Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (Full Version)

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IronDuke_slith -> Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/5/2004 2:18:48 AM)

Ladies and Gents,
The first Battlefields AAR has arrived. Please may I ask that any questions or comments be posted in the other AAR thread, or in new threads. That way, anyone reading this thread doesn't have to work their way through more posts than is absolutely necessary. This is going to be a big post over time.

First, may I repeat a few remarks.

This won't be the last AAR, merely the first. So, if you don't like the encounter chosen, or want to see how the Game engine handles different terrains and operational situations, don't worry, you'll get to see that in future AARs.

This is also a game in development. Believe me, new tweaks and enhancements appear week by week to the beta version, so if you feel the Game engine appears to lack something whilst reading the AAR, don't assume for a second it will lack it when released. This first AAR is designed to help illustrate what sort of game is being developed, not what it will exactly look like in its final form.

Feel free to post any questions you like (in other threads) about absolutely anything to do with either the AAR or the game. One of the design team or testers will respond.

Feel free to comment (particularly if you have something nice to say ) about anything you see. I know from personal experience that the developers listen to all comments and suggestions. (Indeed many of the tweaks and enhancements I mention further up the thread are as a result of tester feedback and comment).

Finally, please note the strategy and tactics employed in this battle do not necessarily represent the strategy and tactics of the design team, or Matrix games, and the aforementioned accept no responsibility for them, or any consequences deriving from their use.....


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/5/2004 2:28:08 AM)

Battlefields AAR

Scenario details

Operation Epsom
Date - June 25th – July 1st 1944
Turns - 18 turns
Location - Normandy, 2nd Army front before Caen.
Synopsis – British VIII Corp and elements of XXX Corp launch an offensive south west of Caen into positions defended by 12 SS HitlerJugend Division in attempt to outflank the strongly defended City.

Brief player notes

The scenario actually covers Operations Epsom and Martlett. Martlett was a preliminary operation to Epsom which called for 49th Infantry Division (XXX Corp) to attack parallel to the Epsom advance and secure the high ground of the Rauray Spur that dominated the Western flank of the Epsom battlefield. This attack would secure the vulnerable right flank of VIII Corp when it launched Epsom a day later.

The one Division (49th Infantry) of XXX Corp with an attached Armoured Brigade, will be joined by three divisions of VIII Corp (11th Armoured, 43rd Infantry and 15th Scottish Infantry) in an attack launched across a short frontage at positions defended by 26th Pzgr Regiment of 12 SS HitlerJugend Panzer Division.

As the battle progresses, powerful reinforcements will be become available to the German player. A number of Kampfgruppe from 21st Panzer, 1 SS Liebstandarte, 2nd SS Das Reich and 2nd Panzer will reinforce the 12 SS positions. Finally, the majority of the II SS Panzer Corps (SS Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg Panzer Divisions) will appear as the German player seeks to launch a counterattack to restore the position and reverse any allied gains.

The Allied player is deployed in battalions. The length of the front the HitlerJugend is covering means they are split into companies. Each battalion deploys three companies. The heavy weapons companies in each battalion have been merged with the rifle companies to provide them with extra firepower. This also reduces unit density in what will initially be a bruising encounter.

Battlefields! Need to knows

• The game system is WEGO. Each player plots orders and the Computer carries out each sides orders simultaneously.
• Turn length equals 8 hours.
• Each Hex is 1 Km by 1 Km
• Mode is the tactical formation any given unit is in
• General order is the instructions the unit has if confronted by other enemy units or situations that have unexpectedly developed.
• Co-ordinated assault – this is an assault in which the HQ’s of the units concerned have co-ordinated the efforts of all concerned. This makes attacks more effective, but beware, you expend Staff points to co-ordinate these assaults and you only have so many staff points at your disposal each turn. It costs extra to co-ordinate assaults in which you wish to devote artillery assets to support the assault.

Allied player notes

Initial attempts to outflank the stronghold of Caen have failed, with the infamous engagement at Villiers Bocage where the single Tiger of Michael Wittman brought the lead elements of 7th Armoured Division to a halt. Martlett and Epsom are set piece offensives designed to drive across the Odon and Orne rivers and envelop Caen from the south and west. Epsom is the drive, Martlett is a battle to secure the high ground that dominates the right flank of this drive. You have three infantry divisions, together with an armoured division and some powerful additional Corp assets. You have heavy artillery firepower, heavy air support and naval support from Cruisers and a Monitor offshore in the channel.

The II SS Panzer Corp (Panzer Divisions Frundsberg and Hohenstaufen) are already en route, and you will have just a few days to achieve your objectives before their appearance gives the AXIS player a chance to counterattack in strength. You must make use of your forces in waves initially, because the attack frontage is narrow. Your Divisions will appear in echelon over the course of the first few days.

49th Division (supported by the attached 8th Armoured Brigade) will begin Martlett. On the following day (turn 4) Epsom will begin with a narrow two brigade assault from 15th Scottish Division. It is their job to open the line to allow the Tanks of 11th Armoured to burst through and strike for the Odon and Orne rivers. The 43rd Infantry division will enter the battle later to follow up and protect the territory gained and allow the 15th and 11th Divisions to continue the drive forward with secure flanks.

You will pass through the lines of the 3rd Canadian Division but this unit is not scheduled to join in the assault.

AXIS player notes

12 SS Hitlerjugend is developing a fearsome reputation on the Normandy battlefield, but it will be sorely tested here. It must bear the weight of a Corp sized offensive. Reserves will not be quick to arrive, and you must fight for time in order to wear the enemy down and prepare the battlefield for the arrival of the II SS Panzer Corp.

The main weight of the assault will fall on the 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment. It’s battalions are supported by 12th SS Pioneers whose companies protect the approaches to the initial Epsom objective of Cheux. The fortifications in this sector are stronger reflecting the Pioneers expertise at building defensive positions.

Reinforcements are mainly armour. The Mk IV Companies of Prinz’s 2nd Btn, (12th SS Panzer Reg) are strung out along the length of your front in reserve positions. The more powerful Panthers of Jurgenson’s 1st Btn (12th SS Panzer Reg) are deeper in reserve. Also in reserve are two companies of the 101st Heavy Panzer Btn armed with Tigers. Your only other reserve is the 12th SS Recon Btn. On your right protecting Caen is the 25th SS Pzgr Regiment and elements of 21st Panzer. On your left, you are in contact with elements of Panzer Lehr. In your rear is the 4th Flak Regiment whose dual purpose 88s are protecting key crossing points on the Odon river.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/5/2004 2:40:34 AM)

A look at the main portion of the Epsom battlefield. Caen is just to the east of this snapshot. the front line is clearly visible. Units have been removed in order to give you a better look.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/5/2004 3:23:20 AM)

A look at the Martlet battlefield, with the formations involved in the opening moves marked.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/5/2004 4:29:23 AM)

Turn one – Allied orders
00.00hrs - 08.00hrs
25th June 1944 (Operation Martlett)

146th and 147th Infantry Brigades from 49th Infantry Division have deployed two btns each to begin the assault supported by the tanks of the 24th Lancers (8th Armoured Brigade). Bucknall (C.O. 49th Infantry) has decided Fontenay is the first objective for 147th Brig, whilst 146th Brig, supported by the Lancers will attack west of Fontenay, keeping the canal that runs south of it on their left flank as they penetrate into the German defences. The country here offers better opportunities for the Tanks. All five lead battalions are in hasty attack mode with hasty attack general orders. This general order means they will attack their targets or any enemy units that get in their way.

The 24th Lancers are attached to 146th Brigade, as their parent Brigade (8th Armoured) is not yet fully deployed. It is with the infantry of 146th Brigade that they will make their initial assault into the German lines 1 Km west of Fontenoy. Being attached to this Brigade will increase the chances of their assault being properly co-ordinated with the infantry.

Bucknall (C.O. 49th Infantry) orders all five units to advance until they reach their objectives, then deploy into deliberate attack mode to make the assaults.

(GAME NOTE: Deliberate attack mode increases your firepower when attacking, but decreases your firepower when defending. Since the Germans are not expected to venture out from their positions, it will be safe to deploy properly to make the assaults).

7th Btn Duke of Wellington Reg (Hereafter 7 DWR) and 11th Btn Royal Scots (hereafter 11 Roy), both from 147 Brigade are alloted the task of taking Fontenoy. Their assault is co-ordinated, and 3 of the numerous Allied artillery regiments are allotted in direct support. In addition, 53rd Hvy Artillery Regiment is scheduled to bombard Fontenoy for one hour before the assault begins.

Once in Fontenoy, 11 Roy are ordered to dig in and protect the town whilst supporting forces are moved up, whilst 7 DWR is ordered to continue the attack southwards.

146th Brigades' Hallamshire Btn (hereafter Hallam) and 1/4th Lincolns (hereafter 1/4 Lin) are ordered to advance, link with the Shermans of 24th Lancers (hereafter 24 L) and attack 1 Km east of Fontenoy (hex 5,11). The necessary staff points exist for this attack to be co-ordinated as well. 90th Field Reg RA is allotted to support this assault.

Once this attack is over, 1/4 Lin are order to defend the breach, whilst 24 L and Hallam are ordered to attack west into the flank of the neighbouring Pzgr company to widen the breach then south east to deepen it.

(Game note: You can plot as many attacks and moves as you wish, but often, the battle will develop in unexpected ways and your timetables (like those of real Commanders) become just a dream.)

The Divisional machine gun Btn (2nd Ken), the 89th Light AA and the 55th AT reg RA, are all ordered forward to be ready to move into and help hold any breeches forced in the German line. The Divisional Engineers are likewise ordered forward.

Turn one – AXIS orders
00.00hrs - 08.00hrs
25th June 1944

There is little 12th SS Panzer Division HQ (Meyer) can do at this stage, unsure as to the direction or ferocity of the Allied attack. Aware that it will at least begin on his left flank, Meyer orders the 2 Tiger Companies of Von Westernhagen's 101st Heavy Panzer Btn to move to a position south of the two Pzgr Btns likely to bear the brunt of this initial assault. These are 1st Btn (Krause) which holds the line west of Fontenoy, and 3rd Btn (Olboeter) that holds Fontenoy and a line 2 km east of it. He orders 12 SS Recon Btn to join Von Westernhagen and attaches the Btn to Von Westernhagen's Tactical command. This unit (hereafter KG Von West) is ordered to Hex 6,15. Meyer hopes this precautionary measure will give him a useful force to counterattack with when the British make their move, or a useful force to delay the British with whilst he makes more sizeable re-deployments.

(Game note: Cross attachment is an important feature of Battlefields. When co-ordinating assaults. Units that belong to the same immediate HQ cost less staff points to co-ordinate when attacking. In a situation where multiple assaults may be necessary staff points can be precious, and since un-coordinated assaults attack less effectively, and use artillery etc less effectively, it is crucial as much of your fighting is as properly co-ordinated as possible. Attaching 12 SS Recon Btn to Von Westernhagen’s Btn will reduce the number of staff points this Kampfgruppe will require when they attack the same objective together. There are limits to how many units you can attach to any HQ, but in this instance one of the 101st three Tiger Companies has not yet arrived on the battlefield so 101st Heavy Pz Btn HQ can cope.)

Also in support of the front line in this sector are three companies of Prinz's 2nd Btn, 12 SS Panzer Regiment (hereafter 2/12 SS Pz). These (5, 6 & 8 Companies all MK IVs) are given orders to react to any Allied attacks within 1 km of their position.

(Game note: There are a range of reserve orders, but in essence all allow you to give units instructions to get involved in fighting if it occurs within your given radius of up to 5km. You can give orders to help friendly units being attacked, to engage enemy units that move within the given radius, or even support friendly units attacking within the given radius)

This image shows the intended initial moves from both sides.

The red lines show the planned opening moves, the blue lines the direction of the planned 2nd phase British assaults.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/6/2004 2:03:08 AM)

Turn One execution
00.00 - 08.00
25th June 1944

First to move is KG Von W. The halftracks and armoured cars of the divisional recon battalion catch the slower moving Tigers by the time they reach the form up point, and all the units deploy into a hasty attack mode. The short distances involved are all made under the cover of darkness, free from allied air interdiction. In Normandy, all German vehicles move at night, or risk incessant air attacks by the Jabos.

In the British Lines the four infantry battalions and the Shermans of 24L advance in unison, their pace slowed somewhat in the darkness. After reaching their own form up points, they shake out into deliberate attack mode.

Fontenoy 04.32 AM

At 04.32 AM precisely, the guns of the 53rd Heavy Artillery Regiment in the Allied rear open up on Fontenoy and it's environs. The barrage lasts an hour. Olboeter's 9th Pzgr Company sits tight as the shells begin to explode around their positions. Casualties are light, only around 6%, but the Panzergrenadiers are merely getting the first course.

At 05.32, 7 DWR and 11 Roy appear out of the smoke and begin their attack. Their own casualties are light, but they make little headway against Olboeter's men who stubbornly cling to their positions. Olboeters losses are much higher, the British Infantry are being accompanied by supporting fire from a number of artillery Regiments but despite their mounting losses, 9th Company stays put.

Following their reserve orders, from their position a Km south of Fontenoy, the 6th Company (MK IVs) of Prinz's 2nd Btn 12 SS Panzer Reg, move to support 9th Company. Pressing their attack, 11 Roy and 7 DWR are stopped again, surprised by the unexpected appearence of tanks and unsupported themselves by any armour. In the narrow streets of the town, though, 6th Company's MK IVs do come off worse than the Panzergrenadiers they are supporting. 9th Company have now lost around 15% of their effectives in the 3 hours since the assault began.

1 KM west of Fontenoy 06.32

the positions of the 11th Co/3 Btn/26th SS Pzgr Reg received no preparatory barrage, but are hit by several supporting artillery units as the tanks of 24L backed by the infantry of Hallam and 1/4 Lin began their assault. Under the weight of this assault, the 11th Company give ground and retreat south east losing 9% of their number in the process. The attacker's casualties are light but the Hallam and 24L are caught by German artillery fire as they advance in attack mode after the 11th Company and suffer worse losses as a result.

(Game note: As an attacking formation, Deliberate attack is more vulnerable than troops dug into fortified positions when attacked by either artillery/airpower or other ground units).

Moving forward to support the breaches the 2 Ken MG Btn and light AA reg of the 49th Division are also interdicted by German artillery.

Fontenoy - 07.32

7 DWR and 11 Roy continue their attack, but their losses are steadily climbing and the 9th Company, backed by the tanks of 6th Company refuse to give up the weapons pits and shattered Hamlets of Fontenoy. Between them, the two British battalions have so far suffered over a hundred casualties and failed to achieve their initial objectives.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/6/2004 3:04:53 AM)

Turn Two - AXIS orders
08.00hrs - 16.00hrs
25th June 1944

Meyer (O.C. 12 SS Panzer) expects the attack on Fontenoy to increase in intensity, so he orders 6th Company's MK IVs to stay put and dig in. He also orders the Mk IVs of 2 Btn's 5th Company to move 1 Km westwards to replace 6th Co as the reserve unit for that portion of the line.

His main concern is the British Brigade sized Infantry and Armour battlegroup that has pentrated his lines to the west of Fontenoy. Acutely aware that his line is a thin crust, and that once made, gaps will be difficult to seal, he orders KG Von W to attack northwards into the Allied breach immediately from their position south of Fontenoy. With hasty attack general orders, the Kampfgruppe will attack anything that gets in between them and their objective, a sound move in case the Allied Battlegroup pushes south.

Meyer also orders the left flank battalion of Panzer Lehr (1st Btn/901 Pzgr Reg) to redeploy facing eastward to attempt to contain the Allied breach on the eastern flank and ensure that KG Von W attack into a small breach and not a gaping hole.

Aware that this is only likely to be the first of a series of assaults against his lines, Meyer holds on to Jurgenson's Panther Btn. It is his only remaining reserve and since it is now daylight, it would be unable to move very far without suffering from Allied air attack.

He has plenty of staff points to ensure Von Westernhagen's attack is properly co-ordinated, and he orders 11th Co's Panzergrenadiers, newly evicted from the target hex, to switch to hasty attack mode and support KG Von W when the attack starts. Two battalions of 12 SS Panzer Artillery Regiment are slated to support the assault.

In order to support the hard pressed defenders of Fontenoy, he orders a 2 hr artillery barrage in support of the village aimed at the attacking British battalions. He hopes he can knock them out of their stride and disrupt them to buy his defending units some time.

Turn Two - Allied orders
08.00hrs - 16.00hrs
25th June 1944

Bucknall (O.C. 49th Division) has two chief concerns. How to expand his breakthrough, and how to take fontenoy. His assaults to the west are in danger whilst Fontenoy is in enemy hands, and if he takes it, it stops being the lynchpin of the enemy line and becomes instead the strongpoint at the shoulder of his breach.

6th Btn Duke Wellington Regiment (hereafter 6 DWR) has arrived and joined Mahony's 147 Brigade. To the west, 4th Btn Kings Yorkshire Light Infantry (hereafter KYLI) have also arrived to reinforce Brigadier Walker's 146 Brigade.

Bucknall orders 6 DWR to move forward and support the rest of 147 Brigade in their continuing efforts to take Fontenoy. Further west the Hallam, 1/4 Lin and the tanks of 24L are ordered to continue with their original plan to swing first west and then south east to widen the breach.

The divisional machine gun and anti-tank regiments are ordered to replace this Battlgroup in the line west of Fontenoy and dig in to hold open the breach, although they are ordered to delay moving for an hour to ensure the three battalions have advanced and vacated the ground before they move in.

(Game note: Three battalions is the maximum number that can occupy a single hex, so the MG and AT btns need the delay orders to ensure they only attempt to enter when the hex has started to clear of the assault troops.)

The KYLI are ordered to advance through HEX 4,12 (the 24L et al's first objective) and advance due south. Bucknall hopes that by the time the KYLI reach the hex it will have been cleared by his main assault and the KYLI can advance through.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/8/2004 3:23:55 AM)

Turn Two execution
08.00 - 16.00
25th June 1944

KG Von W south of Fontenoy

KG Von W sets off and is immediately interdicted by Allied fighterbombers finding the Tigers and halftracks of Von Westernhagen's Command an easy spot as they move across the open rolling fields of the Rauray Spur in attack formation.

12 SS Recon is particularly badly hit, and is forced to halt and reorganise. Von W's Tiger companies press on.


German artillery hits 147 Brigade outside Fontenoy and the two (later three) battalions suffer in their exposed positions as they prepare to renew the assault.

146 Brigade Battlegroup west of Fontenoy - 09:53

The Hallam, 1/4 Lin and accompanying tanks of 24L move off and attack westwards in the first of their planned assaults. 10 Co, 26 SS Pzgr holds the first assault although not without loss. behind it, the Panzergrenadiers of the 901st begin to redeploy.

Fontenoy - 10:14

Although interdicted by German artillery en route, 6 DWR joins the rest of 147 Brigade and the assault on Fontenoy is renewed. Unbeknown to the Allies, the defenders have been joined by 11th Co, 26th Pzgrs which has arrived in Fontenoy from where it plans to attack westwards with KG Von W's co-ordinated assault later in the morning. German artillery also responds in force, and the British infantry, already disorganised by a couple of hours of shelling run into a withering fire from the shattered buildings and augmented defenders. Inside an hour, they have incurred another 150 casualties, and the attack grinds to a halt.

146 Brigade Battlegroup west of Fontenoy - 1053

10th Co, 26th SS Pzgr is unable to hold back the attack a second time and retreats south where it meets one of the newly redeployed companies from Panzer Lehr. Hit by artillery, the Hallam fails to advance after the attack, and 24L and 1/4 Lin press on alone. Hallam is joined by the Divisional MG and Anti Tank units who immediately assume a defensive posture to protect the breach.

Kg Von W

Persistently interdicted from the air, only 2 Co from 101st Heavt Pz Btn arrives south of the Allied breach ready to attack. Before it does so though, it is hit by the second stage assault of 146 Brigade Battlegroup. This attack, delivered by the 24L, throws the Tigers back, together with Prinz's 8th Co/2nd SS Pz Btn which had been holding that stretch of the line. Although the Tigers long range guns hit the attacking Shermans before they could respond, the attacking posture of the Tigers meant they were ill-prepared to receive the assault and retreated (with 8th Co) south eastwards in dissaray, albeit with relatively minor losses.

As Kg Von W's attack can not take place, the 11th Co, 26th SS Pzgrs (which had been ordered to join the assault from it's position in Fonteny) remains in place.

(Game Note: When planning co-ordinated assaults, you can designate key units. A key unit is the unit that has to be present in order for the attack to take place at all. This is usually designated because it is important it takes part and the player realises this unit will not be the first to be ready to attack. Designating it the key unit means the other units will wait for it to be ready before attacking. However, if the key unit is delayed or doesn't arrive the attack is delayed or called off accordingly).

Pre execution positions with arrows indicating intended movement. Picture from Allied side so German units marked for indentification as FOW in effect.


Fred98 -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/8/2004 4:36:44 AM)

It would be interesting if you add comments about the game mechanics. Sometimes it seems obvious from the screenie what needs to be done - and you are doing somthing else due to certain factors - which are explained as game mechanics.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/8/2004 5:11:04 AM)

Turn three - Allied orders
16.00 - 24.00
25th June 1944

The appearence of Tigers along his intended axis of advance has unsettled Bucknall, and although his lead units have penetrated further, the thorn of Fontenoy on the left shoulder of his bulge prevents a full scale advance. With all of 147 Brigade now engaged in attacking it, Bucknall assigns their assault extra artillery in the hope of finally clearing the town.

146 Brigade Battlegroup are ordered to dig in and defend the gains so far. 8 Armoured and 70 Infantry Brigade are about to deploy, and Bucknall decides to consolidate whilst he awaits their arrival. KYLI are ordered forward to attack southwards with the divisional engineers in support to secure the western shoulder of the breach. the divisional support units just west of fontenoy are ordered to fortify their positions, and the only other attack is planned for 24L who are ordered to push westwards in the hope of widening the tip of the breach and making room for 8 Armoured to deploy in and attack from.

49 Recon Reg is ordered forward into the breach to help defend it.

Turn three - AXIS orders
16.00 - 24.00
25th June 1944

Meyer is hamstrung by a lack of infantry reserves. He orders the 12 SS Divisional escort company forward to a position south of Fontenoy to act as a reserve for the left flank.

KG Von W's attack is called off as the Kampfgruppe are spread out with some units recovering from retreat, and some recovering from Allied air interdiction. All the units are ordered to regroup 1 km south of the current front line with the intention of resuming the attack under the cover of the early morning darkness.

11 Co/26 SS Pzgr, who had been slated to join the attack of KG Von W from their position in Fontenoy are ordered to dig in and help defend the Hamlet now that that attack has been postponed.

The Panzergrenadiers of 3 Co/901St Pzgr Regiment (Panzer Lehr) and 5th and 8th Companies of Prinz's 2nd Btn/12SS Pz Reg are ordered to deploy into the edges of the breach and dig in to seal it off. Meyer is concerned that these covering forces are thin on the ground, but with the main British assault imminent, he has no further reserves to use to strengthen the walls with.

With much of his artillery awaiting much needed supply convoys, having been in action for most of the day thus far, he can assign only one artillery unit to harass 146 Brigade outside Fontenoy. He hopes it will be enough.

Red shows axis of attack
Blue shows axis of advance
Yellow dots indicate units have been ordered to dig in in that hex


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/8/2004 5:19:51 AM)



It would be interesting if you add comments about the game mechanics. Sometimes it seems obvious from the screenie what needs to be done - and you are doing somthing else due to certain factors - which are explained as game mechanics.



Many thanks for the interest.

Please use the accompanying AAR threads for comments, questions and suggestions, I'd like to keep this thread free of comments in order to keep the length manageable if that's okay? In response to this, anything marked game note in bold indicates a comment about the game mechanics. combat is governed by numerous rules, and it isn't going to be possible to detail (other than in broad terms) why battles went the way they did. I was also intending not to mention game specifics more than once (unless it is crucial) to avoid the same things cropping up and the flow of the AAR being interupted. If you want to start a thread, and suggest bits of info you would like to see included, feel free, and I'll see what I can do, we have several turns to go!


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/14/2004 3:24:44 AM)

Turn Three Execution
16.00 - 00.00
25th June 1944

147 Brigade north of Fontenoy

The massed infantry of 147 Brigade come under German artillery fire almost immediately in a barrage that causes only light casualties but some disruption over the next couple of hours.

(Game note: Interdiction can be via air or via artillery. Units can only be interdicted when they can be seen, so movement in darkness is a lot safer. the results of the interdiction, in addition to causing casualties, can cause units to stop and move no further, disrupting well laid plans. Interdiction like this is also quite historical, German artillery in particular specialised in shelling enemy form up points as their units assembled prior to attack. For the player, it is often an attempt to buy yourself some time by slowing up and disrupting the enemy advance.)

Kg Von W, south of Fontenoy

Kg Von W assemble as ordered south of the German lines, although the HQs is caught on the move by Allied fighterbombers and hit hard. It fails to reach the assembly point with the rest of the KG.

24th Lancers - West of fontenoy - 17.26

24L attacks westwards into the positions of 2 Company 901st Pzgr Reg (Panzer Lehr) and 10 company 26SS Pzgr Reg (HitlerJugend). The Panzergrenadiers initially hold the attack, but are unable to inflict much loss on 24L's armour. They themselves come off worse as the attack is well supported by artillery. After a couple of hours of pressure they are forced to withdraw and 24L advance and secure their objective.

147 Brigade - Fontenoy - 18.11

Once again, the 6 DWR, 7 DWR and 11 Roy launch a Brigade sized assault on the village of fontenoy. Backed by extensive artillery assets, the three battalions break into the hamlet and evict the two companies of the 26th SS Pzgr reg and the supporting MK IVs of 2 Btn 12th SS Panzer Reg who have been grimly holding the shattered buildings for over 12 hours. The german retreat is orderly, though, and losses not excessive. The British battalions are slow to follow up and fully occupy the town, and when they do complete the advance 6 DWR is caught by German artillery fire whilst moving up and brought to a halt.

By 10.00, 7 DWR and 11 Roy are in Fontenoy in strength and 7 DWR is pushing southwards as per it's orders. It's attacks over the next couple of hours cost over 60 casualties and fail as the tired infantry are stopped by the tanks of 5 company 2/12 SS Pz Reg and the Headquarters staff of 3/26th SS Pzgr Reg. These units are reinforced by further tanks from 6 Co 2/12SS Pz Reg who react into the area obeying their reserve general orders. 7 DWR has now suffered over 200 casualties in the fighting around Fontenoy which was just the first of 147 Brigade's objectives.

(Game note: You can plot orders over the course of the full eight hour turn and beyond. In this instance, 7 DWR were ordered to attack south after securing Fontenoy, with 6 DWR who were in fact interdicted and failed to make it into the hex ready to attack onwards. 11 Roy was ordered to dig in once Fontenoy was captured to be ready to protect it against counterattack. Of course, when initially plotted, the game engine displayed an ETA for the second phase assault based on a successful first time assault on Fontenoy and no hold ups etc. In the event, 7 DWR was forced to attack alone as 6 DWR didn't show, and the 12 hour battle for Fontenoy meant 7 DWR second phase attacks didn't start until the end of the day. Battlefields amply illustrates that no plan survives contact with the enemy).

KYLI & 49 Eng Btn - 22.20

On the right flank of the breach Bucknall is attempting to rip in the German lines, KYLI supported by 49 Btn engineers storm across the small river south of Tilly-sur-Seulles and into the 1 Co/901st Pzgr. Although amply supported by artillery, the two units fail to make an impression and retire after suffering around 70 casualties leaving the Panzergrenadiers secure in their positions.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/20/2004 3:15:18 AM)

Turn Four - AXIS orders
00.00 - 08.00
26th June 1944

Meyer can sense the growing weight of the Allied attack. In response to the situation, Army Group B has decreed that neighbouring divisions send Panzer heavy Kampfgruppe to aid the defence. Meyer knows these ad hoc formations will not be formed and assembled and under command for another 24 hours, but he knows KG from 21st Panzer on his right flank and 2nd Panzer on his left flank will be joining him. Army group B have also ordered the advance elements of 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (hereafter LAH) and 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich (hereafter Das Reich) to form into Kampfgruppe and join the defence as soon as possible. Further away are SS Panzer Divisions Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg, but these will not arrive for a few days and Meyer will need to halt the British offensive with what he has at hand.

(Game Note: Reinforcements due are listed in the reinforcements screen. Their type, name, entry turn and entry hex are all detailed. You can't see enemy reinforcements, of course, just your own).

Meyer knows the main enemy offensive is about to hit his lines to the east of the Rauray Spur. His best efforts to halt the enemy attack on his left flank have been only marginally successful. Although held at fontenoy for most of the 25th, the British have penetrated his line to a depth of two kilometres to the west of Fontenoy, and Olboeter's Panzergrenadiers (3 Btn / 26 SS Pzgr Reg) have lost a third of their strength in this fighting.

Meyer decides to straighten his lines on the Rauray Spur. Allied combat power is growing, and any counterattacks are risky as his strength on the spur mean they would be limited in nature and size. He decides to withdraw first to dig in behind a small river that runs east-west for a couple of kilometres just north of Noyers-Bocage with the next fall back position to be based on three village strongpoints 2 km south of the river: Monts-en-Bessin; Noyers-Bocage and Grainville.

He decides to form two Kampfgruppe to control the various forces on the Spur. The far left flank to the west of Noyers Bocage will be held by the Panzer Lehr Btn, with Olboeter's Pzgr Btn (hereafter KG Olboeter) receiving the 5, 6 and 8 Panzer companies (MK IV) of Prinz's 2nd SS Pz Btn and ordered to hold to the east of Panzer Lehr.

The 2nd and 3rd batteries of the III Flak Regiment, presently covering key crossing points on the Odon, are also assigned to Mohnke's 26th SS Pzgr Regiment and he orders one of the batteries to Noyers-Bocage and the other to Grainville to begin the process of fortifying these strongpoints.

Mohnke's 1st Btn (Krause) are currently holding to the east of Fontenoy and Meyer orders them to retreat a kilometre to avoid the exposure of their left flank. This also has the advantage of shortening the front and reinforcing the positions of the 12 SS Pioneer Btn dug in on Krause's right flank defending the approaches to Cheux. This is where the main brunt of the Allied main offensive will fall.

Prinz's remaining two btns of MKIVs are given reserve orders to respond to any attacks within a KM of their position. Their are located on the far west of the line around Capriquet Airfield. To the south of the new river line on the Spur, the newly reformed KG Von W are ordered to retreat a KM southwards. Meyer intends to counterattack any breach with this force, which now has the 12SS Div Escort company under command for added infantry punch.

As a final measure, he thins the lines of Milius's 25th SS Pzgr Regiment before Caen, forming a Btn strength Kamfgruppe to be commanded by Liehr, Commander of 1 Btn of the 21st Panzer Divisions 125th Pzgr Reg. This unit is ordered to assemble and form up in the vicinity of St Germain in the outskirts of Caen, ready for operations.

(Game Note: This turn may illustrate (I haven't executed it yet so can't say for sure!) one of the key considerations for Battlefields! players. This sort of Withdrawal would be incredibly difficult in IGO-UGO situations, because you can only do this every other turn, and when your opponent is moving, there is very little you can do to react.

In Battlefields!, it is not enough to merely study the enemy dispositions and decide on a plan of attack or defence. One of the key things players need to consider is what the enemy are likely to do, because the only thing you can say for sure is that they are unlikely to sit still and allow you to carry out your well laid plans without comment. The tactical withdrawal is a case in point.

You may plan a major attack, take time manouevring units into position and then switching them to their most effective attack modes of Hasty Attack or Deliberate attack, only to find that the enemy has retreated in the interim, and dug in further back. Of course, you can plot further movement to take place after the attack and occupation of this 1st objective but this basic operational problem (which simulates very well the Maxim that no plan survives contact with the enemy) means players will often find the "Battlefields!" battlefield a very fluid, and unpredictable place (just like the real thing). As time goes by, players will see in this and other AARs methods and tactics designed to cope with some of these issues.
When you get your hands on the game, though, you will be free, of course, to come up with tactics and ideas all of your own.[:)])

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/22/2004 1:26:02 AM)

Turn Four - ALLIED orders
00.00 - 08.00
26th June 1944

On the Rauray Spur, Bucknall has received reinforcements with both the remaining Brigades in his division assembled and ready to advance.

147 Brigade are given the dual task of securing Fontenoy against counterattack, and pushing south.

146 Brigade (with the tanks of the attached 24L) are ordered to widen and secure the bridgehead west of Fontenoy. 24L is also ordered later in the turn to turn south and head towards Noyers Bocage.

Of the newly arrived Brigades, the veteran 4 Armoured Brigade (Black Desert Rats) are ordered to advance through the hole being punched in German lines west of Fontenoy and drive through 146 Brigade and on to cross the river north of Noyers-Bocage. 70 Infantry Brigade are ordered to join the line east of Fontenoy and drive through the German defences, in contact with 147 Brigade on their right flank and the troops of 15 Scottish Division on their left flank.

Operation Epsom - Phase One - 15 Scottish Division and supporting armour

Two of 15 Division's Brigades have deployed for the initial assault. In the east, the 44 Lowland Brigade face Manvieu. In the west, the 46 Highland Brigade are to attack in the direction of Cheux. A battalion of armour from 31 Tank Brigade is assigned to each infantry Brigade and also slated to attack in the first wave are the Crocodiles of 141 Reg RAC.

The Brigades and supporting Tanks are given simple orders. Advance, shake out into deliberate attack mode, and attack across a 4KM frontage, generally avoiding the heavily fortified positions of the SS Pioneers defending the approaches to Cheux and instead punching through the flanking positions. Their second phase orders are to continue south. German units that remain in the Allied rear as they advance can be dealt with by second wave battalions as Epsom unfolds.

Small amounts of Supporting artillery is directly assigned to most of the attacks, most of which are co-ordinated, although the necessary Staff Points to co-ordinate all assaults do not exist. Directly assigned artillery is also on the short side to ensure the ST go round.

(Game Note: You can assign artillery to directly support an attack in the co-ordination dialogue, but each unit assigned takes up more of your precious Staff Points. Staff Points when on the offensive are a trade off, they significantly increase the combat power of your units, but more complex attacks require more of them, and you only have a limited number to go round. Each artillery unit costs it's own number of Staff points.

Artillery not assigned to an attack is still on call, and may still fire in support of a co-ordinated attack, there are just no guarantees. alternatively it can be switched to counter battery fire, where it will watch for enemy artillery and where spotted attempt to interdict it)

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/22/2004 1:44:15 AM)

A look at the intended orders with the key formations marked, together with their axis of advance or withdrawal. Allied in Blue, AXIS in red.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/22/2004 3:52:46 AM)

Turn Four execution
00.00 - 08.00
25th June 1944

The early hours are initially broken by German Nebelwerfers firing harrassing missions into the positions of the 147 Brigade around Fontenoy and the positions of the Hallam btn and 49 Recon Reg to the west of Fontenoy.

147 Brigade are particularly badly hit as the Brigade suffers around 100 casualties from the hour long bombardment.

Rauray Spur 01.06 AM

24L attack westwards, but amidst a welter of artillery fire from both sides, and the darkness, does not get very far. Opposition in front of them is light, merely the Headquarters unit of the 901 Pzgr Btn.

Fontenoy 01.51 AM

the 6 and 7 DWR attack southwards from Fontenoy into a mixed force of armoured infantry and MK IV tanks from KG Olboeter. These forces have not yet abandoned their good defensive positions in order to withdraw to the new line, and the two British btns suffer 50 casualties before breaking off the attack.

Rauray Spur 02.06 AM

24L renews it's attack and this time brushes the HQ unit from 901 Pzgr aside.

at 02.51 AM KYLI and 49 Eng renew their attempt to storm and secure the western shoulder of the bulge being pushed into German lines. The defenders from the 901 Pzgr Btn hold their positions in the face of the attack and the two british units suffer 3% casualties each.

Their attack is renewed at 03.51 AM and this time succeeds as the Panzergrenadiers are ejected from their positions and forced to retreat southwards.

4 Armoured Brigade

The advance of the Black Desert Rats goes according to plan and the lead elements move through the positions of 146 Brigade and run headlong into the recently retreated Hq unit of 901 Pzgr. The Shermans of 1 Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (hereafter 1 Notts) overrun the HQ completely destroying it.

44 Lowland Brig in front of Manvieu - 05.38 AM

Epsom's left (eastern) flank sees 6 & 8 Btn Royal Scots (hereafter 6 & 8 Scot) attack 7 Company of Siebken's 2 Btn / 26 SS Pzgr. Almost 10% of the Panzergrenadier company are lost as the two British battalions backed by artillery and the tanks of 9th Btn RTR (hereafter 9 RTR) part of 31 Tank Brigade, force them back.

6 Scot are interdicted by German artillery as they advance. Caught in the open, they suffer badly as a result, but continue the advance non the less.

70 Brigade (49 DIV) just east of Fontoney 05.55 AM

In a fierce fight, all three btns from 70 Brigade attack 2 and 11 companies of 26 SS Pzgr Reg, defending together where their respective battalion frontages meet. Over the next two hours, over a hundred casualties are shared between the units involved before the Panzergrenadiers retreat.

Epsoms right (western flank) 46 Highland Brigade 06.24 AM

46 Highland Brigade enjoy less success than their Lowland compatriots. 9 Cameron Highlanders (Hereafter 9 Cam) backed by 7 Btn RTR (hereafter 7 RTR) eventually occupy the recently vacated postions of Krause's 1 co (Krause is 1 Btn CO, remember his Btn was ordered to withdraw one kilometre to cover it's flanks).

However, 1 Co withdraws south east (as ordered) to join and stiffen the defences of the SS Pioneers covering the approaches to Cheux. Heralded by their pipes, the Highland Brigades other two battalions advance head on into these newly reinforced and fortified positions. (7 Btn Seaforth (7 SEA) and 2 Glasgow highlanders (2 Glas) ).

In 90 minutes of vicious fighting, heavily backed by artillery, the Scots suffer 120 casualties and are stopped dead by the mixed Pioneers and Panzergrenadiers of the HitlerJugend, fortified in the well prepared positions built by the Pioneers. The road to Cheux remains firmly closed. German casualties number fewer than 25.

44 Lowland Brigade - Epsom east Flank - 06.44 AM

Following their initial success, 6 & 8 Scot and the Tanks of 9 RTR continue attacking southwards. They drive into the 7 Co of Siebkin's Pzgr Btn again, having evicted it from it's initial positions during their first attack. This time it is backed by one of Prinz's remaining MK IV companies (Remember that three of the five were assigned to KG Olboeter on the Rauray Spur). However, the British infantry (numbering over a thousand men) backed by the 70 tanks of 9 RTR overwhelm the German's hasty defences and push on.

On this attacks immediate left, though, Epsom's eastern most attacks fail immediately as 6 Btn King's Scots Borderers (hereafter 6 Bor) and the crocodiles of 141 RAC are stopped by another of Siebken's Pzgr Companies. As the British attack is beaten off, this Pzgr company is reinforced by the last of Prinz's MKIV companies reacting from it's reserve position just south of the fighting.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/23/2004 2:48:54 AM)

Turn Five - ALLIED orders
08.00 - 16.00
26th June 1944

49 Division - Rauray Spur

Bucknall is growing more confident. 8 Arm have made good progress, and his initial objectives have been obtained, albeit not without some hard fighting.

His main problem is tiredness amongst some of the front line troops. 146 and 147 Brigades who started the attack had a busy start to the fight, but are now reasonably rested after seeing little action during the evening. The newly arrived 70 Brigade is tiring, though, after it's nocturnal advance of 2KM in the face of stiff enemy resistance.

8 Arm is fine, and Bucknall decide on a two Brigade assault to cross the river and drive on Noyers-Bocage. 70 Brig will stand fast and rest, whilst 147 Brig, presently in and around the town of Fontenoy will advance past them and form the left flank of a two Brigade assault, 8 Arm forming the right hand side of the attack.

146 Brigade will secure the penetration behind 8 Arm as 70 Brig rest in place and secure the flank and rear of 147 Brigade. 24L are re-assigned back to 8 Arm from 146 Brigade, and Bucknall further augments the punch of this Brigade by assigning it the Divisional recon Btn (hereafter 49 Rec).

(Game Note: There are three levels of tiredness in the game, and they can have a profund impact on your tactics. The Battalions of 70 Brigade are at level two, and their combat values are at 60% of normal. It is not an option to run your units in constant attacks for turn after turn. )

Bucknall believes 8 Arm will have the better of the day as reports indicate a mixed force of armour and Panzergrenadiers in front of 147 Brig, whilst 8 Arm, although facing a forced crossing of the minor river to their fore, and several Companies of Pzgr in their way, have 24L newly re-attached. It's nocturnal advance left it beyond the German front, and it will now turn north to strike the German line in the rear, as 8 Arm strike it from the front.

15 Scottish Division (Macmillan) Operation Epsom

MacMillan, O.C. 15 Scottish Infantry has some real headaches. The right flank of his assault, 46 Brig made no headway, occupying only ground the Panzergrenadiers withdrew from. These Panzergrenadiers are now dug in with the 12 SS Pioneers in the approaches to Cheux, having beaten the Allied infantry off once already.

His left flank Brigade (44 Brig) attacked across a 2 Km front backed by the tanks of 141 RAC and 9 RTR. One half of this assault penetrated 2 km through the German lines whilst the other half was stopped immediately. As a result he has 3 Btns in a relatively precarious position with Germans on five sides of them.

This Battlegroup is ordered to Split. 6 Scot is ordered to dig in and hold the gains, the tanks of 9 RTR are ordered to attack eastwards to support the assault of that half of 44 Brigade that got nowhere and the infantry of 8 Scot are ordered to attack westwards into the town of Cheux itself, and hopefully gain a lodgement in it's suburbs behind the Pioneers and Panzergrenadiers presently defending it's approaches.

The divisional Anti tank and anti aircraft regiments are ordered to move behind this battlegroup to secure the hole it has torn in the German lines.

46 Brigade is ordered to swing to its right and avoid the fortified German positions on the approaches to Cheux and instead strike at the Panzergrenadiers in the more open terrain north west of the town, and attempt to outflank the stronger positions. The divisional recon battalion is assigned to support them.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/23/2004 3:16:14 AM)

Turn Five - AXIS orders
08.00 - 16.00
26th June 1944

Meyer is concerned at the British Armoured Btn that has swung behind his lines on the Spur. He guesses it will either swing west and attack the lightly defended town of Noyers-Bocage, or swing north and seek to help destroy the Panzergrenadiers dug in behind the river north of Noyers-Bocage. the tactical withdrawl generally went well although a couple of gaps have opened in his line where units were held up or prevented from reaching their assigned positions.

He reorganises his forces. The left most KG is now defunct as the HQ unit commanding (Panzer Lehr Btn)was overrun and destroyed by British tanks during the night. KG Olboeter, which was handed responsibility for the front west of KG Lehr is also now strung out defending several kilometres of front.

Meyer puts the now leaderless KG units under the command of Max Wunsche, Regimental Commander of the 12 SS Panzer Regiment. He adds to Wunsche's command those units of Kg Olboeter directly north of him dug in behind the river. He is best placed to run their operations now. Wunsche now has responsibility for the left flank. The now reduced KG Olboeter takes the line to the right of KG Wunsche, and Meyer assigns it the 12 SS Divisional Escort Company from Kg Von W, in order to plug a gap that has developed between the two KGs during the night time withdrawal and fighting. all KG Wunsche and KG Olboeter units are presently in defensive positions, so no reserves exist to plug this gap, hence the reinforcement of Olboeter with 12 SS escort.

The British Armoured behind his lines will be dealt with by the the Tigers and Half tracks of KG Von W. Meyer orders this unit to attack immediately through Noyers-Bocage towards the british Armoured Btn, hoping to catch it before it advances in either direction.

Around Cheux, Meyer is happier although recognises the threat the Allied penetration represents in that sector as well. He orders all four companies of Jurgenson's Panther Btn to strike northwards and take on the British Battlegroup. He orders the 7 Company of Panzergrenadiers who were pushed back by this battlegroup during the evening to move quickly north westwards and join the defenders of Cheux, which currently are made up of just a Headquarters unit. If Cheux can be secured, then the penetration should remain a narrow one and easier for Jurgenson to liquidate. In order to try and hold this group in place, or at least delay them, he orders all 3 artillery battalions of 12SS to begin a harrassing barrage at nine 9.00 AM.

He recognises this as a pivotal few hours as the success of this counterattack will determine whether his front line Pioneers are enveloped or not. He has also committed the last of his current reserves. With the first reinforcing KGs still 16 hours away, his position is becoming more dangerous.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/29/2004 3:43:37 AM)

Turn 5 planned moves, and dispositions of key German units.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/29/2004 3:49:42 AM)

Turn Five execution
08.00 - 16.00
26th June 1944

EPSOM - The approaches to Cheux - 09.06

Sporadic shellfire during the first hour of the turn designed to slow the two sides up has little effect and the first attack of the morning goes in at 09.06 when 46th Brigade begins it's western outflanking assaults on the approaches to Cheux, whose heavily fortified defenders are making frontal assaults expensive.

9 Cam backed by 7 RTR and the divisional recon Regiment of 11 Arm Div attack southwards forcing the Pzgrs of 3 Co, 1 Btn, 26 SS Reg back after a sharp fight.

To the south east, a few minutes later Jurgenson leads his entire Panther Btn in an attack on the 15 Div Battlegroup which has penetrated into the German positions east of Cheux. Four companies of Panthers are initially halted by the two btns of infantry and the tanks of 9 RTR.

However, 30 mins later, the Allied Battlegroup’s infantry lose their armour support as 9 RTR's tanks follow orders and attack eastwards to widen the corridor. They are joined by 141 RAC (Crocodiles) and infantry from 44 Brigade from further north who are attacking southwards and together these units overwhelm the Panzergrenadiers and Mark IVs opposing them.

From the same Battlegroup, 8 Roy attack westwards into Cheux itself, evicting the Pioneer Btn HQ and a newly arrived but depleted company of Panzergrenadiers that had not yet had chance to dig in.

However, as this assault is in progress, the remaining btn of infantry from the battlegroup are hit again by Jurgenson's massed Panthers. Without tank support and with their companion battalion half engaged in the fight for Cheux, the infantry are overrun. Jurgenson's tanks run riot, as the Allied infantry break and run. Heavy casualties also being sustained by 8 Roy, as the tanks appear in their rear whilst they advance into Cheux to clear out the last pockets of resistance. What is left of the two btns retreat into Cheux to take cover in the shattered buildings newly vacated by the Germans.

Dead, wounded and prisoners number in the hundreds, the two allied battalions are spent as an offensive force.

Martlet - Rauray Spur – 09.31

KG Von W’s attack catches 24L in Hasty attack mode, ill prepared to receive an assault, and the Lancers are forced to retreat in the face of the Tigers. With 24L unable to attack northwards into the rear of the KG Wunsche forces defending the southern river bank north of Noyers-Bocage, the rest of 8 Armoured Brigade are forced to attempt the crossing alone. The river is a small one, not much more than a stream and fordable, but still a tactical obstacle.

The main assault is 2KM wide. On the eastern flank of the Allied attack are the Shermans of 1 Notts and the recon vehicles and armoured cars of 49 Recon Reg. The western side of the attack is made by the infantry of 12 Kings and the tanks of 4/7 Dragoons.

The fighting is hard, despite extensive artillery backing for the Allied forces. It takes three hours of sustained pressure for 49 Recon and 1 Notts to cross the river and brush the defenders aside (10 co / 3 Btn / 26 Pzgr and 8 Co / 2 Btn / 12 SS Pz Reg.) Casualties are particularly heavy amongst the defenders, each Company losing roughly 20% of their strength in the struggle.

The artillery support makes the job of 12 Kings and 4/7 Dragoons a little easier on the western flank of the attack, as they are only facing infantry belonging to KG Wunsche which had originally belonged to the Panzer Lehr battalion. It still takes them a couple of hours to dislodge the determined defenders who retire southwards with loss.

Between the battles around Cheux and the assault of 8 armoured on the Spur, 147 Brigade renews the attack southwards from Fontenoy, but are stopped by MK IVs from Prinzs Panzer Btn, presently attached to KG Olboeter, holding the line between Cheux and KG Wunsche. 6 and 7 DWR suffer again in the open fields south of Fontenoy which are swept by German shellfire and the machine guns of the MK IVs. After three hours incurring casualties for little gain, the two infantry battalions withdraw to lick their wounds.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (4/30/2004 3:19:11 AM)


I wanted to post a standalone game note to highlight one of the major advantages of WEGO highlighted by the previous turn.

The battlegroup from 15 Division had penetrated German lines. It's order were to attack east and west simultaneously widening the breach to the east and clearing Cheux (in the rear of the Dug in Pioneers defending it) in the west. The third unit in the Battlegroup, an infantry battalion was ordered to dig in and defend the position.

In an IGO-UGO situation, the time in an eight hour turn would have permitted the Battlegroup to achieve these missions. It is even possible if enough time was remaining in the turn after the attacks that the units may have been reinforced.

Battlefields, though, is WEGO.

In real life, German defensive doctrine had as it's lynchpin the swift counterattack. This attack was fundamental and would be carried out by the Bakers and Butchers from the Divisional Field kitchen if no one else was available.

In this instance, a Panther Battalion was available for the counterattack. As the Panthers counter-attacked, they initially met stiff resistance from the Battlegroup, and were unable to make any impression on them, but as the British Battlegroup began later in the turn to obey it's own orders, the defenders became progressively weaker until the Panthers overran the position inflicting huge losses on the allied infantry. What made this even more difficult for the Allies was that the Panthers attacked early, before the unit destined to stay behind in the hex and dig into defend it, had had time to do that digging in.

In IGO-UGO, it is often possible to effect the breakthrough and put the units into some sort of defensive mode on the other side of the breach ready for a counterattack. Defenders in this situation have no chance to react aggressively whilst the breach is at it's weakest moment, when the attackers are in an attack formation, in a newly won but unfamiliar position, not having had chance to work out how to defend it, maybe tired and disrupted from the combat.

In WEGO, things are much more fluid. The enemy is working in the same real time you are, and you will need to develop tactics not only to break open enemy positions, but defend them against an enemy not content to sit back and let you get on with it.

Your tactical responses become a series of trade offs. In the above situation, I could have detailed some artillery units to shell the approaches to the Battlegroup's position, hoping to interdict, harrass and maybe hold up and prevent the enemy counterattack. That, however, would have reduced the amount of artillery available elsewhere, and may have wasted that artillery if no counterattack had developed in the hexes being shelled.

I could have ordered the Battlegroup to dig in, perhaps ordering them to make the east and west assaults later in the eight hour turn (Battlefields allows you to time to the minute when a unit executes an order you have given it). However, that would have given them less time to achieve their objectives. Other units relying on their support might have halted or failed in their attack. This may well have resulted in a loss of momentum for the breakthrough, that would have given the Germans more time to re-establish their defensive lines further south.

I could even have pushed the Battlegroup on and tried to hit any counterattacking forces with an attack of my own. With only three battalions to work with in this example, it would have been risky, and my flanks would have been wide open, but it's foolhardyness may have seen it catch the enemy unawares and force them back even further. The Germans did not expect this to happen.

In other words, the first thing you will need to do on a Battlefields! battlefield, is not just decide what you want to do, but anticipate what the enemy response is going to be, and decide what steps are going to be necessary to guard against it. Sometimes, this may make you more cautious, other times more aggressive.

In My (very) Humble Opinion, though, what it is really doing, is giving you some very realistic choices to make and some very real headaches to deal with.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (5/25/2004 3:06:35 AM)

The AAR is about to continue. Anyone who would like to see additional explanation on anything that is happening, please feel free to start a thread on the subject. Anyone who would like me to explain how something that is happening was achieved using the game interface, likewise feel free to post.

Apologies for the delay, but a major new build has recently gone in that delivered a massive enhancement of the rules concerning bridges, pontoons, obstacles, minefields etc. This build has a direct effect on the Epsom battle as the British need to aim for bridges that can support their armour now, or bring forward engineers capable of throwing up a sufficiently sized pontoon. That build is just about safely in and signed off now.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (5/27/2004 1:25:29 AM)

A snapshot of where things stand in the western and central parts of the battlefield.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (5/27/2004 1:34:00 AM)

A second shot from the British side showing the centre and eastern portion of the battlefield. 29 Arm Brig has recently arrived as a reinforcement in the north of the picture. elements of 44 Brigade, recently mauled by the Panthers of Jurgenson's SS Tank Battalion are now holed up in Cheux, behind Muller's Pioneer companies defending the fortified positions to the north of Cheux.


IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (5/27/2004 2:13:54 AM)

Situation report
Start of Turn 6

The Allied attacks on the Rauray Spur from 49th Division (with 8 Arm Brig attached) have pushed the Germans back between 2 and 4 kilometres. The advance elements have crossed the second German stop line north of Noyers, which was a small canal behind which elements of 2 German KGs had dug in. These lead Allied elements are the tanks and lorried infantry of 8 Arm Brig, although the canal crossing was contested and the Germans of KG Von W and KG Wunsche have reformed the defensive line on Noyers itself 1 km to the south. The tanks of 8 Arm will not find the town an easy nut to crack. A sharp counterattack by the Tigers of KG Von W (a battlegroup that has been acting as the Fire Brigade for German forces defending this eastern flank for the best part of two days) threw the 24th Lancers in retreat and tempered the enthusiasm of 8 Arm Brig's Commander.

In the centre, the situation is more difficult for the British. The defences in front of the first objective (Cheux) have proved too difficult to assault, and they have tried to go around the approaches to Cheux (held by the elite infantry of Muller's 12 SS Pioneer battalion). West of these defences, the British infantry have been stopped dead. To the east, a breakthrough was effected but a counterattack from the Panther's of Jurgenson's 1 Btn, 12 SS Pz Reg, has badly mauled two British infantry battalions from this breakthrough (after their armour support turned eastwards leaving them unsupported) and forced them to retreat into the town of Cheux itself. This town was only recently wrested from the HQ elements of Muller's Pioneer btn and some panzergrenadiers following an atack from infantry of this Allied breakthrough group.
Had they not had these houses and streets to retreat to, things could have been worse.

More Allied reinforcmenets are arriving, including the tanks of Brigadier Harvey's 29 Arm Brig, the first of 11th Armoured's Brigade groups to join the attack.

For the Germans, they must exploit the Allied problems in the centre, whilst holding the ever more dangerous Allied attack on their left flank.

For the Allied, two infantry btns are in danger of annihilation unless they are relieved, and Cheux and it's surroundings must be cleared, so the newly arriving Tanks of 11 Armoured can push through and head for the Orne and Odon.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (6/15/2004 2:38:20 AM)

Turn Six AXIS orders
16.00 - 24.00
26th June 1944

Although under intense pressure, the German front line is holding although cracks are beginning to appear. On the left, a sharp counterattack by the Tiger companies of KG Von W have thrown the advance elements of 8 Arm Brigade back, but the tanks and infantry of the rest of the Brigade have successfully fought their way across the canal north of Noyers-Bocage and threaten the town itself. KG Von W is ordered to pursue the 24L as they still occupy a dangerous position on the left of the German front line.

With KG Von W slated to continue their counterattack against the 24L, KG Wunsche has responsibility for this part of the front. Comprising Panzergrenadiers from the Panzer Lehr Division (whose HQ was overrun by British tanks the night before) a company of MK IVs from Prinz's Panzer battalion and a mauled company of Olboeter's Panzergrenadiers from 12 SS, Wunsche can only dig in. All units are ordered to entrench. He has no reserves, so is praying KG Von W do not go very far and win well against the shermans of 24L. Wunsche can not tell which units are in front of him, although he does know two battalions of Tanks are already across the canal, together with a recon regiment and an infantry battalion.

Two batteries of 88's from the third Flak Regiment to the rear have moved forward to supplement the defences of Granville and Noyers-Bocage. Their long range guns will help fortify these strongpoints, and Wunsche hopes provide cover if his forces are forced to withdraw.

To Wunsche's right, KG Olboeter holds the line as far as Cheux. Olboeter's command comprises the two remaining companies of his own 3rd Pzgr Btn, 26th SS Pzgr Reg, together with two supporting companies of MK IVs from Prinz's Panzer Btn and the 12 SS Divisional Escort Company. Originally attached to KG Von W, this escort company has been assigned to Olboeter to bolster his defences in the centre of the german line.

Cheux remains the responsibility of Muller's firmly entrenched pioneer battalion with Krause's 1st Btn/26th SS on his left and Siebkin's 2nd Btn/26th SS to his right. Also to his right in the more open country are the remaining tanks of Prinz's MKIV btn, fighting under Prinz's command amidst the Panzergrenadiers of Siebken's btn.

Behind Cheux lie Jurgenson's Panthers and on the right flank behind Siebken, the tanks and infantry of Kampgruppe Liehr have assembled. This is a fresh ad hoc Battle group formed from infantry and tanks from 21st Panzer and a company of Panzergrenadiers from 25th SS Pzgr Reg. This formation defends Caen and can only listen and watch as the battle rages to their south west.

Meyer, OC 12th SS, can do little else other than dig in and hold his tanks in reserve to counterattack, the Allied forces are gaining in strength and the first of his promised reinforcements have not yet arrived. He does decide to clear Cheux of the remnants of the Allied infantry mauled by Jurgenson's Panthers. These are in the rear of Muller's Pioneer btn. Meyer directs two companies of Jurgenson's Panthers to support a company of Panzergrenadiers from Siebken's btn to clear Cheux and it's outskirts.

IronDuke_slith -> RE: Battlefields AAR - Operation Epsom. (6/29/2004 2:04:35 AM)

Turn Six ALLIED orders
16.00 - 24.00
26th June 1944

On the Allied right, Bucknall (O.C. XXX Corp) is pleased with the progress of the attack. The German attempt to stand and hold behind the canal north of Noyers has failed as the lead elements of 49 Division (8 Arm Brig) have fought their way across.

However, his right wing is getting ahead of his left and with German armour in the area he decides to consolidate. On the right, 8 ARM are ordered to hold fast, except for 1 Notts Yeomanry who are ordered to attack eastwards with the 49 Recon regiment in to the rear of the German positions facing Bucknalls left flank (147 & 70 Inf Brigades). These German troops will be pinned by further attacks from 70th Infantry Brigade which is massed and ready to go. Bucknall hopes the two drives will unhinge the German positions, cut off some German forces and force the German left flank to withdraw to prevent further encirclement.

In his centre, Bucknall orders 146 Brigade to assume a defensive posture as Divisional reserve, whilst 147th Brigade, badly mauled in the battle for Fontenoy, is ordered to hold and rest.

The main Epsom assault from VIII Corp has run into some difficulties. Two almost destroyed battalions of 44th Brigade presently holed up in Cheux are ordered to quickly withdraw north eastwards through a gap in the German lines. Conscious they may not get through before this gap is plugged by the Panther Companies that threw the British Infantry into dissaray, O'Connor (VIII Corp Commander), orders a frontal assault on the SS Pioneers manning strong positions north of Cheux, in order to break through to the shattered battalions. His strategy had been to break through on the flanks, but the defeat of the 44 Brigade battlegroup that resulted in the retreat into Cheux of the 6th & 8th Royal Scots Infantry Btns has put paid to that.

The newly arrived 29th Armoured Brigade, the lead formation of 11th Armoured Division is ordered straight into the attack, with a further heavy attack coming from 46th Brigade backed by tanks from 7 RTR (31 Tank Brigade) just to the west of the 29th Armoured assault. Backed by every gun he can muster, O'Connor needs these attacks to tear a hole in the German front and give his offensive some momentum.

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