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Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 12:52:43 AM   
MikeJ19


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Good day all,

It has been a while since I have played this game. However, I have some extra time on my hands so I am going to give it a try!

Here is a look at the overall situation:




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 12:53:15 AM   
MikeJ19


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A look at the battlefield




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 12:54:06 AM   
MikeJ19


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A look at the objectives




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 1:08:32 AM   
MikeJ19


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Enemy Forces

11th Guards Tank Division of the 1st Guards Army is a second echelon attack
There is confusion over what enemy force is moving in our direction. I suspect that I will be attacked by at least two Regiments, and maybe a third. I’m going to plan on the Soviets attacking with 2 Tank Regiments (TR), an Independent TB and a Motor Rifle Regiment (MRR).

Early Int reports show a force of
Over 80 tanks
70-80 Armoured Personnel Carriers and Infantry
With usual Recce, AD, and HQ support
No indication of soviet fire support resources…

here is the first En Option




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 1:08:55 AM   
MikeJ19


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Soviet option 2




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 1:09:22 AM   
MikeJ19


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Soviet option 3




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 1:44:33 AM   
CapnDarwin


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Thanks for posting.

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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 1:15:47 PM   
MikeJ19


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Jim, Thanks! This should be an interesting battle.


My initial thoughts

I start with a couple of companies (one Pz and one PG) plus some mortars, AA and recce elements.

I can deploy on either side of the river near RINTELN.

Most of my reinforcements arrive in the NW corner. Except the remaining Pzs which arrive in the SW corner

My Artillery assets arrive about an hour in, and will then take some time to get into place.

There is an obstacle belt to the East of RINTELN that should slow down the Soviet advance a little.

The key ground is RINTELN. If I can hold it, I will likely stop the Soviet advance.

The weather to start is clear with great visibility.

I need to take out Soviet recce elements as early as possible. I would also like to focus on Soviet HQ elements.

Blowing bridges North of the A2 may be a good option. Or even along the A2.


A look at my forces




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 3:03:09 PM   
MikeJ19


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The next three slides show my options.

Option 1




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 3:03:30 PM   
MikeJ19


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Option 2




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 3:04:11 PM   
MikeJ19


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The third. Now time for a run as I think through which one I like the best




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/28/2020 11:12:12 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is the plan. EA stands for Engagement Area.

I’m going with Option 2 – defend forward.

I want to use the forward defence to buy time for the rest of my forces to get into place.

Also, the obstacle belt will give me the chance to hit the Soviets as they try to breach it.

Worried about the timing and how to move the forward defenders back. I do not want them to get destroyed out front. Need to look more at the map to make sure they have escape routes.

Need to think about how my reinforcements will be moving – In reality, I would want them to use hasty movement most of the way forward and then switch to deliberate. However, I can not do that so I need to think about balancing speed versus risk. I can make this decision later as the reserves arrive.

I think it would make sense for the Pz Coy to be under command to the PG Bn. Of course, this means that the Pz Bn CO is not going to have much to command – his other Pz Coy is being used as the force reserve leaving just an M113 Inf Coy to control.




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< Message edited by MikeJ19 -- 3/28/2020 11:13:01 PM >


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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/29/2020 2:45:26 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is the initial deployment.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/29/2020 7:16:13 PM   
MikeJ19


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The battle kicks off with a bang...




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 3/31/2020 1:23:50 AM   
MikeJ19


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The Soviets are taking a beating, but my defence is fragile in the South.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/1/2020 11:02:43 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is my plan ...




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/1/2020 11:33:50 PM   
MikeJ19


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Some 34 minutes later and the Soviets have managed to get across the obstacle belt – both along the A2 and in the plain East of RINTELN.

My estimate is that 40% of the Soviet force has been destroyed, including 57 T-80s, 6 HQs and 4 artillery pieces.

My losses have been a lot less, but the Soviets are looking at a clear run to the two bridges. There is no way that I can stop them from seizing the bridges.

Oh well, they are going to be in rough shape when they get there.

The MRR has sent some elements South while other elements continued along the A2. The TR has eight Tank Coys (TC) in the South. There are also two Artillery Regiments close behind the obstacle belt.

Not much for me to do at the moment. The Inf Coy is in the middle of a battle and should be able to hold its own. The Pz Coy has already been given some move orders, no use changing them. They are going to have to remain where they are and engage the Soviets the best they can.

I need to move the Gepard in the North back a little and think about moving the HQ as well.

I have received some AT pls and guns as reinforcements. The two AT Pls will move quickly towards RINTELN to get into position to take on the Soviet tanks.

The Gun troop and mortars are going to engage the Soviet guns. I would like to remove them from the battle.

In 17 minutes, my first Inf Coy reinforcement arrives in the NW corner. They are likely at least an hour away from getting involved in this fight.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/2/2020 7:35:48 PM   
fluidwill matrix

 

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I've played this against a human its a nasty fight, great AAR. Thanks W

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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/3/2020 5:49:33 PM   
MikeJ19


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Will, I am glad you are enjoying it. It is a fun battle! Here is my next update:

Overview

As expected, the Soviets have managed to seize the northern ends of both bridges in RINTELN. I guess I should have stuck with my first option. Oh well.

Enemy

The Soviets have lost over 50% of their force so far, but continue to drive West.

The Soviets have pushed elements of six companies into RINTELN. For the most part, these companies have taken significant losses, so likely they have about three companies of tanks in the city – that is still a Tank Battalion.

To the East of the city, there are three more tank companies (two of which are pretty intact) moving West.

Elements of the MRR have run into my Inf Coy in the North along the A2 and have taken a beating. Four more Inf Coy turned South and are in the obstacle belt and will likely head to town as well.

A significant portion of the Soviet artillery has been destroyed.

Friendly

The Inf Coy along the A2 is doing well. They have stopped at a couple of companies cold with minimal casualties.

The Pz Coy in the centre is down to four Leopards. They are in a good position to continue inflicting losses on Soviet units heading to RINTELN.

Reinforcements

My two AT Pls are 20 minutes from the Western bridge. Not sure that is where I want them now. A Marder Coy is about an hour away from the Western bridge. I have also received the second artillery troop.

The next reinforcements are 40 minutes out (Rocket artillery) and over an hour out for the next Coy.

Now, it is time to decide how to get the bridges back!




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/3/2020 7:06:35 PM   
MikeJ19


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Here is the plan - it will be modified slightly as we get closer to H-hour.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/4/2020 12:49:16 AM   
MikeJ19


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Overview

Not much has changed. Soviets are still in RINTELN, but have not managed to get much more into the town.

Enemy

The Soviets have lost over 60% of their force so far, but continue to drive West.

The Soviets lost a bunch of tanks in RINTELN, and are now down to about three companies – but only a half dozen tanks.

To the East of the city, most of the Soviet units did not move.

The MRR continues to take a beating, both along the A2 and along the obstacle belt.

A significant portion of the Soviet artillery has been destroyed.

Friendly

The Inf Coy along the A2 is doing well. They have stopped at a couple of companies cold with minimal casualties.

The Pz Coy in the centre is down to four Leopards. They are in a good position to continue inflicting losses on Soviet units heading to RINTELN.

The two AT Pls are almost in position. The PG Inf Coy is moving rapidly towards RINTELN.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/4/2020 1:19:06 PM   
MikeJ19


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Overview

Not much has changed. Soviets are still in RINTELN, but have not managed to get much more into the town.

Enemy

The Soviets have lost almost 70% of their force so far, but continue to drive West.

The Soviets lost a bunch of tanks in RINTELN, and are now down to about three companies – but only a half dozen tanks.

To the East of the city, some tanks are now moving West

The MRR continues to take a beating, both along the A2 and along the obstacle belt.

A significant portion of the Soviet artillery has been destroyed.

Friendly

The Inf Coy along the A2 is doing well. They have stopped at a couple of companies cold with minimal casualties.

The Pz Coy in the centre is down to four Leopards. They are in a good position to continue inflicting losses on Soviet units heading to RINTELN.

I shot down two Soviet jets as well.

The two AT Pls are in position. The PG Inf Coy is moving rapidly towards RINTELN. They will be in RINTELN shortly and attacking the Northern edges of both bridges. My two M109 troops are going after the tanks in RINTELN.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/4/2020 4:03:00 PM   
MikeJ19


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Overview

At about 0910, I was told that the Soviets had suffered 70% casualties. I decided to play on.

Enemy

The Soviets have lost over 70% of their force so far, but continue to drive West.

The Soviets lost a bunch of tanks in RINTELN. I think the original force has been destroyed, but another company is somewhere in the East end of the city.

To the East of the city, some tanks are now moving West.

The MRR continues to take a beating, both along the A2 and along the obstacle belt. Although, they did maul on Marder Pl.

A significant portion of the Soviet artillery has been destroyed.

Friendly

The Inf Coy along the A2 is holding on. An MRB hit the lead Pl and pushed it back.

The Pz Coy in the centre is down to four Leopards. They are in a good position to continue inflicting losses on Soviet units heading to RINTELN.

I shot down another two Soviet jets.

I have secured the North end of one bridge and have two platoons heading for the other bridge.

Another Marder Coy arrives in 21 minutes.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/5/2020 4:32:11 PM   
MikeJ19


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Overview

I have secured the North end of both bridges , but lost a VP location in the North

Enemy

The Soviets did not do too much over the last 20 minutes, except grabbing the VP location along the A2.

They still have two close to full TCs left to try and capture the bridges. The remnants of the MRR are still pushing West along the A2.

Friendly

The Inf Coy along the A2 lost the rest of a pl. However, they should be fine to hold off the Soviets.

The Pz Coy in the middle was fairly quiet.

The PG Coy secured the North end of both bridges.

The final Marder Coy has arrived and the second Pz coy arrives in 9 minutes. The last Inf Coy is about 39 minutes out.

Thoughts

There is lots of time left.

I would like to recapture the VP location along the A2, secure the southern edges of the two bridges and destroy the rest of the Soviet tanks.

I think I have time and the resources to do all of that. Just need to think through the plan.





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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/7/2020 12:21:31 AM   
MikeJ19


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Plan

Three companies currently in the fight will remain in their locations (for the most part).

The soon to arrive Pz Coy will secure the South side of the bridges and provide fire support into ENGERN.

The PG Coy (M113) will become the reserve for the formation.

The recently arrived PG Coy (Marder) will attack and seize the VP location just North of the A2.

Marder Coy planning:

I looked how to do this attack – there are three basic options, attack straight along the A2, from the North and from the South.

The A2 route is very direct and clear from enemy observation/fire for the most part. But the attack would have to cross the river. (60 minutes for the attackers to arrive at the Obj)

The Northern approach is a lot longer with multiple rivers to cross, including right before the Objective. (75 minutes for the attackers to arrive at the Obj)

The Southern approach is long and goes across the flank of the Soviet forces heading towards the bridges. It does not, however, require a river crossing. (120 minutes for the attackers to arrive at the Obj)

Given the current alignment of forces, I think that the A2 approach is the best. It is direct and does not expose the Coy to earlier attacks.

Studying the map a little more, one pl could swing South across the forested hill and then attack North along the L442.





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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/7/2020 1:21:06 PM   
MikeJ19


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Overview

The Soviets are in trouble. They have less than 20% of their force left. I have now got all my units and am ready to end this battle.

As you can see, it has started to rain and the visibility has dropped. I think that this helps me.

Enemy

The Soviets continue to push towards the bridges. Over the last 40 minutes they have taken significant losses in that push.

Friendly

The attack on the VP location has been planned and the coy is moving forward to launch their attack.

The M113 PG Coy is heading towards the South side – into a hide as the reserve.

The newly arrived Pz Coy will be given orders to secure the southern end of the two main bridges.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/8/2020 11:22:45 AM   
MikeJ19


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Not much has changed except the rain stopped and more of the Soviet force has been destroyed.

My Coy attack in the North is about to go in on an empty objective.

Also, the Pz Coy is about 20 minutes away from securing the South end of the bridges.




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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/8/2020 12:45:09 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Looks like a hard fought win for the West German forces.

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Work on Southern Storm continues as we squish bugs and work on features.

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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/8/2020 6:21:12 PM   
MikeJ19


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Jim,

True enough, not sure why I am dragging it out to the end. However, it is fun to see my units move along unimpeded.

Have a good day,

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RE: Witch's Cauldron - West German - 4/9/2020 1:52:36 AM   
MikeJ19


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Well, I did not end up playing it all the way through. After securing the key VP locations and not having any Soviet units in view, I decided to end it.

Here is my After Action Report:

What did I do right?

My overall plan was good. I fought the Soviets for the most part in the open terrain to the East of RINTELN.

Getting the first reinforcing company into RINTELN quickly with support from the South shore ensured the victory.

Not over reacting to the Soviet push into RINTELN was important. I did not try to move units that were in contact into new positions or to attack the Soviets. Letting them stay in place was a better approach

What could I improve on?

Remembering that the Soviets usually attack early and with lots of firepower. I should have selected option 1 – delay with the Inf dug in in RINTELN. As I got lucky that my Pz Coy was able to take out so much of the TB.

Managing resupply – there were a couple of times when my units should have resupplied earlier.




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