Eastern Front Command Ops: Fighting with Platoons - Take the Bridge scenario

Legends of the Blitzkrieg is a tactical level version of Command Ops that will simulate the 1940 fighting in France.  In development for at least two years, it looks fantastic (see below) but there has been nothing substantive posted about it in the forum in over a year that I can find.

LOTB - This is a screenshot of the game that is in development.  Look at the map textures (which are fantastic).  Now the counters, also fantastic. A German Rifle company and a tank company are presented here.

With the back and forth I've seen in the forums about the future of the game recently, I didn't want to go another year without seeing the CO engine (as is) in action at that scale.

So I fiddled over the last 2 days with a Eastern Front version of LOTB.  I went back to one of my favorite Eastern Front scenarios (Objective Taganrog) and then zoomed in on the bridge.  The terrain today is not that dissimilar I imagine than it was in 1941 so I grabbed a Google Earth shot of the bridge and the villages clustered along the Mius river and traced it within the Map Editor.

My textures are clearly different but I don't think they look too bad.  I used the "broken ground" layer and edited the effects, adding a meter of height to the layer to simulate crops.  You can just see it in the left corner of the map where the track splits the fields in two. 
 My short scenario "Take the Bridge" has one objective, the Mius River crossing NW of Taganrog, and puts you in command of a German Rifle Coy with a platoon of AT Guns in support, as they move to attack the bridge from the SW.

The Russians have a Mortar section, two platoons of Infantry and a platoon of T-34 tanks at their command.  Each company is missing some key components but I didn't have too much time to flesh this out.

The Germans start on the map out of sight. There is a bluff that screens their approach and then there is a line of trees just north of the village of Grudinov.

I switched over to the unit icons which gave the game a newer feel for me.  My German Rifle Coy has a new baggage train unit attached to it (just like LOTB).  The German Panzer Grenadier infantry attacking the bridge for this scenario did so at night, dismounted from the vehicles they typically use.  That's why I have the baggage train using "Manpacks" to carry a limited amount of supply.  LOTB calls the battalion supply a "depot" which I think is cool.
The attack is progressing.  You will see I added stone walls to the map.  I took the "Dike" terrain layer and adjusted the height and effects of it on movement and combat to simulate walls.  LOTB seems to have these as well which is why I added them in.  Moving my HMG sections up to provide a continuous base of fire on the woods where the Russian defense is clustered helped me move my two infantry platoons up into position on the flanks. 
The center of my attack was anchored by the two HMG sections. This worked well as moved my infantry platoons into position but as I was beginning to mount my attack the sections gave way. That in turn caused the AT gun platoon to also fall back.
Well there it is my first attempt. After about 18 hours of fighting I surrendered to make some adjustments.  I lost 12 KIA and the Soviets lost 8 KIA and two guns.  I think the losses are low but I left a lot of time on the clock while I took notes.  I micromanaged each counter for the Germans.  At some point this weekend I will set the Coy level HQ up with an attack order and see what happens.

A couple of notes about the map.  I added "irrigation ditches" by adjusting the stream terrain layer.  The walls seem to work well. I added orchards in along the river. The satellite pics of the bridge show something growing there but I couldn't tell what it is obviously. I will try to make my farmers field layers look as good as LOTB.

A couple of notes about gameplay.  There is a lot of discussion in the forum here about LOTB and some of the difficulties the designers are facing.  One big one is dismounted infantry which will be a cool feature when CO goes live with it.  The others from what I can tell are LOS and terrain grids.

I didn't worry about these issues because I am not trying to come up with the polished game they will produce.  Mine is the poor man's version of Platoon level combat using CO.  I am sure there are lots of things that aren't right with it, but when I played it yesterday it felt right and I was happy.  I will polish this up and trace another map or two and release it before Riga.

I had a lot of fun and I hope you will too when you play it.


Doug Miller said…
Chris, this is really cool. I would not have thought that Command Ops would translate so well at this level, but it sure looks good. Looking forward to trying these out!
Chris said…
Thanks Doug. I think there is something to this but I need to experiment more with it. I am sure I am missing things. It is neat though to re-imagine CO with anti-tank teams and machine gun sections.

If I had waited a week to do this I probably would have put it off for Red Thunder but now that I've started I want to experiment with this level of CO. The maps are much quicker to build and I've created the estab files I need for the most part. So its just a question of some playtesting and releasing it. Will shoot you the links ahead of time.

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