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Drifter Man vs Titan DAR

Drifter Man

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Turn 63. The "HMG fortress" is the last Titan presence on the nearest two objectives. I have mostly lost contact with his forces as he appears to have retreated into the stronghold by the eastern edge of the map. There has not been much action in the past few turns. The HMG fortress still holds and the HMG team has not taken any casualties, although I have been able to move around it and hit two pixeltruppen on the ground floor on the back side of the house. I lost three more men in this area. The rest of the frontline has been advancing unopposed. I have increased my movement speed to save time, but I still try to stay one foot on the ground when advancing: when one element moves, another provides overwatch. I also sweep the area to find any hidden units, particularly shrecks.

In the rear I stuffed up and ordered a scout car to drive through a marked antipersonnel minefield. The driver obliged, detonating three mines and immobilizing the vehicle (marking the mines with sappers reduces the chance that your foot soldiers will hit them but has no effect on vehicles). This means I lost the powerful 0.50 cal MG, which could be very useful against the buildings on the final objective. I also lost the transportation and the ammo carried for troops because the vehicle is too far away to go back to in the time that remains.

The German halftrack was observed returning to the final objective zone, picking up some troops on the way, and the Marder can now be seen near the southern end of the zone. I am planning to try and hit it with AT rifles again. I verified in a test that they are effective at this distance (~300-350 meters), but also rather easily spotted and destroyed by return fire from the Marder. I'll make sure that there are no other troops too close to the rifles to minimize collateral damage if things don't work out the way I want.

2uRQlyX.png


The rest of the plan is to enter the final objective from the north to be able to fire along the north-south axis behind the front row of the buildings. Then, with my opponent boxed in the central and southern part of the zone, I want to deploy tanks on all sides to ensure I have overwhelming firepower. Infantry will need to get as far as it can to protect the tanks from schrecks. I know Titan has at least one AT team that I have seen, but presumably more that I have not seen. I have also destroyed 3 AT teams. I have got plenty of troops and ammo and if I can get the tanks into the positions I want, I am confident this can be over quickly [famous last words?].
 

Bulletpoint

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Nice to see a fight to the finish this time.

The final objective doesn't look too promising for defence, I think.. At least not from the top down view.
 

Drifter Man

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Nice to see a fight to the finish this time.

The final objective doesn't look too promising for defence, I think.. At least not from the top down view.
I could not agree more. I like it when people fight to the end instead of surrendering the moment they realize that they cannot win. Titan told me he wants to stop me from having a decisive victory. I am doing my best, too - although my advantage seems overwhelming, I still want to win - decisively - without taking more losses than I have to.

The objective is okay vs infantry-only attack. The defender has the advantage of good cover vs attacker's poor cover in the light woods. It held fairly well against Titan (who had lost his tanks) until he flanked it on both sides. But against 7 tanks... I don't think it will hold.
 

Drifter Man

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Yeah I did expect a full HMG team... good massacre :2draw:

Turn 67. I am closing in on the final objective, so far avoiding all-out confrontation with the HMGs in the heavy buildings before I can lay down suppressive fire on these. My opponent counterattacked with his halftrack, this time carrying 2 survivors from the Pz IV as gunners, judging from the uniforms. When my AT rifle opened fire, he retreated hastily. The halftrack survived and remains in the fight, but it lost its fourth gunner in this game already.

I have my sights on the Marder, too - the same AT rifle and an 82mm mortar team - but I want to cut its path of retreat first by getting a line of fire from the north to behind its current position. I can't take take the position yet because of schreck risk. Titan might see the danger and pull out before the trap is set up. That's the chance I am taking by not engaging right away.

The casualties are 125:231. I am collecting intel on the enemy positions. If my records are correct, there should be about 50 guys left, plus any surprise reserves. I have over 500. That should do.

mDgDdvz.png
 

Drifter Man

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Turn 73. As I move closer, the resistance intensifies. The first major action happened at the north edge of the objective zone, where a Sturm team woke up on the top floor of a heavy building. I was prepared and had plenty of SMG troops nearby - the Sturm team died in a flood of green tracers, but not before taking two of my guys with them. I sent in a HMG and a sniper team to set up a supporting position (BOF #2). I am contesting the objective now.


Meanwhile, the tank riders advanced against a row of large multi-story buildings and were met with MG fire from outside of their effective range, losing three. The tanks weighed in and pummeled the buildings with HE. One building collapsed. The effect is as yet unknown - scouts will check it out now.

Good progress was also made against the center part of the objective, where multiple infantry units have been defending a row of two-story buildings. A drawn-out exchange with my HMGs and snipers on BOF #1 resulted in most of the German infantry killed or suppressed with minimal losses on my part. Eventually I was able to move in a tank, which knocked out a HMG, apparently the cornerstone of Titan's defense in this area. The buildings are not yet clear but surviving infantry has been seen withdrawing.

The toughest going has been in the south, where the Marder still dominates the engagement. I advanced with infantry as far as I could (sometimes farther than that) and when ready, initiated my "trap": to attack with and AT rifle and a mortar, force the AI to reverse, and catch the Marder with a T-34 lying in wait. The trap misfired: I will spare you the complicated sequence of events that led to the failure of this operation, but the key weak element was the AT rifle team. Although they observed the Marder for several turns with a short cover arc (so as not to reveal themselves prematurely), as soon as they received the target order, they lost the Marder and never regained contact. In desperation I ordered them to area fire the spot on which the Marder was standing. The Marder had no problems, saw the rifle at 350 meters and eliminated the team with a single shot. These problems with AT rifles failing to see an obvious target (Marder), which has no issues seeing and shooting back, are a recurring pattern in this battle. In any case, the Marder withdrew to a new position, where it is however much more vulnerable. Just now it picked up an M3A1 Scout Car moving in the north, which gives me the opportunity to attack again, this time with tanks.

The missing panzerschreck was spotted hiding in the woods in the south. I am leaving it alone for now. Not a priority target.

Overall, the attack is difficult, but it is going well enough, and I should be able to finish with then 17 minutes that remain. The casualties are 136:244.

f5OL2ml.png
 

Nemesis

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FYI, I brought anti-tank rifles for use against Titan in our last game. I did this since he loves support halftracks and SP AA guns.

My anti-tank rifles scored zero hits. They actually only fired 1 shot at an AFV all game. They were spotted and killed by a single shot of return fire.

Still, I kicked Titan's ass.

Another data point for you.
 

KGBoy

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This looks very similar to the outcome when you played defence DM.

Lesson is, defence is really, really hard.

Question : What would a successful defence in this scenario look like? Be curious to hear what you and Titan might change? One thing for sure forget forward bunkers! Bunkers in this endzone maybe?
 

Drifter Man

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FYI, I brought anti-tank rifles for use against Titan in our last game. I did this since he loves support halftracks and SP AA guns.

My anti-tank rifles scored zero hits. They actually only fired 1 shot at an AFV all game. They were spotted and killed by a single shot of return fire.

Still, I kicked Titan's ass.

Another data point for you.
Thanks, your data point is much appreciated. Good to know I am not the only one having problems with AT rifles.
On paper they are valuable assets, but in practice something is seriously wrong with their spotting. Perhaps the height of their eyes above ground is zero or something like that, and the tiniest obstacle in the way blocks their view.
In this battle they did well in two situations against halftracks but completely failed three times vs Marder.
 

Drifter Man

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This looks very similar to the outcome when you played defence DM.

Lesson is, defence is really, really hard.

Question : What would a successful defence in this scenario look like? Be curious to hear what you and Titan might change? One thing for sure forget forward bunkers! Bunkers in this endzone maybe?
Good question, and I asked something similar at the start of the DAR: will Titan come up with something that will work?
I'll leave the assessment until after the battle - something about counting chickens before they are roosted.
But placing bunkers in the endzone is not what I would do. It means investing a lot of points into assets that only come into play when the battle has already been lost.
 

Drifter Man

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A very quick Turn 74 update, the Marder is immobilized by HE from an area targeting T-34 - the engine is no longer heard running. I plan to destroy it in the next turn by a T-34 moving in from the side (from the north - or from the right side on the map below).

To present something interesting, below are the positions of my 7 tanks. They were idle for much of the fight for the first two objectives, which make a terrible country for tanks - for some time I even thought I bought too many of them. But they make things so much easier now when I am attacking a more built up area from the outside. I spread them out to take advantage of various lines of sight into the objective. I do my best to keep their lines of fire free of friendly infantry if trees are in the way. I do the same for area firing machineguns - they are much less lethal but still pin down friendly infantry along the line of fire.

1EUkShi.jpg
 

KGBoy

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Good question, and I asked something similar at the start of the DAR: will Titan come up with something that will work?
I'll leave the assessment until after the battle - something about counting chickens before they are roosted.
But placing bunkers in the endzone is not what I would do. It means investing a lot of points into assets that only come into play when the battle has already been lost.
I was thinking alternative defence with Titan's assets still largely intact in the end zone. The problem with defending forward is that is where the attacking force is already. Make the attacker do all the work of bringing everything forward.

Not much was accomplished for Titan in the forward position and surely your 130 DeadorWounded could have been achieved at less cost to him. I imagine the same for you?

So 3 AT bunkers at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. IOW precisely sited to your present tank positions. HMGs in buildings. Troops in foxholes behind the buildings.

Added pressure could be long duration harassing mortar fire all along the front.

That would be a very hard nut to crack.

The cost is an effective counterattack may well be precluded.

I would be curious about how people think what makes a successful defence. A stalemate would be my bottom line for success. I could well be wrong!
 

Nemesis

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I was thinking alternative defence with Titan's assets still largely intact in the end zone. The problem with defending forward is that is where the attacking force is already. Make the attacker do all the work of bringing everything forward.

Not much was accomplished for Titan in the forward position and surely your 130 DeadorWounded could have been achieved at less cost to him. I imagine the same for you?

So 3 AT bunkers at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. IOW precisely sited to your present tank positions. HMGs in buildings. Troops in foxholes behind the buildings.

Added pressure could be long duration harassing mortar fire all along the front.

That would be a very hard nut to crack.

The cost is an effective counterattack may well be precluded.

I would be curious about how people think what makes a successful defence. A stalemate would be my bottom line for success. I could well be wrong!
It is hard to beat the Soviets in CMRT. CMRT favors the SU because the SU has cheap units. CMRT is the least well balanced of the CM games.

My own theory is that the Soviets often lack binoculars, handheld AT weapons, rifle grenades, smoke grenades, radios, stabilized turrets, high end optics, and other "niceties." However, this makes them much cheaper than German or other Allied units. CM has a problem in that it grossly overvalues most of these "niceties" when assigning point values to units.

One can speak for hours of strategy and tactics, but it is hard to overcome the Russian numerical superiority.

Still, I mentioned earlier that I thought that Titan's biggest mistake is that he has the light, quick forces of a mobile defender, but he built his defense around immobile AT Bunkers. Drifter stayed out of the forward firing arcs of these AT bunkers and forced Titan to defend the flanks of the AT bunkers. Titan appears to have been crushed trying to do this. If Panthers had been purchased instead of AT Bunkers, Stummels, etc........this might be a different game. But even then, the Soviets can overwhelm with numbers.
 

KGBoy

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My own theory is that the Soviets often lack binoculars, handheld AT weapons, rifle grenades, smoke grenades, radios, stabilized turrets, high end optics, and other "niceties." However, this makes them much cheaper than German or other Allied units. CM has a problem in that it grossly overvalues most of these "niceties" when assigning point values to units.

I noticed the RECON formtions have a few more radios. I was thinking of embedding them in the Rifle Battalion as a strategy. Anybody do this?
One can speak for hours of strategy and tactics, but it is hard to overcome the Russian numerical superiority.

If Panthers had been purchased instead of AT Bunkers, Stummels, etc........this might be a different game. But even then, the Soviets can overwhelm with numbers.

The Panthers would solve the counterattack nonoption in the defence scenario I proposed!
 

Drifter Man

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It is hard to beat the Soviets in CMRT. CMRT favors the SU because the SU has cheap units. CMRT is the least well balanced of the CM games.

My own theory is that the Soviets often lack binoculars, handheld AT weapons, rifle grenades, smoke grenades, radios, stabilized turrets, high end optics, and other "niceties." However, this makes them much cheaper than German or other Allied units. CM has a problem in that it grossly overvalues most of these "niceties" when assigning point values to units.

One can speak for hours of strategy and tactics, but it is hard to overcome the Russian numerical superiority.

Still, I mentioned earlier that I thought that Titan's biggest mistake is that he has the light, quick forces of a mobile defender, but he built his defense around immobile AT Bunkers. Drifter stayed out of the forward firing arcs of these AT bunkers and forced Titan to defend the flanks of the AT bunkers. Titan appears to have been crushed trying to do this. If Panthers had been purchased instead of AT Bunkers, Stummels, etc........this might be a different game. But even then, the Soviets can overwhelm with numbers.
You are probably right there. The Soviets have what they need to fight, no more than that. In any case, the map we are playing on gives the Germans little chance to offset the advantage.

I can't say though that Titan spent too much on protecting the bunkers. One was taken out quickly, the other one lasted for longer, but Titan only tasked one HMG team and one squad with its protection. I do agree that bunkers look like a waste of points. Basically an immobilized tank destroyer with a gaping hole in front armor. For 200+ points? No thanks.

A pair of Panthers could mean trouble - but then the game would be all about the two Panthers.

I was thinking alternative defence with Titan's assets still largely intact in the end zone. The problem with defending forward is that is where the attacking force is already. Make the attacker do all the work of bringing everything forward.

Not much was accomplished for Titan in the forward position and surely your 130 DeadorWounded could have been achieved at less cost to him. I imagine the same for you?

So 3 AT bunkers at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. IOW precisely sited to your present tank positions. HMGs in buildings. Troops in foxholes behind the buildings.

Added pressure could be long duration harassing mortar fire all along the front.

That would be a very hard nut to crack.

The cost is an effective counterattack may well be precluded.

I would be curious about how people think what makes a successful defence. A stalemate would be my bottom line for success. I could well be wrong!
I only said I wouldn't do it... giving up two objectives right away means instant defeat. I built a solid, static line of defense at the objectives. Titan eventually chewed it up but it cost him almost the entire battalion. In part it was because Titan did not seem to care about losses much - he is much more aggressive than I am, goes straight for the punch. CM gives little weight to casualties and with Soviet advantage in numbers you can still overwhelmingly win - all you need is to hold the objectives at the end.

The rearmost objective is slightly more defensible than the two - I don't think it would be a game changer. I recommend playing this map as a probe, not attack.
 
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Drifter Man

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Turn 78. The Marder has been destroyed, the halftrack lost its fifth and sixth gunner and then was also destroyed. Most German units have been eliminated and I am closing in for the final assault. The fighting is still intense, the remaining defenders have good protection, and most of them are 1-man LMG "teams". I am losing people fast: 22 men in 11 minutes since the attack on the last objective started. Titan lost at least 43 in the same timespan. I estimate he still has maybe 15. He has apparently decided to fight to the last one.

BzwCvmA.jpg


I see some MG34s there as LMG's - I did not see them in the battle earlier.

fByd01e.jpg
 

holoween

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The map doesnt seem especially aweful to defend to me.
While the easiest option of simply covering the frontline in trps and smashing the attacker with arty when they concentrate to take a position is impractical with the points constrictions the terrain offers enough difficult to take positions.
 

Stafford

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I was thinking alternative defence with Titan's assets still largely intact in the end zone. The problem with defending forward is that is where the attacking force is already. Make the attacker do all the work of bringing everything forward.

Not much was accomplished for Titan in the forward position and surely your 130 DeadorWounded could have been achieved at less cost to him. I imagine the same for you?

So 3 AT bunkers at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. IOW precisely sited to your present tank positions. HMGs in buildings. Troops in foxholes behind the buildings.

Added pressure could be long duration harassing mortar fire all along the front.

That would be a very hard nut to crack.

The cost is an effective counterattack may well be precluded.

I would be curious about how people think what makes a successful defence. A stalemate would be my bottom line for success. I could well be wrong!

Fundamentally I disagree with giving up any reasonably defensible ground to the enemy. In Combat Mission a defenders allies are time and distance so you have to make the most of both, the longer you can prevent him from getting close to a CP the more likely the chances he will make risky plays in order to push for the win as the clock runs down.
As a defender if you give up ground without a fight and place yourself in a static defensive position with no room to retreat or maneuver, you allow the enemy to roll up to your position and take his time in dismantling your defences with his numerical superiority.
An exception to this could possibly be made for forgoing a forward defense in an open or wooded area and instead concentrating your forces in a built up area with heavy buildings due to the difficulty of assaulting such positions.

Looking over the map again, I'm not sure that this map is defensible given the time allocated to the attacker - especially as there are mid-map CPs that the defender is obliged to defend or settle for a probably draw at best, with the current CP layout I'd argue that an hour is more appropriate. If there was only the rear-most CP, maybe an hour and fifteen.
As @Drifter Man said himself, he's had the time available to be very cautious and methodical in his advance and minimise casualties, even with all that he is poised for the final assault still with sixteen minutes available.

I'm not sure that Titan has done much wrong in his defence, bunkers are an interesting choice and, IMO, highly situational. I think that he's simply had too much time to try to burn down and holding ground against Red SMG squads is a very tough ask.
 
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