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GreenAsJade

Gustav Line QB AAR Axis

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It appears that Bil did a massive rethink, suddenly, on my right hand flank.

The Sherm that came barraging into the P523 valley reverse back equally rapidly, and I can also see men scurrying back behind P523.

T18Rambo.jpg

I'm honestly not quite sure what's behind this - I don't have insight into what the thinking was in pushing that tank forwards, nor into what I did that made him change his mind.

I can think of encouraging explanations, but also discouraging ones. For now, I just have to try not to second guess, and operate on what I can see.

Incidentally, it's a bit satisfying to see all Rambo's dead mate theres, though as you can see I don't yet have a positive ID on the dead body of Rambo himself. He may still be cowering ^H^H^H^H^H strategically lying low in that little hollow.

(to be continued)

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So - what I'm doing this turn is pushing 5Co 1Plt forwards:the guys you can see on the right there are rushing down into the valley, aiming for a hollow that can't be seen from the head of the valley... if they make it, it will be encouraging news about the overwatch or lack of that Bil has up there (which right now I can't see).

The HMG, mortar, and other squads are also coming forwards, while one squad continues taking potshots at the scrambling inf:

T18Right.png

Similarly (but more understandably) Bils PIAT squad over on the MonteP plateau did a hasty reversal this turn. The other units that had already made it to P509 were pinned there under the HMG fire:

T18HMG.jpg

Unfortunately (for the HMG) Bil now has two tanks that can see it:

T18HMGtanks.jpg

I can't resist keeping on firing with the HMG anyhow! So, instead of pulling it back, I have the nearby HQ popping smoke into it's path, hopefully allowing a few more bursts of fire then shielding it from the tanks for a pack up and bug out next turn if needed.

(more)

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By the way, that Stuart on the right from the HMG point of view, just behind MonteP, presents such a temptation from my Shreks:

T18Stuart.jpg

Unfortunately, I know (or at least am pretty certain) that there is another nasty HMG on the lower slope of P511 just waiting for me to do something incautious like rushing over the top of MonteP with a Shrek to attack the Stuart:

T18MontePnote.jpg

Since Bil has the tank superiority, by far, I need to be very cautious to make every Shrek count, so I'm not going to try that one, this time.

Instead, that 6CoPltn is pushing down the valley towards Bil's platoon that copped the mortar fire last turn, and the other 6CoPltn is waiting for him to pop his head over P509.

I'm now so tired that I actually am going to go to bed _before_ looking at the 1:07 movie from Bil ... just in case it's awful and stops me from sleeping :D

Later....

GaJ

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Yes, just to confirm that I played the 1:08 turn, and took screenshots, and sent it t0 Bil to keep things moving

You send your screenies to Bil?

I guess this is food for thought for future demo AARs: maybe the forces need to be more controlled by the organiser, since the participants have to choose the best weapons they can :D

For me the inequality makes it interesting.

It appears that Bil did a massive rethink, suddenly, on my right hand flank.

The Sherm that came barraging into the P523 valley reverse back equally rapidly, and I can also see men scurrying back behind P523.

T18Rambo.jpg

I'm honestly not quite sure what's behind this - I don't have insight into what the thinking was in pushing that tank forwards, nor into what I did that made him change his mind.

I'm quite sure that he recognized that he has no chance against your big force on the right for now and therefore IMO did the only right thing: cancel the planned attack and decided to hold 523 on the reverse slope and let you come. For now.

This could also give him the opportunity to free up the tank(s) to strenghten the top of 523.

I'd especially find it problematic, if he would recognzie the importance of the top of 523 and would not only have one, but two or three tanks defending this pillar. He would sit high and dominate everything.

IMO you have to get his tank at 523 knocked out ASAP, as long as it is a single tank. If he gets two or three tanks there, things become problematic, because you probably will not be able to knock out his tanks there anymore without losing your two tanks.

IMO your major advantage was, that you could develop your tank force faster, while he had decided to spread his tanks all over the map. Although overall in the numerous disadvantage, it allows a 2:1 local superiority against his single tanks.

But the longer his tanks survive, the better he will probably develop his tanks and the more difficult it will become for you to go for single tanks.

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IMO you have to get his tank at 523 knocked out ASAP, as long as it is a single tank. If he gets two or three tanks there, things become problematic, because you probably will not be able to knock out his tanks there anymore without losing your two tanks.

Note that I do not know that he has only a single tank at 523. You may know that, but I do not. Last thing I saw, there was another tank at the other end of 523, and I don't know where it went: it may still be behind 523.

IMO your major advantage was, that you could develop your tank force faster, while he had decided to spread his tanks all over the map. Although overall in the numerous disadvantage, it allows a 2:1 local superiority against his single tanks.

I think that this is an "easy in hindsight" analysis. It wasn't until quite recently that it became apparent that (1) he has lots of tanks and (2) he was spreading them around.

Once again, _you_ may have known these things, but I did not. I was basing my plans on an expectation that he would be making a tank stronghold at P523.

Further, it it not at all easy to "develop my tank force". It is in fact very easy to get them killed, since there are only two of them, and there are vicious lines of sight from all over the map to other places all over the map. In addition, as you've seen, it is quite a slow business getting tanks from one place to another on this map. I'm not at all keen on the idea of "spotting a lone tank of his and trying to get my 2 to take on his 1". I think that this is not practical due to the slow terrain, and way too high risk of my 2 getting surprised from the side.

Indeed, I think that a very big mistake I made was going hunting with them earlier on - I should have stuck to my original plan and kept them supporting the main force on the right flank.

GaJ

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Well, one lesson that I never seem to learn in CM is that if you take a silly chance, you get whacked.

In this turn, I paid for bad judgement big time on the right.

First of all, the HQ did not pop it's smoke. Oh, that's another lesson: never rely on smoke.

As a result, my precious HMG got taken out by the Sherm that came into view last turn.

T19Idiot.jpg

Well, duh, GaJ, what exactly were you expecting?? Sigh.

And the right flank Shermie was not witdrawing, it was just repositioning slightly so as not to be exposed to my guys in MonteG saddle. As a result, 5Co1Plt took heavy damage as it tried to push forwards. We found Rambo and took care of him at last:

T19Rambo.jpg

but at terrible cost

T19RIght.png

My comment of the previous post is now being proved true: I need Christoff and Braun over here! I also need that TRP to be further over to the right.

I'm a bit stuck again now.

Meanwhile, on the left, a cliffhanger emerged. In the last 10 seconds of backing up away from P509, Christoff spotted a Shermie over on P511...

T19Cliffhanger.jpg

Will that shot hit??

Of course, experience tells me "no way, Jose". But I have to hope, I guess :) If it were to hit & kill, what an awesome lucky break that would be!!!!

GaJ

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Once again, _you_ may have known these things, but I did not. I was basing my plans on an expectation that he would be making a tank stronghold at P523.

Further, it it not at all easy to "develop my tank force". It is in fact very easy to get them killed, since there are only two of them, and there are vicious lines of sight from all over the map to other places all over the map. In addition, as you've seen, it is quite a slow business getting tanks from one place to another on this map. I'm not at all keen on the idea of "spotting a lone tank of his and trying to get my 2 to take on his 1". I think that this is not practical due to the slow terrain, and way too high risk of my 2 getting surprised from the side.

Indeed, I think that a very big mistake I made was going hunting with them earlier on - I should have stuck to my original plan and kept them supporting the main force on the right flank.

I agree. Furthermore, I think that readers of this thread should carefully avoid giving out free advice to either side. There are a number of reasons for this that I don't want to go into here, but I strongly urge that consideration. What GaJ and Bil are doing here is not the easiest thing in the world and one thing they don't need is a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks offering free advice.

Michael

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GaJ I've noticed this quite a bit with the infantry smoke. the tank pop smoke is very reliable - but the infantry pop smoke sometimes happens quick, sometimes takes several turns, sometimes they dont pop it at all. Very spotty and not something to try to plan around. I just use it for extra smoke when and where I can, or in emergencies to try to let the squad crawl away

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Note that I do not know that he has only a single tank at 523. You may know that, but I do not.

The only info I have is from the pics you posted.

Ofcourse I did not read Bil's thread - and I have stated that. Otherwise I wouldn't have discussed tactics with you, ofcourse. :rolleyes:

So do not try to suggest, that my conclusions were built on more info.

IMO moving to the centre was your best option left, but quite a mistake was, that you have not engaged immediately. Even if he would have withdrawn, you would have decimated his infantry already quite a bit.

Now his infantry is unhamred, his tank is ok and additionally the PzIV are placed on the forward slope of 509 where they seem to be without any keyholing possibilities and seem to be forced into a totally passive role there.

The idea of 509 as I mean it is, that it allows to quickly shift on the reverse slope from one side of the top to the other and threat almost every direction of the map from a relative secure hulldown position.

If you would have stayed with the tanks on the right side, 509 and the whole left side (and with them all the forces), would probably be lost already, while you would be sitting in a pocket that would be threatened with much more tanks from three directions.

He has more tanks and therefore he can allow to support his infantry with them (which is your chance, because that's the reason why he spread them all over the map). You can't support your infantry with tanks, you don't have enough. But you can hunt single tanks. IMO still the best plan and the only chance you have.

Over and out.

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In the last 48 hours I:

- Got up at 6 am

- Went to 8 hour meeting near Stuttgart

- Drove for 2 hours to Frankfurt airport

- Flew for 13 hours to Singapore airport

- Flew for 7 hours to Sydney airport

- Flew for 2 hours to Adelaide airport

- Slept.

GaJ

Hmmph! By my count, that's 22 hours of AAR you could have been writing instead of eating bad airline food and watching trash movies on the airplane.

Back to work slacker!!!

:)

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Well, as I said, there's something you don't see every day: the critical shot that you need to hit actually hits! I was actually expecting to open that turn and see first my shot miss, then his tank hit me, then Braun (who was reversing back into position to also see the Sherm) get whacked as well.

I see that his other Sherm and Stuart were also rushing up to try to press home an advantage. Now what I desperately need to do is not get over confident and waste the break that I have been given.

While all the excitement was happening with tanks, Bil was also trying to get a look over behind MonteP. My far left eyes spotted this and opened fire - only to be themselves fired upon by a new HMG:

T20FarRight.jpg

Fortunately, my guys up the back can juuust see into the valley where the HMG is:

T20HMG.jpg

so the 6Co guys pushing down around the MonteP valley will pause for a moment while this mortar tries to remove that HMG.

I had thought that there was a Stuart coming up that valley, but now I'm not so sure ... since the one that I do know about has pushed up to the middle, I'll pull my Shrek back across, and also try to creep up on it with some fausts:

T20Left.png

Similarly, my Faust guys on P509 are going to move back around and see if the Shermie there stays long enough for them to get near to it.

Over on the right, my guys have come under fire from what appears to be another Rambo unit. I don't even have a sound contact on it ... just tracers and death.

T20Right.png

Meanwhile, Bill has units almost the whole way over to my side of the map trying to get looks behind MonteG and P509. My rear facing mortars have to look after this:

T20Mortar.jpg

As you can see, I also have 5Co32Plt moving around P502 towards the MonteG saddle - it may be that I need to come from that angle down the vally to get rid of this new Rambo unit without being whacked by the Sherm.

Overall, this is a turn of consolidation for me ... I need to see what Bil does after that nasty shock, before I rush anywhere...

GaJ

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Yes, but remember how long it takes. That's a 4-5 minute traverse.

Also, remember that there is an overall plan here, despite the apparent madness of bringing less tanks than Bil. The plan is to use artillery against the bulk of his infantry, rather than hunt them with my couple of tanks.

At least for this turn, I'll wait to see what his next move is before rushing anywhere...

BTW, it might be nice to at least concede that my choice of position for my tanks is not turning out as completely useless as you made it out to be ;) It was lucky that my first shot hit, but it wasn't an accident that my tanks have a hull-down view to that location...

GaJ

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Well, as I said, there's something you don't see every day: the critical shot that you need to hit actually hits!

GaJ

Well, to be accurate, it's not something we see everyday when we read *your* AARs. :D :D

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That's a 4-5 minute traverse.

Hm, that's some time but maybe not that bad, if you additionally can threat his tank on 509 from the side? A good timed faked attack directly over a smoked top of 509 with an infantry unit with AT weaponry, while your tank attacks him in the flank?

Conducting this maneuver with both tanks maybe is a bit risky, because he could decide to roll over the crest while your tanks are on the move. Tehrefore a further away overwatch tank protecting the move of the tank closer to the hill, seems the much safer variant.

Also, remember that there is an overall plan here, despite the apparent madness of bringing less tanks than Bil. The plan is to use artillery against the bulk of his infantry, rather than hunt them with my couple of tanks.

I know and I understand this. But my personal preference would be to solve the tank problem first, before going into offense with infantry. You have his infantry there under mortar fire and until your tank arrives they probably are shaken already and not a big threat to the tank.

As long as the enemy has his tanks everywhere, you can't use your infantry offensively. I'm a fan of fast and mobile tank maneuvers. Being patient and accept longer moves usually offers better engagement possibilities and many oponents are more static players and do not react equally flexible. But it's your game ofcourse and what you do must fit to your gaming style where you feel comfortable.

But i think the possibilities of this move are very attractive: :D

Although this attack would be conducted only with one tank, you nevertheless should be able to avoid a russian roulette but beautifully outmaneuver him into the flank.

Additionally if this maneuver would work, you immediately could rush around again and solve the tank problem between 509 and Piualta with two against one tank, while he probably will stay put and being shocked instead of retreating his tank as quickly as possible and accept the failure of his plan. The beauty is, you do not need to wait what he does, but you can act. You dictate what happens next (except for the small time window, until your tank would be moved around).

The opportunity IMO could be nothing less than your left side not only being stabalized, but conolidated and it would be not possible for him to take the objectives anymore. The battle would be (almost) won (if you don't make suicide attacks on the right and be patient until the tanks are free to support the final attack on the right).

At least for this turn, I'll wait to see what his next move is before rushing anywhere...

Sure, take my ideas only as suggestions. I do not like to sit and wait with tanks, if I see the possibility to seek initiative - in this case maybe a battle decisive initiative. But it's always easier to talk than to do and good plans in theory can work not at all on the map.

BTW, it might be nice to at least concede that my choice of position for my tanks is not turning out as completely useless as you made it out to be ;) It was lucky that my first shot hit, but it wasn't an accident that my tanks have a hull-down view to that location...

Ofcourse I congratulate you, but IMO it was pure luck: It seems his tank was not forced to button down prior, maybe he even saw your tank first, and I may be wrong but can it be that he was hulldown, too? :D And it was IMO a always to avoid one on one duel and this was even done while you have numerically inferior forces. :eek: That was like russian roulette with three, bah, four bullets. :D But nevertheless you suceeded and ofcourse I can easily talk from the distance.

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