Hapless' Video AARs

Hapless

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#1
Should have made this thread much earlier (have I really been here for more than a year? Yikes), so here we go:

Most recent video from a Final Blitzkrieg probe, defending against the one and only Gnarly:


As an aside, the main bottleneck on me making videos like this is that I simply can't chew through games fast enough (thank you very much Real World), so just to put a feeler out there, how many of you guys would be up for sharing turns or games in return for getting a video made about it?
 
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Gnarly

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#2
A most excellently edited and narrated video! And it doesn't belabor the point (my demise!) too much! ;D

Some observations (more detail in the videos comments section) :

  1. A very nice and well executed defensive setup from @Hapless!
  2. I suck at WW2
  3. Airplanes suck even more.
:shocknaz:
 
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Baron

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#3
@Gnarly
If I may comment, it seems like would have benefited greatly from some artillery (105 battery, preferably), even if that would have come at the cost of donwgrading your tanks to Pz. IV's. If not for the destructive/suppressive effect, at least for one or two smoke barrages.

@Hapless
Great video, as always. You are certainly one of the top Combat Mission video producers.
 

Gnarly

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#4
Thanks @Baron for the comment! I agree, a good smoke screen would have helped immensely (I had a fairly effective off-map smoke screen for my movement on Hapless's right, but had exhausted that batteries smoke prior to the final debacle on the left).
But TBH, I am still struggling heavily with arty usage in WW2, in terms of FOs, comms (making sure onboard mortars have a HQ nearby with radios, and knowing how close that HQ needs to be...) , LOS, chain of command, call times, etc!

I think my smoke screen was done with off-map 80-ish mm tubes (I think?), and was pretty poxy. I tried using an on-map mortar to do smoke on Hapless's left with direct LOS, but I don't think you can (why not?).

I will remember that though, good call about winding down the tanks in favour of bigger off-map tubes (and more of them!). Especially when airpower (seemingly..) completely negates the tanks.
 
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Baron

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#5
@Gnarly
On-map mortar smoke barrages are possible (I just tested it), but not all mortars have smoke shells in the first place and if they do it's usually not in large or even meaningful numbers. To use smoke/WP shells, you either use a FO like for an off-map mission (minimum and maximum range restrictions might be felt more than with heavy off-map pieces) or you use the Target Smoke command (provided the mortar team has LOS on the target).

For example, I tested a January 45' quick battle as the U.S. Army (forgot about the wind, I assume it was "normal/medium").
60mm light mortar team - no smoke/WP shells
81mm medium mortar team - 2 WP shells, both Target Smoke and Smoke fire mission worked although I won't try to convince you that a 2-shell barrage is very effective

As for your difficulties with the indirect fire mission system, well, I share your struggle. It must be hard to go from modern-everyone-has-radios-and-artillery-is-a-tick-of-the-clock-away to WW2 standards. Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions, it's all about using what you have at your disposal (be it time, a good position, FO's, etc...). Don't be shy to buy/borrow some jeeps to either transport your tubes or keep C2 (a jeep will take in a mortar team, but not the two ammo-bearers). I find that one of the biggest barriers to effective use of artillery is psychological : fearing that a fire mission will land too late and either be ineffective or worse, kill your own men who have advanced. For this, there are two solutions.
A : you can rather easily adjust or outright cancel an ongoing fire mission (just select the unit calling the mission).
B : just do it! When you plan an attack, you have a tendency to assume that things will go according to the original plan. That is sadly rarely the case, but that means that you will find that the 8-13 minutes or so required for the bombardment to start in earnest are much less significant in terms of your attack's timetable (chances are, you'll still be trying to achieve fire superiority over that hedgegrow, among other outcomes). Worst case scenario, just cancel the mission, I'm pretty sure this is done almost instantly and you should be clear to proceed after 1-2 minutes (I assume you won't see projectile flight-times much above this).
 

Gnarly

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#6
Great info. And I particularly like your maxim (?) 'Just do it!'...

I think artillery is like marriage: you just have to commit to it!
 

Hapless

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#7
Cheers @Baron! Means a lot.

Unfortunately for Gnarly the game was too windy for really effective smoke. It would make a big difference I think if you could alter the wind variables when setting QBs up- it can make the difference between smoke being effective and useless. That said, sometimes I've found straight HE to provide better cover than smoke: all that dust and debris adds up after a while.

About using artillery in general, because you don't have the short call time flexibility or accuracy in the WW2 titles that you do in Black Sea I think that 'push' plans where you make a plan, arrange the artillery and then stick to it are a lot more legit. Its very WW1, but that was frequently how it was done back in the day. No point trying to use a hammer like a scalpel :)

With the airpower, I wouldn't say that it completely negates tanks. Granted, bombs and rockets will ruin your day, but strafing runs tend to do little damage (destroys optics, radios etc, but the tanks are still operating), even back in CMBN with 20mm Typhoons. Yes, it does usually degrade the tank's spotting abilities but you can sidestep that by good positioning and, in the attack at least, focusing on static targets. I would have suffered a lot more if you'd started leveling buildings- not to mention that the dust from all the destruction could potentially have supplied some cover to your infantry.

But you know, that's after the event. A lot of the breaks went my way- the Jackson getting skimmed by Panther shells twice, the wind negating the smoke, the planes deciding to strafe the enemy for a change... things could have gone a lot more differently than you might think.
 
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Baron

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#14
@Meat Grinder While I'm new on these forums, I'm not exactly new to tactical wargames nor to Combat Mission.

- many a virtual truppen have fought, slain, and died under my command -

Are you challenging me to a match? :shocknaz:

(I am open to any battle, any side, etc... etc... provided you have the 4.0 engine for CM:BN - assuming your game list is up to date, I'm holing for Gothic Line to buy FI)
 

Meat Grinder

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#16
@Baron Well said, sir.

I would be happy to play you a game.....just not right now. I'm currently playing five PBEMs, which is about one more than I am comfortable with, and I've got two campaign games that will be starting soon. Will have to take a rain check.
 
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