AARs

After Action Reports

Battle of the Alps

Tonight was another Kill-A-Rat promotion and the last night of the Campaign #45 intermission (Campaign #45 ran for 92 days concluding in an Axis victory).

We had a great turnout and I was loathe to see it evaporate as the Rats logged off and went their various ways. So I did a little something daft on an impulse and it turned out to be awesome fun.

Breda: The pounding will continue

The last year or so of rule changes have really changed big city fights, and in our game world, Breda is a big city.

I wound up working most of the night last night and since I had to be in-game, I spent a fair amount of time in/at/watching Breda which is turning out to be a 3 day series of epic battles. Little bit of that Olympic spirit going on, maybe?

Lislet

Some very nice battles there the last few days. Monday night I found myself the German Target of Choice in my Mathildas, and then Feld Marshal ‘greatone’ turned up and it became a true prize fight :)

Rollercoaster…

Some of you who read this and work on games yourself will probably find this a bit … eerie or weird or nerdy or something. But, I like to enjoy the game I work on. So yes, for my birthday, I stocked up on beers and chips and candy, and I sat myself infront of our game for most of the day – a good 16 hours played yesterday/this morning.

And it has really been quite phenomenal. Fundamentally, it’s still the same game it was before our last patch set of patches, but this differentiated brigades has definitely been a major milestone in the development track.

Sedan

When I spawned in, I really didn’t think we had a chance. That has to be one of the toughest towns in the game. The Axis had it locked up good with a half a dozen 88s sitting on the hill north of the West Armybase popping just about anything that spawned – they decimated the armor list. I spawned in an ATR and found a good little spot about 1km out from the 88s and slowly started picking them off.

As their supply halftrack scuttled with the last 88 running for his score, pressure was off on the West AB, and the Luftwaffe generously afforded the last remaining Allied armor a reprieve just long enough for Matildas to roll out and onto the bridge. So many kills as poor little gray things desperately tried to scurry out from their depots. My favorites were the mortarmen and ATRs who picked any old spot to try and deploy thinking maybe I couldn’t see them with my barrel pointing right at them. I felt they deserved more than just a simple machine-gunning and sent them a solid AP round surprize.

I would have left more of you to the swarms of Allied infantry rushing over the bridge but if you come running a straight line towards my machine gun with a satchel held out, I’m going to give you a pre-emptive present of my own :)

Even so, there were soo many infantry on both sides, I think I barely made a dent in the Axis attack, merely kept them from re-crossing the bridge. I was utterly amazed I managed to survive: not until things started to wind down did I believe for a moment that there wouldn’t be a satchel in the next second or two or one of the bombers overhead wouldn’t take me out. I took a few plinks but I think there was another tank next to me that absorbed all the hurt.

It was the tooth-and-nail sort of fight that when the smoke cleared and the town was still yours, you wondered how that happened and wanting to find an EI and go-over and shake his hand…

Campaign #45, Differentiated Ground Brigades

Ok, Campaign #45 started today… And Doc made the call and rolled out the Differentiated Armored Brigades. Lots of real positive feedback in game – the odd complaint that “it’s the same” from someone giving it a 2 minute once-over. It didn’t change the basics of gameplay, it changed the bigger picture and it changed the overall feel to the longer fights. If you spawn in inf to defend against an armored brigade, tho, what you’ll experience is “old school” as armor pours in and crushes you. If you spawn into an AB sitting below a hill with the enemy parked ontop of it, you’ll feel just as camped as ever.

The real difference is that there is a lot more of the good stuff going on – some really fine infantry actions still going on after 5 days. Will it last? How bad will the firestorms be when the first division loses an armored brigade and there are nothing but infantry, atgs and light tanks to hold off a blood-thirsty armor column?

Just spent 2 hours defending Longwy… There was a great armored battle outside of town, and then the armor withdrew and the infantry moved in, and the Allies held the town by the skin of their teeth. Light Axis tanks edged towards town and that hold started to teeter; a couple of Allied tanks arrived from Piennes and bounced the Axis armor and the Allied grip strengthed … Until a couple of really well placed 88s began popping them with careful aims and cautious firing.

Once again, the Allies had a fingernail grip on Longwy – I’ve no idea how we kept it, I was totally immersed in the infantry battle, but somehow we held it. Armor trying to reach the town encountered enemy armor, we could hear the battle raging in the distance, I guess Allied armor managed to reach the town and then a new brigade moved in and the Allies regained the town.

Looking forward to Friday night with Latham and Topd – if they show – we spent last Friday night multicrewing and looking forward to doing it again.

What BattlegroundEurope is about…

Every now and again I come across a video of our game that makes me go “woah”! Nice work, Tatonka :) This is not a flying video, despite the cover image:

 

Remembering the fallen

 We concluded our 7th anniversary celebration by remembering those who fought for us in World War II and the players who are no-longer with us in a 10 minute Cease Fire on the Dinant Bridge. The earlier, 2pm, ceremony was a little unruly. However, there was a touching degree of reverance shown at the 8pm ceremony. (People on both sides will no doubt feel the other side failed to behave, but remember, you only reserve 4 or 10 slots for friendly units when your vis list gets full)

Over 600 people were standing on the bridge at the peak of the 8pm ceremony.

Ah, next year, I need a slightly less drastic way to despawn everyone at the end of the ceremony…

System text from the ceremonies:

Battleground Europe

(Video by Grider)

Maastricht Infantry Video (youtube/wmv)

Raw footage of the Allied efforts to repulse the Axis from retaking Maastricht earlier tonight. Round 1 went to the Allies but the night is young…

(Windows Media Player versions: 27Mb low-res | 115Mb high-res)