Saturday, November 30, 2013

Drive on Loenen Revisited

Once I'd proven to myself that a straight up multi-battalion attack couldn't take the objectives in this Command Ops scenario, I wanted to find an approach that could.  Again, I tried this a few times, utilizing an approach designed to infiltrate troops to staging areas close to the objectives while avoiding obvious locations for blocking forces.  Each time, the outcome was superior to the Decisive Defeats I scored in my earlier attempts.

The key is to avoid the obvious locations for blocking forces.  I've assigned 1st Battalion and the regimental engineers to skirt the right side of the map, assemble south of the town of Loenen, and then attack the objective.  I've told them to move at their fastest pace, take an avoidance route, maximize their rate-of-fire, confine their organic artillery support to just this formation, and to not rest.

Second Battalion will "thread the needle" between the two forest tracks, seeking to avoid the potential blocking forces likely to be on those routes.  They will then assemble in the forest south of the eastern objective, and attack.

Finally, 3rd Battalion plus the regimental AA will move to the west of the forest track, assemble in the open area southwest of the western objective, and attack.  Both 2nd and 3rd Battalions have the same movement/attack orders as 1st Battalion.  I've left the regimental field artillery under HQ command.

All three battalions are moving into position without tangling with Axis blocking troops.

By noon or so all three objectives are under attack.  The southern objectives are close to being cleared.

At 13:15 both southern objectives are under control of the 504th.

Still holding the southern objectives at 1500, though repeated Axis counterattacks continue to dispute my control throughout the afternoon.

By 1800 I've taken all three objectives, but the objective to the west becomes disputed in the final minutes due to an Axis counterattack. I suspect that if I'd taken control of the artillery at the end I could have broken up the attack and held on to the Decisive Victory I had going.

This is an excellent scenario for demonstrating the importance of intelligent maneuver over simply battering your way through toward an objective.  Careful allocation of assets to objectives also wins over sheer combat power.

You can grab this scenario from Tim's blog here.