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Battle for Caen scenario - Goodwood - Atlantic

Bie

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I'm about to get started on my Operation Goodwood scenario. The map should be about done, apart from some detailing. The terrain south east of Cean seems to be quite open and full of fields. It is also moderately hilly on the southern part. Great for some tank on tank action!

Looking at the map I'll have to include Operation Atlantic in the same scenario as well. This is where two Canadian infantry divisions crossed the Orne and took the south eastern part of the city of Caen itself.

Both operations kick off at the same date and are quite interconnected. By now I have a good understanding of the the participating units and their position on the map. And I've come to the conclusion that a lot of units will be facing off against eachother (twelve in total).

The time frame of the scenario will be kept to two days though. So it'll be a short high density scenario.
 

Bob Hanna

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I have some info that may help you a bit with your Canadian units setup. According to my source all of 8th Brigade (QOR, NSR & RDC) crossed London Bridge at 1am on Jul 18 and took up positions in front of Colombelles. RDC & QOR up front with NSR in reserve. Both lead battalions were supported by tank squadrons (C Sqn 1st Hussars w RDC / B Sqn w QOR).

At about 5am a thousand plane raid of RAF Lancasters and Halifaxes bombed Colombelles, the steel works and Vaucelles and nearly flattened all of them (80% damage).

When 8th Brigade crossed London Bridge their position was taken by the British 11th Armoured Div. No armoured units were allowed to cross the Orne until just prior to the formal start of the operation at 07:45.

8th Brigade was opposed mainly by elements of the 16th Luftwaffe Field Div and some scattered units of 21st Pz Div. The Luftwaffe division started surrendering en masse when the Canadian attack into Colombelles began at 07:45 but the advance was hindered significantly by rubble.

Hope this helps.
 
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Bie

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I have some info that may help you a bit with your Canadian units setup. According to my source all of 8th Brigade (QOR, NSR & RDC) crossed London Bridge at 1am on Jul 18 and took up positions in front of Colombelles. RDC & QOR up front with NSR in reserve. Both lead battalions were supported by tank squadrons (C Sqn 1st Hussars w RDC / B Sqn w QOR).

At about 5am a thousand plane raid of RAF Lancasters and Halifaxes bombed Colombelles, the steel works and Vaucelles and nearly flattened all of them (80% damage).

When 8th Brigade crossed London Bridge their position was taken by the British 11th Armoured Div. No armoured units were allowed to cross the Orne until just prior to the formal start of the operation at 07:45.

8th Brigade was opposed mainly by elements of the 16th Luftwaffe Field Div and some scattered units of 21st Pz Div. The Luftwaffe division started surrendering en masse when the Canadian attack into Colombelles began at 07:45 but the advance was hindered significantly by rubble.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the info. Indeed, I've placed the 8th Canadian Inf Brigade (RC, QOR and NSR) near their starting line at Le Bas de Ranville. Didn't know where to put the Hussars, so good that you pointed that out to me. I'm going to let the scenario start at H-Hour (07:45h), so I can model the morale drop of the Axis units due to the air raid that just happened.

I've also come to the conclusion that I won't be using much of 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. They mainly attacked to the west of Caen (off-map for this scenario). The only force of the 2nd I'm going to be putting in is its 5th Brigade, which would start by attacking Faubourg de Vaucelles.
 

Bie

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The tinkering with the OOB and estabs continues. Luftwaffe Felddivision 16 is just about done. Turns out I needed to put in quite some units and equipment for the Luftwaffe. Nothing spectacular though, just trying to be as authentic as possible. So I added a couple of Fk288 and Fk396 field guns to the equipment and the Luftwaffe Füsilier Bn HQ and its Coys to the forces.

Continuously looking at the placement of the units as well. This is a screen from the Canadians at Le Bas de Ranville:
Canadians at Bas de Ranville.jpg
 

Bie

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The map is just about complete. I want to do some more detailing, but it turns out that the added southern part is quite monotone as it is mostly wheat fields on rolling hills. I still need to check for clipping errors between the different layers though.

At this moment I'm putting in the OOB's and looking into the placement of the units. I can say that this scenario will have a ton of units. The amount of units in the scenario is about 660 at them moment and I haven't even put in the Guards Armoured and 11th Armoured as well as most of Infantry Div 272 and 346 and SS Panzer Div 1. I'm hoping that it won't be to much, leading to an unplayable scenario. In which case I'll have to compartmentalize into smaller scenarios.
 

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john connor

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I've never had a problem playing From the Meuse to the Rhine, which totals at 881 units. Great if you produce the whle, huge thing, historically accurate OOB on an historically accurate map. Monumental job.
 

hubee0

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Great Bie!
Any plans for Totalize/Tractable?
I've got loads of info, OOB, daily reports etc. regarding 1st Polish Armoured.
 

Bie

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Great Bie!
Any plans for Totalize/Tractable?
I've got loads of info, OOB, daily reports etc. regarding 1st Polish Armoured.

It's a possibility. It would be fun to do some more Canadian stuff. Looking into putting in the Polish also seems cool. But for the moment I'm focusing on Goodwood. It's taking on bigger proportions than Sword to Caen. That's something I didn't expect.

I've moved on to initial gameplay/ai testing as most of the oob's are set. I'm running into some slowdowns at the start of the game. I'm guessing it is because every single unit is getting new orders and that all needs computing power. I'm thinking of putting some units on both sides as reinforcements and have them arrive on scene a bit after the start of the scenario. I'll do some testing with it and will try to find a good balance.
 
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john connor

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I can live with it going slow for the sake of historical accuracy, if that's what it comes down to. If so, please leave me the historical one to play with! Have you played the big KOAD scenarios? They run quite slow initially. I've never been bothered by it. Others might be, but maybe not.
You could carve off Caen and the Vaucelles area, I guess. Draw a line right down the side of the map to focus on the straight north-south tank heavy attacks towards the Bourgebus ridge. The line would run roughly through Bieville in the north to Roquancourt in the south. That would take out all the Caen based action that is mainly infantry based, iirc.

But it would be nice to have it all!
 

Bie

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I can live with it going slow for the sake of historical accuracy, if that's what it comes down to. If so, please leave me the historical one to play with! Have you played the big KOAD scenarios? They run quite slow initially. I've never been bothered by it. Others might be, but maybe not.
You could carve off Caen and the Vaucelles area, I guess. Draw a line right down the side of the map to focus on the straight north-south tank heavy attacks towards the Bourgebus ridge. The line would run roughly through Bieville in the north to Roquancourt in the south. That would take out all the Caen based action that is mainly infantry based, iirc.

But it would be nice to have it all!

I have thought about splitting the scenario in two. Basically making one for Atlantic and one for Goodwood. But I don't like that constraint and am going for the both full operations. Well almost full... I'm almost tempted to sow one or two extra kilometers to the west of the map to include a river crossing of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. For the moment I'm just going to have them come on the map as reinforcements. So, no worries. It'll be nothing but the whole thing.

As it stands now, the Allies have 510 units and the Axis have 344. I still need to put in the 1st SS Panzer Division and some corps units on both sides. So I imagine I might be pushing up to a 1000 units once I'm done with that. For the moment I've done my best to model all of the divisions and its subordinate units. But as there are so many units I imagine there might be some of them with incorrect equipment or vehicles.
 

john connor

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How many days of Goodwood is it to be? I think it's best if scenarios are not over 3 days, because the game has no way of handling replacements, and in long tank batles in particular replacements and repairs were extremely important. I read a great book that Jim recommended that was written by a guy who served in a unit recovering and replaceing tanks in Normandy and elsewhere. I think it was called 'Deathtraps'. Forget the author. Maybe Jim will recall? Anyway, with no replacements things start to get pretty unrealistic after 3 or 4 days if there has been very heavy fighting. I would have thought just doing one day of Goodwood was enough. But that probably won't help you cut down much. Be interesting to see just how sluggishly a 1,000 unit scenario runs. You're right, of course, if it's really like treacle all the time then probably best to split it up. As I said before, From the Meuse to the Rhine runs fine on my middle spec laptop, and that's not far off 1000. However, they're not all in play at the beginning...
 

Bie

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Doing some more reading to get a better grip on all of the unit's positions. Just about all of the accounts say that the Allies bombed the German positions heavily before the attack. They also used a creeping artillery barrage right before the attacking armours.

The 16th Luftwaffe Field Division must have been hit especially hard. They were just about obliterated. Because of the extended air and artillery bombardments the initial German prisoner were so stunned that they could not be interrogated for 24 hours. This is something I will have to take into account when tuning my forces. For the moment the scenario starts at H-Hour. A large portion of the air bombardment should already have happened by that time. So that at least makes it a bit easier on my part.
 

john connor

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You don't have the JTS Panzer Battles Normandy title, I assume, Bie? Those games, if nothing else, are put together by people obsessed with historical accuracy. Goodwood/Atlantic is in there, down to platoon level, with all the starting dispositions etc, a complete, thoroughly researched OB for both sides, with all the bombardment effects factored in, and so on. Would have been a nice resource for you. $39, I think, on the JTS site. Just a thought. I have played the Goodwood/Atlantic scenario to half way, PBEM. My wrist ached too much to continue - those games are the mother of all clickfests. But the scenario was a good fight, and enjoyable, if you're not too prone to RSI.
 

Bie

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You don't have the JTS Panzer Battles Normandy title, I assume, Bie? Those games, if nothing else, are put together by people obsessed with historical accuracy. Goodwood/Atlantic is in there, down to platoon level, with all the starting dispositions etc, a complete, thoroughly researched OB for both sides, with all the bombardment effects factored in, and so on. Would have been a nice resource for you. $39, I think, on the JTS site. Just a thought. I have played the Goodwood/Atlantic scenario to half way, PBEM. My wrist ached too much to continue - those games are the mother of all clickfests. But the scenario was a good fight, and enjoyable, if you're not too prone to RSI.
No, I don't own that one. Though I almost bought it back when I was doing my Pegasus Bridge scenarios. I didn't because John Tiller games are sadly not really my cup of tea. But indeed it seems really detailed and seems to have correct OOB's.

I've taken a look on the site of Panzer Battles Normandy and did find some nice designers notes and visual OOB's for all of the divisions I need, so that's already a plus.
 

Bie

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Goodwood - Atlantic is coming along nicely. 1st SS Panzer Division is in and what a behemoth it is. It is by far the most hard-core division I have ever put into one of my scenarios. Every brigade is bolstered by a couple of companies and the companies themselves have top rate equipment and vehicles. Couple this with the maniacal stubbornness, excellent training and high morale this division is worthy of being called elite, even more so than the Panzer Lehr from my previous scenario.

I'm tinkering with the objectives as well. It is definitely a more straightforward scenario than my previous ones in that sense. The Allies just need to go from the north to the south and the Axis just need to stop them. It is quite linear and thus easier to manage.

Concerning the slowdowns: I think it might not be as bad as I thought. The scenario is a tad slow, but not overly so. My computer might have had a bad day the other time I tested it, who knows? ;-)
 
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