Drifter Man vs CDavid DAR

Drifter Man

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I started a battle with CDavid – our second one – an Allied attack in CMBN v4.03. CDavid (Allies) chose a great map, in which I am defending a village surrounded with hedgerows somewhere in Normandy in June 1944. It is an Allied Assault with medium-sized forces. I let my opponent know that I wish to write a DAR and asked him to stay out of this thread until the end of our game.

So, what do we have here?

Map_preview - AnnotatedJPG.jpg

There is only one terrain objective – the village itself – occupies a central position in the map. The map goes deep on my side but the objective is relatively up front, so the rear is only good to keep reserves safe before deployment. If my opponent manages to break through, he will be able to occupy the objective fairly quickly. There are buildings (up to two stories), hedgerows and trees to provide cover to the defenders, but the view from the top floors is poor - which is probably a good thing. Many hedgerows have wide openings, so there should be no problem with moving units as required.

My opponent sets up in the north – along the northern edge of the map, I assume (right side of the picture). Regarding possible avenues of approach, the most obvious feature on the western side (top of the picture) is an arrow-shaped wood patch ("Arrow"), pointing menacingly into the heart of my position. My setup zone allows me to place troops around the perimeter of the patch, but not on the patch itself. The rest of the approach is open fields that lack cover for infantry but invite the use of armor. The map slopes gently to the north, so my opponent will be fighting his way uphill. There are curious mound-like features in his likely setup zone – looking quite unnatural – that the map designer placed here apparently to give the attacker some reverse slope support positions (yellow circles). I will watch these closely through binoculars of snipers and mortar team leaders.

The Arrow points at what probably is my best defensive position - the "Cluster" - a group of buildings in close terrain, hard to get support fire at. Too predictable, if you ask me. I don't think I will take it.

The weather is overcast, warm, dry ground, heavy winds. I can’t tell more about the battle conditions using the map preview mode, so let’s proceed to the key decision of the game and assemble our forces. I decide to rely on support weapons - my defense will not have "classic" infantry. In a perhaps risky move, I decide not to purchase any vehicles, either. My defense will rest on machineguns - yes @Rico, on German machineguns - which I see as the best value for money if you want bulk firepower that you won't be moving around much. They will be supported with a powerful AT gun force and 81mm mortars. This is my choice:

1. Crack Grenadier battalion (other modifiers left to “typical”), of which I retain
  • Weapons company of a Grenadier battalion minus one mortar platoon (6 x HMG, 6 x 81mm mortar)
  • Three machinegun sections of the rifle companies of the same battalion (6 x HMG)
2. Regular medium AT company (9 x 75mm PaK40)

I spend the few remaining points on three sniper teams. No mines, off-map artillery or fortifications. No foxholes, which, on second thought, is a mistake. But I've already sent the file back to my opponent.

So it is nine AT guns, twelve HMGs, six mortars and three snipers (plus a bunch of HQ teams) against whatever my opponent is going to throw at me, which I expect to be a reduced infantry battalion with armor and artillery support. Let’s see how this plays out!
 

Drifter Man

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Time to deploy our forces. Together with the purchase, the most important step in the battle as I'm planning for a static defense.

I decide for only light presence in the most obvious defensive positions, which are most likely to receive shelling early in the battle. I take my worst AT platoons (poorly motivated/led) together with snipers to form the "Kanonenfuttergruppe" - a group holding the forward hedgerow line. The AT guns get target armor arcs, snipers have Feuer frei. I hope to cause some delay and chaos with these forces, or at least find out what my opponent is up to.

Deployment - AnnotatedJPG.jpg

The bulk of my force is further in the rear. Most receive hide orders to minimize losses from artillery, which I expect to arrive on the first turn. The western flank (top of the map) is held by Gruppen Reiser and Baumhauer with three PaKs, six MGs and four mortars. The eastern flank (bottom of the map) then by Gruppen Schäfer and Holschneider with three PaKs, four MGs and two mortars. An MG section (best leadership/motivation modifiers) is held in reserve together with command units - HQ teams of the Weapons company and of the AT company, plus the mortar platoon HQ. These can mount a limited assault into the center if my opponent breaks through there, but if he does that in force, I will have lost the battle anyway.

Speaking of the center, this is my main concern. You see that I left it almost undefended - I expect it to get a lot of artillery. Instead, I want to secure it from the flanks (Reiser and Holschneider have good view on it). Second, Gruppe Holschneider is a bit packed and doesn't have much cover there. So if my opponent manages to take it out and break through at the center, I will probably be toast. But let's leave it to CDavid to work it out.

EDIT: Forgot to mention than my opponent has one hour to beat me. Plenty of time for a map of this size, with the objective so close to the center. Either I manage to make advance unworkable (force him to request ceasefire), or I get wiped out. Attempting to delay him will not help me.
 
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Drifter Man

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Looks interesting ... yeah, my Veroli battle pick was from a Fallschirmjager MG Battalion -- so far. they have been dishing out a bit of hurt (don't get any LMGs!!!) :LOL:
Agreed! I only have one LMG, I think - one of my ammo bearers somehow got their hands on one. No complaint there, better than a rifle!
 

Bulletpoint

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Are you accepting comments/suggestions from us? If not, I'll just have some coffee and see how this works out :)

Normally I would say it would be difficult to defend against an assault, because the attacker has nearly twice your points total. Especially with so little terrain as buffer before the objective. But in bocage and with the Germans defending, I think you have a chance. There's a big difference between German guns VS American tanks, compared to American guns VS German tanks...
 

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This will be interesting to watch! I've never tried an HMG-heavy static defense before (would never have thought to try TBH....)

If nothing else, you'll be able to return turns super quick (Gnarly says whilst currently attacking in 3 large BS battles....)
 

Drifter Man

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Are you accepting comments/suggestions from us? If not, I'll just have some coffee and see how this works out :)

Normally I would say it would be difficult to defend against an assault, because the attacker has nearly twice your points total. Especially with so little terrain as buffer before the objective. But in bocage and with the Germans defending, I think you have a chance. There's a big difference between German guns VS American tanks, compared to American guns VS German tanks...
Just have some coffee for now - but I'd like to hear suggestions after the battle. I just don't think it would be fair to get advice. My opponent is new here, too.

This will be interesting to watch! I've never tried an HMG-heavy static defense before (would never have thought to try TBH....)

If nothing else, you'll be able to return turns super quick (Gnarly says whilst currently attacking in 3 large BS battles....)

It's in part a result of my weapons tests - German HMGs are quite cheap compared to their power. But not much cheaper than panzergrenadiers and less flexible. So it's a bit of an experiment.
 

Drifter Man

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The fight has begun.

At the tip of the German position, Unteroffizier Labsch and his men at the AT gun can barely finish their Bratwurst und Kölsch when they already see the Americans coming. No scouts, no artillery, just a wave of men and machines.

Turn01_0JPG.jpg

Behind a line of suicide jeeps, a 76mm Sherman rolls across the field, surrounded by infantry. The range is 270-300 meters. The first round is a partial penetration of upper left hull, apparently no effect. The second one is partial penetration of lower front hull - that knocks the tank out. The third hits upper front hull - armor spalling. Some of the crew were seen exiting the tank but it looks like they were all cut down by fragments from this last hit.

The advancing infantry and shotgun riders on jeeps take shots at the PaK position. My men are quickly pinned down. I hope they can take a shot or two at the infantry before they get overrun in the next turn.

Overall I see two pairs of 81mm mortars, two M1917A1 HMG teams, parts of a pioneer platoon and, for now, about one rifle company deploying. Obersoldat Dietzel from Kanonenfuttergruppe West warms up his scoped Kar. 98K and hits an mortar ammo bearer from 360 meters. On the eastern side I see some infantry but the view is not good enough to tell what's coming at me there. Another rifle company, most likely.

No artillery for now. I must pay attention to the 5, 10 and 15-minute marks for delayed barrages.

The enemy 81mm mortars are a priority - that's the main weapon that could defeat me on this map. I use my own mortar to target their position near the western edge of the map before they can deploy (red line on the map). The second pair of mortars is out of reach, but it works both ways - they can't see anything either and can only fire indirect missions. At least that's what I think...

Turn01_endjpg.jpg
 

Bulletpoint

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Just have some coffee for now - but I'd like to hear suggestions after the battle. I just don't think it would be fair to get advice.

Foot in mouth, then.. and coffee in mug. Looking forward to see how your defence holds up.
 

Drifter Man

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Turn 2. Unteroffizier Labsch and his crew don't get a HE shot out as I hoped - they are too suppressed. But in spite of a close assault by what appears to be a HQ support team of a U.S. weapons platoon (disembarked from the jeep), they survive the turn in the woods without a casualty and provide valuable intel. A full U.S. rifle company is confirmed advancing in this sector, accompanied by a pioneer platoon (or a large part thereof), plus there is another tank in the rear. My opponent mostly uses the Move command - a show of confidence? He is not in a hurry. I wish I had put an MG into the treeline.

Turn02_LabschJPG.jpg

I can't expect these men to do more. I order them to abandon the gun and run for their lives. With luck I can save some.

Apart from my mortar fire falling on the known U.S. mortar position, the map is quiet. I shift the mortar fire slightly and switch to target light to save ammunition.

Turn02_endJPG.jpg
 

Bulletpoint

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Can't help but notice you have some texture distortion of the woods ground texture. I had it too many years ago.. I think it's caused by an Nvidia setting.. the antialiasing options I believe.
 

Drifter Man

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Can't help but notice you have some texture distortion of the woods ground texture. I had it too many years ago.. I think it's caused by an Nvidia setting.. the antialiasing options I believe.
Yeah the ground textures look odd close up, as if stretched in one direction. I thought it was just because it is an old game.
I copied my NVidia settings from some thread on Battlefront.com that seemed to be authoritative on the topic :) But I have no idea how these things work.
Any advice is appreciated (you don't have to wait until the end of the battle in this case!)

NVidia settings.png
 

Bulletpoint

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Try disabling the Antialiasing - Mode. I think the problem might be caused by the Enhance Application Setting
 

Bulletpoint

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although it also kills antialiasing.

The game does have some antialiasing of its own - it's in the graphics options. You already have it enabled, from what I can see. But good that Fritz is now a bit more happy.

Wir müssen immer bessermachen, Kameraden!
 

Drifter Man

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Ja, Fritz is now zufrieden. The war is over for him, though.

Turn 3. It is too late - the AT position is overrun and Soldat Fritz, the only survivor, surrenders to the American scouts. The PaK crew only managed to throw a hand grenade in defense, but this did not result in casualties.

Turn03_LabschJPG.jpg

Further to the west, Obersoldat Dietzel scores another kill from 240 meters but is receiving fire at the end of the turn.

I am relocating another sniper team, which is too exposed at the crossroads, to a different position. The enemy medium mortar section that came under my own mortar fire is seen scattering. Some good hits were scored but I should not overestimate the effect.

I take notice that the Americans do not seem to carry any bazookas. Good call by my opponent.

Turn03_endJPG.jpg
 

Drifter Man

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Turn 4. A minute passes and Fritz is still sitting at the AT gun, hands up, waiting to be taken captive and occupying an enemy scout unit this way... in addition, he continues to report enemy movement to me. He will receive a medal and a commendation "for outstanding gallantry while surrendering to the enemy". Or something like that.

Other than this, my opponent has set up a 60mm mortar in the woods to take out the sniper team of Kanonenfuttergruppe West. Obersoldat Dietzel survives for now but his buddy gets killed. I'll leave the sniper in place - trying to run away would only earn him some shrapnel in the back.

Turn04_DietzelJPG.jpg

U.S. medium mortar section at the western (top) end of the map continues to scatter under mortar fire. Both enemy mortars are confirmed survived, unfortunately. I hope they at least lost some ammunition and manpower. I order my mortar to hold fire - the kill zone is empty now.

On the eastern (bottom) edge of the map, I ordered a "target briefly" attack by another mortar on an unidentified infantry target in hedgerows. I don't know what it was, but it's dead - I think - because the ? icon vanished on the impact of the mortar shell. Annoyingly, the mortar crew uses rifles, in addition to the main weapon, in the target order... likely revealing their position to my opponent.

Turn04_endJPG.jpg
 

Bulletpoint

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The mortars using rifles when target light is an issue that has been reported many times - and I believe it was even fixed at one point. But later reappeared. It's really a pity, especially in bocage terrain where you rarely have the luxury of firing at long distance.

Also the thing about surrendering units still spotting could be considered a bug.

Anyway, good AAR... following along.
 
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