Hello to all you intrepid souls blasting your ways through the bocage!
Well...you may not QUITE be in the bocage yet...but that's the goal anyways.
My thanks again to everyone and I hope your having as much fun as Jb and I are.
I thought I would share a few early observations and see how everyone is doing with their team games. I'm playing Allies, all of them, so all this comes from their point of view.
My Frenchmen are kicking some B...T by the way...they appear properly motivated by the chance to reclaim their home soil!
Viva la France!
I'd love to hear from some of the German players.
Von Luck and I are on Turn 13 or 14 I believe and if any of you are that far along your surely appreciating the cluster f...k that is the Allies trying to get from about Turn 10 to 16 or so when the final wave of the three wrap up.
Between trying to clear the beaches and clifftops, blasting your way through bunker by bunker, dealing with some 2000 or so LSTs/LCPs/LCTs etc, and trying to get organized and establish some divisional integrity the Allied player has his hands full at this point.
Everyone's engineers finding plenty to do?....lol...between minefields/blocks/blasting high walls and simply staying alive not to mention popping smoke every chance they get....those boys are earning their rations in this one.
(My Dad was a combat engineer during WWII, so I have to make sure his specialty gets good press!)
For me it's been a blast, but I have to admit it takes several sittings to get through it and the "number of saves" rule goes OUT the window in a game this size.
Jb and I are playing this with Extreme Assault on...and I have a couple of legendary Roadrunner/MWest types of hexes that cost me dearly...but I have finally just about gotten every beachline bunker and pillbox taken. Now if I can keep Jb from rolling back on them, I should be able to keep things going in the proper direction.
Two turns ago I was minus 2000 VPs or so, but now that I've grabbed some early objectives, that number has closed to almost zero pretty quick. The kicker for the Allied player is the timing. If you play it too cool and drag your feet early, the Axis player starts unfixing before your ready to deal with that, and if can cost you.
Overall there are some "problematic" areas along the beaches, and I'm going to adjust a few of those after we finish the beta tests. Many of the British/Canadian landing areas have continous "low wall" hexsides that are impassable to trucks, HQ's etc. Jeeps, commanders, tanks, carriers can negotiate them, but the larger truck types cannot. I thought when I designed those hexes the engineers could blow low wall hexes just like they can high wall.
Well, they can blow them, and it shows as blown on the 2D map mode, but they are still impassable so I think that is a glitch in the game. Still, it's my fix to make, so the game is more playable. If you look carefully you can find hexes to get up in ALL the landing beaches, but there are at least two of them that are hard to find. I'll fix that in the final tweaking. For now let me say that if your totally stymied email me and I can give you the routes that work for every landing beach. The final version won't be so tough to negotiate.
Sorry about this...I'm still not sure why engineers can blow low stone wall and yet it still remains impassable to trucks/HQ's/etc?
As for game play, I'm quite happy with the progress of my game with jb. I'm making some headway inland (just starting) and he is just starting to unfix and get some armor involved so that is right on schedule.
Overall, early impression, I'd say I have too many paratroops. I love them and the confusion they sow, but I believe the Brits especially contain too large a force. We'll see how handily jb dispatches them once he gets his Panzer Lehr involved. You do have the option of moving your paras towards the landings...and in some places I wish I had. Jb's about to get me shot....as the Allied player...since he's about to kill or capture General Gavin and the 82nd Airborne will never forgive me!:kill:
So be it...some reports claimed he was an SOB in any case!
Between the Yanks and the Brits...first impression on my part says I have too many tanks for the Yanks...and not enough for the Brits. As Chuck10mtn noted...he's getting slaughtered on the Gold/Juno landings...and it's true they are in a tight spot. I've used the majority of my smoke in those beaches to keep them moving forward until the armored reinforcements show up 2nd wave.
When I set the elevation delta for this map I wanted to do two things and I believe they are working as I hoped. First, with the large delta, there are entire sections of Omaha where you cannot get a vehicle up those cliffs. Exactly as planned. There are a couple of areas behind high walls that you can use once you clear them to get up in those areas...look for the dirt roads that extend down onto the sand hexes...
This makes the infantry get up those cliffs...just like the real fight...and it's tough but the way it was so I'm happy with that.
Second...anyone who plays with Dale Wagoner or any other good smoke player knows you can use smoke to deny spotting to defensive positions. As a matter of fact, if your good with it, it's almost cheating, and a few of the Rising Sun landings are made pretty easy with this tactic. Tarawa for one. I wanted to avoid that, and with the high positions and high delta on elevations, you can smoke in front of them, but you won't block their LOS to the rest of the beach. Really important to me, and that appears to be working well. You can still lay smoke right on them of course, and that halves their attack values, and I believe that is more in line with the intent and reality of the smoke used on the beaches at Normandy.
How about those NAVY guns boys?...lol...even a pillbox isn't gauranteed protection with those big devils...and if you catch a full stength platoon in a bunker...your dropping 50 or 60 attack values on those! According to most accounts, that is exactly what happened, and a big part of the reason the Germans abandoned some areas on the beach. I positioned those ships per a map I discovered online, and they are exactly where they should be, but I want to make sure they don't reach too far inland. I think the destroyers are fine, most of the cruisers, and only one or two of the battleships are going to be able to reach as far as Caen for example. All good. By that point the Allied player should be using all those 105mm's/155mm's/Priests and Sextons you carefully preserved and did not get shot to Hell while landing.
You DID do that right?...lol....
I made a mistake using the Churchill AVRE. It's a fine unit, and it was there historically, but it's tough to play. With a 100 point fire cost, and a movement somewhere between a JgPZ VI and a land turtle...it kind of sucks within the context of the game. I found out later that a lot of Centaur IV's were also instrumental in those areas, and I have them in the 2nd wave. I believe I'll be moving some of them up to the 1st wave to help out. The AVREs will stay of course, but maybe less, and replaced with the more mobile and surviveable Centaur IV.
So...while the Brits can use a few more tin cans early...I believe the Yanks could use a few less...on Utah specifically. I'm leaning towards cutting the number of Crocodiles, Aunt Jemima's and Crabs on Utah. One thing about all those "Funnies" as Hobart described them...they certainly won't fight well inland and will die quickly with their slow movement rates.
I'm also thinking I need to eliminate the few trucks I have landing with the paratroops. I don't think those gliders landed anything much bigger than a jeep, and the American stock battalions for those airborne units include trucks for some strange reason. They aren't much use behind enemy lines anyway, so I think I'll be deleting them.
Lastly, this scenario was originally created PRE Matrix CS, and for some reason when the scenario plays in CS, the infantry units defaulted to some early war variant types. The Yank Rifle Platoons are 1942 variant, and the Armored Infantry are 1941 variant. Not sure if that was my fault, but I don't think I made those choices. The only drawback on those is both units have reduced hard target attack values. It seems to make those engineers all the more crucial however, and I do have a lot of engineers in the game, so I think unless it really grinds everyone's gears I'm going to leave that alone.
I'll call it serendipity.:whis:
All of the above are simply early game impressions of mine, and I look forward to incorporating your ideas as well.:chin:
As always...well meant criticism....abuse...and digital slappings are solicited...