I have found it easy to win the stock Manhay crossroads scenario, whether playing as Axis or Allies. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. The scenario - way back when - used to be quite difficult from the Axis side, I always thought. But various changes have changed various things (I'm not sure what) so that it's no longer like that. If I play as Allies the Axis AI gets bogged down dissipating its considerable force between too many objectives, if I play as Axis then the Allies similarly fail to concentrate attacks where needed. So I decided to produce two versions with a different play balance, tweaked with the object of trying to get the enemy AI to play more aggressively, to concentrate force and put in more devastating co-ordinated attacks, whilst keeping the historical set-up and OOB, and also keeping the historical objectives. What happened in real life - as everyone knows, no doubt - is that the Axis were able to mount a night surprise attack (more or less) on tired defenders and quite quickly take Manhay and Grandmenil. From there they tried to expand to the west with the goal of passing through Erezee en route to the Meuze. It's not very clear why their goal wasn't to use the much larger road north from Manhay. Their western expansion was countered around Sadzot and Briscol by allied reinforcements, they fell back on Manhay and Grandmenil and were able to hold these towns for a couple of days before the Allies kicked them out again. And thus ended Axis aggression in this sector. When I started tweaking the AI objectives etc i wanted to make sure that it was possible for the Axis AI to at least achieve these historical results. The key factor that disrupted their plans in real life was allied artillery. So, now I'll quickly play through the altered version set up for play as Allies, and see how effective my changes were. I have a particular fondness for this scenario as I live not far from the battlefield and have visited often. This is the starting position. I think the key first thing to note is the condition of the allied troops. I have picked B Co. 48th AI Bn to illustrate things. Most units on the map are in a similar condition. Fatigue is at 68% and morale at 45%. It's night time as we start (9pm) and they should be resting. if they get into a fight in this condition then I would expect to see a lot of retreats and routing, followed by surrenders etc. The side briefing says this: Since the Germans have broken through our lines in the southeast, it is imperative that you establish a defensive line, to form a secure 'shoulder'. CCA/7th Armored Division is to fall back to the high ground north of Manhay. The divisional train is presently trying to get through Manhay. Troops are tired and communications poor. There has been heavy fighting south of Manhay at the Baraque de Fraiture crossroads (off map) and there is real urgency to move the 7th Armored column out of its vulnerable position in Manhay, before any Axis scouts get through.What we know of the Germans general plan is that they intend to push with full speed to the Meuse, which would mean any attack would likely focus on pushing directly north through Manhay using the best road available. Reserves are on their way to counter this asap. You should note that a less rapid route to the Meuse would cut west at Manhay through Grandmenil and on to Erezee, though since the roads in this direction are poor it is more likely any attack would prefer a northern thrust. Orders: 1. Get the 7th Armored column out of Manhay and to safety in the north. 2. Pull back TK Kane, which is very exposed. 3. Man outposts in Grandmenil, Manhay and anywhere else you deem appropriate, keeping scouts to the south in case there is a break through at Baraque. 4. After that try to get the troops rested and organise any reinforcements that arrive during darkness. Tomorrow will be a tough day. So they know less than me about what is about to happen! But that makes no difference because the briefing also tells me that the initial orders delay will move from 600% to 100% during the first 7 hours. So I can make all the orders I want, but the Axis are still going to have the benefit of their (historical) surprise. The three yellow circles show my 3 objectives. Together they yield slightly less than 50% of points and all points are given for occupation only - so to get half points I would need to occupy them all early and hang onto them. But over 50% of points are given for destroying 50% of the enemy. So the idea is that I should try to hurt the opposition, not just go for objectives. However, to get a win I will have to do both. I have a major decision to make at the very start. Whether to order my units strung out in Manhay back north (as instructed) and to then try to rest them, or whether to order them into Grandmenil and Manhay. Whichever I choose, nothing will happen for several hours due to the initial orders delay settings. If I don't rest them I will undoubtedly lose many of them if - as my advance scouts tell me - a major Axis offensive is about to fall on us. As far as routes of Axis attack, I've numbered them 1 through 5. They're all pretty obvious except for number 3. Only careful checking of the map terrain reveals that there exists this backdoor - for armour and infantry - over the river Aisne, which is, in fact, a mere stream where the route crosses it.