Oh! What a pleasure to meet you, then, thank you! I love this game, which I only discovered recently and am likely to put more hours into than all my other wargames combined. I’ve even read the manual from start to finish…twice!
This scenario is really well put together. The long time-span challenges the player to pay attention to operational tempo and to realise that overreaching with the initial allocation of forces (as Allies) can only expose his supply-lines and over-stretch his units. I ground out a defense around Soy, Beffe and Erezee. If I hadn't set up a defense in one of the non-objective towns south of Erezee (Erpigny), I think the weight of the AI Axis advance on the north side of the river would have overrun Erezee, turned my left flank, and threatened Hotton. I had an easier time on the other side of the river; I wonder whether blowing the bridge that you left conveniently primed in the south east corner influenced the AI's choice of route. Again, on that side of the map I pressed south as far as I dared in order to set up a defensive screen without exposing myself to being outflanked. Only by the fifth day could I feel the momentum shifting when I was able to secure Beffe with paratroop reinforcements attacking from woodland terrain, secure Erezee with reinforcements after two days of fierce fighting (although I still face skirmishes there) and mount an attack, laterally, into Amonines using reinforcements from the west while assaulting from the north the enemy forces just across the river that had stalled my previous, under-powered attempt to take and hold that objective with the available units. Now that I have put the Axis offense on the back foot, I think the three objectives in the south-east corner of the map may be attainable in the 14 hours or so left of the battle. This will make the difference between a minor victory and something more glorious, I suspect.
As always, constant attention to corps- and division-level artillery was crucial; I am hoping that the update addresses the need (as I see it, anyway) for the player to manage this in order to focus its firepower. It's odd also that some AI attack maneuvres are led by battalion arty units but otherwise, of course, the AI is the glory of this superb game; I often watch in wonder as it organises itself for a battalion probe or attack and then adapts to what it finds, it's the best AI I've ever seen in a PC battlefield sim.
I can see why the scenario might be harder when playing as Axis, if only because Axis forces must cover more ground and are constantly in the attack, whereas the Allies can dig in (once the player decides, crucially, exactly where to do so). I will definitely replay the mission from the Axis side. You're the man to ask about this: is the AI programmed to select from a variety of routes and plans so that every playthrough presents a different set of challenges to the player? As I said, in my current playthrough as the Allies, the weight of the Axis assault has been to the north of the river, which, fortunately for me, suited my defense. It left the long road along the south-west bank of the river essentially unused by the Axis, making it relatively easy, once I took Hampteau, to send a counter-attacking task force all the way down that road at the beginning of day seven.
Thanks again for you great work. I've been on the Lock 'n Load forums and Steam but it never occurred to me that I'd strike gold at Battlefront.com, which, I believe, does not publish CO2?