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GreenAsJade

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

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When you have only one AFV, I don't think you get to sneak it anywhere: clearly Bil has all eyes on it :)

Movie 67

Dang, this can be a really cruel game!

As you know, I had to do something different with the M10 this turn. Since I was expecting Bil to press forwards and take me out as I ran to SMI, I decided to dodge back around and see if I could get a side shot on the tanks doing that. I also had the Hill 172 guys push forwards to see if they could close the tanks up, and defend from a side attack that seemed to be coming...

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Of course, with 3 tanks, Bil could afford to spare one to counter such a possibility, and this is what he did. He advanced in the predicted way with the Elefant and the Brumbar, and pushed the JgPz around towards the back of Hill 172. There it was met by a hail of small arms fire...

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The lucky lucky TC somehow managed to dodge the bullet that went into his manhole, and closed up.... yay.

But...

As my M10 came around the side, that dang JgPz spotted it, instantly! Here is what the view from the JgPz looks like at the moment that it started rotating to face the M10,

a couple of seconds before the end of the turn:

9172607622_6d113749c2_b.jpg

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Here is what it looks like from the M10's position:

9172603334_cb05e61933_b.jpg

Here's what the M10 currently sees:

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Nooooo! The buttoned up JgPz got the jump on the open top opened up M10 ... I guess because the JgPz was stationary, while the M10 is on the move.

Well, I guess we all know how this will probably end. Dagnabit!

At least my trusty tank crew took out Bil's inf that were trying to press back across the side of Hill 172.

Meanwhile, over at SMI, at last the infantry push has started:

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though it is not strongly supported by HE: I was expecting a lot more fire on the buildings before the inf ran in. Can Bil have run out of shells? That seems unlikely, though I haven't been counting...

Last of all, I noticed another really cool little piece of modelling:

9172605686_c1256d9629_b.jpg

... there, in the top front left, you can see the front MG cover closing up!

GaJ

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Movie 68

Well, we all know what happened next anyhow... this was pretty much the first my M10 saw of the JgPz:

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I had the choice of pull back or push forwards to the flank. I chose the latter, with Ken's voice ringing in my ears. Unfortunately the darn JgPz has a flexible gun, and it got a bead on the M10 before it could really get an angle happening.

Bil also brought the Elefant over the top of Hill 172, just in case. It wasn't needed, though it took out the brave tank crew that had been guarding the top of the hill.

Still no significant Bil forces in SMI ... it looks like this will not be conquered by Bil before the end, unless he has a truely massive wave in the next 120 seconds...

9181419739_3c65684081_b.jpg

GaJ.

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Yes, my voice may be ringing in your ears, perhaps as loudly as that JgdPzIV round has rung the M10, but admit it: your men are grateful for the chance you gave them. I know mine would be. ;)

Ken

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Great AAR!

There is by the way a graphic bug with the Jagdpanzer IV. Put it on a steep elevation and try to aim it's gun up or down. The gun and it's mantlet will detach itself from the tank and elevate many meters into the air since it is pivoting on a wrong axle.

Not solely a graphics bug, but an artifact of missing main gun "elevation/depression" limits for AFVs. Long a sore spot for those fighting armor in towns, with armor able to pick off infantry where the AFV shouldn't be able to get elevation to hit, or depressing a gun below the "hard deck" of the AFV itself.

Something we live with, and there are many historical threads discussing the issue.

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The End

9192819414_f205e530bc_b.jpg

As you can see, SMI held out till the end, despite being surrounded by a horde. Bil snuck one guy in, but did not succeed in taking the final objective.

It is funny, upon reflection, how we were talking about this match maybe being like Rocky, and I think we were thinking Rocky II. A big comeback and all that. At least, I was hoping for a win :)

Instead, this match was more like Rocky (I). It's clear to all who the better opponent was, more trained, more skilled etc. And he won on points.

But I held out to the end.

Adriannnnnn....

GaJ

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Tut, Ken. Be honest: your men are grateful for anything that enables them to leave your command, even death.

:D

Michael

That would explain so much...

;)

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Way to hang in there GaJ, and thanks for the time you put into this. Despite not coming out the victor I think you kept things in perspective. It takes balls to put it out in public, which has earned you the respect of the community. Also, I would like to personally thank you for all the support you have given to our colony of grogs with your fine mod warehouse site. Good job! I think you will come out of this a better player.

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GreenAsJade,

Yours has not been the easy path, but it's certainly been the path of illumination. Thanks to your travails (and thanks truly are due), we have learned some important things. The M10, a theoretically good tank killer, is, in fact, highly vulnerable to just about any threat, for once buttoned by anything over a strong sneeze, it's all but blind, can't spot, is spotted and gets killed. A buttoned German tank vs a buttoned M10, head on, is probably going to yield a dead M10. Why? The Germans have more and better eyeballs. When buttoned, only the M10 gunner has the ability to see out, a fact the Operations Reports from Op Shingle explicitly confirm.

We learned the M6 3-Inch Antitank Gun, while powerful, is simply too big and easy to spot in this kind of terrain. Also, we learned the AP round in GL for it and the M10 is the Standard APC rather than the Substitute Standard AP, and we learned there was a major difference in penetration performance vs face-hardened armor.

We learned that concrete bunkers seem to be fairly survivable, but that something (no idea what) needs to be done about making sure the planned LOS is = the actual LOS, which translates directly into what can be seen and shot. A prepared defense (those bunkers) should also have firing pits and reserve positions for your M10s and ATGs. If those aren't available as a result of game engine related issues, then scenario designers need to think of something to create something like that effect. Liberal ground cratering would've helped your defense considerably.

Bil showed that the defender must find a means to really hurt the attacker's recon eyes, for it was those practically omnipresent eyeballs (sniper, Veteran or better as cure?) which paved the way for your undoing. Granted, said undoing was facilitated by a far more attacker friendly map than was the case in actuality. This allowed Bil to not only take his armor where it historically couldn't go, but to switch armor laterally at will. In reality, that armor would've been roadbound, and his Elefant wouldn't have been blithely waltzing about, both for fear of bogging or worse, throwing a track and immobilizing--and the latter instruction to Elefant drivers concerned turning while on a road!

You had a lot of ground to cover, but Bil took you apart one piece at a time, and the terrain compartmentation helped him do this. He effectively used combined arms (to include smoke), though, whereas you tended to engage one on one. This allowed him to progressively unhinge your force as he applied both skill and numerical superiority to a succession of engagements in which both told.

Your M10s proved surprisingly brittle, and your failure to engage at least by section simplified Bil's tactical problem considerably and may've led to greater losses. I used the conditional because the now scary buttoned M10 problem may've gotten both killed (given the "die rolls" you got) in a head-to-head duel. Still, Bil's comments show he saw this penny-packeting as a real issue for you. He used Mass against you, whereas, by and large, you failed to use Mass against him.

I think it took you quite some time to get yourself sorted out, but your defense, despite heavy casualties, got stiffer as the game wore on. You showed real spine, when many players would've either quit outright or dropped out by not responding to turns sent. Things were so relentlessly bad for you, for so long, that my default to any engagement report by you was first to cringe! How I longed to see you really hit one of his heavy Panzers and have something to show for it. Would've taught the observers a lot, too. A shame the M16 never got to do much! Was looking forward to seeing the meatchopper go to work.

Though it certainly didn't look like it, Bil had practically run himself out of cannon ammo and had expended all his offboard fire support, maybe his on-map mortar ammo, too. That's why he didn't make that last push--despite his rather cool force swap during the battle to get fresh men with lots of ammo into the fight. Hard to shoot in the infantry when the breech and the magazine are empty!

Your fight has been most instructive, your AAR/DAR enlightening and well-explained, and your courage, in taking on (and fighting to the bitter end) the military machine that is Bil, most impressive. He clearly is the man to beat.

Thank you for enduring a brutal fight with very few happy times during it!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Thanks very much for this AAR, GaJ. I enjoyed it immensely and it was extremely informative both historically and in terms of game-play, and the commentary from both of you was excellent. Personally I thought you did well. I hope you do another one soon :)

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Interestingly, I also opened fire with the AAHT on the spot where the first group had their casualties last turn. I know there was at least one man not hit previously, there ...

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I thought so, this fire panicked the entire 1st platoon GaJ.. if you had continued that area fire with the quad 50 it would have blown my center advance and possible cost me an entire platoon as casualties with that much fore were inevitable. Of course without eyes on that area how could you know?

Bil

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As a inveterate lurker on these forums, I rarely comment, however I want to thank both GAJ and Bil for their excellent reports. You both taught me a lot and entertained me most royally.

Many Many Thanks.

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Bil,

Looks like I need to read more closely, or at least not in such wee hours! So the M16 nearly ate a platoon of your Landser? Daresay had it done so, that would've taken some starch out of your textbook advance. And it was a textbook advance. What's the German equivalent of the Sandhurst "pink" solution, I wonder?

Regards,

John Kettler

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