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RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944

 
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RE: Turns 57-58: 29 July – 11 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 10:18:14 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

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


Heh. Would a V2 take them out?


don't tell Pelton, he'll start arguing that the Germans should have SSMs in the game

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Post #: 61
Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 10:21:08 AM   
loki100


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Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944

In northern Europe the main front remained stalled. I'm at the limit of supply receipt. No point pushing forward if my armour is then left with very low MP and combat values are wrecked by lack of supply. In fact, the Germans managed a small counterattack on a broken down French armoured division at the southern end of the front.



In the air, the two turns saw essentially similar patterns. The German defense at Le Havre was hit on both turns and I kept up bombing the Ruhr. This now is a death trap for German fighters as the bases on the Dutch Coast are full of escorts for both 8 Air and Bomber Command.



I'm losing 450-550 planes each turn with Bomber Command suffering heavily over Berlin but equally destroying a lot of German night fighters.

It was in the Med that things happened. Making the final preparations for the invasion of S France I spotted this ...



But more important was this:



VP situation for T59 went negative mainly due to additional losses in the new wave of landings.



The bulk of my air in the Med was then assigned to help 7 Army break out.



After reinforcing the landings (for the first time I am running short of available transport vessels), I'll split the army up. The infantry can push into Liguria and the armour into the Rhone valley. Looks like I'll have the usual slow task of clearing out each port one by one.



On which subject, the death star (and VII Corps) arrives at Le Havre



This fell much easier than Cherbourg as I think supply has been interdicted for much longer (my landings in the Netherlands probably are helping in this respect).

Next two ports on the list are level 2 so will be quick to repair.

As more units arrive to flesh out my front line, I start to concentrate the armour for a renewed offensive in Belgium. I also have an ambitious airborne drop planned to force the Rhine in the Liege-Maastricht region.



The supply map mode is my new obsession. Situation is not that great but is slowly improving. 1 Canadian Army in the West is set to level 1 for supply. I'm happy/resigned to just siege the Atlantic ports.




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Post #: 62
RE: Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 1:25:40 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

This fell much easier than Cherbourg


You initially assaulted Cherbourg without the TFs in support too.

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Post #: 63
RE: Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 1:50:42 PM   
ParaB

 

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Thanks for that AAR Loki, really enjoy reading it.


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Post #: 64
RE: Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 5:16:59 PM   
marion61

 

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What are you using to get all those pics on as one pic? Your editing the pics in a program and then making them one pic so the server will take them right?

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Post #: 65
RE: Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/11/2015 5:23:10 PM   
JocMeister

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: meklore61

What are you using to get all those pics on as one pic? Your editing the pics in a program and then making them one pic so the server will take them right?


He uploads them to an external site and then link the images to his AAR using the [IMG] tag.

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Post #: 66
RE: Turns 59-60: 12 – 25 August 1944 - 3/12/2015 9:08:52 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Seminole

quote:

This fell much easier than Cherbourg


You initially assaulted Cherbourg without the TFs in support too.


True, but its a combination. When I was initially attacking Cherbourg, the stack at Le Havre was about 70 cv so lack of supply and regular bombing has helped, but I agree that the 'death star' (tm applied for) is the decisive element

quote:

ORIGINAL: ParaB

Thanks for that AAR Loki, really enjoy reading it.



Glad its useful, realised there were no other vs AI AARs while I suspect most people play that way. One reason I've stuck more or less to the historical pattern is I'm interested to see if there is any way to win (as defined by VPs) using that approach

quote:

ORIGINAL: meklore61

What are you using to get all those pics on as one pic? Your editing the pics in a program and then making them one pic so the server will take them right?

quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister
...

He uploads them to an external site and then link the images to his AAR using the [IMG] tag.


I originally started doing AARs on the Paradox and then the AGEOD forums and for both you need an image hosting site for any pictures. I found 'imageshack' to be convenient, it used to be free (but a bit unreliable), its now something like $10 per year and a lot more reliable, so I've stuck with it.

my grumble is that the software for this forum doesn't accept the default syntax so I need to rewrite the code for each image - doesn't take long but its a minor irritant.

All the actual image editing is done using paint.net which I find more than adequate for my purposes and I use faststone capture to get the images. Since this stores the image (either full screen or partial), allows some editing even at that stage, as a file on your computer its a lot easier than using the 'print-screen'function as I can just take a load of images as I play and worry about selection and combination later.

The freeware version only allows full screen images, its good but last time I checked it came with a really annoying and hard to remove bit of software that hi-jacks your search engine. The paid version is free of this nonsense and also allows you to make videos as well as still images. Worth it for me as I do a lot of copying web sites either as an evidence chain or to extract graphs/tables etc.


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Post #: 67
Turns 61-62: 26 August – 8 September 1944 - 3/12/2015 9:14:54 AM   
loki100


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Turns 61-62: 26 August – 8 September 1944

As in 1943, there is now a feeling of time running out. All this nice weather and I can't press on to Berlin ... a measure of how well the new logistics system works.

On the land in N Europe not that much happens. Another small German attack drives back an isolated broken down regiment. Fortunately as I reduce the German held ports I'm slowly able to fill out my front lines.

Strategic bombing has now settled to a steady pattern. 8 US goes for the Ruhr every turn, mainly as the Germans need to contest this and I'm able to bring in a lot of P-47s.

This is the bombing pattern for T62:



Elsewhere I'm mixing specific targets (AFVs and Fuel production) with HI attacks across a range of cities. I also commit the Fbs from Tactical Air to Belgium to start to weaken the German forces in that region.



Overall air losses are around 400, but still lots of damaged planes (especially linked to bombing German defenders in various ports). I'm getting better at encouraging each air directive to generate multiple raids, this shows the results of 8 Air in the Ruhr for the two turns:



And the Leipzig/Chemnitz raids of T62:



Dieppe is the next stop for the Death Star, Etaples follows the next turn.



As in the opening comments, in N Europe, my main issue is supply:



At least both Dieppe and Etaples can be immediately repaired. As you can see my front line is badly strung out, but I'm trying to defend as divisions and keep a small reserve in case of a major German offensive.

In the south of France, making fairly quick progress. I think I'll be able to take both Toulon and Marseilles quite quickly and may be able to outflank the German defensive lines on the Italian border.



The Italian Front itself remains a stalemate. Some land reconnaissance indicates they are still very strong and well dug in.



VP situation is ok. If I can break the German lines in Belgium before winter I think I should be ok for a draw.



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Post #: 68
Turns 63 – 64: 9 September – 22 September 1944 - 3/13/2015 8:24:28 AM   
loki100


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Turns 63 – 64: 9 September – 22 September 1944

My strong suspicion is that in these two turns I effectively lost the game (at least as defined by victory points).

The strategic air war carried on as usual. One group from 8 Air hit the Ruhr, the other moved around (on T63 did the first day light raid on Berlin), Bomber Command split into two and attacked various clusters of targets. For 15 Air I'm really out of targets, especially now the Soviet front is deep into Romania.

Since I raised the intensity of raids by adding an extra day (so most missions were flown on 4 days), overall air losses for the two turns were 1,100 planes destroyed. I'm trying to compensate for the lower VP multiplier by doing even more damage per turn. I really think the Luftwaffe is finished, even the Berlin raid met little fighter cover:



The main dynamics were on land. In the north, I wanted to let VII Corps have a turn to rest (and Boulogne had a strong garrison), so decided to clear out one of the Brittany ports. While I am content to leave these strongpoints, I'd like to free up some of units and another level 2 port will help a little with supply. The Death Star is sent ...



But the lack of bombing shows (as does lack of supply for the attackers).

So, after that lack of success, decide its time to take Toulon



Ok this is going very well.

After two disasters, I decide its third time lucky.

I'd managed to concentrate a lot of armour in the British 2 Army on the Franco-Belgian border and enough supply to give me decent MP values. 2 Army is #4 for supply allocation compared to US 1 Army at #2 and everything else at #1. Most of its formations had around 75% of the supply they needed.

The result was a major offensive into Belgium with the fall of Brussels and a massive paratroop operation around Liege. Hopefully this will shake loose the German forces in the Netherlands, freeing up US 3 Army for the final invasion of the Reich.



I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Till the AI did its response.



As you can see my Paratroops have been sent back to Northern Ireland.

As partial reward, St Brieuc and Toulon fall



And I manage to consolidate my hold on southern Belgium. US 9 Air hits their defences to the north of Brussels, Tactical Air goes for the south and east of my salient. Really I am suffering for a lack of units as its hard to guard my flanks and concentrate to attack, but especially here individual regiments are beaten up by still powerful German forces.



I think its now a race as to who can consoldate the quickest. Its clear the fighting, and my tactical air power, has weakened the Germans. But then the AI hasn't reduced its forces in the Netherlands.

The net effect of the losses on T63 are bad news for my prospects



Still, a Canadian armoured division from 7 Army has almost cleared the Rhone valley, almost reaching the southern flank of the French units facing Belfort. Should help with the city based VP score.

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Post #: 69
RE: Turns 63 – 64: 9 September – 22 September 1944 - 3/13/2015 10:58:07 AM   
ParaB

 

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Ouch, three airborne and an armoured div routed, that's got to hurt.

I already had a bad feeling when looking at the 1st pic that showed your offensive into Belgium and the para drops. Quite a bit too ambitious IMO considering the Germans still were far from broken.


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Post #: 70
RE: Turns 63 – 64: 9 September – 22 September 1944 - 3/13/2015 12:54:05 PM   
jwolf

 

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Well, you really put the airborne troops out on a limb. Good to see a nice aggressive AI counterattack.

It would be cool if, as you hinted, your southern France operation opened up the Italian Front from the north, although this looks like a long shot.

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Post #: 71
RE: Turns 63 – 64: 9 September – 22 September 1944 - 3/14/2015 10:57:03 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ParaB

Ouch, three airborne and an armoured div routed, that's got to hurt.

I already had a bad feeling when looking at the 1st pic that showed your offensive into Belgium and the para drops. Quite a bit too ambitious IMO considering the Germans still were far from broken.




quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Well, you really put the airborne troops out on a limb. Good to see a nice aggressive AI counterattack.

It would be cool if, as you hinted, your southern France operation opened up the Italian Front from the north, although this looks like a long shot.


Yep not my best ever move. I really hoped to set a bait that would force the AI to pull back in the Netherlands, as it was it had enough to deal with my incursion on the front in eastern France. Wanted to try it out as an experiment, certainly not a trick for a PBEM game.

I think I'm struggling for a lack of ability to keep the entire front under pressure. The supply to 2 British Army has only just started to slowly build up by very ruthless in terms of priorities.

The payback may be that the German army has had to move around a lot in a region where my tactical bombers are hunting in large packs. Since I have also been hitting the PzIV/V factories, my hope is this set of losses are going to be very hard for the Germans to recover from.

The Cannes landing will give me S France and I can feed a lot of 7 Army into the main sector, at the least to fill out the front. The direct road to Italy is well blocked and given the VP/casualty dynamic there is no way am I going to attack on a marginal sector. So the only remaining option in Italy is a landing at the top of the Adriatic. I probably have enough spare units and naval assets to organise this but given the time of year it'll be a 1945 operation.


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Post #: 72
Turns 65-66: 23 September – 6 October 1944 - 3/16/2015 4:13:41 PM   
loki100


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Turns 65-66: 23 September – 6 October 1944

The air war in these turns followed its usual patterns. All the FB formations are hitting German positions in Belgium. Some level bomber squadrons from Bomber Command and 8 Air are attacking which ever of the Channel forts I am dealing with. The rest of BC and 8 Air are travelling around Germany looking for targets. 15 Air has almost run out of targets, on T65 it hit Budapest for the HI and oil production.

This is the target map for T65 when I prioritised the Baltic V-weapon factories.



Losses are steady at around 350 per turn (and 1300-1400 damaged) and I'm generating decent interdiction values in Belgium and the southern Netherlands.



The problem is supply, I've burnt off the stocks I'd built up (I really like this aspect of WiTW, far better than the WiTE version) and even dealing with those German units that are cut off is proving a challenge.



In the South, first Marseilles and, then (T66) Nice fall as the 'wee' death star makes it visits.



On the channel, Boulogne (just) holds out but falls easily next turn.



Since I'd occupied the entire Rhone valley all of southern and western France, apart from the ports, was liberated on T66.



Having effectively stopped active operations, supply slowly improves as reinforcements help fill out my armies in Eastern France (and some of 7 Army is transferred to reinforce 9 Army around Belfort).



VP situation starts to improve, in part due to the increasing number of cities I have liberated.



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Post #: 73
RE: Turns 65-66: 23 September – 6 October 1944 - 3/16/2015 5:44:05 PM   
jwolf

 

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Did Vichy France cease to exist? Or is there some event that transferred control to Allies? Or was it really true that the Germans just didn't have anybody left there, except for Bordeaux and the other port to the north of there?

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Post #: 74
RE: Turns 65-66: 23 September – 6 October 1944 - 3/17/2015 8:38:06 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Did Vichy France cease to exist? Or is there some event that transferred control to Allies? Or was it really true that the Germans just didn't have anybody left there, except for Bordeaux and the other port to the north of there?


in game, I think that when my units pushing up the Rhone met with the southern flank of 9 Army then everything not actually containing a German unit/zoc flipped as it was cut off from direct overland contact.

In reality, Vichy survived right up to May 1945. The Germans maintained the fiction that it was the legitimate govt of France and it was notionally in control of the narrow strip of France (around Belfort at the Swiss border) they still occupied.

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Post #: 75
Turns 67-68: 7 – 20 October 1944 - 3/17/2015 8:41:50 AM   
loki100


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Turns 67-68: 7 – 20 October 1944

The first of these turns saw extremely bad weather in northern Europe leading to a suspension of both air and ground combat (handy as it allowed another turn for supplies to recover). The only action of note was a sustained campaign by 15 Air and Med Tactical Air to hit the supply lines to the German units in central Italy.

T68 saw a renewal of the air war and with most squadrons now well rested a lot more activity. Bomber Command hit Berlin and the Ruhr at night, 8 Air hit the Ruhr and around Hannover and 15 Air (in addition to attacking northern Italy) bombed Prague.

Bomber Command had one of its better weeks. The raids on both Berlin and the Ruhr were effective



But US 8 Air inflicted devastating damage on the Ruhr



On land, Calais was the next port cleared. Just to be sure the biggest death star yet was assembled (all 6 TF)



In Belgium, the small improvement in supply encouraged a renewal of the offensive. Not least it was clear that the sustained generation of interdiction levels at #6+ was having a devastating effect. Panzer Lehr had been reduced to a mere shell with no combat ready elements allowing the Allies to force the Demer with little actual fighting.



Taking advantage of the collapse of the German front 4 Canadian Armour forced the line of the Maas and captured Maastricht [1].



In addition, fresh formations were slowly reaching the front, allowing US 1 Army to start to concentrate for a renewal of its own offensive to the south of 2 British.

Finally, for the first time in months, the Italian front saw action. US 5 Army broke the German line just south of Siena as sustained supply shortages had weakened the defenders.



In VP turns, the situation is starting to improve again. Relatively high city VP helps as does having bombed out most of the V-weapon sites.



However, although I think I am stopping supply reaching the German front line units on a few sectors there is little evidence that they have major problems overall. Fuel stores are down a little over recent turns:



As is their total supply situation



But neither indicates they are on the edge of a massive problem.


[1] Spent ages on this move, it had a decent MP as it had been in the rear of 2 Army and could have reached Eindhoven. This might have forced the AI to abandon its positions around Antwerp or might have seen the Canadians cut off. In the end a secure bridgehead over the Maas seemed a valuable gain and easier to exploit.

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Post #: 76
Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944 - 3/19/2015 8:22:27 AM   
loki100


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Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944

Slightly frustrating 2 weeks (but in a good realistic way). The weather remained fairly clear but supply limits stopped me taking full advantage.

The air war is clearly in its end phase. The Luftwaffe is now taking substantial losses when it tries to intercept and the bulk of my losses are now flak. In an attempt to push up the VP reward I'm bombing 3-4 days a week (also expecting bad weather soon), so my losses are around 600 but I have so many available bomber squadrons that even with a lot resting, I'm steadily flattening Germany.

The other thing I am doing is scrapping a few units. In particular I'm concentrating my remaining recon planes in a few near full strength formations rather than trying to cope with lots of badly under-strength units (and recreating a small reserve pool as a result).

Actual pattern of bombing is keeping to the same rough structure. 8 Air and BC hit the Ruhr (day and night respectively) and then have a second set of attacks somewhere else. On T69 'somewhere else' was BC hitting the Silesian industrial centres and 8 Air going for the axis fuel production around Leipzig.



Tactical Air (both British and 9 Air) shifted to hitting Flanders and the western Netherlands, I'd like, if possible to pocket Antwerp and release 3 Army from its narrow coastal strip.

I'll only show one detailed bombing result but really to make the point that night bombing with BC does work. Damage is variable but steady and I really just do not think its at all realistic to use them over Germany by day in any case.



Next up for the death star was Dunkirk



In Italy I managed small gains in southern Tuscany and in the east the Red Army rumbles forward.



The death star then moved to Ostend



This frees up the US VII corps that has been the core of this effort. The level 2 ports I've taken have all helped ease my supply position. More importantly that now means that US 1 Army can take over the flanks allowing 2 British to concentrate for the next major offensive. Equally, another corps arrives at the southern end of the line (originally from 7 Army) helping to fill out that sector and allowing the creation of another small reserve.

I think I have given up on paratroop drops so the para divisions are being slotted into the line south of US 1 Army. I'm keeping some of the arriving US armour divisions in the UK at the moment as I don't want to over-stress my marginal supply lines.



Even so, finally I have a proper front along the Franco-German border and can concentrate for a renewal of the main offensive.

VP is steadily improving so I'm now thinking a draw is quite a likely outcome.



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Post #: 77
RE: Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944 - 3/20/2015 12:30:54 AM   
Spurius Evidens

 

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Most informative and entertaining indeed. As one of the many (I suspect) that lurk in the corridors of this forum and eavesdrop on you guys talking by the virtual water cooler this is a great read, and a whole lot more fun than sitting down and reading the manual from cover to cover, given that I have WitE and basically just want to see what's different. So I'd like to pose a few questions vis-a-vis your assessment of how your campaign sits at the moment, not in any way as an implied criticism but because I think I'll get some well considered answers.

1) It seems the Med was done about as economically as you could, you got D-Day down about a week early, and you've gutted the Luftwaffe as well as having hit much manpower and such, but it seems lack of supply is holding your offensive back. I haven't yet mentioned the Netherlands landings since they're an interesting point. If I may digress for a moment I've always found the Netherlands easy to invade but impossible to break out from until the main front reaches it, going back to Avalon Hill's '77 game D-Day, but here any argument that it has dissipated the force of the main front fails given the supply issues there with the current forces, and it is tying up some powerful units. However, I note you were late to Cherbourg and that it was a tougher nut to crack than irl, but you've been probably far more busy cleaning up other ports. So what's causing the supply issue to be so acute given your fairly light commitment on the main front? Late to Cherbourg? Or just maybe some fine tuning to the game system? I'm just getting the gut feeling that unless all those German units in front of you are mostly empty shells that you're not getting much further before winter.

2) That Allied salient to the north of Liege looks tempting. What's sitting under that Brit HQ?

That's about it, keep calm and carry on I say, what? Give bally Jerry a right thrashing and all that. Cheers!

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Post #: 78
RE: Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944 - 3/20/2015 10:11:55 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Spurius Evidens

Most informative and entertaining indeed. As one of the many (I suspect) that lurk in the corridors of this forum and eavesdrop on you guys talking by the virtual water cooler this is a great read, and a whole lot more fun than sitting down and reading the manual from cover to cover, given that I have WitE and basically just want to see what's different. So I'd like to pose a few questions vis-a-vis your assessment of how your campaign sits at the moment, not in any way as an implied criticism but because I think I'll get some well considered answers.

1) It seems the Med was done about as economically as you could, you got D-Day down about a week early, and you've gutted the Luftwaffe as well as having hit much manpower and such, but it seems lack of supply is holding your offensive back. I haven't yet mentioned the Netherlands landings since they're an interesting point. If I may digress for a moment I've always found the Netherlands easy to invade but impossible to break out from until the main front reaches it, going back to Avalon Hill's '77 game D-Day, but here any argument that it has dissipated the force of the main front fails given the supply issues there with the current forces, and it is tying up some powerful units. However, I note you were late to Cherbourg and that it was a tougher nut to crack than irl, but you've been probably far more busy cleaning up other ports. So what's causing the supply issue to be so acute given your fairly light commitment on the main front? Late to Cherbourg? Or just maybe some fine tuning to the game system? I'm just getting the gut feeling that unless all those German units in front of you are mostly empty shells that you're not getting much further before winter.

2) That Allied salient to the north of Liege looks tempting. What's sitting under that Brit HQ?

That's about it, keep calm and carry on I say, what? Give bally Jerry a right thrashing and all that. Cheers!


thank you

One reason for doing this is I think most people will play vs AI and yet most AARs get caught up on the dynamics of PBEM. Also I think the more that is reported, the easier it will be to decide what sort of balance changes really are needed.

The main supply problem is landing enough. There are a lot of incredibly detailed (and useful) tool tips available that allow you to explore the problem. Here, I am landing about 20% of the supplies I need. At this stage the Normandy beaches are still the main source, but those level 2 ports all help (they repair in a turn if you leave a TF outside them). Cherbourg/Le Havre etc are at about 60% of useable capacity. Also once Toulon/Marseilles repair that will help.

So practically its a global lack, worsened by a damaged rail net. My solution is to focus the depot system to the NE and put 2 British Army on #4 for resupply, US 2 is #2 and everything else is on #1.

I have 2 choices, do as I'm doing, ie let supply rebuild a little and then try to dislocate part of the German line or sit back and let stocks build up and hope that 1945 allows more sustained attacking. Since the weather in the autumn has basically been ok, the first has tempted me, as I suspect that Nov-December will see plenty of severe weather, in any case.

I was pleased with the Med, it helps that the AI takes no chances of being pocketed, but I got all I wanted for minimal combat. In that respect the consequence of losing VPs for casualties means there is no real gain to small niggling attacks (that you might do in WiTE just to inflict losses on your opponent).

The Netherlands gambit I think is worth it for a few reasons. Unless you catch your opponent badly off balance you are not going to break out but you can grab (pretty much guarenteed) 3 hexes even PBEM. Those reduce the number you need elsewhere to avoid the July 1944 penalty (for not having 8 hexes in France/Low Countries) and the air bases mean you can fly escorted bombing missions as far as Berlin.

The AI clearly likes the idea of leaving large garrisons in each fort. Its probably quite effective but once I realised just how useful the TFs are its taken me a couple of turns, sometimes just one, per port. Cherbourg showed that simply relying on bombing and supply shortages is too slow. I think now I'd take it in 2-3 turns rather than the 6 it took me here. Its making the conceptual leap from seeing them as transport formations to realising their combat value.

The Liege position is tempting, but I fear I need to broaden the shoulders, I can't build depots etc in the front end as the Germans are still breaking each of the potential rail lines. The unit is an armoured division (2 British is almost all armour at the moment), but with 1 US now freed up, I'm hoping to attack into the western Netherlands and in turn hopefully free up 3 US and the additional supply sources that would offer

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Post #: 79
RE: Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944 - 3/20/2015 6:32:28 PM   
LiquidSky


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Actually, I believe you can invade north of Amsterdam and use the major river to hold your flank while you take Don Heldar and the other hexes of the peninsula. That will easily give you your 10 hexes. And there is no way the axis will be able to prevent it...although you will not be able to break out as crossing a major river into a major city is probably impossible.

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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 80
RE: Turns 69-70: 21 October – 3 November 1944 - 3/25/2015 8:27:52 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky



Actually, I believe you can invade north of Amsterdam and use the major river to hold your flank while you take Don Heldar and the other hexes of the peninsula. That will easily give you your 10 hexes. And there is no way the axis will be able to prevent it...although you will not be able to break out as crossing a major river into a major city is probably impossible.


Aye thats a good slot too, really its a case of making trade offs. In PBEM how can I secure the 10 hexes against the risk of being completely boxed in? One advantage of a secondary 1944 landing in the Netherlands is that you can grab a decent block of land (and airbases) but it is likely to be fairly secure, hopefully leaving your other landing as the place where you can make gains ... thats the theory anyway

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Post #: 81
Turns 71-72: 11-24 November 1944 - 3/25/2015 8:30:12 AM   
loki100


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Turns 71-72: 11-24 November 1944

Finally found the time to play a couple of turns ...

One wider issue in this phase of the game is that the front has stalled where some of the final battles of the Great War were fought. Seems somehow very appropriate that British units are pushing onto the Albert Canal 26 years after the armistice of 11 November 1918.

I'll concentrate on the ground war for this report. The strategic air campaign carries on, I'm more and more hitting named factories (both AFV and planes) as well as HI and Fuel. Each of the strategic air groups is flying 3-4 days a week and generating 3-4 missions each time. I'm keeping the intensity as high as possible on the assumption that bad weather will soon reduce the effectiveness of any missions. I also want the Germans to be unable to recover any losses inflicted on their front line armies.

On T71, I opted to rest and let the supply position recover a little. Although this looks like the depots are empty, most units in British 2 Army have about 80% supply and US 1 Army is at about 70%.



However, I've decided I need to secure Antwerp before moving on. I doubt in the timeframe left that it will produce much supply but more importantly I need to eliminate the threat to my flank and try to allow US 3 Army to break out.

Every FB and Tac Bomber of 9 Air and Tac Air hit the German units between Brussels and Dordrecht. The Level Bombers that have been attacking the various port garrisons also pound the stronger German formations.

The opening attack is by US 1 Army, allowing the armoured units to reach the Albert Canal. However, to the west, 2 British is stalled but other units of 2 British Army force the Germans back across the Meuse near Liege, helping to ease resupply to the Canadians in Maastricht.



Finally US 3 Army attacks just south of Dordrecht, forcing the Germans out of their well prepared defensive positions but lacking the means to exploit their hard won gains.



Still, key parts of the German defensive line are now disrupted, but the next phase will be little other than direct combat till the Germans are forced back.

The VP situation reflects those bruising battles:



The Germans responded by trying to drive back VII Corps but were just held off, leading them losing even more hard to replace (I hope) tanks.



< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/25/2015 9:35:43 AM >


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Post #: 82
Turns 73-74: 18 November – 1 December 1944 - 3/31/2015 7:24:06 AM   
loki100


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Turns 73-74: 18 November – 1 December 1944

Should note, I've been very lucky with weather this autumn/winter. Few turns of heavy rain so have managed to keep some sort of pressure on the Germans.

I'll concentrate on the ground war as the air campaign is really now a background event. My pattern of strategic bombing is that both 8 Air and Bomber Command hit the Ruhr (and surrounding region) and then do something else. On T73 this included Bomber Command hitting Berlin, on T74 8 Air went for the V-weapon sites in the Baltic. 15 Air is short of targets so this turn hit the fuel plants around Vienna.

The Soviets don't seem to be making much progress.



Tactical air power is hitting the German positions in Flanders and the western Netherlands, with a lot of hexes having interdiction >6. In addition, some of the more powerful units are being targetted for individual bombing attacks.

By the end of T73, US 3 Army has managed to follow up its small gains, 2 British managed to punch a gap towards Eindhoven and US 1 Army has secured the rear of last week's offensive towards the Albert Canal.



T74 saw the German position on the Albert Canal fall apart. Not only do they have no reserves, they are having to shuffle their front line units to try and cover my attacks, leaving gaps.

First, infantry from VII Corps forces the Albert Canal as the German defenders fall apart after the sustained air assault of the last 4 weeks.



Then VIII British Corps (which just happens to be almost all American) broke out of its bridgehead over the Albert to the east.



Allied armour then broke out of the narrow gaps opened up as a result.

By the end of the week, the lead tanks of 2 British Army are only 20 miles from US 3 Army, threatening all the German units in the Antwerp region with encirclement.



All that fighting is costing a lot of VP, but I am now gaining enough for liberated cities to give me a small gain each turn.



I still think this will end in a draw but it depends how fast the Germans collapse in 1945.

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Post #: 83
RE: Turns 73-74: 18 November – 1 December 1944 - 3/31/2015 1:49:03 PM   
jwolf

 

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I wonder if the Germans can pull some of their armor from the pocket area to attack one or both of your northern two armored divisions. But I don't know how effective the air interdiction is. In any case your move should (I think!) finally break that German line and either they withdraw or get trapped. Nice work!

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Post #: 84
RE: Turns 73-74: 18 November – 1 December 1944 - 4/2/2015 8:40:22 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

I wonder if the Germans can pull some of their armor from the pocket area to attack one or both of your northern two armored divisions. But I don't know how effective the air interdiction is. In any case your move should (I think!) finally break that German line and either they withdraw or get trapped. Nice work!


at this stage I thought I had an air killing zone equivalent to Falaise as I was going to plaster that narrow corridor ... unfortunately the weather finally turned against me ... which leads to the next two turns

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Post #: 85
Turns 75-76: 2 – 15 December 1944 - 4/2/2015 8:44:19 AM   
loki100


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Turns 75-76: 2 – 15 December 1944

These turns were a bit frustrating. Having trapped the equivalent of one German army in Flanders with only a narrow corridor they could use to escape, my plan was to pound that gap with airpower. This would cut supply and wreck any unit that did manage to escape.

Instead I got two turns of blizzards.

Again. I'll ignore the strategic airwar. I'm really doing that now for the VP gain and to ensure the Germans have a hard time replacing their combat losses.

On T75 I tried to reduce the exit route and clear up behind my spearheads. The only attack I managed was 3 Army forcing the Maas and then being able to exploit with its only tank division.



At the end of T75, I'd squeezed the gap into a long single hex corridor. Even if I couldn't manage high levels of interdiction I doubt that much supply will be moving in to the units left around Antwerp.

T75 also saw the start of a campaign to reduce the Atlantic ports. I have some spare units so reinforced 2 Canadian Army and most German garrisons are really suffering for lack of suppl.

Also allows me to dust down the death star ...



T76 opened with bad news, the Germans had attacked 3 Army's spearheads and regained the east bank of the Maas. 6 US Armoured performance was pretty awful.



Anyway, as part of securing my flanks and releasing units for the next phase, the first attack was at Bruges.



Over on the Atlantic, Rochefort and St Nazaire were the next ports to be cleared.



Elements of 1 US Army then attacked towards Antwerp and, much to my surprise, 50 British Division forced the weakened defenders out of the city. Supporting armour was able to occupy the now undefended key port.



In turn other units of 1 US forced open the gap and then elements of 3 US Army struck south and by the end of the week, the German units in Flanders (around 15 divisions) were cut off.

With this, I started to re-organise. Basically the Airborne army will hold the south flank of the bulge, 1 US Army is tasked with clearing out the pocket as quickly as possible. 3 US is to try and break out in the Netherlands (or at least pin the Germans in that area). 2 British is reorganising for a massive attempt to break out from the Maastricht bridgehead. If the weather improves, the full might of the allied airforce will fall on the German units around Aachen.

If 2 British can break out, then it should be feasible to reach the Rhine by early 1945.



VP situation is ok. Despite pretty heavy losses I'm gaining 5-7 per turn mainly now driven by the City VP score.






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Post #: 86
RE: Turns 75-76: 2 – 15 December 1944 - 4/2/2015 1:34:13 PM   
jwolf

 

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That looks pretty good, in spite of the bad weather. Definitely a successful campaign in the low countries.

Edit: BTW is that Italian chick happy yet?

< Message edited by jwolf -- 4/2/2015 2:34:53 PM >

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Post #: 87
RE: Turns 75-76: 2 – 15 December 1944 - 4/5/2015 11:43:24 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

That looks pretty good, in spite of the bad weather. Definitely a successful campaign in the low countries.

Edit: BTW is that Italian chick happy yet?


as in the next post, its really shifted things in my favour but its clear the Germans haven't decided just to give up.

Anna is back in her regular commentary role ...

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Post #: 88
Turns 77-78: 16-29 December 1944 - 4/5/2015 11:51:33 AM   
loki100


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Turns 77-78: 16-29 December 1944

At least on T77 the weather improved enough to allow intensive air interdiction. I structured this around 2 campaigns. In particular the Typhoons and Tempests were concentrated at the point where I wanted to break out towards the Rhine while US 9 Air hit the German formations around Antwerp.



The point to this is I've worked out over this game (and my PBEM with smokindave) that the concentrated application of tactical airpower is critical. By that I mean you can get away with 1-1/1.5-1 attacks if you wreck the target beforehand. This doesn't show in the actual visible CV but you can see it in the detailed battle report if you do attack (lots of enemy elements disrupted).

I think in terms of WiTW allied gameplay its the equivalent of the importance of mass and artillery with the Soviets in WiTE. There if you apply quantity (say about 3-1 in actual manpower) and artillery a 1-1 attack is pretty safe (it'll win about 80% of the time).

The outcome was a grim week for Bomber Command (I'm running out of night escorts despite disbanding some squadrons to free up planes) and almost 2000 planes damaged (mostly those on ground attack missions).

Moving on to the land attacks, the opening attack set the scene .... it failed



So did the first in Flanders ... as did others as the Germans put up rather fierce resistance.



The good news was that VIII British corps broke the German line south of Eindhoven reaching the Maas and threatening the German defences in the southern Netherlands.



to the south elements of XII British Corps forced the Maas, expanding the Maastricht bridgehead.

T78 started rather better.



And it was clear that lack of supply was wrecking the combat capability of the German units trapped in Flanders.



A series of attacks reduced the German defences in Flanders but more importantly the 4th Canadian armoured division became the first allied unit to enter Germany proper



And to the north, elements of 3 Army crossed the Maas

The number of German units that surrendered started to escalate



VP situation became negative due to heavy losses ...but at this stage I have no choice but to attack to try and destroy the German army



However, the Germans are clearly not finished as my two spearheads were both thrown back by German counterattacks



Anna seems to find my setbacks rather funny ...






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Post #: 89
Turns 79-80: 30 December 1944 – 12 January 1945 - 4/9/2015 10:08:35 AM   
loki100


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Turns 79-80: 30 December 1944 – 12 January 1945

Rather frustrating pair of turns. T79 was snow but T80 saw a return of the blizzards.

On T79 the bulk of the tactical air was in support of US 3 and Br 2 Armies, with the strategic attacks more or less just trying to ensure I gain as many VP as I can. No sign yet that the Red Army is going to help out.

My basic strategy is for US 3 Army to clear the Netherlands, British 2 Army to push towards the Rhine and US 1 Army is to attack south along the German border. This will either pocket the German units in Eastern France or force them to retreat. First of course, they have to finish the campaign in Flanders.



US 1 Army had problems in Flanders. The final areas of German resistance were much more determined than I wanted.



Better news was 2 British again crossing the German border



And this time managing to hold onto the gains. This left me very optimistic that T80 would see a breakout towards the Ruhr.



So instead T80 brings blizzards and grounds most of my tactical airpower. However the Death Star can still fly (no, sail) which is bad news for the Germans at Brest.



That frees up the equivalent of 2 Corps for the drive into Germany.

Which drive makes little progress. Another defeat in Flanders.



But US 3 Army makes some useful gains



However 2 British suffers for the lack of air support, failing to make much progress.



VP situation reflects two turns of heavy fighting. Still think this is heading for a draw but it may depend how quickly I can start to capture cities in Germany.



... and Anna demands to know why I am making such slow progress ...



< Message edited by loki100 -- 4/9/2015 11:08:58 AM >


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