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Allied AAR: A Route to Ribera or "A Bridge Too Far" (CMPzC)

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This is a ongoing AAR that will show the current campaign Im playing with my CM buddies, utilizing Panzer Campaigns (PzC) as a operational layer and CMFI to handle tactical action (Im no Bill Hardenberger so dont expect something great). The AAR will show one PzC turn and the CM action that takes place during that turn. I will explain how we transfer information from PzC to CM and vice versa. Im putting this together after a request from sburke. This whole idea was brought to my attention by noob and he is putting down a lot of work to package this whole concept for the CM community. He will later showcase a full campaign as an AAR on these boards. This is kind of a sneak preview. The beauty for me is that its pretty simple and with the many PzC games one can use them with the CMx2 games to cover almost any operation.

Some basic mechanics of PzC and the rules (greater detail will be presented later):

The turn is representing 2 hours of “real” time in game. Depending on what PzC rules are used it will be represented by several sequences (they way we are playing in this campaign) but it can also be done so all sequences are done in one single stage. The turn in our case is made up by:

1. Player 1 movement phase

2. Player 2 defensive fire phase

3. Player 1 offensive fire & Assault phase

4. Player 2 movement phase

5. Player 1 defensive fire phase

6. Player 2 offensive fire & Assault phase

Movement phase: During this phase units are moved on the operational map (made up of 1x1 km hexes). What’s relevant for the use of CM: Units moved to a hex bordering a hex occupied by an enemy unit can be assaulted in the assault phase (hence leading to CM action). It’s also of importance to have your units in the right movement formation, which is handled during this phase. For example, attacking over a bridge requires your unit to be in travel formation.

Defensive fire phase: During this phase units are able to put defensive fire on the enemy. The relevance for CM: In the next turn the enemy will be able to issue assaults, the fire delivered in this phase can render an enemy unit “disrupted” which will make it unable to assault (until it recovers). The defensive fire will also dictate what off map artillery assets that can be used when/if the enemy assaults you in the next phase. For example, if I fire a 105 mm battery of 4 guns on a enemy occupied hex and the enemy assaults me from that hex during his assault phase, I will get off map support from that battery. Will you target a juicy column in travel formation or is it more important to get those guns as support in an imminent CM battle?

Offensive fire & Assault phase: You guessed it; your units can put offensive fire on the enemy and assault them. A unit may not move, fire and assault in the same turn so one has to decide if it wants to move and fire/assault (or fire and assault if it did not move in that turn). The offensive fire will, in the same way as the defensive fire, dictate what off map assets will be available to the attacker in a CM battle (the given battery must be fired on the hex that later is assaulted).

For a CM assault to take place it must be possible to assault in PzC (unit must be in the correct formation, and it can’t have already moved and fired in that turn). The assaults will not be played out in PzC, instead the player issuing the assaults lets the defending player know where he wants to assault. The defender will then decide what battles he will agree to fight in CM. The ones he doesn’t want to bring to the CM battlefield he will lose directly, and those units will be removed from the game (counted as KIA/WIA/MIA/POW).

The battles that are to be fought in CM now need maps. We usually check the existing quick battle maps / scenario maps and expand/change them in the editor to fit our needs (to fit with the hex/hexes that are fought over in PzC). This process includes a dialogue between the two players where agreements are made over what maps to use and how to edit them etc. After this exit zone objectives are added and the units from PzC involved in the battles are put in using the editor. The PzC units data is converted to CM data (including fitness, motivation, headcount, supply etc).

To stop very one sided battles to be fought in CM the following rules are applied:

Any unit that exits the CM map before 20 minutes have passed will be counted as KIA/WIA/MIA.

Any unit that exits the CM map before 30 minutes have passed but after 20 minutes have passed suffers a penalty to its PzC Morale = CM motivation.

Units exiting after 30 minutes are not penalized. This way it’s possible to conduct a fighting withdrawal and have something to fight for when greatly outnumbered.

Now, some background on our campaign scenario:

NW of Agrigento, 2000 hours, July 19th 1943: After an initial attempt, mainly on the US side, to drive the invaders into the sea, the Axis powers decided to withdraw toward Messina and give up all efforts to contain the Allied beachheads. This scenario examines what might have happened had the Italians put up more of a fight, and if the US had to pay for the ground it captured as the GIs drove up the coast.

This scenario features a small "end-run" by US Rangers, and the arrival by air of the tough 509th Parachute Battalion, veterans of the North African campaign, who were resting but available for a quick mission. [size small – 11 turns] Designer Note: This is a hypothetical scenario for the purpose of illustrating the basic game rules as well as the new Strategy | Operations feature.

uma.png

Start of operation (Green Units are US, Yellow are Italian and Grey are German).

This AAR takes place during 08:00 and 10:00 on the 20 july, 1943. The scenario has been going for 12 hours in game (PzC). The current situation is located below.

h9c4.png

Current situation: Allied paratroopers and rangers have been dropped/inserted.

First up, allied movement:

jv09.png

wiq.png

White arrows show movement paths and the letters indicate what units have been moved. Highlighted flags show what units have been moved, greyed out flags are unit that have been joined.

My goal is to mop up as I move northwest to secure the crossings over Maggazola River. I’m trying to maneuver my paratroopers into locations where they can support the capture of bridges over Maggazola from other directions than the main force moving up from the southeast. I also try to hit and destroy/disable enemy artillery positions and HQs. To the west I’m using my Rangers to slow down and disrupt the German reinforcements moving towards Ribera and the big victory points.

Axis defensive fire:

gp5.png

My movements are answered by fire from the axis forces. I’m saving myself some trouble by only showing the actions that caused casualties and/or will effect coming CM action.

As can be seen the 3rd Infantry Bn suffered 3 casualties as they move in on a Italian unit from the 207th Costal Division.

More important is the fact that my Rangers suffer 15 casualties as their positions are hit by German reinforcements that has arrived during the morning hours. The Grille SPGs and an Italian 75 mm battery fire will be allocated to a CM battle if I assault with these units during the assault phase. If I assault the hex containing the Grille SPGs with these units, the Grille will only be portrayed on map while the 75 mm battery still will be available to the axis as off map support.

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Allied offensive fire & assault phase:

I had only one artillery asset available at this time, my destroyer USS Buck. I elected to target the German reinforcements that are headed towards the big victory locations in and around Ribera. I will try to attack them with my Rangers and inflict some real damage with the naval fire. Other artillery assets are either on the move to get into range or are setting up to be ready to fire in coming turns.

Allied assaults:

7w.png

8ho.png

Units outlined by yellow are off map assets.

Assault A: My tanks have finally caught up with these armored cars that have been harassing my forces from a distance. Being able to destroy them before they can fall back and help defend the bridge over Maggazola river and the VL there would be very welcome.

Assault B: The axis forfeit so this battle will not be fought in CM.

Assault C: The axis forfeit so this battle will not be fought in CM.

Assault D: I hope my Rangers, who probably are outnumbered, can direct some naval gun fire to put some hurt on these Germans before they can move further inland to stop me from taking and holding the VLs around Ribera.

Next I will show you what happened/will happen in these too CM battles.

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Setting up the battle

The map:

PzC weather conditions, time of day and hex information is used as basic information to lay the ground for the map that is to be used for the battle.

ils2.png

6z.png

This map was made 25% bigger and had some alternations to its elevation before we settled on it (In this case the axis player suggested the map and some alterations. I did the alterations in the editor and sent it back for approval. Once both of us are satisfied we move forward). It was picked among the QB maps and I recognized it from the first mission in the US campaign in FI.

Allied units involved:

kxco.png

These units will take on a units of Italian armored cars. We know they belong to the XII Corps and that there are between 1-9 (X being 1-9,XX 10-99 etc) of the AB-41 model.

To translate the PzC values to CM values I use the sheets below (values that are not mentioned are set to typical, for example experience). The CM parent formation used is dictated by the unit in PzC, in this case paratroopers and Stuart tanks. In most cases its easy to pick this out. In other cases a discussion is in place. I think its good to settle on things like this before the operation begins. The units represented on map needs to belong to the CM parent formation. Every pixeltruppen on map is counted towards the PzC headcount (truck drivers etc). For tanks/armored cars its only the number of vehicles that are relevant:

v7ez.jpg

p9be.jpg

The major difference between the allied units in this battle when it comes to ingoing data is the fact that the paratroopers have high motivation while the tankers only have normal motivation.

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xkzm.png

The units are picked in the editor so that headcount and other data is matched to PzC. They are also named according to the PzC units. The defender must place all his forces on the map at the start of the battle, as long as they are placed on the hex that is assaulted in PzC (neighboring units may come on as reinforcements if the defender wishes but the delay for this is dictated by the PzC units speed and the time it takes to travel 1 km, as well as a uncertainty modifier to reflect the actual time it takes for them to react to the attack).

The attacker on the other hand can chose when his units are to arrive on map. All at once or in intervals.

alnd.jpg

The defender gets a big setup zone covering most of the map. In this case its been shrunken by the fact that allied forces are moving in from several directions. The Stuart tanks have a very small setup zone restricted to the road as they are arriving to the battle in column/travel formation (a unit in PzC must be in travel formation to assault over bridges, but we dont restrict the setup zone in bridge assault battles).

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Unfortunately our DB folder for the battle at hex 20:8 has already been deleted to save space. Thus I wont be able to show any pictures of this battle (maybe not the best showcase anyhow, looking at the OOB). It played out pretty quickly and was intense.

I didn't play this battle my self, instead my teammate was in command (we are two players on each side). As the overall CO, conducting the strategic play in PzC I set up the battles. In this case I didn't liaison to much with my teammate and thus not giving him the option to voice his comments on how is force was to be deployed (he did the setup but it was to late to voice any concerns about bringing in parts of his force as reinforcements. As the map was very open in the approaches to the axis setup zone, this made it a bit awkward to bring in all of the paras at once. In the future Ill make sure to let my 2IC have a lot more to say about the arrival of his force).

In short words a portion of the paras to the SW tried to close the distance with the dominating hill taking up the center and SE parts of the map (taking advantage of the light woods covering much of this area). On this hill was the full axis force (consisting of 6 AB-41 armored cars). Some of the armored cars was facing the advancing paras while the rest was in reversed slope positions in the direction facing the oncoming Stuart tanks. The armored cars soon spotted the oncoming infantry, putting their MG and 20 mm cannon to good use. They got a few men before the paras reached an area with a lot of bushes. The concealment saved them for the time being. The AB-41 started to maneuver into position to take care of the para contingent. In response to this the Stuarts was sent full speed up the hill (leap frogging) to the paras rescue. The CO was not sure how the frontal armor of the Stuart would hold up to the 20 mm cannon at very close ranges, but felt he need to close in on the enemy fast as the paras was in severe danger. This did pay of and the Stuarts was able to knock out three AB-41s in quick succession. After this the Stuarts had the high ground and could start to pick of the reminding AB-41s that had started to move in on the paras. The AB-41s was able to cause some havoc before the last one finaly was destroyed.

9x2b.jpg

Applying the results to PzC:

The axis unit will be removed from PzC. It losing all it vehicles is all that counts for a Tank/SPG/AC unit (remaining crew is not counted).

For the allies the only unit effected is E/2/504, as that was the only unit that took casualties on the allied side (10 KIA and 3 WIA). KIA are removed outright from the PzC OOB. WIA are treated a bit differently as only 75% of the WIA are removed from the OOB. The 25% returned to duty is a high motivation for players to conduct buddy aid (this is rounded up to whole numbers and in this case 3*0.25=0.75 so no WIA are returned to duty).

The amount of casualties that are in the end removed from the PzC OOB will also affect the units morale in PzC (which in turn translates to the CM motivation). For every 20% of casualties from the original force, 1 level of morale is dropped. In this case 13/44=0.29, resulting in a morale drop of one level. The unit will go from Morale B to C in PzC (In CM from high to normal).

Finding the correct unit is easy (there's even a search function)

zbi.png

Editing the data is even easier.

e7s.png

I edit the PzC OOB accordingly and E/2/504 looks like this (before/after)

Pic before after:

paqw.png

Notice the new headcount and morale. Also the headcount is shown as 100%, an unfortunate side effect when editing in game. To get the correct headcount I have to take into account the current headcount in the PzC game. In this example the units original OOB strength is 65 men. After the para drop the unit was reduced to 44 men (PzC simulates men that are lost in various ways, killed, MIA etc during the drop). If I open the OOB editor once the first CM battle the units takes place in, I have to remove both the casualties inflicted in the CM action, as well as the ones inflicted by various events in PC. Hence 65 is reduced to 31. I only have to remember or look up the units headcount before the CM battle took place. If Id only reduce the 65 headcount in the OOB with 13 (the casualties from the CM battle), these would be absorbed in the 21 casualties already taken in the PzC events up to that point. In conclusion (not sure how much sense I'm making) I think its very simple to track and edit the OOB to keep up with the events in the CM battles played. Once I have saved and checked my changes to be correct, I send over the new OOB to the axis side for them to do their changes. When I get the OOB back from them we are once again ready to move on.

Below are the PzC Optional rules that we use. It is possible, as mentioned earlier, to do all PzC stages in one turn. I think this way, with the separated stages works better when the focus is more on CM than PzC:

4ne.png

Next: the battle on hex 5:9 (me vs axis 2IC)- here we will finally see some CM action with pics - As 3rd Rangers goes up against the III.104 PzG 15.

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My team mate in this campaign is thejetset. Well see if he comes by and posts some thoughts about it all. Regarding FOW, we do try to maintain it but some minor breaches are ok in this campaign as it very much is our first try of the system.

Allied assault on hex 5:9

The following units are involved in this battle. Yellow frame indicates off map support.

pq2.png

Morale A and B equals CM motivation of high. Fatigue below 100 indicates fit units. Ammo is full for H and G while I is set to limited ammo. The USS Buck is set to adequate (only stockpiled artillery units are set to full, I'm not sure if that ever happens to ships though) the other factors are set to typical (experience, leadership). I use the Ranger Battalion OOB in CM and strip it down to three Companies and strip each of the companies down to fit the headcount of the PzC units. I also ad a FO team for my off map artillery asset, the USS Buck (this team is not counted towards the total headcount of the on map PzC units).

y9sr.png

The Setup zone is a bit restricted for the defending axis as the allies are attacking from more than one direction, but they still have most of the map covered.

rcde.jpg

yffv.png

View from the Allied high ground facing the NW.

ym8k.png

Axis setup zone looking over the map from the other direction.

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I just want to point out that i have asked Fizou to stop this AAR, as i did not give permission for him to publish any part of my system, or present the concept. The optional rules and tables that are shown have been modified, so effectively what you are seeing is an inferior representation of my project and should be ignored.

I will be publishing the finished manual in the next few weeks, and then i will be running an operation on this forum to demonstrate the system.

This premature release in my opinion is only going to confuse players and create misconceptions about the official version, also it's stealing my thunder, and considering i've been working on a way of splicing together PzC with CM for two years now, you can imaging how pissed i am at discovering this thread.

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annoying..don't go to hard on him though if you never told him not to post about it.

I did, Kuderian asked me a few months ago, and i told him i wanted to be the one who decided how and when the system was presented, so i just assumed that it would never happen unless i gave permission. If Kuderian never told Fizou, then he was presumptious, but not underhanded.

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1. Player 1 movement phase

2. Player 2 defensive fire phase

3. Player 1 offensive fire & Assault phase

4. Player 2 movement phase

5. Player 1 defensive fire phase

6. Player 2 offensive fire & Assault phase

I would never use these settings in a CMPzC game, they increase the amount of emails to be sent threefold, and also reduce flexibility, as they compartmentalise actions, thus forcing players to have to perform all movements before being able to fire.

Using the alternative settings in my guide allows players to perform all movement and firing without sending any emails before the assault phase.

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I was wondering about this. I've been following your system since day one, I tried googling your site a few weeks ago to check all the old stuff you had up and it was down. Saw another link where it said you where revamping it.

I played the demo system you had up last year in solitaire and it was fun. I wish there was a way to play it in single player, that's mainly why I'm so interested in your system. It's well done and I appreciate the work.

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I was wondering about this. I've been following your system since day one, I tried googling your site a few weeks ago to check all the old stuff you had up and it was down. Saw another link where it said you where revamping it.

I was forced to keep updating, as more and more revisions needed to be applied as the system was tested. Every possible situation needed a rule. Therefore i decided to shut it down until i had a version that i felt was the best i could possibly come up with. This version i am satisfied with, it may need some tweaking, but the basics are sound IMO.

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noob, this is the first time I've seen this, and I find it genuinely exciting. Please, for the love of god, don't execute fizou without taking into account what he has managed with this publicity of your system; exceeding impressive stuff. Thankyou.

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noob, this is the first time I've seen this, and I find it genuinely exciting. Please, for the love of god, don't execute fizou without taking into account what he has managed with this publicity of your system; exceeding impressive stuff. Thankyou.

I'm glad you like the system, i will be posting my own AAR in the next few days as a demo of how CMPzC works.

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I and noob talked this over and I will halt this AAR until he has got his big show case started. I never intended to offend noob and I’m happy we worked it out. In fact noob have been watching our progress in this campaign from the sideline to see how it all works since the start. I just started this AAR after a request here on the forum.

I would never use these settings in a CMPzC game, they increase the amount of emails to be sent threefold, and also reduce flexibility, as they compartmentalise actions, thus forcing players to have to perform all movements before being able to fire.

Using the alternative settings in my guide allows players to perform all movement and firing without sending any emails before the assault phase.

I agree when it comes to playing PzC on its own, then its nice to reduce the amount of emails sent. When doing the combination and such a large focus is on CM I don’t mind it. Both because the scenario we are playing is so small, the amount of turns isn’t that big anyway but mainly because I think the different phases in PzC works so well with the allocation of artillery assets for the defending and attacking player in a CM action.

noob, this is the first time I've seen this, and I find it genuinely exciting. Please, for the love of god, don't execute fizou without taking into account what he has managed with this publicity of your system; exceeding impressive stuff. Thankyou.

Thanks ;) . You might want to check this out, even though it’s out dated it’s a good read: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=105008&highlight=CMPzC

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I definately want to try this system out when you release it. I also would like to request both noob and fizou make the cm maps accessible for download to save on map making work. It would be great to get a map for most of the hexes pre made in these campaigns.

Are you going to include the demo version of PzC normandy '44 that only had the buron scenario like last year. If not I would be game for some kind of group hps purchase to get the 40% discount.

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I definately want to try this system out when you release it.

I'm going to run an "open to all comers" operation on the CMBN forum. I will create two threads, one Allied, and one Axis. Each thread will show screenshots of each sides starting deployment in a small semi historical PzC scenario i have made. Once the participants have decided which side to play, i want them to put forward plans of attack that i will translate to the PzC game. If there are conflicting plans of attack team will have to vote on which to implement, if a decision cannot be made, i will decide which plan is used. I will then post updated screenshots of the new positions after each operational turn. When a CM battle is created, i want players that have high turn rates to fight them, and post the AAR's on their sides thread. I will post an introduction thread in the next few days, describing the scenario, and showing the operational hex map.

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Are you going to include the demo version of PzC normandy '44 that only had the buron scenario like last year. If not I would be game for some kind of group hps purchase to get the 40% discount.

I will be supplying a demo version of PzC Normandy '44 containing the scenario i have made, along with two 2000 x 2000m maps from Rocko's Caen map project representing the villages of Buron and Authie. I am also in the process of editing the whole PzC Normandy '44 OOB to conform to CM foot unit headcounts. This modified PzC OOB file will be attached to the relevant page in the "how to" guide. I will also attach an edited PzC parameter data file, so that anyone with a copy of PzC Normandy can just load both files and convert PzC to the CMPzC.

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