Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Panzer Corps Moderators, Panzer Corps Design

Post Reply
monkspider
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:22 am

Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by monkspider » Wed May 29, 2013 1:39 am

Kasserine Pass

Image

Hello there everyone! This is monkspider and I am a beta-tester for the upcoming title from Lordz games, Allied Corps. In addition to being an expansion to the original game: Panzer Corps. It also functions as a standalone game, in the same way that the previous expansion, Afrika Korps did. Speaking of which, you can check out the AAR I wrote for that game here http://www.wargamer.com/article/3218/st ... ion-review.

Allied Corps is outstanding addition to the Panzer Corps family that puts you in command of both British and American forces. The campaign is quite long, and takes you from the sands of North Africa in 1940 all the way to the invasion of Germany. An especially successful player can even expect to unlock some speculative campaigns that include an Allied conquest of Berlin and even a battle against the Soviets. In addition, the campaign adds a TON of all new units for the Allies that Panzer Corps players have never seen before

If you haven’t played any of the previous games, the true beauty of Allied Corps lies in its ability to let you create a core of units you carry forward, battle to battle. It can contain infantry, tanks, anti-tank, recon units, artillery, anti air, fighters, tactical bombers or strategic bombers. You choose the type of troops that you bring to the battlefield, and the game naturally lends itself to a high level of replay value, as you experiment with different cores. As the campaign progresses your units gain experience and you can upgrade them with new equipment and sometimes earn heroes that unlock special bonuses. Also, you are occasionally awarded with special elite units like US Rangers or British SAS paratroops.

Allied Corps starts with a number of different entry points, the earliest one starts in 1940 and Great Britain’s back and forth campaign against the Italians. For this AAR, I have chosen the Operation Torch entry point, which was America’s debut in the European theatre. The scenario I will be highlighting will be the battle of the Kasserine Pass.

Historically, this battle was the first significant engagement between American and German troops. Rommel hoped to deliver a devastating counterattack against the inexperienced Americans and initially the attack went very well, forcing the Americans to give up a lot of ground and lose a lot of lives. Eventually though, the Americans managed to hold the line in the mountain passes of Western Tunisia and bring the offensive to a halt. The battle proved to be a decisive victory for the Afrika Korps, and a harsh trial by fire for the green American troops.

This is my first time playing this particular scenario, since my first campaign started on the British path. So it is entirely possible that this battle will end up being a complete disaster,. That said, my hope is to exceed America’s historical performance and utterly crush the German offensive. You have to set your sights high, right?

Image

Pictured above is the 1st Armored division. It will undoubtedly face the brunt of the German assault. It’s main striking force consists of two battalions of Shermans and one batallian of the lighter M3 tanks. It has some infantry, some heavy weapons troops, a battalion of artillery and of course all the backing of the United States Air Force. My goal is to rush toward the objective of Sbellita and set up a defensive position. If necessary, we will fall back across the Halab river toward Kasserine itself. I plan to leave a small screening force in the area of Kasserine to prevent the possibility of the Germans launching a flanking attack from the south which would take Kasserine and then trap the 1st armored with their backs to the river. Clearly, this would be a disaster, but recon suggests that the main German thrust will come from the east toward Sbeitla.

Image

Now here is the 9th Infantry division. It is joined by a small contingent of British troops to guard the northern flank. I am not sure what designs the Germans have for this sector of the map, but I am sure that with GI grit, some strong artillery, and the good old flyboys of the US airforce, we will hold the line.

Image

Here is the strategic map at the start of the battle. The red represents 1st Armored Divisions planned route, the blue represents 9th Infantry division, the grey represents what I think will be the Germans’planned route of attack, while the the question mark is an area where I fear I could be potentially vulnerable to a flanking attack. Hopefully such fears are ungrounded, naturally.

Well, let’s get things started, shall we?

Turn 1

Image

The Germans open their attack by overrunning several understrength auxillary units preplaced on the map. Their losses will be avenged. The main axis of German attack seems to be following the route I expected. More menacingly however, I am already seeing some activity on that godforsaken southern flank, as the Germans captured an undefended city down there. Why can’t we just fight like gentlemen and not have to engage in these unseemly flanking maneuvers?

Image

Image
Well, not to worry though friends, the 1st armored division is on the march. The Germans are moving faster than I thought though and their first recon elements are already in the neighborhood of Sbeitla.

Image

Up north, 9th Infantry is setting up a strong defensive position. The road coming from the east is the only direction that I believe the Germans could approach from, so I am going to start having my infantry entrench in the hills and mountains while strong defensive artillery is being set up to support them.

Turn 2

Image

Well, Von Moltke’s old saying about no plan ever surviving contact with the enemy once again proves itself true again. The German attack from the south seems to proceeding in greater force and speed than I anticipated. It is already threatening Kasserine with some tough, experienced infantry units. While the meager auxillary troops placed at Sbeitla are already on the verge of collapse. If they survive another turn, it will be a miracle. German Stukas and ME-110’s are harassing my auxillary units, I send in some P-38 and P-40 fighters to shoot them out of the sky, Fortunately, I manage to completely destroy them. That is going to be a major boon to keep the skies free from their harassment. Things look bleak at the moment but if the Germans think I am going to surrender, then I will look Uncle Fritz square in the monocle, and tell him “nein!””

Turn 3

Image

Oh my god, fall back, fall back, every man for himself! Moving toward Sbeitla is out of the question. My troops are completely pinned down at Kasserine. The elite German infantry is kicking the butt of even my armor, and there are Panzers on their way from the south. I have been using my air units to conduct bombing runs on the enemy but only to limited effect. I guess it is time to quote the popular ski instructor meme that all the kids are using these days.

Image

Well, consider that noted I guess.

Turn 4

Image

Well, this is grim. The 1st Armored has gotten one hell of a bloody nose, my position is on the verge of collapse, and I have no choice but to attempt that most difficult of military maneuvers, the fighting withdrawal. Maybe I can bleed the Germans out until an opportunity arises to regain the initiative. I did manage to somehow get my troops into a halfway decent defensive line by the end of the turn.

Image

Up north, the Germans have finally run into 9th infantry division’s well-prepared position and aren’t having a very good time of things at least.

Image

Turn 5

The 1st Armored’s desperate situation continues as I slowly continue my retreat through that mountain pass. My light M3 tank unit has been destroyed entirely. The Germans are sending units of their own through the mountain pass further south in an attempt to outflank me once again. That Rommel is a devious fox.

Image

Up north, the 9th Infantry division is facing a tougher German attack and has to adjust it’s defenses a bit.

Image

Turn 6

Welp, there are now a half-dozen politicians petitioning Eisenhower to give me the axe. I have managed to get the 1st Armored division, the most powerful unit in the United States military, trapped in a pocket, or as the Germans more colorfully refer to it, a cauldron. As you can see in the image below a unit of German mountain troops has cut off the road to the north. “This Monkspider fellow is the worst general our country has had since McClelland!” they are saying in the press. Well, I told you this scenario had the potential to be a disaster.

Image

But after a combination of artillery and strategic bomber attacks, I dislodged the mountain troops from their position, thus, I managed to break out of the pocket… at least for now. We are still in one hell of a spot though.

Image

And just in case things couldn’t get worse, more and more enemy troops keep coming out of the woodwork up north including the dreaded, long-barreled Panzer IVG. So how exactly are inexperienced infantry troops supposed to stop an elite, battle-hardened panzer division? That is a good question.. Since my M3 tank was destroyed earlier, a unit slot was freed up, so I purchased a 3-inch anti-tank gun unit to help shore up my defenses in this area.

Image

Turn 7

Image

For the first time, I feel like the 1st Armored finally might be starting to turn the tide. I destroyed the Panzer III in this sector through bombing runs from my B-25s and then my infantry finished it off thanks to the penalty that tanks suffer in “close terrain” like cities. The mountain troop unit that cut me off earlier managed to sneak into Tebessa, which is one of the key objective cities, though he is weakened enough that it should be possible to take back without too much work.

Up north though, hoo boy. Another long-barrelled Panzer IV was sighted, and I am forced to continue to shift my defense around to try to hold out a bit longer.

Image

Turn 8

A fairly quiet turn with no major movement on either side. I managed to get reinforcements to my units where possible, took a few potshots with artillery, and managed to finish off one mountain troop in the 1st Armored Division’s sector.

Turn 9

Another turn of relative stalemate, though I managed to destroy a couple enemy units. For the 1st Armored, an equilibrium of sorts continues to hold. I suppose it can be said that the German assault has finally started to peter out.

Image

In the north, a similar deadlock seems to exist. It should be noted though, to be able to claim a decisive victory, holding three objectives is required. Currently, I only owe one, but the one that was recently lost should be easy to retake. The third objective, Kasserine, may be a different matter entirely.

Image

Turn 10

Well, I am starting to understand why the Americans lost this battle historically. I am still in a position of overall stalemate on all fronts. I decided to fly a plane by Kasserine to see how heavily defended it was if I were to attempt to retake it, and unfortunately it looks like it has been garrisoned by the Italians in force!

Image

Turn 11

Image

Well, as you can see, things are starting to clear up enough that the 1st Armored might be able to make a dash for Kasserine soon. The problem of course is that there are only five turns left, and there are Marder IIs near by, and Kasserine itself is guarded by strong units. My only possible hope is using my airpower to sufficiently weaken the enemy units to allow my own weakened units a chance to break through. I think Walt Disney had the right idea back in the day..
Image

Turn 12

On this turn, one of my squadrons of B-25s that I had left unescorted was shot up by some Italian fighters. I thought the enemy air presence in this scenario was finished off, clearly I was mistaken.. My fighters destroyed the enemy fighters immediately on my next turn, but the damage was done. Without the level of air support I needed to weaken the enemy, decisive victory will remain elusive. The time may have come to dig my troops in and merely settle for a marginal victory.

Up north my position continues to atrophy, but I believe it can be held for the final few turns.
Image

Turns 13-16

These last few turns were pretty much just a stalemate, though I managed to give better than I got. Attempting to launch an attack towards Kasserine however seemed out of reach. In the end, I received a marginal victory which was more than the Allies got in real life, and more than I could hope for, in all honesty, given how bad things got. The II Corps of the United States Army is badly mauled, but it will live to fight another day.and next time, Jerry can expect these American dough boys to be harder than Bethlehem steel.

Image

Allied Corps has really impressed me, with its excellent scenario design, the fun “role-playing” aspects that are a trademark of the Panzer Corps series, and it’s tremendous replayability. I had just recently finished a campaign which ended up taking the historical route with the Allies stopping at the Elbe river. I am already anxious to start a new one to try to go all the way and conquer Berlin. Allied Corps will be a great purchase for any strategy fans or World War II aficionados, as it includes a highly enjoyable tutorial campaigns that actually links into the main campaign. As I mentioned earlier, it can function as a standalone game, so there is no need to own any of the earlier games in the series and I guarantee you will get dozens and dozens of hours of enjoyment out of it. For previous fans of the Panzer Corps series, it is an absolute must-buy.

Brenmusik
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Albion

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by Brenmusik » Wed May 29, 2013 1:03 pm

A good read, drew me into the struggle, excellent.

Shelldrake
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by Shelldrake » Fri May 31, 2013 5:01 pm

Nicely done AAR! Makes me want to try Kasserine Pass myself.

Loki1942
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by Loki1942 » Fri May 31, 2013 5:29 pm

Monkspider certainly seems like a fun-loving kind of guy, Uncle Fritz and his monocle :lol:

Nice AAR and i cant wait for Allied Corps to arrive.

sosbrigade
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 8:38 am

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by sosbrigade » Fri May 31, 2013 10:29 pm

Just played it today.

Managed to hold my ground up north with the british. The US 1st armoured corps held their ground and fought in a fighting withdrawal until I had the chance to counter attack. On the final turn I captured Kasserine pass from a Pz III with air support and infantry.
Great game on lietantent.

Try it.

huertgenwald
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 696
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:39 pm
Location: Eifel / south of Aachen

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by huertgenwald » Fri May 31, 2013 10:42 pm

Is there an OPEN beta for AC (usually betas are in a closed environment)?
Standard users can make Global Announcements ??

lordzimoa
Lordz Games Studio
Lordz Games Studio
Posts: 2417
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by lordzimoa » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:42 am

Our Beta's are closed, this excellent AAR was first posted in closed Beta, but as it was well done and we are basically Gold and a few days from release it was here reposted by administration.

Hence the reason why it is a global announcement and we allowed to breach his NDA.

Molve
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Allied Corps AAR: Kasserine Pass

Post by Molve » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:59 pm

Looking at this scenario in the editor, it seems the designer spent some time to turn off the trickle of new Axis air units - if all airfields are taken by the Allies... all six airfields (the six hexes belonging to the internal zone checked by the scenario script)

Considering that the scenario design makes the Axis AI hold back significant troops that would make for a outstanding win.

Trying to see if it's even possible, my only thought goes to the considerable Allied amount prestige - far more than you'll ever need on this map (and with only 16 core units). Could it be that the designer has anticipated an all-out attack by the Allied player - with every unit?

And could it be that such a strategy could pay off, given that as soon as one of your core units is killed, you could possibly purchase replacements back home in Tebessa/Thala quickly enough to hold at least one of these cities, and to take back the other in the allotted time.

In essence, allowing you to have two 16-unit armies in one scenario: first one offensive (where the aux UK units will have to finish the job), then one defensive...

It seems impossible... but why otherwise spend all that time coding for the Axis loss of every airfield...? Intriguing...

Post Reply

Return to “Panzer Corps : AAR's”