The Meuse Team Grand Campaign started 31 October 2020 has ended 12 February 2021. After more than 400 multiplayer battles the Axis achieved a minor victory on 18 May Midday Turn 2, Allies surrendered on turn 19 May Night. More than 400 battles were recorded and livestreamed, most of which you can replay at the Meuse Playlist on YouTube. Many of the battles could be watched live from both German and French perspective.
Grand Strategy - Four key strategies were employed by the Allies. The first strategy was to make it as painful as possible for the Axis to advance west. Axis had overwhelming odds with the massive amount of infantry and equipment, Allied defeat was inevitable, winning attrition was the Allies only option. Defending the bridge maps as long as possible was key to the strategy. Once a defensive positions was untenable, Allies would pull back or do a one team disband. The first strategy remained the same after losing the bridge maps but more emphasis was put on tactics in order to preserve infantry as the Axis began to break though the centre. Towards mid campaign the second strategy was employed to move battlegroups from the south to the centre in order to dull the breakout. Miscommunication errors resulted in battlegroups attacking, retreating or abandoning maps that they were not ordered to. To counter the AI making unplanned moves for the Allies, some movements were cancelled in favour of staying put. Eventually the centre collapsed with elite Axis battle groups crushing the Allies, most notably the Axis IR GD unit. The third strategy was an attempt was made to establish a defensive line in the north along the Sombre river bridge maps, Berlaimont/Maubeuge/Thuin/Charleroi. A defensive line was created with severely depleted Allied units but this defensive line was not attacked. The fourth strategy was a counterattack in the south. Spawning the newer and previously disbanded French battlegroups in the south over the final two days to capture maps behind the Axis front line. This was abandoned due to movement errors and Axis advances. Once the Axis occupied all the depot maps in the south, and made it to western edge of the map cutting our forces in two, the Allies surrendered.
Top French hero who survived with more than 10 kills.
Vehicle Tactics - The Allies had many light tanks of the H37/H38 variants. Light tank were effective to hold infantry down and could also take many hits from Axis tanks and survive. The S-35 and D-47 medium tanks were effective vs Axis tanks but in too few numbers and only in select few BGs, they would not make much difference. The Char heavy tanks were the biggest deterrent to Axis making advances. Typically the heavy tanks when paired, or grouped with smaller tanks could advance freely on a map and easily dispatched Pz3 and Pz4s. The tactic of tag teaming was not widely used here, having two or more tanks team up on one, as the maps were more confined in general. Many of the available tank strength were lost in the first half of the campaign, only the 28/1 and 4DCR retained armour that could be used effectively until the end. Allied vehicles were very few. The armoured MG tanks and 81mm mortar cars did not make a difference in the campaign. Support was applied to all maps with Axis medium tanks.
Infantry Tactics - Ambush techniques were the most effective way for Allies to deal with Axis infantry. Generally Allied infantry were weaker, less experienced and had lower morale. In close quarter combat Axis infantry could beat Allied infantry. Early in the campaign it was learned that firefights from house to house are a waste of ammunition, especially considering Allied forces were without supply so often. To counter the Axis strengths and Allied own lack of ammo, Allied infantry was forced into ambushes. Typically an ambush would be a couple of teams hiding in the back of a building and another team watching the approach. Once Axis infantry began crossing the approach (usually a road) and filtering into the occupied house, the Allies would drop mortars and bring up their infantry to the edge to fire on the Axis infantry suppressed on the street. This was an effective tactic if the Allies did not let too many Axis infantry get in the house. Consequences of letting Axis into the houses were annihilation and surrender. More or less mid way through the campaign and force pools were dwindling it became essential to manage casualties in battle. Infantry teams who sufferered 50% casualties were pulled back for second line defense. If the player kept the losses at no more than 50% the team would get replacements after the battle was complete. If the team received more than 50% casualties, they were used as "dead" teams. The dead teams could assault or hold first line defenses as they were going to be lost after battle anyways.
Grand Strategy - The Axis came in strong attempting to cross the bridges, taking large amounts of casualties. Not long into the campaign the Axis began attacking bridge maps from the north or south bypassing the actual bridge on the map. This was the most effective method to crossing a bridge map. It effectively turned the map into an Allied island without supply. Nouzonville held out for days in this condition. Houx held out until the end, but was also bypassed by Axis units fighting through the exit VLs. Once across the bridges many of the Axis units has been so badly depleted the general advance stopped until fresh units spawned to take over. These new units took over and began an assault through the centre around and through Brognon/Aubigny, the Allies who were so badly depleted they could not hold up for very long. The breakout began in the centre around mid campaign and expanded into the south closer to the end of campaign. On 18 May midday turn two, after more than 400 battles and no strong Allied units available to stem the onslaught, Axis achieved minor victory. The subsequent turns made the Axis victory even stronger as no Allies units could stop the elite infantry and vehicles pouring through.
Top German hero who survived with more than 10 kills.
Vehicle Tactics - Axis force pools contained many vehicles. Machine guns cars, halftracks, light and medium tanks. In general tag teaming was not able to employed by the Axis in most cases. Many vehicles were not used in the early days of the campaign in favour of taking strong infantry squads. This led to some Axis battlegroups having very few infantry but up to 20-30 vehicles. Vehicles were used more often towards the second half of the campaign in support of infantry. Beginning mid campaign the Allies had few anti tank weapons to stop vehicles and breakouts were accomplished by Axis mechanized battle groups. Support was applied to all Allied battlegroups that had Char tanks.
Infantry Tactics - Ambush tactics were used on defensive maps the same way Allies used them. Early on it was realized teams with 50% casualties needed to retreat and let full teams carry on the attack in order to beat attrition. Using this tactic it was not uncommon for the Axis to lose almost nothing from an attack, which widened the imbalance of infantry teams vs the Allies. Against weak Allied infantry, Axis sometimes just assaulted through while the Allies melted or surrendered. The initial grenade volleys and follow-up close combat wiped out the Allied teams. Firefights occurring across streets were won by Axis as they had stronger small arms and higher experience. Axis infantry could win anytime in close quarter, but lose when they were pinned in the streets. Blitzkrieging was done with the infantry.
The Airborne assault into St. Germain has been corralled into the bottom of the map. I attacked hard and went for a disband only narrowly missing it. With one more minute the Allies would of been disbanded. My German BG now has even less ammo, defence may be the order of Turn 3.
21st Panzer Div attacked into Pegasus Bridge. Up until this turn most of the attacking has been done by Insano, now I get to test his defence. This BG has two 81mm mortar carriers, I took both into battle. In a 15minute game you can basically launch mortars the entire time. My deploy was very constrained and ended up with a traffic jam on the bridge. Insano took out one of the mortar carriers, a massive loss that will echo throughout the campaign for me.
91st Infantry Div attacked into St. Mere Eglise. This is a difficult attack map against Airborne troops with 57mm ATGs and bazookas. Progress was minimal which I expected and bloody. I gained the exit VL I wanted and could advance no further.
Turn 3 should see the Allies moving off the beaches I retreated from. The Bayeux area is severely lacking battlegroups for defence. Fox Green and Dog Green, both maps almost completely overrun and the BGs are mostly useless. In between those two beaches are Dog Red and Fox Red, both maps holding steady versus the Allies. I am predicting my defence will be split through the middle at Bayeux. No heroes were killed after this turn, and I have two more to add to the roster!
Captain_Insano and I started a Grand Campaign in The Longest Day. Insano is playing the Allies. The settings are 15 minutes, morale off, Recruit vs Recruit. The opening turns favour the Allies heavily. The Germans are surprised and unable to make strat moves and are fielding very weak battle groups, some of which only have 10 teams maximum. My goal with turn one was only to inflict as much casualties as possible and hold my exits.
Insano's paratroops were outmatched at La Fiere Causeway. Landing in the swamp, I surrounded their deploy with light tanks, machine guns and an infantry gun and eventually disbanded them. Insano made advances on most beach maps and some of the airborne maps, I conceded large swaths of those maps in favour of a defence farther back with ambushes set up. I retreated from Tare Green, Uncle Red, Arromanches, Juno and Sword beaches at the conclusion of turn one. These units are not fit for further combat and will act only to delay until they are completely dissolved. There are some large gaps in my defence line at the beginning of turn two which should lead to some chasing and trapping maneuvers. 81mm mortars played a huge role in the opening turn inflicting 137 casualties, 112 of those deaths. Here are the results and two heroes!
Execution- Sign out GC save file by posting "Campaign Blocked". Download the forum attachment and save it to your /Matrix Games/Close Combat The Longest Day/Meuse/Games/Save. Play as many games vs the AI as you can. Upon completion upload the GC file back to this thread with a screenshot of results. Save the game with the filename, "TLD_OLB_###.gc" It is very important to save the game with a .gc at the end, this will enable you to upload the file without zipping it.
In August of 2004, Zappi, Homba, Bambam887, RedScorpion and MOOXE all pitched
in to create this Close Combat site. I would to thank all the people who have visited
and found this site to thier liking. I hope you had time to check out some
of the great Close Combat mods and our forums. I'd also like to thank
all the members of our volunteer staff that have helped over
the years, and all our users that contributed to this site!