RE: Aachen 2 screenshots
Long time no chat!
How are you holding up?
I think Aachen is about forcing the river crossings, of course, but also about conservation of all those shiny Allied toys as you roll up into the heavily prepared German lines. If you're not careful, the German will take them away. Playing it 1v1 it's a big devil for sure. Hot seat testing it is even more so...lol...and I have to take it in small chunks.
One thing you mentioned Ole...the logistics...is spot on.
With one this size it usually is, but the map presents some unique challenges that require getting there on time with what you need. It's crucial.
Despite the masses of Allied troops, you need to allocate those resources when and where you need them the most. The Bridge Builders of course, but also the Engineers. Climbing into the Sharnhorst and Schill lines without them will usually resort in disaster. With a mix of Vet, Normal, and Green troops that also has to be taken into account.
I'm reading an excellent book about the 45th Infantry Division, the Thunderbirds. Alex Kershaw's "The Liberator", which is the story of Col. Felix Sparks. He came in at Sicily as a Lieutenant, and made Colonel by the end of the war. He said..."Getting promoted was easy in the Army...as long as you stayed alive..."
They were not at Aachen, they were part of the southern landings in France and came up through Alsace-Lorraine. Close, but no cigar. The book points out a very interesting fact. Often, the VET troops finally got to a point where they were INFERIOR to the replacements. Call it shell shock, battle fatigue, just don't let Gen. Patton hear about it.
Especially if they went through the "shit" as it were, in places where they got shelled and pounded. For the 45th ID, this was Anzio. The survivors started falling out as they moved up into France and into contact with the German border along the Vosges Mountain range. You can only take so much.
The author points out there was a curve, and (on average) after about two months in heavy combat, performance and abilities actually start to decline. An interesting take, even if counterintuitive. I submit there is no denying experience improves the product, but eventually you have to figure your luck is going to run out.
I have an idea for a nice SMALL/MEDIUM scenario that comes directly from this book. During Anzio, well after the landings, Kesselring's Tigers counterattacked at Anzio in the area known as "The Caves". It was desperate on both sides. Capt. (by then) Sparks and a handful of men lived to tell the tale. An entire regiment was basically destroyed. German losses were equally severe.