ER strikes again, stops Red Steel cold...

Taktik

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#1
We both hit cease-fire, so I worked on this AAR in the process of file switching, haven't seen the end result yet.

This was a mirrored game with Xuebo, this time seeing me as the attacker with Russians. The outcome was similar to the first, however, this one is far bitterer since my chances for victory were within my grasp late in the game. This game had me stupefied and disgusted with myself at one point as it arguably witnessed the highest casualty rate in tanks in a few turns that I can remember. Yes, disgusting.

At the purchase screen, I saw 4500 points of unrestricted-ness. I immediately clicked on armor and chose 3 T34 plts, 1 T70 plt, 1 SU-85 plt, 2 SU-152 plts and 2 SU-76 plts (during this time of the war, SU76 plts are only 2 tanks per plt). Partnered up with this armored force was a motorized rifle battalion, assorted support weapons and several FOs of the 82mm and 120mm type.

Obviously, this is an armor heavy force. Perhaps, another infantry company would have helped in the long run, but I’ve won numerous attacks featuring armor. The failure on my part was a lack of patience, vacillation, over emphasis on coming to grips and destroying the enemy’s armor and Xuebo’s excellent defense.

The map again featured a town with much hilliness. There was one huge hill that centered the map and his defense. This was the back-breaker for me.

I attacked with three axes. One strong on the left flank, one just as strong up the middle and a smaller force on the right flank. I had the SU-152, 85 and 76 plts all in reserve to commit once the vanguard got moving and identified some of the defense.

Immediately a Tiger appeared on the big hill and took shots at my infantry and nailed a darting T70. Ok, I thought, Tiger on huge hill that sees all. Got to keep moving. I expected him to have a plt of tigers so planned for most of the opening game for this encounter. My mistake. The thought of a Tiger plt gripped me and undermined the patience and methodical approach that was needed to take on the enemies numerous trenches and steadily falling arty.

The left flank featured a decent sized wood mass that turned out to have more infantry than I expected. Half way through the process of taking this flank, I started to pull away assets to bring them towards the center for the showdown with the Tigers. This caused the left flank axis to lose steam. Enemy Infantry teams and squads seemed to appear here and there in these woods in greater strength than I thought and always managed to pin my squads and toss grenade bundles at supporting T70s. Meanwhile HMGs dug into a line of trenches on the left face of the huge hill fired down onto this flank and a Tiger nailed two racing T34s that took too wide an arc and came into it’s LOS.

Seeing this only galled me more and I endeavored to conquer this hill! Woe unto me.

Eventually, the left flank was slowly gaining ground and I had amassed a large armored force on the slope of the huge hill in the center out of LOS mostly from the crest at the top. Another line of trenches laced the top of the hill. I knew there was an ATG there off to the side but I had dropped lots of 120mm and onboard 82mm mortars and HMGs into the trenches. It had not appeared again after one-shotting a T34 so I felt I had to go for it. The need to kill tigers was overwhelming as one of them was sitting just over the lip of the big hill.

The stage was set, my tanks were in line formation, but several things were screaming at me that this is wrong, don’t do it, but I did anyways. I was confident my mass of armor could clean up the remaining infantry in the trenches and come to grips with the enemy armor. A few of the T34s and SU76s had tungsten and could take out a tiger up close, perhaps even frontally.

LOS was the biggest problem and proved a killer, literally. My tanks could not overwatch for each other and see into the enemy’s positions past the crest of the hill, so they moved forward with out depth or support for each other, just brute force forward. I sent a pair of SU76s racing over the top of the hill along with a few T34s while the AGs and TDs hunted forward. That is when disaster struck and I am sickened just remembering it. Lol.

In all honesty, even after I had obsessively put myself into position to take the godless hill, I had a decent chance to avert what was to come or at least lose less tanks.

Two veteran SU-152s had a Tiger in their sights at the beginning of a turn and an SU-85 was mere seconds from acquiring it a well. This tiger, this very lucky tiger, was training around to target a racing T34 so it was caught, ready for the brew up. Sadly, oh so sadly, both SU-152s chummed the100 meter shots into the ground. There was great gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands. Worse, the tiger began to reverse and remained just out of LOS of the TDs moving up the slope. A second tiger further down the reverse slope of the hill started firing and took out two of the speeding T34s and SU76s. The reversing Tiger continued down the reverse slope well out of LOS of the hunter killers but calmly proceeded to blast the last of the T34s trying to flank it. Then the ATG showed up on my left flank, about 50 meters away on the shoulder of the hill. Perfectly out of LOS of my infantry making their way up the hill. There were no more turreted tanks in the area to target it either. Calmly it dispatched 4 of my tanks. Two SU-152s and Two SU-85s. The hill prevented any of my troops to suppressive fire it, so it wasn’t until a T34 on the far left flank firing up the hill took it out. Meanwhile, German infantry appeared in every house that dotted the top of the hill and each seemed to toss some device or other that landed on top of my remaining tanks.

Disaster. Plain and simple. I felt like Mat Damon’s character in “Rounders” when he loses that hand in the beginning of the movie to Teddy KGB. Punched in the gut. I stared at the screen in disbelief and horror the way he stared at the cards on the table.

From that point on the sole surviving SU-152 backed away to safety. The meager infantry I had left that was whittled away by constant artillery took the trenches on the hill. The Russian attack lost steam and heart. The left flank flag was finally taken and the flag on the hill was taken but with enormous cost in armor. My right flank lost a few tanks as I moved them forward without intention or reason and that side petered out as well just in front of a trench surrounded flag.

At Kursk, one of the main pincers sent in their armor first, prematurely and lost heavily to entrenched defenses. The other wing, under Model I think, sent in infantry and made better headway and lost less tanks. A generalization of a complex operation, but something I knew and should have abided by. The urge to kill the tigers was overwhelming at one point. As if reading my mind, Xuebo led me into a nice little kill sac on top of the hill.

The Russians were stopped cold. Xuebo’s Germans earned a well-fought victory. Next we play some meeting engagements and see how things unfold.
 
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ER_Chaser

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#2
This one indeed is far more difficult than the other one, Craig. Like I mentioned in my last email to you: you could have won this battle with the forces you had. My AT strength was too low to counter your mass tank army.

That trench thing, Craig, again was the teaching of the devastating NL :) ... But apparently I need to master it better. My line appeared to be very thin actually on almost every front when facing your armored pressure. The luckiest thing is that you were indeed scared by my fictionary tiger platoon. That was the major purpose of exposing my tiger at turn 1 on top of the hill to ... show you that I have a monster to spare. Actually I do not have much :)

But in this game, I learned a hard lesson on the power of mass mobile tank force of a mix of heavy and light tanks. Esp. the light tanks, I always thought they were purely useless. I am glad that I finally learned their value from you :) And many of the tank tactics you showed in this game, to be honest (and not shy from being laughed by our friends here), were seen by me for the FIRST time! (after playing CMBB for so many years ... lol .... isn't it amazing how well that Battlefront developed this CM1 games with such depth and harmony? oh ... it is plain painful to think about CM2, what are they doing to themselves????)

Again, looking forward to our ME games, sir!
 
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#3
Wow! Another great AAR Craig!

Your battle reminds me of the movie "Hamburger Hill." In that movie, the US Army gets manic about taking a particular hill and suffers horrible losses.

It sounds like you actually played it right--you brought multiple TDs to bear on a Tiger at short range. That is perfectly played. Sounds like the "random number generator" just screwed you.
 

2054172

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#4
Nemesis why don't you post this thing about trenches that Er mentioned. It sounds like good info all around.:smoke:
 
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#5
I am not totally sure what ER is talking about, although I appreciate his kind words.

I think it means that the infantry front line is in a reverse slope position and the AT guns are further back (and higher up) with larger fields of fire. However, you can't get to the AT guns unless you go through the infantry. However, you can't pound the infantry with HE from a distance because it is behind a reverse slope--you have to go through them.

Here is how you might do this with flat maps:

Your front line has infantry that are at the rear of clumps of trees. No one can shoot the infantry from the front unless they enter the trees. This keeps firepower off the infantry.

Your second line has AT guns/HMGs that have good fields of fire. As the enemy tries to flank you infantry to try to get shots at them, your AT guns/HMGs shoot them.

You can do the same thing with hills and trenches (reverse slope infantry, forward slope AT guns/HMGs).

This is not a fool proof strategy because artillery and concentrated force can still break through.
 
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2054172

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#6
I get the reverse slope and with trenches, great idea....In regards to the woods do you not have to be About 20m in in order not to be seen?:smoke:
 

Bertram

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#8
Great reading AAR. Very inspiring, I'll have to give it try after I finish mopping up PONL!:laugh: