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RockinHarry

The Truelife* Mode PBEM DAR - RockinHarry German POV

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Posted (edited)

finally came to start my part of that interesting affair. Lots to catch up with @Heirloom_Tomato, but I´ll try. :)

That PBEM game was born from the desire testing the "remove game clues" and parts of the "Re-Animate" mod and see how it plays out in PBEM and both opponents using the same mod package. Matt offered his kind assistance and I also could take my very first opportunity to play some H2H CMX2 game, unlike CMX1 which I played some couple of years back. Beside having some fun I´d liked to experience first hand if the mod package is suited for H2H games generally and if there´s possible issues, particularly if the sometimes mentioned "cheating" possibilities have any validity. We´ll see.

With Matt beeing the experienced PBEM player and me the rookie I let him choose map and setup after brief negotiations on basic parameters, which were: Medium sized map and forces and having same the mentioned mods in place. We quickly settled with meeting engagement on QB map, mechanized forces, single vehicles, specialist teams and artillery included. Also agreed any vehicle taken must have at least two rubber wheels and roughly about 1-2 companies of infantry.

The first file then sent by Matt gave me 2850 points to make my purchases from german army mech infantry. Having a peek at the map in purchase screen showed a nice longish town map with medium amount of woods, some fields & pastures, framed with some gently rising elevations toward the east and north. The setup for this map was me to attack from the east and Matt from the western map edges. The town spreads along the center more or less, north-south. So what to purchase for this game? (next posting)

Supplemental info: We have dry ground, skies clear and strong winds blowing west to east. The latter will have bits of importance in this game, as is dry ground producing treacherous dust clouds when moving vehicles offroads.

There´s some medium sized rectangular objective area in the middle of the map (not shown below) worth some points, but it´ll remain neglected for the games purpose.

Main parts of the map and looking east-west from german setup areas. Made it from "Holland Town Large Meet 049" map which I figured that´s the one we use somewhat later after exchanging first turns.

359wc38.jpg

Topview. I´ll use this further on to tell of my map evaluation, battle plan and particular actions.

2qu2ngk.jpg

Contour view. Interesting for evaluating some more specific contours on this map.

ilk85d.jpg

That´s it for today. Hard to find a beginning, since it´s also my very first DAR (attempt). Have fun! B)

 

Edited by RockinHarry

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Posted (edited)

And, a Great Start to your First AAR, RH :-)

It should be interesting to follow your Mod observations, and how they affect Game Play.

Edited by JoMc67

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Posted (edited)

Now to FORCE SELECTION, not yet quite taking all the maps various pecularities into consideration for developing a general attack plan. In the forum we had quite a lot of discussions going on concerning WW2 (german) halftracks, their combat abilities, tactical usage in battle and such. So my spontaneous idea then developed to something like mounted attack straight into battle and getting some experience with it in our game. With the map providing some good east-west approach routes on hard surfaced roads and lots of cover from the wooded crest and the buildings, it appeared an interesting idea. So then I started purchasing. With mechanized infantry beeing the only selectable branch I clicked an army Panzergrenadier battalion. Off course 2850 points didn´t suffice, so I started deleting a full Coy, many vehicles and then some the heavy support weapon platoons from the force, til I reached ~2500 points something.

At last I came up with the following:

2x Coy. Panzergrenadier infantry, of which only parts (2x Plt) of 1. Coy remained mounted on 251 HT´s and 2. Coy beeing just leg infantry exclusively

1. Coy also remained with organic heavy weapons all mounted on 251´s and
2. Coy hvy. wpns. teams had to walk like their buddies.

Hvy. weapons: Both companies remained with organic 2x HMG Plt (=4 guns) each.
1. Coy retained the 7,5cm Stummel HT section (2x vehicles).
2. Coy None.

Both Coy. also retained a mortar support section (80mm, 2x tubes), offboard version.

With having some choices from vehicle assortment, I opted for some SdKfz 251/17 model (turreted 20mm Flak) beeing my Plt. leader vehicles (2x) for the mounted Panzergrenadier Plt´s. Never quite that noticed nor used that vehicle before in the game and it can carry the Plt. HQ´s and little bits more as I found later. I think it also was little cheaper than the usual 251/10 (3,7cm Pak) model.

Note: Few turns into the game later I investigated this vehicle some from various sources. From the gathered info it appeared the turreted 251/17 wasn´t yet delivered to german forces in 9/44 (our battle time setting), though beeing intended addon for the autumn 1944 Panzergrenadier KstN/OOB. Ok, then frontline prototype testing in the game sort of. (larger deliveries of this turreted 251/17 model started in 10-11/1944) :blink:

251/17 rushing forward, while some HMG team debarking straight into combat positions.

33ykqbo.jpg

I replaced the organic 251/3 radio vehicles with normal 251/1 model, since these appeared more useful. Deleted these from OOB and put back from single vehicles menu.

From the forces retained after that many initial deletions, I found I have little to none infantry AT assets, beside some squads carrying the Faust 30 model. Though no fully tracked AVF were allowed for the game, I still wanted to preserve something that can deal with any enemy AFV (AC, carriers) beyond that 30m. Thus I added a handful of Schreck teams, either to Coy HQ´s or selected Plt´s.

Added as well were few sniper teams that I also like to use as sneaky recon infantry on occasions. The map seemed to provide a lot of places well suited both for sniping and observation purposes.

That´s it basically. Worth to note is the Panzergrenadier squads are all 8 men strength and carry 2x lMG, providing some good FP. The remaining 2 guys operate the 251/1 D, driver and lMG gunner, beeing the organic vehicles crew.

I also found the Panzergrenadier 251/1´s carrying big loads of 7,92mm AP (SmK) rounds, which I liked to make use of. More on this later. :P

30wl02f.jpg

Forgot to mention that Matt opted for canadian forces, also from the mech infantry branch, beeing my pixeltroopers adversaries.

First hassels: The force selection file I then sent back to Matt turned out to beeing corrupted or anything. He couldn´t load the file properly. Reason remained unknown. And off course I didn´t make a save game before hitting the red button. As one can imagine I was somewhat p....d off and me required doing all force selection over again. <_<

Ok... now having first experience from the first force selection procedure, I did bits of rethinking but at last I came up with the same force, but refined my selection technique somewhat. Before clicking purchase I set the forces defaults to all regular, normal morale, 0 leader and so on. After renewed purchase (more or less same force as mentioned above) I then spent remaining points on improving various HQ/leaders up to veteran, also adding occasional +1 to leader stats, which seemed to me more important than doing that for the actual combat troops. Few specialist teams also got a slight quality increase, but it´s all a rather small part of the overall forces which I´d consider fairly well led regulars.

Next Chapter: Map/terrain evaluation, force setup and orders for 1st turn.

Edited by RockinHarry

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11 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

And, a Great Start to your First AAR, RH :-)

It should be interesting to follow your Mod observations, and how they affect Game Play.

thanks! :) Hopefully it´s not a too boring to read and pics are as clear as on my own screen. :unsure:

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2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

thanks! :) Hopefully it´s not a too boring to read and pics are as clear as on my own screen. :unsure:

+1  Interesting AAR.  I like the cutout closeup of the UI information panel showing the 7.92mm AP and the turning ability of the half track.  Nice details.

I notice some of your screenshots have the UI text across the top: Paused ESC to continue ALT-Q to quit etc........... 

There is a way to get rid of that if you wanted to.  During playback instead of clicking Pause in the UI use the keyboard and click Shift + Escape.  Shift + Escape will Pause the game without the text across the screen.  You only have to use the keyboard and do this one time.  After doing it once you can go back to using Pause in the UI.  The text will not show up anymore.  Don't know if you care about that but thought I would mention it in case you were not aware of that trick. :)         

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

+1  Interesting AAR.  I like the cutout closeup of the UI information panel showing the 7.92mm AP and the turning ability of the half track.  Nice details.

I notice some of your screenshots have the UI text across the top: Paused ESC to continue ALT-Q to quit etc........... 

There is a way to get rid of that if you wanted to.  During playback instead of clicking Pause in the UI use the keyboard and click Shift + Escape.  Shift + Escape will Pause the game without the text across the screen.  You only have to use the keyboard and do this one time.  After doing it once you can go back to using Pause in the UI.  The text will not show up anymore.  Don't know if you care about that but thought I would mention it in case you were not aware of that trick. :)         

big thanks @MOS:96B2P B) I knew I read about that key combo some time ago, but failed to memorize. I´ll use for my next screens.

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20 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

And, a Great Start to your First AAR, RH 🙂

It should be interesting to follow your Mod observations, and how they affect Game Play.

Hey @JoMc67, are you not tempted to do yours? 😃

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ncc1701e said:

Hey @JoMc67, are you not tempted to do yours? 😃

Yeah, Umm, about that...No !..Just sounds too much like, well, work ;)

 

Edited by JoMc67

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Posted (edited)

Some basic battle plan & bits of map evaluation. Preset objective area (invisible) is not considered for any the plannings and order execution. Did most of that in head a month back and just came now to put it all on a sketch map and basic thoughts were like this (colored map references below):

OVERVIEW MAP

1rdmo3.jpg

 

From the smalish deployment area I found well covered approach routes towards the west leading to all planned OBJ except (1). For fast movements I got 2 paved and 2 gravel roads available. Enemy units expected to also start from a smalish area near the western map edge have not so good quick approach routes, except towards (1), also having a shorter route there. So to pull off that daring mounted attack straight to the church (1), I´d to rely on fast movement along that paved road and settle 1. Coy, 1. & 2. Plt (mounted) within 2-3 minutes at max and see what happens. Why the church? An always good to have sturdy built observation post when taken with enough forces early and beeing well supported. Approach route there also excellent for fast vehicular movements and very good LOF from supporting positions near (2). Since I neither knew Matt´s playstyle (aggressive, cautious, tricky bastard...) nor potential enemy forces in use, this was quite a daring and risky plan, solely relying on speed and maybe surprise. But it should be fun to play out, whatever may happen. This was also to be my initial "Schwerpunkt" if things went well.

For 2. Coy I took a more convential approach. Moving all up quickly towards OBJ areas (3) and (4) on well covered routes (crest, woods and buildings), then find and settle at points to command important lines of fire for later (yellow arrowed lines). Once found, my HMG´s move in and infantry to prepare for further attack beyond (3) & (4). With potential friendly area map half laying on higher level elevations than enemy´s (check contour map in 1st post) I expected to find a good amount of commanding positions for the purpose. 3. Plt also got minor task providing flank security near (4).

The planned orders in more detail:

Mounted parts of 1.Coy (2x Panzergrenadier Platoon + hvy wpns) are to move as fast as possible to (OBJ 2) on that paved E-W road. 1. Plt in the lead, is to proceed on same road uninterruptedly further towards Church (OBJ 1), unmount 1. Plt infantry and occupy the church and Sextons house.

2. Plt (mounted) follows at 1-2 minutes distance first on gravel, then paved road and keep ready to act upon first developments. Hvy. wpns. (HMG/Stummel) to advance on paved and gravel roads to OBJ 2 as quick as possible. Occupy positions to gain commanding fire lines toward OBJ1 and support 1.& 2. Plt at objective (1) as necessary.

All HT to provide support from positions gained, or back off to safety once seriously threatened.

3. Plt (unmounted) to follow towards OBJ 2 and deploy upon necessity. Maybe follow 1. & 2. Plt. towards OBJ 1, or remain in local reserve near OBJ 2.

2nd Coy:

1.& 2. Plt to advance on that gravel road towards OBJ 3. Point unit of 1.Plt (a Plt HQ in this case) will scout near the crest and check if summit area near that small woods (A) is yet to come under enemy observation and fire from the west. Remaining units, incl. 2 HMG follow in column close behind.

3.Plt. &  2x HMG: Same procedure, moving on paved road towards OBJ 4, with the point checking for enemy at (B).

So that was it and hopefully not that hard to read. :) Next posting will see orders given to units (not every detail) and then executed for game turn 1.

Edited by RockinHarry

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JoMc67 said:

Yeah, Umm, about that...No !..Just sounds too much like, well, work ;)

 

Yeah... this! ... and your gal won´t like it. :P

Edited by RockinHarry

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, there is just so much gaming that I should be allowed..per-say.

And, I find it much easier & enjoyable to just catch-up on current DAR/AAR's :)

Edited by JoMc67

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Posted (edited)

Now map deployment and turn 1 execution

After sorting units in the uncomfortably small deployment zone, things looked as follows. Note: In previous post I declared 3. Plt / 2.Coy to be on the far right flank. It´s not. 2. + 3. Plt is on gravel road to the left and 1. Plt on paved road to the right.

Another correction: 2. Coy moves along 2 gravel roads, NOT 1 paved and 1 gravel.

1. Coy initial deployment

2rh71jc.jpg

2. Coy, left column

208fmdz.jpg

2. Coy, right column

2vkycxy.jpg

Then I did "aquire" all mounted and unmounted infantry with the mentioned 7,92mm AP from the individual 251/1 stocks. 500x to combat squads, a 1000 each for the HMG and what´s left to HQ and even snipers, leaving some reserve (250-500) on the halftracks.

2ziy9ad.jpg

For the intended HT attack column I set move off intervals at 0-10-20-30 and 45 seconds. 1. Coy /1.Plt straight on the single lane paved road (on left hand edge), those with Hvy.Wpns (HMG/Stummel) and HQ´s off the road, yet pointing at it for quicker access once moving off with similar intervals (on right hand edge of road). So this was intended to be a move in parallel with HT´s on single lane road. Paved road movement mode = fast, offroad = quick for vehicles. Unmounted foot Infantry and HMG all quick. That´s the plan.... :)

With all that 7,92mm AP available I´d thought using armor covered arc a possibility and set on the 251´s to counter possible enemy lightly armored stuff at opportunity. Also some armor covered arc on the mounted infantry initially. Need to say I wasn´t quite aware what to expect the canadians put to the field with regard to AC and HT ect. Expected some the notorious carriers maybe, but figured I know little about AC in use for canadians. Had to look in editor and figured a collection of Staghounds, Daimlers, Humber and that neat Otter. However, to be prepared..... I searched for and put in place all of @Aristoteles nice mods maybe concerned, as well as @Vein ´s excellent outfits for canadian footsloggers. B)


By end of the turn, 1. Squad (mounted) fast moved perfectly and unhindered towards the church, about to break through a fence, then taking unmount position for the Panzergrenadiers to debark near the Sexton´s house. (follow up plan yet to be plotted). But it looks somewhat empty towards the rear. Where´s rest of 1. Platoon? :wacko:

Point 1. Squad / 1.Plt

2hzlli1.jpg

vyo8y9.jpg

Oh dear.... that parallel movement of vehicles on a single lane road didn´t quite work out as planned it seems. While 1. Squad came off nicely, HT´s of 4. Plt (HMG) attempting to enter the road the same time as 1. Plt still moving off from starting positions, caused a nice mess in planned move off timings. All that tiny (pause x) in few second intervals, got the majority of the column more or less stuck in deployment area initially....but at slow pace they all moved off in remaing time. At a rather big time loss though. 1. Squad is now alone ahead ~100m from the remaining platoon. The enemy might just lurk around the next corner, moving up fast with what... I don´t know. (with enemy icons off, no idea about possible sound contacts). Not a good start. :P

After half the turn spent, 1. Plt leader and HT (251/17 popgunner) still on starting position, while some of 4. Plt already moved ahead.

29m7zid.jpg

However, 2. Plt (mounted) moved off perfectly with set intervals on the gravel road towards (2) and further movements (from gravel onto paved road) in (2) shouldn´t be a big problem. As said, 2. Plt. was to follow 1. Plt when it got through to the church (1).

Split off one 251 with 2 IC and Scout team onboard towards the left (south), to possibly gain some LOS/LOF between the trees toward the church area (1).

Not much to tell about the many footsloggers yet. They´re halfway on route towards the crest and objective areas (2-3-4) in quick move. No enemy sightings or contacts of any sort on the whole map yet.

END MOVES at TURN END 1

302xqvd.jpg

Next turn 2: going to sort out and possibly correct 1. and 4. Plt plotted movements, as well as coordinating/correcting the ones for 2. Plt. Maybe I still get it all working in time....

Edited by RockinHarry

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I like your calm and analytical AAR style. Nicely illustrated, too. Well done.

Not sure what the tactical objectives of this battle are though. You said it has an occupy objective but that you disregard it. So basically it's a meeting engagement where the aim is to destroy the opponent's forces?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I like your calm and analytical AAR style. Nicely illustrated, too. Well done.

Not sure what the tactical objectives of this battle are though. You said it has an occupy objective but that you disregard it. So basically it's a meeting engagement where the aim is to destroy the opponent's forces?

thanks for reminding I missed some initial details. Yes it´s a meeting engagement and the original QB map had this objective zone which is still in place (and valued at end game, 100 I think). Matt and me initially decided to disregard that objective zone, since sole purpose of this game is testing stuff and have some fun with it off course. So yes, it´s just about killing enemies and gaining of territory one founds worth to fight for on this map. Actual end result should be evaluation of mod usage and general influences on play styles.

Edit: I also use this game testing other minor mods of mine on the fly. I have a "beep" bullet penetrate building sound mod in place and some graphical tweaks to the UI, helping me some with my red/green color vision deficiency.

Edited by RockinHarry

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19 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

Then I did "aquire" all mounted and unmounted infantry with the mentioned 7,92mm AP from the individual 251/1 stocks. 500x to combat squads, a 1000 each for the HMG and what´s left to HQ and even snipers, leaving some reserve (250-500) on the halftracks.

2ziy9ad.jpg

Does any the players around here find this "gamey" if distributing ammo pre start? :unsure:

Not sure if the extra loads of ammo burden the footsloggers that much, if at all. Infantry partly carrying now double the initial ammo loadouts around and must feel like pack mules.

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!!!!!!!!!! Figured, I´ve bits of difficulty on formulating oncoming posts, with regard to Matt and me now already beeing at turn 11. Our game started more than 4 weeks back and now need to pull lots of details from memory and the few notes I made at the times. Particularly my "planning" ideas, methods and detail DAR might sometimes not quite coincide in my postings, the more if you´re also parallel reader in Matts/Heirloom_Tomato´s related thread. If you´re reading any such oddities, please point me at it! ;)

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1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

Does any the players around here find this "gamey" if distributing ammo pre start? :unsure:

Not sure if the extra loads of ammo burden the footsloggers that much, if at all. Infantry partly carrying now double the initial ammo loadouts around and must feel like pack mules.

I don't find it gamey, but I do think it's one of the things where the game isn't strict enough with the consequences.

Also, I think it's annoying micromanagement to have to go through squad after squad and acquire ammo before starting the game.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I don't find it gamey, but I do think it's one of the things where the game isn't strict enough with the consequences.

Agree!

17 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Also, I think it's annoying micromanagement to have to go through squad after squad and acquire ammo before starting the game.

not that much as I found actually. In Setup screen swapping units in and out for acquire goes fairly quickly. Edit: The more since many the units already start mounted

Edited by RockinHarry

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3 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:
16 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Also, I think it's annoying micromanagement to have to go through squad after squad and acquire ammo before starting the game.

not that much as I found actually. In Setup screen swapping units in and out for acquire goes fairly quickly.

We can get used to many things. It's just one of those times where I wish I could push a button to say "Alright, load up and move out".

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Thought I´d put this one up for better orientation. Shows some the prominent map pecularities and some the references I´ll make use of for further play. More might be added later.

301cwed.jpg

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1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

Does any the players around here find this "gamey" if distributing ammo pre start? :unsure:

Not sure if the extra loads of ammo burden the footsloggers that much, 

No, IMO, not gamey.  It is part of my SOP during the setup phase.  Since in the setup phase you can freely move troops in and out of vehicles as many times as necessary.   I wish that being loaded down with ammo was more noticeable in the troops movement & fitness. 

I also assign target arcs and sometimes pre-split the squads.  I then cross load them so they don’t recombine.  This also prevents the squads from redistributing ammo among teams. Example: A platoon has three squads that in turn have three teams. Unload squads & split into teams. B teams get back in same vehicles. A teams move one vehicle to right.  C teams move one vehicle to the left.  Then I don't have to dismount an entire vehicle if I just want one team for some task.  Maybe a scout team to check out the farm house up ahead or whatever.  

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2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

Does any the players around here find this "gamey" if distributing ammo pre start? :unsure:

Heck no. Loading up with "way to many" extra bullets might be a bit off but adding some I don't think is gamey at all.  Plus, frequently mounted troops don't have their AT assets by default. You defiantly need to make sure you acquire that.

2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

Not sure if the extra loads of ammo burden the footsloggers that much, if at all. Infantry partly carrying now double the initial ammo loadouts around and must feel like pack mules.

Yeah. I agree with @Bulletpoint that the consequences of adding 1000 or 2000 rounds to a squad are not as severe as they probably should be. I personally restrict myself to acquire AT assets and a few hundred additional rounds more because "I think I should" than the game providing me negative feedback for doing so. Typically adding a modest amount of additional ammo is more than enough. The number of times I have had troops actually run out of ammo I can count on the fingers of one hand and have several left for future accounting :) . The ammo acquiring system is a bit of an abstraction and the fact that you cannot give back might cause some hesitation on increasing the penalty of acquiring too much. I don't know if that really factored into the game design but imagine how upsetting it would be if you accidentally gave a team 1000 rounds and the could only walk or tired after jogging 10m and you had no way of fixing your mistake.

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2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

btw, yet another big thanks to @IanL providing the german period unit icons I prefer for my games. B)

I am glad you like them. I have to admit that I like seeing them used by other people in screen shots. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

We can get used to many things. It's just one of those times where I wish I could push a button to say "Alright, load up and move out".

LOL I don't think we should add a "read my mind" feature to the game - cause well computers cannot do that yet. Remember that the ammo load out assigned to the troops in the game is actually researched information that reflected a standard amount of ammo carried. So, in essence they have already implemented the "Alight, load up" command. :D

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