Gazala AAR

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Postby stevel40831 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:41 pm

Day 10

You can feel the tension in the air as enemy air and artillery strikes continue to take their toll on our rear area units. They are going to strike soon, hopefully we're ready for it.

Based on the patterns of enemy strikes and the placement of their interdictions, we are guessing that they are planning on trying to force their way into our defenses in the Bir El Harmat area. Throughout the day, our artillery and air power was massed on the enemy units that would be spearheading this effort.

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Above: Heavy Axis interdiction hits the main line south of Bir El Harmat. Since the air and artillery strikes seem particularly heavy in this area, we are going to assume that we have guessed right and this will be the main area of action.

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Above: Enemy activity in the northern areas remains fairly quiet. They continue to probe and look for weak spots.

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Above: In the wastelands between Alem Hamza and Rotunda Ualeb there appears to be very little happening. We are keeping an eye on the light Italian forces in this area, and they seem to be content just observing us as well.

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Above: The northern flank of Rotunda Ualeb is still quiet and we feel confident in holding it against any Italian foray out of their minefield positions.

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Above: This is where all the action is happening. Note that all artillery attacks that we conduct will be double-dice as the enemy is dug in and very close to us.

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Above: An armored unit in a rare encounter in the far south... fire is exchanged but there are no losses to either side.

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Above: We decide to expend some of our stockpiled artillery rounds on the close-in enemy positions. A hit destroys an enemy step here.

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Above: And another one here.

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Above: Amazingly, the RAF finally shows up today and we have 3 airstrikes to use against the massing enemy formations. Here, a successful airstrike knocks out another enemy step.

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Above: And another one here...

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Above: And yet another, three for three! Now, if we could just convince them to return when the enemy launches his big offensive!

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Above: Even after these losses are inflicted on the enemy, the odds are still very poor for us to launch any type of attacks.

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Above: The end of turn situation in the far north.

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Above: The end of turn situation southeast of Alem Hamza.

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Above: The end of turn situation northwest of Rotunda Ualeb.

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Above: The end of turn situation southeast of Rotunda Ualeb. Note the arrival of 2 brigades of the 2nd South African Infantry Division. They may have arrived in the nick of time and are expected to strengthen the line considerably in this area... who knows, we may even be strong enough to attack soon.

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Above: The end of turn situation northeast of Bir Hacheim. This sector is quieting down considerably as enemy patrols range in close and then fade away into the sandstorms... they are not digging in and trying force the issue here.

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Above: The end of turn situation southeast of Bir Hacheim. The flank remains quiet and it feels fairly safe. The road leading east is well protected and even though the enemy is active here, he is not nearly as aggressive as in the Rotunda area. I think we have guessed right.

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

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Turn 11

Postby JSS » Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:31 pm

TURN 11 Axis AAR Report

5 June 1942 Pz Armee Afrika Operations LOG:


Morning Operations Summary:

Operations today will complete breach of minefield East of Rotunda Ualeb; conditions will be acceptable to attack on 6 June.

Operations Report: East of Bir Hacheim

Strong forces are assembled in this sector. No chance for a diversionary attack.

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Operations Report: East of Rotunda Ualeb

Recce Reports:

Troubling reports as the infantry of 2d South Afrikan Div shows up. Minefield breaching must be accelerated so the attack can have a chance to succeed.

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Operations Report: North of Alem Hamza

Situation seems to be stabilizing here. Limited opportunity to attack.

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End of Day Positions:

East of Bir Hacheim

Still showing a strong force in this area. Infanterie will shift North tomorrow to hold the flank of the attack and then follow on once the defense is broken.

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Near Rotunda Ualeb

The minefield will be breached by tomorrow morning. Attack will go at first light.

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In the North

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Postby stevel40831 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:59 pm

Day 11

The enemy did not launch their ground attack this morning but all indications are that it is still coming. There has been much debate here at HQ about launching our own preemptive strike in order to disrupt the enemys plans. Mr. Churchill interjected himself into the talks from London (as usual) and ordered "immediate, spirited, offensive action" by our forces late last night.

As will be seen on the situation maps below, our "offensive action" was a complete failure. As the offensive was not planned properly, the RAF failed to arrive on the scene to weaken the enemy defenses, artillery strikes were off the mark (plus, many batteries had not been resupplied to optimum levels) and most importantly -- we did not get lucky.

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Above: The initial attacks begin with a thud and we lose our initial momentum (admin note: this is code for 'we got the retreat result but lost the overrun'!). Our forces take only light casualties, but, due to improper advanced planning, several units were already low on fuel and will have their mobility restricted over the next couple days. The enemy has slipped away.

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Above: The South African infantry spearhead another assualt further east. This is an ill-advised attack, but, we have a 33% chance of pushing the enemy back and the same chance of a successful overrun. The attack fails miserably. Units involved in this attack will have a harder time pulling back to safety as they will be moving through the area being blanketed by the Stukas.

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Above: The enemys eastern flank is exposed, but, in order to get the right combination of units in on the attack we would have to bring in quite a few Indian regiments and their movement here will leave large gaps in the line. Plus, there is a 1/6 chance of the overrun failing and we're feeling a bit unlucky for some reason. After moving several units into position I get cold feet and the attack is called off. With the mess that has been created further west, failure here could cause the entire line to collapse.

This "offensive" was ill-advised. We can only hope that the history books will note that Mr. Churchill was the driving force behind it. Most importantly though, we now find ourselves out of position and exposed to enemy offensive action. Sure could have used a little covering fire (meaning interdiction) from the RAF this turn!

And elsewhere on the front....

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Above: The northern areas remain quiet so far although the enemy has massed forces north of Alem Hamza. Will they launch their strike at the same time as their main offensive southeast of Rotunda Ualeb?

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Above: Nothing happening in this area.

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Above: Recon efforts remain active and we must be aware that the Italians here may be called upon to launch diversionary attacks to keep us off balance.

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Above: Enemy forces remain well off the front lines. We still do not expect action here.

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Above: All quiet on the southern front!

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Above: The northern front.

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Above: The wastelands between Alem Hamza and Rotunda Ualeb.

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Above: The dismal situation east of Rotunda Ualeb. Note the complete lack of detachments placed in front of our lines. Because so many infantry and recon units were committed to the failed attacks, we had only a couple of units left to lay down the critical protective detachments. We initially felt that the main enemy push would be towards Bir El Harmat, but, if they are in position to hit the South Africans, this could be very ugly.

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Above: Northeast of Bir Hacheim... all is quiet.

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Above: The southern flank remains quiet as well.

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Game on!!

Postby JSS » Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:08 am

TURN 12 Axis AAR Report

6 June 1942 Pz Armee Afrika Operations LOG:


Morning Operations Summary:

Rommel directs the Duetsche Afrika Korps (DAK) to attack toward Knightsbridge immediately. DAK issues attack order to 21 Pz Div.

Operations Report: East of Bir Hacheim

Pz Grenadier Regiments will shift North to guard flanks and then exploit success created by 21 Pz Div.

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Operations Report: East of Rotunda Ualeb

Recce Reports:

Mines are breached throughout the attack zone but at least two regiments of 2d South African Division are identified.

At the early morning operations conference Rommel sees a new opportunity to smash the British defenders. Much better to crush 2d SA Division in the open desert than fight them on the perimeter of Tobruk!

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Reconnaissance reports that the defense seems to be all upfront as-though an Allied offensive is set to go off. Rommel orders all available fires on the British forces and a 0800 attack.

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Assault starts with full scale artillery attack backed up by long range panzer engagement of forward Allied mechanized units.

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The Sturm Kampfgruppe finds dazed and disorganized resistance as the first combat takes place…
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As the attack forces move forward, a heavy barrage of suppressive fire is laid down…

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The assault continues with large numbers of South Afrikan troops breaking and running…

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The retreating forces receive a round of artillery as they attempt to regroup… attacking forces continue to advance…


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… the attack continues to find success…

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Recce forces push thru the newly created gap…

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…and the main assault drives forward…

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Losses are beginning to mount but 21 Pz Div orders the attack to continue. An opportunity to route the disorganized defenders can’t be passed up.

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…fleeing forces are doggedly pursued…


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132 Ariete Pz Div has attached a regimental kampfgruppe to 21 Pz Div. This force will hold open the gap created by 21 Pz. They work to expand the shoulder and prevent an immediate counterattack…

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As night falls the DAK commander reviews damage reports and assesses that conditions for a push to Knightsbridge have a high chance of success.

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Operations Report: North of Alem Hamza

Limited attacks will be launched to tie down forces.

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End of Day Positions:

East of Bir Hacheim

Forces have shifted North. 90th Division will guard flank of DAK.

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Near Rotunda Ualeb

21 Pz Div has ripped a four km gap into the British lines. Three Allied infantry regiments and a recce battalion are destroyed. British forces on 21 Pz Div’s right flank are strong, but not strong enough to defend their current sector and to close the attack zone.

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In the North

Allied forces in this sector have been grabbed by the nose. This will prevent them from intervening in DAK attack zone.

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Postby stevel40831 » Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:46 am

Day 12

As we feared, the enemy struck very hard this morning east of Rotunda Ualeb. The attacks began at first light with waves of Stuka dive-bombers hitting our front line forces with all their might. These strikes were followed up by massive artillery fire.

Because of our foolish "offensive" yesterday, many of our units were out of position and lacked the defensive bonuses of entrenchments and forward detachments to screen the approaches to the main defensive lines.

Reports from the front lines told of staggering losses in men and equipment. A gap several km wide was torn in our line and it appeared that the only logical choice was to abandon the Rotunda Ualeb "box" and retreat towards Tobruk. However, if we pull back now, were do we make a stand? There is only a vast wasteland behind us.... we must attack!!

It was somewhat fortunate that the RAF showed up today with an air interdiction as it made the decision to counter-attack a bit easier... whether things went well or not, we would at least have some air cover as we pulled back into some type of line once the dust settles.

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Above: This was the sickening sight that the days action started off with... a massive gap is torn in the line and most of the units that were there have been completely destroyed.

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Above: Here is the "kia" screen. It shows 7 allied units destroyed by the enemy offensive.

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Above: This is the stack of units holding the western shoulder of the enemy penetration... a couple of madly mauled units here, but, they are going to be pressed into action quickly!

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Above: This is the stack holding the eastern shoulder. Not quite as bad as the other stack... we can make use of them!

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Above: The counter-offensive is going to work from right to left, we want to cut off the tip of the offensive. Striking further south in an effort to cut off the penetrating forces in not realistic as losses have been to heavy for that sort of strategy. Here we take out a tank and recon company.

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Above: Another recon unit is taken out and yet another badly mauled.

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Above: At this point in the counterattack, we have to do without artillery support as most of it was foolishly used up last turn in our ill-advised attacks. Here, we inflict more casualties but do not destroy the units.

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Above: This was the telling blow of the day... a 25% chance of a double-die attack, and I get it. Then, to top it all off, I roll a pair of 6's! Six enemy steps are destroyed, killing all 3 units!

I am very satisfied with the first few attacks but would like to press on. However, since I have no artillery to soften up the 2nd wave of enemy units, this could be very costly. On top of that, as the gap in the lines was so large and so many units destroyed, forces had to be gathered from all over the place to launch my offensive and most are low on fuel and movement points. Learning my lesson from yesterdays mistakes, I decide to call it a day and put what's left of the troops into a decent defensive position. If the enemy comes back for more tomorrow, we'll be better prepared!

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Above: As usual, the poor Italians try to take advantage of the situation when they think the other side isn't looking... they advance out from behind their minefield positions and approach Rotunda Ualeb from the northwest. We assume that this is simply a diversion, but, we're going to make them pay! We start the operation against the Italian southern flank.

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Above: Then begin to work our way up the line.

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Above: Recon and heavy infantry follow up the first attacks with a pursuit that finishes them off.

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Above: And again here.

The day ends on a good note as we abuse the poor Italians a bit to build our confidence. Overall, I'd say that we got the worst of the days action (but not by much!), but, considering how ill-prepared we were after yesterdays exchange, that has to be expected.

The units that were thrown together to stop the enemy penetration are pulled back into a tight defensive formation. If the enemy comes back again it won't be so easy for them!

Below: The end of day situation maps:

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Above: On this map, note the interdiction that is put down on the enemy forces in the gap... if they try to pursue, they shouldn't go to far.

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Postby Ola Berli » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:56 am

Long before more AAR?

Sorry this is so great and I have no patience 8)
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Turn 13 Report

Postby JSS » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:48 am

TURN 13 Axis AAR Report

7 June 1942 Pz Armee Afrika Operations LOG:


Morning Operations Summary:

After such a promising start, disaster strikes as the Commonwealth forces launch a strong counterattack and withdraw. Now withdrawn 2-3 kilometers and covered by endless RAF sorties starting at sunrise, continuation of the attack is terminated by Rommel.

Rommel’s assessment is all flank strength from the Eastern flank has stealthfully massed along the road to Knightsbridge. A push East will check the strength.

Operations Report: East of Bir Hacheim

Recce will check Rommel’s hunch… Significant enemy strength is found. Still an infantry battalion and a tank battalion are overrun and destroyed.

AM Positions:

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PM Positions:

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Operations Report: East of Rotunda Ualeb

Recapping the extent of progress yesterday:

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Recce Reports:

Heavy losses cause the attack to lose momentum. Across a 4 kilometer front there are only reports of destruction and units pulling back. Also, overnight the enemy has pulled back to a second defensive belt. Appears they had too much time to prepare for the attack.

Equivalent of two infantry divisions and one tank brigade are identified.

AM Positions:

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No further offensive action will occur today. Regrouping and restoring units to strength are the order of the day.

PM Positions:

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Operations Report: North of Rotunda Ualeb

Serious troubles on the Northern flank of the main attack. An Italian regiment moving in as the anchor to the attack has broken. Initial reports indicate they will not be able to deploy as a fighting force again for some time.

AM Positions:

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PM Positions:

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Operations Report: North of Alem Hamza

Spoiling operations are deemed a success. A sizeable force remains to counter our forces in this area.

AM Positions:

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PM Positions:

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Postby Bertram » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:19 pm

It looks like you both have become very carefull with the new system (no digging in outside of own terretory, and the new artillery rules). Seems this hinders the attacker (the German now) the most. No real push is made, it is only hit and retreat to dig in...
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Postby Howard7x » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:28 am

I think they are just being overly cautious to show us some of the game features rather than having a pitched battle. Im sure the carnage would be far worse if they were not playing for fun and for our benefit. 8)
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Postby JSS » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:21 am

Bertram wrote:It looks like you both have become very carefull with the new system (no digging in outside of own terretory, and the new artillery rules). Seems this hinders the attacker (the German now) the most. No real push is made, it is only hit and retreat to dig in...


Bertram,

There are three pieces to this:

1) We're playing a very early version of the scenario and it has some design settings that make attacking very difficult (i.e. OP cost for moving into enemy territory... significantly changed in current testing version).

2) As Howard noted we've done some things that might not be the way we'd do them competitively... To include clearing Bir Hacheim in all out assault mode :roll: The turn 12 attack and a soon to be posted attack probably would not have been launched as such in a competitive game.

3) Finally, a number of mistakes were made (by both of us) early on as we were trying to figure out some of the game mechanics. These mistakes left me unable to attack when chance of success was good... instead by the time I was ready to attack, conditions were abysmal as Steve defended in depth...
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Postby Gen Alexandra » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:46 pm

Really good watch and read.

Cannot wait for the release. 8)
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Postby stevel40831 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:16 pm

Day 13

After yesterdays heavy fighting from both sides, the enemy appears to be rethinking his offensive in the area SE of Rotunda Ualeb as his forces do not pursue into our second line of defense.

Below: Recon efforts along the front and east of the enemy main point of attack show only screening forces, but, they are well dug in and offer no attack opportunities.
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With this information in hand, we decide to lick our wounds this turn as the line is getting very thin everywhere except SE of Rotunda Ualeb. Although we are quite strong here, the danger of a flank attack to our east is very high. We are not so concerned about enemy offensive action north of Rotunda Ualeb as we have respectable forces in the area, and most importantly, it appears that only Italians are in that area. We are going to assume that after their thrashing from last turn they will be somewhat reluctant to wander far from their fortifications and minefields again!

End of day situation:

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Above: The enemy continues harassing attacks in the center of the line and we are taking minor losses every day. We may have to consider an "adjustment" of the line soon as we are not inflicting losses back as the balance of forces on this front continues to tilt the enemys way.

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Above: The wastelands SE of Alem Hamza remain very quiet. Although no enemy action is expected here, we are still forced to keep a watchful eye.

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Above: All forces pulled back a short distance into defensive positions as reinforcements trickle in to replace recent days combat losses. We feel very strong here but the line must be stretched to the east a bit to avoid a possible flanking maneuver. As we have suffered heavy losses, this may prove difficult to do without giving up too much territory.

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Above: It is very quiet here and appears that both sides seem content to keep it that way.

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Above: All quiet on the southern front.

As the strategic situation is considered, we have begun to make plans for a phased pullback of the line in the south. Since Bir Hacheim has already fallen, there is no strong case for defending the south as forward as we currently are. There is an alarming gap between the Rotunda forces and those in the far south due to the shifting of units to meet the enemy threat. Due to the shape of the front line, the enemy has better interior lines that can allow for a shifting of the offensive from a northerly direction to an easterly direction. Although information does not indicate this yet, it is a reasonable thing to take into consideration and we need to prepare for it. Plus, if we keep taking casualties at the current rate (higher than the enemy), cracks in the defense will undoubtedly appear even in our most secure areas.

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Postby Deathtreader » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:44 pm

Hi all,

Is this on hiatus??

Great AAR!! Very much looking forward to more............

Rob. :D
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Postby Noakesy » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:58 pm

Deathtreader wrote:Hi all,

Is this on hiatus??

Great AAR!! Very much looking forward to more............

Rob. :D


Agreed, but hopefully it's a hiatus that means the game will be out soon with the updated features so they're not under the same pressure to keep the AAR going :wink:
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Postby JSS » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:24 pm

Noakesy wrote:
Agreed, but hopefully it's a hiatus that means the game will be out soon with the updated features to beat more Noaskey quickly :wink:


Yep, testing is reaching the very far along point (won't say final)... part of this included a new build last week that will not allow older PBEM games to continue... So I'm calling the AAR here.

Appreciate everyone's interest in following along!
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