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Bil Hardenberger

AXIS : Gustav Line BETA AAR Round Two - Eye of the Elefant

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a direct result of the player as god. Things that would take several minutes at minimum to communicate and coordinate among a squad much less a company are accomplished instantly. You want realism, then enforce your own C2 delays. Use runners to make sure physically information is passed, make your platoon commander visit all his squads prior to launching an attack. You'll find you need to edit the scenario to extend the time and you'll spend a lot of time running guys around to talk to other guys. It might be interesting a few times, but I doubt anyone will want that all the time.

This could be approximated by having the game play in five minute instead of one minute turns. This might require significant improvements in Tac AI since the player can intervene only once every 300 seconds instead of every 60. But this would duplicate some of the C2 frictions of a real life leader without greatly extending playing time or complication over what it is now.

Michael

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* A section leader should be providing nearly constant control over his 8-12 men.

* A platoon commander should be giving very regular instructions/commands/updates to his section commanders, and be able to give them almost continuous/instantaneous commands.

* A company commander should be giving regular instructions/commands/updates to his company commanders.

* A battalion commander should be giving sporadic instructions/commands/updates to his company commanders.

In CM you are all of those people. A turn cycle of 5 minutes would be good for the company and battalion commanders, but terrible for the platoon commanders, and appalling for the section commanders. I think that the AI would have to become outstanding to bridge the yawning lack of orders being provided to sections over a five minute cycle.

(Conversely, and for the same reason, Real Time is fine for section and platoon commands, but terrible for company and battalion commands.)

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The Sixty Fifth Minute

The M10 behind Hill 172 withdrew this turn, it sure looks like he is setting up a run to S. Maria Infante... not sure what that will get him, but its a possibility. Its also possible he is just trying to get some room between the M10 and my armor.

I will be moving at least two pieces of armor in the direction of the red arrow to maintain visibility over that route just in case.

I also have 3 or 4 Pioneer teams (all with satchel charges) just over the lip of Hill 172 in case he decides to come over the top.. but that likely hood, with him pulling back is not looking too probable.

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In addition I have had my Pz-IV that is near the Ridge Road watching this area for a few turns now.. just in case he made a run for it.

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SITMAP

The current SITMAP. GaJ is running out of places to hide. Remember my goal is not to capture S. Maria Infante, I have neither the ammo, nor the manpower to force that, especially with practically GaJ's entire remaining force in those buildings somewhere.

1st Platoon already has a toe hold in the objective area, and 2nd platoon should have one next turn or two.

Four turns to go.

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It was a big war and it is possible to find examples of anything you want. But as a general rule, I've found it to hold up more often than not. I think the problem here is that we are confusing time spans. CM compresses time a LOT. We expect to accomplish goals in an hour or less that may have taken most or all of a day in the real war. I suspect that applies to the bulk of the incidents you may have in mind. Yeah, they carried on, but not in the next minute.

Michael

Well, the time to take casualties is also compressed. Meaning that carrying on the next minute is akin to an hour in RL ;)

The point being discussed basically is that this is a game simulating warfare with pixeltruppen, instead of a war with REAL persons. Real persons differ more than pixeltruppen.

For real persons, there is (hopefully) life after the battle/campaign. For pixeltruppen there isn't, whether they live or die.

One person with the same experience/culture/training might be willing to go on much longer than others. Inspiring commanders, commissars executions... I don't think it is possible to state any rule regarding %age of casualties to halt an attack. It all comes down to personal properties of soldiers & commanders and politics, training, culture, etc.

In our modern times 1% casualties might be enough for western armies to halt an attack, while guerilla forces are willing to risk 100% casualties just to cause some damage to the enemy.

Back to the game, Bil is complaining that the current battle isn't interesting for him anymore, from a tactical view. Of course he is entitled to that opinion, on the same hand I guess for GaJ many parts of the battle weren't interesting from a tactical/gamer view. Finishing battles you don't always enjoy anymore show good sportsmanship towards your opponent as both are/have been showing.

I have enjoyed this battle and interested to see the final minutes countdown!

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The Sixty Sixth Minute

While the Elefant and the Brummbar went left to cover teh route to S. Maria Infante I sent the Jpz around the edge of Hill 172 in case the M10 came back or sat in place.

As I rounded the corner on hunt orders the Jpz ran into one of the enemy teams who immediately opened fire, no damage, no casualties. They were running towards my TD, but after Mr. HE they were sent running the other direction.

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GaJ did indeed come back towards Hill 172... right at the end of the turn this is the faceoff... from 97 meters it is a quickdraw between my Jpz IV and his M10... I have a spot on him, I do not think he has spotted me yet, but we will see very quickly in the next turn. ;)

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My compliments for the well-written AAR, it's a very good read.

The actual battle seemed somewhat one-sided in the second half due to the way your opponent defends, and due to some of your AFV's outclassing his, but the exposition on tactics is great.

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The Sixty Seventh Minute

Obviously GaJ did not have a spot on my Jpz as he started to drive forward, clearly looking to flank my Jpz... it took a few seconds for my TD to pivot, fire, and penetrate the M10.

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The second round fired also hits and penetrates... by the way that is an impact on the front of the M10, it never fired, though in the bottom image it appears like it is.

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Two rounds is all it took actually.

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S. Maria Infante

The last bunker falls this turn to a close assault. Now all of GaJ's major assets are cleared from the board... only his infantry remain.

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Thanks FO, when can we read your AAR? I expect lots of artillery. :D

Too busy for that Bil :( yet I'm a big fan of mortars. I should have chosen "FrightfulStonker" as my forum handle or something.

Anyways you're doing an excellent job, I can't other than further encourage you to educate the masses about the finer points of implementing ideas - tactics - into actions in this engine. This is very much appreciated by me, as I have learnt a couple things about how important is to get right timing, terrain analysis, and especially, patience.

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Congratulations Bill.

I envy your patience and the clinical way in which you "dissect" the battlefield as well as your opponent.

Question: If you had Gaj's forces at your disposal for defense, how would you have deployed/used them?

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Question: If you had Gaj's forces at your disposal for defense, how would you have deployed/used them?

Well, basically if I had been forced to fight with his forces I would have tried to make the early objectives costly for the attacker... they were woefully under defended IMO.

I would have kept the M10s in a couple of two-vehicle sections and ensured that these sections could be mutually supportive... I think one of his biggest mistakes was breaking these up so they engaged me singly (for the most part). Note that my armor rarely traveled singly, and if they did it was when redeploying and they always met up with another in their new zone.

But really, if I was defending this map I would not have purchased the forces he did. Too many fixed defenses or of limited mobility (ATG's, leg infantry) other than the SPAA and the four M10s nothing else had transport. I discussed in a much earlier post what I would have purchased with the points available to defend on this map.

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End Game

Here are the end game screens, for an attack I am satisfied with the 2:1 kill ratio. I'll take that everytime, and 4:1 in armor kills is more than acceptable.

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It appears that GaJ slipped a team onto the Tame objective to rob me of those points.. that's okay, as long as neither of us score I'm okay with that. I did the same thing to him with the S. Maria Infante objective.

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I will let GaJ post his scores for his side of the battle. So, critique me, where could I have improved?

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I was out of ammo for my armor, had no artillery left, and my infantry was too weak.

Sounds like if GaJ had just taken c3k's advice and launched an all-out counter attack he may have won ;)

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A note on my purchases for this battle... this was meant as a showpiece for a few items of kit and whoever was the German player was directed to purchase at least one of the following:

--Elefant

--Sturmpanzer (Brummbar)

--PzG unit (to show the new halftrack model)

The US player was only directed to purchase an AA gun of some sort.

The US were to defend and the Germans were to attack, I gave the decision on which role to take to GaJ and he chose to defend, which meant he got the allied force. I agreed to not take more than one Elefant and to bring a force that was balanced, and not predominantly armor. In return I told him he had no restrictions on unit purchases.

Bil

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A quick note on my plan of action for this battle.

I did not come in to this battle with a set battle plan, I rarely do.. I let events and opportunities guide me as they unfold. Yet I wanted to stretch the defense across the entire map.. this would keep GaJ from being able to concentrate effectively against any one part of my force. This is why I did not concentrate on one side or the other, instead I sent my mobile units over the road frequently to support one action then back over later to support another.. the Elefant and the Brummbars saw action on both sides of the road... the Pz-IVs did not as they were primarily used for securing the S-Ridge and Tame.

I did know that I had to capture the Tits first, after that though I just attacked as I felt best.. I didn't know whether I wanted to seize the S-Ridge or the Spur objective first.. I ended up going for the S-Ridge, but primarily because it seemed like it had fewer defenders on it than the Spur did. I might have been wrong about that, but that was my impression. The Spur defenders put up a much better fight anyway.

Bil

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Thanks for all the effort it is much appreciated. Two quick questions.

How soon did you realise GaJ was mainly operating a static defence? And did that knowledge encourage you to adopt a strategy of diluting your combat power to probe everywhere?

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Thanks for taking the time to put this together to show off more new stuff. It was very entertaining, and well put together.

To be honest I would have rather liked to see Bil on defense for a change since he attacked too in the AAR against NormalDude. If you do another one in the future Bil please play defense for a change.

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