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Defense of Bowler Bridge - Playtesters Wanted

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In the 1930s, H.E. Graham wrote a tactical primer in narrative form - a series of dreams, actually - in which an inexperienced subaltern learned how to defend a bridge against a mechanized attack, using the meagre forces avaliable to him. It's a fine piece, well worth reading. (You can read an HTML version here. )

I tried turning this tactical problem into a scenario, but spotting problems and the general heaviness of forces meant that it wouldn't work in CMBO. Now I've just created a CMBB version, and I think that it's successful.

The scenario is set in June 1941. I've turned the British defenders into Finns, and the attackers into Russians.

One can indeed defend a bridge with an infantry platoon, a light anti-tank gun, and support weapons, but it's a near thing, and the scenario os playable from both sides.

Bowler Bridge, I've rendered as Pohlersilta, and I've otherwise Finni-fied the names. The original villages were named after hats, so a comical effect isn't all bad, but I would appreciate help with my Finnish.

Anyone, anyone, Beuler?

Regards,

David

(trapone@millinfo.org)

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Sounds like a compact and interesting scenario, especially with the accompanying narrative. I'll try it and report back.

Is it designed for play between humans or vs tha AI? And if vs the AI, which sides, and should the computer stick to default?

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Originally posted by SFJaykey:

Is it designed for play between humans or vs tha AI? And if vs the AI, which sides, and should the computer stick to default?

Designed for play as Axis vs AI. It's a challenge, too, as Allies vs AI, and perhaps player vs player, but I don't know if the Russians' problem with ATRs and morale is exactly interesting.

Computer sticks to default setup in any case, this being a tricky map for the AI.

I'll email a copy to those who responded - thank you.

Kind regards,

David

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Originally posted by GreenAsJade:

Me too. Anyone for PBEM?

Sure, though I will be away from the computer a lot for the next week or so. If a slow pace is ok email me a setup: I'll take either side. Email is in my profile...

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Hmmm . . .

What version of CMBB was this battle created on?

I cannot open the battle. It does not even show up in my battle list.

I am using 1.03 and have put the scenario into my scenario folder.

When I try to load it into the scenario builder, it shows up but won't let me edit it. Says; "you must update to a new version to use this file."

But I HAVE the latest version. 1.03. So, whassup?

:confused:

KFS

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Thank you all for these suggestions.

In case you haven't cottoned on, there's a new version of the

scenario that tweaks the Finnish OOB, deleting an ATR and adding a machine gun. It also fixes the mysterious file-not-appearing problem. Most importantly, this new version dumps the Finnish forces in the naive positions that our thick young subaltern first selected.

http://millinfo.org/cm/pohlersilta.zip

I will be posting a further revision that tries to make the southern side of the village more defensible:

http://millinfo.org/cm/pohlersilta2.zip

[Edit: this file isn't up yet. Try back in about nine hours.]

Also, we're having a lively discussion over email, so if anyone who I BCC'd would like to join in, just drop me a line: trapone@millinfo.org.

SPOILERS

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Those two tankettes from the south do seem to become troublesome. I'll

take a look at Mr Gregory's Map, see if we can't force the tankettes to

follow the road. Ought I to remove the tankettes entirely? They don't

appear in the original story; I've only put them in to force the player to

attempt an all-round defense.

Would we be better off with 37-mm armed BTs than with these 45-mm

examples? Two platoons of infantry instead of three?

Kind regards,

David

[ June 24, 2003, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Trap One ]

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Just finished playing this vs AI as recommended. very fun little scenario! I managed a tactical victory despite making poor use (with hindsight) of my TRPs....won't say more to avoid spilers but force mix balance seems about right.

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Originally posted by SFJaykey:

Just finished playing this vs AI as recommended. very fun little scenario! I managed a tactical victory despite making poor use (with hindsight) of my TRPs....won't say more to avoid spilers but force mix balance seems about right.

Well done. On the modified map I got a tactical victory too, despite the game going on to Turn 36. If you managed a TacVic on the original map, much kudos to you! (how did you deal with the tankettes???)

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Originally posted by GreenAsJade:

Well done. On the modified map I got a tactical victory too, despite the game going on to Turn 36. If you managed a TacVic on the original map, much kudos to you! (how did you deal with the tankettes???)

Thanx. OK, if you really want to know...

SPOILER------------------------------------

Yes it was on the original map. My game went to turn 34, and it was a near thing. At game end all my bridge defenses were either broken or eliminated, except for a sharpshooter and the LMG.

I used my own setup, haven't read the source article yet (should be interesting). I placed a squad and ATR at the south end of town, and the ATR took out both tankettes at cost of 1 casualty. The DP, 1 sharpshooter, a TH team, and another squad were at the north end of town. The rest of my forces were overlooking the bridge and causeway. The 37mm, tucked in a nook in the woods up north, nailed 5 ACs and tanks before being knocked out. The other ATR, south of the bridge, took out 3 more vehicles and scored several infantry casualties before running out of ammo. I don't think he was ever spotted. Mines immobilized 2 more BTs.

Around turn 20 the Soviet infantry bulled their way across the bridge with heavy casualties, and got into the woods....after that it got pretty desperate. I pulled in most of the north and south defenses to form a secondary line and tried to fall back, but a pair of T-26s rolled in and my forward positions were overrun. As I said at the end it was just one sharpie (the other was out of ammo) and the DP holding the Reds at the edge of town...that sharpie (up in the Inn) reminded me of the guy in Private Ryan: Reds running everywhere....fire....one squad pinned...reload....fire...another squad pinned....reload....fire....an HQ pinned....

I had one more fresh squad, an ATR, and a TH team moving in from the flanks but with 2-3 more turns it might have been a defeat...

Fun, quick game!

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Hi,

<---------spoiler alert----------------------->

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I managed a major victory as Fins with original setup. EFOW et al, it game went on till mid 30 turns.

A couple of observations: i had 4 Armored cars coming at me at the beginning, and one 01 tankette (instead of 2). I really didn't do much in the game except:

* I hid the troops every other 2 turns. sort of conserved ammo and preserved concealment. (but the 37mm died anyway by turn 15).

* the tankette was dealt with by the tank hunter behind the barricade who ran after the tankette after it bypassed the barricade and went into the scattered trees to engage another tank hunter.

* around turn 20+, the russkies broke thru but they were disorganised in a log jam. I moved some fo the tank hunters/squads towards the centre flag and I hid them.

* by turn 30, the major flag were alternating between Fins and "?" my guys got flushed out of the buildings from the cannon fire.

* sort of blur between 30 to 35, but I remember hidding the troops as much as possible.

Question I have is whether I should have launched into a longer range attrition fight and risks ammo but buying space for time.

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Originally posted by SFJaykey:

{snip} The other ATR, south of the bridge, took out {...snip...} As I said at the end it was just one sharpie (the other was out of ammo)

Hmmm - there must be variants floating around: the version I had (still have) had only one ATR, only one sharpie. There was debate about adding one Maxim (taking it to two total). I found it necessary to have 2 to be able to get a victory...

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Originally posted by GreenAsJade:

Hmmm - there must be variants floating around: the version I had (still have) had only one ATR, only one sharpie. There was debate about adding one Maxim (taking it to two total). I found it necessary to have 2 to be able to get a victory...

Yes there must be...I downloaded both the first and second versions of the scenario (not the third, with the altered map.) Thought I had played the first version but with similar filenames who knows.

A second LMG would be helpful but with hindsight I wouldn't trade the second ATR for it...

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