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Turns 36-39: 4 March – 30 March 1944

 
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Turns 36-39: 4 March – 30 March 1944 - 2/26/2015 7:50:41 AM   
loki100


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Turns 36-39: 4 March – 30 March 1944

Again, I've conflated a month here. No ground operations since I'd cleared Corsica and very little use of tactical air as I want it all nice and rested for the main invasion. I've converted the last few Hurricane II's that were in the fighter role to fighter bomber (with rockets these are very effective, if short ranged) and they will start to return by late April early May.

With airbases around Rome, its now feasible to start sending 15 Air into south Germany and to hit the ports in south France.

On the land, my plans are firming up.

The main invasion will be in Normandy with 8 divisions in the first wave. This sector will be shared between three armies (2 Br, 1 US, 1Ca). 3 US Army is enjoying the weather around Glasgow and has a 4 division invasion in preparation for the Netherlands. I'm not sure I'll actually execute this as it depends on how the Normandy battles work out.

One thing I've noticed is how fast Tfs build preparation points in such large ports.

In the Med US 5 and British 8 Armies are in Italy, strong enough to hold the line and take advantage of any German withdrawals. US 7 Army is scattered about but has 2 Task forces and could invade S France later in the summer. These are not under preparation at this stage as I want to concentrate naval assets on N Europe.

The result was a steady air loss of 300-400 per turn.

Bomber Command remained very variable, some raids were devastating, others still inflict few if any real losses.



I'm also going for railyards. If I understand the manual, this not only hampers direct unit movement but also breaks up the flow of resources between industrial sites and of supply across the map.



Its interesting to see all the strategic raids now on one map. Here is the pattern from T37:



In the final turn, I shift 15 Air to Ploesti with almost 1000 bombers and lots of reconnaissance.



The result is pretty spectacular. I think in future I'd not bother with a few B-17s but wait till the bulk of 15 Air can be sent and the reconnaissance planes are in range.



VP situation is steadily improving, but I fear will worsen once the ground war recommences.



Mainly due to weather, I expect a very similar pattern for April with most of the effort going into the strategic war. I'll have the Normandy invasions ready for May so its a case of deciding when to risk landing.

And Anna. I hear you cry, how is she? Well the weather is warm in Rome so she has given up her commentary on the war effort, time for some fun:



< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/27/2015 11:16:06 PM >


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Post #: 31
Turns 40-46: 1 April – 19 May 1944 - 2/27/2015 10:18:02 PM   
loki100


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Turns 40-46: 1 April – 19 May 1944

Again I've conflated a lot of turns here. All the first wave of invasions are ready, so the only ground action is assigning SU and making sure the best commanders are in position.

At the start of April, the only air action is strategic bombing of Germany and Romania. In truth I am running out of targets and seem to have broken the back of the Luftwaffe. Each turn air losses are in the range 250-320 and the Germans are losing much the same.

I've started targeting German fuel production and from T42, even started to send 8 Air deep into Germany hunting down the V-weapon factories on the Baltic



The other difference from T42 is I start to commit the level bombers assigned to 9 Air, Tactical Air and 2 engined bombers from Bomber Command to isolating the Cotentin Peninsula. At this early stage the target is rail interdiction to see if I can choke off supply.

By T43, I'm checking the weather reports with some obsession.



The interdiction effort has generated a number of specific block points, at least for supplies



VP score is now very positive. I'm making a small gain on the airwar and from the Italian cities I hold.



But in practical terms the Strategic air war is not really showing much returns.

German stocks of oil, fuel and supplies are staying steady



This routine carries on up to the start of T47, when a high weather system arrives from Russia. Time to invade:




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Post #: 32
Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944 - 3/2/2015 8:56:28 AM   
loki100


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Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944

As the weather has now cleared across Northern Europe (and the forecast is good for next turn as well), its time to invade.

The first thing is a massive shift of air priorities to ground attacks.

Basically there is a dedicated 'unit' and 'interdiction' attack on each planned invasion beach (2 by Tactical Air, 2 by US 9 Air) using Fighter Bombers. As far as I can, I've stripped out secondary fuel tanks from all planes in order to maximise payload.

Behind those is an 'interdiction' mission by the US 8 Air. Finally Bomber Command and 8 Air are doing 'railway' attacks at choke points.

The intent is to severely weaken the units on the beaches, do some damage to German responses and generally undermine them by reducing supply.



Not shown, but coastal command is flying naval interdiction and Fighter Command has an AS box just to the east of the main landing areas to try and catch any German fighters.

The heavy bombers of Bomber Command and 15 Air carry on the strategic airwar.

Losses are fairly light (346 overall) and the ground attack aircraft take few losses (17 from tactical air and the same from 9 Air) which rather surprised me.

Lots of recon has given me a good idea what is where and pretty decent interdiction levels.



So the first wave set sail for France (all are at 90% preparation)



All landings, including the Paratroops, are made safely. Several German counterattacks are fairly easily handled.



The main shift in the airwar is to move the one hex Ground attack boxes one hex inland to target the German units. The rest is as before.



Losses though are a lot higher with 641 planes shot down but mostly reflecting a disastrous raid by Bomber Command (148 bombers and 22 escorts lost). 2 Tactical Air lost 33 and 9 Air 140 (perhaps reflecting their attacks on a cluster of Pzr divisions).

Again, decent levels of interdiction and reconnaissance.



I start pushing in a few fresh units and re-organise the corps sectors so that each is under the control of a single HQ.

German Oil production seems to be stalling under the sustained attack in Romania and elsewhere.



Vps to T47 are positive despite the increase in losses.



And since we are now concentrating on France, a change of image … Paris prepares for liberation



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RE: Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944 - 3/2/2015 12:31:24 PM   
jwolf

 

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Well, Anna was certainly more pleasant to the eye. Do you expect to land in additional spots in Northern France or just push harder from the one place?

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RE: Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944 - 3/2/2015 12:39:43 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Well, Anna was certainly more pleasant to the eye. Do you expect to land in additional spots in Northern France or just push harder from the one place?


I'll see what I can find for the next update

I used those 2 extra TFs the Allies get as reinforcements and have a 2 corps (under 3 US Army) invasion of the Netherlands in preparation. For the moment, I'm going to concentrate on Normandy and try to break out but if the Front stalls by the end of August, I'll do the second invasion.

I also need to think about setting up an invasion for S France, but want to optimise shipping in the Channel for the moment

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Post #: 35
RE: Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944 - 3/2/2015 2:38:14 PM   
Seminole


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I have a suggestion for your naval support:



You have four TF, but only need two in order to actually support your temporary ports.
However, if you left three and positioned them as shown above you could supply your temp ports AND shell his coastal positions 'for free' each turn:

quote:

In addition, Amphibious HQ units will
bombard any enemy units in adjacent land hexes at
the end of that players air execution phase, potentially
causing damage to ground elements. At the end of the
Western Allied player turn air execution phase, each
amphibious HQ unit will automatically bombard all
adjacent Axis ground units potentially causing damage
to some Axis ground elements in both the combat units
and any attached support units. Amphibious HQ units
project fighter naval patrols into water hexes within
2 hexes of the amphib HQ unit, representing carrier
based aircraft that can reduce enemy naval interdiction
(17.3.5). Level 1 and 2 ports that are adjacent to an
amphibious HQ unit are immediately fully repaired in
the Allied logistics phase.


I highlight that last part because I've yet to see mention of it in any AARs. Very useful to send a TF or two around Corsica and Sardinia repairing the small ports in a single turn.

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Post #: 36
RE: Turns 47-48: 20 May - 3 June 1944 - 3/2/2015 7:02:32 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

I have a suggestion for your naval support:

...

You have four TF, but only need two in order to actually support your temporary ports.
However, if you left three and positioned them as shown above you could supply your temp ports AND shell his coastal positions 'for free' each turn:

quote:

In addition, Amphibious HQ units will
bombard any enemy units in adjacent land hexes at
the end of that players air execution phase, potentially
causing damage to ground elements. At the end of the
Western Allied player turn air execution phase, each
amphibious HQ unit will automatically bombard all
adjacent Axis ground units potentially causing damage
to some Axis ground elements in both the combat units
and any attached support units. Amphibious HQ units
project fighter naval patrols into water hexes within
2 hexes of the amphib HQ unit, representing carrier
based aircraft that can reduce enemy naval interdiction
(17.3.5). Level 1 and 2 ports that are adjacent to an
amphibious HQ unit are immediately fully repaired in
the Allied logistics phase.


I highlight that last part because I've yet to see mention of it in any AARs. Very useful to send a TF or two around Corsica and Sardinia repairing the small ports in a single turn.


I'd stumbled on that outcome by accident, in an earlier test game, was wondering why some ports seemed to repair so quickly and went off to check the manual.

In this case, I'm going to keep the TFs in position for a few turns. It means I can concentrate naval interdiction a bit more out to sea and their addition combat bonus is very welcome. Given that I am not next to any ports and that German air responses are relatively weak I'm not risking too much ... I hope


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Post #: 37
Turns 49-50: 3 June – 16 June 1944 - 3/3/2015 7:52:01 AM   
loki100


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Turns 49-50: 3 June – 16 June 1944

Well by T48 I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Ashore in force in Normandy, tactical air feasting on the Germans, just a matter of time etc etc.

I think their maybe some quote somewhere about 'hubris'?

For T49 I decided to bring the Italian front back to some life. I'm not looking to attack north of Rome, but set up rail interdiction to choke off the flow of supplies. I've bombed pretty much every rail junction in Northern Italy so this should cause additional truck demands and losses.



In Normandy, I carry on with both trying to stem the flow of supplies and interdiction. The latter includes a behinds the lines effort generated by US 8 Air and a number of intense attacks on specific hexes (Tactical and 9 Air). I need to try and extend my beachhead as fast as I can.



The Luftwaffe tried to contest my air campaign leading to almost 1-1 loss ratio, with them taking very heavy losses around my various deeper raids or the supply interdiction bombing in Italy



Neither 2nd Tactical Air nor 8 Air are taking many outright losses due to flak but both are suffering a lot of damaged planes. In turn that is lowering morale and I'll need to start resting them from T50.

The Germans try to attack my two flank landing zones and both are repulsed with some ease. In turn, my primary target has been heavily hit by air interdiction, but it takes two attacks to dislodge it (so no chance to follow up)



Still that is one hex no longer fortified.

Turn 50 brought significant responses. This time the Germans attacked along the northern part of the front. The two beachhead attacks failed, but elements of VII US Corps that had formed by inland salient were badly defeated.



This led to a bit of a panic. It seems clear that the bulk of the German army is in Normandy and that any progress will be slow. To assist I now have two British armoured divisions in the beachhead (so more likely to be able to move into a vacated hex), but it seems that I am in for a bitter attritional battle (and facing a 1000 VP penalty for not taking enough ground)[1].

Although I have had to rest some air units, I decide its time to divert about 30% to support the landings in the Netherlands. Bomber Command is pulled off hitting Germany and provides the naval interdiction. In Normandy, my priority air target is Caen, if possible I'd like to turn the German response into a pocket, at least for their slower units.



Again actual losses are light, and I manage a 1-1 exchange with the Luftwaffe.



My main problem is the number of damaged planes in 9 Air and Tactical Air are lowering morale in the key FB squadrons. On the other hand, this time the Germans tried to contest the skies and a combination of Fighter Command on AS and well escorted 8 and 9 Air raids meant they took very heavy losses. As last turn, their defense in the south against 15 Air is also costing them a lot of planes.

Recon indicates a weak defense in the Netherlands so I decide to gamble.



The freshly arrived British and Canadian armour supports a massive attack on Caen shattering what is left of 2 Panzer Divisions.



Guards Armoured Division advances into the shattered town.



[1] – My view is this penalty is ok, it reflects the need for speed over caution that affected the Allies at key stages and stops me simply sitting on four well fortified hexes (plus the beach-head defense bonus) and inflicting losses using tactical air power.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/3/2015 9:02:20 AM >


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Post #: 38
Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 7:59:06 AM   
loki100


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Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944

On T51, my landings in the Netherlands were successful, apart from one paratroop brigade that was destroyed. The German response was immediate [1], but at least this relieved the pressure in Normandy.



I finally had to rest quite a lot of air units, not so much due to absolute losses as the impact of damaged planes on unit morale. The basic pattern of attacks carried on as before. I used 2 Tactical Air and 9 Air for direct attacks on specific hexes and level bombers to either interdict supply through specific hexes or movement behind the German lines. I also committed a lot of Fighter Command to the Netherlands. My logic here is looking at last turn's combat results, the Luftwaffe is fighting over the Netherlands and this is a good chance to inflict heavy losses.

Overall, loss ratio was near to 1-1, though I did have over 1000 damaged planes.



It is pretty clear the Luftwaffe is contesting the Netherlands but has abandoned Normandy. Since the P-47s are in range and able to escort in strength, the results are pretty good. Equally 15 Air's attacks around Vienna cause heavy interceptor losses.

In Normandy, I manage to expand the bridgehead, most battles are relatively easy to win, as the shown CV of many German units is vastly inflated (interdiction and supply constraints).



To add to the pressure, a fresh paratroop division is dropped on St Lo, driving out the German defenders and threatening their units to the north of my bridgehead with encirclement.

For T52, I keep to much the same pattern. This time 9 Air provides close air support in the Netherlands and 2 Tactical Air in Normandy.

VP situation has turned a bit against me reflecting the losses from the ground fighting.



I decide to let the heavy bombers of Bomber Command go back to night bombing in Germany as I want to test the effectiveness of directly bombing specific factories.



For various reasons the result is much more combat and heavy losses on both sides.



The Luftwaffe takes heavy losses in the Netherlands and in respect of both strategic air-raids. The two bombing raids (coded with 1) show that they are taking heavy losses trying to resist my raids. Those marked 2 are the air actions over the Netherlands, the Luftwaffe has effectively abandoned Normandy.

Bomber Command is remarkably accurate at Magdeburg, especially as I've switched the bomb loads of the Lancasters from incendiaries to conventional bombs.



In the Netherlands, I manage a small advance towards Dordrecht and slightly expand my beachhead. I can now land the HQ units and bring in a few reinforcements.



In Normandy, I manage to break out, the three armoured divisions of XIII British Corps clear the north bank of the Orne and almost reach Vire. In the north British and American armour reach the outskirts of Cherbourg only to find the port is strongly defended.





With my beachheads secure I start redeploying planes. Short ranged aircraft from Tactical Air and Fighter Command go to Normandy. In the Netherlands, I deploy escorts for both Bomber Command and 8 Air, as 9 Air can provide good cover from the UK.

[1] – which calls into doubt the effectiveness of my obsession with bombing rail yards

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/4/2015 9:02:01 AM >


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Post #: 39
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 12:42:00 PM   
jwolf

 

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From my amateur's point of view it looks like the main effect of the Dutch landings was to ease pressure at Normandy and allow something of a breakout there. Well done.

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Post #: 40
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 1:35:51 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

In Normandy, I manage to break out, the three armoured divisions of XIII British Corps clear the north bank of the Orne and almost reach Vire. In the north British and American armour reach the outskirts of Cherbourg only to find the port is strongly defended.


Be interesting to see how the attention of 6 TFs contributes to cracking that nut. I try not to read too far into the tea leaves of the battle reports detail section, but I get the impression those big naval guns contribute heavily to disruption.

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Post #: 41
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 7:08:28 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

From my amateur's point of view it looks like the main effect of the Dutch landings was to ease pressure at Normandy and allow something of a breakout there. Well done.


aye, that was my emergency option, I wasn't sure about risking it but the Luftwaffe is clearly running out of steam in this game, with escorts vs interceptors I am trading losses at 1-1, so I guess I've culled all the at-start experienced pilots. With that I could risk splitting the airforce into two so as to dominate over two landing zones.

In terms of disrupting the AI it worked better than I expected, I suspect the AI left itself no reserve and logically decided to protect the direct route to the Reich ... but now I need to make sure I liberate my mother-in-laws house, I'm sure she doesn't appreciate being on the front line

quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

quote:

In Normandy, I manage to break out, the three armoured divisions of XIII British Corps clear the north bank of the Orne and almost reach Vire. In the north British and American armour reach the outskirts of Cherbourg only to find the port is strongly defended.


Be interesting to see how the attention of 6 TFs contributes to cracking that nut. I try not to read too far into the tea leaves of the battle reports detail section, but I get the impression those big naval guns contribute heavily to disruption.


Looking at the detail, its a combination. About 50% of the elements were already disrupted due to air attacks, so that will be 4-5 weeks of constant interdiction and also being the direct target of 200 typhoons in turn. A lot more were disrupted by artillery, from WiTE I really like the effect of massed artillery on cohesion and the British/US stuff seems to be better gun for gun than the Soviets.

So by the time the fighting started, their command and control was wrecked, hence the catastrophic collapse in CV. That has been happening in battle after battle.

Def shows the medium term impact of sustained interdiction and supply line attacks

oh and thanks for the tip about the deployment of the TFs, in effect that is a lot more disruption inflicted for free on the defenders


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Post #: 42
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 7:15:55 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
...the British/US [artillery] seems to be better gun for gun than the Soviets.



Is this true? I'm asking in ignorance without any axe to grind on any side. My impression was that the Western Allies relied on air power whereas the Soviets relied on massed arty. Of course they all used everything they had, but that is the stereotype picture I have in mind.

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Post #: 43
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 7:31:23 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
...the British/US [artillery] seems to be better gun for gun than the Soviets.



Is this true? I'm asking in ignorance without any axe to grind on any side. My impression was that the Western Allies relied on air power whereas the Soviets relied on massed arty. Of course they all used everything they had, but that is the stereotype picture I have in mind.


Allied artillery on a per gun basis was better. More coordinated, better communications, more responsive, superior artillery technique.

What the Soviets had was mass, but quantity has a quality of its own. The Soviet artillery technique was brutally effective but required a good deal of preplanning and positioning to pull off. Soviet deception techniques were arguably better, and they had to be, given their build up times.

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Post #: 44
RE: Turns 51-52: 17 June – 30 June 1944 - 3/4/2015 8:30:33 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
...the British/US [artillery] seems to be better gun for gun than the Soviets.



Is this true? I'm asking in ignorance without any axe to grind on any side. My impression was that the Western Allies relied on air power whereas the Soviets relied on massed arty. Of course they all used everything they had, but that is the stereotype picture I have in mind.


As Flaviusx says, there were advantages to both doctrinal approaches. The Soviets never managed the forward observer concept so all artillery was by line of sight (the usual role for the 76mm divisional guns) or by the map. The best Soviet commanders came up with sophisticated and effective blocks of plans and could shift between them fairly promptly, the worst fired by the map at a given point and hoped.

Equally the Soviets made a lot of use of WW1 guns, all those howitzers in your pools at the start. Like a lot of WW1 vintage artillery the actual HE was weak, so the shells were deadly as shrapnel but less so as explosives.

But the allies couldn't generate anything like the sort of mid/late war barrages the Soviets could manage for a set piece attack. Nor could they emulate how effective the Soviets were at tucking a lot of equipment into a very small space but still retain fire discipline (Tolbukhin's offensive on the lower Dniester in late 1944 is a classic eg).

In game, my instinct is the allied artillery has more experience than the Soviets, so that will count and the SU allocation is more reliable.

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Post #: 45
Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 7:56:28 AM   
loki100


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Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944

T53 started with much the same pattern of AI moves and deployment as T52. It is heavily dug in around my landings in the Netherlands and still contesting Normandy. My air response is much the same, 9 Air does interdiction strikes in the Netherlands, 2 Tactical Air in Normandy. Most of 8 Air and Bomber Command are also on various forms of interdiction behind the immediate front line. Bomber Command carries on with night raids at Magdeburg. 15 Air is still bombing Ploesti into the ground and goes for the PzIV factories at Steyr [1]

This time my air losses are a fair bit higher, both destroyed and damaged.



As in the last turns, my strategic raids led to heavier losses among the German interceptors than among my own escorts. Equally there is intense air action over the Netherlands but I have the skies over Normandy to myself.

Steyr is reduced to rubble and Magdeburg takes more damage.



In the Netherlands, I land my last HQ formations and a single tank division (till I get a port I don't want to create heavy supply demands). Reinforce my units facing Dordrecht and send a single Infantry Division over to liberate Walcheren.



Normandy sees a massive breakout, again seemingly powerful defensive stacks just fall apart in combat.



The three armoured divisions of British XII Corps create a narrow corridor towards Mortain all but cutting off the German units still on the peninsular.

Finally, nothing happens in Italy. I've slowly followed a limited German withdrawal but no attacks since the Rome battles in late winter.



Here, I think is a rare instance of the AI making a mistake. It clearly has far too many units screening my front, not enough to launch an offensive but far too many just to defend. It may be that my relentless rail bombing has reduced its capacity to move but I think those units would be more use in France?

Turn 54, and the VP situation is still negative, reflecting ground losses and much less attention being paid to the strategic air war.



In Normandy, I create one corps with the bulk of the Allied heavy artillery (and lots of engineers in the assigned rifle divisions). I'll use this to take out the coastal ports, not least I really need Cherbourg.



But the big news on T54 is that the Germans are on the run from Normandy. A sensible choice given the ease of my victories and that they were threatened with a massive encirclement.



In response, I rest most of 2 Tactical Air, try to set up some interdiction efforts around some escape routes and allow 8 Air to return to strategic bombing in the Ruhr. 15 Air has run out of targets in Romania so shifts to S Germany.

Losses are down reflecting the lower intensity of air operations. I lose 387 (1118 damaged) and shoot down 255 (241 damaged). Again contesting the strategic air raids costs the Luftwaffe a lot of planes.

In France, 2 British Army takes control of the bulk of the armoured divisions and, supported by Paratroop drops, crosses the Seine and liberates Paris. 1 US Army is protecting the rear areas and will send some formations to besiege the Atlantic ports.



Looking at the strategic resources, German oil stores are starting to dip



They have lost about 1,000 AFV (net) in the last 4 weeks



In Italy, I'm afraid that Anna decided she was bored waiting for the Allies to do something, so undertook her own offensive with disastrous results




[1] – having done so much damage to the Pzr divisions, I'd like to stop them rebuilding if I can

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Post #: 46
RE: Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 12:58:49 PM   
jwolf

 

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Amazing breakout in France. The Germans just fell apart. Did they overreact to the Dutch landing?

As for Anna, the soldiers don't seem to concerned about her for some reason...

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Post #: 47
RE: Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 3:06:40 PM   
ParaB

 

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Very interesting turn of events.


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Post #: 48
RE: Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 4:46:32 PM   
decourcy2

 

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Thanks for posting all of this.
The thing i am most impressed about is the AI is doing a credible job on defense, obviously the AI cannot play the Allies but as Germans, not bad.

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Post #: 49
RE: Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 5:13:55 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

The thing i am most impressed about is the AI is doing a credible job on defense, obviously the AI cannot play the Allies but as Germans, not bad.


The AI isn't hampered by the same logistical considerations as a human opponent when building a line. It is allowed to essentially 'teleport' units around (ignoring ground interdiction effects) to try and finish each turn with a more solid defensive line.

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Post #: 50
RE: Turns 53-54: 1 July – 13 July 1944 - 3/5/2015 6:54:29 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

As for Anna, the soldiers don't seem to concerned about her for some reason...


ah but the very next scene in the film leads to this:




quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Amazing breakout in France. The Germans just fell apart. Did they overreact to the Dutch landing?



quote:

ORIGINAL: ParaB

Very interesting turn of events.




quote:

ORIGINAL: decourcy2

Thanks for posting all of this.
The thing i am most impressed about is the AI is doing a credible job on defense, obviously the AI cannot play the Allies but as Germans, not bad.


I think it has too much in Italy, that must be harming its chances in France, but overall its very neat at getting out of pockets. I catch a few slower units but most have escaped. The other thing it does very well is to leave strong defences in each port, that means I can't really sort out my supplies and in turn will give it a decent chance to recover and rebuild a line in Belgium.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

quote:

The thing i am most impressed about is the AI is doing a credible job on defense, obviously the AI cannot play the Allies but as Germans, not bad.


The AI isn't hampered by the same logistical considerations as a human opponent when building a line. It is allowed to essentially 'teleport' units around (ignoring ground interdiction effects) to try and finish each turn with a more solid defensive line.


Overall I don't mind the AI getting a help here and there to compensate. Another thing I've noticed with the WiTW AI is it keeps its OOB sensible, rather than the chaos of elite Pzr units in Hungarian corps that you find in WiTE.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/5/2015 7:55:46 PM >


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Post #: 51
Turns 55-56: 15 July – 28 July 1944 - 3/6/2015 10:08:10 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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Turns 55-56: 15 July – 28 July 1944

With the massive German retreat I shift the pattern of my air attacks. Still a lot of interdiction over the Netherlands and I start directly bombing the units defending Cherbourg and Le Havre. Take some of the B-17s of 8 Air and return them to bombing the Ruhr, with fighter cover now from the bases on the Dutch coast this is becoming a death trap for the Luftwaffe. 15 Air carries on bombing Southern Germany.

I also shift mission design for the strategic bombers to include multiple hexes with the number of missions set for each hex where I want to see activity. This clearly improves the commitment of planes but also runs the risk of heavier losses (have started doing the same in my PBEM).



Actual air losses remain light, though I have lots of damaged planes (and this is meaning lower morale in many units).



The RAF night raid on the Ruhr seems to confirm that this new bombing pattern can be effective and 8 Air shows a similar improvement in the damage inflicted



In both it helps that the Luftwaffe is effectively powerless to protect the cities.

Air recon seems to indicate the Germans are digging in around Brussels. So I decide to gamble and push at least to the Belgian border with the armour while other units move down to the Loire and into Brittany. The image below is actually from the end of T56 as I was able to carry on moving with no contact for both turns. Supply is holding up ok, but I need to capture ports before I can engage in any more combat.



Cherbourg proves to be tough. The first attack (T55) I knew was going to fail but want to burn off the ammunition and supplies of the defenders.



Next time I am also going to move the TF units to help out, no longer worried about losses with them as the only remaining planned invasions are in Southern France.

For the air war in T56 I kept to a similar pattern of attacks.

Bomber Command again delivered pretty impressive results and 8 Air damaged key factories around Cologne



By the end of T56, my rail net has reached Paris and I have the start of a sequence of depots. However, from the beachheads I am landing about 20% of the supply I need, so there is a need for rigorous priorities to be imposed.



VP remains negative, mainly due to the relatively heavy losses I am sustaining and a lack of attention to the V-weapon sites.



And, for a change, here's a picture of some Lancaster bombers:



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Post #: 52
RE: Turns 55-56: 15 July – 28 July 1944 - 3/6/2015 3:27:34 PM   
Seminole


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Joined: 7/28/2011
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quote:

Next time I am also going to move the TF units to help out, no longer worried about losses with them as the only remaining planned invasions are in Southern France.


I don't think you'll have to worry about them suffering much (if any) in the way of losses by providing supporting fire. Just don't leave them next to enemy ports at the end of the turn.

quote:

Overall I don't mind the AI getting a help here and there to compensate.


I understand handicapping, but obviating the knock on effects of ground interdiction robs a particular flavor from the game. I think people also build false impressions about the efficacy of certain practices because of how they affect the AI vs. real opponents.
Don't get me wrong, I love the game has AI. AI is already ready to send back another turn and wants to play any scenario to the end.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 53
RE: Turns 55-56: 15 July – 28 July 1944 - 3/6/2015 10:22:11 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7761
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

quote:

Next time I am also going to move the TF units to help out, no longer worried about losses with them as the only remaining planned invasions are in Southern France.


I don't think you'll have to worry about them suffering much (if any) in the way of losses by providing supporting fire. Just don't leave them next to enemy ports at the end of the turn.

quote:

Overall I don't mind the AI getting a help here and there to compensate.


I understand handicapping, but obviating the knock on effects of ground interdiction robs a particular flavor from the game. I think people also build false impressions about the efficacy of certain practices because of how they affect the AI vs. real opponents.
Don't get me wrong, I love the game has AI. AI is already ready to send back another turn and wants to play any scenario to the end.


re TFs its clear they are a much more potent part of the Allies weaponry than appears at first sight, certainly more than just the means to deliver your invasions etc

aye, see what you mean, its one thing for the AI to do some things more efficiently than a player would but its a bit frustrating when rules are effectively suspended, especially as I'd set up a couple of interdiction zones precisely to limit wider movement. Still it seems as if I trapped a few regiments/divisions in addition to the various port garrisons

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Post #: 54
Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 8:41:34 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7761
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
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Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944

For T57 not that much happened. I decided to let my assault troops at Cherbourg rest a turn while carrying on massive interdiction and unit attacks. In the Netherlands, elements of 8 and 9 Air carry on interdiction and supply suppression of the German units blocking me in. On the Franco-Belgian border, more allied units arrive as I push forward the supply lines and start to deploy some short range fighters and fighter-bombers to bases around Lille.

The main issue was a truly disastrous raid by Bomber Command on the Ruhr. I've been playing around with settings and decided to risk a relatively low altitude night raid. Well it did a lot of damage both to the Ruhr and my air units.



The effect of that was having to rest almost the entire BC for T58, not so much for outright losses as all that damage in turn lowered the morale of many squadrons.

The other raid of any note was 15 Air on Ingolstadt. Since I have a lack of targets for 15 Air now I decided to blow up the Me-262 factories. Not at all sure if this really matters, but it was very satisfying.



Overall VP remains negative, especially as I have been neglecting the V-weapon campaign.



So for T58 I decide to correct for this. The main mission of 8 Air is to hit the V-weapon test bases on the Baltic.



In the Med, Tactical Air and the Naval assets start to build up for the planned landings.

Overall the air war worked out better with a return to more conventional tactics. I lost 269 (962 damaged) and shot down 215.

Cherbourg fell relatively easily in the end. All those heavy guns, 4 task forces and a lot of air attacks pretty much meant the defenders were keen to surrender after a brief show of resistance. Next stop for the VII Corps road show is Le Havre, which is already a lot weaker (I guess lack of supply and some limited bombing)



You can see the impact of all those big naval guns:



End of turn, I'm rather stuck where I am at the moment till I can clear out more of those fortified ports. Its not just the supply problem but also that each is tieing down at least a division and I don't have that many spare formations.



In the east, the Red Army approaches Warsaw



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Post #: 55
RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 1:07:23 PM   
jwolf

 

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Looks like the capture of Cherbourg really improved your rear situation, and each new port cleaned out will help similarly.

Does the Eastern Front simply follow historical progress?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 56
RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 2:18:06 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7761
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Looks like the capture of Cherbourg really improved your rear situation, and each new port cleaned out will help similarly.

Does the Eastern Front simply follow historical progress?


yes, it'll take time for the port to work but at least VII corps can move onto Le Havre and that Canadian division split down at Le Havre can move to cover the next port and so on. I'm not going to worry about the ports in Western France (though that may depend on how many reinforcements I gain).

I *think*, against the AI, the East Front is historical, certainly the game ends with the Soviet capture of Berlin unless I manage to reach it first in early May 1945

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Post #: 57
RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 2:32:55 PM   
Seminole


Posts: 1665
Joined: 7/28/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944

You can see the impact of all those big naval guns:



Preach it, brother, preach it!

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 58
RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 8:15:24 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7761
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline
aye, I think the issue is to conceptually realise what those TFs really represent. At first its easy to focus on them as specialist transport units, but in truth they are a huge force multiplier, especially once you have done most of your effective landings. Moving those 4 TFs along the Channel coast is a bit like parking a death star over each axis strongpoint

Just have to hope the German AI has never seen star wars ....

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Post #: 59
RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/10/2015 8:52:27 PM   
jwolf

 

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Joined: 12/3/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

Just have to hope the German AI has never seen star wars ....


Heh. Would a V2 take them out?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 60
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