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Not Another AAR?! Tux Vs. Myglas


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I would be interested in an answer to that as well, Bert.

Leperechaun, yes I am aware of that trick, but it's one of the 'gamey' features of CM that I actually restrict myself from using for realism's sake. I haven't clicked on the gun's lost contact marker once since it appeared, and I don't intend to in future. It makes knowing when to stop shelling the git a bit awkward, yes, but I suppose that's just the way things were in real life? If I shell that one gun, in wooded terrain, for another whole minute I'll feel quite unlucky if it's still alive.

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Tux, Bert,

quoting myself from this thread:

I exploited the AI target routine often. Cost is a factor. Bringing up well-armored, pricey assets that are hard (but possible) to kill mixed with less armored, cheaper assets (with a bigger gun) did work. As did having plts with one non-HQ tank being of better quality.

Other factors: Hit prob, kill chance, sticking to targets (as in: higher hit prob), limited borg spotting during a turn.

2 otherwise identical targets approaching while no target is fully acquired yet will lead to the more expensive one receiving incoming.

"Otherwise identical" meant same hit chance, same (suspected) kill chance etc.

Note that most likely these calcs are not done for the real target but for the "expected" target as it is id'd at that time. Ie if your T34/85 targets the front of a hull down "StuG" that actually is a hull down JPzIV/70 you will see the hit and kill chance for a hull down StuG. 85mm kills the StuG, but not the JPz. So FOW brings in a random factor, too.

But then again it depends on which PzIV you use - 80mm front hull or 50mm front hull? Are they already fully id'd? In '44 the AI assumes 80mm front hull for not fully id'd IVs, in '42 it is 50mm - the armor of the most common PzIV of each period. If 80mm front hull, then hull up will reduce the kill chance but increase the hit chance, both most likely affecting the target routine but most likely in different directions.

So without knowledge of the code or some answer from Charles, there is just guessing.

But I firmly believe in the effect of points value on target selection - all other things equal, of course. My games usually saw PzIIIs leading with the HQ a bit back, then the PzIVs - with the HQ a bit back.

Gruß

Joachim

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Thanks for clarifying, Joachim.

Turn 8

An exceptionally frustrating turn, as turns go. A Maxim MG has set up in the distant hilltop building which I was, until recently, bombarding with a view to preventing such an occurence. It is now harassing my infantry, though so far without appreciable effect. In my orders for Turn 9 I have reassigned my green tank to complete the demolition of this building, thus hopefully silencing the MG until all of my foot units are in good cover.

Early in the minute Mylgas' second T-34 advances again. As it does so my infantry button its commander, as intended, and my Pz IV then begins hunting forward, as expected. Unfortunately a slight lapse in judgement on my part means my Panzer halts painfully short of gaining LOS to the tank:

Mylgas5.jpg

The situation will be corrected after 10 seconds of Turn 9, and I hope that means the end of this T-34 once and for all. In any case, this shortcoming was the first major frustration I underwent during Turn 8, and was basically down to my poor judgement in issuing movement orders.

Elsewhere, my judgement was perfect in the orders I issued to my two flanking tanks. They carefully hunt forwards during the turn and stop with LOS to a position 3m to one side of Mylgas' second gun. After approximately 50 seconds what I am still convinced can only be the two mortars that I noted early in the game open fire on my Panzers. Both tanks quite casually return fire, but only get one shot off before the minute ends. On 58 seconds one mortar shell lands way past my Panzers (the spread is going to be quite large at this range), and the game is held in limbo beyond 60 seconds as we wait for its counterpart from the second mortar to land. At this point I am already thinking through my orders for next turn... CRUMP

Mylgas4.jpg

I am stunned. Two 82mm mortars get off a shot or two each at my Panzer IVs from 800m away, and one of them is a direct hit! That's not the worst of it though; that one bloody shell, impacting after 60 seconds, killed the gunner of the tank it landed 'underneath' and damaged the ****ing gun of the one next to it! I call that a phenomenal return from a mortar, and an insanely frustrating thing to happen, from my point of view. So, during the orders phase for Turn 9 I can't order the tank on the left (in the screenshot above) to Area Fire at the gun because the gunner is dead and it is in a state of shock. Nor can I order the tank on the right to do anything useful, because CM models 'gun damaged' as meaning that the blast from a medium mortar round landing nearby has rendered all three of the bloody thing's weapons utterly useless. Main gun, co-ax, hull MG, you name it. Quite a shot, that, Mr. Mortar Man.

It's hard to express politely how p***ed off I am right now. :)

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Turn 9

Turn 9 is a definite improvement over Turn 8, although that's not saying much, I know. My green tank completes the demolition of Mylgas' distant cover and an MG42 of mine continues harassing the escaping units. At the same time Mylgas' second SU-122 is relocated when it fires at my moving ATR team.

Mylgas7.jpg

Unfortunately, Mylgas' second T-34 escapes yet again, reversing into cover even as my Panzer lines up a shot. It then proceeds to take a clear shot at some of my advancing infantry, and I cringe as I see the familiar shrapnel shower of cannister shot arch towards my men. Fortunately, despite being in open ground a mere 150m away, they escape unharmed, and quickly make it to safety!

Mylgas6.jpg

I expect the orders phase back some time later tonight. I plan to Area fire at Mylgas' second gun, now that my flanking Panzer has recovered from shock. I'll keep the two of those tanks together for now as well, and hope that Mylgas doesn't pick up on how vulnerable they are.

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Tux,

As you were detailing the falling of the mortar rounds, I said to myself, I have a bad feeling about this......crump. Oh C'mon, REALLY!! Yeah, amazing [shakes head with stunned look on face].

The only thing I can think of is that the gunner of the first tank was hanging out the wide open side hatch taking a leak (you did say they took an inordinately long time to fire, right?) when the mortar round landed underneath, and fragments automatically homed in a reverse fan pattern around the sides past the wheels and tracks, then reverse gravity spun them upward to kill the gunner. This same shrapnel then was drawn in by the vortex caused from the two mortar explosions going off in close concert (also known as the Magic Pixie Dust Explosion Effect), whereby deadly hunks of shrapnel were launched in a reverse parabola directly through the also open side hatch of the second tank, and then slashed around the interior of the tank, causing mayhem and destruction of the main gun, the coaxial mg and sights, and the hull mg.

Or, the Russians are using that secret magic homing mortar round that Kalashnikov had been working on in his spare time, where the round senses the ground coming up at it, and at the very last moment small gas jets fire from the side, causing the round to move horizontally a few meters and explode underneath a tank.

Very clever, those Soviets. Next thing you know, you'll have to watch for dogs running towards your tanks with long sticks extending up from backpacks on their backs.....I wouldn't put it past Mylgas to have purchased some of those experimental "Bomb Dogs" too, along with the horizontal mortar shells. They are pretty expensive, so don't expect to see any more, muhahaha.

Geez, what awful rotten bad luck. And, your guys got REALLY lucky to have avoided that cannister round. I've seen what happens to a squad that gets caught by that giant shotgun shell. 'Orrible stuff, mate.

You are keeping us on our toes with some really amazing stuff. One of the crewmen on your two damaged tanks must be named Murphy, Wolfgang Murphy from Dusseldorf, right? His "Law" is certainly in effect this day. Keep up the cool AAR. We are enjoying the action.

Heinrich505

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Cheers Heinrich.

Turn 10

Turn 10 goes very well for me. My flanking Panzer plants several HE shells very nearby Mylgas' second gun's last known position.

Mylgas8.jpg

Since my halftrack and spotting-HQ are still moving into position to take over gun-killing duties, I am going to let my tank hammer away at him for another minute, just to keep the pressure on.

One event that makes the decision to keep my Panzer tied up on Area Fire all the easier to make is the fate of Mylgas' second (and, I hope, last) T-34. My ATR 'scout' has done a very good job so far this game. It has drawn fire wherever it has gone, forcing Mylgas' units to reveal themselves, and has yet to take a casualty. This minute is no different; my ATR team, holed up in building A below, are remorselessly bombarded by the SU-122, Mylgas' two mortars and, crucially, his T-34 (which therefore leaves my exposed squad free to reach safety). The latter tank is oblivious to my Panzer IV finally gaining LOS and carefully lining up a shot. The gunner is ruthlessly accurate, and the T-34's turret takes a full penetration. A split second after the crew abandon the tank, a second round finishes the job:

Mylgas9.jpg

The Su-122 misses the building at A with both shots that it gets off, but Mylgas' mortars still manage to panic my veteran ATR team before running out of HE. I can tell they've run out because, as the minute draws to a close, whisps of smoke begin to emerge from the ground around Building A - HE ammo is gone and has given way to S.

I am very tempted, after this turn, to declare the situation 'stabilised'. Unfortunately this is war. Not only that, but it's CM-war. That means it ain't over 'til it's over and I have to keep on my toes. Part of that task involves making sure Mylgas keeps on his own toes, and so in my orders for next turn I am moving my gun-damaged tank out wide on my right flank. He's only going to do some minor recon work, but any info he can glean will be useful, and I will welcome the opportunity to lure Mylgas into 'countering' his movements.

From here, once I've killed Mylgas' guns and made sure his Su-122 can't spring any more nasty surprises, it should be plain sailing. The only doubt I have in mind is that Mylgas has been feeding his units (especially his armour) into the fight in a very piecemeal fashion so far. It's therefore going to take a few more minutes before I'm convinced he hasn't got any more dangerous assets to commit.

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Tux,

The twofer that victimized you far exceeds the best one I've ever pulled off. In mine, a 76mm mortar dropped one smack on a 231, killing it and the 251 which moved right alongside it at the moment of detonation. Believe it was trying to go around the 231, which was parked in order to hammer some of my infantry. Nice work on the T-34!

Your ATR team is benefiting, if that's the right word, from AI logic that prioritizes ATR teams as high threats, just like bazooka and Panzerschreck teams, which are hostile fire magnets. Never mind that this ATR is practically a death by laughter threat at this point in the war--barring a round through the TC's head! Doctrinally speaking, Myglas shouldn't have unbuttoned T-34s in combat. OTOH, he doesn't have much choice, because CMBB doesn't model the flag port which allowed a buttoned T-34 to signal, whether giving orders or acknowledging them. Thus, we're left with an ahistorical kluge concerning how Russian tanks fight. In order to be effective, they must unbutton, when doctrinally, they were required to fight buttoned.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Indeed an excellent reult with the mortar. The best I have managed are single kills with DF mortars. Generally I find I get an immobilisation.

Things to look forward to in good freaky happenings:

ATR taking out a MkIV

.50 mG getting a MiIV to bail

FlammpanzerII taking out a T34/85 head on : )

Killing a Sherman first shot at maximum Schrek range

Three Churchills by a shreck team in 60seconds

Churchill fighting a multi-shot duel with a Tiger at 80 metres and winning

oh lots of fun happenings : )

Of course if you are the person on the other side .....

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Very interesting. I love the fact that these 'theoretically possible' events do actually happen in CM - it adds a lot to the immersion.

Turn 11

Relatively little to report from this turn, I'm afraid. I'm beginning to think I may have broken the spine of Mylgas' forces since he doesn't appear to be pushing me any more to take any of the flags.

The flanking Panzer IV of mine that can still hurt things has kept firing at Mylgas' second gun, scoring several near misses. I'll call him off the case next turn, replace him with my halftrack asap and save his remaining HE rounds for any infantry who might show themselves.

One of Mylgas' mortars (the one I assume still has HE rounds remaining) had another crack at my two tanks, but only succeeded in persuading my gun-damaged tank's commander to button up. Towards the end of the minute the latter tank begins it's wide manoeuvre to the far right, and is the target of a single 122mm shot. Fortunately Mylgas' second SU crew are still terrible shots, and it hits the ground ~100m short.

Mylgas10.jpg

Having said they're terrible shots, the above picture gives away the fact that they did, eventually, land a 122 shell through the front window of my heroic ATR team's light building cover. The building went up in smoke and, unfortunately, so did my ATR. Poor little guys...

My immobile tank has spent this turn firing smoke shells at the area shown in the screenshot below (you can also see that he has been buttoned by a distant ATR eventually landing a hit half way through the turn).

Mylgas11.jpg

With perfect Prussian diligence and efficiency he has promptly smoked the **** out of that one 4 square metre area, rather than spreading it about to left and right a little as I'd have preferred. I suppose there was no way of me telling him that was how I wanted it, so all credit to him for hitting the bullseye with every shot! In any case, the intention was to blind the infantry units that I observed moving into the hilltop buildings a few turns ago. I would then use the cover to move my reduced platoon into the buildings they were meant to occupy in the opening minutes of the game. I'll still give this a shot next turn, since I can support them with two full AFVs (albeit only one of them mobile) and several HMGs.

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I found that ATRs are overrated. Though I could not get enough of them as Soviet in '45 vs hordes of halftracks, they were less effective than expected/hoped. Vet/crack HTs are hard to kill as the crews seldom bail. But if the ATRs are the only thing that is stealthy and has a chance to kill HTs it feels good to return fire with them.

But they do annoy and irritate the enemy. And this is what makes them valuable. The enemy will usually spend lots of points (in ammo) on killing them. Killing a 2-man team is tougher than killing 2 men in a squad. I remember a German ATR in a PBEM (NA '43) that succeeded in penetrating the side of a Lee. Maybe it hurt a Stuart. Enemy advance stopped. Massive incoming towards the general direction of the lone team in rough ground. Several turns till it went down. Reserves in place when the advance was resumed. That team probably did not hurt anybody. But it was the decisive unit. And I had laughed when I saw it in the scen's OOB (Tebourba gap or sumfink).

Thought about those stories when I read that Tux bought one. Now it looks like there is another story.

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I find them very useful as quick, cheap scouts. Better than LMG teams, since they button AFVs and kill ACs when required. I certainly can't think of a better way to spend an odd dozen-or-so points at the end of force selection.

As for stealthily combating halftracks, two or three 12.7mm 'Dushkas' work very well for me. They need a little range to remain hidden, but they readily mess up anything lighter than a full Panzer and much quicker than an ATR in my experience.

Turn 12 to be posted tomorrow.

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Fair point, I forgot you were playing a set scenario.

Turn 12

Turn 12 sees my 'neutered' flanking Panzer drive safely into the bowl and out of LOS of any guns or SUs. In so doing he can confirm once and for all that Mylgas has no further assets hidden down there to be committed in the future. Mylgas also has a nice, shiny new Lost Contact Marker to fret about. :)

The major development during this turn is an assault by Soviet infantry on my forward positions at the foot of the small hilltop. They use the smoke I fired, plus some extra from Mylgas' mortars, as cover, but only for the first few metres. By the end of the minute they have advanced all of 10m, and are in serious trouble:

Mylgas12.jpg

All of the Soviet soldiers are covered by smoke for another ~2m of forward movement. In my orders for Turn 13 I am going to give a few units some minor adjustment orders of 1-2m each in order to gain a nice, clear LOS to the attackers when they're out of the smoke. The attack must then surely fail in the face of two HMGs, more than a platoon of infantry and two Panzer IVs.

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If they ever get beyond the houses...

Turn 13

I am inclined to think this is the 'firework finale' - Mylgas seems intent on going out with a bang. Infantry units duly make themselves known all over the hilltop and its approaches, and advance on the buildings which provide the only available cover. They are engaged decisively by my own units, and they will not make it off that hilltop. Before the minute is out units are seen crawling for cover and fleeing in terror from various points on the hill.

Mylgas13.jpg

Next turn I will order the demolition of another of those buildings by my Panzers (if they have LOS) and let my small arms and MGs take care of any men who show their faces.

Over on my right flank a single infantry squad comes out of hiding in amongst some rubble and inflicts a casualty on my nearest squad:

Mylgas14.jpg

A single infantry unit also makes a dash for the main flag. Both of these units will be destroyed in the next couple of minutes by tanks and squad fire.

I'm not sure there are going to be many more turns left to play in this game, folks.

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No such luck I'm afraid.

Turn 14

The hilltop on the right flank is now mine, occupied by a reduced platoon of men and my commander-less Panzer IV. With a little luck the Panzer will be able to spot and duel the second SU-122 next turn. Mylgas' mortars did, however, manage to break one of my squads, which is mildly annoying.

Mylgas16.jpg

You can also see here that a Mechanised SMG squad of Mylgas' has been routed and are running for their lives. They'll be lucky to make it to cover.

On the main hilltop the Soviet forces are, predictably, pushed back by concentrated tank, small arms and MG fire. At the end of the minute the hilltop presents a strangely serene picture, shrouded in smoke and dust from demolished buildings.

Mylgas15.jpg

My Halftrack and HQ are also finally in position to begin the bombardment of Mylgas' second gun, although I have a suspicion my Area Firing tank may have killed it already.

In Turn 15 I am ordering the destruction of the last building on the main hilltop, since I think it is probably harbouring several panicked Reds. Apart from that my mortar will be the only unit in action, expending its last 40 HE rounds on Mylgas' gun.

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Ah, Heinrich, my friend. How do you do it?

Turn 15

As Mr H so eloquently put it, Mylgas still had an SU 'lurking' previous to this turn. I had assumed that a) It would not be able to relocate to anywhere dangerous without being spotted en route, and B) once it was relocated I would find it relatively easy to kill by using Panzer IVs from multiple angles. Alas, I was wrong, crucially, on the first assumption.

In the opening seconds of the minute Mylgas' second SU-122 is spotted cresting the hilltop from which he has attempted to launch a frontal attack on my forces. Unfortunately only two Panzers have LOS to its position and one of them had his TC killed by a mortar round a few minutes ago. The other is my immobile Panzer IV, and Mylgas' relentless pinging with a distant ATR team has ensured that this tank, too, fails to catch sight of the SU in time.

Mylgas17.jpg

Even as my TC-less Panzer IV swings its gun to bear, the SU has done its work and retreats to a reverse-slope position.

That's the only major development. Elsewhere my mortar halftrack is contentedly hurling shells towards Mylgas' second gun, a few of my troops are going to make small relocation movements in the next minute to gain LOS to more useful positions and my infantry HMGs are still happily mowing down Mylgas' troops wherever they show themselves.

The latter situation may not last however, if the SU manages to make itself felt and gets off a few 122mm rounds at some of my occupied buildings. I have therefore stopped both of my remaining armed tanks from bombarding his infantry, and have them covering the hilltop with blue cover arcs instead. I think the death of that SU is the final prerequisite required if I am to achieve a major victory. One further factor to consider is that I have one Pz IV threatening to gain LOS to its flank... Yes, the unarmed tank that I have conducting a 'threatening recon' movement on my far right flank may well prove crucial in distracting Mylgas' forces, assuming he hasn't guessed that it is unarmed yet.

Sorry for the lack of turns recently by the way - I have been very busy trying to find employment having recently completed my degree. CM may be fun and intellectually stimulating, but unfortunately it don't pay the bills!

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Turn 16

Well, so much for the blue cover arcs! My TC-less tank immediately ignores its orders and instead fires an HE shell at a fleeing Soviet infantry section. The result is the destruction of the final hilltop building:

Mylgas18.jpg

Fortunately this insubordinate act doesn't unduly imperil any of my forces, because the SU has other things on its mind. It has been distracted by my neutered flanking panzer, and as the minute draws to a close it is seen attempting to gain LOS.

Mylgas19.jpg

Hopefully, with a little juggling, I'll be able to manufacture a flank shot on the SU with one of my other tanks as long as I can stop Mylgas from guessing the state of the 'distracting' vehicle. With this in mind I have buttoned the latter in order to provide an excuse for its not firing at nearby routed infantry...

I have also given my last fully-equipped tank an order to move out into the main road leading towards Mylgas' hilltop. From there it can quickly drive up to the hilltop and try for a close-range flank shot at the SU, should the opportunity present itself:

Mylgas20.jpg

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Well, between the two of them they have so far succeeded in immobilising and (eventually) killing a single Panzer IV along with an ATR team consisting of two men. I think it is arguable that their greatest contribution to Mylgas' effort thus far has been to distract elements of my armour into trying to kill them, rather than just sitting and pummelling his infantry positions.

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