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I am currently playing this campaign and I am at "Holding Action"...I have completely lost track of which battle this is but I think am about 2/3 of the way through the 16 battles?  I have also played

What else is fun is following the battles geographically on google maps.  Right from the start I could identify what section of bocage/fields and roads, etc are on the modern day map from a top down v

DONE!   Wow, that was an experience!  I played this campaign on Iron level, and never suffered a defeat or a draw.  And I never cheated by reloading a previous game save. I have to say

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I wondered the same thing a lot of the time... beautiful skies and no air support :(

I enjoyed the campaign but I found it to be very challenging. Quite honestly, by the last mission I just wanted to get through already. Numerous times I had to replay missions.

My biggest problems seemed to come with actually using my artillery assets. On the very last mission (my second time through) I decided to change to preregistered barrages at the start of the mission. My biggest pain throughout the whole campaign was spotting for my artillery. I'd waste precious time hung up somewhere rotating through officers trying to see which genius could drop a barrage on the right side of the map.

The 88s in the last mission were a hell of a pain to me and ended up meaning that I couldn't even slow down the German counterattack because I hadn't taken the objectives at that point. I couldn't get anybody with good LOS to put any sort of barrage on them and they effectively cut half of the map off for me. The lack of any satchel charges with the double hedgerows running the length of the map meant I had no useful real estate to flank the enemy defenders or interdict the coming counterattack even after I discovered it. There was one short span of bocage that I could use... under observation of several 88s and every German on the map. The enemy trench line right near by didn't prove as useful for my guys.

I ended up with a massive flanking operation (on attempt number 2) straight towards the forest with the 88s after an opening linear 105 barrage plastered all but one of the 88s out of commission. I justified this in my mind because afterall the intelligence told me the 88s were there :D ... as well as the on-map intelligence. The first time through I mistook the location of the 88s in the briefing for being in a field directly next to me ... the French names through me off. Le this Le that... it all looked the same to me. After this move I was able to bring my shermans down the road and break up the enemy counterattack

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Piecekeeper

There is no air support in any of the official campaigns or missions that shipped with the title. ;) At one time, there was air support in Ecoqueneuville, Les Licornets, and the finale Eroudeville though...

Fetchez

Yes, I designed most of the missions to be winnable but the real challenge would be to win them by taking as few casualties as possible. I think, one day soon, I'll return to this and significantly bump up the difficulty of some of the missions. So all this feedback is very useful as I'll know what to change.

LemuelG

We're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of AI triggers. At present, the AI is totally unable to respond to a developing situation. I can't wait to get my hands on that and see what I can make the AI do. I admit I could have made this one a bit more challenging and paid more attention to denying the use of the road to the allied player. I would have liked to have placed a few minefields here and there along it to accomplish this but, historically, the Germans had just moved into this area and probably wouldn't have had enough time to prepare such defences. Only an hour or so earlier, they were attacking the north of Ste Mere Eglise and so defence was probably not on their mind.

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Are there any air support in this campaign? Why not?

My experience from CMx1 shows this to be a good thing. It was unpredictable, wildly. It can do a lot good, nothing or a lot of bad. Hard to balance a long campaign if you have really random factors like air support popping up.

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Have you messed with in CMBN? IMO its much more predictable seeing as how you have to call for it with FOs and can restrict it to a point target or a several hundred meter radius. You can also choose a heavy/medium/or light mission depending on what you want them to use.

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Just started the last mission, and I'm a little disappointed to see it end. I'll miss seeing Dog, Easy & Fox companies. A couple of those squads were comprised of cold blooded killers, racking up close to 40 kills, bunkers and a tank or two. Has been very, very enjoyable. I found nearly all to be challenging, esp Hedgerow Hell and Le Ham.

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We're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of AI triggers. At present, the AI is totally unable to respond to a developing situation. I can't wait to get my hands on that and see what I can make the AI do.

I hope this is a top priority for new features. Imagine it... give a formation an attack order, attach the condition: If (casualties>10%) Then withdraw, attack pointB; If (enemy touches positionX) Then team1 withdraws to line2, team2 flanks... it would be a revolution... surely it's pretty do-able with some bog-standard boolean expressions? Argh, I ache thinking about how great it would be.

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I have just started Hell in the Hedgrerows and my pixeltruppen are very unhappy. There are no pioneers! They know that their paths of advance are therefore entirely predictable. Morale has dropped like a paralysed falcon.

The combined effects of previous casualties has now started to be felt too - Dog Company is down to just two rifle platoons + the weapons platoon.

This is going to be tricky.

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Just popping back to have a public swear at TEGPT. I am really struggling with Hell in the Hedgerows. My thanks to people who have posted their experiences, I have read them carefully and repeatedly, but my this one is hard.

I have hit on an AI plan where the first village, Le Goulet(?) is undefended but getting through on the left (La Vallee) is a nightmare (immortal HMGs holding me up long enough for the German artillery to start landing and the bunkers on the far slope joining in).

Mr. Tiger said upthread that he feared this mission might be too hard. I am worried that, with the AI plan I have drawn, he might be correct.

I think I need a fundamental rethink and meanwhile will enjoy calling down curses on TEGPT's head and calling him all the bad names I can think of.

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Blackcat - hell, do over. Through La Vallee is the only viable way to do a total on this. The other end is just pure hell with wire, a hidden MG, several bottlenecks. On the first try, I managed to get whatever mangled remains of crippled teams (not squads) to make the road on the right side, but there was not enough firepower to do anything other than be eliminated once they made it.

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Blackcat

I will add that the barbed wire moves around from plan to plan as well so the eastern attack can sometimes work as well. It sounds like you drew the 'Perfect Storm' plan there ;) Strong 'Goulet' backed up by barbed wire on the left. There are four distinctly different AI plans in 'Hell in the hedgerows', each with equal weight of being selected.

Just be grateful that I didn't use minefields in this one ;)

Agua

Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I wanted the finale to be special and memorable (in a nice way! :D)

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Thanks for the encouragement, Mr. Tiger. My actual casualties aren't too bad, at least not yet, but I am not making any progress.

There is one HMG that is really causing me a problem. He is behind a big hedge near the house at La Vallee with a very nice field of fire. So far he has survived everything I can throw at him. In my last session to supplement the mortar fire, and minutes worth of MG fire and the combined fire of 3 full squads he had already had, I dumped a full load of 60mm HE on his head (4o+ rounds). Bugger me if a turn later he wasn't up again ripping bursts into my advancing troops. To add insult to injury, his mate ten metres or so along the hedgerow, who I had long since thought I had killed or broken, comes back to life and joins in. So much for light mortars being super effective. At least I seem to have silenced that bloody infantry gun on the ridge.

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Ha!

I remember Hell in the Hedgerows was pure hell when we tested it! PT made a few tweaks, and added some AI plans since then, so I don't know exactly how it has changed, but I sure got torn to shreds first time around.

It started off deceptively easy, and then all proverbial hell broke loose. I think I may have managed to get a minor victory in the end, but with my guys very badly mauled.

Good to see this scenario, and the campaign, are keeping you folks entertained. :)

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Well thank goodness that is over! Hell in Hedgerows was damn hard work, but once I finally killed off the defenders of La Vallee everything fell into place quite nicely. I still suffered 40 casualties all told, which was the highest for a battle in the campaign so far, but I think I can live with that.

A couple of unusual things I noticed. Firstly, all my platoon HQs were down to just one man by the end. I have never had that before. In part that must be due to me having to put such units into the line so as to call down mortar and artillery fire, but it might be evidence of the AI targetting HQs. Dunno; seems unlikely, but there you go.

Secondly, I was aware from quite early on of some German units on my extreme right flank on about a level with my first fighting position. I knew they were there but as they wouldn't cause me any problems I decided to ignore them save for a couple of squads to screen that flank. When the game was over and I reviewed the map those German units had left their starting positions and had moved back towards their MLR. It looks as though the AI was reacting to my moves. I have never seen that before either. Mr. Tiger, if you read this would you care to comment?

Hell in Hedgerows is an absolute sod of a battle. In concept it is straightforward (get to the creek, use smoke to mask the dash up the slope and roll up the MLR) and in truth and in hindsight the defenders are not that strong. They are however very well placed. One of Mr. Tiger's finest.

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Secondly, I was aware from quite early on of some German units on my extreme right flank on about a level with my first fighting position. I knew they were there but as they wouldn't cause me any problems I decided to ignore them save for a couple of squads to screen that flank. When the game was over and I reviewed the map those German units had left their starting positions and had moved back towards their MLR. It looks as though the AI was reacting to my moves. I have never seen that before either. Mr. Tiger, if you read this would you care to comment?

Certainly. As you noticed earlier, ther defending force is quite small. Neither is it uber in any way, i.e. Veteran+ experience, High+ morale or even +2 leadership. It's a small, bog-standard German force and so position is everything. The AI is scripted to perform a very mobile fall-back defence in this mission, and other missions in the campaign. I spent a LOT of time testing each AI plan in this mission to gauge the time units should spend in their positions before the 'enemy' was able to overwhelm them or call in artillery. So, although it might look like the AI is reacting to your moves, it is just following orders. ;)

There are four plans in this mission and each one is different. Because I start with AI plan 1, I generally script AI plan 2 to do something quite different from the first plan so that a player who played the mission once against it and anticipates the AI's movements will find it counters his counter-moves. In this case, the third AI plan is also a counter to plan 2 while plan 4 is utterly, utterly different. You got plan 4 - Fortress La Vallee. I spent a lot of time working on the AI for this particular mission because it is a very important one in the campaign. My real aim when creating the campaign was to make it replayable. I wanted the campaign to be first and foremost, fun to play so that a player may later return to it and try again and see if he can get a better result. Thus, in most cases, the US player will be attacking at good odds with plenty of support on call against credible German defenders. By putting in the work, I hope that players who return to it will get a fresh experience when replaying it.

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Well, I finished Le Ham with a German surrender with just two minutes left on the clock. As fights in this campaign go I didn't think this one was too bad, I took my time went for a long left flanking move to hit the defences from the rear as far as possible and let the artillery do the heavy work. It came as a bit of a shock to find at the end that I had taken 22 casualties (11 dead and 11 WIA).

My units are now starting to look very thin. The preceding battle ("Holding Action" - which was a sod, harder than Hell in the Hedgerows) left E company of 2/505th barely combat effective. Though I think, with one possible exception, I have kept below the 10% casualties those one in tens mount up after a while. Can anyone tell me how many more fights there are to go?

I have to say that this campaign has been superb at every level. If CMBN consisted of nothing else but "The Road to Montebourg" I would say it was worth every penny, and it's re-playable against different AI plans. Brilliant stuff, Mr. Tiger.

P.S. It might be observer bias, or the luck of the draw, but I think Paper Tiger has a bias for the off-side. Most of my best performances have come when I have gone for the left hook (Hell in the Hedgerows was very much the exception).

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Hi Blackcat

You'll be 'happy' to hear that both the 2/505 and the 2/325 missions are all finished and from this point on, all the fighting will be done by the 2/8. So their condition is no longer important. There are three more missions left in the campaign:

Ecausseville

The Farmhouse, and

Eroudeville

Ecausseville was designed to be tough. Historically, the Allies lost this one very badly but I can't recall anyone having any real difficulty with this one to date so perhaps I'm just not as good a player as I think I am :) However, if you do exactly what the Allies did in real life, you'll very likely get the historical result.

I'll look forward to hearing how you get on with the final three.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mr. Tiger,

Well, I finally got there. Just finished the last mission with an enemy surrender with 32 minutes still on the clock. The last three missions:

*** Spoilers ***

Ecausseville

Looking at the map I decided that the tried and tested left hook was the way to go. So I sent one platoon accross the fields to my far right with orders to get into a position to watch and wait - short target arcs to ensure that they didn't fire on anything they saw. Meanwhile I used all my mortars to pound the snot out of the copse surrounded by hedges on my left and set up my MGs to provide a base of fire towards said copse. Once the mortars had done I went forward down the left with my infantry and over the stream into the copse. Mopping up the survivors there didn't take long, but I lost a few men to snipers from the village whilst crossing the open ground. A MG also opened up from a big house on my right but that was soon silenced by the massed fire from my own machine guns.

Then it was a case of turning right and advancing on both sides of road into the village. There was a nasty little firefight for the church in which I was helped by the availability of new 81mm mortars and the fire from my overwatch platoon on my right, which had now unmasked and started to advance. Once the church went an enemy surrender followed soon after, but with just two minutes left on the clock. A very good battle (just eight casualties of which their snipers claimed 6) .

The Farm House:

The obvious approach was going to be a death trap, so once again I decided on the left hook. Unfortunately whilst I could supress and eventually kill the first line of defenders, their reserves came in before I could get to the farm and the mission degenerated into a firefight between the two lots of hedgerows. Thirteen man squads put out a lot of firepower and so I was able to win.

The big mystery to me in his one was what use the Priest could be. Eventually I found a spot (on my right bang up against the board edge) where it could take under fire two enemy squads I found in the road behind a hedge. I can't see how it could be used for taking down the farm complex though.

Eroudeviile:

Knowing I was on the final mission I got a bit more reckless with my troops and took 50 casualties (22 KIA), but I did get a surrender with 32 minutes still to go. This early victory was greatly helped by the AI reinforcements monting a counter attack at its trenchline in the centre (they got stomped flat by three Shermans and a platoon in garrison there). If these troops had all moved towards the village, which I had yet to take, when they came on, I would have had a lot more of a problem. I don't think any of the Stugs actually got a shot off - just one pointing down the road leading from the village towards the exit zone would caused me severe difficulty.

On the subject of the Stugs, my 76mm equipped Shermans took out the first three whilst they were moving forward. The fourth got itself into a position where because of the bocage I couldn't sensibly get a Sherman into a position where it would have a LOF. So I reverted to the CMSF tactic of using artillery/mortars to take out armour. A medium/medium 81mm barrage did the job very nicely - it took seven minutes and it wouldn't work against a human, but it was very satisfying.

Just out of interest, what was the point of the MG pill-boxes covering the front of the German right flank? I don't think they even fired in my game; I certainly didn't even know the second one was here until I reviewed the map after the surrender. I could see that they could be useful to stop a left hook but, as you hadn't given the player any demo charges, such a manoeuver isn't possible. Were they left over from an earlier version?

I see on another thread you are claiming that only three of the missions were designed to be hard. I suggest that your definition of "Hard" is not the same as most players, I had to work hard for nearly all of my victories.

Oh, in case you are interested my final score was a total victory with 114 KIA, 147 WIA no tanks or vehicles lost. I inflicted 765 KIA, 408 WIA, 43 MIA; killed 8 tanks and 2 armoured vehicles.

Once again, Mr. Tiger, my sincere thanks for an extremely enjoyable campaign. It had great maps, good immersion (I worried about my troops), some very cunning AI plans and some hard but winnable fights.

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Oh, in case you are interested my final score was a total victory with 114 KIA, 147 WIA no tanks or vehicles lost. I inflicted 765 KIA, 408 WIA, 43 MIA; killed 8 tanks and 2 armoured vehicles.

That sounds pretty good to me? Now go do it again. :D

I'm on mission 7 and have already lost around 60 KIA plus a couple of jeeps :(

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I just want to say again, as I think I already have in this thread, that this campaign is incredibly fun.

I hit 'Hell in the Hedgerows' and took the heaviest losses of any battle so far. I noticed it was a 'touch' objective and decided to make a mad human wave style push. I know it's gamey, but I concentrated all of my troops down one lane of hedgerows on the far left. I chose that lane because it had the shortest open areas to cross before leading to the road. In theory, those would be the best to attack what I assumed would be a defended area. Boy was it defended. I didn't anticipate multiple bunkers and field guns. My guys were beat up pretty badly but eventually we pushed through the line.

Once the line was breached, the defenders fell like dominoes to the flank attack. That's when I discovered that the AI couldn't react. Paper Tiger's AI plans which include delays to simulate reactions from the enemy are very convincing. It wasn't until 'Hell in the Hedgerows' that I began to notice anything. Even then, I wasn't sure that everything was scripted until I read this thread.

Great job.

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Mr. Stanbridge,

So you are just under half-way and have taken just over half the KIA that I did. Sounds to me as if you are doing pretty well yourself. The key to this campaign seems to be take your time and, whenever you can, go for the left hook. TEGPT does seem to have a weakness for the off-side, he generally defends it much more strongly that the leg-side. I'd go so far as to suggest that where ever possible send your forces off to deep square leg (or as close to it as you can) before turning right and moving up through deep mid-wicket and then in through long-on. Mr. Tiger's plans seem not to cope with that approach.

Oh, and make it a rule never to finsh an scenario with artillery ammo unused. Good luck with the last nine missions.

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This was a well designed campaign. Plenty of battles and even the tough ones were balanced enough so that you could see a way through them. Good mix of units. I fell sorry for the Glider Infantry though. They have the toughest battles and lack enough support early on, especially pioneer or engineer support to tackle that bocage.

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