Goliath vs robarrieta

Discussion in 'Allied Team - TOAW Workshop' started by Goliath, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    My background with TOAW
    I first came across TOAW I "Elite Edition" way back, but never really got into it (when I wanted to take it up later, I found that it wouldn't run beyond Windows 98). Still, I liked the concept, and when I found out about TOAW III, I started stalking this forum, finally bought the game, and have played some of the scenarios recommended for tutorial purposes. However, I believe I have spent more time reading about TOAW than actually playing it :nuts:!

    My basic plan for Road to Rimini
    I have played the scenario hotseat against myself, and as German against the PO (to see if Elmer could do a better job as attacker). Both games resulted in overwhelming German victories, where the Brits got footholds in the Gotic Line, but at the cost of appalling losses. However, the Germans did have a hard time manning the Line.
    From these experiences, I draw the conclusion that the attackers must exploit their numbers and immense artillery fire power to the fullest and expose the whole Gotic Line to attack, using engineers to move into super river hexes, etc. In this way, the Germans will not be able to cycle fresher units to critical areas.
    Does this sound as a reasonable way to proceed?
     
  2. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    British turn 1

    At turn 1, there are only three infantry brigades eligible to move (and loads of artillery). My plan was to get these units in contact with as many enemy units as possible (dividing some of my unis for that purpose), then attacking with artillery support doing the job.

    The first infantry units could enter combat when 60% of the turn remained. All in all, I got five turns of ground combat, and had some success: Saltara was captured, German units on the Petriano road and on the way to Urbino were forced to retreat. I was unable to advance on a German retreat on the plain near Fano.

    I'm uncertain on how to best use air units in TOAW. Here, I first used my bombers to attack the German airfield, with all other air units on air superiority. This knocked out Luftwaffe. Then I used the bombers to destroy all bridges over the Conca and Marano rivers. My reason for this was to disrupt supply and hamper movement (I don't expect the bridges to be left standing if I get that far). In preparation for the German turn, I put all my air units on interdiction. (When playing the scenario before, I found air interdiction to be a real pain for the Germans!)

    Questions so far:

    (1) Is there a way to view the situation at the end of my turn? When the turn ended, I was asked to save the PBEM file, and then the game closed, leaving no sal file.
    Is it possible to save during a PBEM game, or is this disabled for cheat reasons?

    (2) I suppose I could have used artillery bombardment in the early phases before the infantry attacks started. Was that a grave oversight? It seems to me that bombardment on its own doesn't have that big an effect, and I don't want to risk forgetting to dig them in again!

    (3) How do I know if any of the planned attacks are too early in the turn? The information panel says things like "Planned combats xx%, Turn used yy%". Am I right in assuming that xx <= yy means that my planned attacks are okay?

    EDIT: I extracted a situation image for the end of my turn 1 from the playback of my opponents move:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007
  3. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    Beware though of being lured by your opponent into a purely attritional confrontation. You certainly have to concentrate firepower to soften the German line but the ultimate goal is to have the Commonwealth be on the move and advance - 10 turns only! Pushing troops on the whole length of the successive defensive lines a German player might be able to form will most probably leave you stranded by turn 10 if he's a decent defender.

    The way I generally proceed is to select two or three points on the Fano-Urbino line, pounding them with artillery while probing the whole line during the first combat rounds. I generally devote a fraction of my artillery to counter-battery fire, targeting German artillery as it's spotted - thus reducing the amount of support German infantry will receive when I strike. Meanwhile, those infantry units that are active at the start are brought to contact wherever feasible, using engineers as soon as possible to minimize river crossing penalties and carefully managing the traffic so as to minimize the movement points expenditure and prevent hex overcrowding (hex density penalty is not your friend :smoke:)
    Then, wherever a weakness can be spotted (units that get un-dug for instance, or density penalty markers appearing in the enemy line) all-out attacks, preferably flanking ones, are ordered with direct artillery support (from those units that still have a reasonable MP allowance, the others being on a support role). You can generally expect the line to break here and there, at least in a couple of places.

    Don't worry too much if you only get three or four combat rounds instead of 6 or 7 - provided you have the German in retreat. As he goes second, he might very well be unable to recover from the blow you dealt him, in the form of retreated, routed, reorganizing units - you name it.

    Expand the gaps and funnel your armour and infantry trough them, moving your artillery by fractions so as to always have a portion of it on direct support.

    I usually don't go for too subtle plans and progress on three axis correponding to the three bridges over the Foglia river. Pesaro and Montecchio are key points, not only in terms of VPs but also as they command the approaches to the only portion of the map where you can really put your armour to good use, massing it and dashing towards Cattolica, Riccione and Rimini.

    To sum it up:
    • Mass the artillery fires at critical points
    • Manage traffic and terrain carefully
    • Push forces through gaps rather than trying to push the whole enemy line back
    • Keep the German off balance
    Now, that's my way of doing business and nothing more - every approach is fine as long as it allows you to prevail. I'm looking forward to seeing how you fare - keep us posted ;)
     
  4. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    In your 'Saves' folder, you should find a file named after your PBEM file with an 'END_OF_TURN_DO_NOT_SEND' prefix and a .SAL extension - that's your save file for the turn.

    Artillery (and the heavier the better) is useful even used alone. Not because of the actual losses it inflicts but in that it can un-dig the enemy units it targets, putting them on mobile status, deprived of their previous entrenchment defensive bonus. It's a big offensive bonus for your infantry. Same goes for counter-battery strikes, as it put supporting enemy batteries on mobile status, leaving the front lines without support.

    Experience. Or you can use the 'Attack planner' and check the number of gold dots every attack consumes. It roughly translates in number of combat rounds that will be used by your attacks, screw-ups notwithstanding :D
     
  5. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    You may lack offensive punch with divided units, especially if the German unit in front has been insufficiently softened. Klotzen, nicht kleckern.
     
  6. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    Yeah. Air units can be used too to bombard enemy supporting artillery, knocking it off its supporting (entrenched) role. Same goes for the RN Adriatic Group.
     
  7. Heldenkaiser

    Heldenkaiser New Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    19th century
    I generally don't use the attack planner. What I do is compare the fraction of MP left for the units I am using in my planned combats with the fraction of the turn left. In other words, if I have 70% of my turn left, I use only units that have 70% or more of their MP left. Since our infantry here has 22, that means 22*.7 or 15 MP. Next round will be 60% (if I don't get "... continue the attack"), so 22*.6 = or only units with 13+MP left are used. :)
     
  8. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    Neither do I use it, but it sometimes come in handy when you have a stack of units with different movement allowances set to attack, just to double-check you didn't commit to the offensive a unit that has nearly burnt all its MPs, thus royally screwing up your plans :paperbag:
     
  9. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    British turn 2

    In turn 2, I tried to use some of the advice I received (thanks all :)). For instance, I used artillery to bombard entrenched targets, and also used them in direct support to combats.

    The Germans turned out to have largely withdrawn from the central mountains, leaving some delayers behind. Hence, I was able to reach both Petriano and San Angelo this turn.

    In the west, I had a go at the pioneers defending the bridge below Montecalvo. Despite heavy preparatory bombardments, they refused to break.

    The coastal plain was more heavily defended, but artillery bombardments apparently had considerable effect here. When it came, the advance captured Fano and went two hexes further on.

    I forgot to check loss penalties towards the end of turn, but I think they were friendly -4, against -6 for the germans.

    Questions:

    (1) What to do about artillery with low readiness and supply (typically "red" ones)? I suppose they deliver fewer shells when they are low on supply, but is it worth taking them out of action to rest them?

    (2) Ditto regarding air units?

    (3) Is the "Create bitmap image" function known to be unreliable? I tried to save an image just before resolving my final combat round, but it just contained the upper-left part of the map :surprise:. (An image from earlier in the turn was OK.)

    (4) I had rounds burned by "British continue attack", despite using Minimize losses". Is this caused by defenders being on "Ignore losses"?


    Here are two images - one detailed with 60% of turn remaining (final front drawn by hand), and one small-scale from end of turn (generated by the movie function):
     
  10. Heldenkaiser

    Heldenkaiser New Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    19th century
    Others are a lot more qualified to answer this than I am, but in my limited experience after a couple of turns all artillery is permanently in the red. With only 10 turns like here, I use them anyway. I reckon they would never recover sufficiently to be of use again before scenario end, so what the hell.

    Ditto!

    I use ALT-PrtScr and paste the image into a graphics programme. :)

    A fact of life ... defenders are on IL, or have simply a high proficiency, or are some of those magically undefeatable unit types, like AGs or recon. It's not an exact science by any means ... but then I believe we have a maximum rounds per combat setting here? At least so far I've never burned more than 30% in one round of combats.
     
  11. Heldenkaiser

    Heldenkaiser New Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    19th century
    BTW this looks good. You have done by turn 2 what I needed three turns for. :shy:

    Personally I shy away from having orange stacks in the front line. Chances are they take more damage than they inflict in a combat. :rolleyes:
     
  12. nemo

    nemo -. . -- ---

    Sep 24, 2003
    Nowhere to be seen
    Exactly. I for one seldom bother to check the supply level of any unit. Well-supplied units take precedence in the attacks over glowing-red ones and I try to ensure no unit has its supply lines cut by the end of the turn and that's about all.

    Yeah - beware the dreaded StuG or Sd.Kfz. 234 unit :paperbag:
    As for the MRPB factor, it's set at 5 in this scenario.
     
  13. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    British turn 3

    The attached images below show the situation at the beginning and end of British turn 3. The Germans had withdrawn from the bridges near Montecalvo and Monteccio, destroying them in the process. Lacking engineers within range, this made any advance towards Monteccio impossible this turn :rolleyes:. However, near Montecalvo, where the river no longer is "super", I finally made contact with the Gotic Line. This turn I managed to capture Montecalvo, and barely failed to advance into the hex SW of it.

    On the coastal plain, advance was hampered by German straddlers, which were mopped up. In the final combat round, I nearly captured Pesaro.

    Victory points before the final round was 85 against 15 in German favour. Loss penalties were 16 against 10, resulting in a British victory level of -64.

    Next turn, I hope to hold and widen the gap in the Gotic Line near Montecalvo, and using engineers to bridge the river near Monteccio and by the coast, so that I can put some pressure against the Line in these areas. My biggest worry is that German reinforcements may arrive soon. I need to get through the Line before the defence thickens...

    Questions:

    (1) I sometimes use air units in direct support of attacks. Is it better to set them to "Combat support", in which I suppose they support all attacks?

    (2) I just want to check that I have understood support and icon colours. For example, when a Canadian formation (white on blue with brown background) has "Army support", does it mean that it will fully cooperate only with Canadian units, partly cooperate with e.g. British (red on white with brown background, and not cooperate with the Poles (red background)?
     
  14. Heldenkaiser

    Heldenkaiser New Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    19th century
    It is my understanding that the difference is the same as for artillery units. In a direct fire mission, it will use its full power, but only once per combat round. Being in support, it can support several combats per round (actually I believe an infinite number, but I am not sure), but only at reduced power. :)
     
  15. Veers

    Veers New Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Kelowna, BC
    Correct.00
     
  16. Telumar

    Telumar New Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    niflheim
    Basically it means this. But beware. As the manual states: "The degree of cooperation is based on the best possible Cooperation Level between two units." (18.9.2.) So, if the Poles were on free support there would be absolutely no problem with cooperation.
     
  17. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    British turn 4

    Apparently, the Germans were not aware of the British engineer units' ability to bridge super rivers. This made it possible for me to advance through the Gotic Line and into the plain beyond :joy:. Also, the Germans opted to move reinforcements into Pesaro, which I chose to try by-pass and cut off. Unfortunately, I was faced with a premature turn end :paperbag:, so the cut-off was not realized this turn.

    In the center, Monteccio was surrounded, but not captured, in spite of vicious fighting (perhaps that was the turn-burner).

    To the west, I managed to advance one hex before the turn ended...

    In summary, it seems that the Germans made a grave mistake in leaving parts of the defensive line unmanned, but it worries me that most artillery were left mobile at turn end and will not give supportive fire :rolleyes:

    Here is the situation at end of turn:
     
  18. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    Turn 5

    During their turn 4, the Germans managed to push the Brits back in one or two hexes, but were otherwise concerned with a difficult disengagement near Pesaro and patching the front in the centre.

    British turn 5 started with maneuvering as many troops through the gaps in the Gotic Line, flooding the plain behind. After the first round of battles, almost the entire Line was in British hands. The second round softened some defending units along the Conca river, and in the following combat round, British units crossed that river at one or two places. The turn ended in this combat round, due to the fierce defence by a batallion of Pz IV:s (3x"British continue attack", despite "minimize losses" :rolleyes:). Luckily, my artillery units are entrenched and will give defensive support.

    In summary, situation looks good - almost all german units are retreating. The only cloud is the panzer division that popped up in Rimini. They will beat the Brits to the victory point hexes north of Conca river.

    Some questions:

    (1) When I move artillery units and fortify them, do they support attacks within range from their new location during the whole turn (irregardless of number of moves spent)? It is my impression that they do.

    (2) I have been warned about the turn-burning tendency of, e.g, the StuG III unit, and also learned it the hard way this turn. What is the common characteristic of units with this ability? High proficiency? Armoured equipment?

    Here is the situation at end of turn:
     
  19. Telumar

    Telumar New Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    niflheim
    1) Yes

    2) High proficiency, Armoured, High Recon.. generally a battle goes on and on if both sides do not inflict enough damage to the other side to force the other side to break off or retreat. So, if you have a unit with a low AT value (or better: no assets with high AT value) fight against an armoured unit with low AP value, combined with high proficiencies (so that they are unlikely to break off) you'll have a round burning situation. Experience shows that Armoued Cars and Assault Guns are very prone to round burning. It's very seldom that you will see it in a pure infantry battle.
     
  20. Goliath

    Goliath New Member

    140
    Mar 19, 2007
    EA (110,45)
    British turn 6

    The German reinforcements managed to patch up the front line between the coast and the mountains reasonably. However, this left the mountains open. I managed to dash a unit along mountain roads into San Marino, which meant that the entire German-controlled territory became observed.

    I moved artillery units forward into the plain N of the Gotic Line and fortified them there. In this way, the majority of my combats this turn had huge indirect artillery support. The following combats pushed the Germans back along the Conca River, which was crossed along its length. The weared-down German units N of Montecalvo broke and retreated. Almost all previously encircled units were evaporated. Vicious defence burned my turn - I only had two rounds of combat.

    Notable victory point hexes gained were (W to E) Gemmano, Misano Adriatic and Pesaro.

    This screenshot shows the situation just before resolving the first round of combat. The front at end of turn is indicated by the red line.
     

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