WESTWALL - small teaser

john connor

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The Westwall pack will be with us very soon, I think, so I thought I'd post a few images from it. I've been reading an excellent book whilst I've been testing a few of the scenarios. 'Aachen', by Robert W. Baumer. This book tells in considerable detail the struggle to break through this northern part of the Westwall and take Charlemagne's city, including some very nice detail from the tactical level, and personal accounts. I would recommend it. It goes very well with the Westwall pack which covers this northern part of the Westwall battles, around Aachen, plus some really interesting battles a little further north, in Holland.

I should nail my colours to the mast and admit that one of my favourite ever CO scenarios is Woensdrecht, a user made scenario (by Huib), sadly not yet converted for CO2. What I liked about that was that it was balanced - could be played aggressively from either side - featured a good force mix, infantry and armour, reasonable force levels, and a highly accurate, detailed map. The forthcoming module has these qualities in spades, I think, and this will certainly make it my personal favourite CO2 pack. Plus, for the first time, really, we get to field a large, attacking Allied force, without expecting to lose! HTTR gives you the option of attacking as Allies, but only in the expectation of defeat or draw (for players like me, at any rate....).

So, I've been quite excited about it, and was pleased to test a few scenarios. They range from Army level (a really superb struggle for Aachen, see the pics below), to Regimental. There's enough smaller scenarios to please those who want that kind of thing, I think. The maps are, for me, astonishingly good - really detailed, accurate, beautiful work from the developers, so that the terrain really does make a key difference in detail in all your decisions. Playing from either side there are also scenarios with truly excellent mixes of armour and infantry, and the Overloon scenarios feature what was, I believe, the largest tank battle in Holland. It's been a real pleasure to test some of it.

Here's a pic of, I think, the biggest historical scenario in the pack - the battle to encircle and take Aachen. This is the starting position from the Allied side, with only intel on the Axis. I post it just so you can see how fine the map is, and the scale of the fight:

aachen.png

Most of the crucial and most brutal fighting - when I played through and historically - takes place in a smaller area of this map, north of the city, around Verlautenheide and the hills west of it:

aachen 2.png

The Baumer book gives good details about the struggles in this area.

I really enjoyed this scenario (Aachen) though the scale (Army level) was larger than I'm normally comfortable with.

In that respect, for me the Dutch scenarios were gems. Here's the starting pic of the Overloon 2 scenario. The fighting here takes place in Holland, north of Venlo, as part of an Allied attempt to evict the Axis from the west bank of the Maas.

1 o2.png

These battles in Holland are sometimes called 'forgotten' because there were more celebrated fights (Market-Garden etc) nearby, but, in fact, the Overloon battles were amongst the costliest and most brutal in the war, the Axis defenders really fighting more fiercely than had been anticipated to hang onto this small bulge in Holland. At Overloon the worst fighting took place just south of the town of Overloon, during attempts to get across the Loobeek.

o2 2.png

And that is exactly what happened when I played this scenario. The map depicts reality very accurately because the line of the Loobeek basically acts as a barrier to armour right across the map, with only four crossing points, funnelling the Allied attempts to bring greater force to bear, especially armour. You can be sure that the intel pic above is way short of the actual Axis dispositions.

It's a great pack, I think, and once it's out I'll probably try to get an AAR up, maybe from one of the scenarios I didn't test.

Peter
 
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Matt D.

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wow, that big scenario is scary looking! Thanks for posting this John.
 

john connor

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Here's a pic with the grid, to better give the size of the map.

aachen 3.png

It's big, yes, but actually quite easy to play, as Allies, anyway. Breaks down into logical groupings of units and objectives very smoothly. And the new interface is fantastic with big scenarios, I think. The combination of OOB and Plan windows, besides all the others, all up at once on a second monitor, makes it easy to move your way through the ranks.

My set up for the Operation Clipper scenario, for example, looks like this:


clipper.png
 
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David Mangs

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This is great! I'm particularly interested in the West Wall battles (to include Huertgen Forest)...
 

john connor

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The pack doesn't cover Huertgen, David. It covers Aachen and the immediate environs (Stolberg, Geilenkirchen etc) and then some more northerly actions in Holland (Peel marshes, Overloon etc). It's a superb pack, I think. Beautiful maps and detail. Great force mix from both sides.

There is an intention, I believe, to do another Westwall pack at some later date, which would cover Huertgen and battles further south. But that would be queued behind the 'Knock on all Doors' pack and the eventual EF pack, I believe. Someone more in the loop can correct me if I'm wrong. Meanwhile this one is top quality, I think, with many hours of immersion. For me there is a great mix of scenario sizes, and - for the first time really - you get to attack confidently as Allies (if that's your poison....)

Peter
 

David Mangs

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Peter,

Understood! Even if Huertgen is not included, this is something I'm pretty interested in (BTW -- Baumer's book is excellent).

Good Job!
d
 

J. van Limpt

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Would be great to have a 'what-if' scenario about the so-called 'Little Solution', the alternative offensive (instead of the Large Solution, the offensive in the Ardennes).
 

simovitch

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"Plan Martin" covers a hypothetical push through the Netherlands in support of the Bulge. It's one of a few scenarios in the pack where the Germans get to take the offensive.
 

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