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Decision at Clervaux AGAIN! aar

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This wasn't a good showing by me at all. In my defence I started panicking a bit about the enemy getting a little too close to the Wiltz objectives in the South, but also I moved a couple of Battalions in the central area off two of the objectives that would have secured 12 VP each which I stupidly wasn't paying attention to and only realised once it was too late. So a bit of a cock-up all round really.

The initial plan of course was to keep the North and South orders more of less the same, which I did, and move some central forces back to the two objectives in the West while also reinforcing the South. Unfortunately for some reason the Battalions I wanted to move West simply refused to move for the entire battle. This was when I, essentially, and very stupidly just plucked a couple of Battalions more or less at random and ordered them West. I'm pretty sure the ones I chose were the two sitting on the 12 VP objectives. If nothing else, this may be a lesson in taking breaks instead of pushing on furiously like an addict getting his fix.

Anyway here's some screenshots for your enjoyment.

D1 0530 pre game Centre annotated.pngInitial plan to move West and South respectively

The North only differed in the fact that the enemy seemed to push an Engineer unit to the bridge and sat on it. I don't remember this happening last time. And you can see my first mistake was to move a Battalion right past them as if they weren't there at all. I just don't know what I was thinking there. I just needed to attack and push them back.

D1 1300 hrs North.png

D1 at 1300 hrs in the South this time and things are pretty much as expected. Very similar to last time.

D1 1300 hrs South.png

Things begin to heat up a little at 1700 hrs in the North. The Engineer Battalion is starting to edge forward across the bridge. This really was a huge miss on my part and it should have been dealt with much sooner. As it was I left it too late and lost the St. Vith objective the next day.

D1 1700 hrs North.png

In the South at 1700 hrs, and the enemy are really pushing my beleaguered troops at this point. I've already ordered most of the reinforcements South and they do arrive in time, in fact they're earlier than last time, but once again the enemy seems a little more determined to go on the offensive in this battle. It was shortly after this that I made the mistake of moving the Battalions I mentioned above off their 12 VP objectives without realising.

D1 1700 hrs South.png

At the end of D2, and the battle, I've lost ground completely starting with St. Vith.

D2 Final position Lost St. Vith.png

Next to fall are the two central 12 VP objectives.

D2 Final position lost ANOTHER 12 VP objective.png

and...

D2 Final position Lost 12 VP objective.png

Then we went and lost Wiltz itself too. Oh dear. Not a good couple of days at all.

D2 Final position lost 7 VP objective.png

And the final results.

Final result Draw.png

So, all in all a complete f**k-up by me there. I don't have the energy to do it again just yet, but will no doubt come back to it and try a different plan of action once again at some point in the future.

All in all I enjoyed the first battle more. This one was too full of my own mistakes and oversights and I was just glad when it was all over in the end.

Hope you enjoyed this(more succinct) aar anyway. See you next time. Good luck, and have fun.
 
Joined
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This seems to be exactly what I've learned. I recommend keeping a check on exhaustion by keeping a force info dialog box open and making sure to give rest orders.

Even in the regular military forces, monitoring troop health is a low priority -- and commanders pay for ignoring it when their plans aren't addressed as effectively as though the troops performing them had been well rested before ordered into action.

Nominally, troops are now supposed to get 8-hours respite in a 24-hour cycle, but in practice those 8-hours include activities less intensive than combat or movement but tasks that preclude rest.
 

GoodGuy

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Nominally, troops are now supposed to get 8-hours respite in a 24-hour cycle, but in practice those 8-hours include activities less intensive than combat or movement but tasks that preclude rest.

That is correct, generally, but manual FM - 7-22 (October 2020, Sleep Readiness) encourages soldiers/officers to install "sleep banking". This means that soldiers get 8 or (ideally) more hours of sleep per night before major missions. The actual goal there is to get more sleep than usual (such as 10 hours - or even more), which then improves alertness and performance during a short period of sleep depriviation. While the DoD also recommends "tactical naps" of 20 minutes followed by caffeine during operations, the manual recommends to move such naps to the afternoon and to keep them short, without specifying a particular time frame ("short" = 20-30 mins, most likely).

Table 11-1 (page 11 - 9) outlines how soldiers can maximize mission sleep:
  • "Before (the mission):
    Two weeks prior, get 8 or more hours of sleep per night.
    Stop caffeine and alcohol consumption at least 6 hours prior to scheduled sleep.
  • During (the mission):
    Take naps whenever possible to accumulate 7-8 hours of sleep in every 24 hour period.
    Caffeine can be used to reduce grogginess on awakening.
    Separate day and night shift sleep areas.
  • After (the mission):
    To reduce sleep debt or deprivation, plan on additional sleep time.
    Increase sleep to 8 hours every 24 hours to return to optimal alertness and performance."

The manual even includes a table indicating optimal caffeine doses (eg. 200 mg at start and 4 hours later during night operations or sustained ops).
The Sleep Foundation indicates that a reported 86% of Army service members deployed to Afghanistan slept fewer than seven hours per night, and half slept fewer than five hours.
During training exercises, service members may sleep fewer than five hours per night. Typically, those 5 hours are split into multiple episodes of sleep, usually lasting less than two hours each.

Back then, the regular regime in the Wehrmacht on marches was 4 hrs marching and 4hrs of sleep on combat marches (eg. in France 1940 and Russia 1941), if the mission/situation/unit health allowed for such regime, while some units - according to vet accounts - started to march on the first daylight with several rest (not sleep) periods of 30 minutes or an hour (and one or two food breaks) in between and a sleep period starting around midnight ('til the first daylight).

A setting in the game for at least the historical German 4/4 (and maybe a 2/2) rest regime would be neat, where then say a foot unit/column would automatically stop and rest after 4 hrs of marching for some 4 hours, before picking up the march again.
The current rest regime does not accurately depict the regimes used in foot units historically, imho.

Tank crews:
At least British (afaik) and German tank crews had dedicated/trained substitute drivers (usually the radio op., IIRC), who could drive the vehicle in non-combat situations (redeployments, movement to unchallenged FUPs, etc.) so that the tank driver could get some rest, too. If a tank had enough fuel/ammo, a tank crew did not have to stop to get some rest. I remember that tank units would not move at all after some 8 or 10 hrs of movement (with some engagements in between) in earlier versions of the game. Is it still like that?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
That is correct, generally, but manual FM - 7-22 (October 2020, Sleep Readiness) encourages soldiers/officers to install "sleep banking".
One of my jobs as a logistician supporting the development of a new combat brigade design was insuring MANPRINT was included in the planning.

The field manual is one of the reference documents our MANPRINT expert would use to include his recommendations in our planning.

Back then, the regular regime in the Wehrmacht on marches was 4 hrs marching and 4hrs of sleep on combat marches (eg. in France 1940 and Russia 1941), if the mission/situation/unit health allowed for such regime, while some units - according to vet accounts - started to march on the first daylight with several rest (not sleep) periods of 30 minutes or an hour (and one or two food breaks) in between and a sleep period starting around midnight ('til the first daylight).

A setting in the game for at least the historical German 4/4 (and maybe a 2/2) rest regime would be neat, where then say a foot unit/column would automatically stop and rest after 4 hrs of marching for some 4 hours, before picking up the march again.
The current rest regime does not accurately depict the regimes used in foot units historically, imho.

Tank crews:
At least British (afaik) and German tank crews had dedicated/trained substitute drivers (usually the radio op., IIRC), who could drive the vehicle in non-combat situations (redeployments, movement to unchallenged FUPs, etc.) so that the tank driver could get some rest, too. If a tank had enough fuel/ammo, a tank crew did not have to stop to get some rest. I remember that tank units would not move at all after some 8 or 10 hrs of movement (with some engagements in between) in earlier versions of the game. Is it still like that?

The game does an excellent job of including, tracking and emulating the linkages of general troop health (including fatigue) in its calculations reflecting the efficiency of movement and combat. There was no hard rule of 8-10 hours of tank activity before shutting down, but calculations of because the time was affected by calculations of troop quality in terms of experience, training, leadership and current health status (largely included in the fatigue calculations). The worse the general rating of the unit in terms of the troop quality and current health status, the shorter period of time that a unit will function as expected. Adverse impacts range from loss of cohesion to delay to abandoning the mission to rest.

Besides the tank operation impacts, infantry and artillery / support units suffer from adverse troop quality and health including reluctance to engage in combat or in terms of artillery, less frequent and more poorly aimed engagements as troop quality and health issues build up.
 
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