Thursday, May 24, 2012

Iron Front Liberation 1944 - Overrun! - A Short AAR

Defense in depth is a great idea. Unless you are in the forward edge of outposts.

This is a short AAR of a custom-made scenario of Iron Front Liberation 1944 (review copy v1.60). 

The scenario is fictional and more like an excuse to kick the tires of Iron Front on my own terms and not with the material already included in the game. In this scenario the Germans are stretched thin in a hopeless defense against a Russian Guards Corps. As discussed elsewhere, the tactical doctrine of the German Army during WWII was, for the rare occasion (?!) of finding themselves in the defensive,  there would be a main line of resistance but it would be behind a series of mutually supported positions deployed in depth. Yeah, it's not cool to show a thin skin to the dagger of the enemy.

The forward line of the defense is a series of outposts, mostly for just early warning than nothing else. In this scenario, I am in charge of one outpost and the patrols our commander sent in front of us came back all panicked. Enemy tanks supported by infantry coming our way ...

The outpost in this case is just three mutually supported trenches. The trenches in the flanks have a MG42 and a panzerschreck soldier each. 

This trench is included in the editor as an object, so you can deploy it as you wish. Showing here the trench in our left flank.
The trench in our center, just two MP44s to provide support for the trenches in the left and right. Enemy is advancing from the far background.
This is me inspecting the defensive positions, with my back towards the enemy. In the rear of our outpost there is a steep depression in the terrain that allows us moving from trench to trench without exposure to enemy fire. In the far background, to the right of the picture, sits the main defensive line, which includes AT guns.
Did you notice how the trenches have frontal cover? Awesome! You fire from these trenches at an angle (see below) and your front is not exposed to massed enemy fire.

The depression behind our position is unlikely to be very inviting for the enemy tanks, so we expect them to move through our flanks, which in turn will expose them to the main line of resistance's AT gun fire. So the panzerschrecks are oriented towards our flanks. The MG42s are pointed towards a kill zone some 40 meters from the center of our position.

A MG42 in our right flank. Great as they are for a tactical defense, these trenches are a prone to some clipping issues. I had to use a bit of ArmA 2 know-how to place this MG42 in the perfect position (note the crates below the gunner). The front of the trench is at the right of this gunner (he is covered by a small earthen rise) and he will be firing through that slit at an angle from the enemy's line of advance.
The opening shots. Apparently the Russian infantry had issues keeping pace with the armor and the first sound of battle is our AT guns back in the main line of resistance engaging the Russian tanks at a very extreme range. That smoke in the background is a Russian tank firing back.
The AT guns couldn't stop the Russian tanks, which continue to advance towards our rear. In this screenshot, an AT soldier hits a Russian tank. The tank crew bails out shortly. The guy in the left is me, watching like an idiot at the AI having all the fun.
I know the Russian tank was destroyed just because the crew bailed out (shot them with my MP44). In Iron Front, there are frequent  episodes of guessing if you just got a mobility kill, a penetration that killed somebody in the tank crew or just a stop for better aiming at you. Good times, nonetheless.

The remaining Russian tanks fire back at us. Their rounds fall short.

The sounds of fire on our left flank prompt me to check out on the fellow soldiers over there. The depression/cut was very convenient to move through the entire position. I see smoke ... I hope is an enemy tank on fire.

The intensity of enemy fire on the left flank trench is enormous and I can't reach it, so I just jump into the trench in the center. Within a fraction of a second, I see the trench in our right flank under heavy fire too (center of the screenshot).
Then, I hear MG fire and I see blood splattering. I thought that the enemy infantry was assaulting our position. I duck for cover and I see the soldiers sharing my trench ... All dead. Where is the enemy firing from?

... And this is the last screenshot I could take. I never made it alive from that trench. :)



Anonymous said...

Those trenches do look really nice, and seems to blend well into the terrain. Too bad about the MG42/crate workaround you have to employ though

Anonymous said...

Ain´t there some dedicated HMG pits in the game for use? Think I saw some in the videos. Nice AAR btw. :)

Anonymous said...

In the editor there is a special deployed MG for the trenches.

Bryan said...


I thought it wasn't out until tomorrow? You luck bastard you.

Anonymous said...

Nice AAR. Have you ever considered posting your scenarios online somewhere? Even if they are just run out of the editor (like mine) they look interesting.

GunnyHighway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GunnyHighway said...

They found themselves in the defensive for the most part from 42 up to the end!....I am sure there are nice surprises like those trenches in the editor.

Anonymous said...

Hello JC,

Really appreciate these small vignettes of yours: gives me a taste of the game/action - without that I have to invest the time in the gaming :-)

Re Iron Front: would you consider it "better" as WOII sim compared to Combat Mission Normandy ?

Rgds, Koen

Olav said...

Trench warfare, I'm very curious to how this very important bit will fare in the game. Could you do a test to see if being in a trench will actually save you if it lands about 5 meter from you?

Olav said...

A shell I mean..

Bryan said...

It's certainly a lot of fun, IF:L44 that is. That said, it's chocked full of bugs and needs a lot of work, which is odd as it's based on the 1.60 ArmA II patch. These issues simply shouldn't be there at this juncture in ArmA II's code.

Jomni said...

Regarding the bugs, is it just a case of poorly scripted missions? Or you get bugs even when creating your own missions or when in multiplayer?

Dimitris said...

That last shot could have easily been the fade-out finale of a WW2 war movie - well done!