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Autumn Fog - Axis

 
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Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 9:54:18 AM   
MikeJ19


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Approach

This is going to be tough. I have just finished this off as the Allied player, and had lots of resources.

Here are some thoughts having reviewed Larry's approach in the AAR folder.

He did a really good job looking at the Engineering capabilities of the units. I now know that units with a * in their name can bridge or ferry units in the game. This is very useful info

His attacks went in farther South than the ones I had to deal with. He had a push heading towards Bastogne. I will have to look to see if I want to incorporate this approach.

It looked like he found it difficult to keep up any momentum. This is a big challenge. If the Germans go to slowly, the Allies will be able to stop them.

He only attacked in the centre. I'm wondering about expanding the attack to both the North and the South.

Note:
I had thought of changing the game slightly by adding airfields and using the overextended supply levels, but further examination and some comments by Steve have changed my mind. I will use the same scenario setup.





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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 9:55:38 AM   
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I have some slides looking at the terrain, here is the terrain near Liege




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:03:55 AM   
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I should have started with this one...

The ground in the North is fairly open with two big rivers running in a North-South manner. As is the case with most rivers in this scenario, there are steep embankments on the main ones.

I’m across one river already in the Northern part and have bridges in place to cross farther South. The area around Maastricht looks very important. There are a number of rivers/canals in the area along with roads and bridges. Seizing that area will cause the Allies significant issues and opens up the ground to the West.

There are numerous roads and rail networks in this area.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:05:05 AM   
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The ground South of Liege is the heart of the Ardennes forest. The area is hilly, muddy and forested, with lots of rivers and streams. There are also lots of little towns (made famous because of this battle). The key road nodes are St. Vith, Trois Ponts and Ligneuville.

The Ourthe River meanders throughout this zone. The Ambleve River runs a little more directly east-west with some off-shoots. Overall, movement is going to be difficult and small units can hold up large fast moving ones. This is a great area for a planned defence.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:06:12 AM   
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The area around Bastogne




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:06:59 AM   
MikeJ19


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The final look at the terrain




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:10:05 AM   
MikeJ19


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Allied Intentions

The Allies are going to be surprised by this attack. This is going to give me a couple of turns/days where their response will be muted.

Once that wears off, the Allies are going to likely pull back to some of the river lines. The line along the Robertville-Malmedy-Trois Ponts is likely a key defence line.

They will try to stop my advance, and then start their counter attack.

As this is a long game (50 days), I expect that they will want to push me back towards the Rhine.

Here is a look at the initial units that the Allies have to respond to my attack.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:15:21 AM   
MikeJ19


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From the game notes:

The Germans did an excellent job of achieving surprise for the attack, this due in large part to having most of the units scheduled for exploitation located far behind the front, some as far away as the east side of the Rhine. Another reason was the intention for the line infantry units to make the initial breakthrough, thus screening Allied intelligence from seeing the numerous Panzer formations involved.

In the scenario only the initial German assault formations will be available on turn 1. Over the next few turns the follow up formations will be released. Reserve formations located back from the front will be activated by the German player through Theatre Options available on turns 4 and 6.

The German 15th Army, located at the northern part of the map, is not available until the German player activates it by disbanding the 'release unit' located at the northern map edge. This action will also release the US 9th Army and British 30 Corp.

Similarly, the German 1st Army, located in the southern part of the map, will not become available until the German player disbands the 'release unit' located at the southern map edge.


***************

This means that I have some decisions to make early on. Do I keep the attack narrow, using only the centre portion of the area of operations and units, or do I make this a bigger effort. I can start small and have my own triggers planned to expand the battle as it progress.

I have the advantage of playing a scenario that I just played as the Allied player. In that case, the Germans attacked only in the centre initially, and then in the North. As the Allied player, I was able to concentrate my forces against the attack in the centre as the Northern approach did not make much headway.

I will need to look at these options.

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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/27/2018 10:22:32 PM   
MikeJ19


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Wow, this is a lot of interesting info.

I was looking for a breakdown of my forces, by division. This is easy to find, but very time consuming to actually understand. Oh well, I will figure this out.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/28/2018 1:54:35 AM   
MikeJ19


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Victory Points

There are 3000 Victory points available in the scenario. I start with 1950 VPs.

I hold a band along the eastern edge of 23 50 VP locations (1150 VPs) and another band along the German side of the starting positions of 16 50 VP locations (800 VPs)

There is a band of five 50 VP locations about 10-15kms inside the Allied lines.

The area around Liege is worth another 2500 VP (five more 50 VP locations)

Farther to the West are three more 50 VP locations.

The remaining eight 50 VP locations are to the West and South of the map view, with Metz and Luxembourg being the closet to the initial front lines.

I lose significant VPs if I do not withdraw some specific units. There are 11 units and they are worth 10 VPs each turn that they remain in the theatre. I need to be ready for the withdrawal of these units. It runs over 100 VPs a turn and I can not sustain that for long, if I want to win.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/29/2018 10:01:34 AM   
MikeJ19


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Thoughts

Philturco posted on my allied AAR thread:

“A very interesting scenario. I've managed to soundly beat the AI as the Germans by quickly seizing bridges before the US forces can blow them and surrounding and killing allied forces in numerous small battles . These small encirclements usually are regimental or less in size. I think the multiple small battles of encirclement are key as the Germans often enjoy a local superiority of forces and can do considerable damage by exploiting a local or tactical superiority to an allied force that has an overall strategic superiority that they cant always exploit. The other key is to keep pushing west and to flow around the allied forces before they arrive in strength. I suspect its easier to defeat Elmer than a human opponent who responds deftly and faster to threats.”

I agree with Phil, I need to surround and destroy the Allied forces – this should be done with my VGDs and IDs.

Speed is very important in this scenario, I need to get my forces moving Westward quickly, exploiting gaps and pushing around Allied units. I have a shock advantage early and need to exploit that.

Capturing bridges is very important. Not getting trapped against rivers is important too.

I should avoid attacking across the main rivers where possible. I want to avoid the Roberville-Malmedy-Trois Ponts line if possible. Getting around the North side of it may be possible. If not, this might be a good place for some of the VGDs to hold, while I push West.

I need to plan for the opening gambit – the first 3-4 days and then modify it as I progress.

I start with a marginal victory – to get a better result, I need to get the first band of VP locations and then some. Destroying Allied units will help too.

I need to use my air force better. The first few days have no air units involved – the weather is too bad. I need to exploit this period. I then need to look at attacking the Allied airfields (the Germans did this to me and had great results).

I also was to use interdiction to slow the Allied units moving to the front.

I need to maintain a reserve – this should be a motherhood statement, but it is too easy to send everything into the front line!

I need to be careful that I do not overextend. This is a tough balance. I want to push West and quickly, but if I go too far too fast I give the Allies the opportunity to find a weak spot and cut off my forces. I need to watch for this.

Supply does not look like an issue at the start, but it will fluctuate. I need to be careful and make sure that I watch the news feeds about supply.

Capturing the Allies supply depots will help.

Some tenets to think about:




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 10:23:21 AM   
MikeJ19


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Unlike most of the battles I have fought so far in TOAW IV, I have lots of options at the strategic and operational levels. Here is a look at the first theatre COA.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 7:59:22 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is the second course of action




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 8:11:15 PM   
MikeJ19


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The third course of action




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 8:41:28 PM   
MikeJ19


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As I was looking into the strategic options, I noticed supply units and that made me look into the rules. I then noticed I had some rail units...




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 9:21:33 PM   
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So, after looking at the three Strategic options, I have made a decision. Next, I will look more closely at the initial plans for the pincers.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 10:01:59 PM   
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I've had some success as Axis by surrounding allied units and destroying them piecemeal .These battles are small, usually battalion or less, but the Axis with local superiority can do real damage over the first week of fighting. Its important to not be sidetracked by these multiple small battles but to push rapidly west to capture bridges intact and convert the rollbahns to friendly hexes so the follow up heavier units suffer less wear and tear . Some of these units will peal off to surround and destroy allied roadblocks as they complete the partial encirclements the forward recon axis forces established. This isnan exciting and fun scenario to play as Axis.

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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/30/2018 11:57:49 PM   
MikeJ19


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Phil,

Thanks for the advice. Hopefully, I can have some success, too. I'm looking forward to getting started!

Have a good day,

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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 8/31/2018 10:14:45 AM   
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Attack near Elsenborn - Initial thoughts:

1. The road from Loshiem does not go over any rivers until Robertville – this is a good avenue for me.

I want to push the 26 VGD around the edge of the American Bn in Losheimergraben and then attack the South end of the line. The plan is to open up the road toward Bullingen and force the Americans North.

2. The gap North of Robertville is a great place for me to push through. There are two concerns, there is no obvious approach to it and not roads in the area, which makes supply difficult.

To get to the gap, I need to find a way through the American defence line East of Krinkelt. At the same time, I would like to keep the Allied units near Wahlerscheid in their current place – that could be difficult.

I think that the best place to attack is the Bn SW of Hollerath towards Krinkelt with the 18 VGD.

3. Breakout – I want to launch 2 Pz through the Hollerath opening and the 116 Pz along the road towards Bullingen. The 130 Pz Lehr will follow 2 Pz.

All of this is easy to plan and my initial moves are going to be a focused attack, rather than a general assault in this area. I doubt that I will get that many rounds done in the first morning, as I will need to move some of the units into better attacking positions.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/5/2018 10:00:23 AM   
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Having had some time to think about this, I wonder if it would not be a better idea to launch a more general offensive across the front as shown by the yellow bar.

The idea is to open up with three to five attacks on the opening combat round and see where that takes us. This takes advantage of the shock level and gets all my units in the front line engaged right away. I have a really good shock level and may get some very good results.

Once that opening round is done, I can focus my attacks on the road through Bullingen and towards the gap.





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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/5/2018 10:15:56 AM   
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Here is a look at my initial plan a little farther South




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/6/2018 10:07:07 AM   
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It is important to capture the bridges at Clerf.

To achieve this, I will use 3 FJD to get across the river NE of Clerf.

Once across, the 12 SS and 1 SS will exploit – hopefully this will happen on the 17th.

I also need to get the blown bridges at Dasburg and Gemund up quickly.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/7/2018 10:05:28 AM   
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That was fun. To actually play the game and see the combat results!




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/8/2018 12:34:11 AM   
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The situation near Elsenborn




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/8/2018 1:35:59 AM   
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Can your paratroops land ON the bridge?

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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/8/2018 7:51:31 PM   
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Larry,

I like that idea, we will find out this turn if that is doable! Thanks,

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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/8/2018 7:52:49 PM   
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The progress made here in the morning was excellent. Elements of two Regiments of the 106th Inf Div have been cutoff. As importantly, crossings at Schonberg and Steinebruck have been seized.

The intent or plan for this area was to grab St. Vith and then head towards Malemdy or Trois Ponts to seize crossing sites. Thus, I want to send 116 Pz through the Schonberg opening.

I want to hold, with the minimum of resources, the Inf Bns that are cut off.

I do not see any reason/advantage to use the paratroopers here.




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/8/2018 8:09:24 PM   
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I was able to get two crossing sites up and running in the morning and should have a third this afternoon.

The afternoon, I will attempt to push my way across these crossings!

The 150 Pz Bde is split into three Bns. I have the theatre option to bring them into one. I like the idea of them being one, but have another turn to see if that makes sense.

I’m tempted to use the paratroopers here to grab the bridge at Clerf. However, when I look at the big picture, using them closer to Elsenborn makes more sense




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/9/2018 6:05:24 PM   
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The morning update




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RE: Autumn Fog - Axis - 9/9/2018 6:30:56 PM   
MikeJ19


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As suggested by Larry, I landed the paratroopers on the bridge by Robertville. The Bn is reorganizing this morning, but they are on the bridge, so that is good.

The Americans have blown bridges to the North of the road from Loshiem to Robertville. This makes it even harder for me to cut towards the gap. On the flip side, it gives me a pretty good boundary to the right of the penetration.

The American Bns, especially the recce Bn near Loshiem, are slowing the move forward for 2 Pz Div.

Today, the 18 and 62 VGDs are going to push hard West, keeping the pressure up. There remains a chance that I can cut off the Bns South of Krinkelt. It is not a big one, but would be helpful.




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