Thursday, October 1, 2015

Panzer Battles Normandy - AAR, Part 4: Verrieres Falls!

0800

The rattling of main guns and machine guns of German infantry-armor teams in the west flank, south and west of "The Factory" objective, prompts me to take out of the line some of my exhausted troops and replace them with other Calgarians, barely in better shape, from other parts of the sector. They hold against German fire and at least one assault. With the Black Watch struggling to move the center line forward, all eyes are upon the the Royal Hamilton Regiment and their assault on Verrieres.




(1) The Calgary Highlanders have gone through some reorganization in order to withstand the German combined arms assault.
(2) The Black Watch Regiment can't shake out a single German position. After all German combat units have been eliminated, the remainder HQ team holds ground with fanatical determination.
(3) Attacking by fire with the Cromwell tanks is working better than assaulting ... (X in legend refers to an eliminated German unit).
(4) A relatively slow but unstoppable push onto Verrieres by the Royal Hamilton Regiment will end in a successful assault on the objective. As mentioned in the previous entry, caution was not in short supply because of the German Panther tanks in the south.
(5) Sherman and Fireflies from the 1st Hussars Regiment and from the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment keep pouring fire on the German trench system west of Verrieres.

(1) Note the "Verrieres" objective, now in our hands. The window on top shows the victory screen: I wanted to check how many casualties I have already.
0830

Reinforcements, at last! The Royal Regiment of Canada (one of its Companies highlighted red) arrives and is immediately thrown into battle northeast of Verrieres. Their rate of advance and efficiency to clear German positions appears like a steamroller. But maybe after all the death and destruction I'm holding any bit of good news as an outstanding event.
A platoon of Shermans/Firefly takes a quick look at the top of the ridge and immediately goes back (red arrow indicates movement) into the reverse slope. Players of this game have to be very mindful of their usage of each unit's movement points (note those Cromwell tanks left in close contact with a German MG position ... I hope they don't have hand-held anti tank weapons!). But anyway, coming back to the Shermans/Firefly peeking on that crest, it was quite a relief to not find German armor on top of that ridge. German infantry ... that's a completely different story ...
Who has moved or fired (highlighted yellow), who has not. In large scenarios, highlighting units with used movement points is a must. In this case, I wanted to bring to your attention the Calgary Highlanders and the immense pressure they are facing (light blue circle added with a third party image editing software). If they fire, the enemy opens up on them from that ring of armor/infantry around them and also from German heavy weapons on the west side of the Orne river.
Stay tuned for the next installment: epilogue!

Cheers,







13 comments:

Doug Miller said...

Okay, okay, gimme! Even though I typically lean more toward East Front over West Front gaming, I think I'm going to like this one even more than I like PzB Kursk: Southern Front. The counter art also looks really stunning. Looks like Mr. Freer and company are going to deliver another great game!

David Freer said...

Hey Doug, I'm confident you'll like this game. I like you, am an East Front nut, but the game system has worked really well for this title. I don't think we will ever do a game this big again (at least till the next Panzer Battles title!) but there is just so much more that could be done beyond what we will put out with the initial release.

As far as graphics, we continue to improve the techniques we're using. As JC mentioned imagery may change and some of what has been shown in the AAR here has already been updated. It will be an attractive game.

David

Fierce Freddy said...

Release date?

JC said...

Dave is the boss of the project. He may chime in with an answer ...

Anonymous said...

Is this game is a successor of original Tiller Campaign Series? Scale seems to be the same.

Cheers
PAK

JC said...

Not familiar with the Campaign series. If you ask Doug he will surely answer that.

Cheers,

Doug Miller said...

The scale is the same, but PzB is probably more a descendant of Panzer Campaigns in terms of the engine and UI than Campaign Series. Having said that, Panzer Battles and Campaign Series play very similarly IMO, and are both excellent takes on company-scale actions.

Note that Campaign Series is very much alive over at matrix, and Matrix has recently released Campaign Series Middle East, based on the original CS code from East Front and not the sadly never-quite-finished Divided Ground. It, like Panzer Battles, is a wonderful thoroughly modern company scale game. We're really fortunate to have both of these teams working on and turning out such high-caliber productions!

JC said...

Hi Doug and thanks! :)

I notice you play a lot of this Campaign titles. Which one would you recommend for starting? Napoleonic, modern Middle East, WWII?

The Middle East one is catching my eye. I read that it features a new dynamic AI system.

Cheers,

Doug Miller said...

There's no Napoleonic Campaign Series title, though there are quite a few Napoleonic Campaigns games from JTS. The Napoleonic Campaigns games are pretty much the same engine as Panzer Campaigns and Panzer Battles. Highly recommended if you are interested in Napoleonic warfare.

For the Campaign Series games, Matrix has a signe title that includes East Front, West Front, and Rising Sun. These were originally Talonsoft games that Matrix bought the right to and republished. Since then they've received some updates courtesy of a group of highly motivated players. Across the three titles, there are literally hundreds of scenarios, especially if you include the player created scenarios that can be found online.

Campaign Series Middle East is the newest, having just been released this month. It was built on an upgraded version of East Front, and includes a number of improvements not yet seen in the original Campaign Series games. The upcoming 1.01 version that is supposed to be released in late November has even more in it. If you are interested in the period (1948 to 1982 Middle East) this is the game to get.

The WW2 titles are eventually going to get the improvements in Middle East. However, Campaign Series Vietnam is in the works before that happens. So, if you are interested in the WW2 games, those are probably worth picking up now, since I think it'll be awhile before we see the updates.

For the money, it's tough to go wrong with any of these. CSME alone has 50 scenarios from across the period, including battles involving the French in Algeria and the British in Aden. The games all have editors and the ability to auto-generate not just battles, but entire campaigns. There are scripted and dynamic campaigns. PBEM works very well in all of them. These are classics and worth having if you want to play/learn about the periods covered at the grand tactical scale.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave. I'm becoming more and more interested in Panzer Battles - i like the scale more than that of Panzer Campaigns. I assume that in PB firefigths play a much bigger role then assaults, contrary to the Panzer Campaigns.
Currently I play a lot of Matrix JTCS and PB seems to me as more attractive, mainly because units strenght is not abstracted in steps like in JTCS. Do have any plans for a demo version of PB?

Thanks

Cheers
PAK

Fierce Freddy said...

Doug,

This year, next year?

Doug Miller said...

I'm just an avid player, not a developer or even a play tester on either of these projects. So I don't have any information on dates, sorry!

David Freer said...

Hi All,

Sorry I missed this thread had continued on!

We are hopeful for a pre-xmas release - no guarantees but the game is coming together very nicely. The game system is working well and we are getting through a lot of play testing currently.

As far as PAK's question both fire fights and assaults have their places. You can also set up fire doctrine and ambushes that are important as well. Defensive fire can be particular devastating if setup correctly.

Finally, CS is the spiritual predecessor for Panzer Battles, there are similarities and differences. Probably the most glaring is the time period (30 mins vs 6 mins) and the breadth of scenarios available in CS vs the focus on a single battle/campaign in Panzer Battles.

You can get a lot more info on both games and future developments over at theblitz.

David