Historical Reinforcement and supply. Per request, I played this scenario with limited manual ARTY management. To simulate reality, ARTY management should not be overly heavy. I have to say I am amazed by the operation maneuvers of the AI, and it has tried all probable assault operations I have considered, even slightly more. And the flexibility it demonstrates in changing its operation focus is extraordinary, in which aspect AI most likely outperforms the human in general as it is not affected by emotions. Situation analysis: Based on the briefing, we know that we are facing an SS Panzer Division, so the situation is critical in the first few hours. Note that order delay is high initially, and most forces of CCA 7th Armoured Division (AD) is low on ammo. Task Force (TK) Kane is in good shape, and rear guard of CCA 7th AD in the woods have ammo. In the map above, black lines indicate probable SS attack routes. Dotted lines indicate possible attacks which we do not need to worry for too much in the first couple hours. Note that enemy foot infantry can move through the woods to support attack along the highway, or secure Oster if needed. Green circles points out areas that are unexpectedly passable for motor. Now the critical decision for Allies is, whether to hold Manhay, Grandmenil, both, either, or neither. The briefing tells us to abandon those towns, but the problem is that if we do so, we still need to hold surrounding areas, meaning that we would have a larger area to cover, further spreading out our small force. In addition, the rearguard along the highway has to be withdrawn lest they will be surrounded. One viable strategy may be that we can send only one infantry company to defend the Grandmenil Erezee road, and all the rest of the force defending positions in the north, as the briefing says. Later reinforcements can take care of the west direction. If holding either of the towns. we cannot lose Grandmenil because otherwise the SS can launch a full scale assault from there to Manhay, which we cannot withstand. If holding only Grandmenil, the issue would be those roadblocks along the highway. If we hold them, which requires a stronger force than two companies, and we lose Manhay, the enemy will surround those blocking forces and annihilate them. If we do not hold those positions, then Grandmenil would face half encirclement. Furthermore, note that CCA 7th AD base need to be stay in Manhay to supply defending troops with badly needed ammo. There is one risky maneuver possible, which is to let a small enemy force attack Manhay: once enemy is spotted, immediately occupy the woods next to the road in the southwest of Manhay to cut off the road, and counterattack from the south and west. Though this strategy still requires some troops in town, especially to protect the base. Whichever defence strategy we choose, the key is to delay the enemy, which falls on the shoulders of TF Kane, in particular, D Company 83 Recon Bn. View attachment 7941 D1 21:50 and later As 2 SS found out the southern route was blocked, they amassed a sizeable force to try breaking our positions along the highway. Their assault force comprised of about 2 Panzer companies (mostly Panther), 2-3 infantry companies and 1 FLAK AA company. We lost our first blocking position with heavy losses. At Grandmenil, the Panther company forced our mortar platoon to disband, our ARTY battalion engaged it in road column, with 1 light and 1 medium tank companies counterattacked it. In the South, medium tank company of TF Kane engaged enemy infantry and lost 1-2 tanks and was ordered to retreat. In my multiple attempts, the AI never tried to use those forces that slipped through the bottleneck in the south to attack D Company, 83 Bn. Admittedly the AI could do better. Though there was a dilemma: they did not know the location of the rest of TF Kane, so if they threw only some forces to remove the block, they might be ambushed by us. If they divert too much force to do that, they will have to re-plan and will lose time for assaults on Grandmenil and Manhay. Plus they may run into our delaying forces on their way to FUP for the attack. D2 09:50 We repulsed enemy attack along the highway, but their Panzers broke into the corridor of the forest in the north and tried to attack Manhay. A company 48 Bn counterattacked but was repelled, but then they came under the fire of our tanks next to the corridor and retreated, while we through our infantry reinforcements into counterattack, later followed by tanks. Most infantry units that got weakened in the attack were diverted to the South again, as they finally forced our blocking force from its position. I took a risk for a brief period: during D2 early hours, the vanguard of infantry reinforcements from the west engaged the retreating Panther company and got delayed, while the assault on our positions along the highway almost broke through our last position, so all tanks were thrown in there and there was only CCA HQ and base at Manhay. I reasoned that their assault on Grandmenil was not followed by any other force than that lone Panther company, so they were unlikely to send fresh forces to attack from Oster direction, given that our blocking position in the south was still holding at that hour. D company 83 Bn is in a precarious situation, as its retreat route is blocked. D3 11:59 Our positions in the North are now secure.Though the enemy may try another assault from the direction of Oster. We should also now pay attention to possible enemy attack from the south to Awez in the west. Best defence positions are two gateway positions. Note that the position around the woods in the southeast of Oster can overlook town areas in the south. I sent an infantry company in the hope that they may get there safely, though in this case an enemy infantry company stood in the way. This dispatch turned out to be unnecessary and a bit disadvantageous for reasons explained later. Now our armoured reinforcements will arrive in a minute. We can start to plan counterattacking. Potentially the enemy will launch another wave of assault from Oster, though our current forces should have no problem holding them. Our available force for counterattack will be limited, because almost all our units except paratroopers will be very tired with high fatigue by sunset if they keep current level of fighting. And that company dispatched to the woods for observation could have helped with the defence to allow other unit(s) to rest. So we are not likely to inflict crush the enemy in our counterattack, but we should aim to achieve some advantage in strategic position, and we need to look for a place that we can hold if the enemy counterattacks. Our reinforcement, TK McGeorge, has strong mechanised infantry units, and we have inflicted quite some casualties on the SS infantry, so we will use a night assault to hopefully reduce the advantage of German armour. My choice is a breakthrough in the east along the highway.