From: Ottawa, Canada
Yes, a decisive victory to start my Command Ops gaming. Overall, the game went well and I was able to achieve my goals – mainly to learn how to play the game.
I went into the game with a multi-phase approach. My intent was to advance quickly to St. Vith with the goal of securing the town prior to the arrival of the German column coming from the West. The phases were:
1. Capture Steinbruck bridge.
2. Capture Lommersweiler
3. Capture Breutfeld crossroads
4. Secure St. Vith
5. Defend against German counterattack
My plan was for CCA to complete the first two objectives with CCB pushing through to secure the 3rd objective and finally for CCR to capture St. Vith. For the final phase, I figured it would take the entire force.
The initial attack on the bridge went very well and I quickly secured it with a two Bn attack. I then pushed through the third Bn to capture Lom. At that point, I pushed my recce squadron North to check out the crossing site between Lom and the crossroads. Noticing very little enemy presence, I took the 51 Bn and pushed it north to the crossroads and secured them well ahead of plan. I then pushed my other mech Bn North and captured St.Vith very early on D2. The 318 Inf Bn was tasked with securing Objs 1 and 2.
CCB arrived and, having secured St.Vith, I moved them to positions along the approach to the East of St. Vith along the main road. As CCR entered the fray, I moved one Bn to the left flank of CCB. The other 2 Bns came up the middle.
The Germans launched a vicious attack on St.Vith and I had to move more and more forces into St.Vith to recapture the obj. The Germans also were able to slip forces through my lines to attack the other Objs. I was very glad that I had kept the 318 on the first two objectives.
In the end, I was able to repulse the Germans counterattacks and hold onto the 4 Objs.
What went well:
1. I took advantage of opportunities to push my forces forward early – this made things much better later in the game.
2. In a couple of cases, I started to move forces forward that pre-empted the Germans – especially in the case of St. Vith. The move of CCB to cover the eastern approaches was a very good one.
3. Using the Engineers and 318th Bn to hold Objs was very good and prevented me losing them near the end of the game.
4. Responding to German actions. The Germans kept trying to find their way through, or around, my main forces and I was able to plug most of these attempts without withdrawing forces from key positions.
5. I kept the unity of the Brigades (Combat commands) for the most part.
6. For the most part, I gave orders and let the units fight them out. I did not try to over command – it was hard at times, but I did it.
What could I improve:
1. Recce – time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted. It has been a long time since I played a game with fog of war. I need to deploy resources to find and keep a watch on the enemy.
2. Reinforcements – when they show up, move them towards the front in a couple of stages – do not plan a long move for them. A couple of shorter moves can make your life easier when you have to react to the changing situation.
3. Reserves – keep them near road junctions so that they can move freely and quickly to respond to enemy threats.
4. Be careful when giving orders – a couple of times I thought that I was giving an order to an HQ, but it was to a sub-unit. I realized that I should switch to showing only HQ units prior to issuing orders to ensure that I get it right.
5. Planning ahead. I did some of this, but not enough. The AI is good, thus I need to be thinking ahead a little more.
1. It would be nice to be able to print out the map. I would like to have been able to plot out my moves. It would have been even better if we had a plan overlay upon which we could draw boundaries, Objs, and other control measures for our plan. I will likely make a sketch of the map next time and do this on the side.
2. The AI was very good – the Germans kept me on my toys with their attacks, especially in locations I thought were save.
3. I wish that when you start giving orders the unit name would be displayed – not a big deal, but a couple of times I wish I knew which arty unit I was plotting the fire support for.
4. Remember to pause the game before minimizing it to check on the hockey scores – I got quite a surprise when I returned to the game to find out that my reinforcements had arrived 90 minutes earlier ….