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Pied Piper (modified) - Soviet Side

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Pied Piper (modified) - Soviet Side - 2/22/2019 7:38:11 PM   


Posts: 410
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline

I have modified this scenario, adding more infantry to both sides among other things. As the Soviet commander, my objective is to break through the German line of defenses and conquer Hameln, with its strategically important bridges over the Weser river. Intel reports of limited enemy presence, and our forces are numerous and determined, so it SHOULDN'T be too hard.

Given that German troops are pretty good, and that in particular i fear the 7th Panzer Division, i want to concentrate my forces early and punch through whatever the krauts will try to use to hold me back. I will then pile up my troops in two big groups: one at Hachmulen and one southeast of Bisperode.

This is only for the initial push: after i have broken the first line of defenses, i want to split my forces in four pincers and attack Hameln from all directions.

Bisperode was only lightly defended, and with close support of my mortars, the Southern Battle Group was able to disperse the Germans and occupy the town. This is when i start dividing my forces: half of the SBG will attack north and conquer the bridges on the Remte just west of Coppenbrugge; the rest will follow the K16 and conquer Hasterbeck and Tundern. As for now, only sparse minefields and some enemy resistence quickly subdued has slowed the advance.

The Northern Battle Group hasn't been so lucky: the minefields NE of Hasperde are enormous, and advancing through them has took time. The enemy luckily didn't fire on our scout teams while they cleared a way through. Other troops took fire from Herkensen, and i quickly ordered my T-80 tanks to blast the buggers away.

Main problem is enemy artillery: it seems to follow precisely my HQ and things are looking bad.

SBG keeps advancing; no further enemy presence detected, only light artillery strikes that takes out a scout team.

NBG takes heavy losses but manages to break both the minefield's lines and the Panzergrenadier resistence at Hasperde and Herkensen. The enemy makes a fighting retreat through Gross Hillingsfeld, taking losses but making my forces pay a bloody toll. The city is taken, however, and it's time to split up the NBG.

Enemy artillery makes numerous counter-battery strikes that are taking an heavy toll on my 152mm and 130mm offmap batteries. Some attempted counter-battery strikes of my own has destroyed some unidentified vehicle on the other side of the Weser. May be the enemy SPAs, but further strikes failed to achieve kills so maybe they have been relocated. An enemy targeted artillery strikes has killed... me. The main HQ has been destroyed so my command cycle is down to 38m; fortunately it seems i killed the enemy HQ too, because their command cycle is 30/28m.

Post #: 1
RE: Pied Piper (modified) - Soviet Side - 2/25/2019 4:26:19 PM   


Posts: 410
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
The enemy is no more in sight: every unit has probably fallen back to Hameln, luring me forward and seeking to engage an urban battle to bleed me out. I'm following the plan, reorganizing my command structure to accomodate for every newly formed Strike Group.

My artillery gets anothery big success: targeting another radio source, the popup says i've killed another HQ, a truck and a Leopard tank! Meanwhile, my forces have reached the initial assault position: i am now almost ready to storm Hameln.

Due to an error in the timing of the final offensive, two companies of T-80s and one Mechanized Company attacks in the SW of Hameln alone, before the rest of the army. Despite encountering heavy resistence (an unidentified unit that fires ATGMs, one Leopard 2A4 platoon, two Grenadiere companies and what seems the HQ of a Panzergrenadier Battalion), the attack is met with success. Despite the loss of several BMP-2s, one destroyed T-80s, 2 fallen out T80s and a Mech Company, the enemy suffers heavy losses and falls back.

The counterattack, however, is brutal: several Grenadier and Leopard 1/2 units attacks my forward elements relentlessly. Despite heavy support from my artillery and a fierce defense of the bridgeheads, my tanks and infantry are decimated and forced to disengage. The main offensive, however, is entering the eastern and northern outskirts...

The enemy counterattack is successful: the bridgeheads over the Hameln river are taken back by the Germans, and my northern attack comes under fire from Leopard 1s from the outskirts and halted. However, the Germans gets too cocky: they send forward the Leopards, heading east, and they faceplant in my main offensive! The Red Steamroller smashes them to bits, and the road to the city centre seems open. Meanwhile, other infantry units engage my westernmost vanguard, but the constant artillery fire keeps the enemy at bay.

With only 34 minutes left until dusk, i order my troops to rush forward and occupy as much of the city as they can. Artillery leads the way, hitting hard on the bridge on the Weser to try to keep enemy reinforcing to reach the city center. The daring race succeeds: many Leopard 1 tanks are destroyed just as they try to drive through the bridge, and the rest of the German reinforcements stops. T-80s rush forward and take the city center, but it's too late for the bridge: as the Red Army appears on the shores of the Weser, the remnants of the German forces blow up the bridge (scenario ends, they keep the VP on the bridge and the other shore, so i consider they blew it up to stop me).

AI impressed me: the fighting retreat from the outer defense ring was masterfully executed, and the idea of confining the fight in Hameln preventing me to leverage all my numbers in open terrain, cluttering my units togather, was sound. Unfortunately for them, their artillery's efficiency seemed to decrease over time, so in the end my concentrations of forces didn't get shelled to death. Also, the urban combat wasn't really a problem for me (more on that later).

I followed the main battle plan until the end; that means it was a good plan. I avoided a lot of unnecessary losses, BUT this prevented me from completing all my objectives, leaving 2100VP worth of objectives, thus achieving only a minor victory. This is unacceptable: our objective was to take the bridge on the Weser, whatever the cost. The Warsaw Pact has to smash through defenses and advance deep into enemy lines, not limit losses. My frequent resupply and reorganizing pauses spared lives and equipment, but those can be replaced. Time can't be replaced. For the future, i have to be more ruthless in my offensives.

Also, the enemy seems very capable of targeting my HQ, so either i give less orders per phase (bad idea) or i move the HQ more (good idea).

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 2
RE: Pied Piper (modified) - Soviet Side - 2/25/2019 5:14:39 PM   

Posts: 7603
Joined: 2/12/2005
From: Newark, OH
Status: offline
Great AAR! Thanks for sharing!


Work on Southern Storm continues. Our new website is live! Please check it out.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 3
RE: Pied Piper (modified) - Soviet Side - 2/26/2019 4:51:41 PM   


Posts: 410
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
Thank you!

Tanks ruled it, and it doesn't feel right. They had a LOS of 1000m albeit with low values, and that means they could engage targets at those distances. Other units could too, but tanks have weapons that can effectively engage and hit hard at those distances, so even with low values, the sheer amount of attacks and their power made them absolutely dominating in the combat inside Hameln.

Tanks (T-80s, Leopard 1s, Leopard 2s) racked up the absolute majority of kills, with almost certain impunity unless the enemy was a tank too. Infantry got wrecked and its impact on the urban battle was almost non-existant unless tanks weren't involved.

The ability to shoot at targets 1000m away in dense urban environement is strange: in a city (at least in Italy, but honestly in most of cities i visited abroad too) it's rare to be able to see something 1km away unless it's down a big boulevard-like road or a very big crossroad/plaza, or from elevated points.

Or maybe this particular battle had something special that influenced the combat. I can't be sure so i'm attaching several save files so if someone wants to re-create the urban combat and verify, he can.

Attachment (1)

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 4
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