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RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans

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RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 7/24/2011 7:02:48 PM   


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I've found this is an extraordinarily hard mission as the Germans.

A good assault - usually with micromanaged, directed artillery - is generally quite capable of claiming Bucholz Station and Losheimergraben and getting to het edge of the forest by afternoon day 1, and getting a battalion or two out of the forests in the north. (I find the units in the central areas far too resilient for a substantial advance, particularly the two infuriating platoons, one an AT, mentioned in the AAR).

From there, I can normally break out in the south into Hunningen and Honsfeld. KG Peiper can shatter the Yanks in the area overnight and into the morning of the 2nd whilst the 27th, 48th and FJ recover, and as you draw away Peiper to the exit point in the afternoon/ night of the 2nd, the VGs/FJs can take over and carry on the main effort.

However, I find Rocherath-Krinkelt an impossible mission until very late. On day 1 there are arty battalions always deployed nearby, and despite not being frontline troops, they're perfectly capable of throwing back any of the rubbishy VG battalions you do get out of the forests, or otherwise holding them off long enough for the villages to fill up with ominous quantities of infantry with armoured support.

From this point in, it's just a slog, and a miserable one given the weight of American artillery.

* * *

The issue is that the AI is more aggressive and less heedful of casualties than any human. AI forces are always pouring forwards, including wandering down roads to objectives they've long since lost. Although you can ultimately rip them to shreds, you simply can't advance quickly.

And so I tend to get the same sort of AARs as recorded here - vast quantities more casualties inflicted on the Americans than I've suffered (and the 99th and 2nd divisions essentially annihilated), but the big scoring Objs and exit points tantalisingly beyond reach.

(in reply to CaptCarnage)
Post #: 31
RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 7/24/2011 7:27:19 PM   


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Yes, the recognition that the front line is 'gone' and digging in on the fall back, rather than trying to grab the victory points 'because the objective is still open for 24 hours' and was important to keep initially would both help the AI perform better, and also make the AI's behaviour feel more human...

Yes, if I think I have a chance to take it, I might have a go... but otherwise I'll block, delay, screen and try to get the second line impenetrable. The AI often gets his forces out of position, cut off and eliminated - which makes late progress rapid (ish - fatigue allowing) and allows the player to go for force destruction, rather than territory as a decisive victory strategy.

Treating the VL as places to keep the enemy out of, rather than places to hold (a subtle distinction, but important) also would help. Finding a closing mobility corridors, and keeping a minimal rear area force securing the objective, falling back as needed, is generally a far better plan than trying to hold 'this spot' by garrisoning it heavily.
This is possible to do with AI objectives, but they still suffer from the problem of being an irresistible flame for the AI, or are given up before they are pressured, if they expire and move rearwards...

(in reply to Agema)
Post #: 32
RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 7/25/2011 12:46:44 PM   

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From: Copenhagen, Denmark
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You however, managed to occupy it at 12:39 Day 1! How? I use the same forces, 27 and 48. You give them an attack order? On my first try, I also sent the 48th up north, to attack Losheimergraben from the north, and the 27th from the south east. However, 48th got stuck on the crossroads and 27th was at it alone for a long time.

How on earth did you manage to take it after 6 and a half hours? :)

To be honest, I don't quite remember. :)

I think, although i'm not sure, that I've had the same experience as you when replaying the scenario, that is being unable to take Losheimergraben early. I think in the AAR the AI withdrew some of troops defending the town, but again I'm not sure. In any case, I had only technically occupied the town by 12.39, since several enemy units were still troubling me in that area.

A lot of if's and maybe's, I know. It's been a while. :)

(in reply to CaptCarnage)
Post #: 33
RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 8/21/2011 8:12:13 AM   


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Just played the scenario on realistic. I found the following helped:

Change formation frontage to 300m
Successive line formation - I want units to go down the fastest route/road/track
Give an attack order on day one to the edge of the woods in the south
You need to plan to move your arty forward to support the attack on the deep objectives
Use some of the Regt level units as security at road junctions

I also adopted some Soviet tactics and sent two unit attacks up the same axis but the second one delayed by 30mins or so. The first Bn hits the enemy position and engages. The second then effectively carries out a echelon change and continues the attack on an already weakened enemy. You need to create a carpet over which Peiper and 12 SS can travel over before launching out of the woods I didnt want them having to fight in the woods. I also sequenced the attack in the north to begin first as a deception to draw the enemy units away from the south. This worked well. The southern attacks went in an hour after the north and after clearing the woods were able to get to Bullingen on day three. The 3 companies of the 501 is now stopped at Bullingen and their refueling! 1st SS Pz Bn in a good position to the south. But its all too late. Not good enough as the Peiper exits have expired. I think I will switch the 12 SS to the south next time and then attack north towards the Rollbhan objectives.

Second the comment about arty micro management and that some very small units seem to be able to create a large amount of delay disproportionate to their size.

A big scenario with lots of units but very enjoyable and a great mix of challenges, time, routes alternatives. I smiled when I saw my King Tigers stop for petrol, very realistic. I had given them maximum fuel orders. This is an area where I need to understand the game mechanics a little better. Just like the real operation you are up against the clock.

(in reply to Nikolaj)
Post #: 34
RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 8/25/2011 9:37:53 PM   

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ORIGINAL: starbuck310

... and that some very small units seem to be able to create a large amount of delay disproportionate to their size.

For the patch we have removed the 57mm AT platoon units from the US Rifle Battalions and parsed them out to the individual US Rifle company estab. This is similar to how the Germans and UK units are represented and it reduces the number of units in play.

Scenario developers should take note of this if they use the US Infantry Battalion in their current, pre-patch scenarios; they will need to remove the Bn AT Plt from each battalion (not the Regimental AT Coy!) after the Patch comes out. The stock scenarios will already have this modification.



(in reply to Pawsy)
Post #: 35
RE: Elsenborn Ridge - Germans - 8/26/2011 10:52:56 PM   


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I did wonder why there was so many allied AT units. They were acting as road bump[s and causing delay. It may change my marginal defeats into wins :-) Great scenario played it quite a few times. Now getting to launch an attack on the ridge its self. If only I had more fuel.

(in reply to simovitch)
Post #: 36
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