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Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 2:19:49 AM   
dougb

 

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I'd played this scenario and failed absymally both times so I'd discussed this scenario in the war room with a couple of others. Determined to try and at least capture 1 objective I've started a new game that'll be the subject of this thread.

Hofen Ho-Down finds the German 326 VG division up against what is supposed to be a weak American screen. Sadly for the Germans the VG division is itself very weak as it was unable to pull out of it's previous position in the line cleanly to reposition for the offensive. It's task is to protect the far northern flank of 6th panzer army by moving forward to capture a number of towns and the high ground in front of it. To do this it has:

3 regiments with a single battalion apiece to start
heavy and rocket artillery - which will need to be moved into position
A single fusilier company comprising the best troops in the Division.

I've got two battalions south of the river and 1 battalion north of the river (plus the fusilier coy).

My plan initially is to contact a 2 battalion assault on the town of Hofen - which is split into North and South Hofen objectives. Prior to commencing the assault I'll reposition my artillery to provide a better sweep over the battlefield. I'll bring up the rocket artillery as well.

In order to distract the enemy and hinder reinforcement I'm planning a prob against the bridges at Monschau. From this position I should be able to hinder reinforments going to Hofen. As a further demonstration I plan to move the fusilier company in a feint on the right flank toward Mutzenich.

The picture shows the situation as the assault on Hofen gets underway. Note the probe towards Monschau in the middle.




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 2:27:22 AM   
dougb

 

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The action quickly becomes heated as intense fighting for Hofen continues through the morning. My probe at Monschau found that the enemy was not in significant strength here and sporadic fighting continued here through much of the day. I was able to mount some significant barrages against the American forces in both locations and had my two battalions in the town around 1200 hours. Fighting was extremely fierce here as I fought forces of high quality amounting to about 1-2 coy's of infantry/engineers with supporting anti-tank and mortar forces. If not for my artillery support my poor quality forces would not have been able to secure a hold.

The situation below is at 1200 hours at the height of some extremely fierce fighting




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 2:33:29 AM   
dougb

 

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Fighting continued and at 1400 hours I received the extremely welcome message that South Hofen had fallen to our exhausted volksgrenadiers. The picture below shows a close up of Hofen and note that of the two American units Company L was soon to surrender. The infantry battalion to the north of South Hofen is actually a little south of the objective but was pretty exhausted breaking into the town. It tried to move towards the north of the town but was too exhausted and decided to hunker down instead.




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/10/2010 2:38:53 AM   
dougb

 

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With South Hofen taken and my battalions well established there I received a pleasant bonus with news that Monschau had fallen to the 752 regiments battalion. My plan had actually been to demonstrate against Monschau but wait for the complete fall of Hofen before assaulting the village. It's extremely nice to be in possession of those two bridges although the heights to the west and may make it an uncomfortable place to bed down. I'll leave the battalion in place and try to defend the location.

A comment about the fusilier coy to the north. It's been hit pretty hard but control of that ground is important as I don't want to have armor running down towards my artillery. I'm ready to stop the game at about 5 pm on the first day and pick up play when I get some time so I'll post some more of this AAR which I hope you're enjoying!






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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/11/2010 7:17:31 AM   
loyalcitizen


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Nice stuff. thanks!

< Message edited by loyalcitizen -- 6/11/2010 7:19:00 AM >

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/11/2010 9:40:30 PM   
dougb

 

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Glad you're liking it. I'll be playing some more and posting the continuation of the AAR when I get some time probably early to mid next week.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/12/2010 5:28:20 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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I'm suprised that your two Bns attacking Hofen managed to lodge themselves in the town, given they don't seem to have started their assault until around 9am. I would have expected them to be plastered by artillery at dawn.

I see you have brought your artillery, particularly your nebel werfers, up close. It had never occurred to me to do so. Do you find they are more effective at giving automatic (rather than player ordered) fire support this way versus bombarding only? When do they start recieving ammo in your game? I find they come alive again in late morning/early afternoon. Is this how you've managed to make a lodgment in such good order?

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/13/2010 12:53:54 AM   
wodin


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I managed a draw with the Allies...unfortunately my two Arty units didn't perform well....they kept going to sleep at important times...mainly because I am inexperienced with the rest buttons. Still it was a hard fought battle...I lost sorthern Hofen but managed to just keep hold of the other Objs...

I noticed at the end of the game the Germans had brought up their nebelwerfers close aswell....they pummelled the life out of me..

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/14/2010 10:38:16 PM   
dougb

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chief Rudiger

I'm suprised that your two Bns attacking Hofen managed to lodge themselves in the town, given they don't seem to have started their assault until around 9am. I would have expected them to be plastered by artillery at dawn.

I see you have brought your artillery, particularly your nebel werfers, up close. It had never occurred to me to do so. Do you find they are more effective at giving automatic (rather than player ordered) fire support this way versus bombarding only? When do they start recieving ammo in your game? I find they come alive again in late morning/early afternoon. Is this how you've managed to make a lodgment in such good order?


I brought my artillery closer after I took a look at the range rings. It looked to me like I needed to mass the artillery pretty much were I placed them in order to sufficiently cover the whole of the initial battlefield. The range on the werfers really isn't that much so they have to be placed pretty close. I pretty much directly controlled the werfers and the ig's of the two assaulting battalions. The artillery north of the river was on-call which seemed to work out quite well as there was plenty of artillery into both Hofen and Monschau.

I figured that the only way I was going to get into Hofen was with massive artillery support. The two battalions did get hit with artillery fire but the fact that my artillery moved up I think had the unintended consequence of diverting some of the enemy artillery towards them rather than the infantry.

Now it's pretty late in the day but some of my artillery units are out of ammo or very low so I'm desperately in need of re-supply. A couple of times the AI looked like it wanted to try and head between Monschau and the farm but they got plastered by artillery fire and turned back.

Day 2 will see me trying to push the remaining enemy units out of north Hofen and consolidate my gains.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/14/2010 10:39:46 PM   
dougb

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I managed a draw with the Allies...unfortunately my two Arty units didn't perform well....they kept going to sleep at important times...mainly because I am inexperienced with the rest buttons. Still it was a hard fought battle...I lost sorthern Hofen but managed to just keep hold of the other Objs...

I noticed at the end of the game the Germans had brought up their nebelwerfers close aswell....they pummelled the life out of me..


The werfers really do provide terrific fire support but they have to be brought up quite close. Initially I erred and brought one of the werfers too close and it had to back off and set-up again.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/15/2010 6:35:20 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dougb

The werfers really do provide terrific fire support but they have to be brought up quite close.



I'm still not convinced that the NW need to be redeployed. The EstabEditor shows they only have Bombardment capability, not direct fire, and their Accuracy is not greatly increased unless you bring them within 1 or 2 thousnad metres, which is around about enemy Mortar range. Given the projectile wreight is so great i wonder if accuracy is such a concern. In fact, could an inprecise weapon not be more useful, in this situation, given that the american units are often grouped around the VLs?

Regardless, when you move the NW forward do you put them under command of the Regt or Bn HQs? I have tried attaching all the artillery to either the 751/753 Regt HQ, along with both Bn, so that the two Bn attack together, under one Regt HQ, with all the artillery directly under control (with "direct support only" ticked). I hoped that doing so would speed up or increase the chance of AI firemissions being called in, at the right moment, but am not sure if it actually had an effect, especially since the motorised artillery units tired to use the Monschau bridges to redploy to the south side of the river!

I tried this because i enjoy leaving as much as possible to the AI as micromanaging seems a bit gamey, especially with artillery being so powerful that the player can just mass his artillery units to break any enemy unit like he were god.

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 6/15/2010 11:58:34 PM   
dougb

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chief Rudiger


quote:

ORIGINAL: dougb

The werfers really do provide terrific fire support but they have to be brought up quite close.



I'm still not convinced that the NW need to be redeployed. The EstabEditor shows they only have Bombardment capability, not direct fire, and their Accuracy is not greatly increased unless you bring them within 1 or 2 thousnad metres, which is around about enemy Mortar range. Given the projectile wreight is so great i wonder if accuracy is such a concern. In fact, could an inprecise weapon not be more useful, in this situation, given that the american units are often grouped around the VLs?

Regardless, when you move the NW forward do you put them under command of the Regt or Bn HQs? I have tried attaching all the artillery to either the 751/753 Regt HQ, along with both Bn, so that the two Bn attack together, under one Regt HQ, with all the artillery directly under control (with "direct support only" ticked). I hoped that doing so would speed up or increase the chance of AI firemissions being called in, at the right moment, but am not sure if it actually had an effect, especially since the motorised artillery units tired to use the Monschau bridges to redploy to the south side of the river!

I tried this because i enjoy leaving as much as possible to the AI as micromanaging seems a bit gamey, especially with artillery being so powerful that the player can just mass his artillery units to break any enemy unit like he were god.



Ah I just found I was looking at the wrong range so you're right - didn't have to bring the artillery that close. Now I direct the werfers and IG's myself and but the majority of the artillery I leave to the AI to direct.

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 8:38:37 PM   
dougb

 

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After a hiatus I finished off the scenario. Through the night of the 1st day there was quite a bit of fighting around Monschau and Hofen and the morning hours left me in possession of none of the objectives as the US units contested by Monschau and Hofen. Note Northern Hofen and the American units I did not have time to push out on day 1. I'm going to spend much of day two clearing northern Hofen with the aid of an additional VG battalion and Stug company that are arriving.








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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 8:42:22 PM   
dougb

 

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Just before noon day 2 and My two battalion attack has succeeded in pushing out the American forces from Northern Hofen with the help of a massed artillery barrage on the positions. I'm now hoping to reposition the newly arrived battalion for a second attack north towards Monschau to secure that town as the battalion that initially attacked has been badly mauled - losing an infantry company in the process.




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 8:48:11 PM   
dougb

 

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Situation at 5 pm day 2 around dusk. I've sent another newly arrived VG battalion to probe towards Mutzenich - hoping that the earlier attacks have drawn off much of the strength there and that I'll have a chance to put in an attack at night with the single battalion reinforced by the independent fusilier company and possibly secure that objective as well. I'd considered going for Kalterherberg in the South as well but I'm a little worried that a stray American unit might pop up around South Hofen and I do not want to lose that objective at this point.




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 8:52:36 PM   
dougb

 

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heavy fighting around Mutzenich as I manage to drive the gap during the night between small American units and manage to force the brigade's base back from the town again with the help of massed artillery support. My battalion in the south finally gets its much delayed attack north into Monschau from Hofen - there is heavy fighting in and around the town. My forces manage to clear the American forces from around the town around 9:00 am on the final day.




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 8:56:41 PM   
dougb

 

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And the payoff at the end is a nice letter from Field Marshal Model congratulating me for the decisive victory. My forces inflicted heavy casualties on the American units and seized all but one of the initial objectives. I believe that the key to the battle was aggressive use of massed artillery to support my weak line units as well as the initial successful assault into South Hofen which provided a bridge head for further action. Seizing Monschau also assisted in keeping the enemy distracted and tied down allowing me to clear Hofen.

Hope you've enjoyed the AAR!




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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 10:03:40 PM   
Deathtreader


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Hey dougb,

Nice AAR! Thanks for sharing.

You appear to be running the game's 1st graphics mod as well. Looks good.......is it available publicly??
Thanks.

Rob.

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Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 10:44:55 PM   
dougb

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

Hey dougb,

Nice AAR! Thanks for sharing.

You appear to be running the game's 1st graphics mod as well. Looks good.......is it available publicly??
Thanks.

Rob.


Actually I was just saving the screen shots as gif files to cut down on file size. But now you mention it it does kind of look cool.

Best wishes,

Doug

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/1/2010 11:18:21 PM   
Pergite!

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

Hey dougb,

Nice AAR! Thanks for sharing.

You appear to be running the game's 1st graphics mod as well. Looks good.......is it available publicly??
Thanks.

Rob.


IIRC the graphic mods for COTA also works for BFTB, and they are all available somewhere around here.

Nice AAR dougb! I always feel that it is strangely rewarding to be able to rain down pain on the enemy base units. Its a sure tell sing that his lines are failing and that you have the initiative.

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RE: Hofen Ho-Down - 7/2/2010 1:26:29 AM   
dougb

 

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thanks guys for the kind words. One of the benefits of doing the AAR was that it focused my play to a much greater extent and helped me think through my plan of attack. I'm going to try one of the larger scenarios and hopefully will start another AAR shortly.

Best wishes,

Doug

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