Posted: May 20, 2014
With help of the manual, tutorial messages and forum you have made it past the clunky UI of the operations map. Your units have been resupplied, at least most of them, and you figure out that it will have to do for whatever is coming next.
You arrive on the battlefield at 06:48 a.m., the morning mist creates a surreal look of the environment. Will you even be able to make contact with the enemy? You wanted to take your time and encircle him, at least secure your flanks. But he surprised you and attacked first...
Are his units as battered as yours or did he bring reinforcements in without you knowing it? You have no idea about what`s coming at you...
One thing is sure, however, you don`t want to let objectives Amethyst and Malachite fall into enemy hands. So, you decide to split your forces in two battlegroups. One is worn out, but has better equipment left and the other one... well, they are rookies, but you don`t have anything else. And the tank, what will you do with the tank? Should he try to break a possible attack in the first minutes or do you keep him in reserve, as a last option when everything else has failed?
You decide to leave the tank behind and use him as a wild card, if one of your battle groups is wavering. Both task forces are set up along the way to the objectives, based on the environment you found good ambush spots and hope that the enemy will pass through them. You are confident with the way you placed your forces, the only thing which makes you worry is ...both battlegroups are separated by around 3 kms.
07:14 a.m. and still no contact. You chose the most battered squad and send them on a recon run in the hope to get a position of the enemy`s assault force. 20 minutes later you are sure, the opponents main attack will hit the rookies...
What will you do with your units of the second road block? Should they hold their position in case of enemy activity, should they rush for aid to help their fellow comrades at the first road block? 5 minutes later you are still not sure, if you need the second ambush point at all? Meanwhile forward elements of the enemy have made contact with your weaker task force. Mortar rounds are pouring in on them, the whole task force is in danger of just being swept away.
You decide to mobilize the units of the second ambush point. It seems to be more important to support your buddies than waiting for an enemy who might not even arrive. But it`s 3 kms through rough terrain, will they make it in time? And what about the tank?
The tank will maintain his position and you decide to only use him in case of utmost emergency. In the meantime the mortar fire on the first task force has stopped and it looks like for the moment they can defend their position.
Battlegroup No. 2 is still on its way and around 1,5 kms out. Suddenly, they receive fire from a small forest and you think about dealing with them first or to continue to their original objective which was "helping out those rookie guys". It looks like the rookies earn their stripes and haven`t moved back an inch, you decide to clear out the forest to secure the flank of the rookies.
Halftracks are moving in, infantry disembarks and you follow them into the misty forest. The halftrack with the much needed 7,5 cm gun takes the first hit, it goes up in flames you can only feel pity for the ejecting guys. Yet, you don`t know what hit it. Infantry is continuing their march into the woods when they suddenly spot an AT gun, secured by an HMG. Your people are in the line of fire of both guns and hit the ground earlier than you could order them to fall back. They are pinned down, one by one is being taken out, but still, they are crawling towards the guns and still push forward.
Of course it has to be like this way, while your second task force plays hide-and-seek in the forest the rookies are giving in to the pressure and it looks like the line is ...vanished. Time for the tank!
You have high hopes for the steel beast to turn the tide of battle in your favor. Eagerly you follow your tank while it uses the road for faster movement. After about 100 m something explodes around the tank, you zoom in just to find out that the enemy has secretly managed to sneak engineers through your lines. The tank treads are gone... Why didn`t you at least spare a squad to secure the tank? You will never know, meanwhile the tank, stationary like a AT gun, is fighting for survival. The engineers throwing everything they have, ...but miss. Burning spots around the tank, but the crew inside manages to stay calm and takes out the enemy one by one until he surrenders. The tank didn`t live up to your expectations, but, at least he is not lost.
Unfortunately that can`t be said about the units in the forest. They have overcome both guns, but at what cost? After having sacrificed 70% of their strength you move them back to the halftracks, let them embark and try to save the rest of what`s left of task force 1. There is not much shooting anymore around the first ambush point, it seems both sides are exhausted.
A few minutes later the halftracks finally arrive at your first battlegroup and bring much needed support, though tiny in numbers. But, as soon as the first vehicles open fire the enemy is offering a cease-fire. Will you accept it and call it a day, ...or, what if, the enemy is close to break? Should you risk to go all-in with your tiny relieve force and take a not so glory victory back home?
You decide to go in for the kill and, at least this time you were right, soon after the transported infantry disembarks and joins the fight the enemy surrenders, the battle is won.
It is 08:33 a.m., you lost 85% of your combat strength and you think about, if there`s enough left to continue at all. Then you notice that your enemy lost even more...
For the battles to come you will adapt, ..and you will repair your tank. And you won`t make the same mistake twice.
And, since this round lasted almost 2 hours, there`s still laundry to do and your wife needs help with the kids, you decide to leave the game behind for now.
Yet, you surely will return. You lost 85% of your troops but you feel like General of the Month...
At least until your wife enters the room and recites the "today`s to-do list" in front of you...