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16 Dec Attack: Elsenborn Scenario

 
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16 Dec Attack: Elsenborn Scenario - 6/30/2010 5:22:34 PM   
Doc_001

 

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Joined: 6/30/2010
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Battles From The Bulge follows the excellent design and playability from Conquest of the Aegean and for that I applaud the Panther Games team.

Yet living merely an hour's drive from the Northern Shoulder area of the battlefield I must point out some significant historical errors of this scenario that fairly dramatically change gameplay of the opening attack.

Elsenborn Scenario:
1. The 991st Volksgrenadier Regiment of the 277th Volks Gren Division is not present at scenario start, and does not arrive until 10:30.
2. Scenario starts at 0600 with notes that opening German artillery barrage is complete
3. 2nd Battalion 393rd Infantry Rgt frontage is extremely limited (300m), especially Company-K that historically covered over 1km with three Platoons

Company K of the 393rd Inf Rgt faced not one but two entire Volksgrenadier Regiments, the 989th Rgt attacking west down Rollbahn-A and the 991st Rgt attacking from Ramscheid accross the International Highway hitting the seam between the 3rd Battalion and 2nd Battalion 1km south of Rollbahn-A. The 1st Platoon commanded famously by Lt Joe Dougherty was hit by the full force of the 991st VG Rgt immediately after the barrage lifted. After a fierce yet short fight they were overrun by the 991st VG Regt as it broke through to out-flank K-Company and 2nd Battalion.

The artillery bombardment began in the Northern Shoulder sector at roughly 0530-0600 and lasted at least one hour until 0700 according to most 99th Infantry Division accounts.

These points may appear trivial yet make all the difference in the timing and effect of the opening attack for this scenario.

I will close with another thanks to the Panther Team: An excellent scenario editor that allows critics like myself to mod to our heart content!

Bravo on the game design, keep up the great work!

- Doc
Post #: 1
RE: 16 Dec Attack: Elsenborn Scenario - 7/1/2010 9:57:31 PM   
simovitch


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Joined: 2/14/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Doc_001

Battles From The Bulge follows the excellent design and playability from Conquest of the Aegean and for that I applaud the Panther Games team.

Yet living merely an hour's drive from the Northern Shoulder area of the battlefield I must point out some significant historical errors of this scenario that fairly dramatically change gameplay of the opening attack.

Elsenborn Scenario:
1. The 991st Volksgrenadier Regiment of the 277th Volks Gren Division is not present at scenario start, and does not arrive until 10:30.


Hi Doc, thanks for the observations.

There was some internal discussion about how to handle the commitment of reserves in a historical manner for all scenarios. In the end, we kind of left it up to the individual designers, with a lean toward giving the player a bit more flexibility than the German High Command had historically during the Ardennes Offensive. That said, and without getting into too much detail, the 991st Regt was the reserve regiment of 277 VGD. I chose not to have the 991st set up at start because IIRC all 3 VGD regiments had just concluded a night march from the Wahlerscheid area and I know at least one regiment (991?) was exceptionally tired and disorganized at the start. This is one case where I chose to make it available more or less when the unit was committed historically; late morning on the 16th in this case.

quote:

2. Scenario starts at 0600 with notes that opening German artillery barrage is complete

Many accounts, both German and Allied, have the bulk of the bombardment in 6.Pz Armee lasting intensely for 1/2 hour, and then petering out over the remianing 1/2 hour or so as ammo stocks dropped. I felt that this condtion is represented fairly well as the German artillery stocks slowly get refilled during the 6AM supply sequence. And I wanted the game to start with the 6AM supply sequence so my hands were a bit tied there.

quote:

3. 2nd Battalion 393rd Infantry Rgt frontage is extremely limited (300m), especially Company-K that historically covered over 1km with three Platoons


I considered using platoons to represent Company K and others along the International Highway but this actually made the defense in front of Rollbahn A even tougher than it is now. Plus the AI doesn't really handle breaking up the Rifle Coys into platoons very well yet. The line here and elsewhere was extremely thin, yes, but the Allied AI does actually perform better using Company level units. The human player can set the defense frontage to 1000m if he wants to. (I used platoons for the 109th Regiment on the Southern Shoulder because the terrain is more open and I needed some way for the US to keep the Germans from totally overrunning the front line there.)

So while we strived for the ultimate in historical accuracy, in the end it usually comes down to bending history just a bit to accomodate the game mechanics and the AI player.

_____________________________

simovitch


(in reply to Doc_001)
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