The opening moves of this battle left me completely humbled by the friction and subtleties of command.
This is a continuation of the previous entry where I edited a battle from scratch. Quick refresh: a company-sized team of German PzIVs and PzGr. against a computer controlled Soviet infantry battalion reinforced with a company of AT guns.
The battle is unfolding and the simulation is showing more data that I can shake a mouse at, but that window that displays my tactical shortcomings is painfully missing.
I want to start this entry with the importance of reviewing your troops before going into battle. Not only what is their composition in men and weapons, but also how the chain of command is sorted.
|The German infantry unit is a so-called "composite" unit (many units consolidated into a bigger unit). In this case, you can cycle through all the units within a composite unit. In the screenshot above, all LMGs of the platoon are a single unit.|
|Loading is relatively simple. Click the unit, click the transport and then click the "Load Group" button. The simulation takes care of all the details like the transport capacity and others.|
|My forces are rolling out. Note how the PzGr. platoon (highlighted with a grey square) is behind a PzIV platoon. This is because the PzGr. platoon took one minute and a half to load into their transports.|
With the task force HQ unit near the real action, the delays of the PzGren unit decreased significantly. In the screenshot below, I've ordered them to dismount ("uld" in the info panel, bottom right).
|The PzGren platoon (selected, black box) is dismounted. Now they can be reached by visual signals from the task force HQ unit which is shown in this map some 400 meters north west.|
In the previous screenshot, I am sure you noticed red icons and burning wrecks located east of the village where I am deploying the PzGr. platoon. The tanks are putting a good amount of fire against transports and the occasional AT gun at several positions in the map. I'm so absorbed with the PzGr. platoon that, as far as I don't loose a tank, I just let the engagements go their way.
And now, having dismounted my PzGren. platoon, the moment of foolishness that I regret. I wanted to clear the wooded patch with my infantry and I thought that the best way to do this is to have as much fire support as I could muster. So I decide to split the infantry platoon into a command group (radioman and platoon command team), a fire support group (all LMGs) and an assault group (24 grenadiers).
|Mixing, matching and messing with the composite units dialog window. You can do pretty much whatever you want, but watch out for your command structure.|
When it rains, it pours. While dealing with all these command issues, we suffer our first tank loss. A tank in the platoon that was occupying an attack by fire position overlooking the objective is destroyed by a Soviet AT gun. As per SOP the rest of the tank platoon retreats into cover.
|The grey box is the southern extreme of the objective village. After taking a loss, the tank platoon west of the grey box puts a hill between itself and the incoming fire.|
I can only hope that the assault on the wooded patch goes well.