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Not Another AAR?! Tux Vs. Myglas


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Hiya folks. I have been invited to meet the worthy Myglas in battle over the forthcoming weeks, and to post a 'DAR' on these boards during the meantime. So, without further ado:

The year is 1943, and I am a German commander (again!) with 1111 points to spend on forces which I shall then commit to a Meeting Engagement on a Random map. As the sharper of you will notice, the fact that I have 1111 points to spend reflects the fact that my forces will suffer 10% casualties before they reach the battlefield in order to inject a further degree of realism and uncertainty into proceedings. I stopped short of selecting 20% or above since Myglas is inexperienced at PBEM and Quick Battles, and I didn't want to give him too much of a nasty surprise when it came to setup.

Force mix and quality are unrestricted, but we have limited ourselves to 50% (max.) spent on armour, and Veteran as the maximum experience level which we are allowed to purchase.

My force selection is as follows:

1 x Jager '42 Company

2 x additional HMG 42s

1 x PzB 39 ATR

1 x SPW 251/2

1 x Panzer IVF2 platoon

All units were purchased as Regulars. Setup and map screenshots to follow in due course.

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I had some 'chump change' left over at the end of my main force selection - not nearly enough for a Sniper or a Panzerschreck - and so I bought the ATR to button Myglas' armour early and to have a scout around if necessary. Of course, should Myglas have brought along any light armour I may also find an ATR useful in its intended role.

Never fear, it isn't a crucial unit. Maybe it won't even turn up on the board!

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We're off! My casualties are limited to a single HMG 42 and a couple of infantry squads.

The map is as shown below - very nice with lots of lovely dead ground from which mortar-halftracks can operate safely! :)

myglasMAP.jpg

I have decided to carry my HMGs and a reduced platoon forwards along the main road leading towards the large flag (following the green arrow). I will allow two tanks to 'Hunt' their way along the final leg to engage any armour/ other forces which Myglas might rush forwards along the red arrow shown. Once my advanced force reaches the small hamlet which contains the flags they should be able to set up a formidable defensive 'core' while the main body of my infantry joins them on foot (following the blue arrow), under the command of my Company HQ.

MyglasMAP1.jpg

I toyed with the idea of leaving a couple of Panzers on the bottom right peak in order to interdict enemy movements from range, but I was afraid of Myglas having positioned guns in the two positions marked by red circles, and so let them join the main force for their own saftey. I am otherwise very happy with my tanks - only one was bumped down to 'Green' and they have an excellent HQ with double morale and double command bonuses.

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Jo's got it. I gave us both a 10% 'haircut' during force selection, remember?

Turn 1

All goes to plan without any contact made. When I gave my orders I fast moved my tanks straight across the awkward junction near the large flag so as to get them moving more quickly. I knew they couldn't actually follow this path because the patches of open ground involved were too steeply inclined, so I was very happy to see them all weave their way around the paved junction of their own accord during playback - perhaps the pathfinding in this game isn't so bad after all.

Meanwhile my infantry and support forces move up behind them:

Myglas1.jpg

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I've sent the orders for Turn 2. Heavy weapons have been directed to their stations and need only reach them before contact is made in order to form a very strong base of fire:

Myglas2.jpg

If all goes to plan, I shall have a Machine Gun in building A, two MGs in B, a decent platoon HQ in C, one of his regular squads in D and a veteran squad in E. Both squads are slightly under strength, but should be able to hit any infantry cresting the nearby hilltops very hard, supported by the MGs to their rear.

I have also assigned preliminary positions to my infantry Main Body, although these all use 'Move To Contact' and are subject to change once Myglas' axis of advance is ascertained.

Finally, a stealthy HQ and my ATR team have been diverted across to check my right flank:

Myglas3.jpg

There is a distinct possibility that his forces are already beginning to cross this dead ground 'bowl' towards positions less than 100m away from my flank.

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Turn 3

For some reason I'm in the habit, these days, of not noticing obviously significant features of the terrain until too late. This time I happen to have done it 'in the public eye', so to speak. Bugger.

Halfway through the minute three tank contacts are located closing rapidly on my right flank - the feature which I didn't notice and/ or move to cover until last turn.

Myglas4.jpg

My units are caught completely unawares. I have used the orders phase to race my tanks into position to counter the threat, but at the expense of exposing myself to any forces Myglas may move down the centre. If Myglas' tanks are nearer the ridgeline than their contact markers suggest then I can expect to lose at least one or two Pz IVs next turn. I am relying on luck, now, to carry me through and hand me back the initiative which I have thrust away from myself so early and so carelessly. If I survive this minute without significant losses, I will thank my lucky stars and arrange a proper plan of action.

Bugger, lol.

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Tux,

Sound travels much further in the cold. Perhaps you will have more time to correct than you realize. Well, hopeful thinking. Looks like you are starting the fireworks a whole lot faster this time around, although I think you were hoping for a few more minutes. We await the outcome with trepidation.

Heinrich505

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Turn 3

Very soon after the start of the third minute of action a Soviet SPG is spotted moving into position to cover most of the target village. At the moment the best guesstimate my units can come up with appears to be along the lines of an SU-122:

Myglas5.jpg

I'm perfectly happy with this ID if it remains as is. In the next orders phase I will pull back any infantry units under immediate threat and will be confident of my ability to stalk and kill the SU. Only two things could make that a real difficulty: 1) A large force of Soviet turreted AFVs, or 2) a well-placed gun...

Which brings me, sadly, to the next significant development during this turn. Remember that patch of wooded hilltop I highlighted in the setup stage, and which persuaded me not to leave any Panzers in the open in my setup phase? Yep, Myglas thought it was a good place too. My Panzers, in rushing to avoid the three AFVs heard last turn, drive into clear view of that hilltop. Two shots ring out, but thankfully they are both abysmally aimed and fall well wide of any tanks. Unfortunately my tanks' first volley of return fire is equally wide of the mark and the Red gunners are allowed a third, more carefully-taken shot...

Myglas6.jpg

The shell swoops past the 'subordinate' Pz IV I deliberately ordered in front, and instead convincingly kills my platoon HQ. Sod's Law, again?! In any case, the gun is swiftly suppressed, and disappears to be replaced by a Lost Contact Marker seconds before the break.

Elsewhere Soviet infantry have taken up positions in each of the three buildings along my flank, and have come under determined interdicting fire from my infantry Main Force, most of whom have now stopped to engage.

Myglas7.jpg

In particular I have managed to disembark two heavy Machine Guns in a building well-placed to cover the whole of the approach to the target town from the Russians' current position. Their erstwhile transport is also sitting ready to assist in hitting anything that shows itself over the ridgeline.

Myglas8.jpg

The last positive to be gained from this turn is that I have successfully raced a Pz IV to the far right of the map, from which position it can threaten the flank of Myglas' units and, hopefully, force them more round to the centre:

Myglas9.jpg

Orders phase to follow shortly.

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Not too much to report during orders, hence the lack of screenshots. I've put a single HMG and my green tank onto the suppressed gun. With a bit of luck the tank will kill it, but I'm hoping to at least keep it suppressed until my foremost Pz IV is safely between the buildings. Unfortunately the aforementioned PZ IV isn't going to move for 14 seconds due to the loss of his HQ. How very annoying.

My mortar halftrack is racing up to the large building on the big flag. From behind that it will be able to target the gun's position next turn.

My Main Force infantry have been given new movement orders to take them closer to the target, and two of my remaining PZ IVs are area firing at occupied buildings. One of them I know to contain an ATR team, and I don't want them constantly buttoning my tanks over the next few turns.

Hopefully I'll be given another minute or two before Myglas moves any more potent AFVs into contact with my tanks.

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Tux,

Here in the States, we call it Murphy's Law ("Anything bad that can happen will."), and engineers and others doing complex things fear and respect it. It has numerous scary corollaries, too.

If that really is an SU-122, you're dealing with the pre-Kursk version of a Zveroboi, for it'll kill anything you can bring to the fight, including a Tiger 1!

http://www.battlefield.ru/content/view/60/45/lang,en/

Most unfortunate regarding your PL, but at least you have fire, so should stay warm in that part of town. OTOH, if that IS an SU-122, don't get too attached to those houses!

Looks like a sharp fight against a worthy foe.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Tux,

Ouch, loss of the platoon tank leader. Figures. Had to laugh about John K's comment regarding the heat from the fire. Talk about finding a silver lining in a dark cloud....

Good flanking move to the right. Keep that gun suppressed, and work a flank shot out on the suspected SU. This one is heating up. Still, if only you'd grabbed some flame thrower tanks [thinks wistfully about Tux's last engagement].

We are all enjoying this one. Anticipation is growing.

Heinrich505

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Elmar Bijlsma,

He may be, but I sure wasn't. One would expect, all other readily observable things being equal, the nearer tank would've been targeted. Obviously, this doesn't always hold.

We read, for example, that Panzer, Jagpanzer, Flak and PaK crews were, prior to GOODWOOD, carefully trained to identify and target command tanks, FO tanks and similar. Worked great and really screwed up the attack, but this doesn't seem readily ascribable to that cause. Learned something new!

Heinrich505,

When things are falling apart, humor is vital. Trust me on this, for I'm an expert!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Elmar Bijlsmar, I was vaguely aware of that, but my Platoon Leader was only regular like the others, so I didn't expect him to be targetted before the one in front of him.

Turn 4

This turn doesn't go too badly at all: The SU-122 takes two shots at my infantry in the large building, but causes only a single casualty while allowing me to measure 23 seconds between it's shots. For safety, then, I will consider myself to have a 20 second gap between each of the SU's shots in which to move or attack it.

With this in mind I am withdrawing my infantry from the building. I am also reversing my green Pz IV into position to take an extremely tight shot at the SU - I'm not even certain that my tank will have LOS once it gets to this position:

Myglas10.jpg

Secondly, Myglas has moved a single T-34 forwards into LOS of my forces, but not far enough for it to threaten anything immediately. Myglas also seems to have buttoned his T-34 before driving it forwards. I have a regular Pz IV assigned to shoot 'n' scoot for a shot at this one asap, and am hoping to get a shot off without even being spotted in return.

Myglas12.jpg

Elsewhere I spot a distant, lone SU-122 doing an AI-style dance in the far corner of the map at 'A'. From what I saw of his movements, I expect he may possibly try and sneak around the back, possibly to where the gun is sited (and has been successfully suppressed btw). My flanking Pz IV is sitting still until I know more about what I expect to be at least a platoon's worth of T-34s. Once I think it will be safe from these and the gun, It can move out from 'B' and hit Myglas from the side.

Myglas11.jpg

The three yellow lines you can see all follow the general direction of dispersion of a series of 82mm mortar strikes which have struck empty ground over the last couple of minutes. I am pretty certain then that the graveyard at 'C', the second area which I circled in the setup phase as posing a possible threat, houses at least two mortar teams.

My mortar halftrack is feet away from reaching its destination and I have ordered it to then immediately begin bombarding Myglas' gun.

I'm looking forward to the next few turns. Folds in the ground make it difficult to obtain LOS beyond 100m or so on this map, unless you sit like a lemon on top of an open hillcrest, so there are sure to be many surprises in store for both of us yet!

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