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Author Topic: Blue, Gray, and Bocage  (Read 1095 times)

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Offline choppinlt

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Blue, Gray, and Bocage
« on: April 19, 2016, 08:44:19 PM »
I'm not 100% ready to go, but I have put forth a lot of effort to create a decent scenario to highlight some game play aspects of Theater of Operations. This scenario is going to be a 2-player scenario, and I am going to be the 'computer'.  :) Asid has been kind enough to take command of the US forces. I may start off commanding the Germans, but I am looking for another player so I can concentrate on being the referee. So feel free to let me know if you want to participate, otherwise I should have someone who will be available in a week or so.

In the picture below you can see how the unit appearance has evolved, and the game map is the St. Lo topo map from 1944. For those that find topo maps distracting, I am pleased to tell you that a curated map is currently under construction. The red lines delineate the map boundaries for units to maneuver within.

So without further ado, here is the scenario:

Blue, Gray, and Bocage
The drive toward St. Lo was a massive effort for the entire US 1st Army. This drive started on July 3, 1944, and epitomized fighting in the bocage country of Normandy. Over the course of this operation 3 American corps totaling 10 divisions were committed to battle. Opposing the US forces were most of the German 7th Army with 2 corps totaling 12 divisions, however most units of the 7th Army were far below strength due to losses incurred and difficulties getting men and supplies to the battle area. The drive to St. Lo allows for dozens of different historical scenarios of varying different size and scope for Theater of Operations. In this scenario we will focus on the efforts of the US 29th Infantry Division (credited for the capture of St. Lo) and the German forces that frustrated their every advance, primarily the 9th Fallschirmjager Regiment from the 3rd Fallschirmjager Division.

This scenario allows 1 command role (regiment) for the Germans, and 4 roles for the Americans (division command role, and 3 regiment command roles).

The US Side
As commander of the US forces, you take the role of Major General Charles Gerhardt. Command your 29th Infantry Division plus various attached units to capture St Lo. Your division is part of a large coordinated effort with XIX Corps (your parent HQ), and the entire US 1st Army. Your division has been in constant contact with the enemy since assaulting the beaches on June 6, but your division is primed and ready to attack toward St Lo.

The time is 0600 on July 11, 1944, and you have until 2400 hours July 19 to capture St. Lo. G-2 says the only thing between us and St. Lo are these damn hedgerows and a regiment of crack German paratroopers. With the amount of combat power you have available there is no excuse for failure. Now make it happen!

US Order of Battle
29th Infantry Division
    115th Infantry Regiment
    116th Infantry Regiment
    175th Infantry Regiment
    121st Combat Engineer Battalion
    110th Field Artillery Battalion
    111th Field Artillery Battalion
    224th Field Artillery Battalion
    227th Field Artillery Battalion
    29th Mechanized Recon Troop
Attached Units from XIX Corps
92nd Chemical Mortar Battalion
967th Field Artillery Battalion
747th Tank Battalion

The German Side
As commander of the German forces, you take the role of Major Stephani and his crack 9th Fallschirmjager Regiment (3rd Fallschirmjager Division). To counter the overwhelming strength the Americans have amassed, your troops have the advantage of defending the infamous Normandy bocage. This terrain helps to neutralize most advantages the Americans possess, except available replacements. Can you change history and prevent the capture of St. Lo?

German Order of Battle
9th Fallschirmjager Regiment-Major Stephani
   I Battalion-Major Friedrich Alpers (60% manpower)
   II Battalion-Major Kurt Ladwig (60% manpower)
   (III Battalion was busy fighting on Hill 192 against the US 2nd Infantry Division and was not fully available)
   Heavy Mortar Company - Leutnant Josef Glaser
3rd Fallschirmjäger Artillery Battalion (1 battery only)-Major Hans-Eberhard von Bauer

Possible Reinforcements are elements from:
III/9th Fallschirmjager Regiment-12 Jul
II/8th Fallshrimjager Regiment-13 Jul?
3rd Fallschirmjäger Panzerjäger Battalion-Hauptmann Persch 12 Jul
3rd Fallschirmjäger Pioneer Battalion-Hauptmann Karl Beth 12 or 13 Jul?
3rd Fallschirmjäger Flak Battalion-Oberleutnant Freidrich
12th Fallschirmjäger Sturmgeschutz Brigade 12Jul?
Army arty Batt ??
Chemical brigade ??


Additional Info: The 3rd Fallschirmjager Division began to arrive in Normandy on June 10 after being trucked during night marches from Brittany. The bulk of the division lacked proper transport, and they performed foot marches by night. It took the division took around 8-10 nights to fully arrive, but other than some non-battle casualties (sore feet), they otherwise arrived in Normandy unscathed from Allied fighter-bombers. The situation was such that the first units to arrive in Normandy went in to the line within 24 hours of arrival. The 3rd Fallschirmjager Division was a full strength division and was well-trained, well equipped (except motor transport), and well led when it arrived in Normandy. By July 11th the division had seen constant combat and is now at no more than 60% manpower.

The patch for the US 29th Division features the Korean monad symbol meaning “eternal life”. The colors of the symbol “represent the tradition of the division, composed of men of both the North and South, whose forefathers fought for the Union (blue) and Confederate (gray) Armies during the Civil War.” Therefore the 29th was known as the Blue and Gray division, which is where this scenario draws its name.


« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 09:12:55 PM by choppinlt »

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Blue, Gray, and Bocage
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 02:20:24 PM »
I once did a rather large map of Hill 112 and surrounding area, just at the far right of the map above, for CM, to play with the St. Lo boardgame rules.  In the 2 ID sector, unfortunately, the west edge of the map followed the divisional boundary pretty closely.  Unfortunately I realized that while I had made a fairly nice map (I thought anyways), I was not anywhere near as proficient a scenario designer as a mapmaker, so I ended up dropping the project.

I also foundered a bit trying to deal with the fact that the CM engine does not handle bocage fortifications well at all, but that's another story...

Looking forward to the rest of the AAR!

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Blue, Gray, and Bocage
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 03:42:19 PM »
Christian that sounds great!  :) Hang on to that map because we will be able to use it in the future. It would be great to have people making maps for CM to go along with this... You have given me an idea; I was planning to resolve battles with the TOO battle resolution system, however if we have players that want to play any particular battle tactically (using CM or whatever else) we can easily do that. It could be a lot of fun to try get several people involved. I will be able to easily generate orders of battle to give to players. This would help demonstrate a unique feature for TOO.

Going a step further, I said that I wanted to have another TOO player, but there is no reason we can't have players filling the different command roles on the American side if we have enough volunteers. So for those interested in participating let me know. Again, this helps demonstrate another unique feature in TOO.

CM Game maps: it isn't realistic to expect to have hi fidelity CM maps to use for all the battles. I figure that using the appropriate quick battle maps would be a good substitute. For those that want to create game maps, the CM "master map" concept can really help. Here is how I imagine this working; I believe that maps can now be roughly 4km X 3 km. I figure that we can assume 50-100m of overlap around the edges to help with neighboring maps. There are already a ton of great maps that people can start to build off of. Example: we have a master map and someone wants to build out another master map to the west. In CM you import the existing map, delete all but 50-100m of the western edge, then add new map area. When a battle occurs in TOO, we can then go to the appropriate map and edit the parcel of land used for the battle. The "map masters" may have other considerations for us to consider, but that is at least my basic concept.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Blue, Gray, and Bocage
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 07:27:44 PM »
It's been awhile since I posted anything, but there hasn't been a lot to post about recently. There has been a little programming progress, but nothing exciting. Work continues on mapping, but no exciting pictures to share, and we are in a hold pattern on the scenario at the moment. The things that I am in full control over are steadily progressing. I have been continually building out various unit TOE, making tweaks to the combat system, and preparing visuals for the scenario. I will say that if anyone else is still interested in taking part in the scenario then let me know. Hopefully things will fall in line soon and I will start having more info to share!  In the mean time feel free to ask questions.