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John Kettler

Questions for Richie regarding Tiger Valley (Spoiler Alert!!!)

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Richie,

Am playing the amazing, appalling, terrifying Tiger Valley as the Allies against NG Cavscout (my first outing; he's played both sides before), and despite my doing considerable damage to his force from practically the beginning, including a Green retreating Grant's having nailed a Mark IV Special before being eaten by Tigers, and the heroic Bofors crew that immobilized a Tiger practically at the German map edge, I'm being remorselessly ground down by deadly accurate fire from practically unkillable Tigers, fire so frightful that a 6 pdr. was taken out with one shot, trenches might as well not be in use, for the occupants, ordnance and men alike, are blasted and/or put to flight, etc.

Have killed one Tiger outright and immobilized three more, but even the immobilized ones have completely ruined my day, dominating their terrain compartments and anything on the nearby peaks and embankment tops. No amount of fire can get the crews to abandon, and even a dozen hits broadside

generate no gun hit. With no smoke rounds, I can't close, and I can't really hurt him unless I do, in addition to which, LOS issues are driving me mad, time and again preventing me from stopping his seemingly endless drives on my positions. Fondouk fell after a brutal fight, Pichon's in a Tiger and Panzer Grenadier sandwich (Pump House fallen with POWs taken) both in the town proper, and the second assault on Ousseltia is now under way, following a harrowing hose fest involving liquid fire and my men. Someone may wish to revise assessments of flamethrower utility! Moved up undetected and was devastating when it fired.

Am still in draw territory as of Turn 36, but the balance seems to be tipping more and more the German way. All my AFVs which were in or arrived near Fondouk and Pichon are dead, as are many of my carriers defending Ousseltia. In addition to the Tigers and the Mark IV Special, my Crusader got one before being K-Killed with a single shot, and I've killed a slew of halftracks and a few ACs. German infantry losses are unknown, but probably are in the range of a platoon plus, mostly from the Ousseltia fight. Pioneers have taken some lumps.

I'm a pretty good tactician, and NG Cavscout's quite the foe, both in this and other battles, but I find myself increasingly curious to know some things about this scenario.

1. Is it historical or semihistorical?

2. If historical, how nitty gritty did you get?

3. If this was an actual attack, given that we're in Tunisia well after El Alamein, where is the Allied artillery, in the form of FOs? Or did the Germans go through an undefended sector which had no artillery? If so, eek! Have had one great artillery target after another and nothing with which to shoot!

4. Where is the Desert Air Force?

5. What was the ROW split on game outcomes for each side?

6. Were tweaks made in light of ROW experience? If so, what were they?

This fight's taking everything I've got and has my poor computer (G4 867 MHz iMac w/512 MB SDRAM) on the edge of collapse, too. Can barely run the scenario!

Regards,

John Kettler

[ November 27, 2007, 02:06 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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If you're evenly matched opponents normally, and its a balanced scenario (which it is) then it's no real surprise if you're going down to him, given he's played it both sides!

You might be having trouble stopping Tigers, but remember that unlike a blind-playing opponent he knows what he _doesn't_ have to worry about...

GaJ

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Hmmm...

What can I say here?

Firstly, you guys ain't finished...

When the phat lady has sung, all will be revealed!

That 50.5% : 49.5% result was across 16 games with 32 opponents (Thanks Kingfish smile.gif )

As far as historical significance goes, the scenario is 'semi historical'...

Without a doubt this is a demanding scenario. Playtesting was done by others (credited in the briefing) prior to ROW V and much is owed to them!

I've only just played this H2H for the first time against someone else who'd played the Allies before and I was lucky to score an Axis Victory against a very talented opponent...

I think I'll wait for any in depth analysis till you've finished... the final chapter is yet to be told...

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Richie,

Very much appreciate the feedback! Surprisingly balanced outcome in ROW blind play. Speaks volumes regarding your scenario design skills.

Green As Jade,

Given NG Cavscout's foreknowledge, I think a draw of any sort would be a good outcome. The foe's broken many of my favorite "toys," though one cost him a Tiger near the Maktar Road. Late model Valentine combat productivity hasn't been anywhere near what I wanted it to be.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Originally posted by John Kettler:

Given NG Cavscout's foreknowledge, I think a draw of any sort would be a good outcome.

Yes, that's what I was saying.

I think it also means you have little hope of assessing the balance of the scenario. Although you clearly didn't say it, an implication one could take from both your postings is that you were thinking that it was rather in favour of the Axis.

This is just yet another entry in my scrapbook of evidence that players really can't assess the balance of scenarios from one playing, even though they always think they can. Especially in "strange" circumstances (such as vs as an opponent who's seen it before). You think you can "allow" for that, but you can't.

GaJ

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GreenAsJade,

Am under no delusions whatsoever as to NG Cavscout's tactical skills and the high leverage someone of his caliber derives from not going into the battle blind. Certainly, not only knowing what someone has, but what he's getting later and where are huge helps in fighting an effective battle. I asked for the ROW split from Richie because that was fought under Nabla rules, where balanced scenarios weren't guaranteed by any means. Was also curious as to what post ROW adjustments might've been made.

I make no claim about being able to assess play balance from one run, weird or otherwise, in this or any other scenario. Too many strange possibilities, too much player interaction factor, strange luck strings, etc. Besides, I paid attention in Probability & Stat. Zero statistical validity for sample size of one!

If the Allies really had to fight Tigers sans both artillery and tacair, I feel for them!

Regards,

John Kettler

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OK, Top Work Guys!

I've seen the final file and it's a minor victory to NG Cavscout! 58% to JK's 42%

Well Done to both of you for seeing this through.

Having played it recently myself against a ROW veteren (Steve Sembay) it surprised me how enthralling it was, despite the fact I designed it... It was the most intense game I was playing at the time and I really had to think about my every move!

When the Tiger arrived on the scene the Allies were totally overwhelmed by it. Fortunately they were never really present in enough strength to totally dominate events. It took them months to capture one and it wasn't till after North Africa was liberated that the Allies had the Bovington Tiger back in the UK.

It was quickly realised that the Sherman, which was superior to the Panzer IV was totally out classed by this new German heavy tank.

Reliance in dealing with the Tiger fell to anti-tank gun crews and the upgrading of existing designs to house a gun large enough to deal with the beast...

But despite it's dominace, the Tiger and it's crew were vulnerable.

Tiger Valley attempts to depict a time in North Africa when the Tigers of 501 and 504 were used in unison to further the advantage these tanks provided the German forces with. It also attempts to depict the fact that these beasts weren't entirely invulnerable, but they were dominant and incredibly hard to kill.

Tiger Valley also attempts to display the difficulties faced by both sides at this stage of the war in North Africa, with respect to terrain and despite any technical advantage...

I hope you guys both enjoyed the scenario!

******************* SPOILERS *******************

IF YOU EVER PLAN TO PLAY TIGER VALLEY, READ NO MORE !!!!

I didn't want to comment on the game until you'd finished, due to the 300 point Allied bonus.

Essentially this means the Axis must drive forward and take flags. If they try to sit back and get by on the kill ratio they will be disadvataged.

What will sway this battle is vehicle casualties and the stealth of the hook force. The German halftracks are pretty fragile giving up 50 points a piece to the Allies, throw them away and you'll pay, but the German player must use them to move his troops. They are brittle to anything the Allies have...

The Shermans are in turn brittle to the Tigers and a cull will certainly stack the odds in the German players favour, but there's enough Shermans to make life hell for any German infantry, and it's infantry that will hold the flags. A Tiger won't do it alone...

The Tigers are mighty beasts, but they aren't invincible. It'll take a pretty cunning and patient Allied player to take them out. Gun placement is crucial as is the use of the Valentine IX's. The Axis player must also be totally vigilant with buttoning up. A shot tank commander at the wrong time could cost him a Tiger. At between 215 and 338 points the German player must keep them alive. Lose enough Tigers and you won't win due to their loss alone...

Stealth with the hook force is crucial. The sooner the Allies spot you, the less likely they are to react to the weight of the German Assault from the South...

In this game JK was tipped off early from what I saw, before he commited units elsewhere, plus it enabled him to set up some defence against the hook force.

I think JK's tank losses got him in the end despite his dogged defence. I'm sure you wouldn't be the only Allied commander that had marvelled at the Tiger and the inability of the Allied 75 to dent it at the time!

I do think a few less Shermans KO'd and this would have been a draw, but this day belongs to NG Cavscout!

Thanks for sending me the movie files JK!

I enjoyed every one!!!

Cheer's, Richie

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I think what doomed Kettler was where my immobilized Tigers got stuck. Two of them were on relatively high ground with dominant fields of fire, and all three of them got vehicle kills after being immobilized.

Kettler was a steadfast opponent, and did a great job of grinding up my infantry. I had played this before as the British, but never as the Germans. Kettler and I are getting ready to play a similarly sized scenario in CMBB, Royal Opponent, hopefully he will keep you updated with his excellent dispatches from the front.

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NG cavscout,

You mean the immobilized Tigers which were never F-Killed and never abandoned, no matter how many times I hit them? Those Tigers, the ones that with impunity killed my AFVs, guns and men alike? Notice, if you will, how few of my tank crews survived being hit Tiger by fire. Most simply died outright.

Richie,

The tank losses smarted, but I think what doomed me were the staggering POW points. Not only did he capture lots of vanilla infantry, but a slew of specialist troops: gun, MG, and mortar crews. I believe the POW points alone were worth a major VL.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Just finished Tiger Valley v CabeBooth which resulted in a bloody draw!

This has got to be one of the most fun scenairos I have played. Truly brutal.

Being the masochist I am I chose Allies. After finishing the scenario I can see how it it really is fairly balanced point wise, but extremely demanding for either side to gain a true edge.

Even though the topic has been done is anyone interested in my obeservations? I would also invite feedback and critiques.

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