Drifter Man vs CDavid DAR

Drifter Man

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Turn 16. Sixty busy seconds on the Western Front.
  1. The main action on the left flank continues, with neither side showing signs of backing down. This time my mortars and machineguns shoot accurately, keeping the enemy heads down. Permanently in some cases.
  2. I was hoping to get my mortar there out of the impending 60mm mortar attack, but the last surviving crew member was held up by packing up the weapon and then ran directly into a mortar round. However, I saved the ammo bearers, who can assist the other mortar of this section - which has run out of ammo by now.
  3. The M10 puts more APs into a MG position but this time with little effect. The fourth AFV is a few meters from the hedgerow now but has not joined the action.
  4. The HQ unit, which is spotting for my indirect mortar mission, was driven away by U.S. fire aimed at another unit occupying the same action tile (not smart on my part). This is a poorly led AT platoon HQ, which is Rattled due to the losses among the antitank crews. I'm not sure if this mortar mission can succeed - maybe I'll just keep that mortar in reserve.
  5. At the center right, my opponent pulls out the pioneers to make room for the rifle squad that followed through the breach. However, this corner gets flanked by an elite sniper team and suffers heavy losses. I'll give the sniper 30 more seconds to finish their grisly work, then pull back to hopefully escape retaliation.
  6. A fifth AFV is heard coming up the central road towards the crossroads.
Confirmed casualties 36 U.S. / 27 German.

Left flank from the defenders' perspective:
Turn16_leftflankJPG.jpg

Massacre at the center. Nine U.S. casualties observed here in this turn due to this sniper team, three of them among the pioneers.
Turn16_centerJPG.jpg

Overhead:
Turn16_endJPG.jpg
 

Bulletpoint

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That sniper massacre shows the importance of the attacker keeping overwatch for flank protection. Especially against a human opponent.
 

Drifter Man

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That sniper massacre shows the importance of the attacker keeping overwatch for flank protection. Especially against a human opponent.

I couldn't agree more. Those hedgerows provide good protection, but only as long as you are on the correct side.
When I think about it, I suspect the map designer put in the "dent" in the hedgerow just for this purpose.
 

Lethaface

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From this picture it seems that you don't have any 'regular' infantry teams? I see only HQs, ammo bearers and crew served weapons (and an elite sniper ;-) ).
I was going to opt that you reinforce the center with most of your troops not in the fight, but couldn't find any :ROFLMAO::p

Edit: nice job with that sniper, which shows how deadly a flank can be in CM (and especially in the hedgerows).
 

Gnarly

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From this picture it seems that you don't have any 'regular' infantry teams? I see only HQs, ammo bearers and crew served weapons (and an elite sniper ;-) ).
I was going to opt that you reinforce the center with most of your troops not in the fight, but couldn't find any :ROFLMAO::p



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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From this picture it seems that you don't have any 'regular' infantry teams? I see only HQs, ammo bearers and crew served weapons (and an elite sniper ;-) ).
I was going to opt that you reinforce the center with most of your troops not in the fight, but couldn't find any :ROFLMAO::p

Yeah @Gnarly is right, this is a support weapon-only setup. I can't move things around much. So far it has worked fine, but in general the defender should have more flexibility. When the defender is 100% static, the attacker can concentrate against one sector and overwhelm it.

I think the center is reasonably well secured. CDavid may be able to take the buildings at the crossroads, but to break out from there to the objective he would need to bring in more support. The 5th AFV makes me worried.
 

Bulletpoint

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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.

I've been wondering about this actually. In your "value for points" calculations, did you take into account that if you deploy the HMG, the rest of the team don't use their rifles?

So in essence, while the deployed MG gets a bit of extra firepower from being deployed, you also lose the fire from five (?) riflemen. At short ranges like on this map, that could mean something? And should be included in your points/cost estimates..
 

Drifter Man

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I expected they wouldn't fire, but they do. In my tests the MP40 and rifles did not fire when the MG was deployed, except at 40 m (the shortest range). So when I calculated those points values, I only counted the deployed MG. And then a German MG platoon still matched or exceeded the value of the "best" infantry (Panzergrenadiers). I didn't include these numbers in the report because I didn't want to get into analyzing all machinegun units.

But now the MP40 and rifles are very busy firing at the enemy, together with the deployed MG. So I am getting their firepower as well. I don't have a definite explanation for this difference in behavior vs tests. Maybe it is a function of suppression level - if the MG team is getting shot at, the other team members join the MG and shoot back to protect it.

In the screenshot below the MG team is engaging U.S. infantry at around 150 meters.
MG_RiflesJPG.jpg
 

Bulletpoint

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I don't have a definite explanation for this difference in behavior vs tests. Maybe it is a function of suppression level

Maybe it's because you were using area fire in your test (as far as I remember). But here, they are actively spotting enemies.
 

Drifter Man

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Maybe it's because you were using area fire in your test (as far as I remember). But here, they are actively spotting enemies.

I actually used target arcs in the tests, only at 360 m and higher I switched to area fire with MGs.
In this battle I've used area fire on a few occasions so far and again noticed the MP40 and rifles joining in.
Of course, the assistant gunner (rifle on his back in the picture above) doesn't fire when the MG is deployed, no matter what.
 

Drifter Man

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Turn 17. Another intense turn.

On the left flank I expected the 4th AFV to poke its gun through the hedgerow. I brought my last man at the ATG out of hiding and set an armor arc to be ready for this. But he is showing armed with an MP40 and the gun is not training. So I think it is out of action for good.

Anyway, my opponent was more clever than this and instead blasted a hole in the hedgerow for the tank to see through it. As the pioneers rush in through the breach, two are hit by machinegun fire, but the 4th AFV - a 76mm Sherman, I guessed that right - covers them with its bow and coaxial lasers:
Turn17_lasersJPG.jpg

Now the Sherman is outside the field of view of the ATG (even if that gun was still of any use) but can shoot at two of my machinegun positions. In addition, the AT platoon HQ loses a man and is routed again - so they definitely won't direct any mortar fire for me. The image below shows the situation. Now it is two MGs behind a hedgerow vs. two MGs and a 76mm gun behind a solid armor plate - it is clear who will win this fight. I am pulling the MGs out, will reform the line at the next hedgerow.

Turn17_leftflankJPG.jpg

This may work for the time being, but as soon as my opponent confirms that there is no threat to his tanks here... there will be no mercy. I wish I had a panzerschreck here, but I don't. Panzerfausts 30 are no good - I only have a few anyway. One way or another, I need him to make a mistake and bring his tank before one of my other AT guns. This will be difficult as he already knows about all my AT guns on the left flank... because...

Turn17_M10JPG.png

... because at the central crossroads, the 5th AFV - an M10 - appears and tries to go through the breach to support the survivors of the sniper massacre. I anticipated this move and set my last hidden PaK40 to cover that breach. The M10 commander is poking his head out - a bit careless in a sniper/machinegun area. A MG team sprays over the M10, hitting the commander, then the PaK puts a shell through the turret. One survivor is seen exiting.

Speaking of the sniper team - they don't do anything useful in those 30 seconds I gave them. They fire some shots but apparently don't hit, and for some reason they don't see the surviving U.S. infantry (7 men that I can see) rushing forward through the opening towards the first building in the village. These U.S. soldiers run into another sniper team, who engage in a typical sniper way, with MP40 and hand grenades, killing 3. The rest is either inside the building or behind the building. Meanwhile the pioneers return through the breach onto the road and run back to safety past the destroyed M10. My MG spent the last rounds of the ammo belt on the M10 and is now reloading, so it doesn't interfere with their retreat.

There is no retaliation, apparently, against the elite sniper team. The 81mm mortars in the back are heard firing one round each. The two rounds fall deep in my rear on the right flank. Spotting rounds? If so, why would each mortar fire one at almost the same time? Or harassing fire targeted at some two-story buildings whose roofs can be visible from their position, and where my opponent suspects he can do some damage? More likely.

Mortar activity is observed on the left flank as well - two 60mm mortar teams are seen repositioning to engage my defenses. I intend to treat them harshly, if I get the chance.

Turn17_overheadJPG.jpg

Edit: forgot the kill count. 41 U.S. casualties, 28 German. Not counting U.S. vehicle crews.
 
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Bulletpoint

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I look forward to see how your fallback maneuver pans out.

How did you guess the last AFV would be a 76mm Sherman? Was it based on the OOBs? I can't remember if the Sherman is part of the tank destroyer formation...
 

Drifter Man

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LOLs at the bow and coaxial lasers!
Couldn't help it :) I don't think tracers were used that much, but I like that I can tell who is firing at whom in CM. That's more important to me than *realistic* visuals.

How did you guess the last AFV would be a 76mm Sherman? Was it based on the OOBs? I can't remember if the Sherman is part of the tank destroyer formation...

It was just a plain guess. By that time I had seen two M10s and one 76mm Sherman. So I figured that the fourth AFV could be a second 76mm Sherman, considering that my opponent apparently wanted to be ready to deal with German tanks. Now that a third M10 has come (and gone), I wonder if there could be a third Sherman still waiting to be committed.
 

Drifter Man

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Turn 17 - update. I slept a good night and changed my mind. Today there will be no Rückzug, Kameraden. The exposed machineguns will hide to minimize losses when the Sherman starts area firing, but we do not fall back - the new positions would be worse, not better, than the old ones.

And I'll assemble a collection of HQ units, empty ammo bearers and snipers, along with some semi-deployed MGs, to launch a counterattack against the center left.
 

Lethaface

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Yeah @Gnarly is right, this is a support weapon-only setup.
Forgot about that or it didn't register before!

I can't move things around much. So far it has worked fine, but in general the defender should have more flexibility. When the defender is 100% static, the attacker can concentrate against one sector and overwhelm it.

Agreed. In any close firefight being able to reposition quickly is an important tactic. I usually try to have my support weapons in places where they can't be targeted too easily, with regular infantry more up front. So after contact I can switch around the normal infantry, evading soon to be incoming area fire, while the support weapon can enjoy it's position a bit longer.

Still it's surely interesting to try out!

I've been wondering about this actually. In your "value for points" calculations, did you take into account that if you deploy the HMG, the rest of the team don't use their rifles?

So in essence, while the deployed MG gets a bit of extra firepower from being deployed, you also lose the fire from five (?) riflemen. At short ranges like on this map, that could mean something? And should be included in your points/cost estimates..

While reading a bit through Drifterman's extensive (and interesting!) tests, I had a quick look at the QB screen.

Surely interesting if only to have another look at all the available formations, instead of the most used ones. However with standard rarity most of the non standard units often remain out of reach.

Also I think it's a good indication of the firepower per squad per point, but always subject to context. So I wouldn't advise choosing a force purely based on those numbers.

For example the Pz Aufklarung have 6 squads per platoon, 6 men per squad and 2MG + 2SMG per squad. They don't have any Pz Schrecks though and come mounted in kubelwagen.

Panzer grenadiers might cost more points per barrel but do have Schrecks and come mounted in HT's, which can be very valuable screening against artillery splinters and can be used with support.

Fusiliers have 'only' 1 MG-42, but come with 3 SMG's and many semi auto rifles so they make the ideal squad for splitting an assault team off while the other team retains the MG.

Etc.
 

Bulletpoint

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They don't have any Pz Schrecks though and come mounted in kubelwagen.

Panzer grenadiers might cost more points per barrel but do have Schrecks and come mounted in HT's

Unfortunately, the game allows you to just strip out all the elements you don't want to pay points for.. I think it would be more interesting if you would need to take the Kubelwagen too, if you wanted the Aufklarung unit. So there would be more both pros and cons.
 

Lethaface

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Unfortunately, the game allows you to just strip out all the elements you don't want to pay points for.. I think it would be more interesting if you would need to take the Kubelwagen too, if you wanted the Aufklarung unit. So there would be more both pros and cons.
Yes, but adding HTs for example costs more compared to organic HTs. Plus single teams often don't come with extra ammo, for example for mortars.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that there are more aspects to Combat Power than squad small arms firepower.
 
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