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Baneman

Macisle's Map - Axis AAR - *** Here be SPOILERS ***

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More anti-tank goodness this round, but that's about the only goodness.

Far right I continue to move my teams to the left - they'll be needed. But the fire from the enemy "pinning position" is freaking out at least one team. They're taking fire from an MMG or a BAR, whatever, they can't hit anyone over there and their nerves are shot.

The "lost schreck" crawl 1 AS closer to safety. In another turn or 2, they may even get to the hedge and leg it :)

aar175farrightcomposite.jpg

Centre right, the schreck guy crawling across the yard is shot down like a dog, along with the ATG ammo MG34 guy as a 4 or 5 man infantry team moves up to the angled hedge. My guy's accuracy or lack of it is hurting now - I'm getting off first shots and dying to return fire as we aren't hitting and suppressing the enemy. The schreck never saw the Stuart as it moved through the gate into the churchyard. Luckily, my other schreck team was ordered to hide for half the turn, then move back to the hedge. They arrive just as the Stuart is looking threatening and they take it out. Another flamer. That leaves only the Stuart on the far left ( I hope )

aar176centrerightcompos.jpg

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Centre left, a cunning mortar strike aborts all my reposition movements and causes more panic. No casualties, but no new orders can be given. At least the HQ covering the front hedgeline is unfazed.

aar177centreleft.jpg

On the far left, weight of enemy fire is suppressing my defenders, 1 of 2 teams rallied and hopefully will reposition. The sole survivor on the edge moves up to the hedge, fires at enemy infantry, predictably misses ( I think this team has missed every shot in the whole battle - am interested to see at the end if they caused any enemy casualties ), panics and runs. His escape is cut short by a flurry of enemy grenades.

The Stuart isn't seen so it's either manoeuvering in the road or it tried to move up the narrow hedge-gully and balked. I've been pretty certain it couldn't get through there, but it's a relief that it hasn't proved me wrong as my schrecks are ... a little distant.

aar178farleftcomposite.jpg

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You appear to have made significant progress in reducing the enemy firepower. How are your remaining troops and how do you rate your chances now? Have you reached the crisis of the battle, do you think?

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Well, with the good of eliminating the last Stuart on the right side, comes the bad on the left where enemy firepower is heavily suppressing my defenses. And of course the last Stuart is on the left too.

On the far right, there is still little to report. One enemy team is seen moving into and down the road, this may be the remnants of the routed team last seen on the extreme map edge. But the BAR/MMG that is suppressing the hedge is still doing a good job of that and my repositioned team take fire and lose their nerve.

aar180farright.jpg

Centre right, my "idiots" team successfully moves and has decent los of the enemy in the churchyard. Somehow the suppressing fire of my HMG on the flank doesn't stop his men spotting and shooting one of my guys in the grass. Another team is sending a series of rifle grenades across. One falls short and one goes long. I hope he doesn't have too many more. Everyone here is brittle and as likely to panic as not. I think the enemy are in the same boat - especially as many appear to be 1 or 2 man 'remnant' teams - and if they linger another minute in their position, my last 8 120mm rounds should finish off their morale. But they've rarely co-operated in this. However, most of my teams have los to one or more enemy, so I'm hopeful this will be a turn of fire and counterfire.

aar181centrerightcompos.jpg

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On the left, there is no good news.

Centre left, the teams that panicked from the mortaring are re-ordered, although I'm moving 1 up to the hedge for a turn in case the mortaring presaged a new Charge to the Bocage. The flank guard on the left are losing their nerve completely, simply from area fire. Also, the last Stuart is moving up here and probably intends to snout into my position. With morale as fragile as it is ( and no fausts ), there's little likelihood of a successful Close Assault. My schreck unit has 1 round left, they're moving up, but LoS sideways could be tricky. My spare schreck, with 3 rounds brought across from the far right over the last couple of turns reaches his holding position and almost eats it immediately as yet another wayward spotting round lands close by.

aar182centreleft.jpg

On the far left, sadly the enemy reposition brazenly across open ground and my teams are pathetically totally unable to cause a single casualty - and then add fuel to my ire by panicking from the fire of those same enemy when positioned.

It doesn't look good here.

aar183farleftcomposite.jpg

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Overall, I think I should be able to hold on the right, especially if my last few mortar rounds land on some enemy. We're both brittle and I think I have a slight edge.

On the left, it's a different story. I've failed to cause sufficient casualties to the enemy teams whereas mine are in the same boat as those on the right. If he's cautious and keeps up the heavy fire on my positions, he'll probably push me out of them.

It's strange - the teams on the right have had no C2 since their commander was killed ( by a stray bullet :( ) yet they seem to be holding up as well or better than the teams on the left who do have C2. It may simply be due to the number of bullets the enemy are throwing downrange on the left. His guys are much less inclined to hug the ground - the fact that we have consistently missed them when running in the open has emboldened their little pixelhearts. Curses !

It's looking like a desperate last ditch melee around the left hand buildings. But I think the battle is edging the American way.

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I may have missed it, but is there a time limit that you can work towards? I don't have this map, but presumably you don't have to hold all objectives to win on points. Have you any plan for withdrawing to a suitable defensive position where troops can be consolidated and still contest enough objective points? Or are you too heavily engaged?

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I may have missed it, but is there a time limit that you can work towards? I don't have this map, but presumably you don't have to hold all objectives to win on points. Have you any plan for withdrawing to a suitable defensive position where troops can be consolidated and still contest enough objective points? Or are you too heavily engaged?

The battle is 1 hour and 20 minutes and there's still about 40-odd minutes to go, so time is on his side.

TBH, I'm not entirely sure how the VL points work for a defensive battle - eg. if, amazingly, he were to offer me a Ceasefire - would I have to plonk a man on each of the VL's I still hold for them to "count" for Occupy purposes ? Seems a bit silly for a Defender to have to do that, but I've actually not done a Defend battle before ( always Probes, QB's, other scenarios in which my opponent has surrendered or where the VL was one in the middle sort of thing ).

Good question, perhaps some of the experts here could chime in on this one. Please ?

As far as withdrawing goes, I don't think it's feasible since the conditions that prevail currently will simply re-apply - ie. he pours fire on my positions until my guys run away or go to ground and then he moves up.

"Not one step back !"

Lol, it's not quite c3k's ATTACK option, but it'll have to do ;)

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No comment from the forum experts on the vital question posed above ?

I'd really like ( need ;) ) to know - if anyone knows. Cheers.

On the right, things improve. On the left, they deteriorate.

Far right, so little action that I'm stripping it to shore up the left. Picture pretty much speaks for itself.

aar185farright.jpg

I feel I can get away with this because the men who have been moving into the churchyard attempt a dash for the church - A Forlorn Hope assault, perhaps they hoped to make it a strongpoint from which to reduce my forces further. 2 men do make it into the church, but almost everyone with them is mowed down. I saw at least 5 casualties and since the bulk of the units here are 1 or 2 man survivor teams, most are now running away. The HMG should be able to winkle them out of the church ( now that it can fire through the hedge ) so I'm confident this area is fairly safe now. I'm pulling another team off the line here, the HMG has 2 riflemen and 1 team remaining to cover the front. The schreck team are also heading left, lest that last Stuart become a new problem.

aar186centreright.jpg

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Centre left there are two brief mortar barrages. One falls into empty space and the other falls in the American's own lines - clearly that FO never did sober up. Each was only 4-6 rounds, so I suspect that the Ami's are also out of artillery ammo. I certainly hope so.

aar187centreleft.jpg

The far left is all but shattered. Enemy infantry move right up to my line as the panicked squad supposed to be guarding it never rally. The HMG is my last hope here - if it can pour enough fire through the hedge to scare off the enemy there, I may have time to shore up the defense. It's very iffy. Also, the Stuart changes its mind again when the American pioneers make a hole for it. This could actually get worse...

aar188farleftcomposite.jpg

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This is probably one of the best illustrated AAR's ever. Thanks for making such an effort.

It would be great if you could explain how you did all the onmap text etc.

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This is probably one of the best illustrated AAR's ever. Thanks for making such an effort.

It would be great if you could explain how you did all the onmap text etc.

Thanks.

MS Paint :) I have no Photoshop skills.

I take several screenshots during game then edit the one with most "action", cutting and pasting action from the others to make the composite ( if needed ). I wish Paint had a dotted line, but otherwise it's adequate.

I have some sort of freebie PS-lite on my machine, but their decision to avoid all the Windows "standards" means that the first time I tried to use it it took me about half an hour to "Open File" (only slight exaggeration). A learning curve like that I can do without ;)

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No comment from the forum experts on the vital question posed above ?

Re: "Occupy" VLs?

Yeah, you have to stick someone in that area to count as possessing it at the time when victory is assessed. Anything will do. One wounded conscript broken out-of-ammo driver will do. But you have to put something there.

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Thanks womble - I was kinda hoping that the Defender counts as occupying them without having to pull guys off the line to stand on them.

But at the moment, it's not looking likely that the Americans will offer a ceasefire ;) - more likely they will crush me like a bug, lol.

Erwin - the biggest hurdle to doing an AAR was getting over the feeling that everyone will laugh uproariously at your feeble and inept defence/attack. In this regard, I think I was fortunate in that most eyes are on the FI forum for GL. Plus the rather more professional AAR over there :)

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Don't sell yourself short. The way you use diagrams, text etc makes your AAR far clearer imo as one can comprehend it more easily visually rather than via words. I can far more easily/quickly understand what is going on in your game than in any of the other AAR's I have seen to date.

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Ok, 40 minutes in and 40 minutes to go.

Did I say the far right was quiet. Well, it was - until my Tanks Destroyed count went from 4 to 3 (again). Yes, the dastardly swine, exploiting the vagaries of the tank damage system remans the other "destroyed" Stuart :( Grrr. <shakes fist at BFC, his opponent and mostly at dice>

My guys are taken under fire and immediately go to pieces.

aar190farrightcomposite.jpg

Centre left, at least one of the guys in the church decides it's a bad place and heads for the hills. He does a creditable 50m dash and avoids all bullets. But he starts to hug the ground before safety, so we may yet get him. Whether his mate is still inside or dead is not clear. The routing chap crossed the hedge and was shot by my team outside.

The "snakes" only get halfway to the hedge before losing a guy to the most persistant American who is still unaffected by 2 turns of HMG area fire AND the last 4 rounds of 120mm that fell. That little move is now an ex-plan.

aar191centrerightcompos.jpg

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Centre left, the only news is that the team that entered the house complex centre right exit into the main road. My guys in the house shoot one down. 2 of the others stop in the road, so they may not make it to whereever they're heading. My HQ is already covering the flank and I've ordered the other team to do the same. I can do this because the wayward enemy artillery strike drops at least another 6 rounds this turn, so I reckon it's safe for a turn.

aar192centreleftcomposi.jpg

On the far left, my puffing HQ team arrives just in time to cover the flank and shoot down all 4 of a team trying to reach their piece of hedge.

As expected the Stuart comes through the gap in the hedge, but it's going like the clappers and looks likely to reach a dangerous snouting position before I can get my HMG out of there - that 14 second pack-up time is going to get them killed. My only hope is the panicked team who have a pzf30k - I've seen panicked teams use them before, so it's a very tiny hope.

aar193farleftcomposite.jpg

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I thought this is a good time to pull the camera back and show more in one shot. This should show the moves I'm attempting to cover the collapsing left flank.

Right hand side.

aar195rigthoverview.jpg

Left side.

aar194leftoverview.jpg

The teams in the truck will still take 2-3 turns to get to the left, but on foot they would have no chance of arriving in time. You can also see the 2 schreck teams attempting to reach a flanking position against the Stuart.

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...the most persistant American who is still unaffected by 2 turns of HMG area fire AND the last 4 rounds of 120mm that fell.

The last guy of a team is, I think, often very difficult to winkle out. My surmise is that it's a combination of a couple of things:

First, the morale and experience ratings of a team are averages, so that last man is probably the "best" of the team, so should remain effective for longer.

Second, I get the impression that any given AS might have a(n abstracted out) "great" place to hide/fight from, which is only big enough for one pTruppe, and that last guy you nail is the one who managed to bagsie that hidey-hole. Of course, this impression could just be the result of RNG streaks...

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Sorry about delay in continuing this, had a couple of rough days - not as rough as my poor pixelguys however.

On the far right, the remanned Stuart panics one of the hedge teams with continuous fire. My schreck team finally escape the field, but can't yet find a spot with LoS to the damn thing.

aar200farright1.jpg

In the centre right area, the team I moved to face up the main road get good los on the americans there. 2 guys were surrendering, but the others were shooting, so they were cut down. One of the surrendering guys took a bullet too. War is hell. Only one guy is left there, surrendering. Whether my guys are deemed "close enough" to actually walk him off to the cage is unknown at the moment.

aar201centrerightcompos.jpg

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Centre left almost nothing is happening, with it all going on on the far left. The Stuart changes direction, outwitting my tired schreck teams moving up at the bottom of the map, but this does allow my HMG to get away clean. Next turn they'll be moving back to the hedges next to the buildings.

The Stuart's position does allow it to fire a "magic bullet" which kills 3 of my 4 HQ team - who were not even facing it. Grrrr. That only leaves 1 guy trying to cover the flank, accordingly I'm beginning a phased withdrawal from this line altogether.

Just as well, as a demo charge makes a new hole in the bocage, clearly that Stuart wants in ! There IS a little patch of mines where the hole has been blown. Maybe they'll work first time and give him a shock.

The last 4 rounds of my 81mm mortars drops in position, whether anyone was there ...

aar202farleftcomposite.jpg

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Thanks again, Baneman, for this wonderful AAR! I've been on break from gaming for a number of weeks. I just got caught up on reading it. Now, I'm hungry for more! Things are certainly entering a new phase.

BTW folks, I'll be doing at least one more update to the scenario (will not be adding AI plans, sorry). The next will be in a few weeks to a month. In the meantime, I would really like to get feedback from people who have played V2.0 or 2.5 (like a dummy, I didn't put version numbers in the scenario file, but if you've got barbed wire in your game, you've got V2.0 or 2.5).

I may not be able to get back to you right away, but I will read and take into consideration all feedback PMs that I get. If you PM'd me over the last few weeks, you should have received a response today.

Baneman, what's your current status on MG/rifle ammo, shrecks and PFs?

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Gentlemen. A video AAR experience from my match with Lt Bull from the other month. Macisle's has given permission for it to be uploaded now. Let's just say I didn't last as long as Baneman's opponent. :D

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