AAR OtP vs JSS (VICTORY!)

Discussion relating to Battles in Normandy

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Postby Abwehr » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:23 am

Can't speak for Amgot, but in my opinion the only places where the Axis can truly counterattack is on clear terrain, especially near Caen and especially with "clever use" of the retreat priorities. Attacking more than 2 step units in the bocage is probably not worth it as you'll suffer losses probably without killing the unit.
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Postby Amgot » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:23 pm

Hi Flak, thanks for the encouragment!

Regarding your question, I would answer pretty much what Abwehr said. Against a competent Allied opponent, there is simply not much to do when it comes to counter-attacking. If I'm not mistaken, I haven't counter-attacked a single time against the US forces since the beginning of my game against JSS.

IIRC there is a variant of the original BiN scenario which allows you to play following Rommel's plan (i.e with the Pz SS close to the beaches). I've never tried it but it should give the Axis player a much better chance of mounting a serious counter-attack.
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Postby Amgot » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:25 pm

Turn 49, July 24th, 1944 – Operation Cobra phase 2: abandoning Caen

The first phase of our Great Leap Backward™ has gone perfectly well. Now to the second phase, which is even more critical than the first one for two reasons: 1. JSS won’t have 2 but 5 carpet bombings at his disposal, and 2. we are retreating in mud terrain while JSS’s troops will advance in dry terrain next turn. Thankfully, his interdiction is still limited by the rain.



JSS has used his two carpet bombings on a stack with a Pak unit and a three-step regiment of the 77th Division north of Montsurvent. Thankfully, his carpet bombing give poor results and while the Pak unit is logically destroyed, the infantry regiment miraculously survives. The 4th I.D. tries and fails to inflict damage to the panzer regiment of the Das Reich west of St-Lo.

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Post-retreat.

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The Yanks have only been able to launch a single attack in this area, against a regiment of the 709th Division entrenched northeast of Torigni. The attack is easily pushed back with no losses on our side.

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Post-retreat. A few Ost units have been left behind to hinder the enemy’s movement. This is the weakest part of the front, but the 319th Division is on its way to breach the gaps. Vire is three hexes south of the recon unit at the bottom of the picture.

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In the Orne sector, the 35th I.D. and the Brits are unable to attack at all. The latter cross the Odon and set up a bridge over it, but we should be able to safely retreat behind the Orne as planned.

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A solid line of defense is formed in this sector. I’m just a little worried that JSS might use one of his carpet bombings to try to cross the Orne at Goupillières.

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At Caen, the nebelwerfer unit left behind is destroyed and… no other attacks occur. East of the Dives (or rather north now), the Brits take position before Crevecoeur. More worrying (though not entirely unexpected), the 6th US Armor and a couple of independent American units – which hold the power to unleash the terrible carpet bombings – have crossed the Orne and threaten my PzD entrenched in Cagny and Bourguebus.

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The last 2 sectors of Caen South are abandoned, with an Ost unit used as a “super-detachment”. I also regretfully abandon my defensive positions at Cagny and Bourguebus in order to stay out of reach of the U.S 6th Armor. I’ll try to keep keep Vimont, but I’m pretty sure JSS is going to hammer my units there. Finally, although I had planned to withdraw a little bit more, I decide to use the Frundsberg to make a stand for the bridges at Crevecoeur.

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Postby Abwehr » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:59 pm

I'm guessing he'll try to hit the units east of the Orne, as well as potentially the fairly exposed units of GvB (the unentrenched PzG regiment in particular is practically asking for a beating). He doesn't need great odds to get a great result. Depending on how much artillery he moved to the east, he might even get great results with limited forces.
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Postby Noakesy » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:33 pm

Amgot wrote:Please do, I'm curious to see how it unfolds.


Hmmm to be fair I'm not sure it's worth reporting!! We're only 12-13 turns in and I'm struggling as allies (which coincidentally is similar against JSS, I think there's a fault in my version of the game :wink: :D )
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Postby Amgot » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:54 am

Abwehr wrote:I'm guessing he'll try to hit the units east of the Orne, as well as potentially the fairly exposed units of GvB (the unentrenched PzG regiment in particular is practically asking for a beating). He doesn't need great odds to get a great result. Depending on how much artillery he moved to the east, he might even get great results with limited forces.


You guessed wrong ;). I just watched the replay and he used all of his 4 carpet bombings around Coutances and St-Lo. He took out one Pzgrenadier regiment of the Das Reich division, as well as a three-step regiment and the four Ost units I had left behind to impede his movement.


@ Noakesy: don't lose hope!
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Postby Abwehr » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:40 am

Those casualties are extremely low considering the power of those carpet bombing strikes, good news for you. Any idea whether any landed on his forces?
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Postby Amgot » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:36 am

No, I don't think any landed on his forces.
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Postby Amgot » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:18 am

Turn 50, July 25th, 1944 – Operation Cobra epilogue: after the apocalypse

The Americans’ second carpet bombing turn has not been extremely successful for JSS, with only one Pzgrenadier regiment destroyed, as well as a three-step infantry regiment and the three Ost battalions I had left behind. A pretty good result all in all I think - the only worthy unit I lost in two carpet bombing turns is the Pzgrenadier regiment – but of course, I did give a lot of ground. JSS’ comment: “Not much impact to be made when nipping at your heels is the only option!”


At Coutances, a unentrenched panzergrenadier regiment of the Das Reich division guarding the northwest access to the city is destroyed by two consecutive carpet bombings. East of the city, a fallschirmjager regiment is also targeted by a carpet bombing attack but it only suffers a 1-step loss. Finally, JSS’s last carpet bombing is used south of St-Lo where a 3-step regiment is destroyed.

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Unfortunately, I have retreated too much along the west coast of the Cotentin, which means that if I don’t want to give too much ground, I have to to expose some units on three sides – which is never a good thing.

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The Yanks haven’t tried anything in the area, but Vire is not far to the south now.

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An exposed M-10 battalion is overruned and destroyed southeast of Auray (the presence of a Tiger I battalion in the area helped a lot). I hope this will remind JSS that even if my troops are retreating, they can still bite. This is also the first American unit I destroy since the beginning of the campaign – actually, this is the first time I have attacked them at all.
The 319th Division is taking position in the area: its task will be to contain the US advance toward Vire. Finally, the 116th Panzer, which just arrived in Normandy, is sent to Vire to serve as a general reserve. We’ll see next turn where it is most needed.


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No action in the Thury-Harcourt area either. The Brits advance into the bocage, and the 29th I.D. doesn’t try anything against Aunay, where the 17th PzGrenadier SS GvB keeps guard.

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The destroyed bridge over the Orne at Goupillières is secured. The line is pretty solid in this area, and I don’t think the Brits will try to push much further toward Thury-Harcourt.

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Monty massed his forces and his artillery and managed to throw us out of Vimont, though his forces stay cautious and don’t try to occupy the city. The US forces haven’t moved, unable to reach our troops.

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Recon units indicate that US forces are still present in numbers in the city hexes of Caen, most notably the 28th I.D. and 6th Armor, along with a slew of independent units. This bothers me, and I will be relieved when (if?) they leave and go back to the American sector. Anyway, I have to be cautious in this area, and that’s why I decide not to reoccupy the village of May sur Orne south of Caen. However, the wood sector southeast of Bourguebus is reoccupied, and a stack of British units is pushed back northwest of Vimont – with light losses unfortunately because of bad dice rolls. Vimont is not reoccupied – too dangerous.

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Postby Flak » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:20 am

Again nice defensive action!
Any chance of stiffining up your line SE of Caen with some infantry?
Seems to me those panzer divisions aren't made to hold the line so thin tho they are in mostly good terrain.

Best of luck and I do hope that US armor will shift back west :wink:

Again thanks for a nice aar here!

Regards

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Postby Amgot » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:09 am

I'm pretty happy with most of my PzD being south of Caen as it is there that they are most useful IMO. In the bocage, they can be used as powerful defensive units - but that's it. In clear and wooded terrain, they can also be used to push back enemy incursions, while simple infantry divisions wouldn't be strong enough.
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Postby Amgot » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:21 pm

Turn 51, July 26th, 1944 – A new beginning

The carpet bombings turns are behind us now, and the computer projects an overwhelming Axis victory by 5562 points. However, we’re now faced with a huge problem: how to deal with the uber American artillery for the remaining 25 turns? Thanks to it, two solidly entrenched units were destroyed this turn, including the Das Reich’s panzer regiment. Our line will crumble if our units continue to disappear at this rate. We have given a lot of ground during the carpet bombings turns and thus, the classic “preserve troops by pulling back” tactic cannot apply anymore: if we pull back too much in the western sector, the Americans will reach the plain southwest of Villedieu and then, there will be no stopping them. Similarly, in the center sector, the enemy is very close from Vire, and we can’t let him advance much more. The only glimmer of hope is that the upcoming weather is atrocious.


Entrenched in rugged hills terrain, the Das Reich’s panzer regiment has been destroyed with five consecutive attacks. Other attacks against the 77th and 243rd Divisions have failed.

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Thankfully, I had laid minefields northeast of Coutances last turn: hopefully, they will help mitigate the American attacks in the area for the coming turns.

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The Yanks have taken their revenge for the M-10 unit we destroyed last turn: a three-step regiment of the 243rd Division is grinded to death – and its two timed steps are lost as well.

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Even though Allied interdiction is heavy in the area, the 319th Division takes its place into the line. Meanwhile, the 116th Panzer is sent further west.

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In the Thury-Harcourt sector, the Brits have also grinded to death a regiment of the 16th Division which still had two timed steps. The loss of those regiments which still have timed steps left is dramatic, as I doubt our 21 regular infantry replacements will be enough for the remaining 25 turns…

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KG Von Luck steps into the hole. Let’s hope the Brits won’t be able to grind any of our units to death this time.

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At Caen, the ominous U.S. 28th I.D. and 6th Armor don’t leave, and a solid stack even entrenches in clear terrain north of Bourguebus. No action is reported in the rest of the area, but as our minefields are slowly eroding, our defense line grows more vulnerable. I fear JSS will try something and use the sometimes illogical retreat rules to force my units out of the woods, and then annihilate them in clear terrain.

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JSS has been very cautious here not to overexpose his forces. The only thing I could have done is to harass the British troops in clear terrain northwest of Vimont, but I’d rather give my panzerdivisionen a turn to replenish their OP reserves. I still fear JSS is going to combine his American and British units to force the LSSAH panzer regiment out of the woods southeast of Bourguebus and destroy it. Let’s hope I’m overestimating his forces.

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Postby Amgot » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:24 am

Turn 52, July 27th, 1944 – The Screaming Eagles enter Coutances

Only slightly hindered by the mud, JSS continues to pound our lines. The 101st Airborne and the 2nd Armor take Coutances but fail to break through south of the city.



The U.S forces launch a 10-1 attack on Coutances, where a regiment of the 77th Division is entrenched. JSS gets a double dice roll, rolling a 5 and a 6, effectively destroying the German regiment (which thankfully had no timed steps left, so no waste here). He then tries to breakthrough to the south but the Stug regiment entrenched there pushes back his attack.
As you can see below, the clear terrain south of Beauchamps is not very far, and I’m going to have a hard time containing the U.S forces in this area until turn 76.

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Tactical retreat is the only solution. The arrival of the 116th Division in the sector should help.

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Not a whole lot of action in the area: a regiment of the 709th Division is left unharmed after an isolated attack of the U.S. 29th I.D. northeast of Pont Farcy. Northwest of Danvou, some independent units are pushed back by the 82nd Airborne and 5th Armor with light losses.

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Following the 82nd Airborne and 5th Armor advance, a slight pull back is ordered in the eastern part of the sector.

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The Brits continue their grinding in the bocage northwest of Thury-Harcourt. A regiment of the 16th Division suffers losses but is able to find its way back to friendly lines.

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The strategic crossroad at Aunay-sur-Odon has to be abandoned as our troops slowly retreat toward the Orne and the bridge at Thury-Harcourt.

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No fighting in the Caen sector this turn but the Allies continue their cautious advance: U.S. troops occupy Cagny while British troops entrench themselves in the woods directly north of the Bourguebus ridge. Bourguebus and Vimont are still in the no-man’s-land.

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Two attacks are launched: one against the Brits entrenched in the woods north of Bourguebus ridge (so I can lay a minefield in the wooded hex to the south), and a second one against the troops entrenched in clear terrain northwest of Vimont, in order to inflict some damage and create artillery residue that will hinder the enemy’s movement next turn if they want to attack my defense line. Both attacks succeed.

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Postby Amgot » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:20 pm

Turn 53, July 28th, 1944 – The 243rd Division gets cut off

It seems that the Allied commander has turned all of his attention to the westernmost area around Coutances, where he used most of his artillery and all of his aerial interdiction. The rest of the front sees a lot of grinding in the bocage, and no action at Caen.


JSS has attacked in force northwest of Heugueville, driving south, destroying a regiment of the 271st Division and cutting off two regiments of the 243rd Division on the Agon-Coutainville peninsula. There is no way I can push back this recon units stack, so those two regiments have already be written off. No other attacks are launched in the area.

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Next turn, the remnants of the 77th, 243rd and 271st Divisions will retreat behind the Sienne river, knowing they have achieved what was expected of them – hold north of the Sienne until mud arrives. The estuary provides excellent protection, and the Yanks won’t be able to attack across it during the four coming consecutive mud turns.

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Northwest of Trecy, the 4th Armor has broken through the fresh 265th Division’s lines, inflicting only light losses. Further east, a regiment of the 709th Division – which is guarding the roads leading southwest to Villedieu and south to Vire – has courageously withstood four grinding attacks, losing only two steps in the process.

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The 4th Armor’s advance forces us to give some ground in the western part of the sector. The newly arrived 84th Division is sent by truck to Pont-Farcy and will serve to reinforce the front in this sector in case a bad surprise happens next turn. As JSS correctly pointed out, there is “not much the Allies can do in weather like this. Any progress can be contained immediately.”

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The Brits continue their grinding northwest of Thury-Harcourt and beat a motorized Fallschirmjager regiment down to two steps.

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Not much activity in the area. The +4 shock British units are a pain though, as it forces the Axis player to form a line that can still have enough anti-shock after a first grinding attack. South of Thury-Harcourt, a pontoon is deployed in order to facilitate the future withdrawal of units to the east bank of the Orne river.

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The Anglo-American forces continue their slow advance in the plains south of Caen. Cagny and Bourguebus are now solidly in their hands.

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I’m pretty happy with how things are going in this sector. I’m slowly giving ground, using minefields to prevent JSS from launching effective attacks, even though he got an American corps in the area. My panzerdivisionen are still in a relatively good shape – JSS hasn’t been able to launch any effective attack against them in the past 10 turns – and I have 9 unused armor replacements. Falaise is still a long way to the south, and the clock is ticking. While it is certain that I won’t be able to hold those locations that would give me 100 VPs on turn 76 (Rocquancourt, Bourguébus ridge, and maybe even Bretteville-sur-Laize), I still do have more than enough VPs to win an overwhelming victory (the computer predicts an Axis victory by 4207 points).

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Postby Amgot » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:39 pm

Turn 54, July 29th, 1944 – Breakthrough at Trecy

American forces have broken through our lines right in the center sector, near the village of Trecy. This must serve as a reminder to the German high command: with the amount of troops and artillery the Yanks have, no area is safe from a breakthrough.


Not much action in the Granville sector this turn: JSS had launched a low-odd attack to use up the supply of the 243rd Division’s regiments on the Agon-Coutainville peninsula – although they should still hold one more turn. A regiment of the 77th Division has been pushed back behind the Sienne river with light losses.

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While the two encircled regiments of the 243rd Division continue to resist in the Agon-Coutainville peninsula, the last German troops on the north bank of the Sienne estuary retreat to the south bank. The 116th Panzer, short on OPs, cannot be rerouted to help contain the breakthrough at Trecy, so it is decided to send the 3rd Fallschirmjager instead.

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The 4th Armor and numerous infantry units have made a clean breakthrough, driving south on the road from St-Lo to Trecy and obliterating the two last regiments of the 353rd Division. Consequently, American forces have attacked on the northeast side of the bulge, threatening to pocket two regiments of the 276th Division and a Pak unit. Good weather over Normandy has allowed JSS to badly hampers our supply, and mud next turn isn’t gonna help.

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Thank God I had brought the fresh 84th Division at Pont-Farcy last turn. If I had not, I’m not sure how I would have been able to plug the hole. Next turn is a rain turn, which is good as it will limit Allied interdiction. But it’s also a mud turn, which is a double-edged sword as it will both slow down Allied forces and severely impair my supply units’ radius. Supply is a real issue as JSS caught me right when I was swapping supply units between the Granville area and the west end of this sector – which means that the latter doesn’t have any supply unit.

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Some minor British grinding sees a regiment of the 16th Division lose one step. I’m pretty sure JSS is content with applying some limited pressure here in order to force me to use some good units to guard the area.

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With the four incoming mud turns, my troops behind the Orne cannot be attacked.

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Once again, no action at Caen.

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And with no interesting opportunity to attack, no action on the German side either.

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