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Rundstedt Sends His Best - a CMFB Comic AAR


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Nice way to start @Bud_b - I like this one as a way to setup "somethings coming".  I guess my guys were not very quiet.

I had dozens of contacts...I don't think there was anything you could do to prevent that. Besides, 650hp engines do make some noise! 

Absolutely awesome to see you on the thread, after almost two months of sequestration!

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I’m the author of these. Thanks for the compliments!  If you’re looking at these on a phone you will miss fine details. I’ve urged readers in the past to click the images for 2000px resolution to see

That comic is really good and well made. This reminds me of the comics about the second world war me and my brothers read when we were kids in which the Allies always were heroes and the Germans alway

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The commander gave him specific instructions. The bigger didn't listen. And paid the ultimate price. Along with eight other people. 

Wow, I had no idea how close things were to going the other way.  The opening of this matchup really did go my way.  Same cannot be said for the ending.

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Wow, I had no idea how close things were to going the other way.  The opening of this matchup really did go my way.  Same cannot be said for the ending.

I still am a bit in awe of how well the ridge battle went for you. I had ambushes prepared, studied the LOS and spent a lot of time positioning units and giving them careful orders. And it went totally wrong, all of it. Well done! 

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I just want to say that the volume of fire and accuracy of these German proto-Kalashnikovs (MP44) is shocking.

Yeah, those things are great - if they are on your side.

 

"It was the opposite of an ambush. It was a disaster." QFT. LOL. That was a great line.

Yeah that really, really did not go well for the Americans in those opening minutes

 

<BFC should contact a printer and run off some hard copies of your CAAR's Bud! I'd buy it. Even without the schwimmwagen...>

Self publish opportunity @Bud_B

 

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Great shot. They had a pretty good view too.

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Self publish opportunity @Bud_B

Intriguing idea, that's for sure!

 

Great shot. They had a pretty good view too.

As we go forward, I'd love if you could tell me just how much you could see. You will see in upcoming panels a map of all my units - I wonder how much you could see of them - because you only shot at a very limited number of them and it made me think my hiding was effective. 

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So yes, there is a lot of work involved. What you need to understand is that while it may take only a couple of hours to do each panel itself, the dozens of screenshots I go through to find the right one, to compose a story to tell, to find the shots that will tell that story most effectively, to check for consistency of design, colour, etc. Finally, I need to be able to tell something worth reading, or it's just a collection of screenshots to peruse. I need to give some characters personality, etc. There is a lead up time too, in that each comic has a unique colour scheme that I am trying to tie to national identity. I have to figure out these things before I start, and often as I work I see that something isn't achieving one or more objectives - colours clash, it's hard on the eyes, etc, and I have to redo a half dozen panels before I can settle on a design. 

Well you nailed it

All told, when you put this together, I approximated that 3 panels is about an 8 hour day's work. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but this would be the average.

Wow all I had to do was push the BRB :D

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At this point the "what are they up to?" is setting up for the assault which included a mortar barrage....

Did the mortar barrage do what you expected it to? 

From my standpoint I think it may have killed 1-2 men, but was nothing more than a nuisance that I could do little to avoid. In other words, it didn't have any tactical impact for me. 

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Nice panel - great sense of foreboding.

 

Oh Jeeeeezus, that isn't what I think it is, is it?

Yep :)

Wow, this is going to get really loud...

Really really loud.

The horror! I so wanna play with one of those and destroy things. How are they against tanks. Nice comic pics BTW.

They are aw some.  At this point I realized I had no idea how long it took to reload.  I had not played with them at all so I had no idea what their shell could do or what their rate of fire was.  After this first shot I had to quickly setup a test so I had some kind of idea how long they took to reload.   It turns out a little over two minutes.  My plan was always to shoot and scoot and let the near by infantry pick rough targets.  The orders I gave the big gun was to move forward to and face the direction of what I wanted to shoot at with a 20 or 30 second pause and then backup.  Always staying on the road.  I wanted to avoid two things - getting bogged and getting immobilized while sitting there exposed while re loading.

 

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Since I could not see any tanks at first and I wanted to make an impression I fired on that building just to see what would happen.  I knew there was someone in that building but I had no idea it was the CO.  Lucky shot.  Mind you with a shell like that who needs luck.

 

PS in case you guys have not figured this out I am reading the comic for the first time and commenting here and there as I go.  I am on page 9 of 33 so this is going to take awhile...

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This isn't scripted but maybe Lawrence should have been named as 1LT D.E. BACLE? :D

Always with the hilarious names - good one. I hope you enjoyed getting to read this comic in real time instead of having to wait until the end.

 

Losing? Losing??? I have Ian exactly where I want him! :P

Yeah, you have been hanging around Ken a lot...

 

In another game IanL took out a Panther with an AT rifle grenade. I can attest that they do hit and kill tanks. Mind you, you do have to hit it in a vulnerable area. 

Which absolutely blew my mind. This dang rifle grenades don't usually hit anything.

 

After he destroyed my M4A3E8, IanL emailed me to tell me he watched the SturmTiger fire and miss the tank. He said he was very disappointed, until he saw that the tank was knocked out. The blast is considerable, it seems. I can imagine those T34s getting messed up even if you didn't hit them. 

Close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades and...

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Intriguing idea, that's for sure!

I think it could work actually.

 

As we go forward, I'd love if you could tell me just how much you could see. You will see in upcoming panels a map of all my units - I wonder how much you could see of them - because you only shot at a very limited number of them and it made me think my hiding was effective. 

I pretty much fired on every sound contact I could see.  So if I never fired on some of your guys then I probably did not see them.  The thing is my plan was to hold my attack force out of view until the mortars started up and then rush forward and cover the infantry with the HTs on the ridge line while the Strum Tigers fired on the juicy targets.

The whole thing started unravelling with the loss of the big guns and then half the attack force and then the mortars were just not powerful enough.  Duh!! what was I thinking?? Considering I usually have a lot more artillery and a linear barrage like I was using would normally be 4 tubes for each side only one tube per side was not going to do much.  After loosing both big guns the plan was pretty questionable.  After loosing half the attack force I should have called it off but for the sake of the comic I had to attack! :D  I knew  you were pretty short on infantry and hoped that if I could get some men into the village I could force something but really it was a long, long shot.  And a total failure really.  But I still had a platoon at the top of the hill with plenty of AT capabilities so I knew I could hold that ground.  Not a stellar showing for the Germans but not a total write off either.

Oh My order of battles was pretty straight forward:

A company of mechanized infantry (two platoons with a 20mm command HT) each platoon with a Shrek team and plenty of fausts.  Most of the weapons platoon removed except for two HT mounted mortars.  I thought it would be cool to snow the mortars firing from inside the HT but then I realized you guys probably never saw that - LOL.

Attached to them was two Strum Tigers.  I am a firm believer in if you have only one you might as well have none.  In these conditions the chances of getting stuck or having a gun hit totally wreck my day meant I wanted two of these guys.  It was not a good day when the second big gun was put out of commission - grrrr.

 

 

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The orders I gave the big gun was to move forward to and face the direction of what I wanted to shoot at with a 20 or 30 second pause and then backup.  Always staying on the road.  I wanted to avoid two things - getting bogged and getting immobilized while sitting there exposed while re loading.

 

I was speculating if you were sticking to the road with the tanks on purpose or just because it was a good firing location. Good decision on your part, as you will see later from what happens to me...

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Total run length is 222 panels. My second longest, La Ferme Dupont, was - I thought - a very long CAAR at 118 pages. Rundstedt is almost twice as long. I ask you to tell me if that worked. I have ideas and changes I want to make but want to hear from you. 

Don't worry about running too long; we'll love everything you throw at us. Except grenades.

:D

Michael

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I pretty much fired on every sound contact I could see.  So if I never fired on some of your guys then I probably did not see them. 

That's very interesting for me because unless I moved a unit - as I did a lot late in the battle - you didn't fire on most of my force - really only two units in Liefrange received fire, Sgt. Lerner's MG team which you killed with the Sturmtiger, and a three man section in another building. Lerner's team killed quite a few of your men that were along the ridge as two- and three-man teams before your began your attack.

After loosing half the attack force I should have called it off but for the sake of the comic I had to attack! :D I knew  you were pretty short on infantry and hoped that if I could get some men into the village I could force something but really it was a long, long shot.  And a total failure really.  But I still had a platoon at the top of the hill with plenty of AT capabilities so I knew I could hold that ground.  Not a stellar showing for the Germans but not a total write off either.

Haha well I was on pins and needles until I saw that your Sturmtigers were not supporting the attack. The moment I saw that I was quite certain I was going to win. Mind you, that was at around 8 minutes before the end, so a lot could have gone wrong. I was literally watching the countdown timer constantly, urging it to go down another minute without you gaining any ground. *phew*

At minute 6 you mentioned a ceasefire might be coming - and to be fair to you I want to tell the readers that we discussed continuing - not specially to make you attack, but to give you an opportunity to withdraw too, as it would seem odd to have a battle end with both sides clearly close contact and facing each other. 

Oh My order of battles was pretty straight forward:

A company of mechanized infantry (two platoons with a 20mm command HT) each platoon with a Shrek team and plenty of fausts.  Most of the weapons platoon removed except for two HT mounted mortars.  I thought it would be cool to snow the mortars firing from inside the HT but then I realized you guys probably never saw that - LOL.

Attached to them was two Strum Tigers.  I am a firm believer in if you have only one you might as well have none.  In these conditions the chances of getting stuck or having a gun hit totally wreck my day meant I wanted two of these guys.  It was not a good day when the second big gun was put out of commission - grrrr.

When I saw how many halftracks were coming, especially the second group that the Chaffee liquidated, I figured you likely had a full PG Co. I didn't think of mortar halftracks, but with the cost of two sturmtigers, I was fairly sure with a dozen halftracks you were not floating and Panther or Tiger and that was a huge confidence boost. I could not handle a capable anti-armour tank with my Easy-8 toasted. 

How late in the game was the second Sturmtigers gun knocked out? 

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"Nobody Hurt?  Good!!!" How very A team :)

 

That is the question I'm asking too... It backed away so the engine and crew are still ok. But this was showing Hit Text as "Weapon Hit." Dare I hope that its gun is toast? That's one of the fun bits about Combat Mission: you most times don't know what the enemy is going through. 

This was a sucky moment.  But good thing I brought two of those beasties to the party.  Of course at this point no one knew that yet...

 

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That hurt and totally messed up the timing of my barrage - of course in the end the barrage was pretty pathetic so oh well.

 

Hm...two more things I seem to notice from the pictures. Buddy aiding (or looting in this case) is now less disturbed/interrupted from incoming fire?

Naw, I don't think anything has changed.  The thing about being on the ridge line like this is if the shots are not right on the bullets just wizz by and have little impact.  They guy doing the buddy aid did not even realize he was still being shot at.

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I was speculating if you were sticking to the road with the tanks on purpose or just because it was a good firing location. Good decision on your part, as you will see later from what happens to me...

Oh my stuff was bogging constantly - really messed with my convoy timing.  The German HTs were pretty good I think one got immobilized but they were constantly getting stuck and eventually getting free.  The STigers bogged here and there but not to bad but they stayed on the road 100% of the time.  One ended the game immobilized but that was due to enemy fire - those 105 shells are slightly nasty.

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...Haha well I was on pins and needles until I saw that your Sturmtigers were not supporting the attack. The moment I saw that I was quite certain I was going to win. Mind you, that was at around 8 minutes before the end, so a lot could have gone wrong. I was literally watching the countdown timer constantly, urging it to go down another minute without you gaining any ground. *phew*

At minute 6 you mentioned a ceasefire might be coming - and to be fair to you I want to tell the readers that we discussed continuing - not specially to make you attack, but to give you an opportunity to withdraw too, as it would seem odd to have a battle end with both sides clearly close contact and facing each other. 

...How late in the game was the second Sturmtigers gun knocked out? 

I know that feeling - please clock end this while I still have men - hence why I *hate* variable time.

Oh yeah I was totally fine with not cease firing and withdrawing instead.  Gotta give the story an ending.

The second STiger's gun was taken out no that long after the first.  I forget exactly but I really only got a couple more shots out of it.  I was very sad :(

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This was a sucky moment.  But good thing I brought two of those beasties to the party.  Of course at this point no one knew that yet...

Yeah, you hid that pretty well. Was that deliberate? If so you timed it perfectly to have the second one replace the damaged first just at the right moment to account for reloading. 

Related to that - why didn't you bring both up right away? When I saw you had two I wondered why both weren't just levelling the town. 

 

That hurt and totally messed up the timing of my barrage - of course in the end the barrage was pretty pathetic so oh well.

I think I killed off a squad or so just because they were exposed right along the fence line. I suspected they might be spotters, and when the mortar fire began I was convinced. 

Naw, I don't think anything has changed.  The thing about being on the ridge line like this is if the shots are not right on the bullets just wizz by and have little impact.  They guy doing the buddy aid did not even realize he was still being shot at.

I wasn't sure about this until you mentioned it but I did notice that catching a unit on the edge of elevated terrain is a pain! Ugh how many of my tank shells JUST missed and flew over into the trees beyond... 

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When we were discussing whether you should put effort into drawing maps and I suggested using oblique views instead, this is what I had in mind. I can really relate to these images and derive a lot of situational awareness from them

:)

Michael

I realized. Sorta why I put them in ;)

 

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Oh my stuff was bogging constantly - really messed with my convoy timing.  The German HTs were pretty good I think one got immobilized but they were constantly getting stuck and eventually getting free.  The STigers bogged here and there but not to bad but they stayed on the road 100% of the time.  One ended the game immobilized but that was due to enemy fire - those 105 shells are slightly nasty.

Ha! You call that bogging! That's nuthin' compared to me. 

In the comic I didn't even mentioned EACH instance of bogging because after a time it became ridiculous. Bessie, the 105 Sherman, kept bogging in the last 6 minutes so much that she'd advance a few feet and bog again. Rinse and repeat. Eventually I treated it a one long bog simply because it would be repetitive in the story. 

The chaffee bogged in the last 3 minutes 4 times. 

Etc...

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Oh yeah I was totally fine with not cease firing and withdrawing instead.  Gotta give the story an ending.

This is what makes an exception to the "let's ceasefire when asked" discussion in the other AAR. It furthered the story, and made sense to have forces disengage. 

In any event, your willingness to see it through to the end was enthusiastic and that is much appreciated. 

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