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Old June 29th, 2020, 01:05 PM
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Default German Campaign using War Cab

After posting this thread http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=52472 I decided to actually do a proper AAR covering this units exploits.

The first 2 battles will be a bit sketchy as that thread is the second battle & was not doing an AAR originally.

I will be using War Cab by Erik Cumps to assist in the reporting as it seems to work well.
Used in no intel mode throughout the battle then full intel at end as that shows the position of ALL enemy troops.

German Campaign starting in Sicily, & covering the Italian campaign along with a quick excursion to go play in the bocage of Normandy then is as far as I have thought.

FORCE COMPOSITION at start of 2nd battle 832 men

Infantry Company A - 13 Squads 4 of whom are Sturmpioniere's + 2X HMG groups & 2X Light Trucks to move them in.

Infantry Company B - 12 Squads + 2 HMG groups + 3 5cm Pak38 ATG + 3 SdKfz 11 halftracks to dual role moving MGs & ATGs

Panzer Grenadier Co - 11 Squads + 2 MMG all with halftracks + 2 scouts riding 250/11 gun halftracks

Support Units - 1 FOO 4 Panzerschreck teams 3 Snipers

Armour - 10 MkIVH + 6 StuGIIIG +2 SturmpanzerIV

Anti Aircraft - 6 Self Propelled 2cm FlaK

Artillery - 2 15cm infantry guns & 4 mortars with transport + 4 Self Propelled mortars + 1 17cm off map battery + 3 munitions carriers.

SUMMARY - 36 squads - 13 armoured halftracks - 5 soft vehicles - 18 Armour units - 3 ATGs - 4 - 6 AAA units & 11 Artillery units.
Not counting artillery & munitions transport.

NOTES
First campaign using mainly MkIVs I supplemented with StuGs so at least some of my armour can take the high ground without inviting hits to that weak turret. Decided to be lazy with offboard arty normally buy 10cm K18 but took the easy path for counterbattery this time. Only have to worry about the 8inch & that is rare.
Panzer Grenadiers traded in their 251/9 gun halftracks for the AAA units taking the total to 6 as allied air becomes a problem.
Infantry is a bit odd as jumped the gun & started converting to 3 squad platoons by changing some to Sturmpioniere's. Does not happen till 1944 so whoops they will stay that way till then when platoon leaders will lose the 5cm mortar.
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Old June 30th, 2020, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: German Campaign using War Cab

Welcome to Vizzini Sicily its a baking hot summers day visibility is 66 hexes & the map size is 100 wide by 80 deep.
Later maps will be 90 wide by 70 deep as this caused the AI to be to dispersed resulting in an easy first outing.
Timed objectives are set to 6 for the campaign.
Meeting Engagement vs The British

Firstly Kudos to the map generator the map could represent several areas in the Mediterranean & indeed reminded me of the view upon cresting a rise on a drive in a heatwave there.

Sorry no pictures for this battle save was overwritten.
MAP for this AAR we will assume the top is always North
The map is dominated by a sprawling hill range in the centre around 30 hexes wide with 3 distinct flat peaks around 70 hexes high.
These overlook other smaller hills around 30 high so are a good vantage point & the game kindly placed the VHexes on each of them.
Forestation is quite sparse just lines of trees scattered around, 2 broken tree lines around 7 hexes long running so \ crossed the top 2 levels of the North hill on the AI side & were the only real ones that mattered. Apart from that quite a few largeish vineyards & some patches of rough but not near where the fighting took place.
A road runs E-W We will call the peaks 1,2,3 Top Middle Bottom.

DEPLOY
Simple split forces peak 1 was Company As objective, Peak 3 Company Bs.
Tanks were split evenly & a platoon of Pz Gren accompanied each. ATGs went with A because of the road.
4 Tanks & the remaining Pz Grenadiers were assigned to the middle, not to take Peak 2 which we would deal with later but to reinforce whoever needed them.

TO BATTLE
Turned out the AI decided to make its pushes in a similar fashion peak 1 being its main push & just as the PZ Grens were ready to crest the rise there the Brits took the victory hexes. Cresting the rise cannot see anything probably an Armoured Car behind the trees. 2 of them place smoke to let the ATGs deploy safely & the 3rd risks using the other line of trees to move forward so I can see hats coming.

My tanks will not crest the hilltop for another 2 turns so one takes position to interdict the AC while the others push forward bailing out their riders. Halfracks headed back to scoop up infantry.

Next turn 3 Shermans & a Honey crest the rise & drop riders, heck no need to see whats coming & I can't now they are here. I charge onto the hilltop firing smoke as am fast moving.
We are only 7-8 hexes apart & the Pz Gren reports infantry movement but 2 tanks have reamined stationary & have been joined by a third. Assume the other 2 have moved to the lower elevation & are skirting to the North. The AC or whatever it is has vanished perplexing not a lot of cover.
The hills are shallow 3-4 hexes between contours producing strips of blind spots.

I decide to play the waiting game to just moving infantry as am still waiting for some to arrive & arty will land next turn. I want to look over the edge to & the central force is coming to reinforce though still a few turns distant. Bit worried about the lone tank I left behind as he may be facing more than an armoured car so he actually pulls back to increase the range of any exchange. sporadic fire nothing serious. Spotted more AC about to take Hill 3s VHexes.
I have taken none & its the same situation Pz Grenadiers are nearly there but nobody else is close except the 250/11 halftrack that takes up an ambush position.

Sticking with hill 1 its now around turn 5 we push forward & first kill somehow my Sturmpanzer is leading the charge trying to pin the infantry & separate them. Not the most sensible situation to be in though he has a Pioneer supporting him. Still no sign of the units that vanished but I am now in a position to look North over the crest & see what's going on.

Scout takes a look & there are now 8 or 9 Shermans & half a dozen infantry. Looks like they are trying to skirt round behind me in which case they will run into the ATGs. & that lone tank. There are also 3 Shermans approaching the Sturmpanzer. If the North group turns back he will be between them.

So far I have been picking off exposed units now I am forced to go I have artillery plotted as now committed it all to this hill that should hit the Northern force if it moves West so take position while trying to cover the Sturmpanzer as best as possible. An AT team & 2 squads go to support him as fast moving to safety is risky.

The AI indeed heads West the AC dies to an ATG which also dispatches a Sherman with a flank shot, some exchange of fire but the lone tank is not targeted its to far away I guess as they are moving. It misses everyone when it opens up. The Sturmpanzer kills one of the Shermans approaching from the East that pops up 2 hexes away & the Pioneer heavily damaged another, 1 left. My artillery hits.

I do not like attacking tank formations with so many infantry close but its time to pull the pin.
The single tank advances, now he is taking low probability fire. Fires smoke to break target lock & keeps coming. One ATG opens up killing a Sherman with its second shot, now spotted as it to draws fire so stops shooting. Scout has a look to see the layout & a squad tries to look at what he missed & receives a lot of infantry fire for his trouble.
The Sturmpanzer & a few squads move to the North Forces rear & pick off infantry out of view of the Shermans. AT Team & squad should deal with the last West Sherman but Sturmpanzer discharges smoke to its rear just in case.
I think around 2/3rds of the allied tanks have 1 shot or less & they are suppressed & moving so try my luck which holds 1-3 hex moves engage then smoke & move my infantry up behind the screen as this was a 4 -6 hex ranged engagement. They should provide protection if the AI decides to enter the smoke. Got a fair few dischargers saved the rest, War Cab kill list for turn 8 which was a decisive blow to the Brits & the height of the battle.


Note the artillery killed some of the infantry the Sturmpanzer had been working over & at this range the 250/11 gun halftrack is a potent tool. fast high ROF & an accurate gun I like it though sometimes ask to much of it. My losses so far an AT team & the 250/11 on the other hill after taking on the armoured cars he went head to head with a tank.
Apologies I remember now they were Cromwell Is not Shermans that's why they got there fast.
One of my Stugs took 1 damage in the exchange but fully operational. A squad has lost a man & the poor guy that took a look lost 5 men.

That was pretty much the battle over for this hill just moping up then fending off sporadic infantry attacks. Only advanced about 10 hexes past the VHexes with some squads to spot approaching units & let the MG & halftracks deal with them from the hilltop.

Funny you remember tense battles quite well bit vague about hill 3 as that was a lot easier but we can save that for tomorrow.
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Old Yesterday, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: German Campaign using War Cab

Hill 3

Similar start to this one a couple of Humbers & Dingos got there just before me. 250/11 Halftrack made a short move to ambush as they came over the crest & 2 of my tanks took up position. The 250/11 got one & the others ran into my tanks sights.

Forgot there was a small clump of trees here to on my end of the hilltop, 250/11 took up position behind them & the Pz Grenadiers headed out for a looksee. This time some of my tanks had reached the crest just a 1 hex move to the hilltop.

Next turn 2 honeys & 3 Cromwell's turned up & took pot shots at the Grenadiers. The 250 could move 1 hex to line up a Honey while screened from the rest so it did & knocked it out with the first shot. Now I got overconfident Grenadier placed smoke so it could take on a Cromwell by moving another hex, it fired wide of the mark, we fired - no effect.
Another stray round comes our way so risk another shot its damaged, unfortunately its superficial & the return fire kills me.
Still that's 2 tanks that wont fire at me as I come over the rise. Grenadier places smoke blocking one of the tanks view & we come over the lip & kill the 4 we can target then stop. It died next turn when it moved as did another couple of Honeys that turned up.
There then followed a battle with quite a few infantry trying to take the high ground. I remember thinking that's more than the tanks could have dropped.
A squad & MG drove over to hill 2 to get a better angle on them & zipped round the VHexes at the same time.
The infantry were contained I now had free armour & a few halftracks in support though had to be careful not to expose them as we had Churchills inbound.
These were spotted earlier from hill 1 & keep dipping in & out of view so its time for the StuG's to do their thing 3 move out including 1 from hill 1 with an infantry escort. Trip to firing positions is fairly uneventful, one got shot at by a Piat team which was quickly killed by the escorting infantry. Did not engage odd infantry encountered let the HMG pin them or smoked till we were in position.
The British 2 Pounder does not have APCR yet so the StuG's have a sweet spot & opened up at 20-24 hex range as they are safe from return fire unlike the MkIV.
W fire the MG a couple of times then let fly the APCR seems the best way. Saves ammo & rarely triggers the dischargers just before you get that accurate shot.
When the last one died around turn 14 the Brits threw in the towel, I was quite surprised how much infantry was advancing on hill 3 that I had not detected yet. None could get near the VHexes however due to the tanks & MGs defending them.
That is why I changed map size battle was easy partly because the AI never got all its units to participate.
Will use War Cab a bit more this battle was my trial & I kept forgetting to save the data

Here's a War Cab end of battle screen & my losses screen. From that forgot my artillery got hit by the Brits the Maultier soft halftrack is my infantry gun transport simply because I have never used them before. plan to use some other untried equipment as we progress.

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Old Yesterday, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: German Campaign using War Cab

Before moving on to the battle that prompted this AAR a quick note on War Cab now I grasp it more.
I can use full intel so long as restrict myself to the opponents kill tab - this lets me check what they killed/damaged that turn.
This is because losses are a running total not per turn like kills as once a unit is dead its dead every turn.

This does mean it reports enemy force size as in men formations which does not give anything away in my view, scared the $#@% out of me though!
Also gives their readiness status which gives a bit away on how I am doing but fine with it. I have asked Erik who is very helpful to confirm readiness is based on - units destroyed plus suppressed state of current units.
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Old Yesterday, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: German Campaign using War Cab

War Cab reports Map width x height so 90 wide 70 deep not so sunny today though soon visibility was 0

How many men!

MISSION DEPLOYMENT
We are tasked with holding the bridge & stopping the advance, in the bottom of the map I added fords to every other hex along the stream to aid the AI crossing, nothing got stuck.

Purposely deployed light on expected main avenue of approach & behind the bridge as expected heavy bombardment, was right just did not think big enough. They were supposed to be supported by units on the elevations to each side but due to the level of dust this never happened till turn 8. North Flank purposely deployed heavy & with halftracks to act as a reaction force.
Shot myself in the foot bought mines to place in front of the bridge then decided that was to much & was going to place a few to screen squads but forgot.

RECAP
We are currently on turn 13 so some screenshots - smoke off its light
Thought I had a deployment save but no.
3 most forward squads & a sniper have perished Company A who were tasked with holding here could well lose 2 complete platoons so things are not going so well this time.

2 StuG's & a platoon of Pz Gren (1 dead) are behind a broken tree line by my mouse cursor at the bottom of the picture.
Top tank attack swung in after meeting resistance - infantry may be following?
The AI formed up truck infantry & tanks here before following the first push by SPGuns & infantry after it eased the front edge of the bombardment which stopped completely on turn 11


Bottom attack was lead by a probe with SPguns one however decided to stop so I sent a squad to find it. My SPmortars & HQ were camped on the flank to avoid the barrage which they did but I had to pull them out.
Company B has had a quite time only one squad has engaged taking out a tank with its AT mine on the second attempt. Tanks & AT teams have engaged the armour attack which has only just commenced.


My squads on the main approach fought valiantly I could not have asked more of them but once the tanks turned up & they ran out of smoke they were overwhelmed.
They received virtually no supporting fire till turn 9 because of the blanket of dust, turn 11 before could really help much. They managed to stall the first push but now the tanks have turned up the AI is moving forward.
I missed an opportunity to place fire missions on the form up area, partly because my arty was only firing every other turn in an effort not to give away their positions. When I did place it missed anyway as the AI remained in place.
Arty is now going full bore as I think positions are known 2 Spitfires made a run around turn 6. Both were hit one downed but not before overflying my artillery park.
We will take up the action next post but I think I made a bad call leaving my arty battery on CB fire. That's habit thought fire missions were to dangerous but I bought 17cm it can do them.
Should have used it to stall the infantry & perhaps damage some armour to give my squads some relief.
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Old Yesterday, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: German Campaign using War Cab

Forgot bought 2 ammo dumps & 2 bunkers as support.
1 ammo dump & a bunker were destroyed by the barrage in the first few turns. The other bunker is heavily damaged can only fire one shot a turn & so far has fired twice for no effect.
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