Normandy Revisited (AAR #2)

Discussion relating to Battles in Normandy

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Postby Joe » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:25 am

Rob,

For your next screen shot, please turn on the hex grid.

If only I could right click on your screen shots..........Mr Gates? Hello?
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Postby Robjess » Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:11 pm

I prefer the hex grid off :)
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Postby Robjess » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:46 pm

The biggest problem for the Germans early on is that they dont have enough units to go around. The first 2 things the Germans need to do is respond to the Allied landings by securing both Carentan and Caen. Sounds easy.. the Allied are miles away. The Allies are most vulnerable whilst they are on the beaches - so there is the temptation to hit them when it hurts the most.

The problem is that its hard to attack on the beaches whilst securing those two vital towns. I positioned my troops to try and do it all. And its caused me some headaches - not that I dont have enough problems as it is..

I advanced to Omaha where there were reports that the Allies were having a hard time of it.. but Allied interdiction has now convinced me that I should retire even before I was able to get an attack in..

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Blowing bridges as I retreat one unit couldnt cope with the pressure and has gone into the red. This will be an opportunity for Roger. As these images show (giving too much away!) there is alot of ground for Roger to advance into as I try and get units back into position.

Looking towards Carentan.. (again trying to crop my picture so Roger cant get too much intel from it :))

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I am under quite a bit of pressure here. If Roger can get some good assaults together he may manage to get some retreat results and capture the town! So I am rushing units to this area.. the problem is there isnt much to rush.. and what there is to rush is a good few turns away..

Over in the east at Caen..

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I was able to conduct some attacks on those British Gliders. I did manage to bag at least one of them and cause dreadful losses to some more.. but I didnt manage to clear them out completely. In the process I conducted the rescue of a Pnz Gren unit. What I am left with though is some allies on my side of the river still holding the bridge open to reinforcements! And this troubles me. I really needed to be more successful here this turn.

What Roger doesnt know is where Panzer Lehr has been positioned.

German reinforcements are entering the battlefield from the map edges and are making their way towards the critical sectors. Here is an image of recently arrived units from the far south west:

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To assist with their deployment, Battles in Normandy introduces a new movement mode - Rail Transport. Trains can be allocated to a unit the same way that trucks could be allocated in Korsun Pocket and TAO.

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Once a train has been assigned to the unit it is then able to travel longer distances along the rail network to get to where it is going to (the front!)

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Postby Manny » Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:28 pm

That totally rocks!

Sounds like those railguns are going to be making a comeback in Kursk after all :wink:
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Postby Roger Keating » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:30 pm

The advantage the Allied player has is to close down the Axis supply network in any place he desires.

In this case it was Omaha. The US units had a bad feeling that the Axis forces would stay there but I believe that Rob made the right decision in pulling them back. If they stay there then the US forces can't land without taking bad attrition.

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If they had stayed then the British would have arrived and they would have been forced back. The supply problems of the German's cannot be overstated. On the other hand the Allied supply is a bit pathetic.

All units arrive with little or no reserves, which means no extended movement, and no possibility of manouver if they get into trouble. It is a good idea to leave units, such as the 2 Armor to refuel and rearm as soon as they get ashore, as they are just so much more effective, but then you really need them immediately. It will be interesting to see how players use this system.


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I thought that Carentan might fall easily but it is going to be a hard nut to crack. If Rob had stayed at Omaha then it would have been easy but as he is pulling back the opportunity is drifting away. I'll try though.

Caen is settling down after some inital fighting and the main effort seems to be around the Omaha/Carentan area. When the German tanks roll up, of course, this could all change.
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Postby Robjess » Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Sorry guys - work has keep me off the battlefield. But here we are with the German Turn 3.

I had forgotten how shite things were looking for me. And whilst I know Roger has his own problems in the Allied camp - it doesnt give me any less of a headache in trying to work out what to do this turn! I think its pretty obvious though - its still a case of getting units into position and trying to hold the flood of Allies back.

I know I have mentioned this in the two previous AAR's we have done on BiN/TAO4 - but the new movement routines are very cool indeed - as you have your turn enemy units appear and disappear and watching your opponents PBEM replay now is quite exciting!

Ok, lets have a look at Caen:

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Those Brit Glider doods have now scurried back over the river where they belong - taking with them some battered and bruised men. I have taken this screen shot with the Combat Advisor (CA) on - so that those who are unfamiliar with the series can see how helpful this feature is. As you can see, at the end of my turn, I was still able to get some good attacks in - even up to 9-1 odds. Whilst it may look tempting.. I think I will prefer to stay sheltered in the buildings of Caen rather then venture into the clear terrain infront on the Allies.

Now that I have captured Pegasus (?) bridge back from the Allies - the only real way into Caen by Roger with me to outflank it.. sounds quite historical to me... of course Im sure the Patton side of Roger's brain is trying to push him for a frontal assault - whilst the Monty side is quite happy with his units sitting back soaking up the sun.

Mind you, there is one weakness in the German defense of Caen .. if he looks he may see it.. but it will put him in very vulnerable position and subject to strong counter attacks from me.

Me thinks the "battle" for Caen this time around will be very different to the battle we saw in the first BiN AAR.

Moving west, lets have a look at the situation around Omaha.

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Whilst this is a public AAR - I reluctantly display the following image - which shows just how weak I am here! It also confirms where I have sent Panzer Lehr (which is the first thing the German player will need to make a major decision about).. I could say that I have problems in this sector, but its not unique.. the Germans have problems everywhere.. as do the Allies.. - just different ones. This game is a challange for both players regardless of what side you are playing.

Also in this image above, you can see a "blue" skull and cross bones on the map. This is a Mine that I have dropped. In BIN you are allocated Mines and Strongpoints from time to time the same way that Replacements and Interdiction is allocated to players during their turns. This turn I got a strongpoint and a mine to place - you can see where I have placed the mine. The Strongpoint was allocated to one of the urban hexes in Caen.

Further west - at Carentan..

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You can see I have problems here also! Enough said really. I have units unsupplied and the enemy is everywhere.. I am trying to get reinforcements into position as best I can.. but they are taking too long.. far too long!

And lets not even mention that poor German unit stuck behind lines in the middle of the Allied flyboys!

Over to you Roger.. do your worst mate :)
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Postby Brubaker » Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:43 pm

That "Poor German Unit" appears to be the 6th FJ Regiment judging by its position and the elite (yellow) background colour of its unit icon. I think it will put up a good show of itself but eventually even elite units run out of supply and become demoralised.

In the Caen screenshot, it appears that you are taking the defence of the city seriously Rob. Do you have any other units elsewhere in the area :P

Seriously though, denying the Aliies the city is like placing a finger in the dyke - whilst it is there the flow stops but take it away and whoosh! A quick check of the map shows that there are no other bridges across the Orne apart from the few at caen and a couple directly either side. This makes holding the city critical to stoppoing the Allied advance - as in real life.
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Postby Joe » Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:25 pm

Brubaker wrote:.....bridges across the Orne.........



Across the river Orne! One of the great scenarios of CC1!

CC1, one of the greatest wargames ever !
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Postby Wotan » Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:31 pm

Really enjoyable again!

Keep it up lads.

The comment about CC1 thats the only CC I never owend.
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Postby Manny » Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:56 pm

CC1/2/3 are defintely some of the finest games of their genre.

Lots of blood *and* screaming. Who can ask for more ?!
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Postby Roger Keating » Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:26 am

One of the additional features that anyone wanting to master the BIN system has to address is the fuel issue. 2nd Armor has landed at Omaha or Utah but comes ashore completely without reserves.

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They can be rushed to the front, or can be left near the beaches to refuel before being rushed into the action. An armored unit in the front line without reserves has very little ability to cope with an out of supply situation and does not have any ability to penentrate any breaches that are made in enemy lines. It is frustrating to just have them sit around and not do anything but, than again, when they hit that enemy line with full force....

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Caen is a very different battlefield to the first AAR. Montygomery is firmly in control and the British defensive lines are looking formidable. The two surviving Para units are being rested and are relaying their stories to the other chaps.


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The rest of the front is not so quiet. The Germans lost a regiment trapped near the beaches, as well as the surrounded one next to Carentan, and an AA gun next to Carentan. Forces are advancing on all fronts but it has been noted that strong German forces are holding defensive lines in the bocage. Lots of bridges seem to be going down so the rebuilding effort is already under way.One airbourne unit has made it next to Carentan but reports strong resistance.
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Postby Robjess » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:07 am

If there was one word to describe the my situation it would be - THIN. Because at the moment from my perspective my lines look paper thin. Im sure to Roger they look strong - or at least I hope he thinks they are :)

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Here is an image of the whole eastern part of the battle.. I have tried to extend my line running south west from Caen - behind the river, and have then some units into Villers Bocage. I have two strong divisions arriving in the east next turn.. so that makes me a little bit happier.

The Allied interdiction really is a killer in this game and the new AA features will have the best German player pulling their hair out as they try to find the best placement for those 88's. I can tell you now, whilst you may think you want them in the front line levelled out and pointing at Cromwells and Shermans - you will quickly rethink that situations quick smart.

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Utah is interesting. The reason that Carenatan and the area in front of Omaha has been so weak is because I decided to keep a reserve. The reserve was situated in the far west just between St Saveur and Carentan. My plan was to hold these units back and then when Roger had extended his line far enough I would push them into his flank and hopefully drive into his soft centre around Utah.

It hasnt worked that way.. You can see I have committed some units now into that area - its the marsh area to the west of Carentan. The problem for me has been - the pressure has been too much on Carentan and Omaha that I had no choice but to pull some units from the reserve and commit them to defense, plus Roger's interdiction has made it hard for me to attack in that area - and Roger has used the 101st to protect his flank.

I fear that I will shortly lose Carentan now. Roger is going very well and is what I could consider 'ahead of schedule'.
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Postby Roger Keating » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:39 am

The airborne units aroound Carentan would benefit greatly from good reserves but they just have to be used every turn. The infantry can keep going from turn to turn much better than the armor. It is heart breaking when you commit your armor only to see them sitting in the front line unable to get back. Planning....

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Around Carentan The infantry forces are still making good progress. They are attempting to keep pressure on the area until I can commit the 2nd Armor and other fresh troops that are currently refueling. Capturing the bridge intact has made me feel happy that the flank will hold and the 101 are doing a good job in this area. The problem with the airborne units is that they have a couple of timed replacements but can't take replacements. Any losses they take are really serious and can take the sting out of any operation. A couple of permanent losses can see them consigned to garrison duty for the duration of the scenario.

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Good progress is being made through the bocage and the push has almost reach Villers Bocage. The air interdiction is still being concentrated in the region between Carentan and Villers as this will cause the Germans the most problems. Caen is having a holiday at the moment... I'll flatten it later.
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Postby Robjess » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:04 pm

Well it looks like the battles for Villers bocage and Carentan are heating up.

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At Villers Bocage, a newly arrived Panzer Division gets moved into position. There are a lot of Brit units to contend with though. You can also see that I am attempting to get some supply trucks and ART over to Carentan.. I failed to move on that earlier and I am paying the price now.

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Carentan things look grim. Its appears that the allies from Omaha will link up with those from Utah - very shortly. Carentan is under a heap or pressure and is now running the risk of being isolated.

I spent a great deal of time and considering over whether I should pull back and give up Carentan this turn. I decided against it.. The hex behind Carentan - for Roger to close the line is a clear hex.. so me may be hesitent entering into it.. I guess we will see..
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Postby Roger Keating » Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:18 pm

For a couple of turns now the 2nd Armor have been sitting, and resting. Another turn and they should be ready to plunge into the fray. The gold marker indicates what the reserve situation is going to be next turn and the gold indicator means that it is getting accelerated reserves. This means that they could drive on Cherbourg, cutting off the supplies on the peninsula, or drive off Omaha giving the Germans plenty to think about.

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One of the early Allied problems is shown by the supply situation.

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The yellow indicates that no replacements can be taken on the beachheads yet. On turn 9 the supply situation gets better and Omaha can then get replacements but not at Utah. This is why it is important to link the two beachheads together and why it is necessary to put men in clear hexes to cut the roads.


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The bad air condition has lessened the impact of the air interdiction but the Battleships and Cruisers are now helping out by sending in their own interdiction, which effects any hexes, not just the road or rail that the other interdiction affects. Carentan looks particularly vulnerable at the moment but the 82nd have taken losses while the 101st is in good condition. The Omaha forces are going to have to take over the major effort in pushing on Carentan.

The British are still relaxing around Caen, realizing that their time will come soon.
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