Monday, May 27, 2013

Levels of Tactical Proficiency: The Intermediate Wargamer and Terrain - Combat Mission Battle for Normandy

The intermediate wargamer is able to pinpoint key terrain and to understand its importance. At an early planning stage he makes arrangements to ensure that such key terrain will not be used against him.

Realizing that the key terrain (high ground across the river) is not controlled by his own forces the intermediate wargamer splits his squads into teams. Fire support and assault teams will have different missions before crossing the river. The BAR teams from each squad will be used to suppress the enemy forces occupying the key terrain.
The small road in the center is also considered key terrain to move the assault troops near the ford.
Contact! The enemy (grey icons) is across the river, up there in the high ground as predicted by the intermediate war gamer. Most of the fire support units (BAR teams and mortar, green icons in the foreground) are on the left flank, protected by the hedgerows.
One BAR team has been placed on the center, but on open terrain. The intermediate war gamer has decided to trade better cover for the great field of fire offered by this terrain patch. The high ground across the river can be seen in the far background. This BAR team, although not entirely suppressed, had a lot of troubles getting their heads up and fire upon the enemy. The slight slope of the open field offered some little cover and fortunately the BAR team didn't suffer any casualties.
The mortar targeting red line. Note how the German infantry (grey icon is behind the cover of the hedgerows).
A mortar round falling behind the hedgerows. Looks like the German infantry team is getting a beating, but with the fog of war on, the intermediate war gamer can only guess by the enemy's volume of fire slackening or disappearing.
The assault teams are called up to cross the river. For a few seconds the lack of enemy fire is encouraging.
However, an enemy LMG team (grey icon in the foreground) opens up on the assaulters. A nasty surprise.
Suppression is called from the fire support team. The effect is almost instantaneous but the infantry fording the river gets rattled. They eventually make it through the ford.
All the assault teams have forded and taking cover in the hedgerow line on the far side of the river. The enemy LMG team that caused so much trouble is eliminated with a few grenades.
But the left flank is still under fire, apparently from an enemy team located in the second line of hedges. A typical suppress and flank maneuver eliminates the threat.
The teams in the left flank have made contact with enemy infantry (grey icon) in the high ground in the center of the map. The other grey icon in the left is a single enemy rifleman who retreated from a previous assault. The green highlighted area is the objective (Crossing point, 200 points). Note how the German teams are within the objective area.
The destruction of the enemy in the center high ground requires a pincer by assaulting forces in the right flank. The enemy team was a platoon HQ.
Every gain in terrain results in new contact with enemy forces. This view from the right flank shows an enemy LMG team which can't be destroyed by fire with the forces in the foreground.
The left flank is called to move up the hill, yet again. A cautious approach for the already weary troops.
The final assault on the last enemy team.
Final positions at the scenario end. The red arrows are the movements of the assault teams.

The victory screen.
That's a clean victory for the intermediate war gamer. He recognized the high ground as key terrain and made all efforts to ensure that it was not effectively used by the enemy.

  • In his effort to preclude the enemy from effectively using the high ground, he found that in this type of terrain suppression requires an extraordinary amount of ammunition. Some BAR teams had less than 20 rounds at the end of the scenario.
  • He knew that the destruction of the enemy was almost impossible by "attack by fire" missions. The only exception was perhaps the use of the mortar firing on the enemy team in the center. The destruction of the enemy required closed assault which in turn demanded frequent splitting of his forces.
  • His scheme of maneuver was completely dictated by successive contacts with the enemy.
Stay tuned for the advanced war gamer.



Phil said...

I'm a noob to this great game and really find these posts to be a great help on areas where i should focus etc. Many thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed, thx, Koen

JC said...

Thanks for reading.