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Winter Wonderland

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Well, this scenario has me beat, comlpetely beat, and then totally beat again. Playing as the German I seem to have no chance at all taking the hill back.

Since all scenarios seem to have a chance and tactic to learn I assume I am being an idiot and missing something here.

Has anyone ever done well as the Germans in this scenario, and if so what did you do?

Just when I thought I was getting pretty good at this I get my tail kicked hard by a scenario.

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Yes I did well at it, against the AI anyway. I still lost more men than I'd have liked, and I wrote off one flag, but got the other two and wiped out 2/3rds of the defenders.

First things first - it is deep snow so forget about any fancy footwork. You plod using "move", that is all. LOS is extremely short, and that provides your basic cover for maneuvering. You simply stay back out of LOS until you want to engage, where you want to engage.

Then you face the problem, you start in the open and they start in cover with foxholes. They are likely stationary at the moment of contact. If you have no cover they will kill your first unit into LOS, by pinning them at the first trigger pull. Nobody else will get close rapidly due to the slow movement in snow. The shot guy dies. That is the problem, right?

So, you have to get out of the open snow. There are three flags thus 4 segments of the wooded ridge road away from the flags - either end, and two middle segments. You want to get full platoons into some of those segments without initiating a contact at all. Just infiltrating in, to the road, between the Russian positions.

I chose to start with the left end. One platoon went for that edge, the second went between the first flag on the left and the second. The last group, off at the right end, went parallel to the road a long way, staying far enough to avoid LOS to the road anywhere and with flanker guards to see anyone coming, until they reached a position between the second and third flag. Then the went to the road there.

Each force once on the road, orients along it. Half the platoon across, then turn. Pick one direction, leaving a scout (half squad e.g.) to give notice of anyone coming up your tail. Don't press everywhere. I picked the left flag for the first attack. The idea is to hit the position from both directions along the road, while nothing is happening elsewhere. After you are sure that one is going down, send people at the next, including whatever you can pull out of the first fight early. When the first fight is mopped up, leave some ragged out low ammo guys to hold the flag, the rest head along the ridge to the next position.

By having men along the roads before the first attack, at multiple points, you can prevent any reinforcements from reaching the flag area you "pick on" first.

The method of actually attacking is to creep along the woods on either side of the road using move to contact. To contact is essential, to make the halt the instant a trigger it pulled. After the first minute ends, others use "move" to barely get into LOS of any spotted shooters. You overwhelm those. You have to be pretty aggressive about expecting them to go heads down and pushing another unit into LOS, because otherwise you just wind up with 2 units in range, one on each side of the road.

The FTs at 32m are fine for this, but should not lead. Too fragile at first shot. They use area fire at the edge of LOS. The tank hunters fight by moving for 30m away, then "area fire - use explosives" to toss in their grenade bundles. (Think of them as flash-bangs - you want to set one off then move an ordinary unit into LOS distance of the target). You don't need actual LOS with either, close counts. The best range can see the edge of a foxhole but not full ID of the guy in it. Avoid area fire with the ordinary infantry - it increases friendly fire risks and spooks everybody around.

The FTs and grenade bundles are supplimental weapons. Mostly, your infantry has to do the shooting, get a unit heads down, then move another closer and shower them with grenades etc. The Russians don't like getting shot, even in cover. They aren't high quality and it is night. The problem is typically the new shooters that unmask as you advance. Short movements are the main solution. It helps a lot to hit a position from both sides. You advance LOS into it, and quickly get a sense of where they are.

At some point in these fights you have to abandon exclusive reliance on the cover provided by the woods strips along the road. What needs to take its place is fire, suppression. Most enemies are too far for LOS, the close ones are pinned, then I can move in the open here. Just far enough to reach that foxhole, then halt and pull triggers.

What caused most of my losses after the first trigger pull stuff was a few HQs that wouldn't stay down catching guys in the open occasionally, and the unforeseen shooters a bit farther back, when I thought the woods were clear up to here, or there wouldn't be anyone off the road there. I also had some problems with panicky men causing pile ups along the road, sometimes in range of the enemy, getting too many men suppressed with each shot.

At the end I was racing remnants up the road to the middle flag, pressing and taking it from the center, and had a few guys fending off nosing Russians coming from the third. I ended with too many of my own men down, but two thirds of the Russians killed or captured, and 2 out of 3 flags in my hands.

Kudos to Berli by the way, for an unusual and challenging scenario. You really have to use small infantry tactics well to get it to work.

P.S. - how to infiltrate in, is of course "very carefully". You want the full formation that is going to, in a column, pretty tight. Then it is a packet movement thing. One half squad moves up to the road, everybody else motionless. If he isn't shot, the other team in that squad follows. They make very short move to contact moves to get more space. When there are two there that haven't been seen, you send the rest in narrow column between them, all able to move out now. The guys already in woods cover fan out to expand the position until it holds you all. If the lead guys are seen and shot, you let them run as best you can, and try farther away from the flag and whatever shooters did it.

[ May 22, 2005, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: JasonC ]

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