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Can't clear the forest / FR The Battle of Tukums (german side)


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4 hours ago, BornGinger said:

Is this Tukums battle connected to the fighting in the Kurland pocket? If it is and you play as the Germans, I thought they already had a whole lot of experience of fighting the Soviets. But maybe there also were some office personal and ground staff from the airports without fighting experience in that battle.

It's in the briefing. The SS Infantry you're commanding were rushed out of local training schools that with a mix of German and local Latvian signups to the Waffen SS. In a perfect recreation their voices would a mix of German and Latvian speech in game. Same as the Artillery Batteries - green recruits hence the very slow response times. This is the German Wehrmacht directly after the end of Barbarossa and as the Falaise Pocket realities are setting in. It's a dogs breakfast and anything with a rifle is being thrown at the enemy to stabilise the line.

This is in the same geographic vicinity but is before the Courland Pocket. There was a separate pocket that trapped Army Group North east of Riga for a few weeks, which the action depicted in this campaign helped reconnect a land bridge to those forces. Then rather than retreating from this precarious position Hitler ordered the forces of Army Group North to hold fast. A little time goes by with the Germans being slowly pushed back and then the Courland Pocket is formed as they are cut off again. Interesting side note, if this action had failed, Army Group North probably would of been annihilated / surrendered leading to a bigger capitulation from encirclement than was suffered at Stalingrad in terms of manpower.

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11 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

I think the mission is beautifully made, and it's intended to be a suicide mission.

Despite of my troubles i really like those hard missions. Its frustrating for a while but if it happens you really enjoy the victory. Thanks to the designer.

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On 5/7/2021 at 3:49 PM, Hafer said:

Ok, now i managed to conquer the forest, but.

There are a few nasty russian paks out of range of my squads. The arty support is slow (9min) and my tanks cant spot them.

WHAT A bloody hell!!!

* minor spoilers here *

Finished this mission today. But I save-scummed so much, so actually I was cheating that way (last save was no. 64).  The forest on the left went reasonably well, mainly by driving 7 tanks through it. But these Russian PAKs are terrible indeed. Even when most of their crew are dead, the remaining guys keep shooting.

Then came the time limit and and I had to redo the second half of the advance. But had to make it a perfect run to the mission goals to get there in time. Identifying any source of enemy fire ASAP, then suppressing it with cannon fire. Whilst doing that, the traffic had to keep going as well.

I tried to get some infantry across the stream, as tank riders, but they were too late anyways to make any difference at that end of the map. Should not have bothered.

When time was up there were still many Russian soldiers in the surroundings. I still got a Total Victory regardless.

Man that was hard work.

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On 5/5/2021 at 10:11 PM, Vacilllator said:

Erm, I started but RL interfered.  Interested in your findings (and those of others).

My findings after hours in this brilliant scenario:

1. The forest is a hard nut. But with tanks and infantry it is possible to take it.
2. The biggest thread are the well placed and hidden 76mm russians Paks.
3. The only way to defeat them (for my) are my stugs fireing out of deep in the forests.
4. Arty takes too long, Inf has not the range

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On 5/9/2021 at 1:13 AM, Kevin2k said:

But these Russian PAKs are terrible indeed. Even when most of their crew are dead, the remaining guys keep shooting.

It's a general thing in CM, not just about Russian AT guns. Sometimes crews will abandon the gun, but a lot of the time, they will keep shooting till the last man standing.

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7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

It's a general thing in CM, not just about Russian AT guns. Sometimes crews will abandon the gun, but a lot of the time, they will keep shooting till the last man standing.

At least for this mission it seemed plausible, because these AT guns are the only antidote against the many approaching German tanks and StuGs. I can imagine in real life even nearby non-crew soldiers would operate the gun, if need be.

It must be quite nasty though working with a gun whilst reaching over all the dead crew. Other times, in other battles I see the Red force crawling over a choke point littered with Red force bodies, and I think in real life the red force would be so smart, or emotional to avoid that place. But I suppose that would require the AI to come up with a plan B, which is not so easy to implement. 

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Oh well, finally. After lots of tries and reloads. Cant imagine. 2/3 of the time was incredible hard. The last 1/3 was a slaughterhouse - for the russians.

The "green" german infantry were most of the time pretty useless. Only when the path was cleared from enemys they could andvance.

Only a few shots taken from (one) enemy and they got shaken.

The only thing working for me was a "tank scan" even through forests. In line-formation ww1-style scanning the area.

the funny thing is: even if i used ship-arty in combination with surpression-fire the enemy AT-guns kept fireing. Incredible. The area around the AT-gun was scattered with crates, but the AT-gun-crew - sometimes only one soldier - kept fireing. That was the hardest time form me. And because of the preparation time for the arty-crews the time was running fast for me.

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10 hours ago, Hafer said:

Oh well, finally. After lots of tries and reloads. Cant imagine. 2/3 of the time was incredible hard. The last 1/3 was a slaughterhouse - for the russians....

 

As per the campaign briefing maps and some tips earlier in this thread, there is no need to "save scum" this one (or mission 2 hopefully!) like this to get a situation where you have less than 50 casualties. The majority of these forces are never used again in the campaign except for a some of the reinforcing infantry and StuGs and if you get a victory here.

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:39 PM, Hafer said:

Puhh, i`m getting really mad. Tried fighting the enemy about the whole day. No success. The paks are too precice. My soldiers are too weak ("green" experience). I thing i`ll give up in the next turns. How can i neutralize those paks? My tanks are blind idiots. My infantry cannot reach them. My arty is too slow and not precise. 

I'm playing CM round about 25 years now and i`m a f*** noob 😉

Mortars. If you have them.

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  • 2 months later...

That first scenario was beyond my skill level.

Played on elite.  After a couple of false starts, I finally completed it to a tactical defeat.   (I save-scumed a couple of times out of frustration, but I always feel bit dirty doing that so eventually I just gritted my teeth and bulled ahead.)

SPOILERS:

 

It's been a while since I commanded such a low quality and brittle force: green troops and crews.  They couldn't spot for anything.  Every time I moved AFVs forward then unseen AT guns would start punching holes in them.  If I moved my infantry forward then unseen SMG/MG teams would send them scampering. It wasn't until I was able to get my infantry forward enough to get sound contacts on those AT guns that I able to deal with them.  Since artillery ammo has to last the entire campaign, I was begrudging of its use.  So, other than a couple of short barrages that knocked-out two AT guns, I had to resort to very long-distance firing with tanks/SPs: 900-1300 meter area target firing by five or six vehicles firing at one suspected AT gun position.  I eventually nailed them all, but I wasted way too much time doing it.  At scenario's end, I saw some of those guns had 3-4 AFV kills.  (They were really well sited and very hard to detect.  I remember when CMBN was first released there was a lot of complaining about how easy it was detect enemy AT guns.  I know BF has made changes to that over the years and it certainly showed in this scenario.)

Also, lady luck wasn't on my side:

1) One of my OBA barrages badly missed its target area and I had to call down another strike using-up precious ammo and time.

2) The 2nd Company didn't arrive until 30 minutes after its ETA.  It then promptly lost two platoon commanders within minutes: one to a tree burst by friendly fire and another by a mortar strike.  (Russian mortars inflicted quite a few casualties.)

3) My air support made a grand total of one appearance over the battlefield and as far as I could tell didn't do anything.

4) Didn't realize that the road was bordered by boggy terrain and lost two Stugs to immobilization.

Within the first hour, my armored cars were mostly wrecks and the 1st Company a broken or rattled mess.  That mostly green SS infantry was interesting: one MG 34 per squad and no platoon radio or assistant commander.  C&C was tough or non-existent if the platoon commander caught it.  Just a really brittle force.  Also, trying to get them to spot anything was difficult despite every squad leader being equipped with binoculars.  (I played the Broken Shields campaign prior to this one and the contrast between the quality of the forces in that campaign and this one is striking.  It was a tough transition for me.)

By the time I cleared the way of AT guns and MG nests, it was too late.  I was only able to get a couple vehicles across the bridge before time ran-out.  There was no extra time. 

As frustrating as it could be at times and despite how badly I did, I still had fun.  It was a challenge.  Undoubtedly, I was way too cautious about those AT guns, but I had a very difficult time trying to move anything forward without it being hit.  Still, I enjoyed it.  Anyway on to the next scenario.

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3 hours ago, Myles Keogh said:

That first scenario was beyond my skill level.

Played on elite.  After a couple of false starts, I finally completed it to a tactical defeat.   (I save-scumed a couple of times out of frustration, but I always feel bit dirty doing that so eventually I just gritted my teeth and bulled ahead.)

SPOILERS:

Thanks for the feedback. I was aiming for this scenario to be an example of having the "wrong tools for the job" kind of situation commanders can find themselves in that calls for inventive thinking that goes against what a sane commander would order his vehicles to do under normal circumstances. In my own early tests (and I think some of the betas did the same thing) was to use your tanks in close support of the infantry going through the forested areas and away from the roads/open terrain. The Soviets lack panzerfausts and other handheld AT weaponry so really have nothing that can counter a platoon of tanks with close infantry support punching through with overwhelming localised firepower. You'll loose a few tanks for certain to either bogging or the odd grenade/close assault from Soviet infantry but should be able to push through. Reinforcing elements then focus beyond the bridge for the train station itself.

As Mission 1's briefing intimates, the forces moving up on the left side of the river got the short end of the stick. Mission 2 & 3 are far more 'normal' with more space to manoeuvre.

Still pondering whether to create a H2H monster scenario for this one combining all three engagements of this campaign onto the master map. Would be interesting how German players adapt and deal with the Train Station objective when they also have the Panzer Brigade available to them from effectively the start of the mission but on the other side of the river.

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I'm about halfway through the first battle, definitely taking more casualties than I consider comfortable, but your men are, to put it politely, less-than-ideal. Once I got the HMG set up in the cottages on the left I had no trouble blowing the Soviets out of the first tree line. I realized about 10 minutes in that the troops aren't skilled enough for subtle tactics. I'm moving in with entire rifle companies and pouring fire on. One company, one objective, etc. The scout cars are doing yeoman's work supporting the infantry while I husband the armour for the final attack. Already lost a few. 

It's a great little campaign. 

Edited by Rinaldi
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