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Fighting Around Tilly...our coop MP battle


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We have been heavily engaged for several weeks on a coop MP battle in the frame work of a campaign. I thought I would pass along how it was going. This battle primarily involves three individuals (well... now four but I will explain later). Two of us (my friend Bob and I) are playing the roles of company commanders in the battle, while a third, who does not own CMBN (yet)is playing the role of the Battalion Commander.

Setting: This battle is semi historical, general taking place during Operation Dauntless. We are using Broadswords excellent Juvigny to Fontenoy map:

http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=314&func=fileinfo&id=2646

We are only using the top half in this first battle. AS I said this is semi historical as the 7th Canadian Brigade is undertaking this operation. That's because for about a year and a half our gaming group has been on again off again campaigning in this region with the 8th Brigade and we feel attached to this unit. We started out with a Kriegsspiel/Mapex of Juno landings. We fought inland with several 6 player multiplayer coop battles using Arma 2 (invasion 44 mod) and Darkest Hour. (Port en Bessin). We flew air support using il2 1946 conducting ground attacks with Typhoons. We played 6mm miniatures battles using Too fat Lardies "I aint been shot mum" rules. Bob's been using Avalanche Press' Panzer Grenadier boardgame to fight in this area. Finally He got into CMBN. So here we are once again in Normandy. AM hoping our BC will end up buying CMBN as well. We prefer multi-platform campaigns with a heavy dose of Role playing. The more friction and chaos the better as well.

Anyway here is the general situation which was provided to the Battalion Commander of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles:

GeneralSIt.jpg

25 June, 1944

XXX Corps are pushing south to flank Caen defenses from the west in the face of stiff German Resistance. 7th Canadian Brigade is to push SW towards St Pierre to secure the East bank of the Seulles in support of an attack on Tilly sur Seulles.

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles will conduct a preparatory attack NLT 1000 towards crossing points South of St Pierre. One Squadron (-) of tanks (Shermans) from Fort Garry Horse in support. Fire support by 3 battery Royal Horse Artillery (25 lbr)

The rest of Brigade will be preserved for a follow on operation across Seulles south of St Pierre.

Enemy forces identified in the area:

The brigade sector represents the suspected seem between Panzer Lehr & 12 SS Panzer. Enemy are deployed in platoon and company strong points supported by mortars, assault guns and AT guns. Reserve forces on standby for counter attack can include tanks and panzergrenadiers.

Royal Winnipeg Rifles Task Organization Note: More specific details provided to him are omitted here):

A Coy RWR Maj Lourenco

B Coy RWR Maj Makowsky

C Coy RWR Maj Barclay

D Coy RWR Maj Wasserman

A troop FGH (Shermans)

Mortar plt (3”)

Pioneer plt

Carrier plt

AT platoon (6 pdr)

Fire Support

1 battery 25 lbr in direct support (DS)

1 battery heavy mortars in DS

2 battery barrage at start of mission

We created a planning map for this operation and asked the BC to create a plan and issue it to us Company Commanders.:

PlanningMap.jpg

Apart from the Black& White recon photo from overhead (used to create the nap) we gave him a view from the line of departure:

ViewfromLD.jpg

In the CMBN mission only A & B Coy & A sqd FGH (w/ bn assetts) would be on the map first with C Coy arriving within 15-20 minutes and D Coy later on.

We worked out a plan for us to use drop box for the save game passing which has worked out quite well.

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The Battalion Commander called an O group at 2030 the night before the attack and briefed the following plan:

"Ok if I'm reading the maps and background materials correctly here are my orders to the RWR and supporting artillery

Gentlemen,

Mission:

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles will conduct an attack commencing 0630 towards crossing points South of St Pierre. (47/10) We are supporting the main thrust of the 8th CDN Brigade to our left. *As such we will concentrate our attack on our left toward the cross roads at grid 47/10. *

I have requested a preparatory fire mission on the suspected enemy strong point at 45/11 for 0700. I want the regiment to step off and push hard at 0650 toward 47/10.

Upon arrival establish a strong blocking position (1 company) in the woods on the north side of the fields at the cross roads by 47.5/10. *This should be a good place to site the AT guns to enemy counter attacks out of Fontenoy.

The bulk of the force will then make a hard right and push up the road to the suspected enemy strong point at 51/08. *We should be hit them in the flank. *Hold them in place and continue to their left and the crossroads at 52/08. *Consolidate at this position with an eye toward pushing onto Obj Elm and/or Oak or if necessary defending against counterattacks from 53/06 and 53/04.

Keep moving with an eye toward reaching your objectives.*

Hosti Acie Nominati"

With this information Bob (B coy) and myself (A coy) returned to our command posts, issues warning orders to the platoons and commenced our planning. Since I am the GM I am also double-hatting as the S-3 (operations officer). I have found in past campaign that I can sue the S-3 role to make suggestions to the CO (which can be taken or not) to keep the experience moving forward. It also helps the CO who does not even have CMBN to grok what's going on.

Eventually our attack graphic looked like this:

RWRPlan.jpg

In short A coy would attack on the left securing a position just North of Fontenoy to set up a blocking position to protect enemy counterattack from that direction. Once A coy reached its BP it would call forward the AT guns.

B Coy would attack on the right pushing as far forward until it cold establish an support by Fire position near the objective. It was assumed the enemy would contest this area, but if for some reason, the way ahead was clear they could keep going.

C Coy would follow through and seize the crossings.

D Coy would act as battalion reserve.

A squadron tanks would be up front supporting the advance of A & B.

The Fire plan was two batteries of 25lbrs laying a creeping barrage as shown on the map. After about 15 minutes they would no longer support the battalion and revert to the Brigade main effort to the east. A third battery of 25lbrs, a 4.2" mortar platoon and battalion mortars (split up with sections supporting A & B respectively) remained in direct support. All fire support request would have to go through our BC. So as we conducted turns back and forth if he took too long to respond to requests that would be chalked up to friction too bad for us.

We created a Signal Operating Instruction for communications:

RWR HQ: EXCALIBUR

A coy: Equalizer

B coy: Executioner

C Coy: Eagle

D Coy: Enterprise

A sqrn FGH: Hurricane

RHA FDC: Rawhide

Engineers: Centurion

AT platoon: Buckeye

Tilly1AO.jpg

I will leave you with a short snippet from the BBC on the first few minutes:

Los

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The First 15 minutes:

Under the cover of a tremendous barrage A & B Coy stepped off into the open. Interspersed with both units were several platoons of tanks. On the A coy side the commander oriented his lead platoon towards a farm to his front. This farm somewhat masked his advance from the outskirts of Fontenoy. It was currently taking quite a pasting from the artillery. The company advanced with 1st platoon well spread out in line, 2 $ 3rd following in successive waves, tanks in the lead. While the infantry received little fire our tanks were taking hits from an enemy tank-AT line nearly a mile away to the south where the ground sloped gently higher. From this point forward the tanks had to be very deliberate in their movement as Shermans were immobilized or destroyed by enemy fire. Artillery was called upon the enemy AT line

Reaching the last hedge-line before an large open area to the farm, they waited for the barrage to shift. Once his occurred first platoon dashed forward to the edge of the farm. Now interspersed with the crack of high velocity tank rounds came the ripping of German MG fire. However the speed of the attack combined with the creeping barrage allowed first platoon to gain s foothold on the farm and after a short and violent assault secured it. This would form the left anchor of their blocking position.

ACoy_Assault0638.jpg

B Coy’s advance was less eventful and it seemed due to the lay of the land, they were able to get along with little return fire. However an enemy tank position from B Coys right flank was taking our tanks under fire and hitting several. It stood to reason that along with at least one German tank there were likely other enemy position on B Coys right flank.

BCoy_Advance_0640.jpg

C Coys arrival on the map was delayed by German artillery falling to the rear...

0640SITREP.jpg

A sample of some of the messages sent on the battalion net, you can see his exchange as the tanks come under heavier fire and request fire support.

"Excalibur 6 this is Hurricane 46 DTG 0634. SITREP. Receiving EN AT fire vic 515050. No losses yet. Engaged in return fire in support of Executioner. Nothing further OUT."

"Excalibur 6 this is Hurricane 16 DTG 0635 SITREP Receiving heavy EN AT fire vic 505115 Two additional runners knocked out bringing total Hurricane losses to date FOUR. UNABLE to determine enemy numbers. Returning fire as we advance NOTHING FURTHER OUT."

"RAWHIDE (Arty) this is Hurricane 16. REQUEST IMMEDIATE FIRE MISSION

Target GRID 505115. Enemy AT GUNS and Self propelled guns in tree-Hedgeline

Will adjust from my position GRID 458084. OUT"

"Excalibur 6 this is Equalizer 6. DTG 0635 SITREP Lead Excalibur elements have reached GRID 083465 with no casualties or small arms fire though observed panzerfaust fire against our tanks coming from vic GRID 449102. (note this is the farm). Awaiting the shifting of barrage further South while bringing up rest of troops OUT."

On the radio (Frantic attempts to get response to arty request arty):

"RAWHIDE this is Hurricane 16. SECOND REQUEST IMMEDIATE FIRE MISSION Target GRID 505115 Enemy AT GUNS and Self propelled guns in tree-Hedgeline Will adjust from my position GRID 458084. OUT

Now trying to get the BC to respond)

"Excalibur 6 this is Hurricane 6 (tank cdr) Heavy enemy AT fire has destroyed or damaged 50% of my runners. Need artillery fire asap GRID 505115 Have made request through to RAWHIDE but no response. OUT"

FINALLY a response from the BC:

"Hurricane this is equalizer 6 actual. Shift fire priority target AT line designated by A Company CDR."

This was enough for me to start plotting the fire. After this the BC was much more on the spot with his responses. :)

And again at RWR HQ

(Runner arrives out of breath with a written message from A coy: He reports that due to lack of response to transmissions that perhaps the wire is cut to the froward positions.)

To: Excalibur 6 Actual

Fr: Equalizer 6

DTG: 0640

SUBJECT: SITREP

CC: Executioner 6

Enemy AT gun line remains unsuppressed and taking heavy toll of our supporting armor.

1st PLT have attained a foothold in covered area outskirts of Fonetnoy GRID 449014. This features offers the best masking from enemy small arms fire for our advance. Intent is to secure farmhouse at this location and call forward the AT guns if you concur, better cover for them at this location and they can still act as blocking position from attacks out of Fontenoy. Once this positions secure we will push west toward our OBJECTIVE and set out final blocking position using the farmhouse as our left flank anchor. Believe main enemy defense line runs from GRID Figure 451120 along road to OBJ ELM. 1st Platoon have suffered 8 casualties. 2d and 3rd platoon still at full strength NOTHING FOLLOWS OUT

Apart from the loss of tanks the battalion attack was so far going pretty good. this would not last...

Los

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Outstanding LOS, will be following your progress. Broadsword and I fought a vicious engagement on this map. While I was mostly on defense, at one point I launched my pioneers at a farm complex on my left front hoping to unhinge the allied attack. The position was held by several Churchills and some infantry. My Panzers had created some chaos amongst the enemy armor and then my pioneers moved on the buildings. I was held right after using demo charges to blow my way into the complex. This was the one and only battle we fought using that game for the campaign layer, MG was where we really wanted to go using Where Eagles Dare. It was a blast though, enjoy the map, we certainly did.

We've just started the first battle of that game in Son.

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Thanks,

I have three things planned for this campaign. This battle, another battle on the rest of this map clearing south to trostle woods, and also I took that area at the top left of the map, expanded it and built a Tilly like village which needs to be taken. Hopefully we'll have at least another company commander in the mix. 30 minutes of game time have required 60 file shares, but the flow with dropbox has been perfectly fine.

Los

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0645-0700

So to recap, A Coy has gotten a foothold on its objective while B Coy continued its unimpeded march forward. The tanks had had the worst of the fighting till now.

At A Coy, the commander (Me) was directing artillery and mortars onto various identified targets. 1st platoon established a base of fire in hedgerows surrounded field. Firing and smoking the area of the farm buildings, 2d platoon assaulted the area and set up in its walled confines..a pretty good position.

The actual objective designed to A Coy by the BC, (around 475088), was still about 200 meters west. A few of A squadrons tanks had already gotten there as had some of B Coy's troops. Laying a tad of smoke across the front, third platoon ran over to there without incident. I now had some fighting positions in place and called forward the AT guns which put themselves in place buy the farm and 3rd platoons blocking position. Across the whole front of A Coy there was firing as enemy positions, waking up from the barrage, became identified. While the firing was hot at times it was manageable and we did call for fire on some of the targets. Overall I felt things were going good around A Coy, we had fulfilled our task by advancing and establishing a blocking position to protect B Coy form anything coming out of Fontenoy. I moved my team over to a position where I could parley with the B Coy commander since, in real life, I knew he was coming buy for a visit, so we could discuss things in person.

On the battalion's part, Patrols were pushed out along the extreme left boundary of the battalion in the northern outskirts of Fontenoy. This would serve as early warning against any attack from that direction. Other patrols were sent west toward 525060 to find out what exactly was over there which could threaten further progress west.

C Coy, after a trying time moving forward under German artillery fire had finally arrived and set up along the hedgerow orienting West in grid 4503 to await being called forward.

B coy had pushed itself forward to a position centered on 490080. AT this point the concern was pushing forward would expose the company to attacks from both the South, and the north. B Coy did identify a sunken road that ran almost down to the objective. The commander decided to send 1st platoon down to investigate. This could offer a concealed route to the Seulles, but also appeared the be defensible. More enemy positions had been identified on its right flank by the farmhouse at 525060. The threat of sticking its head in a noose was real, without addressing this.

1/B cautiously advancing along the Sunken Road

sunkenroad.jpg

S-3 provided this SITREP to the BC

0650SITREP.jpg

The battalion commander decided to deal with this threat with the following orders:

"Bn arty fire mission Executioner GRID 528070 priority.

Executioner establish base of fire on enemy elements

Eagle 6 attack S toward 528070 in support of executioner attack"

So B Coy was ordered to reduce the threat to its right flank with C Coy in support. C Coy advancing West along B Coy right flank

Overall here's how things looked from above looking west along the battalion's front:(PS we don't show this view to the BC-player)

0650Overwest.jpg

Overall..the BC felt...so far so good. But just then the heavy door-slamming cruumpfs came from the vicinity of A coy and plumes of dust began to rise...

Los :eek:

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This is brilliant! A couple of questions. Who is playing the German side? Are you fighting the AI or another group of humans?

Did the arty barrage that slowed C Coy - was that in the CMBN game or at a higher level?

The com transcripts you have included; are they what you are actually using to communicate orders between the BC and yours selves? I assume via email?

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The AI is running the Germans. Bob and I are running the on map units, our commander is doing this completely as a map exercise. I provide a GM function in this.

The BC wanted C Coy on board at a certain time, the scenario has +/- arrival, I added the explanation of dealing with an arty barrage as a little kriegspieling, not that the BC knew. It's important that all players feel that they don't have complete knowledge or control of things

RE: Comms yes we email radio or messages in a military format typically through the BC who also is running the FDC. Once he decides what request is to be honored (Given limited arty resources) and gives us the OK then one of us calls it in via typical arty call. This adds a little friction. All three of us our current or retired military so we prefer our wargaming to be far from a sure thing if you know what I mean.

To have a regular conversation in non radio message format, Say via text or phone or actual face to face, (e.g. last week Bob came over on the way through town and we ran about ten turns together) our HQs need to be collocated.

While we haven't had a problem yet with this, we also have an agreement that if someone goes too long (say a day without sending in a turn) the other is authorized to run things to keep them moving along, so understanding the Plan is important. If one of us were to screw up something, oh well more friction. But the pace of our game has gone pretty well, we can normally pass at least two files back and forth a night even with our day jobs.

I'm sure Bob will hop on here and chime in at some point, this is his first real CM battle.

We're having quite a blast at this point and the tactical situation has matured to the point where its quite tense. We are trying to mitigate losses in our battalion as its a long war and we want to live through it if possible. :)

Los

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0700

AS the A Coy CO I had been calling in some short mortar barrages at some suspected juicy German positions in front of third platoon. B Coy commander had decided to push down the sunken road in hopes of finding a route right down to the river, plus it was a good support by fire position.

Just then mortar rounds began to fall around First platoon's position in the hedges. A few rounds at first, then a flurry and finally tapering off. First platoon suffered casualties including the elimination of the platoon headquarters. With only one round falling in the last minute I felt the the barrage had ended.

Gerarty2.jpg

I became worried and opted to move forward to try and reorganize the platoon. I sent the following message:

"Excalibur 6 this Equalizer 6. Eagle has reached and set up Blocking positions in a line 448105 to 475089. Buckeye elements have been brought forward, are in position and engaging enemy strong points as identified. Equalizer 1 have suffered heavy casualties due to enemy artillery barrage vicinity 448105 and are to be considered combat ineffective for now. We have recce elements screening battalion front left flank as well. OUT."

The tank company commander sent this:

"Excalibur 6 this is Hurricane 6. Hurricane elements in position in support of Equalizer and Executioner. Dangerous AT fire still emitting from high ground to the south. We are carefully engaging targets while limiting exposure to preserve runners. I am intending to shift combat power to support Eagle's drive on to the OBJ. Artillery fire have been called upon enemy AT positions on Executioner's right flank. Have observed other enemy near farmhouse on right flank of Executioner. Recommend releasing Eagle at this time to advance. Either Eagle or Executioner should clear area VIC 527059 or risk envelopment of Excalibur forward elements"

b coy soon sent a similar message:

"Executioner 6 this is Excalibur 6. Request immediate Fire Mission. Enemy troops vic 528070 at crossroad. Dug in.

Now the way the turns were running, Bob plots his move and executes it, then watches the film, saves it and passes it to me. I watched the action, plot my move, save it and send it back to him so he can plot his move. It took a few turns to get over there and I had a sinking suspicion when he had notified me that his turn was up and that he observed that I was really taking a pasting. I told him I thought it was better the enemy wasted his arty rounds on our company if it allowed B & C which were the battalion main effort to go forward without trouble.

As I was booting up the turn it dawned on me...ohh ohh. Sure enough just as I arrived at first platoon a new barrage, this one heavy guns, plastered both first and second platoon. Sure enough the last explosion in the turn landed near the Company HQ element and I saw a flash and then darkness. There I was wounded on the ground. This barrage actually fell for several turns. A bren carrier pulled up during the barrage, threw in the wounded CO and hauled ass for the rear under fire. But the damage was done. 1st platoon was done to ten men and no leader. Second platoon was OK inside the farm buildings. But the real tragedy was that both 6lbr AT guns were knocked out. Fortunately there were two tanks intact the position which started plinking every suspected FO position they could imagine.

The BC received the following message:

"Excalibur 6 this is Equalizer 5. Be advised that Equalizer 6 actual is down. Equalizer elements under heavy artillery fire. Am assuming command. Out"

The commander checked his TOE, 5 was Dexter Lawrence. Company XO. This was enough to tell him that my 11 year old son was taking over the company. I then brought my kid over and gave him the briefing to what had been going on, he had been looking over my shoulder on occasion. Now luckily, A Coy was already in it's mission-prescribed battle position and deployed. First platoon was out of action but second and third platoon intact, between the tanks and AT guns we still had our engagement sectors covered, so there shouldn't be too much fancy maneuvering to do. Dexter did make the inference that a long heavy barrage in one place could precede an enemy attack.

The BC sent the following message:

"Rawhide this is EXCALIBUR. Fire mission grid 528070 priority.

That Gave me the authorization to plot B Coy's previous fire request. I would have to move a spotter to where he could observe those coordinates to call in the fire.

"Executioner And Eagle this is EXCALIBUR. Executioner to establish base of fire on enemy elements. Eagle to attack W toward 528070 in support of executioner attack."

Note if you look at this message it is somewhat confusing. It's possible that the "executioner attack being referenced is the one in the original oporder, but its sufficiently fuzzy that it could cause problems. We shall see.

This is B Coy position taken at approximately 495088 looking nw toward the area where German fire is hitting their right flank

Bcoypos0655.jpg

C Coy is advancing across the open area to the right of B Coy:

Ccoyadv.jpg

Here's the general situation on the western flank:

0710SITREP.jpg

As you can see B coy has two platoons along the sunken road and one facing South. C Coy is advancing west to its right flank. Bob is controlling B & C. There are maybe 3 or 4 tanks in support.

A coy is accompanied by four remaining tanks. At our last parlay I had agreed to send all four to Bob to support the main effort after the AT guns arrived. But with 1st platoon's 2 AT guns knocked out Dexter has opted to retain both tanks there and will cut the two tanks loose from 3rd platoon to support Bob. We will see if this flies with the BC. But given that the whole point of A Coy's mission is to prevent a counter attack form Fonetnoy, and its being hit by a barrage precisely when B & C coy are getting stuck in and exposed to a flank attack, its probably a good idea.

Note this brings us up to the present.

Los

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Bill,

We wanted to work out all this coop file passing stuff first. I didn't know if it would be an unworkable hassle to have multiple guys playing the same side. (Its not for at least two) I am trying to work up to a future situation of providing the experience of a few company commanders or better yet a compete battalion staff working together. I might incorporate someone to run the OPFOR or at least provide for the OPFOR the ability to make some adjustments to the AI plan, but worry about sacrificing the guys role play out the interactions, and all within a campaign framework. Its damn labor intensive! But maybe someday in the future it might not be with a few enhancements to the engine.

Another good thing is to have a third party craft a nice defense....

Frankly this would also be cool (and simpler) if we could do all this in realtime mode with multiple people in the same game <beats dead horse>. Then I could make adjustments to what the enemy is doing to throw new challenges to the guys eventually working up to large force on force battles like we do in Steelbeasts of Gettysburg Scourge of War..

Los :cool:

p.s. Love your tactical problems blog

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Los,

this is really a great DAR and IMHO the best I've seen so far in coop multiplayer. This is how CM should be played.

I can assure you that coop multiplayer with 2 or more players per side is doable. Not the fastest way to play but no problem as soon as everyone gets the routine.

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Thanks all,

Yes I created the general AI plans for the D. I wasn't sure if it would be a cakewalk or a massacre but so far it's in about the right spot. Not that even now I can recall where everyone is or what they did. For the allies I took the easiest most straight forward task. A companies go set up a blocking position and wait. The other guys are making the real decisions. The artillery barrage on my head has thrown me for a loop. Good on the AI. Now I can focus on providing for the roleplaying experience to others I'll just move A coy around as Dexter directs me too. Implement calls for fire and maybe run the tank support. All of you guys and your previous ideas have motivated me to do this.

We are always grasping around for a decent campaign experience. Here is an example of one of our past non-WW2 campaigns (Fictional 1860's Europe). Still ongoing but on a minor hiatus.

http://freedoniawar.blogspot.com/

And a WW1 campaign roleplaying supplement for miniatures:

http://subalternww1.blogspot.com/?view=magazine

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  • 2 weeks later...

SITUATION as of 0715

0715SITREPa.jpg

The battalion has been adjusting to the current situation during its advance in particular the identified enemy positions to B Company's Right Flank. C Company has been deployed to attack along B company's right to eliminate this threat. This could then put it in a good position to at least seize OAK. Situation by Company:

A Coy has been under a heavy barrage for the past 15 minutes which has centered on 1st platoon. 2d and 3rd plt as well as the tanks supporting are in good shape but I have to declare 1st plt as combat ineffective at this point. It is possible that this barrage is in preparation for an enemy counter attack. Patrols have pushed along the leftmost bn boundary into the outskirts of Fontenoy and should give good early warning if they come from that direction. 3rd platoon has been in active engagement, with small arms and AT guns, of enemy positions along its front. Attempts to push OPs forward have been unsuccessful due to enemy MG fire. A Coy commander has been successfully evacuated to the bn aid station.

3-A_0715.jpg

3rd platoon A coy engaging enemy positions

The enemy can still bring effective AT fire to bear in the area behind A coy and between A & B coys. The BN XO was killed in movement between positions when his vehicle was hit.

B Coy has pushed itself along the sunken road and is a good support by fire position which can cover threats to the South, west and North. It has already brought enemy positions to it s right flank under fire and directing a barrage on Identified enemy pillboxes.

Bcoy-0715.jpg

B Coy along the sunken road. Barrage falling on enemy to their right.

C Coy has moved forward and deployed to conduct an attack on B Coy right flank against enemy positions just east of obj OAK. The attack should start in maybe five minutes after the artillery is done prepping. C Coy has requested from Bn released of several pioneer sections in support of reducing enemy bunkers.

Ccoy_0715.jpg

7 Plt C Coy awaiting the word to advance farther

D Coy remains bn reserve

Remaining Tanks supporting all companies.

0715over5.jpg

The view from above looking West

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This is really awesome stuff. We've been playing a 2v2 large scale multiplayer battle recently (setting up another one right now) and I gotta say that it brings something to the game that a normal 1v1 does not have. The fact you can go such large scale (20 or 30k per side for example, easily accomodated on big master maps) and that you need to rely on your teammate as you don't control all of the forces is pretty amazing. You guys bringing an offmap commander to the mix is a really nice idea though I imagine he may be a bit bored at times :)

I wonder if multiple people per side modes could be easily introduced to the game engine with separate passwords and troops split between players and not shared control over, perhaps with iron mode spotting between them... I imagine quite a few people could be interested in battles like that, also realtime, but I've not idea how much programming effort it is to make it an officially supported game mode. For now I'm grateful CM games give us that ability anyway, even if you need to play with the editor a bit, it's definately worth it :)

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Yeah like I was saying somewhere else this alone makes for an operational level experience inside the tactical game.

After this battle is over, then we'll get the real feel for the campaign, e.g. the battalion will be at a certain level of strength. Hopefully I'll recover form my concussion enough to resume command of A company and my 11 year old can go back to his Kerbal Space program. <g> The NPC commander will revert to a Brigade commander and determine how best to take a crack at Tilly and from which direction, or decide maybe that the rest of this Fontenoy map has to be cleared first. Or maybe we'll get our butts kicked and have to do the assault all over.

As for the mechanics. Each side can easily share the same password or everyone can be on one side vs AI. You just have to work out who is in charge of what forces ahead of time. We add a little twist of not allowing HE until the commander OKs it, this way if multiple units are calling for arty at the same time he decides on the priority. Any potential delay is just normal friction.

The downside to all this is everyone pretty much has to commit to keeping a steady pace of turns going. Again this can be mitigated during times when there isn't a ton going on where one guy can advance a few turns provided the everyone has given orders to their troops and that the guy churning out turns understands everyone intent and when to revert things back to passing the file along every turn. This type of cooperation would of course be the purview or more laid back less anal-controlling type players...

:D

Los

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Los,

Cool opening vid, but I see 75mm pack howitzers, not 25 pr guns! I find the concept intriguing, though I admit, having Tried tout's practically unreadable Tilly book, to have cringed at the mere sight of the name Tilly. Full marks re SOI! I remember the first time I encountered that acronym. Had to scramble through FMs to figure out what it meant.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Los,

Am totally digging this (note absence of capital "D") and find it engrossing stuff. So nice to finally have a tactical grid! the way this account reads is rather like this one, which covers the real battle experience of the Hallamshires near Tilly. Chilling material, but see especially how bad the lumps were during around a month in the line, particularly among the officers. A great read between turns!

http://www.irdp.co.uk/JohnCrook/yorklancs.htm

Regards,

John Kettler

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Los,

Went through CW Manual and regret to inform you you're screwed. There is no towed 25 pr available for use on the board. Good thing we're not playing in the Western Desert! Before the 6 pr arrived, it was the best ATG the British had.

You can, though, have the much larger 17 pr. There is one legitimate option open, and that is to use Sextons. They are available for use on the board and, conveniently, are armed with the 25 pr. Not great, but workable. Still, more credible than 75mm pack howitzers.

I happen to like the look of the towed 25 pr, and this is one of those steps backward, in my view. The towed 25 pr was/is in CMBO. I know this because I fought a desperate defense using them in Direct Fire for a fiendish ROW scenario.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Bob here, checking in. B Coy CO and now also heading up C Coy.

This is my first CM game after doing the tutorials, so very much a learning experience. I am sure that I will be making some deployment mistakes based on game stuff that I don't know. For now, I am just using basic infantry tactics - bounding overwatch, covered avenues of approach, speed vs security.

It has been very fun watching this develop. With no knowledge of the enemy, I am much more cautious to preserve my forces, while working to accomplish the mission.

C Coy is advancing rapidly in the open towards the enemy line, I don't like it but I need to get them up there while B is not engaged. I did deploy my Coy 3 inch mortar and was using it to interdict the pillbox, until I could get other assets on it.

Reading this report with interest as well.

One note - the Bn Commander player, gets updates over the course of days as we play out 30 second turns. This makes sense as in real life there would not be updates to him every 30 seconds but more like every 10-30 minutes or so. So that player must be able to live within the constraints of that time lag. In other games we have done, it is often interesting to be the higher level commander and give what you think are clear orders, then find out later that units are doing things completely different from what you expected. Very fun experience if you can live with the slow pace.

I second Los on this, if the game would allow multiple players real time, it would be a total blast. If the BN CO wanted to see what was going on, he could drive up and check it out.

More as events warrant. Merry Christmas to all

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