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ACG Community Run Wargames Conflict simulations run by forum members for the ACG community.

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  #151  
Old 28 May 17, 00:19
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Based on casualties and such, here are some thoughts.

1st Pl. Took heaviest percentage of casualties. Thought is to fold remains of this platoon into 2nd and possibly 4th to shore them up. If Pruitt is still game to play as commander, then try to find an unassigned platoon in the Division to place here, preferably infantry of some sort.

2nd Pl. Replace losses with transfers from 1st platoon. Assign Dashka (captured) with all available ammo for it as a Platoon Asset. In general I like distributing weapons to the lowest level possible. A heavy MG here would give them some marginal anti-armor ability.

3rd Pl. See if Tanks can be repaired. Any that can't seek a replacement vehicle. If I've got some cred, I'd like to pull in a PzIII or IV. Something that's got a bigger shell.

4th Pl. If possible, replace losses with transfers from 1st Pl, otherwise attempt to replace losses. Unless Exo would like to try for a different platoon.

HQ. Assign captured Maxim here as an HQ defense asset...thought is to pintle mount on one of the Kugelwagens as a way to support KG vehicles on the march.

Thoughts? Also thoughts on any 'extra' unit if one is available for HQ (Pioneers, etc)
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  #152  
Old 28 May 17, 03:19
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Given what we've got left and what we need I see things this way:

Disband 4th platoon (motorcycles) and use the survivors as replacements for the two infantry platoons. Redistribute their machineguns one to each of the infantry platoons and one to the HQ. The maxim is too much trouble. It uses dissimilar ammunition, and is likely to draw friendly fire because it sounds different than an MG 34.

Get the tanks repaired or replaced. If replacements are available a Pz III or two would be best. The Pz II, at this point in the war, are not useless. They just have to be used right... which they weren't.

Increase the antitank gun crews to 8 men with the 5cm and 6 with the 3.7cm. Replace the kettenkrad with either light personnel carriers or trucks if we can't get proper halftracks. We really need these to have something that can tow the gun, carry the crew, and carry the ammunition.

Make damn sure that every soldier in the unit has at least a K98 rifle on them, including all HQ troops, vehicle crews, etc. It was idiotic for us to have troops that were combat ineffective because they lacked a weapon.

Disband the two 5cm sections and use them to replace infantry losses. They did nothing and were more a liability than an asset. If an 8.1cm with a 6 to 8 man crew and a vehicle can be had replace them with that. We also need to make sure there's HE rounds for both antitank guns available in fair number.

The left over motorcycles can either go to battalion / regiment or be added for transport to the HQ. As combat vehicles they're worthless. Having one or two solo mounts for messengers with the HQ isn't a bad idea however.

Make sure each platoon has a field telephone and the HQ has a 6 or 12 circuit switchboard. Get rolls of wire for telephones. We really don't need radios at platoon level. If the battle is a rapidly changing offensive one, they're too slow for responses. If were positional, telephones are more reliable. A radio at HQ is necessary to talk to battalion and the tanks.
Having radios that can cross-talk at platoon level would just create a cacophony of confusion.
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  #153  
Old 28 May 17, 03:58
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If we can't get Panzer III's how about some Panzer 38T's or AMC 35's? The AMC 35 was built in small numbers but had a two man turret and a 47mm main gun. The way we are burning through equipment, we can use them for at least one battle.

Yes, I do want to keep commanding a Platoon.

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  #154  
Old 28 May 17, 05:43
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We wouldn't be "burning through equipment" if we stopped leading with our face.
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  #155  
Old 28 May 17, 07:30
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Cart before the horse here, my friends.

It's something of an open secret that the engagement is now essentially over, although there are a few elements left before we calculate recovery and replacements.

Being a Kampfgruppe, commanders in the second episode will have an option to select from a Force Pool including platoons from episode one (post-recovery) and locally available Axis forces.
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  #156  
Old 28 May 17, 07:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Given what we've got left and what we need I see things this way:

Disband 4th platoon (motorcycles) and use the survivors as replacements for the two infantry platoons. Redistribute their machineguns one to each of the infantry platoons and one to the HQ.

I'm honestly inclined in the opposite direction. Though it'll be based heavily on what's available. 4th Platoon's motorcycle troops sit in a niche between light infantry and recon. Had 4th been armored cars, they might have taken fewer casualties, but certainly wouldn't have been able to get on top of the hill, much less take it and hold it until 2nd Platoon arrived. I agree that bikes don't hold up well in extended combat. The solution is to keep them from ranging so far afield that they're unsupported. For its size, 4th Platoon accomplished a heck of a lot. And while I was ambivalent on the use of bikes instead of armored cars, I can see the utility of a recon platoon that can hold ground when needed.

The maxim is too much trouble. It uses dissimilar ammunition, and is likely to draw friendly fire because it sounds different than an MG 34.

That's why I suggested putting it with HQ as a self-defense asset. If HQ troops are firing, we're in the poo anyway. Gather up what ammunition we have for it, and when it breaks or runs out of ammo, throw it in a creek. Until it runs out of ammo, we aren't burning favors trying to get some heavier firepower for our HQ troops to defend themselves with. Same with the Dashka, though the heavier rounds make it useful as a light anti-armor asset, hence the thought of making it a 2nd platoon asset until it too runs out of ammo and we just discard it.

Get the tanks repaired or replaced. If replacements are available a Pz III or two would be best. The Pz II, at this point in the war, are not useless. They just have to be used right... which they weren't.

PzII at this point really needed to be recon, not infantry support tanks. Unfortunately, unless mediums are available, we have to make do. My mistake was dividing the tanks....even after I specifically and repeatedly said not to. But that comes down to some things that'll be noted farther down. If they fight concentrated, PzII can still support infantry, though we need to focus on the ATGs handling anti-armor work.

Increase the antitank gun crews to 8 men with the 5cm and 6 with the 3.7cm. Replace the kettenkrad with either light personnel carriers or trucks if we can't get proper halftracks. We really need these to have something that can tow the gun, carry the crew, and carry the ammunition.

I agree that HQ needs halftracks. The Kettenkrad might have to do for the 3.7, coupled with a Kugelwagen. I'll see about getting a halftrack to haul the 5cm though. Increasing the manpower is entirely up in the air unless we have some troops available out of reserves or troops returning to duty. Line platoons are first and foremost.

Make damn sure that every soldier in the unit has at least a K98 rifle on them, including all HQ troops, vehicle crews, etc. It was idiotic for us to have troops that were combat ineffective because they lacked a weapon.

I agree that the truck drivers not having weapons is idiotic. As a stopgap, since we have dozens of things on our wish list and inevitably won't be able to have most of them, lets gather up every SMG we captured and detail them to HQ troops that don't have rifles. While ammo supply lasts, that should give HQ decent enough self-defense firepower. Also......it was idiotic for me to use HQ clerks as line infantry, they're not US Marines. So if I can avoid treating HQ like a source of infantry, then captured weapons should suffice for HQ protecting itself in an emergency.


Disband the two 5cm sections and use them to replace infantry losses. They did nothing and were more a liability than an asset. If an 8.1cm with a 6 to 8 man crew and a vehicle can be had replace them with that. We also need to make sure there's HE rounds for both antitank guns available in fair number.

Getting the 8.1cm will all depend on what's available. I agree that the 5cm mortars are worthless......if an 81mm isn't available, thought is to replace the 5cm with either an MG34, giving each platoon an extra one, or just using those men as grenadiers and really load them down with rifle grenades.

The left over motorcycles can either go to battalion / regiment or be added for transport to the HQ. As combat vehicles they're worthless. Having one or two solo mounts for messengers with the HQ isn't a bad idea however.

As I noted earlier, I see some utility in having a motor-recon unit. I would agree that they are pretty light. But the bikes do get them to a strategic point quickly. Possibility is to up their ammo, grenades, and such so that once they get to a point they can ditch the bikes and be rested but heavy infantry.

Make sure each platoon has a field telephone and the HQ has a 6 or 12 circuit switchboard. Get rolls of wire for telephones. We really don't need radios at platoon level. If the battle is a rapidly changing offensive one, they're too slow for responses. If were positional, telephones are more reliable. A radio at HQ is necessary to talk to battalion and the tanks.
Having radios that can cross-talk at platoon level would just create a cacophony of confusion.


I agree that too many radios are a problem. OTOH, trying to stretch phone wires all over the place might be more trouble than its worth if we could get a better asset instead. It's definitely on the list, just not too high up the priority scale compared to some things.

One thing, last time I picked the 5cm PaK as my HQ asset because our AT firepower was a bit light. If it's still available this next time, I'm probably looking more at Pioneers or some other troop unit. Both to be a KG reserve that's actually proper infantry, and to give HQ a unit so the clerks aren't having to get stuck in on the regular.
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  #157  
Old 28 May 17, 07:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
We wouldn't be "burning through equipment" if we stopped leading with our face.
Oh I agree. I can detail out my own failings.

1) Letting the Recon troops get out too far ahead. They stood alone on the field for a bit too long, hence their high casualties. If they had been held back a few minutes, they could have still accomplished the same mission, only without the casualties.

2) Not pushing 1st to take the wheelhouse immediately. They waltzed by it going for the bridge and wound up in a vicious crossfire that almost cost us the battle.

3) Dividing the tanks. This goes with 1. If 4th hadn't been so thoroughly mauled, 2nd and 4th could have held the hill without any armored support and the tanks could have operated together in concert to help 1st reach the objective.

4) Getting focused on the fork rather than the bridge. While we did take it with little loss, the fork wasn't part of our original mission. I saw the fork and hill as strategic terrain on the map and pushed everyone for them. But the bridge was the strategic terrain. And it wound up that 1st, with various bits of support, got stuck in the 'leading with their face' role going head on against the enemy in town.

While I made a lot of mistakes, I can see that 4ths aggressive move, and 2nd cleaning that up did make a lot of difference. The East was secured before the town, so there was no threat of enemy reinforcement from the most likely direction. The hill was taken at the outset, so no enemy above us. And combined that meant that while we threw ourselves at some heavy weapons head on, we didn't really have to, because they didn't have any chance of a hasty L shaped ambush on us once 4th had pushed that cavalry company off the hill.
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Old 28 May 17, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
Oh I agree. I can detail out my own failings.

1) Letting the Recon troops get out too far ahead. They stood alone on the field for a bit too long, hence their high casualties. If they had been held back a few minutes, they could have still accomplished the same mission, only without the casualties.
I disagree, and point out what you said before-

Quote:
I'm honestly inclined in the opposite direction. Though it'll be based heavily on what's available. 4th Platoon's motorcycle troops sit in a niche between light infantry and recon. Had 4th been armored cars, they might have taken fewer casualties, but certainly wouldn't have been able to get on top of the hill, much less take it and hold it until 2nd Platoon arrived. I agree that bikes don't hold up well in extended combat. The solution is to keep them from ranging so far afield that they're unsupported. For its size, 4th Platoon accomplished a heck of a lot. And while I was ambivalent on the use of bikes instead of armored cars, I can see the utility of a recon platoon that can hold ground when needed.
Thanks for saying so!

IMHO, what went wrong here was not letting us go out there, complete our recon and report back.
Everyone wanted to jump right in, and I wound up being a light Cavalry unit that was quickly used up as part of the general advance.

Next time, let me do a recon, and then report back on what I have found. THEN you can make a better plan, right?
That is the job of this sort of unit. I know, that was my M.O.S., after all.
And once that is done I would be content to sit back at HQ and let the rest of the gang to their thing.... and function as an emergency reserve.

Armored cars? What we must have is RADIO, and I don't care if we have to pack them on our backs.

Also- This group was awfully small, a single Company of diverse elements thrown together... and not really a Kampfgruppe. I think the smallest such unit to gain that title was a Battalion, and we just saw why. There simply wasn't enough of the key elements to support a push that was Kilometers wide.
Each Platoon of Grunts needs to have it's Grenade Throwers, just don't rely on them for very much... and the anti-tank rifles were converted to Grenade Launchers at this time, can we replace the 50mm mortars with those?
And if we are going to be out on our own, we need to draw our share of Infantry cannons.

Good game! And thanks for running in, K, this was memorable.


Added note-
When it comes to captured Soviet gear, the Recon just shrugs.
Their explosives are unreliable, and small-arms would have to be carried in addition to our own, doubling the load. So, no thanks.
However, if a good 4x4 car showed up on the bridge, we could certainly use that!
Maybe we could keep that Kettenkrad?

BTW- the Sdkfz 222 was not a bad armored car. The reason it had an open-topped turret was so that it could fire it's guns at Aircraft. Not a bad option, eh?
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Last edited by The Exorcist; 28 May 17 at 13:27..
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  #159  
Old 28 May 17, 14:31
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Ok, since it's now an official question, thoughts on retention of Soviet equipment.

I believe there's an AT gun and a mortar, though those are probably without ammo and in dubious condition after the magazine explosion.

There's the Daska, with at least some ammo supply. My thoughts remain to assign that to a line platoon, probably 2nd as 2nd is virtually intact, as a platoon asset.

There's the Maxim. If we keep it, it would be a KG asset as it's too heavy for what it provides to be useful as a platoon asset.

And I'm pretty well set on seizing all Soviet SMGs on the field, along with ammo, to distribute to HQ as an efficient way of giving the HQ drivers and clerks self-defense firepower without having to call in favors. Originally I had wanted to ask for guns for them, but things didn't work out....this way we know there are no snafus.
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Old 28 May 17, 15:55
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Motorcycles are poor cross country vehicles. The combos are particularly so. The unit is very vulnerable to fire when mounted, and really can't carry much weight in terms of equipment with them. Historically, motorcycle units pretty much died off by the end of 1941 replaced by kubelwagens and light trucks or personnel carriers.
As recon units, they're kind of marginal. Between the poor off road performance and the noise a motorcycle makes, they really don't have much in terms of being able to scout stealthily.

HQ troops not being armed was kind a surprise to me. That's very, very ahistorical. Normally low level HQ's are completely armed, and usually have a machinegun for self defense. Even most antitank gun crews have one for the same purpose.

The AT guns definitely need larger crews. Right now, the 3.7cm has 3 men assigned. One of those has to drive the kettenkrad. That means when the gun goes into action, the kettenkrad has to be abandoned and the driver assist in operating the gun. (Gunner, loader, commander). Take even one casualty and the gun is stuck in place and probably going to be lost. It really needs 6 to 8 men with it, same with the 5cm. We couldn't man another heavy weapon if we wanted to right now.
I kept having to pull HQ troops to help with the guns we have because the crews are too small.

On the action, I see the following errors:

The motorcycle unit should have only moved to the edge of town mounted, then partially dismounted and scouted on foot moving forward cautiously.
That first building along the "river" would have made an excellent strongpoint right off, since the bridge was the objective. Taking it and using it for cover a machinegun crew would dominate the bridge with fire.
On the other side, the infantry platoon that moved up the hill should have had scouts out to find the enemy rather than simply rushing the hill without knowing what was up there.
The tanks should have stayed clear of the town and near the base of the hill. That keeps them from being silhouetted in the open and they could as a platoon open up on any target they find. The infantry taking the hill could have rode the tanks forward to save walking. That would mean they're carrying more ammo too.
Any target that presents itself could have been engaged by the 5 vehicles together. With one clip of 2cm each that's 50 rounds of HE or AP on a target. That'd be pretty much a show stopper for the target. A good burst of MG fire each has the same sort of stopping power on soft targets or infantry.
The other platoon of infantry could have then leap frogged the motorcycle platoon who should have set up enfilading MG fire zones to cover the bridge and town (you don't want the MG firing forward but rather along the front covering each other. It's far, far more effective). That way one platoon was covering the advance of the other.
In town fighting, one building at a time is best if possible. Use the buildings for cover too. Again, the 5cm mortars were pretty much useless. They moved around a lot but by the time they were in range and set up the battle moved again. At best, keep them in a vehicle and let the HQ troops use them when they can, but don't bother to give them to the line platoons, they just slow them down and take several men away from being riflemen carrying machinegun ammo.

With the tanks remember, 200 yards is point blank fire. They can shoot accurately at 500 + and that 2cm cannon has a 10 round magazine. The vehicles are also really pretty small so they're easy to get concealed. Even in tall grass in an open field not much more than the turret and upper hull (what there is of it) would be visible. The whole vehicle is about as tall as a person.

If the unit needs some scouts, I'd say give two motorcycles and two combos to the HQ and let them do the scouting. Three platoons of infantry would be more effective than a platoon of motorcycle troops and two of infantry. We don't need mass scouting ability.

The tanks and infantry also need to work together far more.

Well, that's some more observations.
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Old 29 May 17, 02:18
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Khryses says I have captured 11 SMG's. I want to keep one for von Pruitt and one each for each Squad. Of course we will keep the best ones for us! The Company gets the other seven.

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Old 29 May 17, 02:44
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Let's try to avoid having off-ammo SMGs in the line platoons. 11 Soviet SMGs at KG level will fix TAG's identified problem there, and the minimal or no ammo expenditure will allow a little ammunition to stretch. I'll try to work on getting more SMGs into the line platoons if they want it.....I've got a little bit of pull, so with the HQ troop weapon issue cleared up, I might be able to spend that pull on buffing the line platoons.
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Old 29 May 17, 04:44
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I was under the impression that the Germans made the 7.63x25 Mauser Pistol ammo that the Soviets copied to feed their 1934 SMG's?

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Old 29 May 17, 05:07
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Still less powerful and harder to find than 9x19
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Old 29 May 17, 10:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
On the action, I see the following errors:

On the other side, the infantry platoon that moved up the hill should have had scouts out to find the enemy rather than simply rushing the hill without knowing what was up there.
T.A., I tried to stress and IIRC I even several times and specifically ordered my platoon forward up the hill in tactical fashion
just to prevent the sort of nasty surprise you get
if you go forward without scouts up front.

It is not a mistake I make easily.
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