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What I Learned from 110:

I beat the MG in two ways:

1. Spread everyone out (and I mean way out). This seemed to give good spotting and allowed me to fire from multiple directions (as in flanking fire) to quickly suppress the MG. While this worked, it didn't seem like the right way to use a platoon.

2. Keep everyone in tight as was suggested by Jason. This worked horribly at first (I hardly ever got an ID from the MG) until I noticed that at any given time, at least two or more of my squads were out of command radius. So I tried tightening my squads so they stayed within command radius at all times. This made a huge difference: As soon as the MG opened fire, I had an ID and my men unloaded on the shooter. It was amazing how much easier it it was this way.

As a player who is typically lazy about who's in command and who's not, this was a real eye opener about the power of staying in command.

Also, I'd like to note that I used no area fire to try to suppress the MG before he opened up on me. I definetly wanted to do an ID before firing back.

Great stuff, Jason, and much appriciated.



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When you have green troops, staying in command is an absolute must. Even when in command, mine did not one, but a series of insane things. Worse than that, though, was the HQ waltzed out of cover, into plain sight, then turned its back to the German MG--as it ripped into the HQ and sent it haring back into the light building.


John Kettler

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Originally posted by Tiredboots:

John kettler, I might be wrong, but I think that putting your HQ in as a forward position as possible tend to galvanize & focus the rest of the troops. won total victory in 110 putting my HQ level with the front half squads & had no control problems.

The physical relationship of the HQ to the other units doesn't matter, as long as the other units are within command radius. One thing I've learned is that it may be critical to keep low quality units in command radius during the move itself as well as at the end of the move, if the HQ has bonuses (especially morale and possibly stealth and/or combat). For example, a HQ with one level morale bonus means that the green squad within its command has the same morale as a regular squad. But at any time it moves out of range, it reverts to green morale (which, of course, is just when the MG opens up on it. ;) )

In 110, the HQ doesn't have any bonuses, so this is not a consideration. If anyone wants to try playing this scenario with the map orientation corrected (so that the MG is facing the advancing Russians from the beginning), I recommend giving the HQ a bonus for morale and combat. In that case, planning how to keep all four squads within command radius at all times becomes an important skill to learn, and makes an impossible mission merely very difficult.

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Thanks for your effort JasonC in producing these scenarios, they are good and I feel like I have learnt something :)

I've just finished playing 200 and I opted for the schwerpunkt down the left with a few forces in the centre and minimal forces on the right. I was amazed at how easily the ATG can knock out all three tanks. You recommended in an earlier post to withdraw your the tanks from LOS and rely on support weapons to knockout the ATG. However, if your tanks are caught in the open [like on the left!] what would you recommend? The net result for me [on three separate occasions] was that it was down to luck as to whether I lost 1, 2 or all 3 tanks. [i actually left them in place rather than move them because I hoped to win the firefight.]


RNL Tiger

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AARs for the 300's:

310: Easily managed a total victory. As with all meeting engagements vs the AI, especially with cover, the secret is to get to the flags first and to force the AI to attack you.

311: This was the one I had the most difficulty with. Even after a couple tries I was only able to get a tactical victory. I followed JasonC's advice about forming a mobile reserve, but basically I ran out of time to use it to properly flank and roll up the enemy positions.

312: A total victory, but at a pretty high cost. Basically put half my forces into the center woods and steamrollered the defense. Pioneers did great at removing minefields, and SMGs did great at removing enemy. Took a lot of damage from the enemy arty, which was just about perfectly targeted on my main body of troops. Very effective, costing me 25 troops just from the arty alone. Still, at night mass is everything, especially in close ground.

315: Played it three times. First time I got a tactical victory, and had a very tough time taking out any tanks, which just sat out of DC range and shot anything that moved. Second time, the enemy managed to lose three tanks on daisy chains, and the rest was anticlimactic. I figured that this had been too easy, so I tried it again, but with a different setup that focused more on the center road. Worked very well. I was able to get DC kills from ambush, and took very few casualties.

316: This was a tough one, and I suspect that against a human it would be much more difficult. Still I found this interesting. There is a real conflict between the need to hide from enemy armour but still effectively engage enemy infantry. This highlighted the need to defend from the back of buildings, much in the same way as you defend woods. In addition, you must try and hunt enemy armour. I managed to get three of the four PzIIIs, but most of the halftracks got away. I lost the T34 and one T70. I think that if I were to play it again I would change the setup quite a bit, to spread out the Pioneers and make them more of a reserve.

320: Easy. No changes to setup required. One interesting thing was the effectiveness of ATRs against halftracks, which carried on throughout the 320 series.

321: More challenging. Much focus on ATR vs halftrack, HMG vs infantry until the Stugs get into the killsack, which was roughly even with the right platoon position. AT mines proved very effective.

322: Very challenging. Played it twice, first time only got two Tigers before losing my AT assets. Sturmoviks were useless. I won, but only because the enemy ran out of time. The second time I moved some stuff around, most notably a 57mm ATG to the right flank, and I made a large wire/mine obstacle in the center, around where I wanted my killsack. Sturmoviks were useless again, but I found that by mainly engaging his infantry from the right, I forced the Tigers to move that way in order to try and neutralise my smallarms fire. This, thanks to the terrain, created situations where my ATGs could engage lone Tigers in the killsack without being seen by the others. Once I got the first one, it was a quick domino effect. I did lose a Su-152, but the Tiger had to present a flank to one of my ATGs. Finished with only 5 casualties total.

One of the main things in the 320 series is the relationship between positioning and springing the ambush. One should position the AT assets so that they can simultaneously engage the killsack with effective fire (killing shots). Then you have to decide when to spring the trap. This should be done so that every target which can see the shooter(s) should be engaged. If you have one gun and two visible targets, wait, unless it's really desperate. If you can safely and effectively reveal AT assets on a one to one or better basis, fire away.

Anyways, thanks again JasonC. I am looking forward to the 400s. Only one problem. What comes next? I guess I'll have to go back to ROQC...

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Played 110 again, with same disastrous results as before. Kept whole platoon in command radius, using Contact and Hide orders initially, followed by sequenced Advance and Hide as I got closer. Found trench much earlier than before, but despite Cover Arcs and doing everything possible to suppress the MG, I never saw it, and it chopped up the platoon's morale, taking the wheels right off my attack. Had two squads routed in rapid succession, but the icing on the cake was when the HQ broke, after which everything definitively fell apart. Took only a few actual losses, but the unit was rendered completely useless by end of Turn 14. A Ceasefire brought an autosurrender and Total Axis Victory. I don't seem to very good with infantry lately, but did a great job in the Beta Demo playtest. Oh, wait, there was real cover in that scenario.


John Kettler

[ December 18, 2005, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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RNL Tiger - if a PAK catches a platoon of tanks in the open, you fire back with everything you have obviously. You can also try masking it with 82mm smoke, though it will take a minute to appear. Maybe you get the gun before it does, maybe you have live tanks after it does with the PAK still a threat. A "hot" gun might get all of them before it appears, but that will be rare. Once it is smoked you can get the tanks to low ground and get mortars or a mortar-spotting HQ to LOS. When the smoke clears, pin the gun with mortar fire, adding an MG to slow rally and keep it pinned. Then advance again.

This is a standard drill you need to know. In 200, there is less cover and low ground for it than in most situations you will actually face, the gun is trench-tough, and dominates the tanks it face (can kill in one shot, usually hits at this range, etc). Ambushes by full PAK will generally result in loss of a tank, at a minimum. What you need to accomplish is being able to take it out in turn, and therefore proceed, without losing all your armor trying. Is it hard at times and dangerous always? Sure. That is why it needs to be studied.

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Really, Really, Really, Really annoyed by 400.

Tried it twice now, with minor defeats both times. The first time was admittedly more of a wash - I took too long to get to the MLR, and my assault was fragmentary at best.

The second time I put some more thought into it - It helped that I now knew where the basic enemy lines were. I put arty into the proper places, two 122s onto the right woodline, and one into the center house/rubble position. The 120 went into both areas. I managed to get a good portion of my support weapons into places where they could get at the enemy, even my 76s, which focused on the right woods. I pushed two platoons up the left, another two or so up the right, and used cover to push the remainder up the middle. I paid much attention to interval, etc., and got the majority up to the wire obstacles, and had pushed two platoons through the wire when the auto-ceasefire kicked in on turn 26 or so.

Three things made this battle a loss for me.

1. The +2 morale platoon in the center. I think they were fanatics. They steadfastly resisted all arty, mortar, and smallarms fire for turn after turn. Platoons plus support would be blasting away at individual sections under 150 meters, to no effect. The enemy would pin for about 3 seconds, then pop up and engage whatever I was vainly trying to push into assault range. I even focused all fire onto the enemy platoon cmdr, hoping to panic him and deny his morale effect, but to no avail. Pin, disappear, recover 3 to 5 seconds later. By battle end I had this platoon down to about 10 effectives through sheer weight of fire, but they were still defending away, my ammo was running very low, and it cost me all forward progress. I will call them Platoon Eisenkreuz.

2. That bloody defiladed MG bunker. Faced with a serious loss of momentum in the center, I tried to push up a company to engage the enemy left platoon in order to flank Platoon Eisenkreuz and actually break in to the village. That MG bunker stopped the comapny flat. Anything that attempted to actually advance/assault into the enemy position got pinned and panicked right away. Again, the enemy's refusal to break didn't help much. I artyed the bunker, smoked it off, and put about 5 ATRs onto it. Nothing doing. The only things that might have hurt it, the 76s, couldn't see it, and are far too slow to have repositioned, even if they would have survived coming into the bunker's LOS.

3. The cavalry, which arrived on turn 18, and proceeded to really stop the center dead. I was just starting to think that I would be able to dislodge Platoon Eisenkreuz when the tanks arrived.

Several things went well.

The arty really punished the right side woods, smashing the INF gun and 81mm MTR, (They never fired a shot), and messing up the enemy HMGs and infantry. It did nothing to the bunker, but I would have needed a pretty lucky shot for that.

My Maxims did fairly well in suppressing the enemy HMGs. Of course I knew where they were ahead of time, and could pre-emptively area fire at them, which I think is mighty gamey, but I needed the advantage.

I think that next time I will try putting the main weight on the right side. I will delay the arty a bit more (I put the two modules on the right on turns 7 and 9), and put way more infantry on the right. The only problem is that big open space, which is both long and narrow enough to cause problems. I also worry that Platoon Eisenkreuz will enfilade and mess up my assault. I will also make more of an effort to position the 76s so that they can persude Platoon Eisenkreuz to get lost.

One complaint - I find it very difficult during attacks in anything but the most simple of terrain to find the enemy effectively. This makes it VERY difficult to plan heavy bombardments to be effective without being gamey. In this exercise the Russians MUST have effective pre-planned artillery; they lack the HE assets to dislodge a company defensive position otherwise. So how then to do this without resorting to gameyness? (and playing twice is super-gamey, as far as I am concerned).

This ties in to the problem of time in assaults. The first time through, I advanced cautiously, using much move to contact, as I had no real idea of where the MLR was going to be, and wanted to scout it out a bit. As a result, by the time I made contact, I was quite a bit behind schedule, and the attack probably would have needed another 10 turns to develop properly.

I find that this is the biggest failing of CMx1; there is no mechanism for intelligence info. I hope that when putting in a deliberate assault I would at least have a rudimentary idea of where basic frontline platoon positions are. Is this realistic? Possibly not. Maybe realistically it is enough to know that there is enemy in that village, take your batallion and get a move on.

Any thoughts or suggestins would be appreciated - When I looked at the survivors of Platoon Eisenkreutz after the battle (still mostly in good order, the bastards), I almost chucked my computer out the window.

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You may consider repeated attempts just that, by separate battalion waves from the same regiment. The previous attempt failed, some of the defenders were relieved (brought back to original strength), then the next battalion tries again.

As for your artillery fire plan and whether you should micromanage it, whether you needed detailed and exact intel before doing so, etc, I think you are trying to use a battalion of 122s as a scalpel when it is a sledgehammer. Don't finesse it and don't try to make the 122s do all the work. Just shoot them someplace they will help and get their licks in. Here is a sample fire plan -

1st 122mm battery, map fire starting turn 5, aim point 60m north (right) and 100m east (short) of the large wood building with flag.

2nd 122mm battery, map fire starting on turn 8, aim point 40m south (left) of the same building.

3rd 122mm battery, map fire starting on turn 11, aim point 100m east (short) of the same building.

That will put heavy shells in the middle of the village from turn 5 through turn 13, with most of the misses still in potentially useful places. You aren't picking the woods tile to bombard on turn 7. You are firing an entire battalion at the center of mass of the objective village.

The 120mm hold their fire for reactive shots. As soon as it has LOS to likely German positions, in calls for fire on any given woodline, and starts the count. Walk the aim point 100m at a time to get a real target, after it has dropped to 1-2 minutes. The time will bump but livably so. It expects to get off 2 blasts at platoon sized woods positions.

Your on-map HE is considerable - 2 76mm guns, 3 82mm mortars, 6 50mm mortars (which should be used in pairs, as single 50mm don't hit hard enough. Pairs can and will get pins). The 76mm guns must maneuver - sitting still with them will lose. Aim to get them to a decent overwatch position by minute 10 to minute 15 and you should be fine. The first few minutes, squad infantry should scout the intended route and end location, or you won't have time.

On the log bunker, ATRs with LOS to the firing slit can KO it with enough time to fire, but will be slow. A 76mm with LOS can kill it rapidly. There are some possible locations for the 76mm that will do this, that are reasonable in other respects (to get to, other targets, etc). There are other locations that won't work very well.

When the cavalry arrives, your 76mm had better be in the game. Your other effective AT weapons are the pioneers' demo charges. ATRs and molotovs might get lucky but can't be counted on. The enemy involved are nasty enough to a few infantry but not huge compared to your overall numbers. They can stop any one thrust, if you don't deal with them. They can't shoot down a whole battalion on their own.

On enemy infantry hanging tough on you, you need to first establish pins (which you apparently did) and then make them permanent. To do the latter, use area fire from 1-2 MMGs to prevent or slow rally, without draining squad infantry ammo. The 50mm can work at that too, particularly vs. more important enemy shooters. Then infantry has to close the range to 75m or less. That is where your PPsHs kick in, and mere pinning fire translates to killing fire. If you can make it to grenade range, even better.

The usual problem is their friends unmasking as you close in. That will break a few attempts. Rally the men that fail, put the overwatch weapons on the new guys while the MMGs and 50s keep the old ones heads-down, and try again. The name of the game is depth. Outlast their reserve of shooters.

If the bulk of your infantry fires most of its ammo at 250 yards, you will fail to break the defense. That is the range you want your MMGs firing from. The squads needs 150m arcs to start with, and need to close to SMG and grenade range to finish people off. If the artillery has done some of the work, there will be less for the infantry ammo to "carry".

The Russian force has a large portion of its ranged fighting power in the form of infantry heavy weapons groups. Those are formed around 2 MMGs and either 1 82mm or 2 50mm mortars, plus an ATR and an HQ to lead them. The mortars and MGs pin things, one MG then keeps the pin. They have the ammo to keep it up, and the HE component of the firepower hits relatively hard at long range and into cover (compared to infantry fire). To succeed you will need these groups to do their fair share of the suppression, helping the squads get enough fire ascendency to close.

The whole scenario is meant to force you to use all elements of the Russian infantry tool box. If you do, the Germans simply cannot withstand the accumulating stress of your entire firepower, and still dish out enough in reply to break so large a force.

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Okay, sorry to bring it up 110 again but I still haven't passed.

I am trying to follow the forum advice to 1) advance to the houses, then the wood fence, then the craters, then grenade range, 2) keep in command but spread out (for me this means 15-20 m apart in a line roughly parallel to trench), 3) advance in short 30-40m hops, 4) keep unhidden with cover arcs over enemy trench to get a full spot.

Unlike my earlier strategies, I can now get eventually get a full spot. However by then my squads are all too suppressed to shoot or advance. It only takes 1-2 secs of enemy fire to pin my guys, and a little more panics, routes, or breaks. When they route or break they run/sneak out of command. In almost every turn my whole line (about 60 m long) is pinned or worse. Therefore most turns I just give area fire order (or target order if the MG is spotted) and hit go.

What are you supposed to do with 'pinned' squads? Should they hide, target, sneak, advance or advance after delay?

Thanks in advance for any advice for a "mentally challenged" CMBB player.

P.S. To John Kettler, I noticed that my full spot came much sooner if I kept my troops unhidden.

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Originally posted by Pirx:

Okay, sorry to bring it up 110 again but I still haven't passed.

I am trying to follow the forum advice to 1) advance to the houses, then the wood fence, then the craters, then grenade range, 2) keep in command but spread out (for me this means 15-20 m apart in a line roughly parallel to trench), 3) advance in short 30-40m hops, 4) keep unhidden with cover arcs over enemy trench to get a full spot.

I've spent a lot of time with 110, mostly doing various tests and experiments, so I'll offer my advice, which I think is mostly consistent with Jason's.

First, you have to get all four squads past the house line (the house behind the fence and the one across the road). You want them all within about 150-180m distance from the trench (you'll notice that you can't even spot the trench until you push past the house line to within a distance of 200m from the trench). It is critical that your units be unspotted at this point. This can be done because the MG is facing the other direction, but it takes some finesse. Don't advance all your units at the same time. Use short advances. In other words, don't attract attention. If you are having trouble doing this, then keep trying with different techniques until you do -- because if you get spotted at that range you're cooked. Jason may not agree with that last statement, but it's certainly my experience.

At that point, if you want an easy victory, simply area fire on the trench. You will panic the MG (because the fire is coming from behind him) and will eventually break him, especially if you do some advancing. However, that approach detracts from the purpose of the scenario.

Assuming you don't do the area fire option, the next step involves getting a spot on the MG itself, which means that one or two of your units has to advance to about 130-135m from the trench. In doing that the unit(s) will get spotted and fired on, but this is also the unit or units that has to do the initial spotting. I recommend timing the advance so that the spot comes right near the end of the turn.

Once you get the spot, fire everybody at the MG. The squad that advanced and got hit will probably still be pinned, but three squads firing at that range are enough to cause the MG to dive for cover. That allows time for your pinned squad to recover. Once you have four squads shooting, the MG is in trouble and you can start to advance on him.

For me, the tricky part is that advance to the 130-135m range. If you advance only one squad, the other three are primed to open fire immediately since none of them are moving. On the other hand, if that squad gets pinned without spotting the MG, you are in a pickle. You can try advancing a second squad, but then you are down to two squads ready to open fire -- and the ability of two squads to effectively neutralize the MG is marginal at that range.

If you send two squads, you increase the chances of getting a spot, but reduce the immediate firepower (because the movement is effecting fire performance). All in all that is still probably the best choice, but it's a close call I think.

Two other points:

1. Area fire on the trench, or even directly on the MG's location, coming after the MG has spotted you, is worthless with these green squads at that range. It only works when the MG is still facing the other direction.

2. You can't rely on covered arcs to get your green squads up and firing when they're out in the open. It's better to work on timing your moves, so that you can give them fire orders before it's too late.

Hope this helps.

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"What are you supposed to do with 'pinned' squads?"

Their primary job is to rally. If they are in the open and there is a shellhole nearby, you can let them sneak to it, which they will often do of their own accord. Sneaks to other, less useful directions should be cancelled, unless you are too bunched up and need to let them spread out to avoid fire at one hurting another. In any other circumstance, give them a targeting order to fire back, which they will generally only do as they recover to yellow morale.

From your description is sounds like you are too bunched up, with multiple units within 25m of one target. That allows the fire at one unit to contribute suppression to neighboring ones. If the latter are already pinned, they will not rally. It may also set off cover panic sideways sneaks, which wreck your own outgoing firepower.

The solution is to resolutely refuse to bunch up. You don't need all squads on line - 2 ahead and 2 trailing is fine. The distance you want is 26 to 30 meters. Frequently the forward squads draw the fire and get pinned. The back ones fire. Whichever forward squad is not currently targeted needs to recover as best it can to a yellow state. It can be a long sequence, frequently achieved by first reaching a shellhole, then fire shifting to a different target, then a full minute left alone in the shellhole.

Sometimes there is a difficult bit of choreography to get a rearward squad to advance because the front ones are thoroughly pinned. It needs to make for a shellhole and avoid allowing shots at it to suppress both front squads. Sometimes you can't help allowing those shots to suppress one of the front guys, as you pass it, but you can generally avoid it happening to both. Just go outside rather than between, if you must try this. And keep the period inside 15m or so distance to a minimum.

Frequently one of the forward squads will get hit too hard, rout completely, standing up and trying to get away on "run". That draws fire and gets them killed, or broken and chased so thoroughly the squad is lost. The only upside is the MG may fire at it for a minute or two even once it is far from the others, allowing some of those others to rally in the meantime. The rearward squad behind the router then needs to take its place ahead - but *after* it has routed clear (to avoid breaking from area fire effects, from shots aimed at the "runners").

The lesson is emphatically not about facing issues or anything remotely like it. That is a red herring by someone who apparently has not yet succeeded at the actual task. It is entirely possible to advance a green platoon over open ground and approach cover, at an active and firing HMG, absorb its fire (painfully), get to cover, fire back, and make it duck.

It is not easy and it is not meant to be. It is the most you can get infantry this bad to do. If you can do it everything else infantry is meant to accomplish is easy. If you can't, you'll be walking on one leg and a crutch throughout your CM career. With regulars and a better HQ, incidentally, it is quite easy, they will robustly do it. Same with better cover along the route (like scattered trees to 100m from the target).

If you find it impossibly hard, raise the platoon quality to regular, and if that isn't enough, give the HQ +1 command and +1 morale. If you can't do that you are doing something deeply wrong, because then it is easy. With poorly led greens it is not easy. Sometimes you will fail, and usually it will feel painful all the way to the instant the HMG ducks.

But that is all it takes. Once the HMG ducks once, the fire you can pour out increases through rally, and tends to keep him down. He has no friends to get the fire off of him. He takes additional suppression as fast as a lone unled regular can generate rally. You then advance one squad to good SMG and grenade range, and it will break him, to the point where he gets up and runs.

If he briefly recovers on sheer luck, he might survive the first squad attempting this (rare), but he won't survive the second. 5 men simply can't stop 50, if the 50 persist and make no avoidable mistakes.

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Thanks for the advice from JasonC and SteveP. I have been trying to advance with a line of men parallel to the trench, reasoning that fire at one side of the line won't suppress the opposite side. My guys get bunched up because 4 squads X 30 meters = 120 meters, which is larger than the command radius of a green Russian HQ.

JasonC I will try again with a box formation, 2 advancing and 2 trailing, with the HQ in the center of the box and the box sides 30m or more. Interestingly, this is a similar formation to that recommended by SteveP (i.e. advance 2 squads to get the spot).

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Originally posted by JasonC:

The lesson is emphatically not about facing issues or anything remotely like it. That is a red herring by someone who apparently has not yet succeeded at the actual task. It is entirely possible to advance a green platoon over open ground and approach cover, at an active and firing HMG, absorb its fire (painfully), get to cover, fire back, and make it duck.

Am I the "someone" referred to. smile.gif If so, I'm not sure what you mean by red herring. My only point has been that the scenario plays very differently if the MG starts out facing the Russians. If you play it that way, you certainly will get to find out if you can advance your platoon over open ground and approach cover, etc., etc. I believe it can't be done, for many reasons (including the fact that the MG can pin/panic your whole platoon in a minute's worth of fire at a range of under 200m), but I'm certainly open to being convinced otherwise by an AAR. At least from the testing I have done, I think you need at a minimum to have a platoon leader with a plus one on morale and a plus one on combat to succeed. That gets you something like a middle ground between an all green platoon and a regular platoon.

Or are you saying that the fact the MG is facing the other direction is somehow not relevant to the play of the scenario? If so, that is certainly an easy thing to test. Simply play it hot seat and don't give any orders to the MG.

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"I believe it can't be done"

Exactly, and you are dead wrong, and have missed the entire point. No it won't break the whole platoon, unless you make specific errors like bunching up too much, letting one shot pin a single squad and prevent rally on others at the same time. I've done it and the like over a hundred times, in tests and in real games. On the training scenarios, of course I playtested all of them hotseat, and no I didn't beat them only by area firing on turn one to exploit some obscure facing bug. It fires first, I win. If you haven't done the like then perhaps you should be listening.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

"I believe it can't be done"

Exactly, and you are dead wrong, and have missed the entire point. No it won't break the whole platoon, unless you make specific errors like bunching up too much, letting one shot pin a single squad and prevent rally on others at the same time. I've done it and the like over a hundred times, in tests and in real games. On the training scenarios, of course I playtested all of them hotseat, and no I didn't beat them only by area firing on turn one to exploit some obscure facing bug. It fires first, I win. If you haven't done the like then perhaps you should be listening.

Actually, I wanted to believe that, which is why I spent a lot of time on it -- particularly the stage where one has to push past the last house line into the open (again, for those keeping score, I have only been playing it with the orientation corrected, so that I really was trying to advance this platoon under fire for the entire distance. To me, that was a better test of whether I had learned how to do it.)

My own experience is that the MG picks them off very quickly as they emerge from the cover. If they all come out at the same time, it may take a little more than a minute to put them all in a cover panic. The bunching up is a problem, I agree, especially if they all try to go for the same cover. Haven't quite figured out a way to prevent that. Also, they won't rally quickly enough, so that it doesn't work for me to keep offering the MG a different target.

With a plus one morale boost (i.e., the same morale as a regular squad), it is possible to keep them out there while they rally. As it is, they will dive for cover every time. If one or two of them break, then you've got rattled troops and that makes the morale problem even more difficult. (It's worth noting that it's very possible to get a broken squad during the advance to that last house line, even if you give yourself the benefit of knowing exactly where the MG is. There is no route I've found that keeps you in cover the whole time, and the MG can break one of these squads at 400+meters).

I'm not trying to prove that it can't be done (can't prove a negative, anyway!). And I understand that you are going to tell me I'm wrong about all of this, which is OK. You want to convince people they can advance for 400m in relatively open terrain under HMG fire with these green troops. If others chime in with reports that they are able to complete the mission playing hot seat or after correcting the orientation, then that would be great. I guess then I'd be the one asking them how they did it. smile.gif I frankly think it would be great if others did try it that way, because I think people would learn more from really having to advance under fire for 400 meters rather than having to worry about only the last 150 meters.

By the way, just to add to the aggravation, scenarios 111 and 112 also play very differently if the orientation is corrected. For example, I don't think it's possible to ignore that second MG in 111, since it's going to open up on you at 400m as well. I was able to complete both of these, however, though with a little different strategy than what I think has been recommended. Just thought I'd throw that in for what it's worth.


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Managed a draw for 400 for the third time through.

I made a few changes to the setup, mainly moving the 76s to the left side in order to give them shots at the bunker and moving the infantry and especially the support platoons up close to the start line. The advance went well, with most of my forward platoons up to the level of the wire obstacles with only minimal interference from the HMGs by the time the arty started in turn 8. I tried grouping the 122s in the center as suggested, and this worked well. Unlike the 2nd try, however, I did not waste support fire from distance at the HMGs, preferring to move the support platoons up to the 250m range suggested.

Why then, did I only get a draw, when things were going well?

1. Again, I was only able to get the 76s involved minimally, although one was able to take out the MG bunker around turn 24 or so. I think I am missing something with this. JasonC, you describe being able to get the 76s into decent overwatch positions by turn 15 or so. How? This time I tried to do it on the left, and the movement was painfully slow, even without interference. I was able to get them up to about the level of the mined woods, but they were never able to see the tanks, and put out no real fire in support of the infantry. Perhaps they would be better utilised on the right, but one would think they are better used supporting the centre.

2. I was basically unable to advance in the open at all once past the level of the wire. This was mostly true on the right, especially out of the woods.

Very true on the left, where I had skirted two platoons plus support to the left of the mined woods. I was able to smash up the platoon minus on the left, but was unable thanks to the center HMG and the MG bunker, to get anywhere close to the woods. I was eventually able to get in there by moving a reserve platoon through the covered low ground (hmmmm...), but by the time the left platoon position was destroyed the tanks had shown up, which halted my attempt to roll up the center.

In the center itself, A brutal 105 barrage caught the better part of a company just about to advance on the largely trashed center position. It took me about 5 minutes to rally and reform, and when I was able to resume the advance, the rattled troops had no staying power whatsoever; while I was able to get them forward, they basically ended up broken and routed just shy of the village center.

Aside from the left, the real success was in the center right, where I was able to get 2 1/2 platoons into the scattered woods and light buildings to the front right of the large building, which was by that time merrily ablaze. They were not able, however, to withstand the withering fire from the last defenders in the center (basically the coy cmdr and the rallied remnants of the center position) and from the right position. At least not and get close to the flag by turn 35, anyways...

3. My inability to suppress/destroy the right position. (See above). I put 2 support platoons on the right, and all that fire, delivered from inside 200m, with a full 120mm barrage, was unable to destroy the enemy ability to cover the open ground. I was able to get two squads from the center right into the woodline, but they panicked and were killed.

This brings up the subject of bunching, and of using reserves in sufficient time. I find that it is difficult to avoid bunching platoons - Basically there is only enough space and cover to safely advance a few platoons at a time, especially with the wire, so others are less effective.

Anyways, I think I will put this one on the back burner and see what I can do with 401 and 402, and then come back to it.

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In regards to the 110 series, I played them (as I have all the scenarios so far) with computer free set-up. That meant that when I beat 110, 111, 112, the MG was facing whatever direction the AI pleased - towards my guys, I'm sure. In fact, in some cases, the MG wasn't even in the trench at all, so when I (as some have suggested) area fired on the trench, I wasn't doing diddly-squat. Needless to say, the times when that happened, I lost.

Steve, you mention something about all the platoon coming out at once, which is an absolute no-no. Generally, I tried to have two squads in overwatch, one rallying, and one advancing. Another error I made at first was too large of bounds. 30 meters is a lot shorter than you think.

I personally think that it is easier to beat 110 after having beaten 112, where you have all sorts of support weapons to help.

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CK - you are getting it, you are getting it. Not much farther. You have the artillery right and you are getting your infantry heavy weapons into play. You aren't handling your infantry quite right yet, but mostly because a single other key failing is making their job harder and you are pushing them too hard, trying to make up for it.

The key failing is you haven't learned use of towed guns on the attack yet, at least the infantry force type situation without any prime movers you face here. And without LOS from the start line. You don't need much from the guns in this one, but you do need them to help against the tanks and against the bunker (although the ATRs might get the latter). If they also help take out the German gun, the MG in the objective building, and perhaps 1-2 other shooters as "gravy", that is all you can ask of them. Even if they only get one of the tanks, you will find it a big help, especially if you get it early.

To use towed guns on the attack you have to plan farther ahead than seems natural, and you need to confidently pick the locations they will fight from on turn 1, without benefit of scouting, just lay of the land. Then you need to move directly to those locations, set up, and go to work.

A ZIS-3 being pushed takes 3 minutes to move 50m, ~17m per minute average. How do you remember that? Watch, grasshopper. 100m per minute standard infantry move rate divided by transport class 6 equals 16.67 meters per minute. Lower transport class means faster guns. Then once it arrives it takes 2 more minutes to set up.

The realistic radius of deployment is 100-200m. You can be active at such distances in less then 10 minutes for the lower figure, to more like 15 minutes for the upper. Terrain makes little difference, but uphill moves are slower. You want only one command delay, the one on turn 1, the rest of the time spent actually moving.

So where do you push them? Since you've already tried a few times I will disclose a couple of magic locations. It is typical of use of guns that there are a few spots that see just what you need to see. Remember, they do not need or want wide LOS to shoot down half the world. They have HE for 5-6 minutes of fire, and the tougher targets will take 2 minutes of it. That means they only need to see about 3 things. They just need to be the right 3 things.

The way you find these incidentally is to put waypoints on spots one turn one (from any unit), then use "rotate to" and put the other end on the desired target. Now pick up the waypoint and drag it around, looking for lines of sight clear of more than a few trees etc.

You have a Lt. Smekhotvorov (say that 3 times fast), commanding the center platoon in the default set up. Look 100m straight ahead of him for a patch of full pines. Go down to view level 1-2 and you will see those woods start out lower on your side and goes up at the end of the woods, to a crest. There is a tongue of woods pointing toward the objective building. Go on that tile, but on the left side, almost to the edge.

Now, put your "rotate to" on *the road*. Voila. Clear to the entry point, straight shot threaded right between walls of trees and several houses. It also sees the objective building, upper story, left edge. If just right, it also sees the first medium sized intact wood building beyond the wire, straight ahead. It grazes two patchs of rubble behind that one - and will see them directly if that front house is itself rubbled.

That location is 100m from the start line and can be reached by a covered route, with a gun set up and ready to go on turn 8. Bye bye cavalry. Bye bye HMG up in the tower. Bye bye front building behind the wire. If the ammo holds beyond that, it can pepper the rubble patches in the center or continue lobbing shells into the objective building.

Now a spot for the other gun. This one takes longer and is somewhat riskier. You have a Lt. Golubev, commanding a platoon in the first wave, on the center-right. 180m in front of him is a long stretch of woods, parallel to your start line, opposite the right side position. There is a broken strand of trees along the road separating it from the German positions on that side, but single tiles allowing LOS. They cut up the view farther back in the trees, however, and allow one tile of full woods to block LOS, when still behind the woods in question.

You can enter those woods on the right side, where they are thicker. There is a 40m stretch closer to you that creates dead ground, then a bridge of woods to the front "trench". You want dead center of the front side of those woods, midway in the middle tile side to side, and all the way to the front edge. Using your rotate tool, you will see this scans the German right side position right to left, with an modest shadow or two interrupting but most of the enemy woodline visible.

You can reach that location and set up in about 15 minutes. If you take a longer route to avoid long diagonal LOS dangers, maybe 20, counting set up time. Once there, the bunker can be dispatched in one shot. The German gun (if your mortars haven't already taken it out) might need a duel, but is visible. So is the MG nest on that side (in a trench, thus requiring HE). The remainder of the HE can hit targets right along that woodline. Nothing else on the map will hurt you, nor will you hurt much of anything else. But that target is enough to absorb your ammo, so it is all you need.

Your ATRs should try for the bunker earlier, as soon as it opens up. But if they don't get it, hold up on your own side of the wire, accumulating there and rallying, until gun number two wheels into position and sends it skyward.

On bunching up, you simply cannot afford it. If a good 105 barrage breaks a company it means you were packed in too tight. A good 105 barrage breaking a platoon is par for the course and just means the AI isn't completely hopeless with artillery. But a company is your fault (lol).

The German defense at the wire is well integrated. There are mines, open, wire, open, wire across the route. Both open gaps are visible to the bunker. All cover just past or facing the gaps is visible by the German HE arms - FO and on map mortar-spotter HQs. Full platoons of infantry can hit the open. If you do get through those by suppressing them (or KOing them with arty earlier on), the next stage of open is covered by flanking fire from the left, the bunker, and the HMG in the tower. If you don't get the tanks when they show, one can park somewhere that sees the wire open wire open area.

But no defense can withstand the destruction of the defenders themselves. Trying to push through the gap, let alone massing to do so, is movement thinking and will not work here. You need firepower thinking. Here is how firepower thinking deals with defended wire.

First, you aren't trying to cross it immediately. You want to accumulate good order infantry in the cover on your own side of the wire, up to and including the cover the wire runs through. You want to be kissing the wire, 4m away from it, but still in cover. And not bunched, spread. Every scrap large enough has a squad it in, but not overstacked.

If a unit pins there, sneak him out, and advance in a fresher squad. Keep fire coming out of the whole covered area on your own side of the wire. Keep a second line behind the whole position, out of LOS and easy barrage reach, and feed in men as necessary to keep the cover "topped off" - but not overflowing. Do not push, be patient.

Meanwhile everyone is firing. You want to melt the nearest defenders. The sign that has happened will be rallied, happy guys right across the wire-front area, only a few pinned and those not under immediate fire, just lazy about recovering. Then and only then, it is time to cross the wire.

The wire crossing drill is packet movement. You can "move" right through a wire strand in one minute if nobody is firing at you. Or you can do a short advance with 2 waypoints, into open and back into cover just on the other side of the wire. The former is fine if you think there is really no one with LOS, otherwise the second is preferable. But only one unit per minute, per route. Everybody else ready to fire, still in cover, and not stacked.

If you pick up a new shooter, fine, shoot him down in a mad minute and repeat. You can trade one squad for one squad all day, you've got a battalion against a company. If you refuse to let one shooter hurt a whole platoon, or get away with shooting without paying for it with his own head, then he can't stop you. You trade through his shooters and the rest get in.

Guys on the other side of the wire need to first get in cover, recover if they took fire, then they need to advance to other cover just to make room. They don't need to rush the enemy. They just want to make room for their friends, and be in cover. Then they fire back, from their own side of the wire. Five minutes of packet movement via two routes at a time later, the force beyond the wire has grown to a company, and you are off to the races again.

The alternative way in on this map is along the road on the your right. That walks right in to the German "firepower woods" position, covered in front by open ground. You saw that position resist mere heavy weapons fire and a few 120mm shells. It is spread reasonably well, includes a trench beyond the woods proper and the bunker, both relatively immune to indirect arty. There are infantry positions deeper in the woods, who tend to reduce to flags when pinned, then recover and fire again. Some positions are specifically set up to see the open but not the cover beyond it. And it has a gun.

It is, nevertheless, an eminently destroyable position, if you make it a point of main effort. The bunker can be dealt with by gun number 2 or the ATRs. The gun and trench can be dealt with via 82mm mortar fire. 50mms might even do the gun, or at least pin it indefinitely. To suppress the rest, you want more heavy weapons and you want 120mm, and any remaining HE from gun number 2. Then you need to put infantry in all the woods and houses just ahead of it, about 100m shy. Their firepower can keep them heads down.

Next, work a platoon diagonally forward toward the center of the village, in the cover along the road. Packet movement again, the rest of a full company shooting down anything that hits the moving unit. Build up a platoon there, and cross into the woods position around the location of the bunker (which obviously needs to be knocked out beforehand).

Main moral - full companies firing from cover, but spread one squad per tile, not packed. Packet movement from the lead platoon. And heavy lifting vs. the stuff hardest for the infantry, from the towed guns and mortars on map, not just the off map prep. That part you had right, just beating up the German infantry with it, to make the village center easier when you get there.

I hope this helps.

[ December 20, 2005, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: JasonC ]

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Buggeration and Hell!

I have to go back to work for a week or so, and won't be back until Boxing Day. Anyone who wants to donate a capable laptop so I can play CM while away but not actually working is free to do so. Send me an Email and we'll arrange details. in fact, if anyone wants to pay me to play CM full-time, I am also open to that. It'll be relatively cheap, I figure we can get by on $Cdn 35,000 a year or so. This used to be about $US 0.72, but since the Canadian economic surge has inflated to about $US 5.26, honest. Any takers?

At any rate, thanks for the response, JasonC. It is a relief to know that I am both in a sense getting it and at least somewhat aware of where my failures lie, even if not neccessarily how to fix them.

I think that I really need to work on my terrain appreciation. Is there anywhere that has a listing of the standard LOS blocking effects? ie. how far will scattered trees block? How far pines, how far brush, etc? This would be helpful, or I guess I could just attempt to try and take more notice of it in-game... As well, what is a safe 'packing' distance for infantry in various cover? You mention one squad or det per tile, but have mentioned 14m in cover as a guideline to avoid neighbour suppression elsewhere. Does the type of cover make a difference for this?

The info regarding movement rates is solid gold as well - I had not realised that it was so easy, mathematically. For infantry, what are the ratios vs move for other types? ie. how much faster is run, et al.

I realise through searching the board that there may not be readily available answers to these technical questions, so failing these I guess I am just going to have to develop a feel for it on my own time. Damn, I have to get a job where I actually live. See above if anyone reading this has excess cash and/or a taste for philanthropy.

I felt that I used my arty and heavy weapons well last time, although I was rapidly running out of support ammo by the end. The question I have is what happens when your squads run out of ammo? Clearly the answer seems to be insert the reserve platoons, but then you run into a couple of problems, one being that you have to bunch to do a passage of lines, and two that your FP is going to be reduced while this passage is going on. This is where I get a bit confused. You talk about not pushing forward until conditions are good to do so, but about running out of ammo while you are waiting? I admit that it would make a big difference to take out the Bunker earlier, and use HE to punish the objective HMG, but...

Wait a minute, I just answered my own question, didn't I?

Ok. At any rate, I won't get a real chance to try this out until after Xmas, so here's hoping that all who read this have a great and safe holiday season.


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CK - LOS blocking distances vary with the seasons. It takes more trees to block LOS in winter than in summer. But roughly, when it isn't winter foliage it takes more than one full tile of woods or pines to block LOS completely - generally you can see through 25m of the stuff, you won't see through 40m.

The rule of thumb is you want 2 full wood or pine tiles on the LOS to cut it, and only one if you expect to see. Scattered trees you can see roughly twice as far. Note this also means initial range in woods interiors is grenade range, while initial range in large bodies of scattered trees ("open woods") is SMG range.

The brush and wheat stuff never actually cuts LOS, it just reduces spotting ranges. Those depend on the observor and the movement state. You can sneak to about 125m of a single unit in brush or wheat, provided you are deep in it (more than a tile), not right at the edge. On advance you will be seen at more like 250m, which is still a lot better than open. You can also make them lose you again when you go stationary, sometimes.

As for movement rates, run is twice as fast as move, but leads to "tiring" if done for a single full minute (in perfect conditions). You can gain one minute in approach time that way. But its best use is for short dashes across open areas. The idea is to be across completely before a firing cycle comes around. Most units can fire 6 times a turn to the time between shots is 10 seconds. A running unit can cross 30m in that time. Of course there is some luck about when he sees you and where he is in his firing cycle when you enter his LOS or the open.

As for other infantry movement types, their rates are basically the same as move. They are more tiring and effect morale and willingness to fire back, and for assault, involve a longer command delay. Move to contact on the other hand causes no fatigue and stops to fire the instant someone is picked up - very useful inside cover. You just risk remaining stationary if there is already someone in sight etc.

Sneak is slow, 25m a minute. Not all that fatiguing though. You can go 75m over 3 minutes before tiring. It eats time more than fatigue. Spotting is poor, too.

Medium speed teams on move are just as fast as ordinary infantry. The slow teams - larger MGs and mortars, wire FOs, etc - move only 50m a minute, half the speed of ordinary infantry.

On packing distance, shots within 25m cause very light suppression, typically alerted for a single burst. Shots within about 10m cause much more serious suppression, close to half the effect on the targeted unit itself. The reason I have different rules for different amounts of cover is you care a lot more about the light stuff if the overall protection is low, and cover panic is a danger. If you are only in 12-14%% exposure pines, you won't even notice the light stuff. If you are in the open, it can be enough to prevent any rally by an already pinned unit.

If you have the room, 26m is better. But good cover is valuable and not always plentiful. It is better to have 2 squads 14m apart in the same woods tile, but 14% exposed, than one of them in the middle of said tile and the other in 70% exposed open ground because there wasn't room.

You can go overboard on this point, though. HE doesn't care very much, and a big round hitting that tile will easily clobber both squads. Think of it a little like stacking in squad leader. You are risking twice the fire effect for the enemy, to make a stronger fire group and get a good TEM for two units rather than one.

Similarly with large heavy buildings, you can occupied the corners. In large wood, you can fit two units comfortably on the long axis. All the small buildings are one squad only affairs. Yes the game will let you put two at opposite corners, and sometimes that is needed to get an HQ in command distance or as a temporary piece of choreography for a whole platoon's dance. But you don't want to make a habit of it - fire into the building will hurt them all.

On how you avoid running out of squad ammo, if you budget it over the length of scenarios it will never be enough. The largest loads in the game can only fire for 10 minutes, while the better armed types get only 5 to 7. So, don't budget it over the time! Budget it over the *enemy*.

What I mean by that is, if the odds are about even I need one squad to break another squad over its ammo load. If I'm attacking I can get away with a platoon only breaking 2. If I am defending, a platoon has to break more like 4-5. They don't have to kill them completely, but they can't just "tickle" them and then see them rally, either.

This means squad infantry needs to be applied in unit destroying doses, not dribs and drabs. Gang up on somebody and trash him, instead of putting a whole platoon at "shaken" with the worst at "pinned". Two minutes later, the second of those is gone completely. Instead of suppressing 3 units for 3 minutes and just holding them temporarily, you could have broken the first, then the second, then the third.

It also means short arcs or arcs exclusively into open ground - the latter for defenders - or both. On the attack I generally use 150m arcs for infantry types with LMGs and rifles, and I use 75m from SMG infantry. The lower ammo, lots of automatics types (e.g. Russian 1943H, with 2 DP LMG and 32 ammo), I will frequently keep on 100m arcs. Fire by whole platoons at those ranges break things, even into cover.

Defenders sometimes do not want to let the enemy get that close. Sometimes the infantry needs to use arcs as long as 200, 250m. I've occasionally used them at 300m in open steppe. But such shots are hopeless for reaching the required number of enemy breaks, if taken into cover.

You can only afford to fire at longer range than the attacker if the target is 65-70% exposed. If he is 25% exposed (light buildings, scattered trees, rough) and you are 10-14% (trenches, woods foxholes, heavy buildings, woods), his odds will fully compensate. If he holds his fire for shorter range he will outshoot you.

Understand, part of infantry fighting is "chicken", and firing early is flinching. How soon do you start firing, and can you take the other guy's without throwing away your own ammo yet. If he fires and uses half his ammo and doesn't stop you, and you then get to closer range - you've won half the battle. You have twice as much to throw left, and your overall effect will be higher, more concentrated in time, etc.

In the specific situation of waiting for fire support, the front guys would fire to keep down the incoming (if they must stay in LOS etc), the back guys would be on arcs or "skulking" out of LOS entirely. The front ones also often pin and don't get off all that many shots.

When you do hit, hit hard, mad minute at the nearest enemies. Don't try to spread fire over the whole enemy backfield. Break the near guys then roll the fire on to the next. You don't have to physically annihilate them, just break them. Massed fire at 1-2 man remnants is an incredible waste. They won't stop you anyway. Mass on *shooters*, units still effectively in the fight.

You can use the high ammo MG teams to maintain pins on units already hit, one each. Similarly with HE, use a minute or at most two on one target, then shift, leaving only an MG (foot or vehicle) on the old one. You aren't doing much damage once he is already down. But it is important to keep it, by leaving just enough on him to counteract rally.

As for low ammo units, they can defend their own area marginally. Back them off if there is any threat of counterattack or you are the defender, or if you need the cover. Otherwise leave them there and do not ask things of them. I try to put units on short arcs - 75m - when they get to 10-15 ammo, just so they can defend themselves. (SMGs are on arcs that short already, naturally). Also helps prevent low ammo automatic cease fires.

Fine questions.

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Originally posted by SteveP:

If others chime in with reports that they are able to complete the mission playing hot seat or after correcting the orientation, then that would be great. I guess then I'd be the one asking them how they did it. smile.gif I frankly think it would be great if others did try it that way, because I think people would learn more from really having to advance under fire for 400 meters rather than having to worry about only the last 150 meters.

Steve, the issue you've raised intrigued me smile.gif , so I also modified 110 so the MG is facing in the Russian direction at start (called it "110bis" smile.gif ).

With the original 110 I was eventually able to defeat the MG by following Jason's method and internalizing his lessons. Many, many thanks to Jason for these scenarios, BTW, they have greatly increased my understanding of CMBB in particular and of WW2 era tactics in general.

But I regret to say that I have thus far been unable to defeat the MG when it starts out facing toward the Soviet advance :( . I will keep trying, based on the assumption that it is possible and that I have simply not mastered the method yet.

But regardless, the two principles which I've learned from 110 & 110bis, namely "keep squads in command" and "maintain proper intervals to avoid collateral suppression" are invaluable smile.gif .

I also intend to create & play "bis" versions of 111/112 as well, just for fun (and aggravation smile.gif ).

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