TAO4 Feature AAR

Discussion relating to Battles in Normandy

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Postby Robjess » Sun May 23, 2004 11:23 am

[singing]The tide is high but Im holding on.. [/singing]

Given that the true purpose of this AAR is to show case the new BiN Engine and to highlight some of the changes from KP... here is something new with the Combat Advisor (CA). Infact this one slipped through and I only found out about it yesterday!!!

We all know that when you toggle the CA on it will superimpose the Combat Odds over each of the units which you can attack. We also know that when you click on one of those attack opportunities/odds then the units which can take part of in the attack are highlighted - as shown below (I have selected the 10-1+ overrrun opportunity just SW of Trois Ponts)

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This then left you to move these units into position for the attack. Well I am pleased to advise you that the CA has now been enhanced to the extent that it will now tell you which hex you should move each of your units to to acheive the CA odds.

This is how it works, having selected the CA attack opportunity as displayed above, the units involved in the attack are highlighted. If you then select one of the highlighted units the CA then shows you where you should place that unit for the attack! Lets look at it in action. The above image tells me that I have a unit in Vielsalm that should be involved in the 10-1+ overrun attack. So if I now select that unit, then the CA advisor will draw the movement path that unit needs to take to get into position for the assault:

Image

Here you can see that the units path is displayed on the map.. it shows arrows moving from the unit into the two hexes to its NW and then ending in the hex to the south of the enemy. Note that in this hex there is a "0" displayed which shows the movement OPs that the unit will have left at the end of the movement*.

Here is another example of the same CA attack opportunity but with a unit of mine that was highlighted outside of the imaged that I displayed. This unit is to the south, its a recon unit and therefore has alot of Movement ability and can rush in for the attack.

Image

Because this units has a longer travel path to be able to form the attack, you can clearly see its path that has been painted onto the map.

You can do this for each of your units that the CA has highlighted as being able to take part in the attack. That way you can place them exactly where the CA tells you to. Gone are the frustrating hair pulling days of trying to work out exactly where you should place each unit to get the desired odds!

* Here is a feature that is actually part of KP which I dont think many people know about. Load up a game of KP (it doesnt matter which scenario it is) and then select one of your units which you want to move. Now with the Left Mouse Button depressed (so you have selected the unit but you havent let go of the left mouse button) - move the mouse around the map. This should draw the units movement path on the map. Where ever you stop and hold the mouse over a hex, a number will be super imposed in that hex. That number is the Movement OP's that the unit will have left if it was to move to that hex.
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Postby Robjess » Sun May 23, 2004 12:06 pm

This turn I had a mix of good and bad luck.. there were several overrun opportunities which I did my best to exploit.. and then there were several instances where the Allies repelled my attacks and in some of them I took heavy losses.

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Attempting to push in behind Malmedy.. although I can see that the 3rd ARM are just about to arrive. Minor combat around Manhay and Bastogne.. but no real advances. It appears that I am all buffed out now.
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Postby Roger Keating » Sun May 23, 2004 4:40 pm

This turn I managed to knock out one 2 step unit in the South using 10th Arm and a bit of infantry but there is little the US can do at this point. Replacements aren't thick on the ground and the German army can apply real punch power at many spots. Rob has pointed out the enhancements in the CA and it really helps to know where to place Artillery units so that they will be in range.

The situation map at the moment is...

Image


As you can see there is no sign of 3rd Armor. I don't want Rob to know where they are yet so they are just sitting behind the line waiting ... It doesn't pay to commit all your forces. The new fuel considerations often means that if you fuel up your forces, by having them sit behind the lines and wait, they can cause havoc when they attack. A thrust through your lines and seeing artillery parks and supply trucks die in droves is something that TAO4 players will have to contend with. Much more so than in TOA3. The line has become more stable as 2nd Armor has retreated and the fight for Manhay continues.

One thing that the Allied player can try is to allow the German through Laroche and a fair number of points but to try to cut them off and slaughter them to get a more historical result to the game.
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Postby hank » Sun May 23, 2004 11:17 pm

robjess wrote:Hank have you read the whole thread? The HQ unit you are referring to is the new 'political' unit. It negates any retreats from that hex. The unit is fully editable as a support unit in the editor.. ie: can assign movement values and defense strengths etc..


That's a great addition to the game. I wish I had the time to read everything but 80 hour + weeks at work lately only leave a few hours for getting my moves in expeditiously (and not p.o. the wife too bad). :)

I'm ready to buy. You've got my money in your bank.

thanks

hank

The next day: Before my morning $%#@ conference call I skimmed back thru this thread. I really really like the new supply features. The new overlay with the truck icons and trace back to source lines is going to help me tremendously. The fuel gage is also going to keep me in line too.

You guys are outdoing yourself ... so keep it up. thanks
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German Turn 9

Postby Robjess » Wed May 26, 2004 11:49 am

Turn 9 - the Allied line looks pretty strong. German fuel consumption is now not as bad - thats mostly to do with the fact that Im not going anywhere. For each turn that I dont move my fuel reserves are restocked - but the Allied line grows stronger with the arrival of reinforcements. I know wonder if my leadership has let the might of the German Forces down, or if Hitlers bold plans were simply unrealstic. I suspect its a combination of the two, as even the most conservative commanders within the German Army agreed that it would be feasable to reach the Meuse given the situation.

Whilst it is like bashing my head against an allied brick wall - bash as I do - looking for the weakest bricks.. South of Bastogne I remove an Allied Tank Destroyer Unit. But order my men not to advance.

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Looking slightly further south, the Allied 10th ARM shows its might. Noting that I have recent reinforcements and see that there could be an opportunity to swing south of the river behind the allied forces...

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I send a scout down to recon the area.. and low and behold he reports back that there is an Allied Tank Destroyer unit sitting in Heavy Woods guarding. Very sneaky!

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So what appeared to be an opportunity sees another door close. I could still divert units that way, but any element of surprise will be lost and it will only cause to tie up valuable resources needed elsewhere.. notwithstanding that the allied 4th ARM are yet to be spotted and are expect to attack from that area very shortly. The south looks to be lost - including Bastogne - which Hitler has specifically ordered to be taken.

Looking North, though I have had limited success.. but without that success being able to be exploited. Hunting for the weakest bricks in the wall.. holes are made in the Allied line SW of Spa and SE of Stavelot.

Image
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Postby Roger Keating » Wed May 26, 2004 5:06 pm

Turn 9, bleak weather, and no interdiction. This is bad news for the Allied player. I have sent letters of to the air commanders and I expect a dramatic increase in activity in the next few turns. How can one be expected to attack without the sound of propellers to stir the troops on.

The line is still holding but I did spot a couple of artillery units, or at least the CA did, sitting in a nice overrun position so I was able to move an infantry unit out, overrun them, and then run back to defensive positions.

Image

Also in the South the 4th Armor has spotted the fairly open flank and is travelling at full speed to recapture Diekirk and places North. A number of Axis replacements arfe expected next turn but at least Rob now knows where to send them.

In TAO4 it is difficult to balance the play as the Allies, lose to many steps in the first ten turns and the Axis units can play havoc. It is a careful balance that will seperate the top players. It is fairly easy to stop the Axis push in one area but they can easily attack in four. I am going to enjoy playing the Axis in this scenario, at least, for the first 10 turns.
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Postby Robjess » Wed May 26, 2004 5:12 pm

Arhh boo!!!
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Postby Robjess » Wed May 26, 2004 8:54 pm

Reinforcements arrive in the south (a turn or two too late), the 4th ARM are tough though and my reinforcements are not replenished, it looks like they have arrived straight from Russia.

Bastogne and the south still look very weak.. and German intel forbids me from releasing images or speaking any further for fear that it will tarnish the image of the German war machine.

In the Northern sector though - I even managed to surprise myself. I managed to get several overrun opportunities on a Regt of the 5th ARM, hiding in Heavy Forest my tanks ripped through them - evidently the forest was to thick for them to escape.. remnants of the ill fated Regt were last seen heading due north under the cover of ART fire.

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Assaults were also launched in the Stavelot area between it and Werbermont.. with minor success to the Germans as fast Half tracks and ARM pushed their way through. Although this maneuvor appears to have left the German line quite thin.

No sign yet of the 3rd ARM?!? Maybe they have been waiting for such an opportunity to lauch a striking counter attack.
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Postby pterrok » Wed May 26, 2004 11:16 pm

Yes I know it's being played to show off the new features, but how about a score/stats update?

Has/will the scoring change for any of the objectives/units?
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Postby Roger Keating » Thu May 27, 2004 9:13 am

Ah well, the 3rd Armor have finally shown their position. The have joined 4th Armor and 10th Armor in the South.

Image


Last turn there was no interdiction and the Allied line took a pounding. Rob has noticed the lack of aggression in the Allied line but I have invitied him to play from my position and see what it is like. A fight with the Axis forces at this stage will result in a poor Allied result. But when that fuel wears down and the fighter/bombers arrive it is a different story.

This turn 3 interdiction markers have been placed, the last turn message must have got through and the pilots have finally worked out how to start their planes. 3 Infantry divisions arrive in the South next turn to join the 3 Armor divisions already engaged so I will be interested to see if there will be a distribution of forces in the Axis lines.

The Axis are currently winning by about 900 points but the advisor is telling me that, if the current position remains static, I should win by about 10 points.

Over to you, Rob
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Postby Robjess » Thu May 27, 2004 5:43 pm

Also worthy to note is that TAO4 is now a 28 Turn Scenario..

What? Reallocate vital resources to the south? With some many overrun opportunities in the north? I can taste Werbermont, smell Aywaille and see Liege.. who needs Berlin?
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Postby Twinkle » Thu May 27, 2004 5:54 pm

robjess wrote:What? Reallocate vital resources to the south? With some many overrun opportunities in the north? I can taste Werbermont, smell Aywaille and see Liege.. who needs Berlin?


:D regarding overrun, I'm sure that Robjess have mentioned that it is now possible to make overruns in thick forest (although still pretty hard to achieve), but another small thing that makes this scenario different from the old nice tao3, is that it now requires 4 dug-in steps to prevent overruns.

/twinkle
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Postby Robjess » Thu May 27, 2004 9:52 pm

Overruns!?! Have a look at this.. whilst I do have serious problems doing south.. (reinforcements are on the way).. I do have some opportunities at the pointy end of my thrust (sounds rude that):

Image

Thats 7 overruns I can get just in this area alone.. and one of them is against a supply truck sitting behind Werbermont.. this just shows you how zippy and agile Recon units can be..
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Postby Robjess » Thu May 27, 2004 9:59 pm

Sorry, I lied.. moving my Recon unit into position to take out the allied supply truck.. I have exposed an ART unit.. already offering an overrun.. so thats 8 :) Shame I cant take them all out..

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How did it end up? Like this.. not as well as I had hoped, my recon units took losses - something which they are not designed to do very well. I did take out quite a few Allied units though, including an Allied supply truck.

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I also picked on the 7th ARM in front of Spa.. whilst Spa isnt key to my advance, it is helping to thin out the allied line and rumour has it that there may be some fuel in Spa...

Holes are appearing in Rogers line, from Manhay to Aywalle... but any Allied reinforcements to the area will hurt me.

Down south, well I managed to tickle an element of the 9th ARM I think it was, west of Houffalize.. but further south I have had to pull back from Bastogne to shorten my line and try and address the 4th and 3rd Arm. Something which I am going to struggle to do.. I have ordered units south from the Monschau area..

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And finally for those interested.. here is the score (and a look at the new control panel).. but I cant confirm that the VPs have been balanced in the version we are playing.

Image
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Postby Joel137 » Thu May 27, 2004 11:21 pm

Any changes concerning what happens to supply trucks after death. Since they are now more vulnerable, I wonder if it makes sense for them to come back on the board after a period of time after dying.

Or if the lesson is simply, keep the d**n things protected!!!!
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