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Author Topic: AAR/Tutorial - Campaign Chouigui Pass  (Read 5856 times)
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Posts: 21

« on: August 05, 2019, 06:24:19 AM »

For my first attempt at a Tank Warfare: Tunisia 1943 (TWT43) AAR will be with the Chouigui Pass campaign.  The goal is to introduce players to the Campaign mode in TWT43.  This is a small campaign of 4 campaign turns in duration.   Tactical battle number will vary depending on results.

The Campaign opening screen provides a summary of the situation to date.  Blue is the friendlies and red the enemy force.  [F2] changes the map to the campaign deployment mode.  This is the where the turn-based element of the game is played.  

There are a number of options for what Unit symbols are viewed.  This map has NATO colors and symbols enabled.  The border hatched area is where supply is sourced and where reinforcements and new units arrive.  The central part of the map is where the tactical combat takes place.  The large blue and red dots are key points and are the goals of the competing sides, as well as unit destruction scoring.

Although this is a small scenario it is still worth having a look at the Forces List.  The Forces List button is five up from the bottom – the people image.  

Note the icons in the yellow box, [LMB] these to set the recommended reinforcement strategy.  To see Battlegroups, select the icon below the dark blue flag (one box over three).

[RMB] the battlegroup to see if support (air/artillery) is available.  Sadly, our forces do not have any outside support available in this instance, but always worth checking before you start a campaign.

That is it for this post, next time, the first moves of the campaign!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 06:28:19 AM by Lethal » Logged
Posts: 1134


« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 08:49:32 PM »

Kudos Lethal. Quite helpful.

Bring back 3D markers!
Posts: 21

« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 01:19:51 AM »

Thx Tanker, at least I know I have one reader!
In the first post we confirmed our force, support and reinforcements.

Now for the first moves on the campaign map.  For more information on this see the in-game tutorial "How to win an operation".

Above:  Select a unit [LMB], locations where the unit can move are highlighted by green squares.  [RMB] to “march” to the location or [RMB] twice to “advance”.

March is quicker than advance but will suffer higher casualties if ambushed.

It is not mandatory to move to combat every turn.  It is recommended that units are moved in campaign mode so they are able to support each other.  

It is reasonable to predict that the Key Point (large red dot) will be defended.  The next move (yellow arrows) is to place the armor unit (yellow circle) in a position where it and the infantry unit can both attack one square together (e.g., black circle).

Above:  The start of turn 2 in campaign mode.  No combat was encountered in turn one.  Our units moved as directed.

The three question marks indicate the likely location of enemy units.  So, some risk in going all out for the Key Point.  

Thanks to the preparation in turn one, our units will be able to mount a combined arms attack (infantry, armor and engineers).

Above:  The three pronged attack against the key point.

Note:  For this campaign, it probably is not necessary to go to this length to arrange an attack of this intensity.  The goal is to display that:
a.  it is not necessary to attack every turn, and
b.  avoid single unit attacks, combined arms works best.

Above:  After selecting the next turn button, the game selects the most important battle.  No surprises in this instance.

[LMB] on the arrow with the dashes provides our first view of the tactical (RTS) deployment map.  

See in-game tutorial “Defense” for an explanation of the deployment phase.

Above:  During deployment it is always a good idea to check the Tactical Map [F10].

The blue arrows indicate our units charge up the valley towards the Key Point, the bridge to Chouigui.  A secondary key point is the Grove located downstream from the bridge.

The pink areas denote enemy territory.  The left hand Farm is the base for 3 groups of units deployed to keep watch on the rear and flanks of the main thrust.

The units advancing towards the Grove are mainly infantry with a small armor group of 2 PzIII and 1 Pz II.  About 50% of the force is located near the right hand farm and contains the largest armor formation, mainly Pz IV, plus infantry.  

Above:  Schreiter and Kritz look towards their objective, the grove.  The mortars and MG34 will be employ area fire to soften up any enemy units lurking in the objective.

Next post is the start of the RTS tactical battle.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 01:27:51 AM by Lethal » Logged
Posts: 21

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 11:10:58 PM »

Area/Observed Fire
Below:  Schreiter and Knitz Unit Quick Selection Panels (green) and lower two sections of the Unit Data Bar.   Double [LMB] the leader icon to select all the sub-units or [Ctrl+LMB] the leader, MG-34 and GrW-34.  The unit data bar displayed is for Knitz, note that the total of number of personnel in his unit is 49.

[LMB] Fire control.  Fire control has been selected for 16 personnel – Knitz (4), MG-34 (6) and GrW-34 (6).    These units have been selected for the area (observed) fire mission.

To order the area (observed) fire mission:

Select the leader/observer, [LMB] Knitz, select [G] or the far left icon in the grey menu bar (falling shells image) – this will appear as the mouse pointer.
[RMB] on the target location.

After a command delay the mission will commence.

The observed fire mission will continue until ammunition is exhausted or cease fire is ordered [G].

Observed Fire Summary
Select the Leader/Observer and the firing units.
Select Fire Control [Ctrl+O]
Select the Leader/Observer.
Select the Observed fire icon [G].
Select the target [RMB].

Ensure that the leader has Line of Sight to the target and that the firing units are within range.
Check Command Level for delay.

To fire smoke rounds the sequence has an additional step.  Select the Stay concealed icon [Ctrl+G] prior to selecting [G].
The same order sequence is used with any on map firing unit (direct or indirect fire)  – tanks, anti-tank guns, infantry guns. 
Note:  Off-board artillery has a different sequence.

Not Firing
Observed fire cannot be directed at friendly terrain.
Above:  Mortar and MG fire going in at the grove (yellow cross).  But one mission has issues (red cross).

When [RMB] at the target a red cross appears, confirming the selection.

When the mission starts the cross will change to yellow, if it stays red there is an issue with the fire mission.

Nine times out of ten it will be because the observer does not have line of sight to the target.  Use [Ctrl+~] to check area of sight. 

Other common problems:
  • firing unit out of range of target,
    out of communication range with the observer.

The Pz IV force overwhelmed the defenders.  The HMC T30 sports a 75mm M1A1 L18 howitzer.  The Panzer IV aus f. G is not immune to its fire, if the T30 can get in range. 
The M66 HEAT round is effective against the front of the turret to almost 1000m, unfortunately for the T30 crews they did not have this round during the engagement.

Posts: 21

« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 11:22:29 PM »

The next turn does not offer anything technically interesting so I will not discuss it.  The last turn of the campaign sees the Germans on the defensive.  The key to success for the Germans is in the deployment of their units.

I also played as the US forces in this campaign.  Command of the HMC T10 platoon is a fun exercise.  This model T10 was designed as a mobile howitzer which could be pressed into service as an anti-tank gun (ATG).   So primarily against infantry, light skinned vehicles, buildings and so forth.

However, early in the war it was not uncommon for the western allies to have to make do with the tools they had and units like the T10 had to fight above their weight division.  This leads us to an interesting discussion on the employment of ATG.  Firstly, they are not tanks!  When all you have is T10’s it is tempting to try to use them in that way – mobile, aggressive – the tip of the spear.
In this scenario, the T10’s are on the defensive, which is the anti-tank role they can perform if they have the M66 HEAT rounds.  The initial deployment of units when in defence is critical.    And in early-mid WW2 when anti-tank weapons were primarily guns, the siting of anti-tank assets was the axle around which the defence stood.

The defence has the initial advantage of being stationary, so all things being equal they should see the enemy first.  If the anti-tank defence is well sited, the first time the enemy knows of its presence is when it fires.  So the defender’s decision when to open fire with ATG and MG assets is equally important.

Above: Waker’s HMC T10 looking towards the Germans likely line of advance, with the area of sight tool.   The map is in operational mode. It is reasonable to guess that the German advance will follow the road, leading to lower left.
Not the absolute worst deployment site.  The immediate front has some protection from rising ground and has great line of sight to the left and right.  Unfortunately it also means the enemy reconnaissance forces will easily spot the T10 and inform their anti-tank assets there is a plumb target ahead.  This is not a spot to site an ATG.

Above: what about this one?  

This is a tough map for the defender, while the above is an improvement, we would only fight here if we absolutely have to, has the same issue as previous example.

Above: the best of a bad bunch?

In the image above, the black line is the road and likely enemy axis of advance.  At least Waker has protection to his right (defilade) and, with a little luck, the possibility of a side shot (enfilade) onto any vehicles on the road.  (Should have tried ambush ['B'] here but forgot about the command!)

Now that Waker has a site the next big question is when to open fire.  It could be achieved using Stay concealed [Ctrl+G] but that means the player would have to "unconceal" at the right moment.  A better option would be to use the Fire sector [V] tool in the Fire control panel.  Waker's goal is to bag an enemy tank, so At Infantry [Ctrl+H] should be deselected for all units.  Do not want a unit firing prematurely.  Once the shooting starts At Infantry should be selected.

The next issue for Waker is egress.  Looks a little grim in that regard.  When in a defensive position such as this consider using Reverse [Y] after firing a number of rounds.  The enemy will zero in on your defensive position and sometimes even a little movement can save your unit for another day/shot!

It is not necessary to fight to the last pixel-trooper, in fact, undesirable.  In this situation, if you bag a vehicle consider it a moral victory and withdraw (exit from the scenario).  Take your units to the next scenario in the campaign turn, you are going to need them!  

« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 11:27:27 PM by Lethal » Logged
Posts: 21

« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 11:01:44 PM »

That concludes my first punt at a TWT43 AAR/Tutorial.  As much a learning curve for myself with only 100 hours on the Graviteam/TWT43 clock.

Couple of points:
Observed fire:  I mention [RMB] on target - this is for a point target.  If you want to use area fire [RMB+drag].
Not firing:
•   Target out of range of firing unit,
•   firing unit out of communication range with the observer,
•   observer killed or under fire,
•   At Infantry selected,
•   observed fire cannot be directed at friendly terrain.

For indirect fire units (mortar, howitzer) the Show indirect fire abilities [|] overlay is useful. 
Posts: 1134


« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 12:21:14 AM »

Learned some new things reading your AAR.  I didn't realize the difference between march and advance on the OP map. 

The observed fire procedure was valuable also.

How does observed fire work with units that have no organic artillery of their own and do not have an FO?  What fires are they employing?

Bring back 3D markers!
Posts: 21

« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 11:29:49 AM »

The leader of a unit that does not have on-map/organic mortar or MG cannot employ observed fire, e.g. rifles cannot be employed as observed fire units.  They only fire when they spot the enemy.
I have tried to network leaders so one could act as a spotter for another with mortar assets but cannot get it to work.  Not sure if that is a comms issue or it does not work that way.  I suspect the later. 
Not a lot of information about Communication available, other than voice is 100m in good conditions. 

I'm sure you are aware, but off-map artillery needs a Forward Observer or Commander of appropriate rank.  This is a different topic to the observed fire from the leader's unit I have mentioned in the AAR.

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