Alt Manhay quick AAR

john connor

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9pm, day 2. 24 hours into this battle.

27.png

I'm trying to rest units and stall Axis attacks with my really considerable arty assets. The yellow circles show the location of my arty. Together I have over 100 big calibre guns on the map, and grouped together they are extremely effective at stopping any attack, even armour. This, of course, is gamey (I feel) and contrary to Dave's 'balancing' instructions about player arty, which suggests you should only ever use 50% of the arty directly, leaving the rest to the AI.

The yellow arrows show where there have been strong, co-ordinated Axis attacks involving armour. I will have to move TK McGeorge back to Awez to deal with the threat there.
 
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john connor

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Well, despite the presence of TF Kane, I have seen Axis units vanish into thin air in a way which suggests they are managing to exit towards Erezee. TF McGeorge has arrived and has orders to mount a full attack along the line of the yellow arrow. Meanwhile, I'm placing huge arty concentrations on the approaching Axis forces.

28.png
 

john connor

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Just to illustrate what happens to armour units - in this case Panthers - under the force of a 100 gun barrage, I've dropped briefly into actual mode (which you can only do with the developer debug version of the engine) to take an interesting pic:

29.png

Note that the barrage failed to kill any tanks, but they did, in the end, retreat, heavily supressed and fatigued.
 

Kurt

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Having these type of " human versus AI " scenarios is a good alternative to the standard stock versions , at least until the AI is drastically improved . Oh forgive me , but how do I access that " actual mode " ?
 

john connor

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31.png

Daylight. 8.30am, day 3. The Axis is attacking the Erezee exit from two directions with strong, coordinated, combined arms forces, backed by artillery. My attacks into Grandmenil and Manhay are scheduled to start after 9am, and the forces chosen are still moving to their FUPs.
 

john connor

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Kurt. I replied to your question using the private conversation mode here. Check that. Peter
 

john connor

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32.png

Approaching midday, day 3. Lots of furious activity. The Axis keeps pushing attacks towards the Erezee exit and they're all strong combined arms attacks. Without completely ignoring the 50% player control of arty advice I would have been evicted from the exit point, I think. But I have masses of arty and have been able to break up all attacks. I have to hold onto this exit objective right to the end as I only get points for completion, not occupation. So far, in this scenario, I've picked up about 20 points by killing the enemy, and that's more or less it. If I get the Erezee completion points then I will come in at just under 50 points - which might be enough for a draw.

I have a strong attack going into Grandmenil, but they've already been replused twice. Soon they'll bog down. There are still significant Axis forces in Grandmenil, and by now they'll be dug in.

H co of the 517 has managed to get into Manhay, but I don't know how long they'll be there.
 

Daz

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Jumping forward a few hours. I've spent the whole day trying to extricate my men from the mess I got them into. IN the end I've given orders to all units near Manhay to pull back to safety north of Manhay, where I'm now trying to rest them. I think now that this should have been my plan initially - to rest the units in safety, then attack, because (with hindsight) there was going to be no way I could get into Grandmenil before the Axis during the first night. Note that this is NOT true for the stock scenario, only this alt scenario.

Historically they were pulling out of Manhay before the attack even started as per Monty's orders.
They were meant to pull back to the ridge line north of Manhay in order to shorten the line, but because the orders were changed and confusing elements got left behind in the withdrawal.

So pulling back to the ridge to rest and wait for reinforcements would be a good thing to do and historically accurate.
Then wait for the right moment to counter attack.
 

john connor

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Darkness falls again. 17.12, day 3. None of my attacks have been successful into Grandmenil. I resorted, as did the Allies in real life, to plastering the village with arty. That moved some of the defenders, but not far enough. And now my arty stocks are out. I will get more in the 6pm supply run, but not enough to maintain these huge barrages. We are holding at Erezee and still control the objective. I haven't sufficient force to attack Manhay and Grandmenil.

33.png
 

john connor

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34.png

Under cover of darkness units manage to push into Grandmenil and Manhay. We do not control the objectives yet and probably never will. Even if we get them now it's too late to amass many points from the occupation. I'm only able to get in to these towns at all because the Axis has shifted focus to the west and the Erezee exit.
 

john connor

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Well, I wasn't able to hold the Erezee objective, so got no points for it. The Axis forces were determined and aggressive to the end. Nor did I get control of Manhay or Grandmenil. In fact, I got points only for killing the enemy!

35.png

That was enough for a draw, and the final picture looks very historical. Historically, from this point on the Allies were to get more reinforcements and the Axis pulled back, unable to go further.

So, in the end I played quite quickly, but only because by then the decisions at the beginning had already fixed the result. In this scenario it's certainly the case that your opening moves can determine how far you can get later on. I made the wrong moves, I think.

But I'm happy with the altered scenario. Playing relatively carefully, using all the arty available, I was only able to achieve an historical result, and a draw. The Axis was a formidable opponent, making concentrated and effective attacks.

I also put together a scenario to play as Axis, with similar goals. Be interesting to try that now.

Peter
 

Daz

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So you have managed to balance the scenario and entertain us in the process.
Well done mate :happy:
 

john connor

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Very quickly, the equivalent alt scenario for play as Axis.

36.png

7 starting orders, again....

1. 2.3PGR to attack Grandmenil (from FUP 1)
2. 1.3PGR (the only foot Bn) to attack Manhay (from FUP 2), via the woods.
3. A massive combined arms attack into the north of Manhay (from FUP 3) using 3.3PGR and 1.2PR (with no less than 60 Panthers!)
4. Base to nearer SEP
5. Arty to Oster
6. Flak unit to guard the N30 (red road) out of Manhay
7. odds and sods to block incursions into my rear from Lamormenil direction.
 

john connor

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37.png

There are 37 points to be got from the Erezee exit, 20 from exiting a Bn or so of mixed force, another 17 from holding it. Niether of these crucial objectives activate until 2pm day 2 though. Before that Grandmenil yields 33 occupation points and Manhay 7. These objectives run only until the afternoon of day 2, by which point I'm expected to move on towards Erezee, the main goal. But I should still hold Grandmenil and Manhay after that as lesser objectives become active yielding 6 more points if I deny them to the enemy. This objective pattern dictates a clear plan - take Grandmenil and Manhay, hold them until around 4pm day 2, then exit forces to Erezee after taking (and holding) the Awez objective, and whilst keeping denying forces in Manhay and Grandmenil. For this reason my opening plans ignore the known Allied units in Lamormenil.
 

john connor

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midnight. I'm into Grandmenil. Manhay a bit tougher. But I have 60 Panthers in the field. Surely I can't be stopped.....

38.png
 

john connor

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39.png

This is from the actual view (a dev tool) without fow. So I can see how the Allied AI is doing. Not as well as I would have hoped. But it's more or less historical.
 

john connor

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Interesting. 13.31. This is still in actual view. The allied AI has sent TF McGeorge right around the back. It looks like its actually trying to encircle me! This would be a good move in a scenario lasting 6 or 7 days (when I might actually run out of supplies), but there's not that much time here. My panzers could be vulnerable though, in terms of ammo and fuel. Since I can't see this movement in normal view (due to fow) I won't react to it.

40.png
 

john connor

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And there it crashed. And I hadn't saved since start......

I lassooed the huge group on Manhay , placed a new move marker and CTD....
 

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