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T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery

 
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T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/12/2020 8:08:21 AM   
loki100


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T88 – 3 March 1945

Another massive Luftwaffe raid on the depots behind 9 Army.



Predictable losses but then, given the stage of the game, I doubt the losses matter, more the resulting damage to my logistics network.



Next turn's weather is heavy rain over most of the front.

As usual in the battles around the Ruhr cities, picking up a lot of flak damage on tactical missions so, despite next week's expected weather still can't commit much. Bulk of the heavy bombers hit the defenders of Cologne and Amsterdam.

VP situation -5, despite getting bombing pts up to +2. Simply too many losses.



Netherlands, Amsterdam captured, Nijmegen cleared so that eases movement. 1 US blocked by low MP and the high cross river movement costs.



Cologne falls to the first assault. Other than that, no real gains as it seems this is the main German commitment.

To the south, the Airborne and 9 Army manage some gains but unable to exploit.



Also rather frustrating for 1FF and 7A, made some gains but no reward for the extra losses.



So think the theme of that turn is it was frustrating. I guess in part suspecting that the weather next turn will close things down. So losses.



On the subject of losses, seems that Montgomery has managed to get himself killed.



Destroyed list looks better than I expected, not sure where I destroyed 12 SS Pzr. Think I saw one counter disappear during the bombing phase so I may have bombed it into oblivion?



Since its quite a few turns since we had a picture of some bagpipes, here they are in Amsterdam (Canadian forces)



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RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/12/2020 6:38:37 PM   
paullus99


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Oh no, Monty died.....don't think many will cry over it.

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RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/12/2020 7:09:39 PM   
Sardaukar


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Monty dead...this was unexpected bonus.

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Post #: 183
RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/12/2020 11:11:11 PM   
GloriousRuse

 

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Re: VPs. When the game ends, I plan on posting a VP analysis. While it's obviously a work in progress - and Loki is actually on track to win this thing - some interesting initial findings. As a caveat, we both have a gentleman's agreement not to simply grab a chunk of France and wait for victory, hence we didn't feel the need for the city VP. Also, Loki isn't exactly playing for blood...he's been very forgiving in our game, including re-cocked turns, and is not trying for VP optimization.

That said:

-Without optional cities, waiting in France for victory is still very much plausible. Loki netted 260 VP (bombing-special target maluses) through the air war, pre-dominantly in '43. He did this while considering VP a necessary evil and targeting trucks and tanks. By the time of the August breakouts, his reward for do-nothing turns was around 6-8 VP per turn. He had not yet breached the Apennines. It won't get you a major, but one capital and a successful air war in '43 can win the game unless the optional cities are in play. It'd be a very boring game, but you'd win.

-Related to the above, the '43 to early '44 air war is basically sufficient to win. Loki was actually closer to a 280 air war VP before a few really bad V-weapon turns kicked in post-invasion. And again, he was not really VP raiding so much as hitting VPs to pay for his raids on military industries. Granted, he is quite good at the game and I am quite new, but presumably a lesser player fully dedicated to VPs could create similar results or better.

-The ground war is essentially paid in delay. Loki kicked me all over the map in '43, but by the VPs he was losing the ground war. After he was (self)-stabilized in N. Italy, he was being paid all spring long for an early Rome. Which means that it is really hard to make a mathematical case for ground action in '45 unless you have optional cities or think you can nab Berlin. Or have our hand-shake not to let the reds overrun Europe because it makes VP sense.



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RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/13/2020 1:04:06 AM   
Joel Billings


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With EF control on, things can change because the Soviets may not get to Berlin by May 5 so delay penalties could add up. But EF control brings an entirely different balance dynamic in play so you make a very good point re EF control off. So using the optional city VP rules is a good thing.

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RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/13/2020 5:06:08 AM   
GloriousRuse

 

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Thanks for the reply!

On the note of the ostfront, if I had a small wishlist for the game, a simplified EF box would be one of the items on it. Right now it is an ungodly spreadsheet and mini-game of optimizing refits in Berlin with potentially outsized impacts for proficiency in the mechanics rather than the big decision of “where do I send forces”...if the real intent is to reward the German player if he can fight with extra forces sent East, or punish him if he needs to bring more forces West, maybe there’s a way to simply decline a withdrawal or send additional forces without having to manage the giant list?


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Post #: 186
RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/13/2020 7:35:38 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paullus99

Oh no, Monty died.....don't think many will cry over it.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Monty dead...this was unexpected bonus.


Such lack of sympathy for the early demise of such a likeable general ...



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RE: T88 - the unexpected death of Montgomery - 3/13/2020 7:40:25 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GloriousRuse

Thanks for the reply!

On the note of the ostfront, if I had a small wishlist for the game, a simplified EF box would be one of the items on it. Right now it is an ungodly spreadsheet and mini-game of optimizing refits in Berlin with potentially outsized impacts for proficiency in the mechanics rather than the big decision of “where do I send forces”...if the real intent is to reward the German player if he can fight with extra forces sent East, or punish him if he needs to bring more forces West, maybe there’s a way to simply decline a withdrawal or send additional forces without having to manage the giant list?




I must confess I hate that long tail of VP losses if the EF is on and the Soviets slow, I've seen a few draws slitp to a minor defeat for no really good reason.

In this respect its worth noting that the Theatre Box system in WiTE2 is much more elegant. You can play that with full control or accept historical transfers. The latter is how we are testing the game at the moment and I think is the approach that makes sense.

But in WiTW its either inert or a lot of micro. In WiTE2, say the Germans do better in bashing the Soviets, well the lower replacement needed to hold the OstFront means more flows to containing the Western Allies (& vice-versa).

Also the new events system gives more variability than simply following the historical timetable. So say the Soviets have a good 1941 winter, well the extra replacements needed hit both east and west fronts, so maybe the Allies make better progress in N Africa and so on. The events then might make this worse or reset things.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/13/2020 7:45:22 AM >


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Post #: 188
T89 - Wallowing in the mud - 3/13/2020 7:43:07 AM   
loki100


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T89 – 10 March 1945

As threatened, heavy rain and the same for next week according to the forecast. At least that makes for a quick airphase.

VP at -2, the big picture is not going to change much, but I am starting to double up city and bombing VP so still a chance to push this up towards +300.



Usual German attacks on my depots, this time provoking a bit of jet on jet action.



Southern armies manage to mostly clear the rough ground so some chance of the southern German cities.

3 Army managed some gains (not sure why but it has decent supply). Mostly let 2 Br rest.




Netherlands, over the Ij so in theory its open ground all the way to Berlin ...




Losses, in reality my combat losses are being swamped by attrition loses, especially with the high supply costs I am paying.



As an update to the last post, units destroyed by the Soviets are now appearing in my destroyed list, hence the 12 SS Pzr.

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T90 - Advancing on Bavaria - 3/13/2020 8:33:00 PM   
loki100


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T90 – 17 March 1945

Bit of an unexpected weather improvement to rain/heavy mud – looks like the same next turn. At least I have some airpower again.

VP up to +6, still think we are heading for a draw.

I'm confused at the 0 for v-weapons, I thought the factories still generated VP even once the launch sites were out of action. The V-2 was launched from the sites in the Baltic (if I recall something I read correctly?). I certainly did a lot of damage in the air phase which suggests some factories had repaired. I know the calculation has a random element but this is more than I'd expect (esp as GR said some larger stuff had repaired).



Air allocation as before. Some of 8 AAF is still bombing deeper targets but almost everything else is on tactical air missions. If I can, the intention is bomb apart the German front line on 4 sectors and then see if that eases actually breaking through.

The Luftwaffe intervened but lost over 300 planes in the process. Further heavy A2A losses in the ground phase – I'm having to escort everything and have 3 substantial AS missions covering the main parts of the front (and some fighter groups unassigned and left back in reserve).

I revise my opinion that 'Point Blank' picked the wrong target, next time the Luftwaffe is hit in 1943.



In Italy, the Germans are trying some sort of 'ooze' offensive around Udine. I send my Italians to tell them not to push it too far.

Netherlands, any hopes of real gains removed by major rivers and poor terrain. Still managed to position 1 US Army for next turn.



2 British attacked north towards the Ruhr with some gains. Hope is that with Cologne now up as a depot supply will improve here.

Far more successsful was the combination of 3A, 9A and the Airborne Army. Darmstadt was the only city taken but that sets me up for Frankfurt and the relatively clear terrain of Hesse.




7 and 1FF armies advance almost at will. The Germans had to leave one sector weak and its clear they are defending the Ruhr. Here the only constraint is my MP as I can mostly operate using hasty attacks.

Karlsruhe and Pforzheim captured and only 10 miles from Stuttgart.



Do remain confused as to the accuracy of this table, especially as I attacked far more this turn than last.



A large pile of shells for British artillery





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T91 - Cologne feeds the British Army - 3/14/2020 7:16:17 AM   
loki100


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T91 – 24 March 1945

So 6 or 7 turns left ... so that implies say another +30, with a bit more for extra gains. Still think its heading for a draw.



Cologne is repaying all the effort to take it. Interesting to see that Bordeaux is still contributing freight to the front line depots. Its also well protected.

Germans lost 330 planes in their latest attack on my depots, fortunately they hit Saarbruecken, which matters but is an area with some redundancy due to the network I have in place.

Weather light rain/heavy mud, next turn it will return to heavy rain.



Netherlands, starting to cross the German border, another sector where I can make a few deep penetrations with rested armour. Its also a supply rich sector with so many large ports and decent sized railyards.



2 British slowly cutting behind the Ruhr – no point attacking it till its cut off. 3 US mostly rested but a few gains.



Approaching Frankfurt, few pockets and the threat of a larger one.



Near complete collapse for the Germans, main issue now is my lack of MP.



Losses light again, maybe that attrition rates are falling now I have a good depot network east of hte Rhine.



Manpower. Good for the end, I've scrapped a UK armour and infantry division and paratroop brigade. Not only frees up manpower but also places useful elements in the pools.





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T92 - 0n the road to Munich? - 3/14/2020 3:32:48 PM   
loki100


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T92 – 31 March 1945

Rare instance where my forecasters were wrong, turned to light rain and light mud. Looks like the very northern sector of the front gets heavy rain next week but mostly stays as light rain.

Germans bombed Cologne (the little bit that BC left alone).

VP per turn stabilising around +6.



Can't really call this the Netherlands any more though the Germans still hold 3 cities in Friesland.

Mostly relying on hasty attacks now and then pushing back the routed pile.

Main intention now is to cut off theh Ruhr and move the infantry to move into position for the assault. This will free the US armour to roam across N Germany (or not).



2 British took Wuppertal and cut the rails east of Dortmund. Still losing battles here but 3 Army reducing the German bulge (makes it easier to refit and resupply).

Need to put a unit adjacent to Essen to stop that working as a NSS. Failed this turn (the 3 hasty attacks) but will manage this from north or south next turn. If I can surround the Ruhr then it will fall before the end of the game.



3 cities taken on this sector and Frankfurt surrounded. Still some strong German stacks.



Mirror image of the north. Again able to advance by hasty attack. Ulm captured, should be able to take Stuttgart next turn.



Losses up a lot, but I may have enough factories to give me 3 bombing points.

At a rough guess I have about 250 'factories' under my control (so say 1.5 VP), a lot of population pts escape but are damaged, I'd make a very rough guess at say 100 of this, so that gives me over 2 VP, plus the remnants of the damage from the strategic bombing.



Supply is mostly ok. Some odd differences such as 7A having more than 1FF (despite that operating from the Strasbourg bridges).




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RE: T92 - 0n the road to Munich? - 3/14/2020 6:08:23 PM   
EddyBear81

 

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I'm afraid the Ruhr won't be "cut off" : Essen is a national supply source (NSS) ?

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RE: T92 - 0n the road to Munich? - 3/14/2020 6:50:04 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EddyBear81

I'm afraid the Ruhr won't be "cut off" : Essen is a national supply source (NSS) ?


stops being that once a unit is adjacent, been carefully rereading the rules about that as its very different in WiTE2 (which I have got more used to).

reverts to simply being a normal depot and all the surplus over new capacity is lost

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T93 - Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud - 3/14/2020 6:51:33 PM   
loki100


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T93 – 7 April 1945

This time the forecast was worse than I expected – heavy rain/heavy mud across the front. So no airpower this turn. Looks like the same next turn as well.

My rough estimate of the bombing VP was correct, up to +3.



Given the weather, trying to do some build up for the Ruhr battles but also no point in a general rest. So north of the Ruhr add a few more cities and should be able to encircle it next turn.

Took quite a lot of bombing VP as I cleared the northern suburbs (all that oil and fuel production).



Main thing here was capturing Frankfurt. That stops German auto-rebuilds (which will really make a difference).

Main aim is to move 3A towards Kassel and a large pocket around the German units south of the Ruhr, 15A can push towards Wuerzburg and Schweinfurt (lots of bombing VP).



Preparing to take Stuttgart, really here its a case of taking what is on offer – no real need to fight for much.



Losses more or less the same, largely driven by attrition rather than combat.





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T94 - Counting to 300 ... - 3/15/2020 7:11:43 AM   
loki100


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T94 – 14 April 1945

I've never played an EF off game to the end. So the manual says it will end first turn of May, so after this one I assume I have 2 more turns as I guess T97 will be 4 May (or similar)?

Got lucky (again) with the weather – light rain/heavy mud so at least I can bomb things – according to the CR I have 14,200 planes (excl transports) available. Looks like it will be much the same next turn.

VP up to +8, helped by bombing pts up to +4 (those factories north of the Ruhr and around Frankfurt will have helped).



North of the Ruhr take the last cities in the Netherlands, 1 Army spreads out between Bremen and Hannover.

Ruhr itself is cut off. Dortmund and Dusseldorf captured. Not sure I'll have the chance to take the 3 central hexes – depends on how quickly they start to suffer supply problems.



3 Army's mobile units lacking fuel so the main progress east of Frankfurt is the infantry just pushing forward. If I can restore mobility there are some decent targets just behind the current front.

In the south, take Stuttgart, Germans have reverted, sensibly, to a hedgehog defence at the key cities.



Losses staying much the same as on recent turns. Add on around 9,000 damaged tanks, some formations have over 60% of their tanks out of action.



As I've been remiss about pictures – here is one of Allied troops entering Dortmund in April 1945.



We can come back to a discussion of VP at the end. But very basically losses=city VP and it is my net bombing points that make a difference. Practical issue is that once I decided to gamble on being aggressive I needed to keep to it – it cost me heavily early on and then I needed the Italian cities just to balance that out and so on.

I'm still not convinced it is worth committing to Italy post-Rome, even though I have indeed done it here.

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T95 - still doesn't add up - 3/15/2020 5:07:46 PM   
loki100


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T95 – 21 April 1945

I don't think the Germans reacted well to my lone US cavalry regiment that went on a run across their line of retreat.



VP +13. If I am right that there are two more turns then this could be interesting – still think its not going to reach 300.



Weather improves to rain/light mud, likely to be the same next turn. Have I mentioned that I think I have been lucky with the weather.

Given where we are this is no longer a particular secret. Shows my depot structure behind the northern armies. Have just built the one in Dusseldorf.



Now if we press the '8' key we can see how it is being used – a red line is a combat formation/HQ supply trace (shows the main source of supply, there maybe others), a white line is a depot-depot trace.

Explains why 3 Army has had problems if it is drawing direct from Rotterdam, note that Antwerp has very low stores and is basically sending out everything it receives to depots closer to the front/ Cologne is vital for the armies just to the south of the Ruhr.



Bochum was heavily bombed as it appeared to be the weakest of the 3 Ruhr hexes. Assaulted by the bulk of 1 US and 2 British the defenders clearly decided against fighting too hard.



More opportunistically, 15 Army attacked Duisberg. First attack failed but the second was quick and to the point.

Just leaves Essen for next turn.




As I mentioned in the last post, I'm playing with the strat recon overlay showing. May as well hunt bombing pts as anything else.

1 Canadian securing the northern flank while 1 US probes towards Hannover.



Given that 3 armies are involved in the Ruhr battles, shifted 3 US a bit north. Kassel remains a possible target.



The long southern flank. 9A and 1FF trying for Wuerburg and Nuremberg, 7A more opportunistic in its goals but took Augsburg this turn.



OOB. To ease commmand malus around the Ruhr added 15A to 21 Br AG and placed 1 Canadian reporting directly to SHAEF.

I have almost 6,000 damaged tanks.



Turn losses, my losses up a bit.



Since we started with a discussion of the air allocations, lets end that way. USSTAF is basically 8 and 9 AAF. The P47-22 is a direct copy of the -25 so that helps ensure my FB formations are well equipped. Keeping some P38s on the J model as that eases replacement demands.



RAF HQ is a bit more messy as it includes all the Med air groups (so 15AAF and Malta Air both of which are in France).

Getting good use out of my Meteors – in part as the sky is still full of German targets.

I have run out of Typhoons.



So have brought the Kittyhawk IV back out of retirement, for a purely GS mission it is good if you deploy relatively close to the front.

Worth noting that the FF air groups can swap between CW and US equipment at need. So you can pick either best fit or from more plentiful pools, as of now they are all using US planes. I'm also running short of Mosquitos.



But have plenty of level bombers.




Some of the more sensible German forces from the Ruhr.







< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/15/2020 5:08:23 PM >


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RE: T95 - still doesn't add up - 3/15/2020 6:49:11 PM   
GloriousRuse

 

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A German Interlude: A Thousand Years Ends Early

After the game proper ends, I’ll have a few full game observations, but for this final phase here’s the German POV.

I will say, these are grim times as the German player.

Attrition rules hit units with low supply, low experience, and low morale the hardest. Almost all of your units will have two out of three of those and once the battle gets mobile the fact that you are for the first time really starting to run low on trucks for supply rather than just losing a few panzer MP. Which means many units will start taking low supply losses as well. Your entire front line starts dissolving like a sandcastle at the beach, and that is before the allies even attack.

And when they do attack, it gets worse. Everything runs, everything routs, and if you don’t have panzer or an FJ in place, you won’t get a hold. Even with those holds, the days of watching two thousand allies fall in a failed attack are long gone.

Between the two, the losses go beyond the point where you can hope to keep up. Depleted units mostly stay depleted. By the end, over half the Heer at any one moment is in “refit” or “unready.” To my mind your goal is no longer to manage individual crisis’s. It’s to simply try to slow down the utter catastrophe.

With that said:

THE ENEMY

Loki, and I assume really the WA in general, needed the Ruhr for both it’s pile of VPs and because it unlocks north Germany for virtually limitless conquest once the supplies come through. I figured he would make his main effort near Cologne to avoid crossing a major river into fortified cities, shift his Italian Theater forces to South Germany for a secondary drive on either Stuttgart or Munich, and pick up what he could elsewhere. The only upside was that without the Ruhr, there was a natural limit to how easily he could advance into the Hamnurg/Bremen region.

THE PLAN

The overall intent of the plan was to try to slant as much combat power SE and away from the Ruhr as practical, accepting risk in the south and north to achieve that. Optimally, I wanted to channel combat power into the relative dead end of Frankfurt where there are less major VPs to harvest and the rail lines are less bountiful. The idea was that this would delay the fall of the Ruhr until virtually the end of the game, at the expense of Frankfurt and Stuttgart being relatively easy fights for the WA. The hopes were that this would both limit VP and effectively prevent the WA from ever attempting to cross the Elbe or the Wasser.

To that end, I decided to focus nearly all of my remaining armor and semi-intact formations in the Ruhr sector, leaving the south and the Netherlands to their fate. The Frankfurt area was left deliberately weaker to hopefully drag the WA in that direction – away from the Ruhr and away from Berlin! That said, it’s not like I could have mounted a serious defense both there and in the Ruhr anyhow so this may have been a case of making a necessity into a virtue.

The fight would consist of a stand on the banks of the Rhine, using forts that had been digging since the Maas was threatened, a projected containment fight near Cologne to limit the expansion, and then hopefully one last slog through the forests before there was simply nothing left to fight with. At that point, the defenders of the Ruhr proper would simply fight to the death. All other fronts were simply to screen as long as possible using the terrain they had, with divisions being deployed to cities to force an encirclement before the inevitable fall.

THE OUTCOME

Sort of worked. I made a significant error in the Ruhr sector, moving too much armor E/SE because of the temptation of the forest and trying to slide the allies further down. It would have been better able to keep the key cities open by staying in the northern forests and forcing the WA hook to go much longer. As tit was, I created a vulnerability to a short drive along the seam of the woods and the cities – and Loki punished me for it.

The fight on the Rhine disappointed in the ease of crossing, but worked reasonably well for containment near Cologne. Again, the great German mantra of the game seems to be “you can’t stop WA, but once they commit you can muff them ok.” So far, we were on plan. Then Loki started turning an army SE along the woods toward Frankfurt and I figured it might work out. Alas, he started driving NE and I was not quick enough to re-adjust to the reality that the one corps driving there was a much larger threat than the army that might break through the woods. I failed, he cut the Ruhr off two weeks early, and that was the game.

In the south and north he pushed, and pushed, and eventually the forces left there collapsed. An unfortunate reality was that was going to happen most places.

LESSONS

NSS Refit: A bit late to learn this, but it became so easy to use that I learned it by default. One week on a Nation Supply Source – ANY NSS - will bring virtually any formation back to fighting strength. Even a panzer division. Probably the one thing letting the Heer stay in the fight at all was after I made that discovery I started rotating units through. Too little, too late, but a good thing to know.

The Screen: As the one really potentially mobile battle – France is really just pursuit to the next German line – this fight set really highlighted the value of a light screen. Even badly battered security regiments can keep the WA from exploding outwards with their endless armored and motorized legions. By leaving a screen in contact with the WA you can ensure that your intact formations don’t take the Sunday punch and that the WA will have to commit to a major attack after wading through some combat delay. The sum effect is that so long as you can layer, you can keep advances to twenty to thirty miles. Which would be horrific in Italy, but by this point looks positively cheery.

Don't Get Lazy: It is very easy at this stage to get sloppy. It's been a long game. The WA are stomping your face into the curb without any apparent impediment. Your strongest defenses shatter in a turn if the WA really care to break them. Your planning devolves in shuffling more and more and barely coherent units into desperate layers of speedbumps.

But there are still a handful of formations you have, mostly panzers, that can at least redirect the allied tide or slow it down. Using them well can still change where and how the WA win, even if it can't stop them from winning their fights. In this case, they turned Loki off axis just fine - until I screwed up, and then there he was to pounce.





< Message edited by GloriousRuse -- 3/15/2020 7:05:00 PM >

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T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/15/2020 9:10:42 PM   
loki100


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T96 – 28 April 1945

Weather stays rain/light mud, it'll be the same next turn (if that matters).

VP chart is intriguing. As I guessed the Ruhr is worth around 1.5 bombing pts a turn and that does start to add up.



Bombing fairly routine except that 8AAF hit Berlin as a final strategic raid – just to remind Uncle Jo of what can happen .... Actually I am pretty much out of worthwhile tactical targets.

Anyway, not much of real interest happened. Took Essen and a few secondary VP targets, everything of value was well defended.





Now I think this is called 'cutting it fine'.



So we've agreed round #2, where I am made to suffer horribly for all that fun.

Thanks for all the readers and comments, as ever much appreciated. GR is a great opponent with the game played in a pleasant manner and quick return of turns (when feasible).

Some final comments relatively soon.

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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/15/2020 9:32:28 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


Posts: 1914
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From: Berlin, Germany
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Congrats @both for finishing the game!

Well written AAR

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 3/15/2020 9:33:46 PM >


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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/15/2020 10:25:41 PM   
GloriousRuse

 

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As this multi-month venture draws to a close, a touch of analysis. Of course, it’s from the guy who got his rear end handed to him…maybe it’s not gospel?

A few notes:

1) We played with optional cities off, but a gentleman’s agreement to keep pressing until the end. Of them, I was only still holding Munich, Nuremberg, Hannover, Hamburg and Leipzig in any case.

2) We played with EF off, because it seemed odd that so much should come down to a spreadsheet management mini-game that, to our (my?) opinion at least is less about the real decision – how much do you send east vs west – and more about mechanical optimization.

3) Loki was not playing for blood. I have no idea what the full effect of that is, but I assume if he was you would see a higher VP score.

THE TALE OF THE VPs

In the end, victory is counted in VPs. Generally, these are distributed between four main periods of play, and between the air war and the ground war. So, which one mattered most? Which period were they earned in? Does that reflect the actual game?

I am counting Bombing – Special Target VPs for Air, and Cities-(Casualties & Garrison) as the Ground war. In ’45 I count all gained VPs after the fall of Cologne as ground war. Ground includes the -30 VP start position for losses.

Raw Score


First, a raw count. (Yes, this adds to 98 turns – blame the mid turn VP tick)

VP Tally (Earned This Period/Total Score)
1943 (27 Turns): 112/112
VP Per Turn: 4.15
Air War: 192/192
Ground War: -80/-80

Pre D-Day 1944 (19 Turns): 158/260
VP Per Turn: 7.5
Air War: 54/246
Ground War: 94 /14

Post D-Day 1944 (33 Turns): -14/246
VP Per Turn: -0.42
Air War: 42/288
Ground War: -56/-42

1945 (18 Turns): 54/300
VP Per Turn: 3
Air War: 6/294
Ground War: 48/6

Initial Comments

1. From a mathematical perspective, this game was won in the air. Before the first major German city fell, the WA had a net 290+ VP (there were probably a handful for German population small towns and foreign fuel before ‘45, hence the vagueness) points from bombing! As we can see, 1943 accounted for two thirds of that. In other words, the first 27 turns of the air war gave Loki his single biggest chunk of points in the whole game and were utterly indispensable in the final outcome. Plus, the damage done in ’43 just kept paying out all the way through. His skill at the air portion, and my inability to slow down the bombers, clinched the game.

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2. The ground war gives long, slow, inexorable payouts that you might not see immediately. Both in terms of immediate VP, and just as importantly, in access to VP later. By ’43 Loki had all but taken Rome and Tuscany. Yet as you can see, the VP bill looks like he lost ’43. Where you see those results is in early ’44. In terms of actual operations, after a short pursuit it was mostly inconclusive fighting in the mountains. But with 10+ VP of city points pumping in a turn – a WA player hung up on the Gustav is only getting around 5 by this time - he had his single richest ground war period.

In addition, it gave him the time he needed to fight into northern Italy. That fight took nearly nine months to cross over the mountains, which in turned opened access to ~20 cities and urban areas, more if you count the Florence region. Those then started pouring in points in late ‘44 to cover the meat grinder and gave him a buffer for the ’45 modifier drops. I don’t know exactly how many losses he took crossing the mountains so it’s hard to gauge this one, but my gut says that having what amounts to a second France in his hands for ~25 turns paid out handsomely.
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3. Under the conditions, for a player to win, he basically needs to win the two of the four major battles, or win one battle extremely convincingly. Loki won the air war, and he won Italy.


(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 201
RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/16/2020 6:08:51 PM   
loki100


Posts: 6522
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From: Utlima Thule
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EwK thank you

Ok, final comments and a confession.

What did I learn:

a) there is a bug/feature that units with 0 PP can be taken by a TF with over 45 on an invasion. Joel says such units will take a lot of landing damage but its still very hard to dislodge and you could prep using a brigade. Clearly not a good idea for the main French invasion but less risky elsewhere. To be fair, if you read the manual carefully it does say this;
b) sort of related, if an airborne unit has prep pts it keeps them even if it moves off, fights a battle and then arrives at a different airbase in a subsequent turn.
c) if you capture the v-weapon launch sites (in this case its most likely to be Den Haag), you stop v-weapon VP charge. I'd never realised this and it has quite an impact on the late game for both sides. GR could have put more effort into holding the Netherlands, I could have stopped v-factory bombing and just done generic VP collection.

Things I think.

If you go for the optional city VP, I think an allied player has to be more single minded about bombing for VP in 1943. At a rough guess this would have ended in the 100-200 VP range.

VP, very roughly, the VP score you have when you land in France is what you will have at the end of the game. The reason for saying this is there is a trade off more effort=more losses= more city VP=more casualty VP and this equation only breaks down if one side gets very lucky.

So I had 260 at that stage and this dipped quite a lot before the end surge of city+bomb VP pushed it up to 300. I think I was perhaps more used to the expected dynamics of the post-invasion turns so maybe targetted my effort a bit more precisely.

Deep and embarrasing confession. I had 3 TF sunk in the post Rome naval battles. Never happened before, I was sending in badly damaged TF to keep 5A's only remaining port open (I abandoned the second one to save on the TF). Fortunately GR never asked why I gave up a port when I had a major landing clearly suffering for lack of supply, here's some evidence:




Now need to go and get the Luftwaffe into a proper shape for the return match

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/16/2020 6:09:29 PM >


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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/16/2020 10:03:36 PM   
John B.


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Thanks to both of you for a great AAR!

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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 12:41:05 AM   
xhoel


Posts: 1589
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From: Germany
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Nice AAR and impressive pace. Good job for seeing it to the end.

Must say that those 2 urban battles do not look right at all to me though.

25k defenders in Bochum and the WA only lost 37 men an 1 tank?
28k defenders in Duisburg and the WA only lost 13 men and 1 tank?

Laughable to say the least. This is one of those game features that needs to be revised for the sake of realism. Such a change would at least make it worth it for the Germans to hold the cities even when surrounded. As it currently is, it seems pointless to defend them as you don't make a dent to the WA.

I was wondering what you 2 gents thought about it during the game?

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AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4490035
AAR WITE: A Clash of Titans 41-45
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4488465

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Post #: 204
RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 1:54:55 AM   
Joel Billings


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From: Santa Rosa, CA
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I think those battles were both with isolated units, so you can see it as a quick surrender. In WitE2 we have made changes so that fighting in urban/heavy urban and port hexes are more intense, and, IIRC, isolated units don't have quite as harsh penalties as in WitE1 and WitW. So those hexes being urban would lead to more bitter fighting, although depending on just how weak the defenders are, it still might be a short/low casualty fight. There's less firing off of all your ammo in the first attack, and a chance of getting resupplied mid combat if you've got a depot with freight, although I thought the latter was in WitW and Essen probably had freight). Anyway, we agree with you that urban combat and port sieges where there are heavy fortifications should usually be more intense than it is now for the attacker.

One other note though is without looking at the saves pre-attack, we don't really know how damaged the defending units were. The CV value is hugely inflated by the terrain and fortifications, so many of the combat elements could already be damaged. Still the losses to the attackers are very low unless the defenders were throwing rocks and/or surrendered after the first shots were fired (especingly in Bochum).

Great AAR. Kind of amazing that it ended on 300 VPs. What are the odds of that?

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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 1:57:15 AM   
GloriousRuse

 

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I expected the Ruhr to fold quickly once surrounded, what with the '45 morale and MTOE really keeping infantry down. I did expect them to take a few thousand with them - watching divisions get crushed for platoons put the nail in the coffin for any last minute reprieve. If I recall the actual Ruhr, despite mostly being an army sized surrender, cost the allies 10,000 or so men. I think this is a case where the algorithms - like really all algorithms dealing with anything real - start to fray near the extremes.

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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 8:53:50 AM   
loki100


Posts: 6522
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: xhoel

....

25k defenders in Bochum and the WA only lost 37 men an 1 tank?
28k defenders in Duisburg and the WA only lost 13 men and 1 tank?

...


Its the steady drop in German morale. Early game I could win one of those set pieces but with a butcher's bill that Stalin would be proud of.

We're now seeing low morale/experience/ammo units being hit and mostly evaporating.

Bochum was hit by about 800 heavy bombers in the GA phase. That has two effects, first they fire off AA (=ammo) and can't use the auto-resupply routine (as they were isolated), second I'd have said >50% of their combat elements were already disrupted. You can't be precise here because an element can be disrupted more than once. Now thats before my artillery and GS disrupts more in the early phase of the attack.

Duisberg less so, it wasn't bombed as I only attacked opportunistically.

Historically the Ruhr forces did just surrender once bypassed, even though they clearly could have used the ruins to re-enact Stalingrad. I'd put that down to some German officers already thinking more about the post-war world and a lack of willingness to die in what was going to be a one-sided battle? We know from elsewhere that the experience of the allies in Western Germany was hugely variable with one town surrendering and the next generating a vicious street fight.

I've not shown it, but in the last turn a stack of 2 Pzr divisions fought off 5 attacks (and they were cut off), so unit quality really matters, if in 1945 you want to hold a hex (or at least make a fight of it) you need your Pzrs or full SS formations.

Of course you don't have many of these as they are off trying to hold up the Red Army.

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RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 3:29:44 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 1589
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From: Germany
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Thanks for the answers gents.

@Joel Billings: I think WitE2 is surely going in the right direction regarding casualties. I am glad you agree that these battles should be more intense. Without going into detail, considering the fact that Essen serves as a NSS, these units should have plenty of ammo/supply to at least put a dent to the WA.

I am not looking for a battle where they hold for eternity. Just for a battle where they cause proper casualties to the enemy. 13 soldiers and 1 tank lost is something you expect from a bar fight in Paris in 1944, not from a urban battle in the Ruhr in 1945, in a city with level 3 fortifications.

Would be really nice to see this change. For me the beauty of this game is that commanders constantly have to think about the trade offs:

In this case, the trade off for the WA commander would have been: Do I go in for a bloody battle in order to score a political victory at home and to capture these important cities and further improve my supply situation or do I hold back and engage in a week or two when the enemy is much more weaker?

While for the Germans it is: Do we sacrifice some units in order to hold these important cities and delay the enemy or do we pull back and give them up to save the formations and fight another time?

With such low casualties you basically remove the trade off and force the German player to give up such positions because it isn't worth holding them and give the WA the incentive to constantly attack such urban cities because they know the cost for doing so is 0.

@GloriousRuse: I feel you man. It is always disappointing to see unrealistic results play out. Like I said, I didn't expect them to hold on for so long, but they should have at least caused casualties in the triple digits for the WA.

@loki100: Whatever it is, it should be fixed so that it doesn't lead to such unrealistic results. The WA constantly bombed German positions and were sure that it was going to be a breeze just advancing and capturing stuff. They were proven wrong time and time again.

The best example I can think of where the Germans really put up a fierce defense was the Battle of Aachen.

Your explanations make sense but the casualties are still way too low. Something needs to be changed.

Anyway I do not want to divert the thread. Great job to the both of you and congrats on the win!

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AAR WITW: Gotterdammerung 43-45
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Post #: 208
RE: T96/7 - The answer is 300 ... - 3/17/2020 5:11:32 PM   
loki100


Posts: 6522
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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: xhoel

..., considering the fact that Essen serves as a NSS, these units should have plenty of ammo/supply to at least put a dent to the WA.

...


worth stressing it wasn't an NSS or my gambit of burning off their ammo would have been a waste. In WiTW a NSS ceases to operate as such once its in a ZoC, it flips to a normal depot (in this one that had been isolated for 2 turns)

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