Personally I think the Axis were trying to give us Oudenaarde; they’re not usually such a bunch of pushovers.
I jumped off my Bedford truck and it didn’t seem like a whole lot was going on.
This is definitely one of those times, tho, where screenshots just don’t do it justice. It takes you a moment or two to start absorbing all the sounds going on around you. Heck, maybe I even hit the ground in a lull, cause there was something going on here ;)
I followed the ant trail and thought that maybe I’d just found one of those “Allied camps” they’re always warn us about.
But it seems the Allied armor had been edging up as part of a well co-ordinated “unified attack” with combined French and British troops on the offensive. The problem was that the Germans, having no regard for the few remaining civies left in town, had blown the bridge.
What’s a freedom loving Ally to do but …
Start swimming. Around half way across, I think someone noticed us. Those darn long-handled potatoe mashers started whirling over the opposite riverbank. They could have been aiming for us or the guys working on repairing the bridge, but either way their aim was way off.
… until they started cheating and using their rifles. It’s a long swim, and like I say, the screenshots lack the terrifying whoosh of bullets, the crump and boom of explosions far and near, the hiss of the water as fighters try to strafe you, the clawing tear of the sound of a diving fighter or bomber…
I was one of the few lucky ones to survive the river and find Oudenaarde little more than a ruin in which the Germans had hunkdered down and found themselves good defensive positions. Silhouetting yourself by coming over that riverbank was as good as strapping a bullseye to yourself and yelling “shoot me”.
However, those of us who braved a foray, however brief, onto the far side were able to take down members of the opposing high command and disrupt their positions in readiness for the real advance when the bridge was repaired. Most importantly, we drew fire away from the bridge builders. At last, the bridge up and the cry went out to cross. Armor streamed across, the sound deafening. A Messerschmitt 110 dove on the bridge and let go a bomb, everyone held their breath a moment. Fortunately he was a mere rookie and his bomb went sailing off towards Germany.
Still, some of the drivers got a little overexcited.
There was still some resistance on the far side, Allied troopers only slowly pushing out from the beach-head around the bridge. But the arrival of French troops from the other direction forced the Germans to fight on two fronts and made our job easy.
Somewhere in the battle, with the bridge restored, the Germans ordered their troops to fallback. Can’t help but wonder if its some cunning plan or if the renewed vigor of French and British co-operation is unnerving them.
Who knows? We captured Oudenaarde more easily than my cat catches fleas. And I’m headed off to hunt grey things at Firebases…
You know, a year or two ago, the battle at Oudenaarde wouldn’t have been easy. Both sides had relatively even numbers at this fight, the Germans were at a slight disadvantage in terms of supply, but they also had air superiority for most of the fight.
The difference seems to lie in the work of small squads using the tools that the modern game provides to best effect. Contact reports were being used well, and there was a minimum of “banter” overall. It’s not quite the same game in a casual sense it was back then, but its still a long way from the cold, hardcore atmosphere of some other war games.
There is still a bit of a trick to actually finding a fight in the first place, and its not unusual to run into some “getting started” issues – after despawning, the game tells you that you have an SMG but it spawns you a rifleman – sometimes; or you get spawned in and discover you’re on an FB mission with a rifle. Or you just plain fall foul of people doing strange things – MSPs to shuttle infantry between armybases with not so much as a word in the /orders.
Someone commented that they felt the game has eliminated “the squad”. I know that a couple of years ago CRS was trying to do that, but I fought pretty hard to represent the concept of the squad internally and, despite me, the key players came round to the idea of squad anyway – and hopefully for 1.26 a key part of the client work will be some squad-recruitment loving.
But I’m finding it relatively easy to find fun in the game these days, mostly just by following the little “squad member” icons – or by going to the squad tab, clicking a member and using the join buttons to go directly to where squadmates are playing.
I see light at the end of this tunnel. God help me if its the muzzle flash of an 88 ;)