably either assault your line or attempt to bypass to the left or right; maybe both. You should meter your arty resources. Have your guns stand down if the enemy's approach is weak or disorganized. Mainly use your arty to break the first strong coordinated wave of a full scale assault. In particular, make sure you have arty available right before night fall. If you have any type of contact with the enemy prior to night fall, then you want to turn your arty lose on the enemy. Either you want to totally shred an ongoing attack or simply stun any forward units that are exchanging fire with your units.
Observe what the order delays are and issue orders to your units to fallback to new defensive positions about 3-5kms away as soon as the battlefield is cloaked in full darkness. There are a number of reasons for such timing:
(1) It is much easier to disengage and travel at night. So, the same maneuver during the day would stand a good chance of getting your units shot up and shattered by enemy arty barrages, can easily be done at night.
(2) Darkness should allow your units to get dug-in at their new locations before they encounter the enemy again.
(3) NOW THIS IS A BIG ONE. If you correctly managed the situation during the daytime hours, then the enemy should have a completely incorrect assesment of your current deployment. Most likely he will organize and plan an assault of your defensive line that has become an empty shell. This greatly works in your favor. The process of mounting an attack is much more time consuming and in general covers ground a lot slower than a straight forward road march. So, during the day, you have delayed the enemy by virtue of placing fire on him and opposing his progress. At night, you will allow the enemy to delay his own progress by mounting an attack on a non-existent defense. Not only will this eat up time, but he will also needlessly exhaust his units to gain ground that he could have just simply walked across. In the meantime, while you withdrew your units, they should have had a fairly easy road march to their next set of defensive positions. So, when you and the enemy meet again, besides you being dug-in and him being vulnerable and moving, your units should generally be fresher than his.
Another tip from the polder around Nijmegen ... HTTR may already have many miles on it, but there is still much it can teach about strategy. Enjoy!
Never more! (I've had enough. Sliterine has raised mediocrity to an art form!)