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Just here to say I'm still enjoying the running commentary.

12 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

"Bourgoumont Bounce" and "Kicking Coblenz" two battles I had to fight with very few troops, and two defeats. But, thankfully I still progressed to the next battle, which sees us back in La Gleize.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Simcoe said:

Just here to say I'm still enjoying the running commentary.

I'm glad that you are enjoying it.

I won't say too much about "Assaulting Festung La Gleize" just yet. But, we do get six Grilles to use which is quite novel. And on Turn 2 one of my KTs picked out a Sherman carrying a load of infantry and took it out with one shot filling the screen with red crosses.

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Columns of thick, oily, black smoke rise from the Chemins des Minieres. Proof that cornered cats have very sharp claws.

I certainly wasn't expecting the Amis to throw in the towel with an hour still on the clock. When the news gets back to Versailles Ike will go and hide under Summersby's bed again.

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"Hansen's Surprise" - There are two objectives one worth 25 points the other 75, so I bypassed the first and headed through the woods to the second. It still proved to be a tough little fight. One Stinkpot took out 24 of my men before I could get it's optics and weapon control system, forcing it to retreat. Thankfully I only suffered four more casualties and scored a "Total Victory". 

Just one more mission to go, "Katz und Maus".

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2 hours ago, theforger said:

Fantastic effort.

I gained a new respect for Stuarts. Words I doubt you'll ever say :)

If I'd have been Ed "Stinkpot" Stewart I'd have given Little Jimmy Osmond a smack in the mouth. Ah no, that's not quite what you meant.

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And so it ends. The remnants of KG Nickenkopf and their prisoners, devoid of the big cats that they had to leave behind in La Gleize, wade the chill waters of the River Salm to safety through Ami lines.

Despite failing to cross the Maas they have still scored a "Total Victory" (aided by @theforger's generous scoring system). In their wake they leave over 3000 dead and wounded Septics. And the Ardenne hills and valleys ring to the sound of Belgian scrap metal merchants shouting "Je l'ai vu en premier, vous con" at each other, as they fight over the Shermans and other Ami vehicles that litter the countryside.

This has been such a great campaign to fight. The quality of the maps, and varying nature of the missions both in force size and the number of objectives meant that it never got stale. It has been the most fun I've had since the good old days of the  CMx1 "Operations".

For the time being I am off to CMBN and the recent "Antwerp" campaign to see if I can get to John Martin's before Paddy has drunk all the Guinness (deliberate historical inaccuracy for comic effect).

I don't know what @theforger has in the pipeline, but I for one would love a US campaign based on this map.

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Finally made it through Stoumont (much delayed due to real world stuff). Was a tough fight until the sun rose enough for long-range fire to be effective, after which the village turned into a slaughterhouse. Still haven't lost any tanks (unless you count one out-of-ammo Wirbelwind) but 2/3rds of my panthers have had their optics blown off. Luckily I don't find this nearly as debilitating in CM as it should be. Infantry is a major concern though. Panzergrenadiers are below half strength, one pioneer platoon is down to a single squad, the other at half strength.

 

@Warts 'n' all what were your own casualties for the campaign?

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26 minutes ago, evilman222 said:

 but 2/3rds of my panthers have had their optics blown off. Luckily I don't find this nearly as debilitating in CM as it should be. 

Firstly, with regards the Panthers. I had one of the Kompanie HQs lose his Main Gun, MGs optics, radio etc early on. Every time he turned up in another battle I would forget, much to my annoyance having just positioned him somewhere where he would be of no use whatsoever. Finally the penny dropped and in one battle I used his tank as a roadblock, whilst he hid in a house. Sod's Law the Amis didn't come down that road.

Edited by Warts 'n' all
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25 minutes ago, evilman222 said:

@Warts 'n' all what were your own casualties for the campaign?

US Losses

K.I.A. - 2108  W.I.A - 1166 M.I.A. - 28  Tanks - 84  A.F.V. - 38  Jeeps and Trucks - 67  Planes - 3

Axis Losses

K.I.A. - 646  W.I.A. - 487  M.I.A. - 2  Tanks - 15  A.F.V. - 18  Kubelwagen - 7  Jeeps - 2

Obviously things would have been more difficult if I had played through the first two days and my tanks had taken losses or damage then. Also, the way the campaign allows us to play on after suffering Minor Defeats helps keep casualties down.

Edited by Warts 'n' all
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2 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Firstly, with regards the Panthers. I had one of the Kompanie HQs lose his Main Gun, MGs optics, radio etc early on. Every time he turned up in another battle I would forget, much to my annoyance having just positioned him somewhere where he would be of no use whatsoever. Finally the penny dropped and in one battle I used his tank as a roadblock, whilst he hid in a house. Sod's Law the Amis didn't come down that road.

That's what I call clever!

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49 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

That's what I call clever!

I was getting so fed up with it, that I wanted it to get taken out.

I did notice in the last mission where that particular tank appeared the Kompanie HQ had access to arty even though the radio had been destroyed. I didn't bother to have him call in a mission though, he just got stuck at the back of the Set-up Zone out of the way.

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Targnon complete. Minor victory, but I lost six panthers. At first I thought I was en route to a total victory, but (spoilers here), a single Sherman had somehow survived the massacre, and managed to take out three of my tanks before I found it after five minutes of searching. Also would like to give a shoutout to Kaufmann, commander of Panzer 211, who, despite having no optics for the entire battle, managed to take out six tanks in this engagement alone.

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2 hours ago, evilman222 said:

Searching for Gas: Totally didn't mess that mission up. At no point did my Pumas advancing under a hunt command stop in the worst possible spot and suddenly explode. Definitely didn't happen.

Hahaha. Naughty little cats.

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  • 5 weeks later...

(About 'Sterway to Heaven')

On 1/4/2022 at 10:41 AM, theforger said:

it is one of the toughest scenarios in the campaign.

It took me 3 or 4 attempts to come up with tactics to win without heavy losses..and I knew where the enemy were!

The Ami arty can be devastating. Whilst your own is very much not.

It can give adequate smoke cover, but you need the tanks with HE and machine gun fire to suppress and remove the threat of the the TD/ATs and machine guns of the Amis before committing the Grenadier/FSJ. It can be tricky to achieve local fire superiority without bunching the troops making them vulnerable.

I feel proud now that I managed to get a minor victory on my first attempt. However, I was close to throwing in the towel about midway. In the end, I decided to only go for the bridge and the railway station, leaving the centre and outskirs in Ami hands.

The fight for the train station turned out to be way harder than I had realised. But eventually I did manage to clear the station decisively. Both Tigers s lost all weapons and optics by the end (as usual) and this would come back to haunt me in the following mission.

Stationary at Stavelot... well, I managed to get the first objective, but the second was impossible without the KTs. The defenders behind the big square building decimated one of my two remaining platoons, and the other platoon was destroyed trying to flank through the woods. In the end, I got desperate and tried wheeling a howitzer into position to take out the enemy tank at 125m range from the bridge. Needless to say, the tank remained invisible but immediately spotted my cannon.

I did manage to take the little village in the centre of the map though - without any tactical importance. Ran out of ammo doing it. One minor issue with this map is that the briefing says ammo has been resupplied, but in fact it hasn't.

Overall, I found the KG Knittel missions very difficult and exhausting.. pretty sure that's exactly what you were aiming for. I do think the nighttime one felt a bit too gamey though, in that the defence seemed set up in a way that maximised the quirks of the engine (targeting issues etc) and also that many of the buildings seem suspiciously devoid of windows on exactly the side that I would need for observation and support by fire..

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I noticed the Knittel missions are some of the only missions where the units involved differ a lot from the ones in the stock campaign. In those, you get a lot of armoured cars with 75mm. A couple of those would sure have come in handy in this version 🙂

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2 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I noticed the Knittel missions are some of the only missions where the units involved differ a lot from the ones in the stock campaign. In those, you get a lot of armoured cars with 75mm. A couple of those would sure have come in handy in this version 🙂

Hopefully you will have more fun with "Chewin' them up at Cheneux".

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2 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I noticed the Knittel missions are some of the only missions where the units involved differ a lot from the ones in the stock campaign. In those, you get a lot of armoured cars with 75mm. A couple of those would sure have come in handy in this version 🙂

I feel your pain. Pg 331 of Worst's brilliant book on Knittel, Knittel insisted the attack went in on foot.

"He [Coblenz] was in favour of an old fashioned motorised attack on Stavelot, one which would see his company forcing its way into the town to capture the bridge in a lightening strike at full throttle. In Coblenz' opinion it would ensure that the American defenders had very little time to react. But Knittel believed that the vulnerable 1/2 tracks were unsuitable for street combat and opted for an attack on foot.

Coblenz argued that his company was too weak to act as infantry. He explained, "Once dismounted the reconnaissance squad was smaller than an infantry squad. The driver and another trooper remained in the vehicle....so there were only 6 fighters in each squad.

But Knittel dismissed Coblenz complaints, the attack would go ahead as planned."

Coblenz's approach may not have succeeded, but with the additional firepower and mobility it would have offered a better chance of success IMO.

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Might have been interesting to let the player make the decision whether to dismount or not.. a nice little "what if"...

In any case, while I agree that the recon infantry is too weak to work as a real company; the main issue is that I have no way of dealing with the enemy armour. The darkness lets me get close, but not close enough, as they are sitting in a sea of enemy infantry.

(These are not complaints - I understand that they are missions meant to be lost, or at least to be extremely difficult to achieve, just as they were historically).

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11 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Might have been interesting to let the player make the decision whether to dismount or not.. a nice little "what if"...

In any case, while I agree that the recon infantry is too weak to work as a real company; the main issue is that I have no way of dealing with the enemy armour. The darkness lets me get close, but not close enough, as they are sitting in a sea of enemy infantry.

(These are not complaints - I understand that they are missions meant to be lost, or at least to be extremely difficult to achieve, just as they were historically).

Agreed.

Since building what was my first campaign I've taken a closer look how experienced designers have an historical thread to their campaigns, with semi historical branches, and will take that on board on my next effort. (Couple of maps are under construction for a working title of Fire and Roubles).

With this one I had a singular goal of trying to re-enact what happened step by step.

Fortunately for the player, even in the latter stages of the battle there were opportunities to fight on the front foot, but there's certainly some one sided or difficult engagements.

Next month I'm hopefully doing my first walking tour of the area so I'll be able to see for myself how accurate the maps feel. Thanks for giving this a run out and providing feedback.

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