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Hofen Ho-Down - 6/7/2010 6:32:03 PM   
dougb

 

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Okay I've tried this scenario twice with dismal results - haven't managed to take a single objective. Anybody have any pointers for this attack where you start out with 3 pretty weak VG regiments with a single line infantry battalion apiece plus a separate calvary company (that's actually the strongest German unit, as least at the start). I've tried a two battlion attack to take Hofen (from the woods to the North East and across the open area to the west). I've tried a two battalion attack up the middle and gotten bogged down at the communication juncture at the western end of the river.

Not sure how to make anything out of this weak bag of units. The only thing I haven't tried is a two battalion attack around the right flank of the American line.

Help!

Best wishes,

Doug
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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/7/2010 8:06:36 PM   
jimscannell

 

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I tried a direct assualt against the southernmost objective. The middle group waited on a treeline outside of the central objective while things sorted out.

I sent the northern attack in by hugging the forest near that objective.

The trick to the scenario is that your artillery will start to reload after a while. In fact, "gaming" the scenario might involve delaying the initial infantry rush until some re-supply starts to take place. If you can start to dislodge defenders with arty right before the infantry rush, you will do a lot better.

Anyway, I achieved a marginal victory as the Germans. The lack of tanks is frustrating, but that's a good history lesson here.

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/7/2010 9:40:34 PM   
boogada

 

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My best results so far with the Germans was a draw with 2 objectives taken. But it took right until the end to get there.
Arty is the key here.

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/7/2010 11:53:09 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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What, so there's an alternative to my screenshot below?

I find the Hofen objectives almost impossible to achieve with the initial forces, on the first day. The two VGD Bn aren't in position to make an immediate night attack in the time remaining before dawn and if they haven't fought thier way into the cover of the village by dawn then they're sure to be routed by the American artillery.

With the German divisional artillery ammunition depleted the infantry cannot effect a daylight aassault because they have insufficient organic firepower to suppress the defenders. The only simple solution i have found is waiting to the night of D1/2 an assault at night, with whatever Div artillery has ammunition ordered to suppress the two American concentrations at the N and S VLs until the infantry gets too close, then reverting those guns to Div control to make best use the can of them on opportunity targets.

I have even tried waiting till the night of D2/3 and using two full Regts together, as pictured, with some of the Div Arty under AI Regt control so as to speed up the fire support request. I'm not sure if having the arty under Regt control made a big difference but most of the attacks i've launched at this scale certainly stand a better chance of success, especially if any Bn that get into the village are given direct orders to attack along the village to roll up the flank. Still, i don't think i'd keep my job for very long considering theres only one Bn defending the objective! On my first plan of this scenario i thought the "opening bombardment" would have been effective and simply gave the two Bn move orders, with "attacks" ticked just in case anyone wasn't entirely dead yet! Didn't i get a suprise...

I have found that a Bn attacking from the dead ground the the South of the South VL, and then N through the village is effective, but i feel this is a bit gamey seing as the Volksgrenadier units were cobbled together out of odds and sods and probably never trained (together) in making long night marches and silent attacks. I much prefer the idea of just lining them up in no-mans land and waiting for the whistle!

As a side note, i think the AI does a much better job at Regt/Bde level than in COTA. In COTA the companies would be mixed up all over the place, whereas in BFTB each Bn's Coy form up in discrete blocks, as you'd imagine.





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< Message edited by Chief Rudiger -- 6/8/2010 12:01:03 AM >

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 1:13:11 AM   
dougb

 

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Thanks guys!

I'll post my results when I try it the third time. I think waiting a bit is probably the right thing to do and then firing with as much arty as possible in support. The other thing I thought of trying was to see if I could infiltrate my forces over night. I had a hellacious two day battle in the middle (north of Moen) which took out two of my battlalions and still didn't seize the objective. The approach north east of Moen is tempting as it provides cover until you get closer. One of the problems I have is trying to figure out how wide or narrow a frontage I should be attacking on. The VG companies are pretty lousy with low combat power so the only way to get any punch is by concentrating. But that leaves you getting pounded by the arty.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 1:26:49 AM   
dougb

 

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The other thing I think is that Monschau really needs to be seized for the two bridges there - to allow the Germans to manouver north/south. Just not sure how to go about that although pounding the crap out of the town with the northern grouping of artillery might be a possibility. One things for sure can't leave that attached to division!

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 2:01:02 AM   
dougb

 

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Here's my scenario analysis. I don't think there's any possibility of a first day attack because some significant regrouping is required to get the forces into position. I'm looking at a two battalion attack on either side of the river to take Monschau and the bridges. If that succeeds 1 battalion to form up for an attack south while the other holds onto Monschau and attempts to screen any forces coming over the right.

Best wishes,

Doug




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 11:02:48 AM   
Renato

 

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I don't remember what my plan was, but Hoefen should be taken.






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< Message edited by Renato -- 6/8/2010 11:04:55 AM >

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 11:19:06 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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What's the point in taking Monschau when it’s overlooked from Hofen and Mutzenich? Once either is secured Monschau should be untenable. Attacking Monschau with the I/752 Bn, the only units stong enough to attempt it, is just a waste. Also, there are no significant wheeled units in this scenario that require the bridges.

I'm not sure what the overall necessity was/is for attacking in this area of the Ardennes but it seems the player should attempt to attack on the first day to hold enemy reserves away from the main battles father south. Were I the VGD commander (who had the benefit of gaming his mission beforehand) I would want to have my units deployed as close as possible to Hofen and Mutzenich before the curtain went up.

Perhaps there are historical reasons why the initial dispositions are so against successfully attacking on D1 but perhaps that is intended as most people seem to be "achieving" a historical outcome!

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/8/2010 11:54:01 PM   
dougb

 

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I'd like to take Monschau to secure the bridges so I've some flexibility to attack north or south. Mutzenich looks practically impossible to take as there's only the 1 German battalion plus a late reinforcement. Hofen - I just get mowed down trying to take this objective as there's only limited covered avenues of approach. Plus as soon as I've concentrated two battalion attack down there the Americans can shift forces via Monschau.

it's a sign of how desperate the German's were, well reflected in the game, that they even attempted to move forward with this rag tag collection.

Best wishes,

Doug

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Post #: 10
RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/9/2010 10:36:33 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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The rivers do not effect your troops movement significantly and there is a safer bridge further East for moving supplies and reinforcements.

Night offers the perfect cover for forming up close to Hofen and Mutzenich for frontal attacks. Trying to get into a better position just wastes what small amount of darkness is available and tires your men unnecessarily.

Taking Monschau as a jumping off point wastes a day and doesn't put your men in any better a situation for attacking Hofen and Mutzenich as Monschau is a magnet for artillery and draws a counter attacks from the Ami armour. Also, launching an attack North or South from it also means your turning your back on one or both positions.

Hofen and Mutzenich are the principle Allied objective so defeating their defenders will account for the majority of enemy units. Securing Monschau, a minor objective, will not destroy significant enemy units and will leave the majority on his unit intact, on high ground overlooking you, holding the high value VLs.

If attacked during the night both Hofen and Mutzenich are winnable, I think. Even with the initial set up I think the reasonable thing to do is to attack these two locations. The scenario briefing suggests the Allies are very weak in this sector and you must assume the bombardment has been effective. Besides, not attacking one enemy infantry and one armoured cavalry battalion would get you court martialled and maybe shot!

Yes your men will tale heavy casualties, maybe knocked back a few time, possibly routed but hopefully they will rally and attack on D2, and certainly disturb the defenders and make it easier for the reinforcements to succeed, with renewed artillery support.

I played the scenario again and set my two Bns to attack Hofen N and S immediately, all out, with FUPs set less than 1km from the edges of the town. The Southern Bn got into the town soon after sun up, possibly being too close to the defenders for them to call in bombardments. Once in the town they got into a bit of trouble, loosing a company, but never getting pushed out. The Northern Bn was slower in assembling and didn't make it past the start line before being dispersed by artillery. They retreated into the woods but resuming the mission in the afternoon, with AI provided Div artillery support. The Bn on the North of the river formed up in a similar way, just East of Mutzenich, along the stream bed, but again was caught in the open at sunrise and got into trouble. At least one company got into Mutzenich but the rest of the Bn fell back to the stream. The attack was resumed, like the Hofen North attack, and the remains of the Bn joined the forward company, ensconced in the village. By 2000hrs all three Bns were bunkered down on the objectives ready for the reinforcement Bns to come up and flush out the remaining units. The Fusilier Coy probed Monschau with the IG Pl in support, and I think drew armoured units from Mutzenich, but withdrew later in the day, under pressure. Casualties so far: 650/250. Not bad.

What I love about this game is that the above took only four orders!






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< Message edited by Chief Rudiger -- 6/9/2010 10:39:57 PM >

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 2:45:39 AM   
dougb

 

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I've started an AAR on this scenario in the AAR section. Thanks for the advice, I've been able in the first part to grab South Hofen and the bridges - despite only making a probe against the latter. Key was being aggressive (perhaps a bit too much!) with my artillery.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 4:00:22 AM   
jomni


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quote:


What I love about this game is that the above took only four orders!


Some people hate this aspect of the game.

_____________________________


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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/11/2010 7:20:05 AM   
loyalcitizen


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I had trouble with this battle as the Germans until I tried something new.
Without giving away my full plan or spoiling how the AI will react, I'll simply leave you with couple of lines from A Bridge Too Far.

"What's the best way to take a bridge?"

"Both ends at once."

< Message edited by loyalcitizen -- 6/11/2010 7:39:00 AM >

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/13/2010 1:24:10 AM   
wodin


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60 victory points just for Hofen North and South...myself I would concentrate on the objective over all the others...IF you can take that and have enough forces for an attack North you can do but I doubt it...taking all of Hofen should be enough for a win.

I played as the Allies and just got a draw and I only lost southern Hofen...funny because it felt like I was being overwhelmed...yet it is a struggle for the germans...my Arty untis where playing up though...resting to often..

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