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i cant do this second mission. i cant see any way of crossing the bridge. i have my mortars knocking out AT guns, artillery raining down on the sandbags (to little or no effect i might add), tanks and machine-guns trying to pin down anyone who sticks their head up and my squads are just getting gunned down or mortared with no cover. anyone that tries to cross the bridge is a huge target to infantry and ive already lost 1 tank to mines so i cant just roll up in them. any tips? thanks

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i cant do this second mission. i cant see any way of crossing the bridge. i have my mortars knocking out AT guns, artillery raining down on the sandbags (to little or no effect i might add), tanks and machine-guns trying to pin down anyone who sticks their head up and my squads are just getting gunned down or mortared with no cover. anyone that tries to cross the bridge is a huge target to infantry and ive already lost 1 tank to mines so i cant just roll up in them. any tips? thanks

Getting across the bridge is easy enough. It's the 'not getting eviscerated by mortar strikes in the swamp' that's the hard part. I've still not managed that bit entirely successfully.

=== Mild spoiler/hint ===

Darkness is your friend.

=== Explicit advice ===

During the bombardment, Quick a FO along the left low bocage towards the river, and set 'em up at the last action point of the bocage. They will never get to the top of an enemy element's priority list, if, indeed, they're even noticed.

Once the first 5 minute planned bombardment has faded, scramble 4 half-squads of engineers to the wire to blow it all away ASAP, closely followed by your infantry. So far I've succeeded in getting 2 platoons across, with the third 'chambered' ready to go just south of the CP, near the road junction.

At the same time, put the other FO into the craters the bombardment left behind. This gives you pretty much complete indirect fire coverage as the light levels climb and the mist burns off.

Once the wire has gone ('ware sympathetic explosions of the mines underneath 'em) chivvy your two platoons down, either side of the bridge. If you don't plot a waypoint pretty much every action point, you risk the stoopid dogfaces either running across the bridge or sticking their heads above the bank to be shot off. Each turn, make sure you keep every element of your platoons moving. I've been letting them get to "Tired" and then giving them a minute's breather (use Pause - 7 presses gives you a minute... saves cancelling waypoints and redoing later). Keep the waypoints as close to the water as you can and you're largely out of LOS of the forward german positions.

You have to keep moving, at least at the rate of one 'mortar strike footprint' every 5 minutes, or you're toast. Don't try and stop to fight back, just keep on pressing on, or the mortars will get you. They might well anyway. You're aiming to string your platoon out over a very broad front along the river bank before turning uphill and creeping forward. I'd say you need to split your squads down into teams and have a spacing of at least one, preferably two, action spots between teams. Your HQ will have to be in the middle :)

Your FOs, once the germans start showing themselves (or even just with a few minutes' watching) should call a 'decent' strike on each sandbagged position (or sniper) as it is revealed. I've used 'Heavy, Medium' single tube strikes with the onboard mortars to apparently good effect. I've found that the number of threats that need suppressing ramps up at about the same rate as you get new assets. Once a set of foxholes has soaked up a score of mortar bombs, a single tank on "Target Light" or tripod MG seems to keep their heads down fairly effectively.

Once you get your tanks, run 'em up to the junction of the roads, just where the trees end. They have a good enough field of fire from there. I think it's worth using Tank HE to break down any linear obstacles shielding the foxholes, and to help with the initial suppression, or resuppress stubborn enemy, but you don't need to be throwing 75mm all turn, every turn. HE runs out real quick, .30cal not so much. Your lead tank will be in the field of fire for one ATG when it finally decides to come on line. Do not let it turn its side armour.

The thing that will kill you is the enemy indirect HE. You can lose half a platoon as casualties in one stonk, with another 25% being combat ineffective thereafter due to morale status. Even if you've managed to string out to 1 team per AP. There is no shame in running away from spotting rounds. Run far, run Fast. Even your support elements; entire lines of MGs can be gutted by a mortar strike. I have one platoon at the moment who've been run ragged by evading mortar incoming. But they've at least distracted the mortars from my left flank platoon across the river, and only sustained light casualties.

C2 is vital. If your HQ isn't up with your platoon, they will start to get unruly after only receiving light incoming, and that makes it impossible to keep 'em moving fast enough to stay ahead of the mortars. Commit the I Coy HQ with those first two platoons, in case one or other of the platoons loses its Looie.

These are the lessons I have so far learned in the "School of Hard Knocks". Class has not yet been dismissed...

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what happens if i ceasefire? ive managed to take the bridge with only about 5 casualties. i will try and advance my men up, but if i get bogged down what dose a ceasefire do? thanks

If you've done some damage to the enemy you'll prolly get a draw. 200 points of damage isn't much to have to get. 1st line in the foxholes plus the ATGs should do it.

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cool. i carried on and im doing ok. taken out 2 AT guns and only lost 1 tank. so far i have 3 platoons (is that the right word? set of 4 squads) strung out across the river bed to the right of hte bridge slowly working their way down. if htey can make it to the woods they are home and dry, but most are about 50% casualties

edit: one tip, dont use the mortars to take out the AT guns. the range is too far for them to be accurate enough. first time around i wasted all of them on one gun and it didnt hurt it. one round with the 105mm's on medium and it was toast

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I beat this one the other night with a total victory. I lost about a company and-a-half of men.

Tip 1: Use up all your arty.

Tip 2: Use TONS of smoke

I found the AT guns were not much of a threat. <SPOILER> There was only two and I took them both out with 60mm mortars </SPOILER> So that game my tanks almost free rain. I burned through the HE like nobodies business and kept the coax machine guns firing.

I lathered the fox holes with 81mm mortars, and covered the hill with 105mm howies. All while doing this I pushed my infantry forward. I pushed them into tired and only let them rest if they reached my objective (#1 hedge and river bank across the brigde. #2 hedge half-way to the hill. #3 stone wall 3/4 to the hill. #4 The trenches on the hill.)

Whenever I tried to cross the bridge, I use an 81mm to drop smoke in front of, and to the right of, the bridge. The wind would them blow it across. Later, when my tanks pushed up, I used their smoke launchers. That was much more effective. One tank on my side of the bridge and one on the other side and 30secs before infantry runs across have them pop smoke. That creates a huge smoke cloud for 1.5-2m which is perfect for getting infantry across.

Once I had a company across I charged up the right-hand-side of the road. I avoided the swamp itself. As mentioned above I did this under the cover of mortars, HE, machine gun fire, etc.

It took me one company of men to get across the bridge. A second to push up to the hedge, and the third finally made it to the stone wall. A bit more suppression from there and my strongest squad was able to clear out the trenches. I had 40HE in an 81mm mortar I was hanging on to, and that is all. All other ammo was spent - including all WP smoke, and all tank smoke launchers, and smoke canisters.

It all came down to timing. I didn't find it that hard to get FOs to land the arty, so I made use of it. Timing charges with the 3-4minute arty arrival was the real trick. Use the 60mm for sniping targets (like AT and HMGs) and 81mm and howies for wide suppression. Timing smoke clouds (The howies drop very nice smoke screens as well. I'd drop them ON the enemy positions. Smoke the bridge, yes, but at other times smoke the enemy's to allow your infantry as much open ground as possible. I had one barrage of 105mm smoke shut down the left-hand foxholes for about 10 minutes.) Also I found tanks to be largely invulnerable. Don't go crazy, there are a few AT guns, and panzershreks. But you can take them out as soon as they make an appearance, and the panzershreks can't really get close enough because of the open terrain. So the tanks just absorb the HMG fire and lay down suppression and death.

My very own hamburger hill :)

Oh yes. And despite my tactic of WWI style charging into machine fire, I lost the VAST majority of my men to enemy arty. I had to re-load several times because I lost an entire company to arty dropping on the bridge exactly as I was trying to cross. Bad luck? Or bad tactics? I could have split it up, but I felt time was against me (I also lost an entire company to a "reform and reorganise" manoeuvre I tried before rushing across the bridge.) I also took full barrages whenever I stopped to return fire (at my various objectives), but I felt only losing a platoon and a half, or a few machine guns perfectly acceptable. Such was the bloodbath of this mission.

I think the idea for this mission, actually, is to call for a cease fire fairly early on and take a draw or failure.

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I had to re-load several times because I lost an entire company to arty dropping on the bridge exactly as I was trying to cross. Bad luck? Or bad tactics? I could have split it up, but I felt time was against me (I also lost an entire company to a "reform and reorganise" manoeuvre I tried before rushing across the bridge.) I also took full barrages whenever I stopped to return fire (at my various objectives), but I felt only losing a platoon and a half, or a few machine guns perfectly acceptable. Such was the bloodbath of this mission.

SPOILERS

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The AI has TRPs at both ends of the bridge (or at least, it did on my run-through). This allows its FOs to call down a strike near either of those points - within 50m, iirc - very quickly and with no warning spotting rounds. A smart human player would call in a predictive strike as soon as he saw you massing forces near the bridge, but I'm not sure the AI is that smart. I think it'll call in a strike when it sees anything "worthwhile" at either end of the bridge. To defeat this you'll need to do something like the following:

Minute 1: Nothing at either end of the bridge. Meanwhile you've massed your forces ready to cross (e.g. in the shellholes from the planned bombardment).

Minute 2: The mad minute - your forces quick-move up to, across, and away from the bridge. Do NOT stop as soon as you get to the other side. Keep moving out of the danger zone. But you can't move too many, or they'll bunch up, slow each other down, and generally make a great target for MG fire. Best to send them across as teams, 5-10 seconds apart. Which means you can't get a whole platoon across at once. At the end of this minute, you'll probably still have teams near the bridge ends, and this is when the AI will (probably) call in artillery on one of the TRPs.

Minute 3-4: Clear the area. Incoming!

Minute 5 (or whenever the shelling stops): Repeat from minute 1

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SPOILERS

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The AI has TRPs at both ends of the bridge (or at least, it did on my run-through). This allows its FOs to call down a strike near either of those points - within 50m, iirc - very quickly and with no warning spotting rounds. A smart human player would call in a predictive strike as soon as he saw you massing forces near the bridge, but I'm not sure the AI is that smart. I think it'll call in a strike when it sees anything "worthwhile" at either end of the bridge. To defeat this you'll need to do something like the following:

Minute 1: Nothing at either end of the bridge. Meanwhile you've massed your forces ready to cross (e.g. in the shellholes from the planned bombardment).

Minute 2: The mad minute - your forces quick-move up to, across, and away from the bridge. Do NOT stop as soon as you get to the other side. Keep moving out of the danger zone. But you can't move too many, or they'll bunch up, slow each other down, and generally make a great target for MG fire. Best to send them across as teams, 5-10 seconds apart. Which means you can't get a whole platoon across at once. At the end of this minute, you'll probably still have teams near the bridge ends, and this is when the AI will (probably) call in artillery on one of the TRPs.

Minute 3-4: Clear the area. Incoming!

Minute 5 (or whenever the shelling stops): Repeat from minute 1

MORE SPOILERS

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Yes, I guessed they had at least one, probably two after the first time it happened. A heavy, quick barrage with no warning. After the level I checked and indeed one there was on on either end. Very nasty. That's why I recommend tons of smoke on the bridge whenever you cross. If I was against a human, I might have "faked" that 50% of the time to draw out barrages in the hope of wasting ammo. Against the AI my plan was simple: If he doesn't see *anything* he won't call arty. Tank's smoke canisters seemed to work the best for this.

Lastly, yes, clear the area. I ran across, and immediately to the right to mass on the river bank and the small hedge. That put me out of range of the TRP but I took some casualties to MG fire. If I hung around too long, they'd walk some Arty in regardless, so I could not wait long. I charged as far into the open as I could before everyone broke. Took me three company-wide infantry charges to make it up the hill.

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I am making my way through a latter scenario in this campaign, Bumper Cars, and I am very impressed with, to my amateur eyes, the tactical sophistication of the scenarios in this campaign.

I now apologize for my earlier sort of intimations that CMBN might have been too CMSF influenced. I was taken aback by the artillery, on both sides, in School. I now see that the campaign has a wide variety of different scenarios, and by Bumper Cars the feel of the simulation seems to be all WW2 Normandy.

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SPOILER

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Your engineers are going to croak, so accept it. Run them up to the bridge, get them to clear the wire and mark mines on both sides of the bridge. You'll be lucky if there are 10 total left alive.

Get your veteran FO to the top of a little rise in the field on the left fronting the stream. Get your regular FO to the highest point on the right side of the map, which will be in a field. You have to eyeball it to recognize it, but its there.

Move some heavy machine guns down to the small hedgerow fronting the stream on the right hand side. It's a small hedgerow about middle way between the single road and the right hand map edge. They're going to get killed to, but they'll cause the first defensive line to reveal itself and between the two FOs and the MGs by the stream, you'll be able to locate all the AT guns. Use the 105 for single point target, as directed by the Vet and/or reg FO. It will come in and wipe those out quickly, so be ready to cease fire immediately. Look over on the right behind the patch of woods approximately 150 meters beyond the stream. There's an AT over there with sandbags. Your Vet FO should be able to see the sandbags at least. Call in a mortar strike with whatever else you have for single point target. Once those start to fall, get your tanks on the road.

There's a mine on the far end of the objective area after you clear the bridge, so shunt them off to the right as soon as they get off the bridge.

Run tanks on hunt all over the back end of the map while using the remaining 105s to decimate the first defensive line along the front of the plowed fields. German AI will surrender and you should get a total out of this, as your losses will pretty much be limited to the engineers and HMG units the AI pulverized with arty.

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SPOILER

Run tanks on hunt all over the back end of the map while using the remaining 105s to decimate the first defensive line along the front of the plowed fields. German AI will surrender and you should get a total out of this, as your losses will pretty much be limited to the engineers and HMG units the AI pulverized with arty.

Sounds deadly risky to me. There are a bunch of infantry AT assets that your tanks might not spot, and some decent hidey holes for them. Lose your tanks before they've rampaged through the trench system and you'll not get a surrender out of the Germans, even if you've used all your HE killing everything before that (and not had the German HE splash your line companies all over the map).

Wasting your engineers on marking mines under fire will cost you more than plotting moves round the mines, in time, actual casualties directly caused by mines and in casualties caused by Arty strikes while you use the marked lanes (which has to be done slowly to make it worth doing at all).

Far better to use your 105s to completely pulverise the ridgeline/trenches and your mortars to surgically remove foxholed positions.

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Found this to be far easier than A Delaying Action. Replayed it once. Learned the first time that all the smoke and timing of split team inf is not going to get them across the bridge in a useable state to eliminate the deep defenses.

The first defenses in the plowed fields were too busy cowering from the 105s to bother with the tanks. I was back decimating the second line before the barrage ended. Thoroughly clean the back of those hedges, then proceed to the hill and slowly hunt your way along the front and side of it, outside of the objective zone. Yes, there were a few faust shots and a couple shreks, but the distance between the tanks and the hedges were such that all they did was expose themselves - distance too great for a lucky 1 off kill for them.

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I just gave up on this one last night after trying for two days to get it right. I'll retackle it tonight using a few of the concepts in this thread.

One thing though, how do I get the pioneers to blow the barbed wire? Also, with the "mark mines" command, do I just place them adjacent to the mines and let them go about their business, or do I actually send them into the minefield?

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Barbed wire - run them to an action spot adjacent to the wire then issue a "blast" command into an action spot on the other side of the wire from where the unit is located.

Mark mines - once a mine is located (usually by someone being blown up by one, but sometimes by mere observation), the "mark mines" option becomes available for the action spot where the minefield which has been "discovered" is situated. Simply plot the mark mine order for you unit into the action spot with the mine field in it. The "mine warning" sign will turn white when it has been "marked". That still doesn't ensure that a unit won't set one off.

Note also that your engineers are probably going to blow themselves up setting while blasting the wire away as the HE will likely set off a sympathetic explosion of the mines.

I wouldn't bother with blasting away any more than the front "V" of mines at the bridge, unless you plan on trying to send a bunch of infantry across.

[Edited to include the following:] In hindsight, I'd have moved all the units except the FOs and the engineers in the field behind the treeline on the left rear during setup. I ended up doing this after the scenario started, remembering the smashing they took when the AI apparently grew bored killing my troops in the forward positions during my first run.

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Barbed wire - run them to an action spot adjacent to the wire then issue a "blast" command into an action spot on the other side of the wire from where the unit is located.

There's a bunch of threads about using the Blast command. Remember it's a movement command, so once you've set the Blast waypoint, your engineers will run to the waypoint. You can have them not run through the gap if you set the Blast command just on the close side of the obstacle. This can take some getting used to. It takes about 15-30 seconds ( ? dependent on the Engineers' experience ? ) for the Blast to go off, once they've reached the waypoint before the Blast one.

Mark mines - once a mine is located (usually by someone being blown up by one, but sometimes by mere observation)...

IME, the chance of even an engineer spotting a minefield just by sitting next to it is so low as to be irrelevant.

..."mark mines"...doesn't ensure that a unit won't set one off.

It takes a lonnnng time, too. You can reduce the chance of a unit setting mines off (marked or unmarked) by moving slowly.

Note also that your engineers are probably going to blow themselves up setting while blasting the wire away as the HE will likely set off a sympathetic explosion of the mines.

I had sympathetic explosions "pin" the two teams of pioneers I was using to blast the wire. Meant they didn't even advance up to the "Blast" waypoint, which I found suited me.

I wouldn't bother with blasting away any more than the front "V" of mines at the bridge, unless you plan on trying to send a bunch of infantry across.

Yeah. Even then, the second-from-middle wire section each side is really only needed to be removed in order to make finding the right waypoints with the mouse easier.

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There's a bunch of threads about using the Blast command. Remember it's a movement command, so once you've set the Blast waypoint, your engineers will run to the waypoint. You can have them not run through the gap if you set the Blast command just on the close side of the obstacle. This can take some getting used to. It takes about 15-30 seconds ( ? dependent on the Engineers' experience ? ) for the Blast to go off, once they've reached the waypoint before the Blast one.

IME, the chance of even an engineer spotting a minefield just by sitting next to it is so low as to be irrelevant.

It takes a lonnnng time, too. You can reduce the chance of a unit setting mines off (marked or unmarked) by moving slowly.

I had sympathetic explosions "pin" the two teams of pioneers I was using to blast the wire. Meant they didn't even advance up to the "Blast" waypoint, which I found suited me.

Yeah. Even then, the second-from-middle wire section each side is really only needed to be removed in order to make finding the right waypoints with the mouse easier.

Womble: "Blast" - THANKS! I never knew this. I'd noticed that you can create a "blast" command across 2 or more action spots, but always deleted it and gave a "quick" command up to the obstacle with a "blast" across it. I generally stand with my finger on the "cancel order" quick order button as soon as the blast occurs because I don't like my engineers running through the breach either.

[Edited to include the following:] Nevermind. I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying that you could simply set a "blast" waypoint anywhere and the unit would "blast" once they get to the waypoint. Just tried that and it works as I'd thought to begin with. [end edit]

Mine "spotting" - agree. It happened in "Le Ham" when my engineers weren't under much direct fire. I don't specifically recall it happening many other times in any other scenario.

Passage through mines - yes, even mere "move" orders can still result in casualties through a marked minefield. Inevitably, if there is any fire around, inf will decide they need to change the "move" order to a "quick" order, and end up blowing themselves up. "Slow" is the best way across, but in this scenario, I'd advocate just locating the mines, mark at least the first one (then go around the second).

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[Edited to include the following:] Nevermind. I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying that you could simply set a "blast" waypoint anywhere and the unit would "blast" once they get to the waypoint. Just tried that and it works as I'd thought to begin with. [end edit]

Nevertheless, you can put a Blast waypoint the same side of the obstacle as your engineers. They'll still run up to the waypoint (i.e. into the gap they've made) but they won't run through, and you can add a subsequent waypoint to bring them back to the 'safe' side (not that this is directly relevant to blasting wire, since you don't get any cover from the stuff to start with).

On the other hand, if you're not crossing the river with infantry, there's no point marking mines, cos it doesn't help for AT mines.

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On the other hand, if you're not crossing the river with infantry, there's no point marking mines, cos it doesn't help for AT mines.

I dunno: that first mine is AP isn't it? My tanks went across it after being marked without any detonations. (shrug). In the past, I've set off AP mines and had them pin an AFV. But, yes, after finding the second mine, in retrospect, there's not any point in marking it. In fact, if someone could just hang a hard right as soon as they get off the bridge then stay off the road, they wouldn't need to even find the second mine.

Ultimately, I ended up with 3 immobilized tanks: one to bogging, and two simply due to the cummulative damage to the tracks from running over wire, low hedge, and stone walls.

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I dunno: that first mine is AP isn't it? My tanks went across it after being marked without any detonations. (shrug).

I think that first mine under the wire almost always gets set off if you blow the wire; I've not had a tank set it off if I got a "big badaboom" when the engies blast the wire. Maybe I've just been lucky with that one. I think the mines (at least the ones on the road axis) are 'Mixed' type; I've had infantry blown up as well as tanks there.

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Could be Womble, could be.

[Edited to include the following:] You may well be right now that I think further on it. The first time I tried it, I'd run all three Eng teams to the bridge to remove ALL the wire and I distinctly remember them finding then marking the mine in that instance. The second time, I blew only the "V", and lost / injured the team pretty badly, I may have not "found" the mines the "normal" way, and I can't say for certain that I even saw a mine sign after the explosion. Hmm.. I was aware that HE could set off mines, but I wonder if it can completely clear an action spot and if that is what happens in this instance? Do you have a specific memory of seeing the mine sign after the sympathetic detonation?

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Could be Womble, could be.

[Edited to include the following:] You may well be right now that I think further on it. The first time I tried it, I'd run all three Eng teams to the bridge to remove ALL the wire and I distinctly remember them finding then marking the mine in that instance. The second time, I blew only the "V", and lost / injured the team pretty badly, I may have not "found" the mines the "normal" way, and I can't say for certain that I even saw a mine sign after the explosion. Hmm.. I was aware that HE could set off mines, but I wonder if it can completely clear an action spot and if that is what happens in this instance? Do you have a specific memory of seeing the mine sign after the sympathetic detonation?

I'm afraid my recollection of the time I did see the mine sign at the near end of the bridge is a bit wooly. I was trying a 4-way blasting thing and didn't really ever figure out whether there was sympathetic detonation or not.

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So, last night I began round two. I was able to get my pioneers up to the bridge, they blew the wire in three places. I was then able to rush two entire platoons to the far side of the stream before the arty began dropping (I know, I couldn't believe it either). However, this crossing was not without difficulty. Although I had blown the wire . . . it seemed to make absolutely no difference in the way the troops attempted to make the crossing. It appears that the AI pathfinding was ATROCIOUS. I used split teams half the time and full squads the other half. BOTH teams chose to run around the wire, then across the bridge, then down and under the bridge, after which they headed for the far side of the river. I specifically gave them waypoints as far from the bridge as possible . . . but they still chose to go over it, taking intermittent machine gun fire the whole time. I lost a few people that way. Also, although I had plotted waypoints around the minefields, two squads decided to run RIGHT THROUGH the minefields . . . despite the bodies of their friends falling left and right, as well as those of the preceding team. Duh. The pioneers were never offered the "Mark Mines" command (it was grayed out), although they were directly adjacent to the minefields before and after the regular infantry began trotting across.

Now I have my guys in defilade on the far side of the bank. Trying to figure out what to do next.

Really aggravated with the pathfinding and failure of the pioneers.

Also, when the artillery began to move in on the enemy trp's at the bridge . . . shouldn't it have helped to remove the wire and clear the minefields? I'd like to know if my reinforcements are going to behave the same way as they attempt to cross.

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