Jump to content

Hammer's Flank Crossing the River


Recommended Posts

On 8/19/2017 at 2:28 PM, Apocal said:

 

So yeah, I didn't really like the scenario that much either. Whenever I replay the campaign I just hit cease fire during the setup phase and save myself the aggravation.

Which I also found myself do in "Osintorf or Bust" later on in the campaign. Another forced, really braindead attack into the teeth of an unmolested German defense. What's the point in featuring the huge buffet of artillery the Soviet's had in their park if designers insist on avoiding it???? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 58
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I just played this battle last week-end, and what i think is the most frustrating is that german got plenty of artillery, and with too much reactivity and accuracy. You are suppose to play the sovie

I am the one who designed mission 1. The map, opposing forces and defenses are all as close as possible to the historical situation on the morning of June 23rd as we could determine based on the histo

kind of harsh JasonC, the designer put a lot of hard work into that campaign

Having gotten a bloody nose the first time I tried this a few years ago, and remembering how frustrating it was trying to get through the first two lines of defence, when I took this campaign on a few weeks ago I tried something different.

The 1st line is only a touch objective.... The 3rd line gives twice as many points as 2nd... So as they say, I missed out the "middle man" and went around the right flank, just sending one platoon to touch the very edge of the 1st zone,

With regards to artillery, or lack of it. I was frustrated about it too. But, in the case of this campaign, it does reflect that fact that the Russians had problems moving their arty quickly in that kind of terrain.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The game description clearly states that there are Two campaigns, added to that you get plenty of stand-alone battles, quick battles etc. So it is a shame that you feel that you are not getting your money's worth.

Mission 3 is very tough. But, that is how it was on the day. 

I think that at present there are 11 player created campaigns. Although because not everyone shares them on The Few Good Men site, I think that there are only four on there. What you might like to do is go to the top of this forum and click on "Maps and Mods" most of the campaigns should be on there with a description of what it is about, and which engine you need to have in order to be able to play it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the end I did not feel that Red Thunder was a waste because while it contains the single worst campaign I've played in a CM game it also contains the single best campaign I've played so far, "Blunting the Spear". That was worth the price of admission alone. To me it also just highlights how much more accessible German sources were about the war, and also influential they were over the history of the Eastern Front. 

Most of the scenarios are pretty good and I believe it was the first game in the series that had master maps? I'm working on my own campaign for it now that I should finish sometime before the year ends maybe but the master maps were crucial for that. 

EDIT: I also used the campaign unpacker to "rescue" Hammer's Flank by rebalancing the campaign in the scenario editor. I feel the missions were much more interesting with more artillery support for the Russians, I also redesigned the German defenses so they were less spread out and more concentrated on individual "nodes" or "outposts" to make them less vulnerable to the huge bombardments I made use of. This presented more opportunities for flanking out German defenses but also made unexpected run ins with strong points more punishing although it was difficult for me to find anything "unexpected" when I knew the changes I had made. 😁

 

Edited by SimpleSimon
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

In the end I did not feel that Red Thunder was a waste because while it contains the single worst campaign I've played in a CM game it also contains the single best campaign I've played so far, "Blunting the Spear". That was worth the price of admission alone. To me it also just highlights how much more accessible German sources were about the war, and also influential they were over the history of the Eastern Front. 

Most of the scenarios are pretty good and I believe it was the first game in the series that had master maps? I'm working on my own campaign for it now that I should finish sometime before the year ends maybe but the master maps were crucial for that. 

EDIT: I also used the campaign unpacker to "rescue" Hammer's Flank by rebalancing the campaign in the scenario editor. I feel the missions were much more interesting with more artillery support for the Russians, I also redesigned the German defenses so they were less spread out and more concentrated on individual "nodes" or "outposts" to make them less vulnerable to the huge bombardments I made use of. This presented more opportunities for flanking out German defenses but also made unexpected run ins with strong points more punishing although it was difficult for me to find anything "unexpected" when I knew the changes I had made. 😁

 

Nice, Simon. Mind sharing? I've been trying to use the campaign unpacker but I still don't really get it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's two files in the unpacker that you copy, "Listing_Layout" and "CMx2 ScAn_CaDe_v2.0". Find your scenario data files, which will not be in the main directory (usually) for the games but in your Documents folder under your user name. Look for a folder under there (another folder might exist that says Games and it might be in there) that says "Battlefront" and you should find files in that for each game that contain scenario and campaign folders. Paste the copied files into each campaign folder and if everything works right you should see all of the game's campaigns populate the folder as .btt files. You then need to move or copy these files to the Scenarios folder and once that's done you have full access to edit them or just play them independent the campaign system! 

As for my own redesigns of Crossing the River and Osintorf, i'll do playthroughs of each sometime if you want and highlight my changes. I didn't know how to make or edit the briefing text (probably super easy with a little direction) so I wanted to figure that out before showing much. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah I took some notes too on the playthrough of my own version of Crossing the River and highlighted some interesting things.

https://ibb.co/Zd2CCnB

Here is a view of the redesigned German defense. On balance it seems as if the German defense is heavier, but the major change I've made is to add a thinly manned trenchline between the center and right positions. Only a single squad holds it, and the logic behind it was that it would've served as a communication trench between the center and right (from Russian perspective) positions which this poor squad happened to be transitioning when your bombardment opened up. 

https://ibb.co/r0V7qGm

The redesigned left flank position (from behind the position, facing toward the river, trees disabled). A trench connects the two machine gun pits which are covering a wide axis but now exposed to being outflanked from an attack originating up the former center position. If the player should chose to pursue this course that is. 

https://ibb.co/XC5kqrY

A shot of the trench line running between center and right. This is an ideal target for the SU-76s to silence, but even if every SU-76 you have is lost or disabled it's defeated easily enough by infantry mortars and machine guns. It was a major point for me to diminish player reliance on the SU-76s from the original scenario, because they could all be lost to bogging, mines, or one (of the three!!!!) Pak 40s on the map and this crippled your attack. The Russians would not have been that reckless for an operation of such importance. 

https://ibb.co/7yMJTc5

The Russian's new artillery park, page 1. The Russians have not had substantial changes outside of the new support. The SU76's are no longer your chief tool to affect the map, though their presence is still welcome. 

https://ibb.co/t8RGQ6C

The artillery park page 2. After playing the original scenario with this new artillery park it became fairly easy. So this is why I redesigned the German defense in a manner that made positions a bit less vulnerable. More bunkers and trenches were added, (only positions with overhead cover stood a chance at surviving the 152mm and 122mm guns) but the Germans' mortar ammunition and tube count was cut down significantly. The weather remains the same, rainy and misty, and most of the defender's heavier entrenchments like mines, bombs, and barbed wire were credible I felt since this sector of front was fairly static for the months prior. 

My logic for all of this is that the weight of artillery on the Russian side is meant to be an abstraction of the huge bombardment the briefing alludes too, making use of Division and Corp level guns which would very much have been around for an offensive the size of Operation Bagration. The rocket artillery was dispensed with, and the German's own artillery has been cut down as German sources frequently cite the ease with which Russian 120mm mortars silenced their own mortars with counter battery fire. It's easy to look at the ToE of a Russian Division and be misled to think it's supposed to look much lighter than this, but Russian infantry did not function like their Western counterparts. Their tactical formations would not have been expected to conduct an attack like this without receiving Division and possibly even Corp' level assets in support. They would've been merely the maneuver elements of the parent formation who's fire-umbrella they were operating under. 

My playthrough on this design several months ago revealed a situation balanced in favor of the Russians, but not unduly. The German positions on the map's northern and southern extremities are unchanged, and still very formidable as a result. The center, right, and left positions are fortified heavily enough that a spread out bombardment would fail to neutralize all 3 of them, but limiting the bombardment to mostly fall on 2 of the 3 positions ensured that at least one position was weakened enough to easily seize with infantry while making it likely enough that both positions might be reduced. Bunkers were the only thing that survived usually and if they did, you either brought up an SU-76 or flanked them out, ideally with engineers and flamethrowers. The final strongpoint could then be neutralized with an infantry attack from the forest behind it but if casualties have been high for any reason the player has 120mm mortars to soften this position for the task.

I left the scenario with a note that the majority of my casualties were suffered by sniper fire and bunkers that I missed. An interesting parallel I felt was the American's experiences with both of these things in their own battles through the Pacific and later in Vietnam against the Vietcong. Major firepower would crush enemy strongpoints and infantry would mop them up with flamethrowers, engineers, and tanks, but all the guns in the world won't cover every square inch of forest or ground and frequently a machine gun nest or sniper the main bombardment had missed would prove to be the bane of the infantryman in 1944 just it was in 1917 and would be again in 1967...

Another note is that it was fruitless to retain any ammunition in the field guns and howitzers after the initial bombardment. Only the Russian's Battalion Leader and FO can call in fire from those guns and it takes a loooong time. It's doable, but inefficient. The Russians generally used planned bombardments, tactical bombardments were infrequent and few in the Red Army were qualified to call them anyway. There was little point in leaving rounds unfired (exception here was the mortars) after the planning phase because you want to be sure that you've neutralized the position you were firing at. Another soft factor discouraging (but certainly not ruling out) point missions with an M1938 battery was the size of the explosive, which make spotting rounds potentially dangerous to your own troops. Your men are operating within about a km or so of the German positions and while certainly no concept of "Danger Close" existed back then, prudent Field Officers would still have incorporated a bit of caution into their deployment...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...