Stuck in Arras

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Spechtmeise
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Stuck in Arras

Post by Spechtmeise » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:40 pm

For the third time in a row I have failed in the DLC 40 Arras scenario. I have not only failed, my experienced and in some cases heroed and medaled troops were utterly clobbered and eliminated. I do not claim to be a good general. In fact I claim to be a bad general, but I do believe that I set up my defenses properly. I am getting very frustrated seeing my dug-in units getting steamrollered and destroyed by British infantry and tanks. What am I not getting here, has someone else experienced the same problems? No defending grenadier unit should be reduced in half by a standard British infantry unit on the attack, at least this shouldn't happen time and again.

IainMcNeil
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Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:52 pm

Are you using artillery to support your defences? This makes a huge difference. Are you being hit by enemy artillery and getting suppressed? They certainly should not be able to go through you unless something else is feeding in to it. Are you defending a river?

Kerensky
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Post by Kerensky » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:21 pm

It's a tough scenario, but it shouldn't be insurmountable.

A few questions:

What difficulty level are you playing on?
What is your core composition? You don't have to be specific, just list numbers. X amount of infantry, Y amount of tanks, Z amount of Stukas.
Are you trying to go on the offensive at all, or even just holding the line you are being overwhelmed?

Kerensky
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Post by Kerensky » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:51 pm

deducter also put up a decent AAR of Arras just recently, have a look. :)

(Down near the bottom)

viewtopic.php?t=29686

Uhu
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by Uhu » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:29 am

If you have a lot of artillery (4+) and some Stuka's (fighters are also good to weaken the enemy), then you should have no problem.
Skyraider wrote:For the third time in a row I have failed in the DLC 40 Arras scenario. I have not only failed, my experienced and in some cases heroed and medaled troops were utterly clobbered and eliminated. I do not claim to be a good general. In fact I claim to be a bad general, but I do believe that I set up my defenses properly. I am getting very frustrated seeing my dug-in units getting steamrollered and destroyed by British infantry and tanks. What am I not getting here, has someone else experienced the same problems? No defending grenadier unit should be reduced in half by a standard British infantry unit on the attack, at least this shouldn't happen time and again.

Spechtmeise
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Post by Spechtmeise » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks for the encouragement. I've managed a marginal win now, at the cost of losing some precious units, though.

Spechtmeise
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Post by Spechtmeise » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:30 pm

And yet I have the impression that something is off. How can a Daimler Dingo reduce my Pz. IV by 2, while another Dingo reduces my artillery sitting on a river hex by just one? It appears there is a little too much variance in the combat results. I can't put my finger on it, it doesn't seem right. OK, I can still reduce difficulty, although that is not a path I want to take.
On a more positive note: of the many different war games that I have played recently this is the most fun and addictive.

IainMcNeil
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Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:09 pm

If you Ctrl click on a target you'll get a break down of the combat and understand how the randomness works. It is possible for anyy attack to get 0 hits and the same attack to get 10 hits. Both are very unlikely but it is possible.

Uhu
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Post by Uhu » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:13 pm

Tipp: learn, learn and learn. I like this game, because, there are so many tricks, tactics! You have to be always with "full brain" on the battlefield to earn victories and not loosing core units.
For example to avoid losses there are several ways. Try to use always artillery backup - they really good protects your units. Expection is the Matilda II. :) I many times moves slower but more protected with my units - in the DLC's, you mostly have no time pressure, the maps are also not big, so that could be no problem.
I also understood, that most cases, when I "jump" one of my unit too far, than it will be punished, by taking heavy losses, or even destroyed. If you move your units together, than fewer enemy units can get to one given unit, and therefore, they can make lower casualities. Also your weakened unit can easier escape from the dangerous enviroment. Panzer units should of cause always avoid dangerous hexes, and be always only on clear hexes.

It can makes also big difference, what you buy in your force, or, if you have not so much prestige, than how will you split it. Don't forget also, that green replacement costs nothing and elite replacement costs only the half at the deployment phase.

Skyraider wrote:And yet I have the impression that something is off. How can a Daimler Dingo reduce my Pz. IV by 2, while another Dingo reduces my artillery sitting on a river hex by just one? It appears there is a little too much variance in the combat results. I can't put my finger on it, it doesn't seem right. OK, I can still reduce difficulty, although that is not a path I want to take.
On a more positive note: of the many different war games that I have played recently this is the most fun and addictive.

Spechtmeise
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Post by Spechtmeise » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:20 pm

Thanks again for the hints. I'll restart the 1940 DLC on a lower difficulty setting. I guess I need to go back to bootcamp :)

endur
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by endur » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:01 am

Arras is a really interesting scenario.

First, you can setup on defense and just stay where you setup. You will get a marginal victory if you just hold what you start with.

Or you can attack, to gain prestige from capturing enemy locations, and to gain a decisive victory by conquering all of the objective hexes.

Even if you just play defense, you might still lose some troops due to the attacking enemies. With the possibility of losing considerably more troops if you go on the offensive.

captainjack
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by captainjack » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:56 am

My most recent solution for Arras was two 88s and a Panzerjager upgraded from the towed 37mm. At 3* and backed by artillery (I had I think 5x 15cms and the captured 105 from Warsaw), plus a Sig33(for picky readers, I reckon there were enough around to justify using one). Remember arty in contact with your units will provide defensive fire when the enemy attacks, so when fighting heavier troops you need this to stand a chance defensively as well as needing it to suppress before attacking.

In the early stages of the game tanks are not that good defensively, so I and rely more on infantry and arty in the early game, and usually rely on captured equipmnet and special units until well into 1941. In Arras, my two tanks were Panzer 38t (one from Modlin and one upgraded from the original Panzer 1, both at 3*).

Aircraft get minced by AA under 1.21 so you need to be a bit more cautious with checking what's around but in Arras you will have plenty of tanks as targets in well scouted terrain. I had three 109, one Ju88 and a 110 Tac bomber, all at 3*. The rest was infantry - mainly engineers and Grenadiers. There's a lot of bocage, woodland and hills which are good defensive areas for infantry.

The two 88s provide effective air cover and weaken enemy aircraft before you attack them. As AT guns (they can switch between AA and AT) they can mince any of the available tanks including the Matilda 2, and if you suppress 3 or 4 points (preferably more) before firing, you probably won't take more than 1 point from the return fire. If you keep 88s backed by artillery, few units will attack them, even when they are in AA mode.

Broadly speaking my strategy was to advance far enough to spot the enemy then form a defense with artillery support just out of spotting range. When ready this advances into spotting range and hopefully the enemy comes out of cover and attacks, getting hit by artillery defensive fire, but at the minimum losing any entrenchment and cover, so they are more vulnerable to counter attack. I had a lot of success with enemy units getting ambushed by the Panzerjager - this included a fair bit of luck, but was assisted with a bit of thinking through the likely routes, and also ensuring it always had artillery backup.

The comment about learning is very important. Even now, I still use Control + L after almost every attack to see why I did well or badly. Control + L doesn't work properly when the enemy is attacking you but it works often enough that you can sometimes find out if your horror result (Panzer IV wrecked by Dingo) was due to bad luck or something you had overlooked. That was the main way I learnt how to improve my good results and reduce my bad ones, but reading AARs and asking questions (and sometimes reading Beta test reports) may also help you understand how to use terrain and weather to your advantage. Good luck next time!

shawkhan
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by shawkhan » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:56 pm

Outsmarting the AI is the key to success in this game.
Ambush is possibly the most effective tactic.
Placing your AT assets within the AIs spotting range but backed up with artillery out of the AIs spotting range, is an effective way to use towed AT units.
Placing fighters just out of the AIs spotting range often allows them to ambush attacking air, effectively doubling their air superiority function. You can do the same thing with your Flak units.
Using the spotting rules effectively is the key to tactical expertise.
I always have at least 1/4 of my force as artillery. Artillery is incredibly useful both in the ambush tactic and as a way to lower entrenchment values to allow effective attacks, especially when the weather doesn't allow the Luftwaffe to fly. Some people seem to become enamored with the larger artillery calibers but I myself never go beyond the occasional 17cm with a range hero because of the ammunition supply situation. Entrenchment levels only go down by one no matter the caliber of your artillery and 15cm guns are large enough throughout the entire war to deal with soft targets.
And yes, the Sturmpanzer as it is represented in the game, never existed. It was an assault gun, not ranged artillery. The predecessor of the StugIIIB, not the Hummel. Sure wish this would get fixed. Historically, it was a bunker buster par excellence because it could use the largest rifle grenade round ever seen, the Stiele Granate. But using this, its range was never more than a few hundred meters. A two hundred pound explosive charge was something you couldn't ignore though, except in this game.

gmartinz
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by gmartinz » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:44 am

It took me four attempts in Colonel setting to get a marginal victory, but fortunately without too much damage. For the life of me, at that setting, and with what I had acquired, I don't know how I - or anyone - could get a decisive victory. I had evenly divided between tanks, artillery, infantry and air. I essentially created a northern, central and southern army, drew the provided forces into those armies and waited. The British armor attacks from the north, the central is a mix of armor and infantry, and for some reason, there was no activity in the south. I kept drawing forces away from the south to help the central, which was taking a pounding (the airwing did most of its work up north).

Resolute
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by Resolute » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:23 pm

As few have said, AT does work wonders in that scenario especially the 88 if properly placed. I also use 3 Stukas which will take care of most of the British heavy armor. Tanks are not much needed prior to 41 and I usually only go with my SE units in that scenario. Use the terrain to your advantage too.

captainjack
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Re: Stuck in Arras

Post by captainjack » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:32 am

Can't go far wrong with a few 88s and Stukas to take out the Matildas. That's what worked in the real world.

Resolute's comment about terrain is also very useful - infantry in close terrain are very good defending against tanks, if backed by artillery and a Panzerjager (and even a 37mm) with 2 or 3 stars will defend well against a Matilda if backed by a 10.5cm or 15cm gun. However, close terrain can leave you vulnerable to attack by good infantry as they attack your close defence of 2 instead of 7 or 8. If there are 3 units able to attack you can lose an experienced unit in a single turn (I have).

The cruisers are nasty because they are quick and appear where you don't expect them. Despite the feeble armour they hit quite hard and typically have better initiative than the German tanks, so though you will finish them off quite easily they can cause a lot of damage if they catch you unprepared.

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