A TAO4 AAR...

Discussion relating to Battles in Normandy

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Postby Papa Smurf » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:33 pm

Well it's been a while since I was able to post here due to work commitments, but hopefully I can find the time now to add some more reports from the Ardennes sector. I'm not sure if Unactuality still has his game files after all this time but I still have all mine so I will at least be able to give the Allied picture.



Start of Allied Turn 5: Axis ahead by 552. 20 Allied destroyed, 2 Axis destroyed

A bad turn for the Allies. All of my units behind enemy lines are destroyed this turn. 106ID is completely out of ammunition and surrunders, 32 Recon Bn is overwhelmed, and CCB 9AD is overrun.

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And it gets worse. With a 25% chance of double dice against Bastogne...

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And a good roll to finish them off...

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By the end of the turn Stoumont is surrounded and it's only a ZOC net that is holding the Panzers back.

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In the centre, Houffalize and Wiltz are also isolated, and Laroche has fallen, though only due to a ZOC, and I can get a TD unit in to retake it. Libramont and St Hubert are wide open so I have to throw a couple of units into blocking positions.

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And the German infantry is starting to make a push forward in the south.

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Turn 6 to follow shortly. Surely the news from the front can't get any worse???
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Postby Papa Smurf » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:49 pm

Start of Allied turn 6: Axis ahead by 647. 20 Allied destroyed, 2 Axis destroyed.

A quiet turn in which no further Allied losses were sustained thanks to some poor dice for the Axis.

In the north the German vanguard probe around Aywaille and Werbromont, whilst 9SS Pz are seen moving into the Stoumont area. Manhay is in danger of being surrounded by 116Pz and 62VG.

10AD dig in just outside Bastogne - we can't afford to give ground here if we want to retake the town in time to make a difference.

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The Screaming Eagles have no historical role to fulfill now after my cock-up in Bastogne, so they will head for Werbromont and Manhay instead.

The Germans are continuing their push in the south, but we refuse to give ground. We will continue to hold Ettelbruck, Diekirch, Beaufort and Consdorf for as long as we can, and deny the Axis some VPs.

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Postby Unactuality » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:48 am

Hello everyone -

Sorry for the delay in getting the turns out! I should be able to get this back on track later today.
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Postby Papa Smurf » Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:28 am

Start of Allied turn 7. Axis ahead by 677, 21 Allied destroyed, 2 Axis destroyed

In the northern sector we have something resembling a defensive line forming, although we are still facing the cream of the German army. The supply situation in Stoumont is critical and the defenders request permission to surrender. Another set of double dice causes heavy losses to the 327 Glider Regt in Manhay but they hold in place and refuse to give up the town to the attacking King Tigers. 2SS Pz are sighted moving forwards past Malmedy, but their final destination is unknown.

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In the centre, the Houffalize garrison are out of supplies and are likely to capitulate next turn. The blocking force from 9ID at the strategic crossroads west of Bastogne are in a tricky situation as elements of 26VGD infiltrate their rear areas, and 2Pz Recon flanks the Laroche perimeter

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In the south the fearsome 4ID have made the German infantry think twice about advancing further and things are fairly stable. 15PzGr Division take up positions around Diekirch in preparation (presumably) for an assault. Ettelbruck is attacked by 352nd Infantry but despite heavy casualties our Tank Destroyers hold on for the moment

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30ID and 82AB arrive this turn to bolster our defences. 30ID will move to reinforce Laroche and the crossroads to its south, whilst 82AB head to Martelange to protect the flank of 10AD. The next couple of turns will be crucial for the Allies. If we can hold the line then we can keep the Axis lead to a minimum and have a chance of clawing it back. I have no idea how many points it is realistic to come back from though...
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Postby Papa Smurf » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:39 am

Start of Allied turn 8. Axis ahead by 795 (projected 1690), 23 Allied destroyed, 2 Axis destroyed

Unsurprisingly both Houffalize and Stoumont fall this turn which will give a boost to the Axis points tally next turn, as well as depriving me of 2 more infantry regiments. And in the south we also lost Ettelbruck, Diekirch and Beaufort after a strategic withdrawal last turn.

Northern sector:
The advance of 1SS PZ is held up by a combination of a stiffening American defence and the need to mop up the Stoumont area. Werbromont is in serious trouble as the thin forces holding the southern flank of the town are pushed back by attacks from 9SS Pz and 62VGD.

Manhay is also in a precarious position as German assault guns find a gap in our line to the south and threaten to surround the garrison. To the south of the breakthrough, 526 Armoured Infantry are out of supply as tanks from 2Pz are shelling anything that moves through Laroche.

3AD arrive this turn and are sent straight into combat near Manhay. Recon reports that a sector of the line here is only held by an understrength (2 steps) Infantry regiment (marked on map) which has just arrived and will not have had chance to dig in. Supply and artillery columns have been reported on the road just to their South-west and would be a juicy target for our armoured cars if we can just penetrate the front line.

The elite tankers of 3rd Armoured roll a '1'...

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Central sector:
The arrival of 30ID has helped to hold up the German advance here, and things have stabilised for the moment despite the lack of troops. It appears that the Germans have few reserves to exploit our weakness here, although 2SS Pz is still not sighted on the front line, and may well be heading this way. But for the moment 30ID and 9ID have a chance to improve their foxholes.

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Southern sector:
We retreated faster than the German infantry could advance last turn, and contact has been lost along much of the southern front. 352ID has made a push towards Martelange, presumably hoping to find the town undefended and turn the flank of the Bastogne front. But instead they find themselves with elite paratroopers and combat engineers on 3 sides, who launch an assault before the Fusilier Bn can prepare any positions. A nice boost to morale as we cause heavy casualties and effectively destroy the Battalion

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Postby Papa Smurf » Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:05 am

Start of Allied turn 9. Axis ahead by 989 (projected 2084), 24 Allied destroyed, 3 Axis destroyed

All the action is in the northern sector this turn. Firstly, 2SS Pz finally shows itself and launches an assault on Manhay. The SS Grenadiers fight well and inflict heavy casualties, allowing follow up waves to overrun and eliminate the paratroopers holding the town! The only other action of note is an attack towards Aywaille by 1st and 12th SS Pz Divisions. The American 18 Regt, 1ID is pushed back leaving only a battalion of M7 howitzers defending the town. Direct fire from the Priests holds the SS Grenadiers back for the time being.

In response, 3AD identify another target - the 5th FJ Regt (marked). There is a 50% chance of forcing a retreat, and our recon squadrons are held back to exploit any gap. Once again, the artillery behind the line is the real target, as 1 stack is guaranteed to be left vulnerable after the german paras retreat.

The elite tankers of 3rd Armoured roll a '1'... again.

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The centre is still fairly quiet and we continue to hold our ground. I doubt the peace will last much longer...

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And the same in the south. I'm a little surprised by the lack of German aggression in this sector, which means that I can keep a really weak line and use my troops to blunt the attacks elsewhere.

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4AD arrive as reinforcements and move into St Hubert. The plan is to (hopefully) keep them out of sight of the Axis recon units and use them to hold the line/launch a local counterattack either here or further up towards Manhay as required next turn.

Only 24 hours to hold before Pattons infantry can join the fray...
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Postby Papa Smurf » Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:34 am

Start of Allied turn 10. Axis ahead by 1138 (projected 2443), 25 Allied destroyed, 3 Axis destroyed

More bad news from the northern flank. Werbromont falls as a mass of SS armour pushes the lightly armed 101AB troops back, and the line is broken south of the town. Armoured cars from 116Pz are seen maneuvering through the forest heading for Hotton.

Around Manhay, 2SS Pz and associated units keep up a heavy assault, destroying 526 Armd Inf Bn and inflicting heavy casualties on other support units. The 327 Glider Regt is in danger of being surrounded and must fall back to reform a line.

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The German commander seems determined to capture Laroche, and 2Pz resume their attack, smashing through our Shermans south of the town, and exploiting a gap north of the town. There is a very real danger of losing this town as well, but we also spot a risky opportunity. 4AD decide to storm up the main road to the front line, then keep going, driving into the rear of 2Pz, and also cutting off half of 26VGD. I also contemplate moving SE from Laroche to further encircle these troops, but this is too much of a gamble for me - there just aren't enough men to hold the line, and I risk having a large group of my own men cut off. As it is, the recon Bn of 4AD will be left in a precarious position at the vanguard of the attack. All available aircraft are ordered to strafe the roads east of Laroche to hold up any counterattack.

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Across the rest of the south-central sector there is nothing much to report, although Pz Lehr appears to be massing for another attack.

Patton reports that his infantry will arrive in the Luxembourg area by morning. Then we shall have a chance to strike back!
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Postby HerrCue » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:13 am

Good AAR guys on my personal favorite scenario. Are you going to place any more turns, or are you out of gas?
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Postby Joe » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:42 am

Yes please keep it going.

You have an audience :D
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Postby Papa Smurf » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:42 pm

Guys,

Sorry for another delay in getting turns posted - Christmas and a week in Seattle (work sadly) have kept me busy. I will be posting more updates soon though. It's nice to know that there are people still reading it :D

So bear with me - it's just about to get interesting (from an Allied perspective at least :twisted: )

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Postby Fantassin » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:18 am

I guess regulars read all posts here ... at least that's what I do.
Detailed AAR are always good to read during work pauses :wink:
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Postby Papa Smurf » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:28 am

Start of Allied turn 11. Axis ahead by 1273 (projected 2493), 25 Allied destroyed, 3 Axis destroyed

Well the turn starts with a bit of good luck for the Allies. The exposed 4AD Recon gets attacked by 2Pz and elements of 10SS Pz but fortune smiles on the brave as a 10-1 overrun fails.

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That's going to hurt the 2Pz units - another bullet gone. In fact a reshuffle of the units straight after this attack shows that at least 1 unit must be going into the red and Unactuality is having to stack them with other units. The red circle highlights the location of 304 PzGr Regt which has run out of ammunition and fuel, and is in big trouble if I can keep up the pressure.

A few more German attacks inflict step losses but no further units are destroyed. 327 Glider Regt and it's supporting TDs and engineers are all in the red after an assault from 2SS Pz, but they hold firm. However a withdrawal is going to be required to stablise the front here.

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In the south Pz Lehr pushes back 10AD Recon, but there is little threat of a breakthrough here, as the road net is closed and Patton has just arrived with his 3 infantry divisions.

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Those reinforcement divisions are deployed as follows:

84ID goes into the line around Manhay to free up some of 7AD and 2ID.

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26ID gets trucked into the line at Laroche to assist in the defence and also provide more muscle for the encirclement of 2Pz

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5ID and 80ID are held in reserve and (hopefully) out of sight near Martelange with an aim to attack or defend as required at some point between Ettelbruck and St Hubert. Ideally I want to attack and recapture Bastogne as soon as possible.

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Postby Papa Smurf » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:39 am

Start of Allied turn 12. Axis ahead by 1358 (projected 2493), 26 Allied destroyed, 4 Axis destroyed

The Allies claimed their first significant scalp last turn as 39/26VGD was trapped in the Laroche 'pocket' and eliminated. The engineer Bn supporting 327 Glider Infantry was smashed by 2SS Pz in return.

Turn 12 basically represents the highwater mark for the Axis. There are no more gains of any significance from here on in. So lets take a quick review of the battlefield. First of all the Alert Units:

Axis Alert units in:
301 s. Pz
25 PzGr Div
10SS Pz Div
6SS Mountain Div

Allied Alert units in:
None

I was a bit surprised to see 6SS arrive - I was expecting 17SS PzGr instead which is how things normally seem to pan out, but I guess this is due to the good progress Unactuality made in the north. I'd much rather be facing the badly mauled 17SS instead of the full strength 6SS who have replacements available!

The battlefield is shown below

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The yellow areas show where my northern heavy artillery has been busy bunker busting the Siegfried line - I just want to keep the Axis honest up here and prevent those infantry divisions relocating elsewhere.

The red areas indicate my armoured concentrations. At the moment they are very scattered and by necessity are performing defensive duties with the exception of 4AD around Laroche. I need to get these units out of the line into reserve positions ASAP to launch my counterattack.

The green arrows indicate my prefered counterattack routes. I'm more of a believer in the Hodges/Patton strategy of attacking the base of the bulge than the Eisenhower/Montgomery one. Ideally I'd drive on St Vith from the north and Vianden from the south then drop interdiction all over the centre. Of course the Axis dispositions will have some bearing on where my attacks happen.

I'm currently watching 2 hexes very closely. Green 1 is a TD unit that has been sitting there for several turns without digging in - I think the Axis commander may have forgotten about it :) It's been available for overrun for a couple of turns, but I haven't wanted to weaken the line in this critical area. However now that Patton has arrived...

Green 2 is a nice clear hex that I'm sure all Allied commanders keep an eye on :) . 3 hexsides of river, but still good opportunities for a Retreat result and follow up. Right now it has a 2 step Fusilier unit and a 2 step SS TD Battalion which is going to be pretty tough to beat down, but we shall see what happens...

The Axis turn throws up nothing of major note, just a few more step losses and the loss of the aforementioned Engineer Bn. The Allied turn sees 4AD and 30ID complete the encirclement of 2Pz, whilst 10AD attacks Pz Lehr just SW of Green 1.
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Postby Guest » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:39 am

There is no 6.SS Panzerdivision from what I remember from playing BiN last year and my memory is good. I'm sure you mean the 9.SS Hohenstaufen Panzerdivision.
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Postby Fantassin » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:00 am

6 SS Mountain Div is one of the alert div (elite) which may enter if enough alert pts are released by the axis.
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