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Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/23/2019 3:34:02 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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Inspired by some of the recent AARs shared here, I've decided to give this scenario a go. This will be my first "Medium" sized one in the game; in the hopes that I can improve my overall planning, adaptation, and perspective, I'm going to try to keep this thread updated as the scenario plays out. I've played a few of the "Small" scenarios and I have a feel for the basic mechanics, but obviously with more units I'll need to have a better formulated plan if I hope to win.

I have started the scenario with the following game options enabled:
  • Allow staff fire support (FSCC) control
  • Allow "Ctrl-L" line of sight (LOS) checks
  • Allow browsing of spotted enemy units


I usually play with automatic resupply enabled and limited staff orders disabled, but I thought I'd see if I could manage my orders appropriately in a more restricted environment. I also admit that the ability to browse spotted enemy units is kind of game-y, but I've not played the game long enough to be as intimately acquainted with all the different types of Soviet units (at least, by the silhouette on the unit counters) as I'm sure that an actual battalion commander would be.

Without too much more ado, I'll begin with the initial orders and setup. Initial orders are fairly straightforward:
quote:

- Mission -
You are to advance to meet the Soviet forces. You are not to allow Soviet units to advance any further to the west.
Control the road network in the areas as you advance east to make contact with the 3rd Armored Division.

- Friendly Forces -
1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment [reduced strength]
B [and C] Company of 23rd Combat Engineer Battalion

- Intelligence -
The unit leading the attack [40th Guards Tank Regiment, 11th Guards Tank Division] is as elite as they get in the
Soviet Army. [It] is the unit intended to break the defense of the US V Corps and breakout to the Rhine.


On a small scenario, I will typically just take a look at the units on the map to see what I have available. There are a lot more than I'm used to dealing with at the initial setup, though, so I printed out my OOB from the TOC and went through unit by unit to familiarize myself with my forces. The mission briefing says I'll have some reinforcements coming online as they become available, which sounds to me like it won't be until after I have first contact with the enemy.

Here's what I'm starting with:
  • 3 Recon
  • 15 Infantry
  • 3 Anti-tank
  • 4 Air Defense
  • 1 Mortar
  • 1 Field Artillery

My infantry units comprise 3 companies from 1-36th and 2 companies from 23rd CEB. The units from the engineer battalion show up as infantry and not "engineer" specifically. Other than being smaller in size than the companies from 1-36, I'm not sure if they have any different capabilities. I know that most of the engineering functions that I have access to in this game are abstracted and that I don't explicitly need engineer units on-map for most stuff; on everything I can see so far, they look like regular infantry here.

I have more infantry, air defense, and artillery listed as reserves as well as a couple tank companies and two A-10s.

Here's a look at the map and my initial unit deployments. I'll describe my strategy below. (Note: I'm using green cones to reflect recon/observation, and red cones to indicate fire/engagement. If there are more appropriate graphical representations for various tactical dispositions, please point me toward them!)



Initial intel suggests that enemy forces will be arriving near Schaafheim and areas to the south, roughly framed by the north-south and two east-west road networks in that area. There are three highways from this area that will allow westward movement towards my forces, as well as a lightly-forested area between the center and southern roads. Scenario victory points are heavily distributed to the south of the map, mostly near Gross-Umstadt and the surrounding towns, so I presume the bulk of enemy forces will be moving rapidly on my position via the center and southern roads or the gap in between. I have positioned a recon unit in Babenhausen to the north; I do not expect a strong enemy presence to make its way around that far to the right, but I certainly don't want to get caught by surprise if they do. There are enough roads to permit travel more or less at will throughout the entire rear area, so any sort of breakthrough would be very difficult to contain.

Here is my intent for the various units.

Recon
- Far north (Babenhausen), to keep an eye on my far left flank.
- Far south, from this position there is some LOS into what I presume will be the enemy's staging area (good luck, troopers).
- Roughly mid-left behind my front line (I didn't have anywhere else for this one yet).

Infantry
- A/1-36: Tip of the spear; orders to blow two bridges at Schlierbach and then I will have them fall back to Kleestadt. I'm hoping they can get the bridges blown and move back over the hill to the southeast before getting pinned when the enemy shows up. The company's AT and AD assets are in an elevated position to the WNW to provide cover. I fear this company will take heavy losses, but taking out the two bridges will hopefully slow the enemy advance.
- B/1-36: Holding in Klein-Umstadt; engage enemy advancing through the gap between central and southern roads, and hopefully provide overwatch and cover for A co if the weather cooperates.
- C/1-36: Holding in Langstadt; engage enemy advancing via central road or northern roads from Schaafheim. There is a large heavily-wooded hill in between the two roads that I think would be too slow for a rapid Soviet advance. I'm focusing on covering the roads and open areas as best I can for now.
- C/23rd CEB: Screening in a town west of C/1-36. Keeping this unit in reserve until fights start to break out; road network should allow mostly rapid response.
- D/23rd CEB: Screening in Richen, west of B/1-36. Keeping this unit in reserve as well.

Artillery
- Mortar: On call, close enough to support A/B/C companies as needed. Will consider dropping mines and smoke once the enemy pokes his head out a bit.
- M109s: Positioned in northern Munster, given orders for counter-battery fire. I expect the ability of the enemy to use roads initially would make trying to hit moving tanks or APCs very tough.
- ADA: Providing support on the southern road out of enemy arrival area. I may have cheated a bit here; I watched a YouTube play-through of this scenario and there were quite a lot of enemy Hinds that came out of this area, so hopefully I'll be able to keep them in check a bit.


I think that's about it to begin. All of the above took a few days of reading through printouts and scribbling on maps. As I'm hoping to use this as a learning experience, here's what I've got so far:

- Reading through my complete OOB and taking notes on my specific unit capabilities and chain of command was incredibly helpful in understanding what I have at my disposal to start the scenario. This is probably a no-brainer for most of you, but sometimes I just want to start playing straight away. :)

- I've had some difficulties in the past with some operational-level games that put me in command of hundreds of units, which is why I think I've favored smaller scenarios. I find I am very prone to "analysis paralysis", so sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to do min/maxing for the theoretical "best" positions and actions for every single counter. Keeping track of chain of command and logically grouping units helped me to be a little more relaxed and go with an attitude of "this is probably good enough", realizing that once the enemy shows up they won't care about what my perfectly-crafted layout looks like.

- This is the first time that I really took the time to consider the enemy's initial position, and how I would expect them to act. In most wargames I've played, I just try to position my units to provide as much frontage as I can in an area forward of the victory points/objectives. I suppose this can be an okay strategy in Napoleonic-era games, where you've got massive armies in large, open fields. However, with somewhat asymmetric forces in the NATO/WP setting, combined with the hills and forests of the German countryside, I think a lot more thought is needed as far as what you expect the enemy to do and where you expect them to do it. If I set up a straight north-south line of infantry just west of the enemy initial position, I have no doubt they would all be cut down within the first hour.

Now all that's left is for me to try to come up with other things to consider, so I can delay clicking the "Start" button as long as I can. :)

I'll try to keep somewhat regular updates on the battle, but I have a somewhat unpredictable home/family schedule so I'll see how that works out. Wish me luck!
Post #: 1
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/23/2019 9:34:56 AM   
MikeJ19


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From: Ottawa, Canada
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Mirrorshades,

This looks very interesting and I really enjoyed reading through your plan and analysis.

Good luck, have fun and good gaming!

_____________________________

Mike

Retired Gunner

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 2
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/23/2019 11:40:45 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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Thanks! Definitely open to critique or recommendations as well.

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 3
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/23/2019 12:32:05 PM   
CapnDarwin


Posts: 7520
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From: Newark, OH
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Always enjoy a good AAR! Happy Hunting.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues and we will hopefully have news about our new website and even whispers of Beta Testing soon!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 4
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/23/2019 2:03:47 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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From: Italy
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Following.

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 5
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/24/2019 4:01:43 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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Okay, quick update from the front. As expected, my Recon troopers in the south had a great view into the enemy's initial position. Also as expected, there were approximately a metric crapton of Hinds hovering around there, just like wasps after you knock the nest down.

Needless to say, my scouts did not last long once the Hinds spotted them. A couple fell to Hind gunfire, and a couple to a startlingly quick artillery barrage. They managed to take out a couple enemy Recon units on the way, but inside of about 10 minutes they were gone.

Halfway down the trail to Hell in a shady meadow green,
are the Souls of all dead troopers camped near a good old-fashion canteen,
and this eternal resting place is known as Fiddlers' Green.

Marching past, straight through to Hell, the Infantry are seen,
accompanied by the Engineers, Artillery and Marine,
for none but the shades of Cavalrymen dismount at Fiddlers' Green.


Another painful loss within the first 15 minutes or so was my Air Defense unit just up the road from my ill-fated scouts. They went down fighting hard, taking 7 Hinds with them. I thought they might make it through to the end since I had set their disposition to Screen, but they decided to stay and put up a fight. Another suspiciously fast barrage finished them off as well. I have quickly developed a grudging respect for the Pact gunners, and I will have to keep their speed and accuracy in mind as the day goes on.

I dropped some smoke in front of A CO to help screen them from view while they were taking out the bridges. Some Hinds began to make a nuisance of themselves in this area as well, but the company's AD section managed to sink a couple of them before they did too much damage.

A few enemy tanks and recon APCs were spotted along the southern road, and they were handled quite nicely by B CO's AT platoon. They have claimed 12 kills thus far, including 1 of the hated Hinds and a couple HQs to boot.

Here's a quick shot of my front line at the end of the first command cycle:



Weather has changed from clear to rain, so I assume my smoke may not last very long. I had originally wanted A CO to get the heck out of Dodge, but the Hinds right in their face might make me re-think that. It's about 2 klicks of open road from Schlierbach to Kleestadt, and they are mostly dug in already in town. I may keep them there since they are in relatively good cover on the reverse slope and with a blown bridge between them and the enemy. I expect if they try to head southwest, they'll get chewed up by the Hinds before they make it over the hill.

I'm also going to have some words with whatever 2LT is in charge of my FSCC, since I'm sure I never would have authorized a barrage order ON A SINGLE HELICOPTER:

quote:

1105 hrs - 1/2/29th FA Bn - new orders received: Barrage: Neutralizing Fire (3x) on hex 3520 at 1105 hrs.
1110 hrs - 1/2/29th FA Bn - neutralizing fire (3x) in hex 3620
1110 hrs - 1/2/29th FA Bn : fires 155mm M185 basic hit chance of (10%) against a Mi-24V Hind at a range of 14500m / 6666m
1110 hrs - 1/2/29th FA Bn (8 x M109A2 and 1 x M577A2 C2V) in 0710 is engaging 3/3/485th Helo Rgt (1 x Mi-24V Hind) in hex 3620 at range 14,538m.


Needless to say, he (I'm assuming it's "he", as most ladies I know are blessed with common sense and better judgement than that) didn't manage to shoot it down with my 109s. Did manage to burn up about 15% of the battery's ammo trying, though.


Actual footage from FSCC.


(Although in the YouTube play-through I watched, the artillery did take one out... so I guess anything is possible.)

That's it for now. Starting to heat up very quickly; I really need to think of something to do about those Hinds, as the bulk of my AD is now gone. I expect they will continue to make my life miserable like a splinter I can't quite get at. I don't know how they do in bad weather, but maybe if the rain continues for a bit they'll need to come in closer and I'll have a better shot at them.

Mirrorshades out.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 6
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/26/2019 6:02:29 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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From: Italy
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Damn, 7 Hinds is a massive success for an AD unit!

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 7
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/26/2019 10:18:21 AM   
altipueri

 

Posts: 590
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Blimey that's some sniping with 155mm cannon at 6000+ metres. 10% chance. What were they firing?

Some time ago when was interested in the arms sales business I read about a dentist who bought a 50mm anti tank gun and went rabbit shooting with it.

"I don't hit many, but when I do, oh man."

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 8
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/26/2019 10:48:04 AM   
HeinzBaby


Posts: 87
Joined: 12/1/2014
From: WEST AUSTRALIA
Status: offline
I'm enjoying your AAR,
I find Brads in heavy cover (Towns, woods) quite effective against Helos
good work, keep going.

_____________________________

Heia Safari

(in reply to altipueri)
Post #: 9
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/27/2019 5:10:10 AM   
mirrorshades

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 3/16/2019
Status: offline
Update: 1204 Jul 23

About 1 hour into the battle now. The swarming Hinds are making life miserable for my frontline infantry, B CO to the south in particular. They are starting to face low ammo and low morale issues, but it's hard for me to tell which is lower. Several tanks and some APCs are approaching via the southern road, but have been held up a bit due to the strategically-placed minefields.

I have moved one of my reserve Engineer infantry companies (D CO) south to the eastern edge of Gross-Umstadt. They are holding at a choke point in the valley, while their HQ platoon is wiring the bridge to the west for demolition. The company is amphibious, so they should not be slowed down too much in the event they need to fall back.

I wanted to move the HQ platoon for A CO in closer to the rest of the company, but it got spotted by some Hinds on the way over and has been taking heavy gunfire (approximate center of the map, I've added a familiar red line for effect). I have ordered the AD sections from C CO in the north (Stingers and 20mm Vulcan, love that sound!) to move up the hill to the southeast and give the HQ some support. A CO's own AD sections have been shredded by Hinds and artillery, and are down to one Stinger missile team. They are none too happy, either.

So far I have taken down 28 Hind helicopters (!!!), but there are still approximately a half-dozen buzzing around that I can see. As 1200 hit, the first of the tanks on the southern road made it through the minefield and are now moving on B CO. Other than my D CO Engineers, there are not really any units that can move quickly to support them and, since they are on the eastern edge of town, it would be a very tough fighting withdrawal to try to pull them back. I may see if I can focus some artillery fire on the tanks while they are in the clear, just to drop their readiness a bit. Despite my taking several devastating barrages from the enemy guns, my own artillery -- with orders for counter-battery fire and the entire map within their range -- has not fired one shot in return. Maybe they're prepping for another shot at some Hinds? Another artillery platoon just arrived and is moving into position in Munster as well.

Here's the current condition:


It started raining heavily a little after 1130 and has lightened up a bit since.

Question for those who may know: in the TOC "Reported Kills" section, my overall HQ unit (the one highlighted on the map) is claiming 11 tank kills. I'm pretty sure they have not engaged any tanks head-to-head in a firefight, let alone taken out almost a dozen. Does the HQ get credit for minefield kills? I know there have been quite a few. Or is there some other way a HQ can claim kills?

Mirrorshades out.

(in reply to HeinzBaby)
Post #: 10
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 4/27/2019 2:21:32 PM   
CapnDarwin


Posts: 7520
Joined: 2/12/2005
From: Newark, OH
Status: offline
Miscellaneous kills are creditied to the HiHQ.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues and we will hopefully have news about our new website and even whispers of Beta Testing soon!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 11
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/2/2019 5:28:50 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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Update: 1335 Jul 23

Action has been building over the last 90 minutes; most of which has taken place within the last 30 or so (roughly 2x NATO command cycles). By now I think I can discern that the main enemy push is coming through the mostly open area between the central and southern roads. (I assume they have names/numbers but I always forget to zoom in on the map and look at them.)

I have ordered B CO to make a "fighting withdrawal" to the northwest of Klein-Umstadt, but they are taking an absolute beating. I have ordered C CO to make an assault move south to Kleestadt to provide support; I also ordered one of my reinforcement tank companies to that same area. The tanks arrived just in time, and C CO is not far behind. I moved my C Engineers east to Langstadt, since I still want to keep an eye on that northern sector.

Speaking of the northern sector... I sent my northern Recon unit in toward Schaatheim (slowly), and I was able to observe at least 2 dozen tanks and some APCs just sort of loitering around in Ringheim (far northeast on map). They looked like older tanks (T-64 maybe?); I'm not sure if they were there as a reserve or if they had just arrived as reinforcements. Either way, I got a few good licks in on them with my artillery before they knew what hit them. Unfortunately, it was just a few minutes before the Soviet command cycle was to begin, so I saw them quickly high-tail it to the south.

A CO is still holding in Schlierbach, though they are slowly getting worn down as enemy units arrive through the middle. In what I thought was a quiet moment, I ordered them all to Resupply... and not 5 minutes later was surprised to see a Soviet AT unit come barreling into town with reckless abandon. Despite my infantry attempting to resupply, the enemy is pinned in the southern part of town for now, where they are ripe targets for some of my artillery.

Here's the situation as of 1335:


I am about an hour away from my next set of reinforcements, and about 90 minutes from some air support. My center is looking a bit weak at the moment (you can see the Soviets have captured a VP location at the point of their thrust), but I'm hoping that my tanks and artillery can slow them down and prevent a turn to the southwest. I have re-assigned my battery that was on counter-battery orders back to on call; they have been largely ineffective at counter-battery and I'm hoping they can have more impact in slowing down the enemy advance in the center.

I did receive the "enemy losses are reaching critical proportions" message via SIGINT, which hopefully is a good sign. A bit game-y again, but I've claimed about 60% of Soviet unit VPs as kills; I have no idea if that translates to 60% of their entire force, but at least it seems like I'm on the right track and I may be able to win if the center holds.

Right now my TOC says I've got 223 reported enemy kills. Top dog is 3/2 Tank Co, with 25; #2 is 3/2/29 FA with 22. Also happy to report that my latest Enemy Intel report shows ZERO estimated Hind helicopters remaining -- I've a grand total of 34 killed. Good riddance!



Observations thus far:
- Cover is absolutely critical for NATO tanks. I watched an entire platoon get wiped out in minutes since I had ordered them into position on a hilltop. They took out quite a few enemy tanks and APCs, but they took enough direct fire from approximately 20 in return and had nowhere to hide. Godspeed, tankers.

- I've been underwhelmed with counter-battery fire. Despite taking quite a beating with some well-placed shots, I think I've only seen one or two CB fires in return from my side. Maybe I need more units assigned to CB in order to make a difference?

- I'm having trouble keeping some units in command range of their HQ. I know it's possible to re-subordinate units via the OOB tab; I'm not sure if this takes effect instantly, but I'm under enough pressure now that I don't want any unnecessary delays.

- Despite having limited orders enabled, I have only once or twice come close to using all of my allocated orders in a given command cycle. By and large, I've been able to make only minor adjustments to my overall disposition up to this point. I suppose that means that my initial strategy was sound, but since it's only my first time through this scenario it will be interesting to see what other surprises I may have yet to come across. (If there are more Hinds, I may just rage-quit.)

- This scenario is a bit longer than the others I've played, and I can see that I need to figure out a better way to handle resupply and readiness/morale. In other more traditional turn-based games, it's not a big deal to simply move the fatigued units out from the front, and bring up their replacements in short order. However here, I can feel the frustration of my units under fire not being able to disengage, and the reserve units not moving fast enough or getting caught on the open road.

- I've been taking notes along the way, and I think it's definitely been helpful (especially for the times when I have to step away for a couple days in the middle of a turn). I'm approaching a consistent format that is similar to an abbreviated version of OODA, and it helps me think through each command cycle logically instead of just freestyling from turn to turn. Having an overall strategy also makes it easier to see what deviations may be required each round, instead of getting halfway in, losing track of everything, and trying to avoid a staggering defeat. (My usual strategy.)

Hope you're enjoying so far. I'm having more fun doing this than I expected. :)

Mirrorshades out.

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 12
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/2/2019 10:57:55 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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From: Italy
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quote:

- I've been underwhelmed with counter-battery fire. Despite taking quite a beating with some well-placed shots, I think I've only seen one or two CB fires in return from my side. Maybe I need more units assigned to CB in order to make a difference?


From my limited experience, counterbattery fire seems really underwhelming, too, but because MY artillery never seems to do it even when I keep multiple off-map batteries on that duty. Enemy counterbattery, however, seemed to have no problems in hitting them.

Eventually, I stopped using counterbattery order altogather.

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 13
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/2/2019 11:03:25 AM   
HeinzBaby


Posts: 87
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From: WEST AUSTRALIA
Status: offline
I'm enjoying this..

I don't bother with Counter Battery Fires, the Tubes are too valuable for sighted targets.
rather, don't stack and keep moving rear echelon units (arty & HQ's)
Moving unit in view of enemy units is suicide, better to continue the firefight and go down fighting,
than get smashed pulling out to new positions in full view of Ivan.

_____________________________

Heia Safari

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 14
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/2/2019 4:13:09 PM   
CapnDarwin


Posts: 7520
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From: Newark, OH
Status: offline
We will have to check out the CB code and see if something is going on to cut down its on map targeting and missions.

It does bear pointing out that offmap enemy artillery is dealt with automatically by assests beyond your own control. On map targets should be targeted by on and in some cases your off map CB units. I need to review the code to get all the the mechanics for friendly off map use based on map edge range.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues and we will hopefully have news about our new website and even whispers of Beta Testing soon!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to HeinzBaby)
Post #: 15
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/2/2019 7:13:26 PM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2670
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From: Ottawa, Canada
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Mirrorshades,

Great stuff. I do not use my artillery assets for CB that often. I find them better in taking out enemy tanks and infantry.

Your centre is not too bad. Did you keep a reserve? I try, and often fail, to keep a reserve ready to reinforce a key area or exploit an opening.

Have fun

_____________________________

Mike

Retired Gunner

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 16
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/3/2019 3:02:54 AM   
mirrorshades

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 3/16/2019
Status: offline

quote:

Did you keep a reserve? I try, and often fail, to keep a reserve ready to reinforce a key area or exploit an opening.


There are a couple smaller infantry companies that I was keeping back as reserves. I ended up committing one of them further to the south in anticipation that the Soviets would try to sneak through a valley on my far right. So far it looks like that was unnecessary and they could probably have moved in toward the center instead.

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 17
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/3/2019 4:55:25 AM   
mirrorshades

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 3/16/2019
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Update: 1347 Jul 23

Not even one complete turn since my last update (12 minutes), and I got the "sudden death" pop-up informing me that enemy losses had exceeded 70% of their total force and giving me the option to stand fast and end the battle or press on. As my primary objective was to deny the enemy westward movement, I decided to accept the terms and let them go back and lick their wounds.

Here's the good stuff first:


So my first time through this one, I'll take a Tactical Success at 78%. It was very tempting to bypass the sudden death and keep going to see if I could push for the extra 4% and a Decisive, but there was still over 6 hours remaining and I'm not sure I would have been able to hold all the VPs for that long (only a little over 2 hours in at this point). I'll take "competent and professional" this time; I'm already thinking of some things I can do differently next time around.

Something odd happened as well, once the game was over. The first time I viewed the WP TOC at the game's end, it mentioned that the CO had a very disappointing performance and was going to be reassigned to a desk job for the remainder of their tenure. However, when I went back in just now to check something, the status has changed and now shows the WP CO as KIA, "Your death in battle saddens us all." I guess he was killed between when I finished the game and when I came back to finish off this AAR?

Anyway, here's a look at the end state. Not too very different from my last screen capture, except I can see where all the baddies are now:


Some final thoughts, in no particular order:

- Regarding that WP infantry unit in the center, holy smokes! I've never seen a single counter represent a unit that large.

- Counter-battery fire did me almost no good; my TOC shows 1 enemy FA kill after 2+ hours of CB orders. Next time, I'll just leave on call or direct support instead.

- My reserve infantry from the Engineer units could have been used more effectively, though I did not know that ahead of time. C/23 did not fire a single shot during the engagement, and D/23 took minimal losses and recorded 1 enemy tank KIA.

- I always forget that "build bridge" is a valid option. I was laughing as I saw a couple tank units get "stuck" at various points on one side of a river and it took me a while to get around to sending artillery their way (I figured they'd just have to pull back and go around). A couple command cycles later, they were all of a sudden up in my face. Oops.

- On a subsequent playthrough, I may try to resubordinate all of my AD units under one command and mass them to the center/south. The enemy Hinds were a major nuisance early on; it would have been nice not to have to try to deal with them when the ground units started to poke their heads out.

- This is the first scenario I can recall that included Soviet T-64 tanks instead of just T-80. They never made it anywhere near the front line, so I don't have a sense for how they compare in a firefight.

- This terrain was somewhat challenging for maneuver. There are plenty of roads, but they tend to be out in the open. Areas of good cover are spread out enough that once the enemy closed to contact, they prevented effective use of the road network.

- I was initially a bit nervous about doing my initial setup so far to the east, but I can see that it would have been tough to advance east once the shooting started in order to reclaim the VPs. I could probably have created a tighter front with fewer losses if I'd stayed further to the west, but I don't imagine I would have ended the game with as high of a rating.

- Since there were no VPs in the enemy rear area, I was kind of at a loss for what to have my recon do for most of the time. My recon HQ unit ended up being quite a fighter and took out a few Hinds, but otherwise I lost one straight away and the other one just sat watching an empty road for most of the game. They seem painfully fragile, so I never feel like I have much incentive to send them out too close to where they might "bump into" the bad guys.

- I have to figure out a better way to handle resupply. The manual says that a resupply order causes the unit to fall back and regroup, but apparently I don't understand what this means with respect to the game mechanics. If I need to manually move engaged units some hexes back, then I can't wait until they reach "Low Ammo" since it will take them a while to break off combat. Resupply under fire doesn't work so well.

- I need to make sure that I can keep HQ units closer to their subordinate units. This map was a bit larger than I'm used to, and the command radius doesn't cover 1/2 the map like it does in some smaller scenarios. :)


I guess that's about it for now. Thanks for riding along, and while I feel like I learned a lot I'm definitely open to any comments or critiques on my strategy and performance (or tips on game mechanics).

Mirrorshades out.

< Message edited by mirrorshades -- 5/3/2019 11:20:02 AM >

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 18
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/3/2019 5:45:43 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 294
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
Status: offline
A clean victory.

(in reply to mirrorshades)
Post #: 19
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/3/2019 9:46:40 AM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2670
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Well done! Keeping units inside the command radius can be very difficult - it is something I am still working on, too.

I really enjoyed your posts.

Have fun!

_____________________________

Mike

Retired Gunner

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
Post #: 20
RE: Dawn's First Light -- NATO - 5/4/2019 5:32:00 AM   
mirrorshades

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 3/16/2019
Status: offline
One final addendum to this story. I've restarted and am playing through the opening set of moves with some tweaks to my initial setup based on what I've learned above. In particular, I restructured my ADA and Stinger units to provide much more even coverage up front with better infantry support.

In the first command cycle in the current game, I've taken out 17 Hinds (as compared to 9 in the first game). That should be half of the total! Maybe I'll get that "Decisive" yet. :)

(Also I've learned that my Stinger missile teams, when they do manage to get a SAM actually launched, could not hit the broad side of the moon, apparently. Maybe they're more effective against fixed-wing aircraft?)

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 21
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