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France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
11-14-2015, 06:02 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-28-2017, 01:23 PM by BigDuke66.)
#1
zicon 3  France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Map
- Fort Pont Saint-Vincent at 15,68 is at the wrong place, it should be further West on 12,69 and that hex should be set to 400 meters like the hexes to the West of it.

- Add exit hex(between 50,64 & 54,64 as that was roughly the area reached by the German XXI. Korps & the 8. KD) for the Germans on the south map edge, the order of the 6. Armee for the 24th August was to reach the road Charmes - Rambervillers, this will also bring the German player to drive is troops south in the historical attempt to cut off French forces in the Vosges while still holding a front against Nancy.



Germans
- 6. Armee HQ should be released as it was moving south over the course of the battle. It should start at about hex row 25 on the map edge as it was directing the battle from Hellimer what is east off map. It should be released on the 21st as it moved on that day to Dieuze what is at row 44 off the map to the East.
If a free movement is not wanted, maybe a withdrawal and reinforcement could be made to remove and add the HQ again on the map edge.

- Move the 10. Ersatz-Division a bit ahead(about 1 turn movement distance) on the road to the South-West as it reached the "Delmer Rücken" around the same time the bav. KD arrives there(by afternoon), add some fatigue as the formation was tired because it had marched since 4.00 in the morning.

- While the French position look good, the German line should start further back and more East, with the XXI. Korps and 31. ID Off-map at the start and the left end(6. b. ID) of the German line south of Han(Han-sur-Nied).
The 6. b. ID roughly attacked south aiming for Delme and East of it and it did cross the line Morville-Lucy on 8.00 in the morning and marched over Bacourt & Prevocourt south and did not find the enemy before it reached the Delme area, it saw that the enemy was already retreating south. It's commander even asked the higher CO if he could turn his left wing to the east to support the 5. b. ID that was having trouble in the forest west of Oron but that at first was declined but later as the action at the II. b. Korps demanded a shift of weight to Château-Salins the CO of the 5. ID take the offer of the 6. ID to support them and to attack the enemy position south of Oron from behind, that showed some effect by 2.00 in the afternoon as the enemy retreat. By 4.00 the two divisions joined hands at Faxe with the enemy in full retreat to the southwest. After a short break to regroup the 6. ID and a bit rest for the 5. ID but it advanced further up until midnight, the most forward line for the II. b. Korps at night ran from Delme to a point north-west of Château-Salins.
The 4. b. ID on the left of the II. b. Korps started about 4-8 km away from the enemy lines and also advanced south till the forest north of Marthil from were it saw French artillery firing on the left flank of the 3. b. ID, the 4. b. ID started its artillery and assaulted at once and by 8.00 it was developing again the line Château-Bréhain - Eschen, it continued to assault the main enemy position o the higher ground and by 11.15 in the morning the line Château-Bréhain - Eschen was conquered.
The 3. b. ID started its attack around 7.30 in the morning when elements of the II. b. Korps(likely troops of the 4. Ersatz-Division) those few of the on its left reached Conthil, despite heavy counter attacks of the French Bewingen(south-west of Morhange) was taken on 2.00 in the afternoon.
Overall as the German advanced already at 5.00(except 10. Ersatz-Division that marched already on 4.00 and 3. b. ID that advanced on 7.30 in the morning) so their positions should be further ahead than shown on these maps and they should have formed to attack and not spread out to defend with the exception that the 3. b. ID seems to have attacked out of there defensive positions.
Now XXI corps should arrive much further south, 31. ID should come in on the evening of the 20th August between hex 61,43-46 and 42. ID should come in on the evening of the 21th August around hex 61,53-56.
(Details for German positions "Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918" Volume 1, p. 211-213 covering the 19th August(previous pages cover 16th-18th August give also details)and Map 4 that fits to the description of the German positions, page 263 and following pages describe the initial phase of the German offensive / details for French positions "Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918" Volume 1, p. 250-251 & 445 and map on p. 442-443, also the map for the 19th August on "Cartographie 1914 - 1918" http://www.carto1418.fr/19140819.php )

- Arrival & location of the I. b. Reserve Korps should be adjusted too, the 5. RD was at Lagarde(east of 61,58) on the 23rd were it rested and likely moved on the 24th to Luneville(47,70), and of the 1. RD the 2. Reserve-Brigade was designated on the 23rd to encircle the fort of Manoviller(59,70) while the rest remained east off map and arrived next day at(59,79).
See map for all recommended adjustment to German positions & arrivals:
[Image: bXExOlJ.jpg]

- Remove I b. Korps & Garde-Ersatz Division as they didn't get far enough West to appear on map.

- The missing Landwehr-Division could(it comes late on the map it it's maybe not worth the trouble) be added if wanted, it comes on map on the 24th at 58,29.
The division was formed out of Landwehr troops from Gemersheim and Zweibrücken at first called "Verstärkte Bayerische Landwehr-Division“ but also know as "Division Wening" after its CO.
Structure on the10th Dezember 1914 was:
13. Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade
Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 8
Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 10
Festungs-MG-Trupp IV (Germersheim)
14. Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade
Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 122
Kombiniertes Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Parst (vier Bataillone) der Landwehr-Infanterie- Regimenter 1 und 2
Festungs-MG-Trupp V (Germersheim)
Kavallerie-Ersatz-Abteilung
2. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment
1. Landwehr-Eskadron/II. Armee-Korps
Feldartillerie-Abteilung 22 (2. Batterie)
Landsturm-Batterie Landau
1. Landwehr-Pionier-Kompanie/I. Armee-Korps
1. Landwehr-Pionier-Kompanie/II. Armee-Korps


French
- French reinforcements appearing on the Eastern map edge should also be repositioned, the French 16th corps should come in south of the Rhine-Marne canal and the French 15th corps should come in between Moyenvic and the Rhine-Marne canal. Best would be on the roads, yb this the French player can decide if he wants to move the road down to get distance between him and pursuing Germans or he can spread and try to hold the ground.

- The French 73DR on the West edge of the map should be re-positioned, I crossed the river at Pont-a-Mousson and only a part of the division was released, maybe the division can be placed so that it unfixes completely if the Germans try to cross in that area. It should be unfixed on the 23rd as it was opposite of Dieulouard on the 24th.

- Checking the maps for that area between the 21st and 24th some French units should be considered to be incorporated into the scenario:
268ème régiment d’infanterie
290ème régiment d’infanterie
Both regiments were from 9th corps 4th Army but likely still in the area when the need for troops arose, they seem to be detached to 2nd Army.

4th battalion of the 89ème régiment d’infanterie territoriale(missing in OOB)
Could have been directly attached to 2nd Army HQ, was later send further back to Colombay what is slightly off the Western map edge

4th battalion of the 42ème régiment d’infanterie territoriale(missing in OOB)
Seems to have been as garrison in Nancy.

64e Division de Réserve
Wikipedia only found a 64e division d'infanterie that had the same subunits as the in-game OOB, this division was transported to the Bayon area(almost on the Southern map edge) from 19th to 24th so maybe units could arrive there over the course of the game but stay fixed as the division was still being concentrated there.

74e Division de Réserve
Wikipedia only found a 74e division d'infanterie that had the same subunits as the in-game OOB, was transported from 19th to 23rd to Charmes(beyond the Southern map edge) and Bayon(almost on the Southern map edge). In this case similar to the above division, a part of the division could arrive over time at Bayon, maybe simply half the division.

2e Division de Cavalerie
According to Wikipedia:
August 17 - 21: movement eastward; engaged in the battle of Sarrebourg, fighting of Gosselming and Saint-Georges.August 21 - 26: withdrawal to Lunéville and Rozelieures, August 24 and 25 fight Rozelieures.
Looking at the maps the unit should likely not arrive before 23rd, it should come in on the South-East corner of the map.

10e Division de Cavalerie
According to Wikipedia:
August 20th - 26th: retreat to Rozelieures, fight on August 24th and 25th.
Unit could maybe be considered to be added as its retreat to Rozelieures(what is beyond the Southern map edge) may only have let it shortly be in the area that the map covers. If it's added the unit should likely not arrive before 23rd, it should come in on the South-East corner of the map.

6e Division de Cavalerie
According to Wikipedia:
17 - 21 August: offensive on Sarrebourg; engaged in the battle of Sarrebourg.
August 21 - September 8: withdrawal to Rozelieures; engaged in the battle of Mortagne. Fight on August 25th.
Likely barley and shortly on the area that the map covers so adding it should be not considered unless balancing forces to do so.

For the sake of completeness I mention that the 35th and 34th Infantry Brigades were on the map, while the former was part of 18th Infantry Division the later was part of the 17th Infantry Division.
Wikipedia notes that the 18th division with its 34th & 35th brigades defend the area of the Grand Couronné, explanation could be that both divisions were half transported North when the need for troops arose, likely the 34th was put under 18th Infantry division command.
As the 18th is currently completely in the game but with its original layout I see no need to change the brigades as there seem nothing to gain but work.

- With the addition of the missing French units and the removal of the German units the overall balance shifts, it shoudl be consideec red, that means putting some casualties and fatigue on those French units that appear on the East map edge and being chased by the Germans.



Gameplay
- While the recommended arrival positions of the reinforcements already demand a more Southern attack direction by the Germans, the victory point locations should also be adjusted to support this, those North-East could be lowered to 100 points, VPs North of Luneville could be kept while Luneville should get even more points, and VPs of 500 or more should be added south of Luneville to drive the Germans into the historical reaches of his offensive. At the same time those VP close to but East of the Moselle should be slightly raised to force the French to hold a line East of the Moselle like he historically did and not fall back behind the Moselle line. If the French gives up everything East of the Moselle line the scenario should end in a major victory for Germany. See map below for details
[Image: SYmi8x7.jpg]
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11-14-2015, 07:28 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-14-2015, 07:48 PM by Volcano Man.)
#2
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Thanks for the feedback, but I get the impression that you saw that the update is coming "soon" and are trying to put this out to catch it. Unfortunately the update is in the final stages here, so no changes can be made to anything at this point (except for bug fixes).

Also, I don't really know what scenario you are looking at; I have since heavily edited that scenario so it should be looked at again after the update because it is no longer the same (even the map area is different now). Just about everything was changed in it - it got a major overhaul, actually.

Quote:At first I hesitated to post this as it's a rather large list of things to correct but as the current scenario does not nearly play out like it historically was I think it's necessary:

Yes, that is the problem. If you mention too many "issues", then it just becomes information overload. It is just the way it is, due to time constraints - if I want to also complete the next game.

Better for you to wait for the update, then redo a list -- only you should make a decision on which items are most important and which are not. I can tell you that I won't be adding the Landwehr formation simply because I don't think it did much but sit around in the rear if I recall correctly, and the user will certainly end up using it in ways that were not historical, especially since there are "issues" occurring off the map to the east that are not relevant here. Also, a unit getting released at 0600 vs. 0400 is simply not an important issue to me, especially since we don't have a 0400 turn, and because we have no maps showing the unit's exact position from 0600 to 0400 in two hours of darkness. It is figured that the movement from point A to B in X or Y turns will factor all that out.

That said, the arrival of the reinforcements along the right side of the map would be nice to improve, since they have always been estimates. However the problem with spreading out the 1.RD too far to the south as separate brigades is that I feel they could be easily overwhelmed (after all, their arrival is the same in Grand Campaign-A, so the French could be waiting for them there), so care has to be taken - and this is also the difference between purely historical versus what is good for the scenario, given the map edge limitations. But maybe I went too far the other way. ;)

But beyond being able to separate the important issues from the not so important issues, and comparing those with the new version, then I will consider all feedback where practical.
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11-15-2015, 10:17 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-15-2015, 11:25 AM by BigDuke66.)
#3
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Well my opponent had bailed because of lack of time and I thought I bring it on before the patch to see what of it can make it into it.

I know it's a large list but the most important of it is the initial German setup.

The German line simply didn't ran along the French positions except at Morhange and because of that the German division could concentrate like it's necessary for an successful assault on the French positions, it is also important to realize that the divisions of the 3rd and 2nd Bavarian corps did attacked east of Delme, all this makes a real Schwerpunkt with 3 of the 4 divisions that can form up for an attack and can decide where to strike the line, this is necessary to successfully break the French lines if the French player stays and chooses to fight it out.

And for the course of the battle it would be important to let the German and French forces come in where they historically came onto the map and also only those that really reached the area because the battle developed in a southern and not south-western direction, the area in front of Nancy was always regarded as a flank that should be protected but not more, I didn't see any intention to reach the Mosel with the 6. Armee anywhere, at first the was only the intention to go onto the river Meurthe, and when AOK 6 asked on the afternoon of the 22nd it was informed to pursue the enemy to Epinal as there were still many French forces in the Vosges and another request in the evening to clarify resulted in the order to throw the enemy south and drive him away from Epinal. On the 23rd that intention was repeated by Moltke and it was wanted that the 6. Armee throws anything that can march south to cut off an estimated 100-120k French forces in the Vosges.

I'm looking forward to the changes you made, may I ask if the map was extended to the east?
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11-16-2015, 05:13 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-16-2015, 05:47 PM by Volcano Man.)
#4
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
No, the map was not extended east and probably never will be (given the work involved).

In the campaign, the option exists for the Germans to push south to an exit hex and Charmes, or to attack Nancy (the exit hex represents anything gained from Epinal or, more importantly, moving into the rear of the French 1st Army. If you are implying that I should edit the campaign to remove the objective at Nancy, well, I will not do that (but maybe you aren't implying it?). Whether you read that the intent was to cut off 100k French in the Vosges or something different, the fact is that German high command envisioned a Cannae type situation in the campaign, not just with the sweeping movement through Belgium, but the possibility of a breakthrough in the south toe envelope the French from two sides, at least as a backup scenario. This is at least one of the theories, or maybe it was official pre-war doctrine - I cannot recall at this point as I have studied so much beyond France 1914 that I am beginning to forget the details. It is also one of the reasons why Moltke massed so many Ersatz divisions in the south, rather than putting them all in the north as earlier war plans called for.

But I prefer to avoid a possible debate on that aspect of theory, or OHL orders vs. theory, or troop concentrations vs. war plans vs. Schlieffen original plan(s) vs. the Cannae obsession; as I said the Germans can decide what they want to do in the campaign as far as what their objective is in the south (or in the case of the Grand Campaign, neglect the south entirely). As for the Nancy scenario itself, the objectives go no further than the Meurthe, unless some miracle they can capture Nancy -- it is thrown in there for that purpose.

As mentioned though, you should wait for the update. The reinforcement location issue might be improved in future updates, but this is tricky because it involves changes three scenarios, one of which involves S|O adjustments for both sides. Since the current solution hopefully helps encourage German southern movement (as the French units are temporarily broken on their arrival) I would rather leave it that way for a while (although having 1.RD arrive around Ft de Manonviller will likely get changed at some point - at least).
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11-28-2017, 01:25 PM,
#5
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Finished playing the version of the scenario from patch 1.06 and while it got a lot better and incorporated a lot of my feedback it still needs some work.
The only big problem are the arrival positions of the French & German reinforcements, the graphic in my first post shows were & when the Germans should arrive, the French likely a the same spots some turns before the Germans as the French were falling back.
Why are the current positions a big problem?
Because currently there are too many French & Germans coming in at a too small area, this leads to the scenario playing out like a Verdun scenario in which the French forms a defensive line running from the Moselle East and then South to the Marne-Moselel canal, The German can't do that much except attack that line and push it back but that only leads to the French line being driven back but by that also getting shorter, deeper and more dense what makes it futiel to hope for a break, as said it's like Verdun.

If the arrival positions of the reinforcements are corrected, the German units removed that did not take part, and the VP locations adjusted the scenario will not only use the map to the south edge but it will be much more dynamic & mobile. The French can't easily form a solid defensive line but has to decide where to set up a defensive positions for delay and where to set a final holding line that is far enough back but not too far to loose too many VPs. The German has to decide if he tries to break such delaying positions and if to break the final French line in the attempt to catch the high VP locations in the South while still covering his flank up to Metz.

I adjusted the feedback in the first post for the current(1.06) version of the scenario.
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12-08-2017, 05:50 AM,
#6
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
(11-14-2015, 07:28 PM)Volcano Man Wrote: "Unfortunately the update is in the final stages here, so no changes can be made to anything at this point (except for bug fixes).
Is this just a F14 update?  I see EP14 hasn't been updated for a while; will that be updated in the near future as well?
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12-08-2017, 08:21 AM,
#7
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Looks like I misread the year on EP14 update.

Never mind.
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12-12-2017, 05:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-12-2017, 07:05 AM by Volcano Man.)
#8
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
(11-28-2017, 01:25 PM)BigDuke66 Wrote: The only big problem are the arrival positions of the French & German reinforcements, the graphic in my first post shows were & when the Germans should arrive, the French likely a the same spots some turns before the Germans as the French were falling back.

Sorry, I just noticed your post. I guess you missed my previous post on this issue:

The problem with having the exact reinforcement locations you suggest in your image is that in the Grand Campaign, those predictable and widely dispersed southern reinforcement locations can be overwhelmed by the French, who will have some time to prepare for what they know is coming. What I try to do is keep the reinforcements in the sub scenarios and campaign S|Os identical, and so this is where the problem comes in. So the different more concentrated arrivals was intentional.

However, maybe my obsession with uniformity with the campaign is unnecessary here. Perhaps I could just change the arrivals in this scenario alone, and make a comment in the Grand Campaign notes that the Germans instead have a more concentrated arrival for the reason mentioned above. Hmm...
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1 hour ago,
#9
RE: France '14 - Von Moltke's Indecisiveness - Feedback
Gives you a lot credit trying to prohibit the gamey use of the map edge.

Regarding the campaign scenario, the scenario starts later and only the two most southern German reinforcements would have to be considered. Of them the 2. Reserve-Brigade comes in on the 23rd and the rest of the 1. Reserve-Division on the 24th, what gives 1 respectively 2 days for the German to shift his front more South up to the river Meurthe river to link up with these reinforcements. As that was the job of the Germans with the still running offensive by the German 6. & 7. Armee it would just guide the player along the historical actions. The French will be more worried to be pushed against the Meurthe and will sooner or later retreat to the southern side of the river, what frees any German reinforcements on that map edge from any danger.

Regarding this scenario, as the German offensive of 6.Armee was aimed South basically at Luneville the historical correct reinforcements along the map edge will only guide the German player along the historical path of the offensive, that will allow him to link up with the arriving reinforcements just fine.
Now even with my recommendation for removing some German units and adding some French it's highly unlikely for the French to mount enough forces to crush the German reinforcements on the map edge while at the same time keeping the Germans in the North from advancing. The French flooding back from Saarbourg arrive there themselves and are already in a fatigued state, that means they would need help and would have to move fresh troops there to go on the offensive to crush the Germans on the map edge. Pulling so many French out of the line would only allow the Germans on the map to advance quicker South and link up with the reinforcements hexes likely even before any reinforcements would arrive on map.
It's just impossible to stop the Germans in the North from advancing South while at the same time having enough troops to crush the German reinforcements on the map edge before they link up with the other German troops.


I think the campaign scenario and this scenario could still match regrading the reinforcements and you could keep the uniformity.
Thanks for considering my feedback.
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