Advance on Loenen

This campaign mission from Highway to the Reich may be a quick 12-hour romp in the Vechtstreek, but if you do not commit your troops forcefully and quickly, you will not win the scenario in the time allotted. Attacking only the Loenen objective will yield nothing more than a Marginal Victory at best. Simply put, there is almost no room for error on this one if you want to achieve a Decisive Victory.

While there are many approaches to attacking this scenario, the whole effort centers on the Loenen objective and the 75 Victory Points it awards at the completion of the mission (there are no points awarded for occupation of the objective). And that is where the map design fails this scenario, in that Loenen is on the upper right hand side of the map creating a false wall where the Germans get pinned at if you attack from the east.

The briefing indicates that I will be taking the 504th Para Regiment up against KG Spindler. My forces consist of a total of 2,465 personnel, zero armored fighting vehicles, and 30 gun units with a combined anti-personnel firepower rating of 598, an anti-armor rating of 1,263, an armor rating of zero and a bombardment rating of 129.

The only info I have on the enemy is there are approximately 2,338 personnel, 50 armored fighting vehicles, and 15 gun units with a combined anti-personnel firepower rating of 1,292, an anti-armor rating of 1,497, an armor rating of 80 and a bombardment rating of zero. I am totally outmatched in terms of anti-personnel firepower so I will need to depend heavily on any available air strikes and fire support missions.



Initial Orders

3rd Battalion, 504th Regiment is ordered to attack the western objective* with an unspecified formation, fastest move, shortest route and max aggression, rate of fire and losses. Their approach is directly through the woods just north of the staging area with a forming up point just before the tree line breaks into the open. Their last waypoint is pushed past the objective so as to maximize the exploitation phase of the assault and move the enemy off of the objective with authority.

2nd Battalion, 504th Regiment is ordered to attack the eastern objective with an unspecified formation, fastest move, shortest route and max aggression, rate of fire and losses. Their approach is through the heavy wood line on the extreme right edge of the map with a forming up point just before the tree line breaks into the open. Their last waypoint is also pushed past the objective to drive the enemy off.

1st Battalion, 504th Regiment is left attached to the Regiment HQ unit and is ordered to attack the Loenen objective with an unspecified formation, fastest move, shortest route and max aggression, rate of fire and losses. Their approach is following a similar path as 2nd Battalion: through the woods with a forming up point just before the trees break (although their assault march towards the objective will be a longer stretch out in the open and over mixed terrain (clear and polder).

All battalion mortar assets will be allocated to the individual battalion assaults as I have left the Arty Direct Support option checked, and the 376th Para Arty Bn (12 M1A1 75mm pack howitzers) are ordered to setup 2km northeast of their current position in the staging area to provide on call fire support.


* The objectives in this mission are named rather poorly: Secure, Secure and Secure. And to top it all off, the scenario designer was apparently too lazy to assign any Victory Points to Destroying the Enemy (a common VP allocation in more robust designs). For being the first scenario in the mission list after the two tutorials, this is rather weak presentation in my honest opinion (I do give dishonest opinions as well, in case you are wondering).

D01 08:00

3rd Battalion, 504th Regiment (431, 0, 4, 103, 99, 0, 25)* is almost on top of their forming up point while 2nd Battalion (585, 0, 4, 143, 138, 0, 25) and the combined force of 1st Battalion and the Regiment HQ (1,077, 0, 10, 215, 260, 0, 25) have made it to the edge of the map and are advancing north to their forming up points under the concealment of the woods.


* The ratings expressed numerically for the following categories in order: personnel, armored fighting vehicles, guns, anti-personnel firepower, anti-armor, armor and bombardment.

D01 10:00

3rd Battalion is in the assault phase of their attack on the western objective while 2nd Battalion is almost on top of their forming up point for their attack on the eastern objective. 1st Battalion and the Regiment HQ are continuing to move north towards their forming up point.


D01 12:00

3rd Battalion has knocked the enemy off and achieved the western objective. 2nd Battalion is exploiting past their attack waypoint and should have control of the situation in due time. 1st Battalion and the Regiment HQ have begun the assault phase of their attack on the Loenen objective and have moved past a small village in their path.


D01 14:00

3rd Battalion is consolidating their position and should be shifting into a dug in defensive stance, while 2nd Battalion has knocked the enemy off and achieved the eastern objective. 1st Battalion and the Regiment HQ have reached the outer limits of Loenen and are pressing their assault forward in fine fashion.


D01 16:00

During this stretch I received the only airstrike sorties of the day at 13:24, 13:26 and 15:51. 2nd Battalion is still in contact with enemy forces on the outskirts of the eastern objective, while 1st Battalion and the Regiment HQ have knocked the enemy off and achieved the Loenen objective. The regimental artillery unit is pounding the shit out of the enemy to the northeast.


D01 18:00

The scenario ends with the 504th Para Regiment achieving all objectives for a total haul of 125 Victory Points and the coveted Decisive Victory outcome. As mentioned previously, it would have been nice to see a little more effort on the part of the scenario designer in setting some VP for destroying enemy forces.



2 comments:

  1. Nice job Ranger and a great AAR. Have you ever played this form the Axis side? I will need to try this scenario at some point once I understand the game a little better. I am in the middle of the Arnhem-2nd wave scenario pulling my hair out over the botched drop of the 4th brigade.

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  2. Great AAR Ranger really enjoyed that. I am desperate to finish some missions i have on the go in the Battle of the Bulge. Gonna have to get back to it soon.

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