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GreenAsJade

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

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Blind him? I like the way you think. Poke a sharp stick in his eye! Then roar in triumph and do it to the OTHER eye! Like a blinded cyclops, he'll be lost in the labrynth of your whirling dervish offense! (Can I mix more metaphors?)

:)

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Gaj,

Since this Elephant-monster is new in the game, and it arrives with a phenomenal reputation, there seems to be an all-exited expectation by the forum-members. Maybe a warning is in place: don't be fixated on this Elephant-thingy.

Suppose it gets bogged early on! (See it's weight!!)

And though it's frontal armor is impenetrable, it's sides and rear are not.

Air-support is nice, but I think that Bill (AKA "The Elephant-man") won't leave his armor stationary for too long, so hitting it might be difficult.

I think mobility will be the key, but I'm very glad I don't have to choose the troops for this battle.

Good luck!

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It is a little unclear to me if you are attacking or defending... I thought you were attacking based on your opening remarks but some of the banter makes it seem like you are defending. And then there are select remarks that make it seem as though you should be doing both :)

edit: Okay, I just took a look at the axis thread and I know you are defending. The peek over there means no advice over here (free advice is worth what you pay for it, and it usually comes with "hidden costs" when it comes in the form of CM tips from me).

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This is going to be tricky.

Bil has a *lot* of points, possibly enough to buy a platoon of elefants, a platoon of tigers, and maybe 1 or 2 platoons of StuGs. Plus a couple of companies of infantry and some arty.

The elefants are going to be really hard to neutralize; a hit on their lower side hull by a Sherman would do it; a hit on their upper side hull would likely not (80mm @40 deg.). Regardless of the exact makeup, it shouldn't be hard to buy a force with good flank protection for the elefants - so good that the defender will only see them from the front, perhaps.

So maybe planes aren't a bad idea.

I like the idea of AT mines, but I usually find that the number of mines I need to buy to cover the area I'd like to cover ends up being really expensive.

On maps like this, I do like putting a couple of AT guns on the flanks, far back, just to keep the attacker honest.

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Elephant, elephant ,blah blah,... ;) get TONS of mortar ammo for this battle, you have all enemy assets in sight from above from turn one,...keep your AT hidden until you eliminate his infantry and support, then let his invulnerable Elephants and Tigers get closer,...;)

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Aris, that scenario is most likely not going to happen by the way Bil plays. I'm not so sure GaJ will be able to see most of enemies troops. Especilly not on turn one. That vegetation is dense and tall enough to mask approaching tanks.

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It is a little unclear to me if you are attacking or defending... I thought you were attacking based on your opening remarks but some of the banter makes it seem like you are defending.

Defending? Never defend! Just ATTACK! :D

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Here it is: the final map is in:

A3V10.png

As you can see - I didn't get away with my ambit claim of three VLs way at the back of the map - rather I have to try to keep possession of as much critical territory on the whole map as possible!

I'll post annotations to show the relative value of these VLs shortly...

GaJ

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9 VLs? And it looks like some of them are outside the defender's setup zone :confused: Bil will be able to advance over at least half the map before he hits your setup zone.

If this is correct then the game should be played as a Probe rather than a Attack.

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I agree that this new VL plan is quite demanding. I do actually have setup zones coincident with the Left and Right Tit VLs, where I can setup lookout posts.

No-one can seriously be thinking that I will defend these though, so they are basically "free points" for Bil, I think. The same might be said of my back VL (Infante) ... arguably, if I defend well, Bill might not get there. We'll see about that eh?

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I'd re-read the battle for Sante Infante, and see what made the German defense so problematic for the attacking US, back when it was really fought out. That may help. (I've got a copy on a shelf which I've been -meaning- to re-read.)

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Yes. And yet, there were certain elements that are different this time around. The US attacked at night, well supported by artillery. Bil doesn't strike me as a user-of-artillery, and he's attacking in the day time.

But perhaps most importantly, Bil's attack can be expected to be largely an armoured affair, wheras the original attack was inf+artillery...

I think it would be fascinating to come back to this map with an infantry battle, but such is not our story this time...

GaJ

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It's a good question.

First, I'm not getting too wound up about it. It is just one unit, and there are 9 VLs, so worst comes to the worst, I could just let it have the VL it choses :)

It's worth about 350pts, IIRC, out of 5000+.

So there are bigger problems to worry about: heaps of other tanks - it's not even 10% of the problem.

However, as you say - staying clear of the it will be important.

Which means that I need to be substantially nimble. I'm trying to figure a defence that can sting the first forces that make contact with it, then fade, so that the following push after the recon doesn't have anything to bite into.

The provisions I can make to get rid of the Elefant are:

- Mines and obstacles. These need a judicious plan that works in with the rest of the defenses - they can't be just about the Elefant. But I'm almost certainly going to throw some of these out and hope to get lucky.

- Aircover. I will bring one Fighter Bomber. I think I'll have a call-in delay of about 10mins, so the chances of nailing the elefant with this are not great, but with so many points available for Bil on armour I figure that surely at least one tank will be in the radius of the strike when it arrives :) It's worth 300 or so points to play with that.

- Many dudes with Bazookas, to try to be able to tackle all of his armour from side shots etc. Unfortunately, this map is an absolute bear for concealment: there isn't any. So I'm still toying with how much to invest in this. But these can form a good part of "nimble defense".

By the way, can anyone tell me - can infantry throw satchel charges at other infantry, area-fire style? I've been looking with some enthusiasm at Rangers, who come with plenty of Thompsons and Zooks and Satchels. The satchels, good if I can get close to tanks, would be even better value if they are useful for inf as well, but haven't tried that before. I may have to experiment with that.

I do wish there was more concealment on the map, that's for sure!

GaJ

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Yes, satchels get thrown. I don't know how to prompt it; it seems to be an AI controlled action.

Yes, it's a pity you can't order them to do it - I've had engineer squads get murdered in firefights at knife-fighting range over several turns and if they'd thrown even one, the enemy would probably have melted away, but sadly ... they didn't :( :(

And then they'll throw one out to an absurd range when you're least expecting it ;)

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Yes, it's a pity you can't order them to do it - I've had engineer squads get murdered in firefights at knife-fighting range over several turns and if they'd thrown even one, the enemy would probably have melted away, but sadly ... they didn't :( :(

And then they'll throw one out to an absurd range when you're least expecting it ;)

Yeah throwing charges is interesting. I recently had a tank hunter team that was hiding in the bocage and some enemy infantry got past the MG screen. One of the tank hunters threw a grenade and dropped the guys approaching them. The other guy threw a demo charge way over their heads and blew a huge hole in the field where there was no body. Somebody was amped up on adrenaline :)

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while i am new to the series, i watched the previous AAR(and learn a lot) and i intend to watch this also. In the current scenario i think it fits greatly a warhammer 40k quote "walk softly and carry a big gun". Stay stealthy as possible with few AT guns.

Imho the attacker will expect lots of mines and fortifications and he will be extra carefull in his advance, so the best defence would be mobile with counter attacks if possible. Of course artillery/mortar/air fire would be extra helpfull since i doubt that the attacker will move with great pace.

But perhaps i am deeply wrong :P

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Best of luck, GaJ!

I expect this AAR to be very entertaining, as well as informative.

Plus, as a fellow WeBoBer, I hope you kick his arse....in a very kind and politically correct way, of course.

:-)

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Yes, satchels get thrown. I don't know how to prompt it; it seems to be an AI controlled action.

You could try experimenting with 'Fire briefly'. Last time I used this with infantry they went grenade scramble happy.

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You guys' description of satchel charge throwing matches my own experience - a shame eh.

Those pioneers/rangers look so tempting as part of the anti-tank defense. The terrain is just so open that I don't know if they'll get close enough to tanks to use them.

So here's the overall game plan:

- Be mobile. Because anything sitting still will get blasted by Brummbars etc or trampled by Elefants. This means A minimum of trenches, foxholes etc. Probably I will get some of these to help MGs survive (actually, bunkers!), but generally I expect units in fortifications to get blown out of them fairly quickly. If possible, avoid taking on a serious armoured push head-on, early: be mobile enough to flow around it, hassle it's flanks, and encourage it to head in the direction of a back line of ATGs and tank hunters.

- Expect a strong armoured push early on. While what we've seen from Bil is that he really values intel/recon ... but there's nothing that says he has to do that with infantry this time. He has so many points that he may start with a "wave of armoured recon" to see if he can break through somewhere. Imagine the grief - a platoon of Panzers and Brumbars charging through a forwards infantry screen and blowing up things in my back line in the first minutes! This means that the forwards lines of the defences need to be ready to deny armour as well as infantry - the usual "set up forward sniping units that shoot scouts to slow him down then fall back" won't be enough.

- Try to deny the ridgeline with obstacles. Partly because this is a significant VL, so I have to put effort into retaining it, but also because it makes sense. If he can't manoever in the middle, then he has to chose one side or the other ... or split his forces. Any option I'm denying him, any hard choice he is confronted with has to help :)

I guess this is about it for "thinking out loud". Now I have to go and chose and plot. I'll try to get done over the weekend, maybe see you all on Monday.

GaJ

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