Saturday, April 26, 2014

One Last Trench - Intelligence Prep

I took a break today from working on revising my CMRT scenario to finally give JC's scenario "One Last Trench" a try. This scenario is a fictionalized version of the Soviet assault against a portion of the 78th Sturm Division's final line in the vicinity of Orsha toward the beginning of Operation Bagration.

Scout units trying to firm up the picture of enemy deployments



The scenario opens with not much beyond scout and observer teams available to the player. Unlike a lot of Combat Mission scenarios, JC has given plenty of time and provided the right resources to conduct pre-mission recon.

My right flank scouts locate German panzergrenadiers in the village near the crossroads objective
As my scout units infiltrate towards the objectives, enemy locations start to be sighted. Along with the scout platoons I have FO teams that can call off-map artillery, although with some significant delays. I won't get too many chances to fire my big guns, so I'll need to make the fire missions count.

Calling 120mm mortar fire on a German halftrack. I want to move up my sappers to start breaching obstacles but this halftrack can observe their movement path. Nine minutes for the mission to land!
The shape of the defensive line is starting to firm up. I don't have much I can do about that yet offensively. I'm still waiting on reinforcements.

Dense woods make for good cover, but that works both ways. It's tough to get a good sense of the scale of the German trench
My advancing scouts make contact with a German trench line...


...which opens fire on them, causing my first casualties of the game. I still can't get used to the much higher casualty rates of WWII combat versus modern.

The crossroads objective is the cluster of buildings up the road from this barrier
As my scouts infiltrate deeper, the German obstacle line emerges. I need my sappers up to clear this so my main effort can push through here.

CMRT maps tend to be much bigger than CMBN maps. There's a lot of open space here.
My armor arrives, a mix of regular T-34's and flamethrower tanks.


I move some of my tanks into position to screen the movement path of my sappers. Soon one of my T-34s locates that annoying halftrack.


The mortar barrage had just started to fall as well, so the halftrack was beginning to move out. That gave me a nice clear flank shot. Not that a T-34/76 needs that versus a halftrack, but it did make for a bigger target.

Absent my scouts finding a better route, I plan on an advance toward the Railroad Gap between those two patches of forest as my main effort
Moving my armor up to support my scouts and sappers.


A few minute later my infantry shows up, two companies of Guards Rifle troops.


The Germans don't seem to wild about what's coming their way. These two halftracks seem to be moving to get away!

So far there hasn't been a lot of fighting as I try and scout out the enemy positions. I think that's about to change.