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Defending The Westwall : An End Of Series Review
(12-04-2012, 03:35 AM)campsawyer Wrote: Vince, you explained the German weaknesses, what about there strengths.

OK Alan, not sure what that means ?

However, you asked what were the strengths of the German forces and in case you missed them in your first read, here they are again ? (quoted from above posts)

"" it was often far more profitable to keep them in strong groups, capable of helping themselves, and where possible, trying to get their firepower to somewhere between 11-16 direct fire points and backed with a useful leader.""

""In this way, direct closing US attacks would see DF against them going up 3 columns for Opp.Fire and being adjacent. This would leave the American asking or at least worrying whether such attacks were worth the risk in casualties. Such groups of defenders would also be able to confidently fight assault battles defensively on a decently high column that had a good chance of inflicting casualties too. In other words, I tried to make my stacks frightening and able to inflict VP casualties, ""

""In the last 5 scenarios, the Germans are also assisted by the mud. This slows down the Americans to a crawl in some instances and in each turn that American units fail to advance, time will be eaten up.""

""To inflict pain in the form of losses on the aggressors, I realised that units and bombardments had to be concentrated into ‘clumps’ that could inflict losses on their own strength.""

""So where possible, infantry stacks of 11 or 16 DF often augmented with strong-points could turn out to be fearsome prospects, especially when advanced upon with the Opp.Fire bonus and in closing stages, the adjacent bonus. ""

""Stacks composed of a GREN, HMG and a leader with a ‘1’ bonus for firepower for 16pts, or 2 HMG’s and a strong-point for 22pts always proved troublesome thorns.""

""Likewise, artillery needed, where able to fire on the 30col, whether as OBA or on-board.""

""It is of no surprise to state that towns were always the best location to husband my resources and keep them safe"

""Entrenchments also go without saying when they are part of the OOB.""

""In the muddy scenarios, I also found it useful to place my defending troops where possible, 4 hexes or 800m from covering terrain to the enemy. With just a 2MF, this would mean that I would get 2 turns of Opp Fire against the enemy before they could even muster their own forces for any useful assault.""

""targeting useful enemy leaders, ENG, HMG and FLM units was a priority. This would make enemy assaults on my positions as weak as I could conceivably make them""

""Another tactic was to take out ‘cheap’ targets when able and safe to do so""

""The German armour, due to its fearsome guns are most often at their best being used in positions that show what they CAN do rather than WHAT they do""

""their ability to neuter American armour is possibly just as an effective a tactic to use as it is to try and fight""
(12-04-2012, 04:35 AM)campsawyer Wrote: More than I was looking for. You have given the tactics you employed, I was just thinking more on summary level of weather, most scenarios are hill/town defense, etc. I was going to leave the details to tSmilehe readers own mind.

Summary Level of Weather ?

I have mentioned the mud all over these posts and how it slowed down things and lost you 3 turns in another scenario before the battle had even started. What else can I add ?

Hill/Town Defence

Yes I have mentioned the far-flung hills and towns to be defended and how I used these to my advantage all over the scenarios as well as post one. Best add other stuff for me if you are able.

You might want to email me to my own add if I have written something problematical as that is how you are making me feel ?
I found that using the American transport, such as it is, to move the HMGs to be a far more useful application of the transport during the mud scenarios than moving the AT guns.
No "minor" country left behind...
Ok, forget my posts it must be me. Sad
(12-04-2012, 12:24 PM)Matt W Wrote: I found that using the American transport, such as it is, to move the HMGs to be a far more useful application of the transport during the mud scenarios than moving the AT guns.

Alan used his trucks in one scenario I remember to get his huffing and puffing mortars forward a bit more briskly. I agree this is probably their best use rather than wasting them on almost ineffective 57mm's
(12-04-2012, 12:41 PM)campsawyer Wrote: Ok, forget my posts it must be me. Sad


It would be nice if you, Wayne and Tony added what the experience was like from your side of the board and what your perception was of the problems of trying to take trenches, buildings and strongpoints ... as well as adding the how for the last 5 scenaris, mud affected the attack options .
(12-04-2012, 08:30 PM)vince hughes Wrote:
(12-04-2012, 12:41 PM)campsawyer Wrote: Ok, forget my posts it must be me. Sad


It would be nice if you, Wayne and Tony added what the experience was like from your side of the board and what your perception was of the problems of trying to take trenches, buildings and strongpoints ... as well as adding the how for the last 5 scenaris, mud affected the attack options .

After all, as the title suggests. This was an opus to the 'Alte Hasen' defending the Wall. That was my only experience over the 10 scenarios Smile
Well, as one of the 3 American commanders in the Westwall Campaign, and definitely the most inexperienced one, I can say that I learned a lot from the beating I took in the one battle I participated in - Hucheln Town (Westwall #9 or, according to my book, Invasion of Germany #39).

This battle was my third PG game and second skype game against Vince after St. Vith: First Probe and it was my first exposure to playing combined arms against an entrenched defender. Looking back on it now, I know that there were several moves made that hurt my chances to attain even a chance at victory. In no particular order:

1. Exposing my loaded M3s to the town and potential AT attack.
2. Spreading the forces over the entire front, giving German OP the opportunity to provide adequate firepower on any point of my attack.
3. Worrying too much about the AT Guns and not focusing OBA on reducing GREN and HMG units.

In the early stages, I had a leader and platoon of Engineers wiped out as the 75/41 drilled it with an OpFire AT shot. I should have dismounted the units and grouped them in formation on either one side or another of the town. I can't remember off-hand where more AT fire was, I think it was on the North End, but I probably could have focused my attack by swinging around the south and even possibly on the western side (around back). This would have narrowed the firepower that could have been brought to bear but then I was also battling the mud and there would be several shots of OP before I was even in position to assault. Also, spreading out my attack casued my leaders, INF and HMG units to get separated with Morale issues to the point where I couldn't bring some units forward anymore because there was no leader to order them forward. Finally, I did focus too hard on trying to eliminate the AT Guns. I think that first shot that destroyed my Engineers and Leader was a psychological blow that I never recovered from. From that point until nearly the end of the game, I was consumed with the urge to destroy those AT guns, wasting OBA and On-board fire on those instead of trying turn after turn to destroy the men defending the town. Had I been able to reduce even 1 or 2 units, an overloaded attack on the weakened position could have broken the defense.

With all that being said, I don't know if there was a way for me to dismantle the German defenders enough for victory in this one. Vince had a pretty solid setup and had bracketed Hucheln Town with Entrenchments and strong points, and given that the troops had to slog through the mud, it would have taken at least two turns to get in position to assault (3 for HMGs!).

It might be interesting to fight this one again having gotten several more battles under my belt and a little more experience with using combined arms - especially to see if I can improve on the 5 - 33 step loss casualty rate!
Great write up Vince , you obviously though have too little to do at work.

Anyway I will try and add some comments on the scenario's we played.

Scenario One "A Bitter Irony" was an excellent game and one which could have gone either way,

Scenario Two "Reconnaissance in Force" Thank you for the kind comments it helped that I had solo'd Roer River Battles 2 which though smaller has the US facing minefields and entrenchments and gave me the idea of using M3's to clear the minefields. I do think your minefield was too linear in this one as once I had found the gaps in I came. Perhaps a hedgehog of mine fields around the last positions would have proved fatal to the attack. Good scenario though.

Scenario Three "If Only He Could Cook" was also a cracking scenario and one I enjoyed, though strangely I can not remember why.

Scenario Four "Filling the Gaps" Standard scenario nice change for the Germans as this was a meeting engagement, I think you had a little better luck in this one at the right time.

Scenario Five " Dueling for the High Ground" Here I was well beat by a good set up which I found too hard to crack. I did not play well and in the end frustration got the better of me and I charged your bloody Panthers with disastrous results. Oh when will I ever learn.

Scenario Ten "Like a Dose of Salts" This was a real nail biter which I played pretty well and would have been disappointed with not getting the win. I do remember the lucky hit on the Stugs with the off board but I also remember those Volks Grenadiers passing morale check after morale check.

This scenario pack does give the Allied player the sense of batting your head against a wall (appropriately) , very frustrating at times as although you have numbers on your side this advantage is often nullified by German defenses and weather).

The main German advantages are excellent leaders though not as good as 1940/41 leaders. There is nearly always a +2 leader which is more of an advantage in defense than attack. Terrain and better tanks.

The US forces are more numerous, have better OBA and good if not great leaders.

All in all a good selection of balanced scenario only Scenario 5 in my view favours the Germans and scenario 10 favouring the US. I am playing Crocodile Rock as the Germans against Mr Ladd which makes a nice change I can't wait to get those Tigers.
I thought I might add a few words on US tactics to counter Herr Hughes.
The first thing to decide is where your main point of attack is going to be, this is where you are going to put in the most troops the best armour and your OBA, chose your axis of attack and stick to it.
Be patient, do not rush your attack, the Ami's need those HMG stacks, so keep your units together and in a good command, give your OBA a chance to hit those defensive positions. It may means your forces take a couple more turns to lauch the assault but so be it. Herr Hughes will remind you that the clock is ticking ignore him and his cheap mind games you have a timetable stick to it.
Try and avoid any AFV v AFV combat until (a) You have overwhelming force or (b) Its do or die time! Shermans can not face Panther/Tigers so use INF to try an tie them in assault or try to bypass their positions. Dont forget cross fire, OBA and bazooka's.
In MUD use M3's,Trucks,and Jeeps to move HMGs. The 57 ATG's in your OOB are not much use so dump them and use the Trucks to move foot units.
M3s are useful but vunerable, I use them for recon by death against minefields and hidden units if there are no VPs for step losses or the VC are purely on taking objectives, otherwise use them as transports and in fire groups.
When making your major attack go for it, ignore losses and reinforce your assaulting stacks, keep using your OBA and suck up any Friendly Fire.
If all else fails remind Vince that while he holds you on the Western front the Russians will soon be knocking on Adolf's door. [/u]

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