Friday, October 08, 2004

Creating the Forces: Allied

I'll start by saying that, while I learned a lot creating the forces from scratch, if I were to do it over, I would have used the existing force pool and modified it to suit my needs.

This would have been easier than creating the entire force pool from scratch, because all I needed to do was create an "ersatz" U.S. Infantry Division, and U.S. Armored Task Force and edit the existing German forces to suit my needs. Instead, I ended up creating the U.S. forces and the German forces.

That said, I did learn quite a bit and I am happy with the results, though there will undoubtedly be room for more learning.

To create a WWII U.S. Infantry Division, I utilized the existing British line infantry estabs. For the most part, there were one-to-one substitutes. I was able to use the existing British line Inf Div Tac HQ for its U.S. counterpart. I was able to use the Brit Mot Inf Bde Tac HQ as a US Inf Reg Tac HQ. The only problem with this swap was that the Brits had a Motorized Bde HQ and I wanted one that was not motorized. The HTTR scenarios don't use the non-motorized line units as I suppose that nearly all British line units were fairly motorized by the time of Market Garden. But early on, in the Norman hedgerows, I think the U.S. companies traveled and fought on foot.

One compromise that I chose to make was to represent the division's artillery battalions with single batteries only. This gives the U.S. forces plenty of arty and keeps the scenario somewhat balanced. Arty is very powerful in HTTR and representing the full compliment of a U.S. Infantry Division's artillery assets would make the scenario a walk in the park for the allies.

Here is the layout of the 117th Inf Regiment, as part of the 30th Infantry Division:

Some things you might notice:

Regimental Weapons and Mortar companies have been distributed among the battalions as under-strength companies. This is how I think they were organized, or so I've read. Plus, the idea of making a few MGs and Mortars available to each Btln is appealing, rather than having to choose where to aim an entire MG company.

I've also included an Armored detachment at this level. This is the only regiment in the entire division where such a unit is attached. I found that, when assigned at the division level, the armored detachment behaved oddly, though I am uncertain why. But, as I look at this, I'm considering trying it again at the division level because it looks odd.

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