This is an AAR for the first round of the WW2 Forums Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin, Rivers to the Reich Tournament. The map is Trollville 2, and the commanders are O.M.A. (Germany) vs Tomcat (USSR). This round consisted of each player simultaneously playing both sides of the same map to control for any possibility of an imbalance. This thread is the other side of this battle: Trollville 2: O.M.A. (USSR) vs Tomcat (Germany) The Trollville2 Map The Trollville map was created a few years ago to accomodate an earlier CM:BB tournament here on WW2F.com. I'm not entirely sure who the original author was (Mussolini? Otto?), but for the 2013 CM:BB tournament our distinguished Grofaz Otto edited the map and tweaked the units and we now have Trollville2. The map is a relatively small geographic area, with a ruler straight river bisecting the center. The terrain on either side of the river is a quirky mirror-image of itself, each side dominated by medium sized towns, connected by fords and heavy bridges, and then flanked again by fords on the extreme edges of the map. The towns and surrounding wooded areas begin un-occupied, and each side must move their troops into position from their jumping off points. The fictional towns on either side of the river are logically divided, the Russians get the East village with the "Troll Factory", and the Germans are assigned the West side, with the "Ogre Factory". The two HQ's on either side of the river each have 3 large 1,000 point victory flags staked in them making them huge 3,000 point prizes in terms of victory conditions! Given that they are separated by just 300 meters total, are within line of sight of one another, and are just 175 meters from the opposing side of the river, they are very tempting targets, but crossing a wide river with even meagre resistance would prove a costly undertaking. In addition to the interesting tactical situation the HQ's present, we are given a very high unit density for such a small map. There are more than enough units to cover all ten river crossings of both bridges and fords, with a good mix of armor, half tracks, off map ordinance (mortars), and a variety of the very best infantry opposing each other. At first glance Trollville2 appears an amateurish river map, one quickly thrown together by duplicating the terrain on both sides of a river. Further analysis proves it to be an intersting tactical puzzle, requiring focused use of the nation specific forces supplied, and demanding a complex balance of defensive and offensive consideration. There are five major areas to cross the river, each area must be ruggedly defended against the specific units the enemy may bring to bear at each crossing. I presume the map designer(s) aptly thought of this, and I appreciate the thought that went into creating a rather fun map to play. Order of Battle: Axis 1st Platoon Panzer IVG (x4) 2nd Platoon Panzer IVG (x5) Total: 9 tanks Sd.Kfz. 251/1 (x22) Total: 22 half-tracks A Tank Battle As previously mentioned the Trollville2 map has some odd terrain features that will force the opposing units into very close proximity, but the large, wide river will prevent either side from assaulting into enemy territory without heavy resistance. The mix of units will dictate my deployment, what I commit to battle, and how quickly I do so. It should immediately be mentioned there is a very high unit density in this map, notably in the area of armor. On turn 1 there are no less than 15 Russian T-34/85 M43 tanks and 9 German Panzer IV-G tanks. In addition, starting on turn 10, the Germans have a 25% chance each turn of receiving one time reinforcements in the way of 2 Panther V-D's (late), and a Ostwind 37mm L/57 AA AFV. Given they begin with 15 tanks to the German players 9, the Russians recieve no reinforcements. While each side has a good mix of half track troop carriers and a variety of infantry, the Trollville2 battle will be dominated by, and decided by who is the more effective tank destroyer. It is clear that once a side can establish a force dominance in armor, they will be able to apply the heavy artillery as assault guns to dominate one of the 5 major river crossing areas, and more importantly reduce the village and any strongpoints the enemy has created. Tank destruction will be the primary focus of the battle, as such tank hunting will dominate the narrative of this AAR. Trollville2 Map Review: German Perspective We've already covered how the map is reeuced to a battle of armor. Tank Hunting Infantry While tanks will decide the battle, there are a good mix of other units that can help turn the tide of the skirmish, especially those that will help with the task of killing those tanks. A Math-centric CM Play Style: After 2,000+ games of Combat Mission, I have developed a very specific process that will be very clear as you progress through this AAR. Ultimately CM:BB is a game of probablity and math, and you will see I spend a lot of time crunching numbers and working to improve my odds in every engagement. In each of my games I focus as much on math as I do tactical considerations. While this may seem dry to some, I feel it benefits my game immensely, and provides a good overview of how the game actually functions. This is the first time I'm fully revealing the full scope of the math as I apply it to Combat Mission, and if you are a newer player there may be a few things you might find useful. On "Gamey" Tactics: Combat Mission is a great simulation of tactical combat, but like any game has it's limitations. There are plenty of odd and quirky features in Combat Mission like the floating square maps, the crazy air-strike system, and the weird ability to send units off board and have them totally dissappear even though they would still be visible to any nearby units, among many others. In the past I've heard a few people complain about so called gamey tactics in Combat Mission, and in wargaming in general. I refuse the bother with any such complaints. Combat Mission is after all a game, and any player should use whatever framework exist in any game to try and win. I will gladly send threatened units off-board to deny my enemy the kill points. I will gleefully use heavy weaponry to destroy any building that may contain infantry. I will concentrate my forces on a map edge to ensure they can't be encircled. I will position my units adjacent to the spawn points of my enemy's reinforcements locations and cackle like a dingo as they blast away at units as they appear. I will outright lie and sow disinformation to my oppenent in our emails as we send turns back and forth. I will joyously use crews of destroyed vehicles to capture flags. I will suicidally rush units toward key flag positions as the game ends to deny them the victory points. I will without guilt do all these things and more, and will expect my opponent to do the same. We are both bound by the same rules in game, and I will not restrict myself to arbitrary limitations outside those rules.