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Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR

 
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Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 12:21:22 AM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
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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.

Observations

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 ….
Post #: 1
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 1:21:11 AM   
BletchleyGeek


Posts: 4271
Joined: 11/26/2009
From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
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I think you have 'solved' the Tutorial, at least with the Standard Axis Reinforcement settings.

You might find it interesting to play it as the Allies again with the Favour Axis setting on. Or better, play as the Germans with it on

And welcome, Mike :)

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Wite2 - Lead Tester

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 2
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 7:08:14 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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Joined: 9/28/2010
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Thanks for sharing, Mike. Sounds like it was a straightforward fight. I haven't tried the tutorial in ages, but people had reported it as quite hard since the patches, so I think you probably did well!

As to your observations, I think there might be some kind of plan to allow some kind of overlays into Command Ops 2 (but that might be a couple of years down the line). As to unit name being displayed, if you have the OB tab top in the sidebar then as you click on units they will appear and be highlighted there. Not quite what you were after, perhaps, but if you're confused due to stacking or whatever then that way you can see clearly what you've selected.

Peter

(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 3
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 10:06:31 AM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Thanks for the comments. I will give it a shot as the Germans. Good idea.

Have a good day,

Mike

(in reply to Phoenix100)
Post #: 4
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 10:09:45 AM   
dazkaz15


Posts: 1267
Joined: 12/14/2012
Status: offline
Welcome to the game Mike, and very well done

I like your observations.
I have been reading up on Dave's (Arjuna) thread about the plans for command Ops 2, and overlays is definitely on the list

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3310918

I also agree about the unit name being displayed on the orders tab, and bombard orders tab when selecting a bombard order on the map. Type of guns, remaining ammo, and fatigue level would also be very helpful here.

(in reply to Phoenix100)
Post #: 5
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 11:13:28 PM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Daz, thanks for the link to Dave's thread. I really like the ideas that he is trying to put into place.

I started the Tutorial as the Germans, and it did not go well for me. One question, when on the defensive, do your units start with a defend task. I figured that if I gave the Bn HQ a defend task, the companies might move out of their defensive locations. So, I tried leaving it how it was... not a good result.

I'm going to try it again, giving the two German Bns orders right at the outset.

Have a good day,

Mike

(in reply to dazkaz15)
Post #: 6
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/29/2014 11:25:47 PM   
dazkaz15


Posts: 1267
Joined: 12/14/2012
Status: offline
At the start of the scenario on the defensive, if you have units that are entrenched, give them an order to change the default to what you want, but to not lose the Entrenched bonus you must only set a Formation of in Situ.
If you set it to any other Formation you will lose the Entrenched or Dug in bonus.
You can still change the facing, losses, ammo etc. without causing any problems.

See here for an example:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3354076

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 7
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 1/30/2014 12:49:21 AM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Daz,

Thanks for this info - very helpful. I'm also really impressed with your AARs - they are so very well done.


(in reply to dazkaz15)
Post #: 8
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 2/1/2014 2:42:41 PM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
So, I went back and tried this as the German. Wow, what a difference. I had not realized how few resources the Germans had.

The Plan

I decided to try and block the center approach with both Bns delaying back towards the Breitfeld crossroads. I hoped that they would slow down the Americans so that I could get my first reinforcements into St. Vith before the Americans could get there.

With my second reinforcements, I planned to have them strike towards the Steinbruck bridge.

My last reinforcements (PEIPR Regt) would be used to attack St. Vith or the Crossroads.

The Result

The delaying Bns withdrew faster than I had planned, but kept the Americans in check for a while. I thought I was doing great, until my reinforcements arrived and the Americans must have skirted to the East of my defences and they already had forces in St. Vith.

For the next couple of days, there was lots of fighting in St. Vith and along the southern approach to St. Vith. I tried a 2 Bn attack on the bridge, but it kept stalling.

Finally PEIPR arrived and I sent 2 Bns into St. Vith to try and secure the town. Once things seemed to be going well there, I sent the final Bn towards the crossroads. I was able to secure St. Vith and then the crossroads, but it was a close thing.

At the end of the game, it was a draw. I'll take it.


What I did well

I had a plan and stuck to it. I think that overall, my plan disrupted the enemy advance and kept forces engaged all the way along - I think that this helped to wear down the Americans.

I concentrated my forces for the attack into St. Vith - two strong Bns reinforcing the Bn that was there. This force was needed to push the Americans out and secure the Objective.


What I could have done better

The initial delay went way too quickly - I'm not sure why.

I lost contact/sight of the Americans early on. I had no idea that they were pushing through the back roads to the East of my forces. I'm not sure how to do this better in this scenario - my forces were well spread out as it was. I might need to pay more attention to fleeting images of the American counters.


Other Observations

I continue to be impressed by the AI - it puts up a really good battle. The AI's ability to bypass my forces is quite scary.

It was fun trying this as the German.




(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 9
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 2/2/2014 10:15:11 PM   
BletchleyGeek


Posts: 4271
Joined: 11/26/2009
From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: MikeJ19
What I could have done better

The initial delay went way too quickly - I'm not sure why.

I lost contact/sight of the Americans early on. I had no idea that they were pushing through the back roads to the East of my forces. I'm not sure how to do this better in this scenario - my forces were well spread out as it was. I might need to pay more attention to fleeting images of the American counters.


To be honest you did very well. That delay action is going to be very hard: as soon as you have the US armour pouring through the bridge, you'll be in danger of getting overrun. That lone battery of StuG's won't really stop the 4th Armoured vanguard from breaking through. I've tried more than once to counterattack with a small KG formed by that battery, one of the infantry companies in Lommersweiler and the Flak battery, and the usual outcome is that they're shot to pieces. I reckon that without more armour, expecting success is quite like looking forward to reach that pie in the sky.

It's interesting to hear that the AI flanked your force and got behind you using the roads to the east rather than trying to run over you.


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Wite2 - Lead Tester

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 10
RE: Race to St. Vith (Tutorial) - AAR - 2/3/2014 8:17:50 PM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2712
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Thanks,it was a lot of fun. I'm impressed with how the AI reacts. I thought that they would try to bulldoze through me - which they did with some of their forces, but the swing to the East was very well done. Even more impressive, or scary, is that I had forces in the East and I really did not see this coming. I could not cover all the routes, but I covered some and really did not notice that they had swung a Bn + to the East. I found out wen my first reinforcements tried to move into St. Vith to set up a defence and found themselves in a good fight.

I just got a victory in the Hofen-Ho scenario as the German - I loved having all that artillery! Now, I'm going to try the scenario as the Americans. Should be interesting.


(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 11
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