Grand Campaign West & East 39-45 (Manstein) [Epilogue]

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 pm

Anzio
Prestige: 7573 with 42 units

First Scenario of 44.

Bleh.

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Mine reward

Result
Decisive Victory turn 15 of 15
Prestige: 10790 with 50 units (6 are the mines)

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Attachments
(28.04.2018) Anzio, Turn 15 DV.zip
(82.53 KiB) Downloaded 70 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun May 06, 2018 3:56 pm

Cassino
Prestige: 7056 with 60 units (6 are mines that were deployed here and will be lost)

Epic, one of my all-time favorite maps.

Extremely difficult scenario to get a DV due to having to fend off and destroy the powerful wave of attackers then push across the Rapido river to take Cervaro and Castelforte which are both garrisoned by 3-star 18 strength infantry and flanked on all sides by a strong cast of characters. Fortunately the AI is set so that they'll move out of the city for immediate attacks of opportunity, which helped immensely.

The enemy air force was also extremely strong, sending countless fighters and strategic bombers. The latter being especially dangerous to exposed fallschirmjäger.

Speaking of which, deployed two fallschirmjäger in the air to land behind and take Castelforte.

Plan of Defense/Counter-attack
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Turn 2 deployed five remaining units directly on the Cassino hexes and ready to act. The relic trucks still stuck in their original position.

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Turn 4 assault on Gaeta and fallschirmjäger landing behind Castelforte

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Turn 9 Castelforte easily siezed after the enemy blundered by moving its infantry out of the city in a fool-hearty attack against my artillery backed by hidden rocket artillery

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Turn 10 the relic trucks finally made it to safety and the monks rewarded me with a BF-109G fighter with an excellent historical hero

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Turn 13 bitter fighting at Sora against my well entrenched kradschützen

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Turn 14 enveloped and cleared Cervaro for the final victory hex

Result
Decisive Victory turn 16 of 17.
Gained an SE BF-109G fighter with a superb historical hero. Can't upgrade it but the hero puts it well above a FW-190 in terms of stats and comes with 250 experience to boot. I plan to keep it despite it blocking another generic SE unit for the duration of the campaign.
Prestige: 9013 with 45 units

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Attachments
(05.05.2018) Cassino, Turn 16 DV.zip
(89.14 KiB) Downloaded 54 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun May 13, 2018 1:19 pm

Monte Cassino
Prestige: 7485 with 46 units

Medium difficulty scenario to get a DV, much easier than the last one. Almost purely defensive, only need to extend a few hexes out to get the remaining victory hexes needed for a DV after their inevitable enemy capture in the first wave.

The enemy air was roughly equal to before, however it had no 4-star mustangs to deal with but it was more frequent in its attacks. Almost every turn had enemy air attacks to deal with.

Deployed one fallschirmjäger in the air to land around the abbey and help form the defensive line there.

Deployment
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Turn 3 dealing with the first wave of attackers

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Turn 8 extended out to take all the victory hexes and mopping up the remainder of the first wave

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Turn 12 defending against the final wave of attackers. The 17 strength wolverines were worrisome but they didn't quite have the strength for a go at my panthers.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 15 of 15
Prestige: 12230 with 46 units
Attachments
(14.05.2018) Monte Cassino, Turn 15 DV.zip
(88.5 KiB) Downloaded 67 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat May 26, 2018 4:34 pm

Beaches of Normandy
Prestige: 9321 with 46 units

Extremely difficult scenario, the hardest in a long while. Tasked with securing two beach sectors for a decisive victory or a single sector for the marginal. My plan was to get Omaha and Sword beach (see below).

The enemy has about 25 fighters at their disposal throughout the entire scenario :shock:. Naturally, I deployed my six fighters. What could possibly go wrong? :lol: But seriously I'd normally sit my entire air force against such opposition but I felt I needed to use my strategic bombers to deal with their battleships. Each beach is covered by three or four of them and they'll do a ton of damage to my ground troops if left intact. Also roughly half their fighters have low max fuel and will self-destruct automatically after a few turns.

Deployed three fallschirmjäger in the air to land behind Orne river and help the breakthrough over it.

Plan of attack

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Turn 3 - Racing up to Omaha beach in the west and breaking through the Orne in the east.

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Turn 5 - Both beaches stabilized.

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Turn 7 - Omaha beach all but secured. Facing a new wave of enemy aircraft at Sword beach.

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Turn 9 - Extended out past Omaha beach. Sword now fully secured and those units now holding the line at Orne.

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Turn 11 - Reeling back to Omaha beach and facing a powerful wave of enemy aircraft. No enemy units east of the Orne.

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Turn 13 - Final defensive position at Omaha beach. The units defending the Orne bridgehead hit with a final wave of enemy aircraft.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 14 of 14. Secured two beaches.
Prestige: 12577 with 46 units
Attachments
(26.05.2018) Beaches of Normandy, Turn 14 DV.zip
(92.95 KiB) Downloaded 49 times

goose_2
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Sat May 26, 2018 4:54 pm

Hey Buddy
I cannot download
Can you send me the raw data to my private email
I would love to watch you do Beaches of Normandy on Manstein
Thanks
goose_2
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huckc
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Mon May 28, 2018 12:00 am

goose_2 wrote:Hey Buddy
I cannot download
Can you send me the raw data to my private email
I would love to watch you do Beaches of Normandy on Manstein
Thanks
I plan to do one better and upload them to youtube finally.


Bayeux

Prestige: 11958 with 46 units

Easy one. So easy that I just plowed through it without the normal effort and planning. I even took damage on my Tiger 2 on the first turn :lol:

Deployed three fallschirmjäger to take the port which has some valuable capturable equipment.

Plan of attack
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Turn 4 - Heavy fighting in the city

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Turn 10 - City taken and making my way up to the coast. Absolute chaos with enemy planes above half my units.

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Turn 13 - Final objective about to be siezed and equipment captured

Result
Decisive Victory turn 13 of 16.
Prestige: 14161 with 48 units.
Attachments
(27.05.2018) Bayeux, Turn 13 DV.zip
(83 KiB) Downloaded 51 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:44 am

Villers-Bocage
Prestige: 10542 with 52 units

Extremely difficult scenario, featuring heavy city fighting against well entrenched enemy units with some unpredictable movements tossed in. The chance of getting at least a few rugged defenses is probable so it's important to suppress enough before attacking in order avoid the victim getting decimated then mopped up on the AI's turn.

Need to destroy all specially marked enemy units with the glowing strength plate for the Decisive, mostly strong 4-star tanks.

No air slots so I used those to contract out some much needed artillery.

Still only using two Tiger II tanks while deploying three Panzer IVJs. I find they're still strong enough and are great for the soft cap, planning to ride them out as long as possible :D

Deployment
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Turn 5 - Messy fighting in the city

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Turn 9 - Final marked unit (center) about to be destroyed for the victory.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 9 of 14.
Prestige: 13271 with 52 units
Attachments
(31.05.2018) Villers-Bocage, Turn 9 DV.zip
(81.44 KiB) Downloaded 40 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:22 pm

Caen
Prestige: 11855 with 52 units.
Soft Cap: 90%

Medium difficulty scenario. Very interesting however with a lot going on. Centered around a major city defense in Caen proper along with an easy peripheral defense in the north and flanking action around the south. The very southern portion has somewhat of a "red herring" road that's heavily defended, best ignored entirely and go right for the three airfield triangle north of it then swing around to take out the dumps then finally the artillery guarding the north of Caen.

Deployed two fallschirmjäger in the air to land behind Caen in the north and help the flanking party.

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Turn 6 - Enemy assault on the sourthern part of Caen in full force. Airfield triangle captured.

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Turn 15 - Assault crushed and moving the defenders into the northern part of Caen. Captured equipment hiding in the woods :lol:

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Turn 18 - Caen fully cleared and victory is secured. Just need to let the clock tick down as it's a defensive scenario.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 19 of 19. Captured all three units.
Prestige: 16627 with 55 units.
Attachments
(01.06.2018) Caen, Turn 19 DV.zip
(91.07 KiB) Downloaded 53 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:32 pm

St. Lo
Prestige: 16013 with 55 units
Soft Cap: 85%

Another relatively easy-to-medium difficulty scenario. Huge map, mostly vertical, reminds me of Dijon but this time with the roles reversed and on the defensive.

The sole obective to get a DV is to prevent more than 7 enemy units reaching the evacuation hexes in the south. This proved to be very easy, the hard part is not losing any core units by getting them trapped and surrounded or in the air to a fighter.

A multi-level fighting retreat is in the cards with the few units I can deploy in the north as an initial screen. A full retreat to the final defensive position on the southern bridgehead of the Soulle river might be optimal from a prestige standpoint but I care more about gaining experience ahead of the 325 cap downgrade for the first half of '45.

The rest of my ground forces will be racing up from the very south.

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Turn 4 - First screen

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Turn 10 - Second screen

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Turn 18 - Final screen. Only real enemy strength remaining is in the east so I was more aggressive than planned in the west in order to get some action.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 18 of 18.
Prestige: 20516 with 55 units
Attachments
(03.06.2018) St. Lo, Turn 18 DV.zip
(99.57 KiB) Downloaded 40 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:41 am

Falaise
Prestige: 17612 with 55 units
Soft Cap: 60%

Extremely difficult scenario, tasked with holding the existing objectives with roughly half your force while pushing west with the other half in order to take the remaining victory hexes from the enemy and hold them all for at least five turns to get the DV. It took me some trial and error to come up with a decent plan that won't result in getting swarmed at Falaise. Striking west is also tricky because that artillery is very exposed at the flanks. The optimal tactic to defend Falais was to place some strong infantry on the city victory hexes across the bridgehead (see below).

The one bit of mercy was the enemy air force, not as strong as usual and easily manageable.

Finally upgraded my remaining three beloved Panzer IVs that I've been rocking since '42. Two to Panthers and one Tiger II with a +1 move, explaining the sharp drop in soft cap :lol: .

Deployed three fallschirmjäger in the air to land behind the Vire river in the west and help take the objectives there.

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This seemed to be the optimal tactic to defend the eastern approach into Falaise and free up enough units to defend in the west, plopping some strong infantry in the city which stopped them in their tracks as well as preventing me from having to take them back at some point. By the time the enemy got there they were up to five or six entrenchment and were too tough for the enemy to attack. Alternatively if I river swatted on the other bank there'd be much more leakage, and I would have to wrestle both cities back while attacking from the river against an infantry garrison by -5 turns at least.

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Turn 3 - Enemy first wave of attackers in full swing and destroying the enemy screen in the west.

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Turn 10 - Taking out the last victory hex in the southwest. The defender would be destroyed this turn but I waited until -6 turns from the end to actually take it. Turns out all that caution probably wasn't necessary as the triggered counter-attack was quite weak.

Turn 16 - Facing a final wave of attackers in the southeast and northeast.
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Result
Decisive Victory turn 19 of 19
Prestige: 20692 with 55 units
Attachments
(03.06.2018) Falaise, Turn 19 DV.zip
(93.77 KiB) Downloaded 48 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:39 pm

Arnhem
Prestige: 15678 with 57 units
Soft Cap: 85%

Now time for the fantastic Market Garden trilogy! Very easy one to start off with. The maps will progressively expand southward all the way to Eindhoven, which is next to impossible to capture on Manstein.

Me-262 jet fighters now available so I upgraded five of my final core of fighters save the SE BF-109k which is disabled from upgrades.

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Turn 2 - Holding the line in Arnhem and river crossing in the southeast.

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Turn 7 - South of Arnhem clear of all enemy units and northern troops stopped short of Oosterbeek.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 7 of 7
Prestige: 17743 with 57 units
Attachments
(04.06.2018) Arnhem, Turn 7 DV.zip
(78.75 KiB) Downloaded 51 times
Last edited by huckc on Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:51 pm

Nijmegen
Prestige: 17703 with 57 units
Soft Cap: 86%

Slightly harder but still relatively easy. Need to continue the drive south and place five ground troop on the marked A hexes while fighting off enemy paratroopers to the east and west.

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Turn 5 - Halfway point. Pesky enemy paratroopers north of the Maas river almost fully neutralized out and spotted the tip of an armored counter-attack in the south.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 10 of 10
Prestige: 20124 with 57 units
Attachments
(04.06.2018) Nijmegen, Turn 10 DV.zip
(91.5 KiB) Downloaded 39 times

goose_2
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:24 pm

You are doing better on Manstein than I am doing on Guderian. I am on Bastogne Assault after getting a minor on Bastogne Assault. I just do not know what to expect so playing it blind is very difficult.

Are you playing blind or have you already played through West before?
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huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:13 pm

goose_2 wrote:You are doing better on Manstein than I am doing on Guderian. I am on Bastogne Assault after getting a minor on Bastogne Assault. I just do not know what to expect so playing it blind is very difficult.

Are you playing blind or have you already played through West before?
Unfortunately not good enough to get a decisive in Eindhoven :lol: , about to write up that failure.

I played this on Rommel up until Dunkirk '45.

I plan to take the decisive path again to Sealion '45. I do not envy you doing those missions on Guderian, the -5 turns will really hurt.

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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:29 pm

huckc wrote:
goose_2 wrote:You are doing better on Manstein than I am doing on Guderian. I am on Bastogne Assault after getting a minor on Bastogne Assault. I just do not know what to expect so playing it blind is very difficult.

Are you playing blind or have you already played through West before?
Unfortunately not good enough to get a decisive in Eindhoven :lol: , about to write up that failure.

I played this on Rommel up until Dunkirk '45.

I plan to take the decisive path again to Sealion '45. I do not envy you doing those missions on Guderian, the -5 turns will really hurt.
It does, -5 turns is really hard in 45 especially blind
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huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:40 am

Eindhoven (Failed decisive attempt)
Prestige: 17668
Soft Cap: 43%

When your best planning and execution isn't close to good enough :lol:

As the top line suggested I went for the DV but couldn't get it and was left with a marginal and heavy losses. I used roughly the same plan as when I got it on Rommel last playthrough, and despite heavily optimizing it from there I still wasn't anywhere close to getting the last victory hex in Eindhoven. All I could do was merely spot the 18 strength infantry at 8 entrenchment, let alone destroy it.

Deployed three fallschirmjäger in the air, two of which would land behind Oosterbeek and take it out and the remaining would facilitate the flanking party along the western route.

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Sorry for the glitch in the matrix, I can't stand manually stitching these things :lol:

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Turn 4 - fallschirmjäger flanking Oosterbeek

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Turn 9 - Things are all going according to plan. Flanking party in the southwest below a heavy air battle.

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Turn 22 - First real glimpse of the defenses in Eindhoven, not looking good with only 8 turns remaining.

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Turn 25 - Failing to make much progress, things looking much worse with the enemy piling on more units.

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Turn 30 - Final turn, no chance of taking both of the last two victory hexes.

Result
Marginal Victory turn 30 of 30.
Prestige: 20407 with 57 units
Attachments
(09.06.2018) Eindhoven, Turn 30 MV.zip
(120.32 KiB) Downloaded 36 times

huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:22 am

So going into '45 I thought I'd commemorate the 13 units that have been with me since '39.

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huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:58 am

Also my "final" roster going into '45, disbanded down to 49 units and 27000 prestige.

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goose_2
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:52 am

Outstanding army.

Daddy is envious. ;)
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huckc
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Re: Grand Campaign West 39-45 (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:59 pm

St. Vith
Prestige: 23,020 with 60 units
Soft Cap: 100% (no fighters deployed)

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Now for the five Ardennes Offensive scenarios aka Battle of the Bulge. As you can see in the briefing the experience cap has been reduced to 325 and will stay that way for the entire operation. I like this decision by the Designer, but I think 375 might be better as you're still limited to 3-stars but it's less draconian and you'll hit the ground running faster going to Liege. Most of my units are well past 325 experience however so I'll mix in some green units, especially artillery, and see if I can get any range or movement heroes for them.

These scenarios are deceptively difficult and a major slog due to lots of snowy weather turns as is historical. Losses will be much more frequent due to this. There's also the frozen ground fuel cost but that's not nearly as bad as the precipitation.

Deployed four Fallschirmjäger in the air to take the objectives in the very northwest.

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Turn 4 - Fallschirmjäger dropped behind the objectives

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Turn 12 - With only three turns remaining, scrambling to take the all the objectives while suffering through an unlucky streak of nine snowy turns.

Result
Decisive Victory turn 14 of 14
Prestige: 26,646 with 61 units
Attachments
(15.06.2018) St. Vith, Turn 14 DV.zip
(86.36 KiB) Downloaded 34 times

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