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CMRT Right Hook at Sopockinie - Comments & Critique


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It is here folks,

After almost a month of sitting on my harddrive I have decided to finally put the finishing touches to this first larger scenario I have actually managed to get to completion (though the Soviet briefing is still a bit half arsed).

Repository upload is taking for ever, but you can already get it at greenasjade.com

It is my first, so I would really appreciate any comments, so give me your thoughts on the map, the forces involved, the briefings, the AI, the difficulty, etc.

Description:

Strategic situation:

By mid July 1944 the Soviet advance had reached the pre-war Polish border. Anything east of the river Nemen, including most of the town of Grodno had fallen to the Soviets and several bridgeheads over the river had been established. The river was the last major natural obstacle before both Warsaw and East Prussia, so the German high command tried everything in their power to hold the west bank of the river.

Operational Situation:

To stop the Soviet onslaught and to destroy the already established bridgeheads, several Panzer division were hurled in to the Grodno area. Among them was the veteran 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf (Deathshead) railed in from Romania minus its Panther batallion.

A few kilometers east of the Nemen lies the somewhat larger town of Sopockine (Sapotskin in Russian). Totenkopf was tasked to retake it and at the same time recapture all sites on the river which the Soviets used to bring reinforcements and supplies across the river.

Tactical situation:

To support the main attack on Sopockinie, one batallion of Totenkopf's Theodor Eicke regiment (III./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 5) is ordered to clear the western approaches of the town and to attack the crossing sites. In its way lies the small village of Biale Blota, held by troops of the 220th Rifle Division.

Capturing this village and destroying the Soviet forces that defend it are your objectives in this scenario.

I originally intended to create an entire campaign around the battle for Sopockinie, but realizing how long this would take and that I would probably never finish it I decided to rather release a bunch of thematically related scenarios whenever I felt like finishing one. This is the first and hopefully not the last.

Map and batlle size are quite large. I don't think any scenario that came with the game is as large as this one map-wise, except maybe for some campaign scenarios. There is at least one batallion per side.

Since there are no Waffen-SS forces in CMRT, the Deathshead troops are actually just Wehrmacht. I have, however, mod tagged this scenario for Vein's excellent Totenkopf mod, so get this, if you want to have some greater visual realism. This is optional, so you don't have to use it.

For historical sources I relied mainly on the divisional history of Totenkopf

(Vopersal, W (1991): Soldaten, Kämpfer, Kameraden. Marsch und Kämpfe der SS Totenkopf Division)

Edited by Rokko
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http://cmmods.greenasjade.net/mods/5451/details

Here is the download link.

One point I forgot to mention:

This this was once intended this as a campaign scenario and a historical one at that, no thought has gone into creating some sort of balancing. Also, there are no AI plans for the axis side. You can play it H2H, but I can't guarantee for an enjoyable experience.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess uploading this the same day CMBS was released wasn't exactly good timing, but combined there have been 128 downloads of this.

 

I really would appreciate some feedback to learn how to get better at this, even something like "didn't play cause the size put me off" would be helpful to me.

 

So please, if you have played this scenario, tell me what you thought about it. Be as harsh or negative as you like, I won't mind ;)

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Rokko,

  Take heart.  I am playing through it right now. Real Life is interfering though, so I don't get to play it as much as I would like.

 

  Initial impressions are good.  There are a lot of guys you have to herd, and you have to do it carefully, as you've no clue when you will make first contact. 

 

  I would also add that Vein's Totenkopf mod is a must and really adds to the immersion.  Like all his mods, it is really superb.

 

  I'll give you a review of my impressions as I move through the battle.  As I said, my initial impressions are very good.  The map is subtle too so I am spending a lot of time at ground level right behind the troops.

 

Heinrich505

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A little of both.  LOS is not readily apparent from high up so I have to get down in the dirt to see what my scouts are seeing.  There are also rises and falls in the terrain so unless you are standing next to Hans, you won't see that he could back up a little, run to the left, advance slowly to the edge of the hill, and then get a better sight picture on the Russian foxholes. 

 

You certainly get a different feel from the other theaters of war when you have to advance so many men across such a wide expanse.

 

First contact has been made.  The Soviets are proving difficult to dislodge, as historically they were.  So far only infantry.  I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall.

 

Heinrich505 

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Rokko,

  Well, yes and no.  I've been keeping them back a bit and only giving them target orders, not target lightly. So far they haven't tried to use MG fire on their own.

 

  However, as I moved one up to support the fight on the right flank, I gave a target lightly order to have the StuG spray some foxholes with machine gun fire.  As soon as I did that, a supporting position to the flank opened up and the commander was immediately hit.  They are still buttoned up right now, but I will see if ordering them to target will keep them that way.  I need to punish the guys that clipped my commander.

 

  In a different scenario my StuG crews were decimated by that bug.  They kept popping up to use the MG and then got whacked.  In one StuG, I had only the driver left. This after I was ordering them to remain buttoned at the beginning of each turn. 

 

Heinrich505

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Ok just played this after a number of false starts and got a tactical defeat.  My plan was pretty much to avoid going straight across the centre of the map so I basically focussed on securing Mankovice and then hooking in to Biale Blote from the right flank. I figured by doing this, not only would I tick off all of the ground objectives I would also dislocate the anti-tank guns on the hill feature mentioned in the briefing.

 

I was only successful in the dislocate part of the plan. Mankovice was a tough nut to crack although to be fair I didn't really pile on with the Stugs as I should have.

 

In terms of comments and observations - I don't really have any - the force balance is about right, the map is good and I think you've done some pretty good things with the AI.

 

I enjoyed this thoroughly and will certainly play it again.

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Thanks for your kind words! I'm looking forward to your report ;)

 

It seems a lot of people feel the frontal approach to be too daunting and try doing some smart manouvers

which don't really seem to work.

Given your general long range and indirect fire superiority at least in theory the long LOS distances should give you a general advantage here though. I'd really like to know if that works in practice as well, though.

 

I can't remember the point allocation anymore, but I think the German player gets 60% of the points for taking ground and 40% of points for killing Russians. So my assumption would be you probably didn't manage to fully occupy the Northern village?

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AAR … of sorts (don’t expect anything of Bill Hardenberger’s quality)

 

What I know

 

Enemy

An unidentified regiment of 220 Rifle Division which has started to dig in. Army artillery is likely out of range and no armour has been seen yet. Likely dispositions are:

 

An outpost line to the front.

Forward defensive line between the outpost and Biale Blote

Defensive position in Mankowice.

Defensive position in Biale Blote.

Defensive position on the hill feature with some anti-tank guns.

 

Deductions:

An outpost line to the front = probable recce coy.

Forward Defensive Line = one coy from the assessed inf bn in Biale Blote

Defensive position in Mankowice = probable inf bn.

Defensive position in Biale Blote = probable inf bn.

Defensive position on the hill feature with some anti-tank guns = probable inf bn and atk bty.

Artillery will certainly include mortars up to 120mm = probable bty/coy and possible a bty of 76mm on call.

Armour not seen but plan for either a tank or assault gun coy.

These deductions are recorded on the COA schematics that you will see later.

 

Friendly Forces

III Bn minus vehicles

7 x Stug III

4 x 81mm mortars, 2 x 150mm guns and 1 x bty of 105mm

 

Deductions

Outnumbered and therefore must concentrate combat power.

Stug III are going to be important.

 

Ground

In essence a flat open plain flanked on my left by hill features which dominate the plain. On the right flank, the ground slopes away and is more broken with a mix of foliage, built-up areas and marsh. The village of Biale Blote is at the far end of the map and again is a built-up area surrounded by broken wooded marshy terrain.

 

Deductions

Successful advance across the plain requires either securing the heights or denying them to the enemy. They are probably Vital Ground/Decisive Terrain. The low ground on the right flank provides a covered avenue of approach and using this will dislocate enemy on the heights.

 

Mission (abbreviated)

III Bn is to secure Biale Blote and Mankowice NLT 0700 and conduct a passage of lines with II Bn IOT enable the II Bn attack on Sopocknie.

 

I’ll spare you a full mission analysis but in essence my key deduction is that I’ve got 2 hrs and 40 minutes to do this so I need to get a move on given the distance I have to cover. This means that I need to factor in using the Stugs as battlefield taxis.

 

Likely COAs/schemes of manoeuvre are:

 

COA 1 – I’ll call it secure the heights for want of a better term.

 

Sopocknie%20COA%201%20Schematic_zpsrewlu

 

Preliminary operation by 2 Coys (9 & 10 Kp) to secure the heights. Once secure, advance across the plain with the remaining Coy (11 Kp) supported by the Stugs to clear the outpost line. Once this has been done, clear and secure Biale Blote using one Coy to provide a base of fire while assaulting with the other Coy. Stugs will also provide fire support for this attack. With Biale Blote clear, the Coy that had cleared the outpost line swings right supported by the Stugs to conduct a clearance of Mankowice.

 

Pros

Secures the left flank hill features.

Maximises combat power for the assault on the main objective (Biale Blote)

Stugs are in the best position to counter any armoured threat

Complex terrain on the hills allows for a covered approach and minimises artillery threat

 

Cons

Dismounts have to cover a lot ground before initial contact with the enemy.

Forces crossing the plain are vulnerable to flank shoots if the hill is not effectively cleared and flank shoots from any forces on the right flank.

Only one Coy and the Stugs are available for the clearance of Mankowice.

Clearance of the hill features may take too long to achieve the objectives.

 

COA 2 – I’ll call it middle for diddle for want of a better term.

 

Sopocknie%20COA%202%20Schematic_zpsqoqod

 

A two up advance with my two on-map Coys (9 & 10 Kp) supported by the Stugs. This envisions company clearances of the outpost line/lines. Initial line will be cleared by the two on map Coys supported by the Stugs and once complete the Inf Coys will clear the second line with Stug support at distance. By this time I will have observers forward to call in indirect fire on the hill feature on my left flank. Once both lines are clear and the hill feature has been neutralised by indirect fire, both forward Coys will clear and secure Biale Blote with one Coy allocated to each objective. The third Coy (11 Kp) will move up to the outpost line in trail and is to be prepared to provide fire support to the assaults on the Biale Blote objectives. Once Biale Blote is secure, the trail coy supported by the Stugs will swing right and clear and secure Mankowice.

 

Pros

Concentrates combat power for the assault on the main objective (Biale Blote).

Stugs are in the best position to counter any armoured threat.

Ground and avenue of approach offer the quickest route to the primary objective (Biale Blote).

Use of open ground as an avenue of approach takes advantage of superior skills/spotting of Stugs.

 

Cons

Does not secure the overlooking hill features.

Use of fire to deny the enemy the hill features cannot guarantee the neutralisation of the flank threat.

The advance across the plain will be vulnerable to attacks from both open flanks.

The main avenue of approach is overlooked by dominating ground and dismounts will be vulnerable to indirect fire.

Dismounts have to cover a lot ground before initial contact with the enemy.

Only one Coy and the Stugs are available for the clearance of Mankowice.

 

COA 3 – I’ll call it right hook close to Sopocknie for want of a better term.

 

Sopocknie%20COA%203%20Schematic_zpsnldug

 

An echeloned attack using the right flank as the main avenue of approach. One Coy (9 Kp) with Stugs will advance to provide fire support to an assault by an echeloned second company (10 Kp) into the first Mankowice Objective. Once secure, the assaulting company and Stugs will provide fire support to the echelon Coy (10 Kp) to clear and secure the second Mankowice objective. Once secure the first company (9 Kp) will conduct a left flanking manoeuvre to clear the outpost line as far as is required to facilitate further manoeuvre to Biale Blote and provide observation of the hill features on the left flank. With the outpost line cleared, the third company (11 Kp) supported by the Stugs will clear and secure Biale Blote.

 

Pros

Dislocates the anti-tank threat on left flank hill feature.

The right flank offers a covered avenue of approach.

Maximises combat power for the assault on Mankowice.

Echeloning will allow momentum to be sustained.

The right flank is secure (gamey but true).

Force is better balanced.

 

Cons

Does not secure the overlooking hill features.

Clearing and securing Mankowice may take time.

Isolates one of 9 Kompanie’s platoons in the early phases.

Enemy armour attacks along the most likely avenue of approach will require Stugs to reposition.

Route to Biale Blote is indirect and will take time to traverse.

Only one Coy and the Stugs are available for the assault on Biale Blote.

Echeloning across a narrow avenue of approach is vulnerable to enemy indirect fire.

 

COA Analysis

 

I've used the functions in combat as my metric:

 

Sopocknie%20COA%20Analysis%20Table_zpshz

 

My chosen COA is ... Course of Action 3.

 

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COA Analysis

 

I've used the functions in combat as my metric:

 

Sopocknie%20COA%20Analysis%20Table_zpshz

 

My chosen COA is ... Course of Action 3.

 

I like your COA Decision Matrix.  Back in the day we used a weighted matrix based on the commanders guidance (if I remember correctly).

 

Look forward to watching how all the planning and paragraph three of the Opord plays out on the field of battle.    

 

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