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MOUT help needed - To The Volga


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I really need help. I am trying to play through the 'To the Volga' campaign. I would never have thought to try it, til i heard someone in the forums complaining about its size. It is huge, and it is gory and all the rest, but I thought i could get through it, I mean how hard could it be to take a few thousand of the pinnacle of humanity and run them through a city full of untermenschen?

well it went to hell a few precious seconds after my first squads broke cover. So I went back and tried it again. This time, with a thick smoke cover. They make it across the 'no mans land' and into the buildings, only to be butchered just inside the front door. The smoke only serves to decrease the initial fire ranges down to 'danger close' which means that my 'advancing' forces get the full brunt of fire when they enter any of the buildings. So then I went back again and changed the smoke cover to a nice light HE barrage on the occupied buildings during the approach.

This lead me to my next problem how do you coordinate your assualt? does everything have to broken into minute chunks ( most likely a foolish observation, on second thought, being that everything works in minute chunks). My people go hustling across the street to get into the building scant moments before the last of the HE comes along. Or I stop my fire too early and the Reds are digging out when my forces arrive, not so much worse for wear. Magnus couldn't have had it so bad.

So my question is: In a definitely Urban Environment, what is the best way to cross wide streets or squares? Armour first, to soak up all the ATR fire and flee into the night, or Infanry first, to absorb as my Maxim fire as possible?

I just can't seem to get the whole thing rolling in any semblance of an assault.

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The way you cross a street is HE first. Then small packets of infantry. The first won't make it if there are still defenders up and firing, but the rest of your force then blows away those defenders. The next small packet - or the next, or the next - makes it. Once there, it fires from inside cover, advancing only enough to make room for the next packet behind it. When a full company or so has accumulated on the other side and most enemy shooters are dead or cowering, then you set up the next jump, start sending HE over for it, etc.

Movement does not take ground. Movement by armor first does not take ground, movement by masses with bayonets does not take ground, movement by masses with grenades does not take ground, movement of specialist infantry with FTs and DCs behind smoke does not take ground. Fire takes ground. Kill the enemy from across the street.

You send packets to force them to fire, or to get shooters and grenade throwers close to them and in cover if they won't. But fire dominance will take ground, by emptying it of live defenders. You have to give it time to work, pull triggers for long enough, do the packet threat thing as often as needed to get the amount of fire down to managable levels. The trade involved is your packet attempters (the first of whom usually get shot to heck) for revealed defenders, who you shoot to heck right back. After trading through the first layer of defenders this way, you can advance and set it up again, and trade through the next lot.

Overall, do not think of the mission as movement related in the first place. You should not be focused on how far men have moved, but on how many enemy you've managed to find and kill. If you can see plenty of enemy already who aren't dead yet, don't move, shoot.

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This a new question and unrelated, but kinda. I have noticed that all the Russian troops, when defending from a building, are not right to the front of the building, but are almost always back some, into the building, seemingly to use it the same way, a unit would use woods for cover ' getting more cover for being back further into it'. Is this what the AI is doing, and is it a valid tactic, as in, will my forces get better protection from being back into the building a couple metres? it doesn't seem to help them much, but I am now applying liberal doses of HE to any place where Russians are even suspected to be, which is working wonders.

Another question. To me, it seems that in CM the only real unit cohesion is up to the platoon level, beyond that Company and battlion commands only really seem to be good for the 'extras', commanding spotters and heavy weapons teams. Is there any point to keeping units cohesively united, above the platoon level?

Right now all my forces are organized by the platoon, with everyone higher acting as gun/ machine gun battery commands. Or as substitute commands, if the Platoon commander eats it.

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Higher commanders command any unit. From any platoon. They are therefore you "flex taskers". A formation with one in its midst can maneuver much more flexibly than isolated cookie cutter platoons, which have everyone tied to their sole HQ with a short leash. See, the squad just passed from the radius of their platoon to the radius of the company HQ, without the HQs needing to move. Suddenly, twice the range of action. And you can send forces from right to left one squad at a time, in a "ripple". Etc.

Your higher HQs are the most important infantry type units you have, if you use them properly. Ones with no bonuses you can waste on rallying broken units behind the fighting line, and have command teams etc in the meantime. But the good ones belong right up in the midst of the infantry, commanding mixed teams drawn from the platoons nearest them, with every special weapon desired added.

Just because a platoon HQ *can* command its organic squads doesn't mean it *has to*. Which is better for them, the one company HQ with +2 morale and +1 combat and command, or the solitary butterbar with +1 stealth and nothing else they drew?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am currently, or rather continuously still playing "To the Volga", against the AI at double strength! :cool:

A full frontal coverring Smokescreen, WTF, that's a complete waste of HE firepower, IMHO for sure. Jason C is right, the way forwards is through fire dominance not manouevre. ;)

I hid all my vehicles and armour behind buildings, placed 27 out of 29 guns in creater firing positions within HQs with ? bonuses comand and deployed all of my infantry forces in forward firing positions, that is bunched up in the buildings along their walls and windows. Almost all HQs were up as well if not commanding guns or spotting for the artillery. I kept the pioneers in further back buildings but still with fields of fire. Everything hides. :cool:

Bare in mind that I'm fighting against a double strong enemy force, which means my 2 grenadier, 3 infantry & 1 pioneer Btlns and 1 & 2/3 Coys of Motorcycle troops with 35 HMGs are fighting against 2 Regiments of Russian Infantry with SMG troops and other support units. And for good measure the Russians have 58 guns and 34 tanks. My AFVs consist of 32 Panzers, 2 SP-sIGs, 4 PJs, 7 PSWs and IIRC 14 Sd Kfz 251(MGs) & 3 Sd Kfz 251 (37mm). I'm gonna call those odds one to one-ish.

My plan was to fire all of my Artillery from the first turn upon the back third of the battlefield because that is where the AI deploys most of his guns and tanks. Over the first few tuns my tank killing Panzers will move out to cover the clear areas towards the back with one team of a Pltn each of PzIIIJs & PzIVF2 on the far left, while the other such team will move from the centre to the centre-right to cover all that wide area of open terrain between the two main sets of buildings. My 7 50mm Paks were positioned in order to cover these areas as well as was one 88mm Flak for each area too. The other two 88mm Flaks are in reserve still being towed. (Once positioned they can't be moved even between operations and I'll need them later.) Anyway this anti-gun & anti-tank part of the operation has worked out exceptionally well, since these forces have only suffered one casualty while bagging all 6 of the enemy's exposed tanks and about ten guns or so that I know of, so far. It must be way more because his ten AAGs haven't shot down any of my planes while four of them have been KO'd by my Panzers. smile.gif

The relavent part of my plan has to do with how I'm gonna prepare the battlefield without using any of my off-board Artillery for fire preparation againt the Russian Infantry deployed in forward buildings, rubble and in creaters & trenches. The answer is through fire dominace achieved through direct firing weapons, from the big stuff, 4 150mm sIGs (plus 2 SP sIGs) through 8 75mm leIGs & 8 PzIVF 75mm Stummels, 6 20mm leFlak and 6 20mm cannon armed PSWs, through 35 HMG teams & 14 Sd Kfz 251 MG mounted to the little or all the small arms of the Infantry Squads and HQs.

As with the Sabre Panzer Platoons, the anti-personel Panzer Pltns of PzIIIHs & PzIVFs move out against the main building infront of the Panzergrenadier Regiment, the thicker PzIVs more forwards than the thinner PzIIIHs because of all the likely Russian ATR fire and so that the Stummels might use some canister if the can! Then comes out the SP 150mm sIGs to fire into the rubble areas and then since I'm sure about the ATR situation the Armoured Cars and Personal Carriers come out to add to the fire storm but as I said only when I'm sure but more to provide extra direct (area) fire support to help cover the belatent advance of my Grenadiers. Anyway that's what my AFVs will be doing, direct firing in lieu of artillery preparation or a smokescreen.

Direct heavy fire support will be provided by all those field guns, 4 150mm sIGs, 8 75mm leIGs, 6 20mm leFlak and when freed up the 7 50mm Paks & two 88mm Flaks. Some minimal indirect fire support will be provided by the Sd Kfz 251 81mm mounted mortars, although I plan to save some of their rounds for dealing with Russian guns later on during the first battle, but I need to add them early to hit some rubble areas. Now that's a lot of fire power especially when you add on the 16 anti-personal Panzers and all the other AFVs which will be handled in a tactical manner that hopefully ensures both their survival and fire power contribution.

Finally the Infantry, HQs and HMGs will all be up concentrated and area firing all across the front into the buildings and other lkely enemy occupied creaters, rubble and trenches. At a quick count that will be approximately 220 LMGs, 350 SMGs and 1500 rifles all area firing towards the forward enemy areas. After a few minutes of all this fire the Russians will be pinned and suppressed if not outright dead or pannicked. At the most the AI will have deployed 1/3 of his Infantry forces in his forward zone so this will mean that I will have a 3 on one advantage in small arms not to mention all that direct gun and AFV fire power!

OK that's all gone to plan and I'm moving my Grenadiers forwards into the front of the enemy buildings and that's where I am at. First I moved forward the 2 Pltn Kradshutzen Kompany just into the light building on the far left in front of the gap between the two sets of buildings infront of the Grenadier Regiment with the two small piles of rubble between and infront. Since they made their small advence or redepoyment in the face of the enemy I deemed it right to let the Grenadier Regiment forwards across the open ground and roads and into the buildings fronts opposite them. However, I'm not just simply running them across this terrain but advancing and assaulting through as much cover in creaters and rubble as possible while also area firing ahead of them. I've definately worked the forward enemy successfully over because I haven't been chewed up yet and I've still got all my guns and vehicles and there all exposed. Bloody hell, I've got a lot of troops!

Interestingly I have received no enemy artillery HE fire in return so far, touch wood, I must have suppressed all of his spotters along with his forward troops, OTOH mind you I'm completely all out of off-board artillery rounds now. :eek:

Anyway errantrecce I hope this might explain a different approach and gives you some ideas. BTW Jason C I wouldn't play this way against a human opponent especially bunching up all my troops in the front of the buildings shoulder to shoulder, suppression is a bitch that close together but in this case I was counting on gaining larger fire hit points from them this way. There is a reason why it is agood idea to deploy infantry deeper in a building errantrecce as you hinted, even if for no other reason than to spread out and not bunch up at the front walls of buildings where some light area or a single direct aimed fire at one of your units will cause casualties to and suppress most of the others around it.

(May be trying to control 500 units is a bit much! :confused: Why can't the AI command some of them, o'h why not!) :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by errantrecce:

My next problem [is] how do you coordinate your assualt? does everything have to broken into minute chunks ( most likely a foolish observation, on second thought, being that everything works in minute chunks). [Do] my people go hustling across the street to get into the building scant moments before the last of the HE comes along. Or I stop my fire too early and the Reds are digging out when my forces arrive, not so much worse for wear.

Magnus couldn't have had it so bad.

So my question is: In a definitely Urban Environment, what is the best way to cross wide streets or squares? Armour first, to soak up all the ATR fire and flee into the night, or Infanry first, to absorb as my Maxim fire as possible?

I just can't seem to get the whole thing rolling in any semblance of an assault.

Co-ordination is difficult with 500 units, the method that I'm using is direct area fire ahead of my troops by themselves and others moving in a leap frog fasion, HMGs and guns area firing further afield than where my infantry are moving to if near by during that minute, therefore the minute chuncks are working out fine. (I'd like to play in 30 second time chuncks myself.) That said I'm also trying to use concentrated mass to break into the depths of the buildings and co-ordinating that process in this big senario is a time consuming labourious nightmare. :rolleyes:

In answer to your last few questions firstly direct fire dominance is the answer that I'm endeavering to employ while to the second heavy armour first then light to soak up the ATR fire before it hits something that it is going to penetrate while yes you do use your infantry as well, but definately not to soak up HMG fire with their bodies but through their fire power upon likely enemy held firing positions and suppress them first then dominate them, work them over with your own HMGs and heavier direct fire guns before you advance the infantry across open areas. Think about what you would try in real life in such situations. ;)

Magnus must have had it tough for sure! Two things that I would like to add are firstly I'm trying not to create any more rubble or to set anything on fire. I find it harder to get the Russians out of rubble then the buildings and I want them for my troops to be able to use the advantage of two levels, easier movement, better sighting for fire etc. In 'To the Volga' I think the Russians are veterans and HE preparation isn't going to be all that effective in suppressing them for very long, since they recover quickly IME but OTOH a lot of direct fire, even area fire will successfully suppress and panick them much more effectively than indirected HE targetted fire does to them in buildiungs and in creaters and rubble. In 'To the Volga' fortunately as the Germans you have plenty of direct fire power and troops to effectively win this opperation through direct area firepower as the 'fire' part of fire and movement tactical method IMHO.

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