By Daz on May 23, 2015 at 6:21 PM
  1. Daz

    Daz Member

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    I have managed to finish my game of Manhay Crossroads at last.
    After a shaky start I managed to get ahead of my schedule again.

    I have relearnt two important things playing this scenario.

    1. How important it is to support the Armour with infantry especially at night.
    I found I had to re structure the Bn's to ensure that each had an armoured unit and an infantry one.
    Also because of the quantity of forested areas I often found I had to mix and match the dismounted infantry with the armour and the motorized Bn's in order to get at the numerous Allied Parachute Infantry hiding in them.

    2. How devastating the Allied Air power is to morale for any unit hit by it.
    I learnt quite early that you have to hide your valuable Armour into the edges of woods, during daylight in clear weather, preferably with good arcs of fire, to escape the wrath of the Allies ground attack aircraft but also to be of some use during the period of the day, when they are supposed to be most useful. Then move and attack with them at night with accompanying infantry.

    This was a very high interference game, where I was usually managing with a command load of about 25-30 out of a maximum command load of 36.
    So still well within the limit.
    I also managed most of the Artillery and mortars myself, which was no hardship as there were not many of them in this game.

    It was a very enjoyable play through without a single crash to report.
    I would however like to see a bit of work done on the AI's use of Infantry/Armour cooperation.
    I saw quite a number of moves and attacks at night in the forest with the armour as the advance guard instead of the infantry and this must be hurting the enemy AI more than it is the player, as we are able to monitor and adjust.
    MC-Decisive-Victory.jpg
     
    #1 Daz, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

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Discussion in 'CO2 - After Action Reports' started by Daz, May 23, 2015.

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    1. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor
      Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor
      Daz,

      Can you please a raise a feature request fro the inf / arm co-op at night. Thanks
    2. john connor
      john connor
      Well your plan - extrapolating from your final positions - looks not very different, Daz, to what the AI does most often as Axis!! So it must be on the right track!

      I have found it hard - in the deep and distant past - to get anywhere near a decisive win as Axis, so well done!

      I would have liked to have seen more of what the AI did in response, in particular with all the arty at its disposal. Historically, allied use of arty was very important in kicking the Axis from the objectives they won initially. You seem to have lost only 36 men to arty. Whereas you have killed over a thousand with your own arty. In the context of recent reports about the AI arty perhaps sleeping, I would have a little alarm bell ringing about that, despite your skill as a general, no? Did allied AI use of arty look ok to you? Why weren't you pounded mercilessly whilst sitting in Manhay and Grandmenil, for example (as happened historically)? Just wondering. I should try it myself as Axis, of course, and play to the end (which I haven't done for a while).

      Peter
    3. Daz
      Daz
      The AI Arty was very sleepy mate.
      Part of the reason may have been tactical problems on its part.
      I'll have to look into it to know for sure, but I think the minimum range may be to close for the ones entering from Werbomont to be effective on Manhay and I had OP's (Observation Posts, an infantry Coy to be precise acting as an OP) out in the area quite early enabling Counter Battery fire.

      Manhay did however get a real seeing to by Allied air power.
      I only had two dug in Coy's of infantry in there for the most part though so not as bad as it could have been had my armour been in there.
      I kept two Coy's of Panthers on the edge of the forest on the other side of the open Grandmenil, Manhay Bowl/depression. These did a wonderful job of long range interdiction of anything that tried to move down from the Werbomont Road area during daylight, and they stayed hidden for almost the entire scenario, only venturing out during the last night to take the Werbomont Road objective in a two pronged two Bn attack.
      The foot coming out of the forest from the east and the Armour, supported by the motorized Infantry, advancing up the main road.

      I was actually conducting an attack on Awez (To Erezee Objective) when the whole of the Allies reinforcements arrived there.
      I got beaten back by the weight of their firepower and got hit by an air strike devastating one of my Panzer Coy's so in retaliation, I must confess I bombed the C*** out of them, justifying my actions as having discovered an American Assembly Area.
      This is where the high tally of casualties inflicted on the Allies, due to my bombardments originates I'm sure.
    4. Daz
      Daz
      This is the closest save I have to the first attempt of the Battle of Awez.
      At D2, 11:12 I gave the order for a two Armoured Coy attack supported by fire from the StuG's in Sadzot, on what at that time was just two Coy's of infantry!
      MC-Axis-D2-1230.jpg
    5. Daz
      Daz
      Surrender pic same time as above, as you can see the bombard tally is starting to mount :nurse:
      MC-Axis-D2-1230-S.jpg
    6. Daz
      Daz
      Surrender Pic same time as above showing situation around Manhay.
      Notice the Allied Artillery is able to bombard Manhay for the most part as it is outside the min bombard distance.
      I think its possible that the Allies were not able to get close enough to Manhay to see the two Coys of infantry deployed there (especially once they got dug in), as they kept getting beaten back by the Panthers on the far side of the depression as soon as they poked their head out..

      Note the two Coy of Panthers, 3.2 and 4.2 on the edge of the woods.
      These were responsible for a massive amount of Allied Casualties I'm sure.
      Shame we are not able to see the number of kills for the individual units.
      MC-Axis-D2-1230-SMH.jpg
      Last edited: May 26, 2015
    7. john connor
      john connor
      So it was tactics! Brilliant stuff, Daz - the use of long range fire from the panthers, I mean. I have never placed them like that. The distance is what? 2km? From your Panthers to the surrender crosses nth of Manhay? Or is it less?
    8. Daz
      Daz
      Thanks Pete.
      As a general rule of thumb, you need to stand off as far as you can with Axis Armour. It's able to out gun and be almost impervious to Allied fire at longer ranges.
      When playing Allies you have to think the opposite when up against Axis armour. You need to try and bring them in close.
      I quite often set the Allies Armoured units to Ambush settings and place them on reverse slopes, in woodlands, or in urban areas.

      This image is a bit messy but it has the grid on and a composite of the LOS Area tool cantered on the two Panther Coys.
      As you can see they have amazing arcs of fire.

      The Allies would attack Manhay every night and push the forward infantry Coy out, but as I am defending in depth, with another behind, they wouldn't get them both out by morning.
      Come first light the Panthers opened up again and they withdrew with heavy casualties.
      MC-Axis-D2-1230-SMHO.jpg
    9. john connor
      john connor
      Superb. Love it, Daz. Thanks for the tips. I will try it. You're right, the range there is incredible, much more than I would have thought. Quite often, I think, I'm stupid enough to get confused by what the battlefield (this one and others) looks like in real life, having been to Manhay very recently - and where, due to multiple trees and hedges which are just short of woods/forest etc, but which stack up at distance, and due to folds in the land that are too small to show up on the game contours, no such line of sight is even near possible.

      The view from the road in, to the sth, for example, looking straight up Manhay main street to the nth:

      manhay.png

      Because of the angles, the area of trees, for example, immediately behind the building to right front, obscures very effectively over 1km of land behind. Yet none of that is woods or forest - just rows upon rows of tree and hedge with land dipping slightly between the photo position and the heights and woods behind. The clear area on the heights behind isn't the road up to Chene al Pierre either, but just a clearing. The road the Allies would come down is out of sight behind all the trees and hedges.

      All this would be clearer in winter, however, so even more fool me for having it in mind.

      Still, there has to be a reason why, during the actual battle, none of your long range tactics were used. The engagements with the Panthers all took place at much shorter ranges, afaik, for instance, during the night attack panthers placed almost exactly where the above image is taken from engaged and destroyed several US tanks in the immediate foreground.
      Last edited: May 27, 2015
    10. Daz
      Daz
      Fascinating stuff thanks mate :)
      I'm sure you are right about the hedges but just from looking at your picture I can see most of the trees are younger than 70 years old.
      I'm assuming that a lot of the building there are as well?

      They were a lot more reliant on firewood for heating and cooking in them days and I know my dads place in France had a lot of old pollards that were cut every winter for firewood, before he moved in.
      They weren't really conservationists in them days, there were more into conservation of movement lol
      That's why big clearings spring up around settlements as the woodland gets pushed back for firewood, or farmland.

      I have no idea if it would have been more open than it is now, but just thought I would add them variables in as food for thought ;)

      This was the situation just before first light at D3, 06:00.
      Its a surrender pic BTW.
      MC-Axis-D3-0600.jpg
      Last edited: May 27, 2015
    11. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor
      Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor
      Well Daz's tactic of relying on the Panther's long range works while the weather holds. I suspect that one reason why the Germans historically committed their panthers forward was to avoid being caught out should there be a morning fog. Also tankers hated deploying without infantry around them for close in protection, especially at night. So I imagine many of Daz's tankers would have spent the night with paper and shovel in hand. Maybe this calls for a bit of code that fatigues the hell out of armoured units deployed without inf nearby. (Just kidding!);)
    12. Daz
      Daz
      It still is dangerous in game to deploy armour without infantry at night. I was the one sat here not getting any sleep because of it :wideyed:

      I was taking a gamble as so often they did in the war.
      I gambled the enemy would be more interested in Manhay, than taking on a Coy of Panzers, to gain a patch of woodland, knowing there were two Coys of my infantry sitting astride of the main road to their rear, should they get caught out by daylight next morning.

      My biggest gamble, is the lone HQ sitting in Grandmenil!
      I was trying to send back the infantry Coy 3.3 but they ran into the Light Armour then became so fatigued they refused to take another step until they got some rest :grumpy:
      What was left of the Light Armour D40 by this time down to just 2 Stuarts and my HQ 1.3 now down to just 13 men couldn't even see each other on the other side of town so co existed quite happily until morning when the two Coys of Panthers you can't see to the west attacked and destroyed it :cigar:
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