WtP: Slag om Nederland – Turn 3/4

Right, confession time. Turn 3 was swallowed up in the excitement of it all. Before I realised it, I’d forgot to save the turn. I was motoring on adrenalin, focussing on several engagements at once, and I’d missed the chance to record Turn 3 for posterity. Obviously I only twigged about this at the beginning of Turn 4! So I’m afraid readers, you’ll have to use your imagination and extrapolate the movements between the end of Turn 2 and the beginning of Turn 4. Sorry folks.

Anyway, the good news is, I think most of the interesting “hotting up” has arrived in Turn 4. Lets take a look at the “Top Down” situation of the strategy map. Its quite a busy map, lots of to-ing and fro-ing, but I’ll try to explain.

SS-Der Fuhrer (SSDF) is still protecting Arnhem (thanks to ComradeP off Wargamer.com for correcting my spelling), I’m using Arnhem as my springboard to send troops diving into the marshlands.

The SS-Verfügungstruppe (SSVT) has made it to the Northen most crossing of the marshlands, however as you can see, the Dutch have burst out eastwards and have effectively severed the supply line to the SSVT. The Dutch breakout seems intent on pushing further to the North East and heading for Apledoorn (not in picture). This breakout seemed to co-incide with my breach west of Otterlo, my back up plan for an attack on Utrecht. With two prongs of my army focussed on the push forward, the Dutch have simply interleaved their counter-push and have caused havoc for my stranded SS dispositional troops. Effectively surrounded and hemmed in onto a Northern Coastline. I certainly didn’t see that coming.

In an effort to keep feeding more troops into the front line, I’d moved some infantry forward of Arnhem to try and cross the marshes towards Renen. Again, wherever I poked forward, the Dutch tried to counter just South of it. I felt I might be in danger of them overrunning Arnhem itself! Hence the sweep down to close the doorway to Arnhem.

My defensive line at Nijmegen held strong, although you can see the Dutch stragglers north of Mil which were the remnants of the earlier attempt to cut off my 56th Infantry’s supply as they were on their way to Eindhoven.

At last the 9th Panzer Column was allowed to roll along the road to Tilburg, and take it easily. I was able to trot some infantry directly behind them, making a southern corridor with a view to continue the push.

The 56th Infantry also made it to Eindhoven, and they began to secure the area directly around the city, with one unit heading back east and north to push the Dutch stragglers back.

Looking at the main offensives, you can see here how the SSVT and the SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (SSAH) managed to crest the marshlands, with a view to securing the undefended Hilversum. I have the 227th Infantry making their way westwards north of Otterlo, however the Dutch breakout cuts clean through my advancing lines. Leaving my SS troops out of supply.

Even the thrust forward of the 207th Infantry Division past Otterlo and the sabotaged bridge, couldn’t prevent the breakout of the Dutch Huzaren Motorridjers (motorcycle troops) along with elements of the 7th and 8th Dutch Infantry.

I drew a unit from the 207th Infantry and a unit from the 225th to support the 208th Infantry Division in protecting the frontal approach to Arnhem. Again, the Dutch B Brigade is throwing itself onto Arnhem and between the protective line. I don’t usually like splitting my units from their Divisions, but this was a bit of a desperate call, I simply couldn’t let them overrun Arnhem!

The defense at Nijmegen was strong, the 254th held the line against the Peel Divisie/Vak Schayk and the Dutch III Corp Artillery was hit hard.

The two successes in the campaign so far, have been in the lightly defended South. The 9th Panzers made good progress to Tilburg with their entourage of the 256th Infantry following them up. My plan is to use the infantry to secure the VP sites I capture on the way, and free up the Panzers to keep them rolling ever forward, to Dordrecht next!

You can see I peeled off an Engineer unit to try and kill the bridge at S’Hertogenbosch to prevent any of the Peel Divisie moving directly southwards to cut off the supply lines to my Panzers. I’m not sure if attacked this Engineer unit would last long. But rather than tie up more units trying to hold the Dutch at bay from all directions, I thought I could try and use their specialist functionality in some defensive way.

Lastly the 56th Infantry made it to Eindhoven, and backtracked a little to ensure the Vak Asten troops couldn’t cut the supply lines to Eindhoven itself.

The campaign is hotting up now, and I didn’t expect the Dutch to mount such an aggressive counter in almost every area I made a push. I expected them to sit behind their Waterlines and entrench and wait for the German onslaught. But they’ve quite clearly shown a lot of spirit and gaul to constantly attempt to disrupt my lines of supply to the front. Colour me impressed.

  • Quite an aggressive AI, if only reality would’ve been like that. 😉 Still, you seem to be making steady progress. Do you have any scenario specific action cards which you can use?

  • RocketMan

    You really need to play the terror bombing and para drop action cards. Those should be played on the first turn.

  • spelk

    @trash and @RocketMan, I was trying to keep quiet about my lack of use of the Scenarios Action Cards, at least until I could apologise within the context of the outcome of this AAR, but yes, it is a glaringly obvious omission.

    When I started the scenario, I didn’t know much about the Netherlands conflict – the use of paratroopers and the bombing of Rotterdam – so I sort of played it through ignoring the cards, not deliberately, but mainly because my mind was focussed on trying to apply the suggestions made in the Secret to Operational Wargaming post. Mid game, as you can see, I was down in the mud with the soldiers, and didn’t really lift my head up to see the higher possiblities of playing the key Action Cards.

    Still if enough people don’t read the comments here, it might still be a dirty little secret I can keep for a few turns more, before I have to make yet another confession! 🙂

  • Here you go

    I just fought the same battle on the Platoon level in John Tiller’s Campaign Series:

    http://bluntforcegamer.blogspot.com/2010/12/going-back-to-school-jts-campaign.html

    i didnt do so well

  • spelk

    @BluntForce, an interesting AAR there that sheds a slightly different perspective upon the AAR here, thanks for sharing it. I’ll certainly look into the Matrix version of the JT Campaign’s series after reading your blog.

  • I love that game, for the price there are so many battles plus the random campaign generator it is crazy. Outofeight didn’t like it but I think it continues to be a fun game. I have the tutorial video on my YouTube check it out here it is in 3 parts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dfBdXNKd2Y