All American over Nijmegen - German side

Discussion in 'CO2 - After Action Reports' started by miya, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. miya

    miya Member

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    Hallo,

    i finished the Nijmegen scenario from the "Highway to the Reich" scenario pack.
    I played the german side against the AI. During the last few hours I managed to defeat the Allied troops in the city of Nijmegen. The remnants of several battalions are in a pocket south of the center of the town. In the south the AI is slowly getting the upper hand in the town of Groesbeek.
    Reading the AAR at the end, there is one point of critic I want to make concerning the AI. As you can see my Germans lost 67 men due to bombardment. I have a feeling the AI needs to be much more aggressive with its artillery support.
     

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  2. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    Hi miya , in the past players complained that AI was to aggressive with its artillery so Dave tweaked the code accordingly . The artillery issue whether under human or AI control is a complex one that will be improved in time .
     
  3. Guy Miller

    Guy Miller Member

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    Hi Miya, what was your strategy here? Looks like you did very well.
     
  4. miya

    miya Member

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    When I saw the numbers of bombardment casualties 68 : 1100 I was a little shocked, but it is good to hear that this will be improved in time.

    The basic idea was to keep the road Nijmegen-Kranenburg open and I had no intentions to recapture the bridges along the Maas-Waal-Canal.
    Therefore I moved all the reinforcements, Greshik, Stargaard, Goebel and Becker in to that polder area between the road and the Waal river.
    From there those KGs wer ordered probe several places along the highway, Wyler Berg, Beek and the southeastern suburbs of Nijmegen.
    In the meantime KG Henke was to hold the city at all costs. KG Harmer would provide some strengthening for the defenders at sunrise of day 2. After the successful probes of the 406th Division along the highway, I saw an opportunity to capture Groesbeek, KG Goebel was to attack. Unfortunately Groesbeek became a black hole which consumed more troops than i liked till the end of game.
    For the last day of the scenario I planed a large attack on the city of Nijmegen, KG Becker Regt from the south and the SS units from the north. The aim was to drive british and american units out of the city and secure the points of the objective. Now the open road Nijmegen-Kranenburg became very useful.
    Looking from a tactical point of view, micromanaging artillery and the units with the 88s was one key to success. I wanted to use direct fire on allied units. For the rest my KG commanders (the AI) did a very good job.
     
  5. Guy Miller

    Guy Miller Member

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    nice, thanks.

    I find that 90% of the time I take over all the ART above Bn level. One day, we will hopefully get SMOKE as a feature (both for human and AI) and that will be awesome.
     
  6. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    Whilst on the subject of artillery , Dave suggests you only micromanage half of your artillery units , leaving the rest to friendly AI . This creates a degree of game balance , otherwise you have an unfair and unrealistic advantage against the enemy AI .
     
  7. Guy Miller

    Guy Miller Member

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    sounds reasonable. I suppose percentage-wise I usually micromanage about 50-70% of ART, but almost always the "heavy guns" and usually just in situations where I want to create an offensive or defensive schwerpunkt. In some situations you just have to have a barrage.

    Am I way off track on this?
     
  8. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    No just stick to the 50% rule and let us know how you get on with it .
     
  9. Guy Miller

    Guy Miller Member

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  10. Roger Kirkham

    Roger Kirkham Member

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    I'm not sure the artillery is realistic in terms of the number of artillery units you can assign to a particular target.

    In practice, I believe that the largest artillery concentration achievable on an ad-hoc basis would be an entire division (for British divs, that's one unit of heavy and two units of medium artillery if memory serves).

    In the game, by micro-managing my artillery I can basically put every single piece in the corps or whatever and target it at a single area within range. That isn't realistic is it?

    The one exception to the above is carefully planned barrages that too k place before attacks - but that's a special scenario not really encountered in the game, although the breakout from Joe's Bridge takes place just after the heavy bombardment has ceased.

    What I'm saying is, there should be some kind of organisational system whereby no more than all the artillery units under the commnd of a division can be brought to bear on a single point.
     
  11. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

    Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor Panther Games Designer

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    Things are a bit busy here and I'm not going to give you the depth of response your query really deserves. The short answer is that by and large German arty operated "under command". US arty operated in direct support and in support. British arty operated under the principle of unity of effort. See this article here: http://nigelef.tripod.com/maindoc.htm

    So with the Brits they could call in arty from just about anywhere using one of their AGRAs (Army Group Royal Artillery HQs). If an opportunity presented itself, such as a enemy Bn forming up for an attack, they would use a code word "William" to claim priority of all guns within a certain command or range and they would all fire on the designated target. There are instances where this practice saw many hundreds of tubes firing at the one target.

    The Americans saw how effective this was in Market Garden and tried to replicate it in the Bulge. But they never really managed it to the same extent as the Brits had.

    In the game if a request for arty goes up the command chain there is a probability of commitment from the higher HQ. That probability is diminished for the Germans, less for the Americans and greatest for the Brits. So in effect if you are attacking a Brit force then there is more likelihood you will get stomped from guns other than those in the same command chain.

    Ideally what I would like to see is better modelling of in support fire but Rome wasn't built in a day.
     
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  12. Roger Kirkham

    Roger Kirkham Member

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    Thanks very much for your reply - you obviously have detailed knowledge on this subject and you've inspired me to learn more!

    Thanks again,

    - roGER
     
  13. jimcarravallah

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    The issue really revolves around efficiency of communication up to higher headquarters and ability to coordinate a response down from higher headquarters to subordinate units once that communication is exchanged. The game engine offers the pieces to replicate that with the orders delay feature as modified by the factors that address a command echelon's response capabilities and the individual unit's response capability based on its experience and training status. If those are already factored into the call for artillery order when applied at higher echelon levels, then the matter revolves around how unit capability modifiers were addressed by the scenario maker.
     
  14. Daz

    Daz Member

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    I have found a good discussion regarding German Artillery procedures here:
    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=149187

    Of particular note to me was this statement by Mitchate:

    "Recently I stumbled about this:

    The Arko of the I. SS Pz. Korps after the war claimed in a study, that radio controlled fire concentrations that he had ordered were executed 12-15 minutes after ordering the target by 40-50 batteries (150-200 gun tubes, or the equivalent of ~15 artillery battalions), which represents a corps's worth of artillery, including some batteries of neighbouring corps that were still in range of the ordered target.

    Source is MS B-832."

    The entire discussion was very interesting, as like one of the posters commented, it's very hard to find information on WWII German Artillery procedures, and response times, written in English.
     
  15. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Here is another article from early on in the war (1941) that demonstrates the effectiveness of the German Artillery procedures and the use of forward observers, from the Lone Sentry website:
    http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt/artillery-observers.html

    In the observation of fire, the greatest reliance by the Germans is placed on forward observers. Often the battery commander himself goes ahead in this role. The part that the observer plays in German field operations is brought out in the following translation from a recent issue of Artilleristische Rundschau.

    The artillery forward observer (Vorgeschobene Beobachter) plays a decisive part in the success of infantry. In the attack he goes along with the infantry, accompanied by a radio operator. If the attack is stopped, this observer calls for fire on enemy points of resistance and carries the infantry on to the next assault. In static warfare, the observer orders destructive fire against the enemy and covering fire to aid his own troops. He also directs destructive fire against enemy infantry who are about to attack or actually attacking. The results of this are shown not only in the effective cooperation between the two arms, but in the existence of a spirit of brotherhood in combat--the artillery forward observer becomes the best friend of the infantry.
    A few examples from the Eastern Front will illustrate the role of the forward observer.
    In one instance, a German battalion was attacking a Russian objective at a place where there was a churchyard in close proximity to the Russian rear; the attack was gaining ground very slowly, impeded by stubborn defense and by poor observation for the German artillery. Finally, a forward observer succeeded in the face of Russian fire in reaching an observation position located at the flank, whence he could observe the churchyard. The signal troops, working fast, established communication in a very short time with the battery, which was then able to deliver well-placed fire. The opponent was so pinned down that the attack regained its impetus. In a short time the village and churchyard were captured.
    In August 1941, a German division had been defending for some time a stream south of C--. A battalion received the mission to make a limited-objective attack in order to secure prisoners; the attack was to be made with a reinforced company, supported by heavy infantry weapons and artillery. After assembly in combat outposts, the company began the attack in several groups. The forward observer of a light battery and heavy battery went forward with the company, while at the same time another forward observer was stationed in the advance combat positions of the sector to the right of the attack in order to watch for any threat to the flank. Given excellent support by the artillery, and working skillfully through the terrain, the assault troops succeeded in penetrating deeply into the Soviet positions, without loss, and in capturing prisoners and weapons. At the same time, on his own initiative, the company commander in the sector to the right sent a weaker assault group to capture a Russian scout squad. The forward artillery observer in this sector supported the effort so well that nearly all the personnel of the scout unit were disabled or captured. The result of these two operations was a total of 42 prisoners and 12 captured machine guns and mortars, while on the German side the only casualty was one soldier slightly wounded. The skillful and rapid fire-support given by the artillery as a result of the work of the forward observer played a major role in this success.

    Other examples can be found on the website provided in the link above.
     
  16. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    Great stuff Daz
     

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